This article takes as its point of departure the close interconnectedness of rivalry in the political sphere and control practiced in the public sphere. This relationship is most visible in autocracies where strict censorship is applied and severe control over the content circulated in the public sphere is maintained.1 It also builds upon Wickham's assumption that fluctuation in the level and intensity of a regime's repression is not a constant, even if the regime stays largely autocratic.2 The importance assigned to the Internet and social media as major venues for eroding regime control and potentially toppling it is borne out by relevant research.3 Yet, this article argues that the major role played by the Internet and social media in ousting Mubarak was in sparking and coordinating the protests and exposing the lack of legitimacy of a long-time dictator. These outlets would not have been able to mobilize a popular uprising if the regime had enjoyed legitimacy. It is also the argument of this article that the Mubarak regime's strategy of simultaneously rationalizing repressive practices and its own poor political and economic performance resulted in his ouster.
The case of Mubarak's Egypt falls under the umbrella of studies on the role of new media in political change. Egypt's public sphere went through drastic structural alterations after government media reform in the 1990s allowed for private and social media to be part of the country's public sphere, mainly in the 2000s. In addition, it is a regime that was toppled by a popular uprising in which social media and the Internet were clearly employed. By focusing on state censorship and examining several cases of direct and indirect harassment, it will become evident that, starting the 2000s, the regime tolerated significant verbal opposition. This was a time when government performance deteriorated sharply, and the regime's capacity to repress opposition was restrained, partly due to the exposure by international civil society of the regime's human-rights violations.
SMOOTH FLOW IN THE '80s
The 1980s went relatively smoothly for Egypt's new president, Mohamed Hosni Mubarak. A low-profile politician who had served as vice president under Anwar Sadat, Mubarak succeeded him upon his assassination in 1981, but had no explicit political or economic animosities. Even the Muslim Brothers, who were persecuted under Nasser and Sadat, entered the National Assembly in a coalition with the Socialist Labor party and the socialist al-Ahrar party after the 1987 elections with 38 parliamentary seats.4 The only serious disturbance Mubarak encountered in that decade was an attempted coup in 1986 by the Central Security Forces (CSF), which was quickly suppressed, upon Mubarak's command, by the military. There were no further such attempts until Mubarak's ouster in February 2011.5
The media were largely dominated by the state: the official paper, national TV and radio. Until satellite channels became part of the mix, people who desired nonstate content resorted to foreign radio.6 The broadcast media had been licensed through the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) from the time of Sadat (1971).7 By virtue of the emergency law, renewed in 1981 after his assassination,8 the Mubarak regime could easily infringe on freedom of expression. The Emergency Law (No.162) was issued in 1958 and first implemented in 1967 (under Nasser).9 Opposition newspapers had limited circulation and resources, mainly depending on government financing; many were heavily indebted to the government.10
PRIVATE MEDIA IN THE '90s
In the political sphere, opposition was generally under the strict control of the party committee. This made it very difficult for political groups to establish their own parties and compete in elections.11 Al-Wasat, a party formed mainly by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, is one example. It applied for establishment several times in the mid-1990s, but state authorities always turned down its application.12 Opposition parties' seats in Parliament only amounted to a small proportion, offering no challenge to the dominance of the ruling party (the National Democratic Party).13
In the public sphere, however, a major technological advance took place. Out of the urge to compete with satellite media in the Arab region — after being excluded from Arab Sat from 1985 to 199014 — Egypt accomplished several major feats. The regime established the first Egyptian Satellite Channel in 1990 and a second one in 1994. Then, in 1997, Media Production City was established, comprising many studios and other facilities capable of large-scale TV and film production. Finally, in 1998, the communication satellite Nile Sat 115 was launched, followed in 2000 by Nile Sat 2.16
