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Egypt Crisis Experts

Egypt Crisis Experts

UC Riverside scholars offer expertise on the regime change and prospects for democracy.

(February 11, 2011)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – As Hosni Mubarak leaves office and pro-democracy demonstrators rejoice in Egypt, scholars at the University of California, Riverside are available to analyze what led to the president’s resignation, the role of the military during an indefinite transition period, and implications for the Middle East and the world.

Scholars and their areas of expertise are:

Sherine Hafez, associate professor of women’s studies
(951) 827-6427
Sherine Hafez website

Professor Hafez is available to discuss events unfolding in Egypt and analyze what they may mean for the nation's future. She specializes in women's issues in Arab and Middle Eastern cultures - particularly women's Islamic activism in Egypt - Middle East studies, and Islamic societies and cultures. She is the author of "The Terms of Empowerment: Islamic Women Activists in Egypt" and "An Islam of Her Own: Reconsidering Religion and Secularism In Women's Islamic Movements" (published by New York University Press, to be released in spring 2011).

Fariba Zarinebaf, associate professor of history
(951) 827-1786
Fariba Zarinebaf website

Professor Zarinebaf can discuss the implications for the region, and what steps must be taken to ensure that the military does not overstep its boundaries and that true democratic elections will prevail. Among her research interests are the social and urban history of the Ottoman Empire and Iran, Islamic history and civilization, gender in Middle Eastern history, Islamic legal history, the history of women's charity and philanthropy in the Middle East, modernity and sexuality in the Middle East, and Persian literature. She is the author of “Crime and Punishment in Istanbul 1700-1800” (University of California Press, 2011).

Ebru Erdem-Akçay, assistant professor of political science
(951)827 5510
Ebru Erdem-Akçay website

Professor Erdem can address possible lessons from Turkey's experience with military regimes and Islamism in its process of democratization. She can also draw comparisons between Egypt and "revolutions" in the post-Communist space. Her current research focuses on different aspects of political Islam, such as the increasing prominence of judicial politics in response to the rise of political Islam in Egypt and Turkey, and problems with gender inequality in the context of secularism in Turkey. She is working on a book manuscript which examines the role of identity politics in the Turkish legislature and party politics.

Laila Lalami, associate professor of creative writing
(951) 827-3615
Laila Lalami website

Professor Lalami believes that “the ouster of Mubarak is going to be a game-changer, not just for the region, but also for conventional American thinking/policy about the Middle East. No longer will policy makers and pundits be able to say that ‘they’ are not like ‘us.’ The struggle for freedom is universal, and the Egyptian people have demonstrated that they can liberate themselves without any outside help.” Professor Lalami is an award-winning novelist whose thoughtful op-eds have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Nation. She is the author of the award-winning collection of short stories “Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits” (Algonquin Books, 2005, and Harcourt, 2006), and the novel “Secret Son” (Algonquin Books, 2009).

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