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What’s next for the Egyptian revolution?

Families protesting near Tahrir Square by Flickr user Zeinab Mohamed

This has been a tumultuous week in Egypt. Huge protests on against the elected president Muhuammed Morsi were followed by what many are calling a military coup d’etat. Now, two and a half years after the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak, some are saying the Egyptian revolution is “back to square one.”

But Morsi had a 78% approval rating when he took office only a year ago, according to polling data. What accounts for the drastic decline in his popularity? Was it really a coup? Who makes up the country’s military and what are their interests? Why are people still protesting in the streets?

Is there still promise and hope for Egypt’s revolution?

Who better to answer these questions than Tarek Dawoud, a community activist in Seattle’s Egyptian-American community and a keen observer of Egyptian politics, and Hatim Aiad, who lives in Washington but is currently in Cairo where the protests are ongoing.

They don’t agree on everything – one is more pro-Morsi than the other – but they both are confident that Egypt’s younger generations will keep fighting for democracy. Aiad says the youth are “global, not local” in their political outlook. And Dawoud says they’re increasingly well-organized, even learning how to deal with opportunist politicians. “I think you’re going to see great things from Egypt,” he says.

But first, Tom Paulson and I discuss this week’s headlines, among them: Failed children’s water pumps (Playpumps!), the fickle nature of private investment as a driver of growth in the Global South, and “the rise of Middle Class militants” in Egypt and elsewhere.

Listen below. And if you’re interested in development and global health, you owe it yourself to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.


About Author

Ansel Herz

Ansel Herz is a freelance multimedia journalist whose objective is to “go to where the silence is." His work has been published by ABC News, The Nation magazine, the New York Daily News, Al Jazeera English, Free Speech Radio News, Inter-Press News and many other publications. A Seattle native and survivor of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Ansel is producer of Humanosphere's podcast, among other things. You can contact him at ansel.herz[at] or follow him on Twitter @Ansel.