These facilities did not directly translate into a wide variety of open media outlets; the regime partly blocked the emergence of private channels through its authorities.17 In addition to the aforementioned licensing by ERTU, Law No. 13/1979 stipulated that all private channels had to be broadcast from the same place to ensure ERTU control. Channels that did not obey faced fines and broadcast suspensions.18 Moreover, the Ministry of Information held shares in many private channels. As to newspapers, direct censorship was mostly unnecessary. Mubarak was head of the Supreme Press Council and approved newspaper licenses himself; he also appointed their chief editors, ensuring self-censorship most of the time.19 Ownership of newspapers in Egypt must, by law, be cooperative-based in order to prevent ownership by a single tycoon, although the regime allowed some of its clients, like Ibrahim al-Moallim of al-Shurouk newspaper, to evade this restriction.20
Furthermore, the Press Law of 1996 gave the government enormous authority to control the content of newspapers through sanctioning acts of defamation and insult with heavy jail sentences.21 Newspapers needed a security clearance in order to get their licenses, but many did not receive a decision from authorities within the 40-day period defined by law and thus were indirectly denied establishment.22 Although tens of newspapers were licensed in the 1990s, red lines pertaining to the Mubarak family were strictly imposed on content.23 A good example of regime control over publishing in the 1990s is al-Dustour, a private newspaper initially licensed in Cyprus. Founded in 1995, it was published for about three years before being closed in 1998, allegedly for running an article on Islamist militants that authorities considered to be inciting "sectarian controversy."24
In sum, the idea of a private sector — with interests that do not necessarily conform to state/regime preferences attempting to restrain the power of the latter and eventually opening up the prospect for democratization25 — did not bear fruit in the 1990s. The Egyptian government did not generally welcome media criticism, and newspapers fell under pressure to conform to the stances of the Mubarak regime.26
Still, the 1990s witnessed several developments that attracted greater international scrutiny of regime behavior. For instance, from 1990 onwards, regular reports on Egypt's human-rights violations were published on the website of Human Rights Watch.27 In a similar vein, Freedom House, starting in 1998, issued annual reports on the state of freedom of expression in Egypt.28 These reports are available online and are accessible by the public. The regime was also faced with anti-discrimination calls from the Coptic diaspora residing in the United States and other Western countries.29 These developments not only exposed the Mubarak regime, but also put it under pressure to reform. The regime's approach to the public sphere in the 2000s is strongly believed to have been partly shaped by these developments, among other factors, as will be illustrated below.
RISING HEAT IN THE 2000s
Mubarak's prolonged stay in power might have actually contributed to his ouster in 2011, especially after it became clear that his son Gamal could succeed him.Gamal's succession turned out to be one major source of regime persecution, for it meant a relapse from republican to monarchical rule, something Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a prominent Egyptian sociologist, called jumlukiyya, a hybrid of republican and monarchical regimes.30 In 2008, Ibrahim openly lobbied for U.S. pressure on the Mubarak regime to foster democratic reform and increase freedoms.31 Ibrahim was a peculiar case of the Mubarak regime's control over the public sphere. The regime did not bother much about his status as a university professor and sentenced him to prison, a price he supposedly paid for defending democracy and human rights.32 Several human-rights organizations signed petitions to support Ibrahim,33 but he had simply crossed too many red lines, first by publicly addressing the succession scheme and then by lobbying in the United States to press the regime for reform.
Although Mubarak never publicly declared that there were plans for his son to succeed him, the harassment of several journalists who discussed this possibility made it clear that it was more than just a matter of gossip. Abd al-Halim Qandil, editor-in-chief of the Nasserist al-Arabi magazine, which addressed the potential succession of Gamal Mubarak, was abducted, beaten and threatened in November 2004.34 Qandil filed an accusation against a former minister of the interior, Habib al-Adly, after the abduction.35 Alaa al-Aswany's articles in al-Shurouk on the prospect of Mubarak's succession caused trouble with state security for publisher Ibrahim al-Moallim in 2010. Al-Aswany stopped writing articles for the newspaper to spare al-Moallim the intimidation.36
Although not under state ownership and management, private satellite channels were not free from the succession red line. In 2002, Dream TV, a private satellite channel headquartered in Cairo, hosted Mohamed Hasanain Heikal, a prominent senior journalist, who discussed the Gamal Mubarak succession plans. The channel subsequently received a warning that it might lose its license, although it continued to broadcast after this incident.37 All these examples contribute to the belief that the succession scheme was a "strict" red line imposed on the public sphere.
