Middle East Briefs
Parallel to the Center’s scholarly work, Middle East Briefs provides a brief analysis of a single issue at the top of the region’s political, social, or economic agenda. Targeted primarily at decision-makers and opinion leaders, the publication was launched in 2005.
July 2020 – Revolution as a Life-Altering Experience: The Case of Egypt
Youssef El Chazli
Middle East Brief 136 (Summary) — From the Arab Spring uprisings to the anti-racist demonstrations spreading across the U.S. and the globe today, waves of mass protest are often seen as ephemeral moments of anger. They typically are judged to be a success or failure based on the extent to which they produce direct political change. In this Brief, Youssef El Chazli uses Egypt’s 2011 revolution to highlight the often-overlooked effects that participation in mass protests has on individuals' lives after they leave the streets. He argues that participating in mass public protests forced many Egyptians to examine their private lives and beliefs and question what was normal and what was possible in other spheres of life, including friendship circles, family, and the workplace. Although mass protests may subside, they shape participants on issues related to gender, parenting, and professional careers. These effects are easy to overlook yet can increase the propensity for long-term social, political, and cultural change.