By Rita Sakr (auth.)
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Extra info for ‘Anticipating’ the 2011 Arab Uprisings: Revolutionary Literatures and Political Geographies
This vision anticipates Mubarak’s complacent attitude at the beginning of the revolution and it foreshadows, in an extremely violent version, the eerie landscapes of urban confrontations in 2011 between armed forces and vulnerable citizens as portrayed in Cairo.
The site is the thing whereby the Idea, still fluid, encounters popular genericity. A non-localized Idea is impotent; a site without an Idea is merely an immediate riot, a nihilistic spurt. (2012, p. 92) In the spectacular coverage of Egypt’s revolutionary 18 days from 25 January to 11 February 2011 and also in most of the coverage of later demonstrations, Tahrir Square became the largely uncontested center of media attention, the symbol of a transformed and transformative spatial politics in the Arab world.
The great avenue of giant eucalyptus at the beginning of the Upper Egypt road in Giza, destroyed. Trees that soared up to sixty metres, reached to the sky, planted by Muhammad ‘Ali close to two hundred years ago, torn up by the roots to make a wider road for the cars and trucks heading for Upper Egypt’. (Soueif, 1999, p. 75) The uprooting of trees in this context makes Amal think of the emigration of Egyptians who feel marginalized in their own country. For Soueif, Tahrir square is saturated with signs of foreign control and symbols of resistance to both external and domestic hegemonic powers that, for over a century, have been denying the majority of the Egyptian people access to public space, political legitimacy, and national assets: Since Egypt’s ruler Khedive Ismail established it in 1860 – its core modelled on Paris’s Étoile, [ ...
‘Anticipating’ the 2011 Arab Uprisings: Revolutionary Literatures and Political Geographies by Rita Sakr (auth.)