MOBILIZATION VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
Toward the end of Mubarak's rule, it was quite clear Egypt had lost much of its regional weight. It was suffering from rising corruption,38 a money-power alliance, a concentration of wealth,39 a workers' protest against the privatization scheme40 and severe human-rights violations.41 Regime malpractice produced several protest movements, such as Kifaya and April 6 Youth Movement. Kifaya overtly called for Mubarak to withdraw from politics.42 In 2006, it led protests against some government measures and occasionally rallied thousands. In 2009, however, their fifth-anniversary protest at the Cairo Appeals Court barely gathered hundreds,43 and its supporters were estimated at about 3,000 individuals.44 April 6 stood in solidarity with the workers' strike in Mahallah governorate in 2008, in protest of the regime's stance on their demands for better pay and their protest against the privatization process in the public sector, among other things.45 Also in 2008, the group was joined on Facebook by about 70,000 supporters.46
This prospect for mobilization was probably the only thing that was radically different in Egypt's public sphere after the Internet and social media became widely used in the 2000s.47 It was inconceivable through public or private media.
Yet again, the regime appeared quite sensitive on the particular topic of mobilization. Dr. Abd al-Wahab al-Miseiri, a prominent intellectual who took part in the Kifaya movement, was kidnapped during a demonstration in Cairo in 2007 and left in the desert, along with other activists. Al-Miseiri claimed state security was behind the incident, believed to be part of a regime crackdown on Kifaya, as Abd al-Halim Qandil (kidnapped in 2004, as pointed out above) was also part of the movement.48 In a similar vein, although the April 6 call did not produce a complete halt to daily life on April 6, 2008, State Security arrested and detained Israa Abd el Fattah, a pioneering figure in the movement, and a group called "Fee Israa" was created with thousands of supporters.49 Although its Facebook page gathered thousands, April 6 did not succeed in launching a nationwide strike, as planned. In fact, the mobilization for the Mahalla strike cannot be solely attributed to the April 6 call; workers' economic demands had been going on for years.50 There were more than 3,000 strikes between 1998 and 2010 in Egypt, in which millions of workers took part.51
Detaining a young woman in state-security headquarters for a call that did not result in a popular uprising across Egypt might have been a blunt exaggeration on the part of the Mubarak regime. Yet, the detention of Ms. Abd al-Fattah achieved its intended effect: to deter any similar use of social media towards large-scale mobilization for a strike. Until the group called Kuluna Khalid Said ("We Are All Khalid Said") mobilized for the January 25, 2011, protests, social media did not pose a threat of "significant" mobilization against the regime.
Private Media Critiques
In addition to the aforementioned succession scheme, regime control of private media and newspaper content could also be traced for other topics, though less frequently. In 2008, the renowned journalist, Ibrahim Issa, editor-in-chief of the private newspaper al-Dustur, was accused of publishing wrong information and defaming Mubarak.52 Issa originally expressed in one of his articles concern for Mubarak's health. In consequence, he was dismissed from his position and sentenced to two years in prison. His case was highlighted in international media, and he was eventually pardoned by Mubarak.53
Another incident was the 2008 ERTU complaint against the Cairo News Company (CNC), which provided services and equipment to al-Jazeera and other foreign satellite channels. The complaint came one day after al-Jazeera covered the large protests in Mahalla. The police raided its office and confiscated its equipment. The company was accused of both unauthorized possession of the equipment and offering services without state permission. The owner claimed he had sought licensing, but the authorities "told him to wait." It was assumed the complaint was political.54
Yet, the general feature of Egypt's public sphere in the 2000s was that, although the regime could keep privately owned venues in check through press laws, in the case of newspapers, and in the licensing and fines for satellite channels, content in these venues was significantly different from that in state-owned media.55 Political talk shows trended, and government performance was openly discussed and even criticized in many instances.56 Newspapers covered critical topics like the purported rigging of the 2005 elections,57 misconduct in government ministries, protest movements, and police brutality against peaceful demonstrators.58 This had partly to do with the need of private media to attract an audience and earn revenue from advertising.59
In addition, comparing the cases of Issa, Qandil and al-Mesiri with those of Heikal and al-Aswany points up the great disparity in the tactics used against opponents. The three instances of al-Aswany articles on Gamal's succession in al-Shurouk, Heikal's Dream TV interview, and Issa's jail sentence in 2008 reveal one major feature in the regime's approach to the public sphere in the 2000s: It did not allow full freedom of expression, yet it did not shut down the privately owned venues in which regime critics voiced their views.
