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Martyrs and TrickstersAn Ethnography of the Egyptian Revolution$
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Walter Armbrust

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162645.001.0001

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The Trickster in Midan al-‘Abbasiyya

The Trickster in Midan al-‘Abbasiyya

Chapter:
(p.181) Chapter 9 The Trickster in Midan al-‘Abbasiyya
Source:
Martyrs and Tricksters
Author(s):

Walter Armbrust

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691162645.003.0010

This chapter focuses on Taufiq ʻUkasha, a talk-show host and minor parliamentarian in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) before the revolution, re-created in the protracted state of antistructure after the fall of the regime as a “media personality” and advocate for a cult of Egyptian militarism. He became a primary spokesman for the counterrevolution, and ultimately a political force in his own right. ʻUkasha was often seen during his moment in the political limelight as an appendage of SCAF. He showed a remarkable ability to emerge onto the political stage at a particular moment—specifically, from near the end of 2011 until the rise of Sisi in the summer of 2013. But his political capacities depended crucially on a well-publicized “loose cannon” media persona. It was never likely that ʻUkasha would achieve meaningful power, but he does exemplify potentialities of revolutionary liminality not well captured by viewing a revolutionary situation as a theater in which contention occurs between established political actors. Ultimately, ʻUkasha emerged as a Trickster within the larger arc of the revolution.

Keywords:   Taufiq ʻUkasha, media personality, Egyptian militarism, counterrevolution, revolutionary liminality, Trickster, revolution, political force

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