"This essay examines social media content leading up to the presidential elections in May 2012. It provides ten interactive graphs to illustrate public opinion expressed on Twitter. These graphs represent sentiment and semantic analyses of over two million tweets from seventeen hashtag feeds posted 10 April 2012 through 24 May 2012. The following hashtags are in the study: #egyelections, #egypresiden, #egypt as well as the Arabic hashtags شفيق# حمدين# ,انتخابات_الرئاسة# ,العباسيه#  ,ابوالفتوح# ,خالد_على# , موسى# ,مرسي# ,#مصر….The data visualizations generated seek to illustrate and improve our understanding of the sensibilities and cultural logic(s)3 that are being expressed by the people on Twitter. It is not to say philosophical underpinnings to the nature of a virtual world are new and revelatory; nor does this argument purport that the what is being expressed online in the digital world is necessarily representative of what happens on the ground. In places like Egypt where literacy rates only reach 66%4, analyses of Internet penetration hold less weight5.”

Via http://www.jadaliyya.com - This is a great resource for essays about all things Middle Eastern politics and culture. 

The Egyptian people have proven time and again that they are leading digital activism innovation, that they are heroic stewards of their own revolution and their own freedom. We in the West need to learn that there is not always a role for us and if our help is needed we must act with humility and in subordinate roles. It doesn’t matter if technology efforts like Wathiqah make us in the West feel good or helpful or part of a moment in history. When the creation of these projects draws attention and potential resources away from home-grown efforts, when it causes fragmentation, we need to have the humility to step back. Because, in the end, it’s not about us.

From "The Revolution is Not a Branding Opportunity"


"The square is a strategic point for political expression. Apart from that however, little detail is visible in the image. The masses remain absolutely anonymous. This is an important aspect because the image itself doesn’t compromise the identity of an individual protester (nor did I wish to compromise their identity by showing their profile information). By choosing this photograph as profile shot, the Egyptian Facebook user is equally willing to suspend his or her photographic identity in place of a greater cause.”

Another liberal worry is that there is no organised political power to take over if Mubarak goes. Of course there is not; Mubarak took care of that by reducing all opposition to marginal ornaments, so that the result is like the title of the famous Agatha Christie novel, And Then There Were None. The argument for Mubarak – it’s either him or chaos – is an argument against him.

Zizek on Egypt and Revolution

Via The Guardian

To elaborate, the discourse of a social media revolution is a form of self-focused empathy in which we imagine the other (in this case, a Muslim other) to be nothing more than a projection of our own desires, a depoliticized instant in our own becoming. What a strong affirmation of ourselves it is to believe that people engaged in a desperate struggle for human dignity are using the same Web 2.0 products we are using! That we are able to form this empathy largely on the basis of consumerism demonstrates the extent to which we have bought into the notion that democracy is a by-product of media products for self-expression, and that the corporations that create such media products would never side with governments against their own people.

From “The Twitter Revolution Must Die”

The network is live, the revolution is live. The energy that causes the network to circulate stems from the great performative moments in the streets, but it can be intensified as it passes through the network, as it was when “Egypt” watched “Tunisia.” This is a performative watching that reverses the long-standing deployment of visuality as a weapon against civilian populations by the Psy-Ops brigades and the ranks of the secret police .

Visual Culture Theorist Nick Mirzoeff on Revolution and Networked Visuality in North Africa.

Mirzoeff’s new blog "For the Right to Look"
Another awesome project Mirzoeff organizes The New Everyday 


January 25, 2010: An anti-government protester in Alexandria defaces a picture of Hosni Mubarak.

There’s an image of revolution in the making. 

(via charquaouia-deactivated20120116)

Umm Kulthum  is the Billie Holiday of the Middle East.

And How fantastic is that outfit? Mad Men: Egypt Style.

Via desertxxrose

(via charquaouia-deactivated20120116)

Via The Egyptian Gazzette

 Like migrating birds, European women fly to Egypt for the winter. The dating season starts when these women arrive in Egypt and leave their hotels in search of suitable (emotionally and physically) partners, selected from the hordes of young men prowling nearby.”

It’s an invasion of European grannies colonizing the Middle East and its “young men.” The sensationalism in this article is ridiculous but amusing nonetheless.