Posted by on February 03, 2012 in Blog

On January 31, the Arab American Institute hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the situation in Egypt one year after the uprising with renowned Egyptian journalist Ashraf Khalil. Khalil is author of the recently-published book Liberation Square: The Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation. Khalil was joined by AAI president James Zogby in addressing the current hurdles facing the Egyptian revolution and their implications for future relations with the U.S.

Khalil spoke about his own experiences of the revolution, recounted its spontaneous development, and explained the current political situation faced by the Egyptian people in their struggle for a better and more representative government. After describing the gradual growth of revolutionary sentiment in the Egyptian population, he explained the revolution itself as an inevitable outcome of the government’s poor management and the growing inequalities in Egyptian society.

He also warned that US policy would play a crucial role in post-revolutionary Egypt, and that the decisions made by US policymakers might well dictate Egyptian perceptions of – and attitude toward – the US for decades to come. Khalil warned that Washington must support Egyptian aspirations for democracy without becoming too involved in directing the course of that development. Too little involvement would create the appearance that he US does not care about the Egyptian people, but too much involvement would raise concern about imperialistic ambitions.

Dr. Zogby echoed many of Khalil’s concerns, and pointed to the growing mutual distrust between the Egyptians and Americans, a trend that could be rectified by appropriate policies, particularly ones that respect the will of the Egyptian people themselves and does not subordinate all concerns to Israeli concerns.

The event was well-attended and included a rousing discussion with the audience at its conclusion.

comments powered by Disqus