Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Blog

In 2009, President Obama delivered his landmark speech in Cairo – a speech that was largely received with enthusiasm by Egyptians and many in the Arab world ready for a new era of U.S. policy.

Since then, Egypt experienced mass uprisings that led to the ousting of long-time president Hosni Mubarak, a rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power under Mohammed Morsi, and the overthrow of Morsi and interim government and election of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Egypt’s tumultuous path since President Obama’s Cairo speech has raised important questions over the intersection of religion and politics and the path to pluralism and democracy in the Arab world.

Further, U.S. policy has faced numerous challenges since 2009. As recent Zogby polls show, a majority of Egyptians still disagree with U.S. policies in their country, but support has increased since 2011. Egyptians also believed the United States was too supportive of Hosni Mubarak and that the Obama administration was not supportive enough of Mohammed Morsi.

As Egypt contends with new political realities and is center stage in the Gaza ceasefire talks, AAI President Jim Zogby and Dr. Shadi Hamid from the Brookings Institution sat down for a live streamed discussion and Q&A on Egypt’s transition, U.S. policy options, the regional response to the Gaza crisis, and recent Zogby polls that shed light on Egyptian opinions of the United States.

Since 2005, Dr. Hamid has been researching Islamist groups and movements. His efforts have culminated in this newly published book, Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East, where he skillfully unpacks the different trends that occur within Islamist groups during periods of repression and political openings and how these groups approach the prospect of power and governing.

Watch the full discussion:

Watch live streaming video from aaiusa at


Dr. Shadi Hamid is a fellow with the Project on U.S. relations with the Islamic World in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy and author of Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East.

Dr. James Zogby is the author of Arab Voices and the founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI). He is also Managing Director of Zogby Research Services and a lecturer and scholar in Middle Eastern affairs.

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