Yasmine El Rashidi is the author of The Battle for Egypt: Dispatches from the Revolution, and a contributing editor to the Middle East arts and culture quarterly Bidoun. She lives in Cairo.

IN THE REVIEW

Egypt: The Misunderstood Agony

Bodies inside the Iman mosque in the Nasr City district of Cairo, before police raided the mosque and took the bodies to the morgue, August 15, 2013
They came to the Cairo morgue looking for bodies. This was nearly a month before the Egyptian police confronted the Muslim Brotherhood on August 14. A woman whose husband hadn’t come home in three days, a couple whose son had been absent for a week, three relatives looking for a man, Karam, who had been missing for nine days. He had last been seen on July 2, on his way to his mother’s apartment. He had taken a taxi there and neighbors saw him get out at the main street. There was fighting in the neighborhood between the residents and members of the Brotherhood, and people cautioned him against entering the alley that turned onto another alley that led to his mother’s building.

Egypt: The Rule of the Brotherhood

When Mohammed Morsi took office last summer, the big question was whether he would be able to separate himself from the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that had authorized, guided, and financed his presidential campaign. By this winter, the public seemed to accept the fact that there was no alternative to Morsi’s Brotherhood running the show. As a source close to the Brotherhood’s leaders told me, “Morsi is simply overseeing the presidential portfolio on behalf of the Supreme Guide’s Office, and so in negotiating with him you are simply speaking to a messenger.”

Egypt: The Hidden Truth

Newly elected Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi (center) with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (left), and Egyptian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan (right), at a military ceremony in Alexandria, July 5, 2012
Although it has a state-of-the-art computerized system to deal with arrivals, Cairo’s new airport stubbornly deploys several uniformed officers to triple-check what the computer has confirmed. Armed men glance speculatively at the traveler’s coin-sized arrival stamp bearing the day’s date and a small outline of an airplane, along with six mentions of “Egypt.” Such is the logic of the country—an administration that has achieved supremacy in the creation of idle jobs. Duplicity is its mainstay.

NYR DAILY

Egypt, Forty-One Months Later

Protestors during a lull in clashes along the Corniche near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, January 28, 2013

Dido believed fervently that anarchy was better than the despotism we had. My reservations were inherited. He had hoped I might turn out as political as he was, but I’d failed him in every way. He consumed literature voraciously, but thought writing in a country like ours to be an exercise in passivity, a luxurious musing, not a tool for change.

Egypt: Face to Face

Shirin Neshat: Wafaa, Ahmed, and Mona, from her

For those of us who were part of Egypt’s revolution, Iranian artist Shirin Neshat’s new series of works, “Our House Is On Fire,” captures a reality that surrounds us, yet has been all but overlooked in the continuing story of the Arab uprisings: the reality of a country struggling with despair.

What We Learned in Tahrir

Ahmed Hassan in Jehane Noujaim’s documentary The Square

That winter we all became activists. We opened Twitter accounts, many of us, and learned how to dress for winter nights in Tahrir Square. I thought, we all thought, that the euphoria, the sense of possibility, would carry the country for years. As Jehane Noujaim’s documentary, The Square, vividly depicts, not only did we forget, but the euphoria quickly dissipated.

Scenes from a Crackdown: What Really Happened in Cairo?

An encampment near Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque, following clashes between supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and riot police, Cairo, August 14, 2013

The events in Cairo of August 14, in which Egyptian security forces confronted thousands of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, were widely covered around the world. Most reports have described the protesters as unarmed and peaceful. However it was clear, both from what I witnessed on the ground and from extensive footage recording the events that day, that a faction of the protesters were heavily armed, and that both Islamists and the police used live ammunition in the confrontation that followed.

NYR CALENDAR

A Tale From Baghdad

Chirine Al-Ansary’s performance at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Durham Cathedral will borrow from the tales of the Thousand and One Nights, with new anecdotes and insight from the present.