Ziad A. Akl

96 Articles

Ziad A. Akl is a political analyst and sociologist. He is a senior researcher at the Egyptian Studies Unit in Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.

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Latest by Ziad A. Akl


Europe and the Arab Spring

In January 2011, those who were protesting in Tahrir Square kept a careful eye on world leaders, hoping to hear a message of support for the revolution or a message of pressure to the Mubarak regime. The United States and Western Europe found themselves in a very difficult position. On one hand, their long-time ally …

Ziad A. Akl

Short Messages

Sometimes short and straightforward messages are more understandable and effective than long analytical ones. It can’t hurt if we try. President Mohamed Morsi: It is not a matter of who you are; we oppose you because of what you have become. There are millions who did not vote for you and even more millions who …

Ziad A. Akl

The end of the Muslim Brotherhood

I have no problem admitting how much the Muslim Brotherhood annoys me. There is absolutely nothing that I admire about this group. I hate their fascist intentions, I disrespect their manipulative politics, their constant lying appalls me and I am offended by how much they distort a peaceful religion like Islam. The mere presence of …

Ziad A. Akl

Morsi’s fake election

Mohamed Morsi is indeed full of surprises. Ever since Morsi took office, he has never ceased to present us Egyptians with surprising decisions that make us wonder how, why, and for what purpose these decisions were made in the first place. Decisions like calling the dissolved Parliament back to session, applying new taxes which were …

Ziad A. Akl

Surviving Cairo

Towards a distant fading light I march the streets of my lambent city. Quietly I move my feet, fearfully I take tiny steps into my questionable direction. Cairo has no room for certainty; certitude has become one of our luxuries. I confess to being one of those who ponder in doubt their very own existence; …

Ziad A. Akl

Analyzing Morsi’s Presidency

Since Morsi took office, the map of political actors that existed under SCAF has been reconfigured. During the 8 months of Morsi’s presidency, shifting political alliances and power relations have made for a complex political landscape. While such changes are expected in any political system undergoing a process of transformation, in Egypt they were significant …

Ziad A. Akl

The Police: Back to square one

Once again we go back to the very basics, to where it all began. What the police did last night around the presidential palace was nothing but a simple reminder of how things are just the same. Those who fell victim to the illusion of change should now wake up and see things for what …

Ziad A. Akl

Parliament 2013: What to expect?

The constitutional fiasco is finally over; leaving the burden of dealing with its consequences and the political chaos this constitution is likely to produce on the shoulders of the opposition. In an attempt to face the Muslim Brotherhood’s ever growing hunger for power, the opposition has decided to further consolidate its unified front and prepare …

Ziad A. Akl

The Islamists’ political obsession

Finally, the Muslim Brotherhood’s newborn is here. The Shura Council is back, alive and kicking. The Council that hung by a thread for months waiting for a court ruling to be dissolved is now the legitimate legislative authority. Once again, the Brotherhood succeeds. With complete disregard to laws, norms, opposition and national interest, the Muslim …

Ziad A. Akl

The army and the current crisis

The crisis that broke with Morsy’s constitutional declaration on 22 November reconfigured the political scene in Egypt. The map of political forces has changed a lot in this past month. Inside the opposition camp, a new alliance formed between liberals, leftists and conservatives to create the National Salvation Front. Inside the state’s camp, the Muslim …

Ziad A. Akl

The referendum of shame

It is finally here, the big event the Muslim Brotherhood has been eagerly waiting for. The constitutional referendum is finally taking place as this column is being written. There is no question that this referendum is indeed a historic moment that will be remembered. However, while I confess to the referendum being a historic event, …

Ziad A. Akl

The growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood

Last week cannot be called anything other than a big mess. Ever since the Brotherhood took office, we have been reaping one misfortune after the other. From political exclusion to cracking down on freedom of speech, regular power cuts to tragic train accidents, blatant lies about achievements to outright hate speech and from false electoral …

Ziad A. Akl

Morsy’s political crisis

For the past week we have been living in the shadow of civil strife caused by the president’s recent decisions. A state of deep polarisation has been created between all those who associate with Islamic political forces and those who associate with non-religious ones. Morsy’s recent constitutional amendments were not only a surprise to everyone …

Ziad A. Akl

Morsy and the Brotherhood: one failure after the other

Like everybody else, I was taken over by the Israeli attack on Gaza last week. I followed the news of what going on there, participated in a demonstration on Wednesday night and started to ask questions about what this war will mean for the Middle East. For a moment, I thought that I would be …

Ziad A. Akl

Not a question of morality

Ever since the ousting of Mubarak and the rise of the Islamic elite represented by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis and other groups, the question of morality has always been on the table. The Islamists, like any other political force that identifies itself with religion, believe that the root of all ills of society is …

Ziad A. Akl

The Muslim Brotherhood from within

No other political group or movement has recieved the same attention or has had the same impact on Egyptian politics as the Muslim Brotherhood, since the ousting of Mubarak until now. The Brotherhood became an everyday reality for Egyptians. We wake up to the statements of its leaders, we follow the news of its significant …

Ziad A. Akl

Is Egypt making sense?

The past two weeks were very difficult to anyone who is trying to make sense of the Egyptian political scene. Egypt has always been a place where reason occasionally disappears and the process of making connections between different events becomes impossible. The last two weeks were the perfect example of this recurring process in Egyptian …

Ziad A. Akl

Who can oppose the Muslim Brotherhood?

Morsy’s administration and the Muslim Brotherhood’s blatant domination, vulgar exclusion of other forces and sheer propaganda will end up facing the Brotherhood militias that were mobilised last Friday.

Ziad A. Akl

100 days of Morsy

One hundred days have passed since that afternoon when the official result of the presidential election was out. On that day, it took me 20 minutes to drive from New Cairo to Mohandseen, a trip that usually takes me 90 minutes. The streets of Cairo were as empty as a Friday early morning. After days …

Ziad A. Akl

Orientalist Democracy

The “Orientalist” dimension makes the Western outlook of the democratic process in Egypt prisoner to a one-sided vision

Ziad A. Akl

Political Insanity

The political context in which we live at the moment cannot tolerate repeating the same mistakes of the past 18 months

Ziad A. Akl

The logic of “insult” and the roots of protest

The protests that shook several Arab countries in the past week and the ones that continue until today were no surprise. It was very much expected that a wave of anger in the Islamic world would certainly follow any insult to the prophet Muhammad. Past experiences, whether with Salman Rushdie or the Danish cartoon crisis …

Ziad A. Akl

The Social Media Illusion

The demonstrations of August 24 did not turn out to be politically significant, especially after major political forces decided to abandon them. The demonstrations were controlled by individuals who possess no experience in mobilizing for collective action and lack credibility within Egyptian political life. However, these demonstrations brought to the scene two valuable lessons, first, …

Ziad A. Akl

Thoughts on new alliances

January 2011 created a new set of alliances between the three main political currents in Egypt: the Islamists, the leftists and the liberals. During the first 18 days of the revolution and all the way up to the constitutional referendum in March 2011, this alliance was active and sound. Since the March referendum, this alliance …

Ziad A. Akl