Tonight I went to an Intelligence Squared event entitled “Turmoil in the Middle East: Is the genie of democracy out of the bottle?” where 7 key academics and journalists on the Middle East reacted to the events in recent weeks.
On the panel were Oxford academics Tariq Ramadan and Eugene Rogan, brilliant SOAS academic Deniz Kandiyoti, City Uniersity academic Rosemary Hollis, journalists Nabila Ramdani and Roger Cohen and American military strategist Edward Luttwak.
I can’t go into too much detail as it was a two-hour event but I wanted to summarise the top 5 points I took away.
Today at the Egyptian protests in London there were two separate and hostile protests that indicate the issues facing a post-Mubarak Egypt; one was secular and pro-democratic in its aims while the other was religious and supportive of a pan-Islamic caliphate.
Earlier today I went to the Egyptian Embassy in London to view the protests against the Mubarak regime. I have only limited knowledge about Egypt so I cannot talk with much authority about the forces within the country but I was impressed with the turnout in London – especially considering it was a cold, wet Tuesday afternoon.