Soraya Morayef

Angels caught in a tightening noose

Angels caught in a tightening noose

By Soraya Morayef Open Democracy, 13 November 2013 Many disregard the recurrent stories of prison deaths, police torture and rape because - on the other hand – Egypt's streets are empty after curfew and the walls are freshly painted; surely a clear indication that the state has succeeded in restoring security and defeating terrorism. On Tuesday November 5, Egypt’s Minister of Local Development, Adel Labib, announced a new law criminalizing graffiti with a maximum jail sentence of four years and a fine of 100,000LE.
The Seven Wonders of the Revolution

The Seven Wonders of the Revolution

[A mural on Sheikh Rihan Street's wall. Image from the author.]By Soraya Morayef Jadaliyya, 22 May 2012 Around the corner from Tahrir Square, the heart of Egypt’s eighteen-day uprising, Mohamed Mahmud Street bears the scars of a turbulent political year in Egypt. The once-bustling street off of Tahrir Square has seen its share of violent battlefields--beginning with 28 January 2011 and ending with the February 2012 clashes following the Port Said massacre.
The Seven Wonders of the Revolution

The Seven Wonders of the Revolution

[A mural on Sheikh Rihan Street's wall. Image from the author.]By Soraya Morayef Jadaliyya, 22 May 2012 Around the corner from Tahrir Square, the heart of Egypt’s eighteen-day uprising, Mohamed Mahmud Street bears the scars of a turbulent political year in Egypt. The once-bustling street off of Tahrir Square has seen its share of violent battlefields--beginning with 28 January 2011 and ending with the February 2012 clashes following the Port Said massacre.
"We Are the Eight Percent": Inside Egypt's Underground Shaabi Music Scene

"We Are the Eight Percent": Inside Egypt's Underground Shaabi Music Scene

[/caption]By Soraya Morayef Jadaliyya, 29 May 2012 In the heated den of the Greek Club on Emad el-Din Street in downtown Cairo, sweating bodies heave and move to the infectious reggaeton fused with a tabla beat, as Amr Haha, DJ Figo, and Sadat swing their mics back and forth, bantering, ad-libbing, and cheering. One takes a swig out of his Stella, another dips the mic into the sea of eager hands as the jolly crowd sings along to the simple, lewd lyrics of “Aha el shibshib daa’!
"We Are the Eight Percent": Inside Egypt's Underground Shaabi Music Scene

"We Are the Eight Percent": Inside Egypt's Underground Shaabi Music Scene

[/caption]By Soraya Morayef Jadaliyya, 29 May 2012 In the heated den of the Greek Club on Emad el-Din Street in downtown Cairo, sweating bodies heave and move to the infectious reggaeton fused with a tabla beat, as Amr Haha, DJ Figo, and Sadat swing their mics back and forth, bantering, ad-libbing, and cheering. One takes a swig out of his Stella, another dips the mic into the sea of eager hands as the jolly crowd sings along to the simple, lewd lyrics of “Aha el shibshib daa’!
Meeting Essam Sharaf: Time for Truth and Reconciliation?

Meeting Essam Sharaf: Time for Truth and Reconciliation?

[Essam Sharaf and Army Generals. Cartoon by Carlos Lattuf. Image from Wikimedia Commons.]By Soraya Morayef 15 July 2012 Over the past sixteen months, much has been written about Egypt’s leaderless revolution, with many blaming its seeming sluggishness on the absence of a single figure to unite and represent the now fragmented revolutionary forces. To me, and perhaps others, Essam Sharaf was—however briefly—a potential candidate for this task. On 4 March 2011, right after his appointment as Egypt’s first post-revolution prime minister, Sharaf took the oath in Tahrir Square and spoke to thousands of protesters gathered in the area.
Meeting Essam Sharaf: Time for Truth and Reconciliation?

Meeting Essam Sharaf: Time for Truth and Reconciliation?

[Essam Sharaf and Army Generals. Cartoon by Carlos Lattuf. Image from Wikimedia Commons.]By Soraya Morayef 15 July 2012 Over the past sixteen months, much has been written about Egypt’s leaderless revolution, with many blaming its seeming sluggishness on the absence of a single figure to unite and represent the now fragmented revolutionary forces. To me, and perhaps others, Essam Sharaf was—however briefly—a potential candidate for this task. On 4 March 2011, right after his appointment as Egypt’s first post-revolution prime minister, Sharaf took the oath in Tahrir Square and spoke to thousands of protesters gathered in the area.
Khaled Khalifa: "Revolutions Can't Be Reversed"

Khaled Khalifa: "Revolutions Can't Be Reversed"

[Syrian author Khaled Khalifa. Image from Author]By Soraya Morayef Jadaliyya, 8 July 2014 [Last month, the Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa visited London to promote ‘Syria Speaks’, an anthology of short stories, poems, articles and visual art collected as a response to the Syrian regime’s crackdown on dissident voices since the 2011 Syrian uprising. As one of the most powerful and prominent writers in Syria, Khalifa continues to live in Damascus – despite being attacked and beaten by regime thugs at a funeral in 2012, despite his hugely popular books being banned, and despite the very real risk that dissident voices face when they criticise Assad’s regime.
Khaled Khalifa: "Revolutions Can't Be Reversed"

Khaled Khalifa: "Revolutions Can't Be Reversed"

[Syrian author Khaled Khalifa. Image from Author]By Soraya Morayef Jadaliyya, 8 July 2014 [Last month, the Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa visited London to promote ‘Syria Speaks’, an anthology of short stories, poems, articles and visual art collected as a response to the Syrian regime’s crackdown on dissident voices since the 2011 Syrian uprising. As one of the most powerful and prominent writers in Syria, Khalifa continues to live in Damascus – despite being attacked and beaten by regime thugs at a funeral in 2012, despite his hugely popular books being banned, and despite the very real risk that dissident voices face when they criticise Assad’s regime.
Arab Comics: Fit for Academic Exploration

Arab Comics: Fit for Academic Exploration

Soraya Morayef / 18 Nov 2014 Comic magazines Samir, Lulu and Mickey Geeb (Pocket-sized Mickey) and Arabic translations of Tintin, Superman and Asterix and Obelix have been read and loved by generations of Arabs. Editorial cartoons are fundamental parts of every daily newspaper. But comic art remains an often unexamined and under-supported part of Arab artistic effort. A new initiative is intent on changing that. In September, the American University in Beirut (AUB) began a new academic program focused entirely on the study, archiving and promotion of Arab comic art.