The question is, why was the regime relatively tolerant of criticism? On the one hand, private satellite channels paid transmission fees to ERTU, not to mention the millions in rent from Media Production City studios.60 This included the founding of a free zone for the media in 2000 that attracted around 250 million Egyptian pounds in private investment.61 These new venues enjoyed some leverage vis-à-vis the government. On the other hand, the Mubarak regime was on a downward slope politically and economically. The terrorist attacks that started in the 1980s against top-ranking officials and tourists continued in the 1990s.62 The infamous privatization process63 resulted in massive reductions in public-sector employment and the concentration of wealth and power;64 rising levels of poverty forced 40 percent of the population to live on about $2 a day.65 These factors were eroding whatever appeal the regime enjoyed. It was already exposed through the online open-access international reports on human rights and freedom of expression, as well as the Coptic diaspora's activism. It was evident that total suppression of verbal opposition in the public sphere could neither conceal the problems nor was even desirable.
A REGIME EXHAUSTED
In the 2000s, Egyptians had wide access to satellite channels; many Cairo buildings had dishes on their rooftops.66 In 2004, an estimated 32 percent of Egypt's households (about 5 million) could receive transmission from Nile Sat.67 According to UNICEF, Egypt's average household size was 4.9 individuals in 2005, a total population of around 70 million.68 More than a third of them had access to satellite channels. In 2004, 12 percent had access to the Internet; it more than doubled to around 25 percent in 2011, the year of the uprising.69
Regardless of regime capacity to control content in the 2000s, Mubarak faced a more challenging public sphere than Nasser and Sadat. It was not simply "state-owned media under autocratic rule." It was much more diversified, with private TV and radio, privately owned newspapers, and social media: Dream TV, broadcasting live in 2001,70 al-Masri al-Youm newspaper, founded in 2004,71 and the renewed al-Dustour in 2005.72 In addition to the factors highlighted in earlier sections, there was a pragmatic element. No matter how pervasive state censorship potentially was, it had to monitor and process an enormous number of opinion articles, TV shows, blogs and shared social media; it could not easily trace and penalize every transgression of its defined red lines. Subsequently, the selective punishment of verbal opposition and acts of political mobilization was not a matter of choice so much as necessity and practicality. The regime could simply not afford to persecute all of its critics.
Faced with this challenge, the regime adopted a dual strategy emphasizing specific red lines. It resorted to stark instances of harassment regarding Gamal's succession and mobilization, such as that of April 6's State Security detention and the abductions of al-Miseiri and Qandil. On the other hand, it generally tolerated freedom of expression on issues pertaining to the malfunctioning of government, not only out of a need to rationalize the use of force but also because of the regime's failing economic and political performance.
In fact, tolerating criticism of regime bungling was "clever," at least in principle. According to the safety-valve logic, ruling regimes in autocratic countries might allow some degree of freedom of expression and tolerate verbal opposition as part of letting off steam, and marginalizing opposition.73 Allowing critiques was supposed to portray the regime as enhancing freedom of expression and create a venue for popular discontent that might otherwise be directed towards anti-regime mobilization. Yet, the regime ended up being exposed, rather than enjoying legitimacy by virtue of its political and economic failures.
Mubarak's ouster in 2011 was the byproduct of a dual strategy of repression and tolerance in the public sphere that was intended to maintain the regime. Ironically, this strategy allowed for the relatively "open" public sphere of the 2000s, in which private and social media highlighted regime critiques that eventually promoted the mobilization against Mubarak in 2011. Yet, the assumed role of the Internet and social media in his ouster should be viewed in light of the regime's own lack of legitimacy; mobilization via the Internet and social media took place in other countries, but produced no significant outcomes in terms of regime change. The autocratic Arab Gulf monarchies are good examples in this regard. Activists used the Internet and social media in 2011 to mobilize anti-regime protests in Qatar and Bahrain but did not achieve any significant outcomes or even political resignations, not to mention that the protests were not massive in scale,74 especially if compared to the huge protests in Egypt. Without a pressing legitimacy crisis, mobilization cannot find fertile soil for massive popular uprisings to press for drastic change, regardless of how and where mobilization was planned and coordinated.
In addition, Internet connections were shut down across the country for several days during the demonstrations.75 During the uprising, the use of mobile phones or Facebook was not available all the time. In fact, satellite TV played an equally significant role in promoting the uprising. Several international satellite channels and newspapers had reporters in Tahrir Square, sending their headquarters live reports on the spot. Pro-government thugs attacked reporters from several international media organizations, and "secret police" reportedly threatened them about being on the streets.76 Qatar's al-Jazeera offered live coverage of the demonstrations and even sent its reports through landlines when the Internet was unplugged in Egypt.77
Satellite channels were promoting the sense of revolt when protests sparked. Al-Jazeera was fueling the demonstrations through hosting renowned Egyptian jurist, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who prayed for the martyrs and promised them a better "other life," while expecting defeat and cursing Mubarak.78 Similarly, days before Mubarak's ouster, Dream TV hosted Wael Ghoneim — a key figure in the group of activists calling for the January 25 protests — on February 7, 2011, hours after his release form state security. He talked about the dreams of Egyptian youth, and the presenter, Mona al-Shazly, showed photos of young Egyptians who had lost their lives in the brutal confrontations.79
Yet, again, aside from the roles played by social media and satellite channels in fostering the anti-Mubarak mobilization, all these venues were the result of the structural alterations the regime voluntarily adopted in the 1990s, which produced a more diversified public sphere in the 2000s. That the regime did not anticipate the potential role of nonstate media in promoting opposition in times of political upheaval was another aspect of its malfunctioning and another factor in Mubarak's ouster in February 2011. It was simply a regime with no legitimacy, exposed in a constrained but relatively open public sphere.
After the relatively unchallenged control of public media by the Mubarak regime, serious structural alterations got underway in the 1990s, as the government tried to cope with satellite TV, while stalemating permissions for private media and newspapers. Generally, the regime sought control over media outlets through structural — mainly legal — constraints, such as laws regulating press freedom, regulations on newspaper ownership, licensing, etc. Yet, a clear diversity of newspapers and private and social media became features of public life starting in 2000. Private media offered different and more "challenging" content, not the monotonous propaganda presented by the state. Several international and regional channels also had reporters residing in Egypt.
Although the regime could have easily bogged these outlets down through licensing and fines to avoid their voicing of regime critiques, it opted for a dual strategy, allowing some verbal opposition to be broadcast and published while arresting, jailing and persecuting some critics. More precisely, in the 2000s, red lines were mainly confined to two main fields: the Gamal succession (and the Mubarak family, in general) and the use of social media for political mobilization. Persecuting verbal opposition did not always result in shutting down privately owned media venues, and there was variation in the persecution measures. When it came to social media, the regime opted for selective, but overt and stark, persecution of anti-regime mobilization, to maintain its control over an otherwise vast space containing an enormous and diverse flow of information. This implied a message from the regime: it was not as outdated as it seemed to social-media activists. It realized the potential threat associated with these venues and made sure it could easily ‘'spot and grab'' those who used them to threaten regime continuity.
Factors contributing to the regime's preference for the dual strategy include the international exposure achieved through human-rights and freedom reports, on the one hand, and the revenues attained from these private media and newspaper outlets, on the other. By allowing opposition to voice their critiques, the regime also intended to decrease the pressure and convey a pseudodemocratic outlook. This strategy eventually backfired; the regime neither silenced nor controlled all expressions of opposition, nor did it allow complete freedom. Several international organizations issued reports highlighting the repression of journalists, activists and bloggers. To the outside world, the regime stayed largely autocratic, suppressing freedom, manipulating political competition and blocking its opponents. To insiders, the regime was repressive, unpopular and failing economically.
When the 2011 uprising occurred, nonstate media outlets had already been functioning for years and had attained some credibility among the populace. Their coverage of the demonstrations and confrontations with police forces highlighted the escalating pressure against the regime. Social media facilitated mobilization for the January 25 demonstrations, although the Internet was used for mobilization at least twice before 2011, but neither amounted to a massive demonstration nor posed a serious threat to the regime. It was also used in several other Arab countries in 2011 without resulting in political ousters or dramatic reform. Yes, the initial mobilization was achieved through a group of activists on the Internet, and this mobilization would have been impossible through venues such as TV or radio channels. But the entire sequence of the 2011 popular uprisings cannot be solely attributed to this mobilization. The regime was ready to fall, driven by both its loss of economic and political credibility and its dual strategy of allowing criticism to be voiced while continuing to repress the public sphere.
