News Release

Egypt: * Region * Real Transition * Labor


Kuttab, a noted Palestinian human rights attorney, said today: “The Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions have already had a profound impact throughout the Middle East. We formerly believed the only change coming to the region was through the Islamists, but now we are enthusiastic about the possibility of secular reform. Arab nationalism, Christian-Muslim unity, and optimism currently reigns supreme in much of the Arab world. Egypt is a monumental earthquake. … The U.S. needs a major shakeup in its entire approach to the Arab world. It has fundamentally ignored the Arab public, simply dealing with compliant regimes that make deals with Israel. You now have a public demanding rights.” Kuttab is in the U.S. until Saturday.

Hovsepian is Armenian from Egypt who teaches political science at Chapman University. He said today: “For the transition to have any meaning, the military must take several steps to pave the way for a free and democratic election. The press, including Egyptian national TV must be free and open to all political forces in Egypt; emergency regulations must be suspended immediately, political parties must be legalized; human rights must be upheld and all political prisoners must be released immediately. Once these and other measures are instituted, then and only then can free and fair elections be held — with international supervision. Lastly, those responsible for the killing of Egyptians must be brought to justice.” Hovsepian recently wrote the piece “The Arab Pro-Democracy Movement: Struggles to Redefine Citizenship” for the new journal Jadaliyya.

Based in Cairo, Mekay reports for Inter Press Service and other outlets. He recently wrote the piece “Labor Activists Rejoice in Egypt, but Will It Last?” for the New York Times.

He also recently wrote the piece: “Egypt Labor Strikes Energize Pro-Democracy Push.”

The blog on Twitter — is regularly covering strikes and other labor actions in Egypt.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167