Norman Finkelstein, acclaimed American political science professor and expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, described his excitement - and hope - as Egyptians took to the street earlier this year.
“We kept asking ourselves ‘will they come again [to Tahrir]. Will they come again?’ or would they weary and accept the crumbs from the masters’ table,” Finkelstein said during the Al Quds Club organized lecture at Bassily Hall last week.
“It was a really exhilarating moment when in fact the Egyptian people refused the crumbs and demanded a whole loaf of bread,” he said.
Director of Security Ashraf Kamal, who has recently been the center of controversy within the AUC community, has announced his resignation and will be ending his service by the end of the month.
In an email to the AUC community last Thursday, Vice-President for Planning and Administration Brian MacDougall said that Mahmoud Zouk, the executive director for public safety, will be “temporarily working directly with Security’s Supervisory team as he looks to strengthen and reshape the security service until the position of Director of Security is filled.”
Journalism experts are now debating the changing role of the media in Egypt’s emerging post-revolution period.
They are seeking to move Egyptian society beyond the repressive policies which simultaneously allowed state-owned media to thrive as a vehicle for propaganda while government restrictions stifled the independent press.
Many, such as Hafez Mirazi, director of the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research, believe that the public is itself a catalyst for progress in Egyptian media.
Gihan “Gigi” Ibrahim, an AUC alumna turned celebrity activist, became the center of a debate after she told Jon Stewart, during an appearance on The Daily Show, that a political science class at AUC was a catalyst for her political activism.
Come exam time, most AUC students turn to their hurriedly scribbled notes and their rarely perused textbooks to cram packets of information in as little time as possible. But with nerves frayed, a number of students are increasingly turning to private tui- tion to help boost their grades.
This phenomenon, which is usually associated with high schools and government universities, has slowly made its way into the ranks of AUC students.
“The concept of private lessons is a paradigm in Egyptian ideology; students see it as the easier option and go for it,” said a student who chose to remain anonymous.
A pilot project launched by the Cairo International Model Arab League (CIMAL) will target unemployment by offering recent university graduates a number of initiatives and workshops to help improve their chances in the job market.
CIMAL’s Development Program Committee is hoping its four-month Khatwa project launching in Moqqatam in July with a group of 50 graduates hopes to resolve the discrepancy between graduate education and labor market requirements.
Egypt’s economy is currently struggling with alerts being issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that it has entered a “dangerous phase;” it lists the unemployment rate at 10 percent, although some believe it is much higher.
The Caravan sat down with renowned political scientist Norman Finkelstein during his trip to Cairo for a one-on-one interview where he candidly shared his views on the Third Intifada, Obama and the future of the Arab World. Edited excerpts below:
You are here obviously at a very critical time in the Arab World and there are all of these changes going on, so generally speaking how do you feel this so called Arab Spring is going to impact the Palestinian struggle?
It is not just the impact on the Palestinian struggle, it is an historic event, you know. Everybody who participated has participated in an historic event, part of history. I think September 11 will be forgotten much faster than the Egyptian revolution, so it is a stirring moment for all humanity People saying that, it is not just about Hosni Mubarak and Suzy Mubarak, but ordinary people, simple people, that they also are somebody. It is a thrilling thing to behold. [...]