1 One major finding of the author's doctoral dissertation, "Contemporary Islamic Political Discourse: Writing under Contested Autocratic Regimes," (unpublished) Free University of Berlin, July 2017.
2 See Carrie R. Wickham, Mobilizing Islam: Religion, Activism and Political Change in Egypt (Columbia University Press, 2002), 64.
3 See, for instance, Clay Shirky, "The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change," Foreign Affairs, January/February, 2011; and Ipek Danju et al. "From Autocracy to Democracy: The Impact of Social Media on the Transformation Process in North Africa and the Middle East," Social and Behavioral Sciences 81 (2013): 678-81.
4 Erika Post, "Egypt's Elections," MERIP 17, no. 147 (July-August 1987), http://www.merip.org/mer/mer147/egypts-elections.
5 J. Kechichian and J. Nazimek, "Challenges to the Military in Egypt," Middle East Policy 5 no. 3 (September 1997): 128.
6 Rasha Abdulla, "Egypt's Media in the Midst of Revolution," Carnegie Middle East Center, July 16, 2014, http://carnegie-mec.org/2014/07/16/egypt-s-media-in-midst-of-revolution….
7 Eira Martens-Edwards, Social Media during the Egyptian Revolution: A Study of Collective Identity and Organizational Function of Facebook & Co (Anchor Academic Publishing, 2015).
8 Sadat imposed a state of emergency from 1970 to 1980. Once the emergency was lifted, he issued the Law of Shameful Conduct, which was regarded as a vehicle to silence opposition, and a special court to examine cases of violations was also established, namely the "Court of Values." Raymond W. Baker, Sadat and After: Struggles for Egypt's Political Soul (Cambridge University Press, 1991), 47.
9 "Egypt: Extending State of Emergency Violates Rights," Human Rights Watch, May, 27, 2008, https://www.hrw.org/print/233743.
10 Dina Shehata, Islamists and Secularists in Egypt: Opposition, Conflict and Cooperation (Routledge, Taylor and Francis, 2010), 40.
11 Tamara Wittes, "The 2005 Egyptian Elections: How Free? How Important?," Brookings, August 24, 2005, https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-2005-egyptian-elections-how-free….
12 "Egypt: Human Rights Background," Human Rights Watch, October 2001, https://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/mena/egypt-bck-1001.htm.
13 Gregg Carlstrom, "Explainer: Inside Egypt's Recent Elections," al-Jazeera, November 15, 2011, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/egypt/2011/11/20111113883715….
14 Khalil Rinnawi, Instant Nationalism: McArabism, al-Jazeera and Transnational Media in the Arab World (University of America Press, 2006), 39-40.
15 Khayrat Ayyad and Ahmed Farrouk, ‘'Egypt,'' in Middle Eastern and African Perspectives on the Development of Pubic Relations: Other Voices, ed. Tom Watson (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
16 Naomi Sakr, "Egyptian TV in the Grip of Government: Politics before Profit in a Fluid Pan-Arab Market," in Television and Public Policy: Change and Continuity in an Era of Global Liberalization, ed. David Ward (Taylor and Francis e-library, 2009), 270.
17 Barry Rubin, "The Egyptian Media," in The Middle East: A Guide to Politics, Economics, Society and Culture, ed. Barry Rubin (Routledge, 2015).
18 Reem Leila, "Dream's Nightmare," al-Ahram Weekly, Issue 1123, November 22-28, 2012, http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/331.aspx.
19 Martens-Edwards, Social Media, 39.
20 Safinaz El Tarouty, Businessmen, Clientelism and Authoritarianism in Egypt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
21 "Egypt: Human Bights background," 2001.
22 Quoted in Edward Webb, Media in Egypt and Tunisia: From Control to Transition (Palgrave, 2014), 35.
23 Yushi Chiba, "Media History of Modern Egypt: A Critical Review," Kyoto Working Papers on Area Studies, no. 86 (February 2010): 10, https://repository.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2433/155745/1/s….
24 Nagla Rizk, "Egypt," in Who Owns the World's Media? Media Concentration and Ownership around the World (Oxford University Press, 2016), 890.
25 Bruce K. Rutherford, Egypt after Mubarak: Liberalism, Islam and Democracy in the Arab World (Princeton University Press, 2013), 240.
