Egypt’s Elections: The End of the Revolution, or a New Beginning?
June 17, 2012
7:30 pm -
A Conversation with Khairi Abaza, Steven Cook, John Hannah and Oren Kessler
Egypt has reached an historical crossroads. The two presidential candidates, Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafik, present very different visions for Egypt. Shafik represents the old guard of the Mubarak era. Morsi represents the ascendant Muslim Brotherhood. In the wake of this momentous election, what direction will Egypt take? Why, after months of analysis, did scholars and Washington officials alike, incorrectly estimate the will of the Egyptian people? Will the elections lead to additional chaos and disorder, or will the results of this election bring closure and help Egypt move toward greater stability?
To assess these questions and others, FDD hosted a conversation with:
Khairi Abaza, a scholar at FDD, noted for his focus on democratic reform in the Arab world, the spread of terrorism, and the influence of the media on politics. His columns appeared in various publications such as International Herald Tribune, The New Republic, Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, and The Weekly Standard. He is also a commentator on several American and international television stations such as Fox, BBC, France 24, Al-Jazeera and CBC. Before coming to Washington, Mr. Abaza worked for ten years in Egyptian politics. He served as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and secretary of the Cultural Committee of the Egyptian Wafd Party. Mr. Abaza recently returned from Egypt where he had an up close look at the unfolding developments. Read his full bio here.
Steven Cook, Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is an expert on Arab and Turkish politics as well as U.S.-Middle East policy. Dr. Cook is the author of The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square and Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey. He has published widely in a variety of foreign policy journals, opinion magazines, and newspapers including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Democracy, The Weekly Standard, Slate, The New Republic Online, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, and Survival. Dr. Cook is also a frequent commentator on radio and television. He currently writes the blog, “From the Potomac to the Euphrates.” Prior to joining CFR, Dr. Cook was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution (2001–2002) and a Soref research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1995–96).
John Hannah, who brings almost two decades of experience at the highest levels of U.S. foreign policy to his work as Senior Fellow at FDD. From 2001-2009, Mr. Hannah served as one of Vice President Dick Cheney’s most trusted aides on national security issues. He served as the Vice President’s deputy national security advisor for the Middle East, where he was intimately involved in U.S. policy toward Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the peace process, and the global war on terrorism and later as the Vice President’s national security advisor, where he served as the Vice President’s top advisor on the full panoply of international issues from the Middle East to North Korea to Russia. Previously, Mr. Hannah worked as a senior advisor on the staff of Secretary of State Warren Christopher during the administration of President William J. Clinton, and as a senior member of Secretary of State James A. Baker’s Policy Planning Staff during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. Mr. Hannah writes and speaks widely on issues related to American foreign policy. His articles have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He blogs regularly at ForeignPolicy.com and National Review Online. Read his full bio here.
Oren Kessler, a Tel Aviv-based journalist covering Israel and the Middle East. Oren is the former Middle East affairs correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, and previously worked as an editor and translator at Haaretz. His articles have appeared in Foreign Policy, Middle East Quarterly, the Journal of International Security Affairs, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs and other publications, and he is a frequent guest on international news programs discussing Israel and the Arab world. Oren holds an Hon. BA in History from the University of Toronto and an MA in Diplomacy and Conflict Studies from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. Fluent in Hebrew and Spanish, he has studied literary and colloquial Arabic in the United States, the Diwaan center in Tel Aviv and Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem.