Culture & Society
Creative Insurgency and the Celebrity President: Politics and Popular Culture from the Arab Spring to the White House
A well-connected journalist, commentator, and master propagandist, Mohamed Hassanein Heikal crafted the message of former president and pan-Arab nationalist Gamal Abd al-Nasser and defended his legacy long after his death. Heikal’s books were consistent best sellers in the Arab world, and his political analysis was accorded respect. His opinion was sought in hour-long television interviews and behind closed doors in the corridors of power. His influence endured the epochs of long-reigning presidents, a revolution, and its political uncertainty. Senior Editor Abdalla Hassan examines his legacy.
March 22, 2016—Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi initiated an open dialogue today with prominent intellectual figures, according to a statement from the President’s Office. The meeting, which was attended by approximately twenty invitees, marked the inaugural installment of a series of planned national dialogues among politicians, intellectuals, and media workers.
February 17, 2016—Prominent Egyptian writer Mohamed Hassanein Heikal passed away today at the age of 92, state television reported.
With the demise of the second Arab autocrat within a month, people power seemed on the verge of revolutionizing the Middle East, a region known for its monarchs and presidents for life. Abdalla Hassan's book unpacks Egypt’s media and political dynamics—tracing events leading up to the 2011 revolution, the 18 days of uprising, military rule, an Islamist president’s year in office, his ouster by the army, and the reestablishment of the military presidency. Expanded freedoms of expression, in the press and on the streets, have contracted with the skillful reinvention of repression. This is the story of an uprising.
Managing Editor Sarah El-Shaarawi conducts an in depth review of BBC Media Action's policy breif After the Arab Uprisings: The prospects for a media that serves the public, examining the viability of their proposed recommendations for reforming Arab national broadcasters.