Generation Revolution: On the Front Line Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East

Generation Revolution: On the Front Line Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East

by Rachel Aspden


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Named a New York Times Notable Books of 2017

Generation Revolution
is an excellent social history of Egypt’s persistent pathologies, as well as a universal story about the difficulties of changing deeply ingrained societal attitudes.” —New York Times Book Review

Generation Revolution
unravels the complex forces shaping the lives of four young Egyptians on the eve and in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and what their stories mean for the future of the Middle East.

In 2003 Rachel Aspden arrived in Egypt as a 23-year-old journalist. She found a country on the brink of change. The two-thirds of Egypt’s eight million citizens under the age of 30 were stifled, broken, and frustrated, caught between a dictatorship that had nothing to offer them and their autocratic parents’ generation, defined by tradition and obedience.
In January 2011 the young people’s patience ran out. They thought the revolution that followed would change everything. But as violence escalated, the economy collapsed, and as the united front against President Mubarak shattered into sectarianism, many found themselves at a loss.
Following the stories of four young Egyptians — Amr, the atheist software engineer; Amal, the village girl who defied her family and her entire community; Ayman, the one-time religious extremist; and Ruqayah, the would-be teenage martyr — Generation Revolution exposes the failures of the Arab Spring and shines new light on those left in the wake of its lost promise.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590519820
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
Publication date: 08/23/2022
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Rachel Aspden became literary editor of the New Statesman in 2006, at the age of 26. She now reports for The Guardian and writes freelance for the New Statesman, Observer, Prospect, and Think magazine (Qatar). She lived in Cairo from 2003 to 2004 and worked as an editor and reporter for the English-language Cairo Times. In 2010 she was awarded a yearlong traveling fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to research activists working to fight extremism within Islam. She is currently based in London.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Part 1

1 Amal and Nayera: Women in a Man's World 9

2 Amr: Kicking Against a Secret State 50

3 Ayman and Mazen: Believers on the Path to Paradise 75

Part 2

4 The Eighteen Days: The Revolution Begins 107

Part 3

5 Ayman, Mazen and Abu el-Hassan: The Battle for Egypt's Soul 129

6 Ruqayah and Sara: The Generals Return 164

7 Amr, Amal and Mazen: Survival Lessons 201

Epilogue 232

List of Main Characters 239

Some Public Figures 241

A Note on Names 243

A Note on Arabic 245

Timeline of Some Major Events in Egypt 246

Acknowledgments 253

Notes 255

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