Pharaonic Street Art: The Challenge of Translation

Soraya Morayef This essay engages with the work of Alaa Awad, a prolific Egyptian street artist who drew graffiti on the walls around Tahrir Square between 2011 and 2013 using ancient Egyptian styles and themes. In replicating pharaonic murals in a space that was literally the epicentre of the political uprising in Egypt, Awad provided a quintessentially Egyptian narrative of […]

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Global Street Art Episode 1 – Egypt – Cairo SprayCan Rebels – Art in the Streets – MOCAtv

Published on Mar 22, 2013   Egypt’s January 25 revolution helped bring out the best in raw and potent urban arts, most of all in the graffiti scene in Cairo. This short video gives a brief glimpse into the always evolving street art scene that has gone from strength to strength and become a valuable component in the creative resistance […]

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Here Today: Soraya Morayef & Egyptian Street Art

Africaseen blog, 2nd April 2013 by Susan Phillips While Soraya Morayef identifies herself as a writer and journalist, I see her through a different lens, as an artist and archivist. Through her photo blog documenting the extraordinary explosion of street art in Egypt following the initial Tahrir Square protests of January 2011, Morayef has captured, framed, and contextualized a fleeting moment in Egypt’s […]

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Egyptian Graffiti and Gender Politics: An Interview with Soraya Morayef

28 March 2013, africaisacountry.com Mickey Mouse is pulling apart a bomb: inside is the torso of George W. Bush, and they’re both looking perfectly happy about the whole thing. Soraya Morayef is taking a photo of the wall where these figures are painted, on a busy street in downtown Cairo, when a man walks up to her and asks her […]

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Film review: The Square

By Soraya Morayef Open Democracy, 25 March 2014 The author reviews the only documentary released to-date of the people’s uprising in Egypt until the fall of Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013. There is no such thing as a comprehensive narrative of the Egyptian revolution. Anyone attempting such a thing will most likely fail, as the complex evolution of a […]

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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 […]

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The Seven Wonders of the Revolution

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 […]

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“We Are the Eight Percent”: Inside Egypt’s Underground Shaabi Music Scene

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 […]

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Meeting Essam Sharaf: Time for Truth and Reconciliation?

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 […]

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Khaled Khalifa: “Revolutions Can’t Be Reversed”

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 […]

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