VIDEO: Making sense of Egypt’s changing role in the Middle East after the Arab Spring

EVENT VIDEO: It’s not easy to see where Egypt is heading, or whether it can recover from the downward economic spiral that has accompanied the so-called revolution. After the exuberance of Tahrir Square in 2011, protests have returned and the air is full of disillusion with the elected Muslim Brotherhood government and the absence of improved living standards.

The post-revolutionary struggle has pitted Egypt’s various actors including the establishment, military, the Brotherhood and Islamists, a pluralistic opposition, and a volatile public in a struggle to define the trajectory of Egypt’s future. It has also severely called into question Egypt’s regional leadership credentials by demonstrating Cairo’s inability to influence other simmering conflicts in the area, or to act as a brake on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Domestically, there is an uneasy truce between Egypt’s generals, upon whom President Morsi is dependent to maintain security, and the Muslim Brotherhood government. Both sides joined forces to drive out the Mubarak regime; both sides need each other. Can it retain – or perhaps more accurately regain the centre of gravity for the region? Can the disagreements between the various parties and the public be reconciled, or will the country become more divided, and less respected?

In the second of two events on the changing Middle East, AIIA NSW invited Sydney-based scholar Amro Ali to inform us on the future of the Arab world’s most populous country. He spoke to the AIIA (NSW) on Tuesday 26 March 2013.

Amro Ali is a PhD scholar at the University of Sydney, a political analyst, and satirist. His interests are geared towards researching the socio-political landscape of Egypt and the Middle East, and advancing civil society in this volatile part of the world. Following a long period in Egypt researching the after-effects of the Egyptian Revolution and presenting his findings in Europe and the US, Amro has now settled in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Amro’s primary research goal is to examine the dynamics of ideas and principles originating from within Egyptian circles and being pushed into the international system, therefore shaping the preferences of Arab populations beyond Egypt’s borders. For the past six years, Amro has been a consultant to diplomatic missions, Australian government departments and international organisations – both independently and through Cordoba Concepts which Amro heads.

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