As events in Egypt continued to make headlines around the world, the University of Wisconsin-Madison brought the discussion to campus. The Division of International Studies, the African Studies Program, and the Middle East Studies Program hosted a roundtable discussion on the mass protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his government.
The event was held at noon on Monday, February 14, in the Memorial Union.
A panel of faculty experts presented academic and personal perspectives on the situation in Cairo and across the country. Panelists included UW-Madison professors Nevine El-Nossery, (French and Italian), Nadav Shelef, (political science), and Adel Talaat, (veterinary medicine). The panel was moderated by political science professor, Michael Schatzberg.
Talaat participated on the panel on behalf of his family in Egypt, in hopes to make the conversation more public. Talaat relayed his family’s concerns and perspectives to the audience.
“I am from Egypt and my family still lives in Egypt. I participated to convey their concerns and hopes,” says Talaat. “I’d also like to see full democracy implemented in Egypt. Egyptians deserve nothing less.”
Photos by Pauline Zhu, Division of International Studies
Gilles Bousquet, dean of the Division of International Studies and vice provost for globalization, gave opening remarks at the roundtable event.
Katrina Gray, a UW-Madison junior, was studying abroad in Alexandria when protests broke out. She witnessed her friends and neighbors join this democratic movement. Gray attended the event in support of the Egyptian people and was introduced to the audience by Bousquet at the beginning of the discussion.
“The events in Egypt are truly led by the people and just as they are coming together as one voice, via social-networking sites, it is important that we use the organizations at our disposal to bear witness to their struggle and stand in solidarity with them,” said Gray. “Just as that movement began among peers talking, or crying or yelling, it is paramount that the discussion not end there. It’s important that the events in Egypt be discussed globally because it is a truly remarkable and fragile thing that they’ve done.”
More Post-event Media: UW Panelists Respond to Political Unrest in Egypt
The Badger Herald — February 14, 2011
Experts: Revolution could be this generation’s Berlin Wall; Internet’s role huge
Days after the Egyptian president stepped down amid mounting violence and agitation among protesters, University of Wisconsin professors offered their perspectives Monday on what lies ahead as the government prepares to rebuild.
The three professors weighed the social and cultural causes of the conflict, the latest developments in the country and possible measures for citizens after the demonstrations have ended.
Adel Talaat, an Egyptian professor of pathobiology at UW, said opposition groups sprung up as early as 2004 against former President Hosni Mubarak’s autocratic regime, and the country’s economic woes and political corruption within the party have underlined his time in office.
Talaat said the uprising in Tunisia one week before the Egyptian protests began January 25 provided a model for Egyptians looking to oust the president, an act many had believed to be impossible.
“Suddenly the authority of the president could be questioned,” Talaat said. “It was like the emperor suddenly had no clothes.”