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Additional info for ‘Anticipating’ the 2011 Arab Uprisings: Revolutionary Literatures and Political Geographies
The novel thus belongs to the series of recent writings that focus on the evolving politics of the spatial and socio-economic marginalization of Egypt’s poor, and reflects a particularly pessimistic vision of the fate of the disempowered masses. 1057/9781137294739 42 ‘Anticipating’ the 2011 Arab Uprisings proximity to and in fear of the poor. The social and political configuration portrayed in Utopia unravels with brutal consequences when the disenfranchised masses clash with the insulated rich, elite communities who then unleash their fear and hatred against the dehumanized ‘Others’ on the streets of the city.
In contrast, the liveliness of the ‘butterfly effect’ metaphor that Salmawy astutely employs throughout is more successful because it explores the inter-connected issues of tradition and religion, the oppression of the poor and the women of Egypt, and the vital potential of people power in initiating a series of political upheavals that affect a nation, region, and the world beyond the predictions of political analysts and foreign-policy experts. Perhaps this complex imaginative grasp is related to Salmawy’s own perspective as a journalist on the failures of both Arab dictators and their international sponsors to gauge popular transformations.
Occupy a public space and hold it for as long as it takes’ (Marceau 2011, n. 1057/9781137294739 Writing Egypt’s ‘Tahrir’ 23 Arab administrations’ reluctance to successfully initiate a conversation with citizens in either case. 2 Badiou argues in his analysis of the significance of the ‘site’ to the uprisings in the Arab world, but most particularly in Egypt, that: The determination of a site plays a decisive role: a square in Cairo acquires global fame in the space of a few days. It is imperative to note that, during a real change, we witness the production of a new site which is nevertheless internal to the general localization that is a world.