Overthrow the System

Inizjamed 2011

For the 2011 edition of the Festival dedicated to The Arab Spring of Freedom and Dignity, Inizjamed published Overthow the System, a small collection of non-fiction writing and interviews about the Arab revolutions, edited by Adrian Grima.

The contributors are Yasser Abdel-Latif, Omayma Abdel-Shafy, Awlad Ahmad, Albert Gatt, Adrian Grima, Walid Nabhan, Mohamed-Salah Omri, Robin Yassin-Kassab, and Abdelrehim Youssef.

“I ask Abdelrehim Youssef and his wife Omayma Abdel-Shafy, an Alexandrian short story writer, who were both actively involved in the revolution in Alexandria, whether they agree with Roy’s assessment of the secular nature of the revolutions. Omayma Abdel-Shafy is categoric: ‘These were not Islamic Revolutions. People were moved by social, economic and human motivations. So, despite the attempts of the Islamic powers to seize political authority in the aftermath of the revolutions, the people will always look for those who can fulfill their ambitions.’

Abdelrehim Youssef agrees with Olivier Roy’s assessment too and he applies it both to the popular movements in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya that have led to the overthrow of the three presidents, and also to the Syrian and Yemeni popular revolutions that are taking place now. ‘It was after the dismissal of Zein Al-‘abdin and Mubarak that the Islamic powers began manoeuvring to occupy the scene and get into conflicts with the other parts, whether liberal or socialist, with the aim of building Islamic countries, as they say.’”

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