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Good Neighbors, Fragile Borders

Protect your borders – one critical lesson of the Syrian war that Saudi Arabia is taking close to heart. The Syrian regime proved lethally effective in the art of crushing internal dissent. Its use of informal militias among multiple agencies of security and military, its Arab nationalist propaganda, the projection …

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PODCAST | ISIS, Revolutionary Romance and the Seduction of Social Media

In the 1960s, marginalized and disenchanted by the social order, veteran journalist Abdallah Schleifer joined a rebellious literary movement and became a social revolutionary. Decades later, he reflects on what attracted him to the far left movement. In this excerpt from a longer conversation, Schleifer unpacks what draws marginalized youth to ISIS, articulating that just like the social revolutionary movements of the ’60s, the appeal of ISIS is not ideological, but rather existential.

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Media Privatization and the Fate of Social Democracy in Egypt

Nour Halabi asks why the social democratic aims of the January 2011 Revolution have not been advanced in the four years since. Halabi posits that private media ownership structures established during Mubarak's neoliberal economic reform initiative are largely to blame, arguing that despite the popular demands for social justice, the structure of Egyptian commercialized media inhibited the translation of social justice demands into discussions of economic policy.

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The Counterrevolution Will Be Televised: Propaganda and Egyptian Television since the Revolution

In a short and critical read, Amr Khalifa draws attention to the Egyptian state’s influence on shaping the narratives propagated by national and local media, particularly television. Using initial coverage of the 2011 Revolution as a jumping off point, Khalifa argues that the same mechanisms for controlling the media have been used and reused by successive governments, and reflects on new limitations on freedom of expression, which he argues are more stringent than those seen under Gamal Abdel Nasser.

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Asleep at the Press: Thoreau, the Nuances of Democracy and Egyptian Revolt

Through the lens of Thoreau’s conception of democracy Matthew Crippen investigates the international media’s framing of Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow in the summer of 2013. He questions why much of the Western media and Al Jazeera adopted the uniform narrative that the ouster was a coup and a travesty of democracy, despite its popular support. Without adjudicating whether or not the overthrow was anti-democratic, Crippen posits that the reasoning undergirding the dominant opinion among media pundits that it was remains questionable.

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The Discourse of Egyptian Slogans: from ‘Long Live Sir’ to ‘Down with the Dictator’

El Mustapha Lahlali investigates the power of political slogans in Egypt. By revisiting the discourse of early 2011 and surgically analyzing the linguistic content of a wide array of slogans, Lahlali offers new insight into the political, social and religious undercurrents that reverberated through the country during this time. Lahlali points to a period characterized by the democratization of discourse, which he argues, disappeared as rapidly as it emerged.

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Global Forum for Media Development

In October 2005, more than 500 media development professionals from dozens of countries gathered in Amman, Jordan for the first summit of the Global Forum for Media Development, a new alliance of organizations involved in media training activities around the world.  The location of the gathering was significant: Jordan’s King …

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