26 David Warr, "The State of Freedom of Expression in Egypt," Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, November 7, 1997, http://www.cjfe.org/resources/protest_letters/state-freedom-expression-….
27 For the latest of these reports, see https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/egypt.
28 For more details, see https://freedomhouse.org/country/egypt.
29 See Nadia Marzouki, "The U.S. Coptic Diaspora and the Limit of Polarization," Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies 14, no. 3 (2016): 261-76; and Bosmat Yefet, "The Coptic Diaspora and the Status of the Coptic Minority in Egypt," Journal for Ethnic and Migration Studies 43, no. 7 (2016): 1205-21.
30 Ibrahim compared two monarchies, Morocco and Jordan, to five republics that seemed to be on a downward slope. Mona Abaza, "Social Sciences in Egypt: The Swinging Pendulum between Commodification and Criminalization," Paper at the Conference of the Council of National Associations of International Sociological Association, 2010, 204-5, http://www.ios.sinica.edu.tw/cna/download/proceedings/12.Abaza.Egypt.pdf.
31 Nora Boustany, "Dissident Lobbies for Conditions on U.S. Aid to Egypt," Washington Post, September 23, 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/22/AR20080….
32 Walid Phares, The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East (Threshold Editions, 2010), 302.
33 See, for instance, "Punishing Saad el Din Ibrahim," Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, press release, August 10, 2008, http://www.cihrs.org/?p=16148&lang=en.
34 "RSF: Condemns Abduction of Egyptian Journalist Abdel Halim Qandil," Indymedia Beirut, November 5, 2004, http://www.beirut.indymedia.org/ar/2004/11/1867.shtml.
35 Shaden Shehab, "Terrible Message, But Who's the Sender?," al-Ahram Weekly, no. 716 (November 11-17, 2004), http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/Archive/2004/716/eg5.htm.
36 El Tarouty, Businessmen, Clientelism.
37 Sakr, "Egyptian TV ….", 273.
38 Samer Shehata, "Egypt Declined during Mubarak's Rule," New York Times, October 10, 2011, https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/10/07/is-egypt-losing-its-re….
39 Blake Hounshell, "Mubarak's 9 Biggest Mistakes," Foreign Policy, February 1, 2011, http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/02/01/mubaraks-9-biggest-mistakes/.
40 Rutherford, Egypt after Mubarak, 228-9.
41 Elizabeth Dickinson, "Anatomy of a Dictatorship: Hosni Mubarak," Foreign Policy, February 4, 2011, http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/02/04/anatomy-of-a-dictatorship-hosni-mub….
42 James L. Gelvin, The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know?, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2015).
43 See "Kifaya (‘Enough') Egyptian Movement for Change," Global Security, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/egypt/kifaya.htm.
44 Alaa al-DinArafat, Hosni Mubarak Leadership and Future of Democracy in Egypt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009),160.
45 Ekram Ibrahim, "6th of April 2008: A Worker's Strike Which Fired the Egyptian Revolution," al-Ahram online, April 6, 2012, http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/38580/Egypt/Politics-/th-o….
46 Marwan Bishara, The Invisible Arab: The Promise and Peril of Arab Revolutions (Nation Books, 2012), 105.
47 For figures on Internet use in the 2000s in Egypt, see "Egypt Internet Users," Internet Live Stats, http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/egypt/.
48 Farrag Ismail, "Egypt Police Dumps Protesters in the Desert," al-Arabiya English, January 21, 2008, https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2008/01/21/44513.html.
49 Jackson Diehl, " Hunger Pains for Mubarak," Washington Post, April 21, 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/20/AR20080….
50 For a brief account on the workers' struggle in Egypt, see Abigail Hauslohner, "As Mubarak Visits U.S., Strikes Cripple Egypt," Time, August 18, 2009, http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1916908,00.html.
51 Joel Beinin, "The Rise of Egypt's Workers," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, June 28, 2012, http://carnegieendowment.org/2012/06/28/rise-of-egypt-s-workers-pub-486….
52 Martens-Edwards, Social Media, 40.
53 "Prominent Egyptian Edit Pardoned," Amnesty International, October 8, 2008, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2008/10/prominent-egyptian-edito….
