Monday, January 31, 2011

Rights Readers Authors on Egypt

The Day the Leader Was Killed

If you can tear yourself away from the Al Jazzera coverage of Egypt for a few moments, Rights Readers authors have some insights to pass on to you.

Of course, it's too bad Naguib Mahfouz (The Day the Leader Was Killed) is not around to see this day, but Alaa Al Aswany (The Yacoubian Building) was interviewed on NPR Sunday:
HANSEN: Where do you think this is going now?
Dr. AL-ASWANY: I think now everything is clear. We have one major problem: that Mr. Mubarak has not been convinced yet to resign. I spent two days and even more with the protestors. And I even made some speeches to the protestors. And nobody wants to hear anything except that Mubarak must go.The Yacoubian Building: A Novel

Robin Wright (Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East) declares, "One way or another, the Mubarak dynasty is toast," and expands on the challenges that lie ahead for Politico and contributes to the discussion at NPR's On Point here. Reza Aslan (No god but God) writes about the Muslim Brotherhood's possible role in a future Egyptian democracy in the Washington Post,
Far from trying to transform Egypt into a theocracy, as Arab rulers and western ideologues predicted they would, the Brotherhood fully embraced the principles of democracy by creating political alliances with liberal intellectuals and secular democrats in the Egyptian to lobby for greater political freedoms, including freedom of religion, assembly and speech. Their actions convinced even their staunchest critics that, given the opportunity, they could become a legitimate political force in Egyptian politics, which is why Mubarak turned so violently against them, rounding up their democratically elected members, jailing, torturing and murdering them inside his dank, sadistic prison cells.
In the early 1990s, the Pasadena chapter of Amnesty International worked on behalf of one of those jailed, possibly tortured, Brotherhood sympathizers. It's long past time to see that era come to an end. Don't forget to check in with Amnesty International USA for appropriate  Egypt actions!
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