In this video, I ask Denis why he chose to write about Egypt, given all the other Arab nations that had revolutions during the Arab Spring.
After following Tunisia’s revolution, Denis began watching Egypt to see if and how the uprising would spill over there. Part of his motivation for doing so was to ensure that the Egyptian regime’s disinformation machine would not have free reign to get their message out there. At times, particularly American pundits would also publish fake news, and Denis had to go back and correct them with his reliable sources.
An extract from Breathing Hope and Fear
Revolutions are ultimately epochal battles of good vs. evil. That inherent tension creates the drama every good story needs to keep one’s interest. It is why the young wizard Harry Potter’s battle with Lord Voldemort inspired seven books and eight movies. The crusty troll-like 30-year dictator Mubarak went up against the youth of Egypt reluctantly personified by the dashing young Google executive Wael Ghonim.
Where else but in the battle to hold Tahrir Square would you see men on horseback and camels rushing to attack peaceful protestors? Where else could one see rocks cascade like so many dangerous snowflakes upon the heads of those fighting to be free? Broken bones and bruised skin did nothing to diminish their heart or resolve to break free.
Middle ground evaporates in times of revolution. Yet the US government attempted to walk a dangerous tightrope supporting both sides in the dispute which angered both Mubarak, who felt abandoned and the students who felt betrayed after his Cairo speech in 2009. The crisis as it unfolded (and in some cases continues to unfold) placed nation states in a diplomatic no-man’s land. Israel was worried about its security without Mubarak. US right wing neocons feared a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the government. Freedom and democracy demos broke out in countries across the region.
Depending on your side, the result and SPIN of the story can be completely different. The UK described the late 1770s as a period of ‘difficulties’ with their colonies. The victorious Colonists called it the ‘Revolutionary War.’Buy Denis’ book in ebook and print formats from your preferred retailer: https://geni.us/breathing
Egyptian Revolution 10th Anniversary Series with Denis G. Campbell
In this tenth-anniversary video series, I sit down with Denis G. Campbell, author of Breathing Hope and Fear: Egypt Since 2011, to discuss what led up to the 25 January Revolution, what the key moments were during it, why it failed, and the learnings we can take from it. I also ask him directly about his book: why write about Egypt, and why use the innovative tweet-based style he did? Posting every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday until the 26th – and, of course, on 25 January itself – I attach a relevant excerpt from Breathing Hope and Fear.
- What Caused the Egyptian Revolution of 2011?
- Why Did the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 Ultimately Fail?
- Why Write About Egypt?
- Why Did You Structure Your Book Like This?
- What Has Changed in Egypt Since 2018?
- What Has Changed in Egypt Since 2011?
- What Is the Most Memorable Moment of the 2011 Revolution?
- How Did You Come to Be Personally Involved in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011?
- Do You Have Any Other Works?
- One Key Takeaway for Westerners
- Could Another Egyptian Revolution Happen Soon?
About the author
Denis has provided Americas, Middle East and business commentary to global television networks (BBC, ITV, Al Jazeera, CNN, MSNBC), radio (BBC, China International Radio) and various magazines and newspapers for the last 14 years. An American/British journalist and author, he is based in Wales. Denis was significantly involved in covering the 25 January Egyptian Revolution at the time.