Faculty Members Comment on Turmoil in Egypt

2/4/2011

University faculty from a variety of disciplines have brought their expertise to bear in televised reports on the ongoing conflict in Egypt.

Professor Magid Mazen, who first met Hosni Mubarak in the 1970s, has watched the embattled Egyptian president’s evolution from a modest man of the people to one who loves power and is incapable of reading the wishes of his people.

"First revolution since pharaohs"

Mazen, an Egyptian who is in close contact with family and friends in his native land, is “excited about change after 30 years,” but at the same time concerned that the move to disentangle the Egyptian government from corruption can lead to unforeseeable problems. He discussed the “first real revolution in Egypt since the pharaohs” on New England Cable News and WGBH’s Greater Boston.

"Echoes of Iranian revolution"

History Department Chair Robert Allison, in an interview with NECN, said that “Egypt is a crucial place in the world, and we’ve seen revolutions like this before; the Iranian revolution comes to mind.”

Allison said that the situation in Egypt is “unsettling for the rest of the Middle East” and reminded viewers that “we as Americans should always remember that people have a right to form their own governments, and that’s what we see happening in Egypt.”

Attacks on journalists

Communication and Journalism Chair Bob Rosenthal discussed the role of journalists in an interview with Fox News. He noted that, despite the danger in the face of mob attacks on reporters, “the profession basically says: You stay as long as you can.”

“It’s important for all of us to see what is happening” through the reports and pictures from Cairo, he said. “The reason why [journalists are] being attacked is the fear of those pictures coming to the U.S. and Europe and other Arab nations. It made [Mubarak] look bad, which is why they attacked the journalists."

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