Ismail Serageldin

Reflections


Reflections on the Third Anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution: Historic Hours and Tumultuous Times

25/01/2014

Today, we celebrate the third anniversary of the Egyptian revolution. A milestone that calls for reflection on those three years of chaotic action, great moments, dashed dreams, big achievements, sacrifice and betrayal, and all the components of a human drama of the highest order. Tumultuous times, historic hours, greatness achieved, then lost, retrieved and lost again in the fog of uncertainty as the elusive dream of building our new republic on an inclusive society and a system of laws seems to be overtaken by...

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Egypt’s Ongoing Revolution – Part II: On Violence and the Path Ahead

27/07/2013

The Egyptian Revolution is ongoing. It got its second wind and corrected its path on the 30th of June 2013 when millions and millions took to the streets and said “No” to the rule of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Then after the first few days from June 30 to July 3, after President Morsi was toppled and the interim government was installed, vast numbers of the people began to abandon the streets, and were ready to turn the page, and start a new chapter. But the escalation in the rhetoric of the Islamist supporters of Morsi continued...

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Birth Pangs of Egypt’s New Republic

27/07/2013

The Egyptian Revolution corrected its path on the 30th of June 2013 when unprecedented numbers of Egyptians, in their tens of millions, signed individual declarations asking President Morsi to step down, and took to the streets and said “No” to the rule of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The Morsi supporters were a much smaller minority on the scale of Egypt, and were largely concentrated in two squares in Cairo and the Qaid Ibrahim Mosque Area in Alexandria, with scattered bands elsewhere. In the face of this overwhelming public disavowal of the government and in the absence of a formal procedure...

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Egypt’s Ongoing Revolution – Part I

06/07/2013

Egypt is once more doing things its own unique way. After millions of people went into the streets and in 18 days that shook the world succeeded in toppling the regime of Hosny Mubarak after 30 years of rule, they came back again in their millions into the streets and squares of Egypt and toppled Mohamed Morsi after one year of rule.

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Terrorism, the Constitution and the Law

17/11/2012

A few years ago, before the 25 January 2011 Revolution, Egypt considered passing a “Terrorism Law” to replace the vast powers given to the state under the “State of Emergency” that was invoked and remained in place for thirty years. Such a law would have enshrined the sweeping coercive powers claimed by the executive under the Emergency into the regular laws of the nation.

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Towards a Constitution for the 21st Century

21/10/2012

As Egypt drafts its new constitution, we must recognize that we are designing it in the second decade of the 21st century, and that much of what has changed in the world around us requires decision makers to have to think “outside of the box”. Regretfully, I find much of the current debate is about concerns and solutions that still seem very conventional in their outlook. Certainly there are certain fundamental issues that any constitution must address, from the oldest to the most recent.

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Update on Events in Egypt and the BA on 2 July 2012

02/07/2012

Many friends have been sending me individual questions about the unfolding events in Egypt and events concerning the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), especially given the negative and malicious campaign that has been waged against me and the BA. So this is to set the record straight and to keep you informed of developments.

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Update on Events in Alexandria as of 23 November 2011

23/11/2011

The Egyptian elections are progressing extremely well, better than anybody dared to hope for. As I cautiously predicted on my Tweets, despite the violence in the streets last week, there were signs that the incurable optimist in me saw as good signs for the advance of democracy. What were those signs?

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Events in Alexandria as of 23 November 2011

23/11/2011

As you know, we had strikes and demonstrations that called for my resignation and that of senior managers and that closed down the Library for two weeks (albeit with the Eid Holidays included). Armed with the confidence of the Board of Trustees and a strong statement of support from the Government and of intellectuals inside and outside of Egypt, I re-engaged with the demonstrators.

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A Salute to the Great Youth of Egypt

12/02/2011

To the great youth of Egypt, the leaders of the Egyptian revolution of 25 January 2011, I salute you. For …

in the nobility of your spirit,
in the exuberance of your youth,
in the quality of your contacts,
in the unsullied idealism that you possess,
in the dedication to our common humanity that you bring …

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