Egypt 2011-2014: Opportunities and challenges after three years of uprising

The inaugural event in the lecture series 'A Continuing Spring: Arab and Australian views on social justice, equal economic development and cultures of freedom' presented by the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the School of Languages and Cultures and Religion State and Society Network in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The series is sponsored by the Council for Australian - Arab Relations, and supported by the Australian Egyptian Council Forum, Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), Arab Film Festival, and the Iraqi Australian Graduate Forum.

23 June, 2014

In January 2011 Egyptian people took to the streets demanding the fall of a corrupt and authoritarian regime. A revolutionary movement including women and men from different generations, social backgrounds, and diverse political and religious affiliations joined forces to ask for freedom, dignity and social justice. More than three years on from this epochal moment, what are the main challenges that face the politicians, civil society, and the international community? Has the experience of the revolution changed the perception of the relationship between the people and political power in the Arab world? And lastly, what has been the impact of the revolution in the cultural and the intellectual sphere of the Arabic speaking world?

H.A. Hellyer (Brookings Institute), Anthony Bubalo (Lowy Institute), and Lucia Sorbera (The University of Sydney) share their views, personal experiences and expertise on the present and future of the region. They speak with award-winning Middle East correspondent David Hardaker.


David Hardaker

David Hardaker (chair) is a former award-winning Middle East Correspondent for the ABC. He has lived and worked in the Middle East for most of the last decade. His roles have included lecturing in Journalism at the American University in Cairo. He worked most recently as a consultant to Arab media organisations in the Arab Gulf, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government. David reads, writes and speaks Arabic and maintains close personal and professional links in the Arab world.

H A Hellyer

Dr H A. Hellyer is a non resident fellow with the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, and a Research Associate at the Kennedy School of Harvard University. Formerly the first Middle Eastern-based Senior Practice Consultant at Gallup, Dr Hellyer was previously Ford Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Warwick. A UN Global Expert in his subject areas, including Arab politics, pluralism, religion and security issues in the West and the Arab world, Dr Hellyer was appointed as Deputy Convenor of the UK Government’s Taskforce on ‘Tackling Radicalisation and Extremism’ after the London bombings in 2005. Dr Hellyer’s expertise in Arab politics, contemporary Islamist political movements, and security issues has been called upon by different governmental and non-governmental. He has authored several books and monographs, and has contributed more than 25 book chapters and journal articles to various presses. Some of his more recent publications include Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans (2009), Engagement with the Muslim Community and Counter-Terrorism: British Lessons for the West (2007) and ‘The Chance for Change in the Arab World: Egypt’s Uprising’, Journal of International Affairs.

Anthony Bubalo

Anthony Bubalo is the Research Director at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. He is also the Director of the West Asia Program covering the Middle East, Central and Southwest Asia. His research focuses on Australian policy towards West Asia and the linkages between West Asia and East Asia. He has produced research on Islamism, democratisation and energy security, with a particular focus on Egypt, Israel and the countries of the Gulf. He comments regularly on Middle Eastern politics for the Australian and international media outlets. He has written for The Australian, [[i|The Age]], The Sydney Morning Herald, the Financial Times, Ha'aretz and Asahi Shimbun newspapers as well as The American Interest and He is the co-editor, with Michael Fullilove, of Reports from a Turbulent Decade(2013), an anthology of the Lowy Institute's best work. Before joining the Lowy Institute Anthony was an officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for thirteen years. He served in Australian diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia and Israel and was Senior Middle East Analyst with the Office of National Assessments from 1996 to 1998. From 2002-2003 he was director of the Policy and Coordination Unit of the Australian government's Iraq Task Force, and immediately prior to joining the Lowy Institute Anthony was DFAT's Senior Speechwriter.

Lucia Sorbera

Dr Lucia Sorbera is a Lecturer in Arabic, Islamic, and Middle East Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on Egyptian cultural and political history, gender and women history, and Arabic literature. Before joining the University of Sydney, she has been studying in Italy, in Lebanon, and in Egypt, she has been teaching in a number of Italian Universities, and working as consultant in the field of intercultural education with Italian municipalities and NGOs. She serves in the board of directors of the Italian Society for Middle East Studies, SeSaMO), in the editorial board of the book series on Women and Gender History published by Viella Editrice and by the Italian Society of Women Historians, and in the academic board of the Summer School of the Italian Society of Women Historians. She has published extensively on Arab women’s autobiography, Arab women’s political leadership, and Iraqi cinema. Among her recent publications: ‘Challenges of thinking feminism and revolution in Egypt between 2011 and 2014’, Postcolonial Studies, 17, 1 (2014); ‘Writing Revolution: New inspirations, new questions’, Postcolonial Studies, 17, 1 (2014); ‘An Invisible and Enduring Presence. Women in Egyptian Politics’, in Anceschi L., Teti, A., Gervasio, G. (eds.), Informal Power in the Greater Middle East: Hidden Geographies (2014)


The Continuing Spring Project is supported by the Commonwealth through the Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR)