April 12, 2024

Panel to Discuss Egyptian Election, Its Future

Egypt’s revolution isn’t over, not by a long shot. Egypt continues to be a story that inspires, confounds and intrigues. The heady days of protests in Tahrir Square that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year were spell-binding. Veteran foreign correspondents, such as Tom Friedman of The New York Times described those 18 days as one of the most thrilling stories he’s ever covered.

“Arab Spring” had such a romantic ring to it, but now a new reality has set in. The smoke is clearing and what is left behind in Egypt and the region is a confusing reality and an uncertain future. Democracy, elections, Muslim Brotherhood, disqualified candidates, Mubarak sentenced to life in prison, more demonstrations. The news in Egypt continues to be a dizzying ride.

A panel to discuss these issues will convene on Tuesday, June 19 at the Ford Foundation at 6:30 p.m. For the first time in Egypt’s 7000 year history, the country will choose its leader through a free election. The first round of elections with multiple candidates was held on May 23 and 24 with two candidates who emerged: Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafik, a former prime minister under Mubarak. The run-off election is set for June 16 and 17. As Egyptians brace for a run-off election the choices are bleak for the young and predominantly secular protesters who instigated the revolution.

Panelists will have a dialogue about these historic elections and explain the forces at work in the Arab Spring, the election and give projections about where the election will lead Egypt and the Middle East.

Panelists include Mohamad Bazzi who is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2003 to 2007 Bazzi was the Middle East bureau chief for Newsday. As a long time observer of the Middle East, he will bring an historical perspective on Egypt and regional analysis.

Charles M. Sennott is executive editor and co-founder of GlobalPost. Sennott covered the Egyptian revolts and the Muslim Brotherhood. His work for Frontline/WGBH titled “Revolution in Cairo” won an OPC citation for best online coverage of breaking news. Portions of his interviews with the Brotherhood will be shown.

Calvin Sims, Program Officer, Freedom of Expression Unit of the Ford Foundation will moderate. Sims spent two decades as a reporter for The New York Times; he was based in Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Seoul and Jakarta.

The Ford Foundation will host the program at its headquarters. Use the 320 East 43 Street entrance. Bring a photo ID for security check. Registration will begin at 5:45pm; Reception from 6 to 6:30 p.m. and the Talk in the East River Room on the 11th floor at 6:30 p.m. This program is co-sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the Overseas Press Club of America and Off-the-Record of the Foreign Policy Association.

To RSVP, telephone the OPC 212-626-9220, or e-mail.