54 "Egypt Satellite Company Punished for Protest Footage," Pantheon Human Rights Watch, May 24, 2008, http://pantheon.hrw.org/legacy/english/docs/2008/05/24/egypt18929_txt.h….
55 Samia Mehrez, Egypt's Culture Wars: Politics and Practice (American University in Cairo, 2010), 68.
56 See Chaymaa Hassabo, "Together But Divided: Trajectories of a Generation of Egyptian Political Activists: from 2005 to the Revolution," in Mark M. Ayyash and Ratiba Hadj-Moussa, Protests and Generations: Legacies and Emergencies in the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean (Brill, 2017), 131-2.
57 See, for instance, Fathia al-Dakhakhni, "Egypt No. 40 in List of Failed Countries," al-Masry al-Youm, June 26, 2008, http://today.almasryalyoum.com/article2.aspx?ArticleID=110879.
58 Although a state newspaper, al-Ahram Weekly, published in English, also highlighted government critiques and reported on protests. See, respectively, Jennifer Evans, "Every Breath You Take," al-Ahram Weekly, no. 716 (November 11-17, 2004), http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/Archive/2004/716/li1.htm; and Amira Howeidy, "A Chronology of Dissent," al-Ahram Weekly, no. 748 (June 23-29, 2005), http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/Archive/2005/748/eg10.htm.
59The Report: Egypt 2013, The Oxford Business Group, 268.
60 After a huge problem faced by Dream TV satellite channels for using their own Dreamland studios and not renting Media Production City studios, the rent was estimated to cost private channels more than a million Egyptian pounds a year in 2012. See Leila, "Dream's Nightmare."
61 Mirette F. Mabrouk, "Changing the Channel: Egypt's Evolving Media Landscape and Its Role in Domestic Politics," Brookings Institution, Analysis Paper No. 15 (May 2010), 8, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/05_egypt_media_mab….
62 See Spencer C. Tucker, ed., Persian Gulf War Encyclopedia: A Political, Social, and Military History (Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data, 2014), 138.
63 Rutherford, Egypt after Mubarak, 224-9.
64 Andrew G. Marshall, "Egypt under Empire, Part 3: From Nasser to Mubarak," The Hampton Institute, July 24, 2013, http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/egyptunderempirepartthree.html#.WWPjM….
65 Yolande Knell, "The Complicated Legacy of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak," BBC News, January 25, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-21201364.
66 See Steffan Geens, "Forget Twitter and Facebook; This Is a Satellite TV Revolution," Deliberation, 2011, http://dliberation.org/2011/01/28/forget-twitter-and-facebook-this-is-a….
67 L. Saqr, Presentation on Nilesat, delivered at Media Production City, Cairo, 2004, quoted in Sakr, "Egyptian TV...", 272.
68Children in Egypt 2015: A Statistical Digest, UNICEF, Chapter 1, "Demography," https://www.unicef.org/egypt/eg_Ch.1_Demography_2015.pdf.
69 "Egypt Internet Users."
70 Rana M. Taha, "Dream TV Forced to Suspend Broadcast," Daily News Egypt, November 16, 2012, https://dailynewsegypt.com/2012/11/16/dream-tv-forced-to-suspend-broadc….
71 Dina al-Shibeeb, "Founder of Egyptian Paper al-Masry al-Youm Arrested," al-Arabiya English, November 8, 2015, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/media/digital/2015/11/08/Founder-of-Egy….
72 Rizk, "Egypt," 890.
73 For a good account on the use of safety valves in authoritarian regimes, see Matt Bueller, "Safety-Valve Elections and the Arab Spring: The Weakening (and Resurgence) of Morocco's Islamist Opposition Party," in Violence, Elections and Party Politics, eds. Mary Beth Altier et al. (Taylor & Francis, 2014).
74 "Qatar, 2013," Freedom House, https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2013/qatar; Dan Goodin, "Internet Use Disrupted in Bahrain as Protests Turn Bloody," The Register, February 18, 2011, https://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/18/bahrain_internet_disruption/; and Lin Noueihed and Frederik Richter, "Bahrain Forces Quash Small Protests in ‘Day of Rage'", Reuters, March 26, 2011, https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-bahrain-protests/bahrain-forces-quash….
75 John D. Sutter, "Internet Access Returns in Egypt," CNN, February 2, 2011, http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web/02/02/egypt.internet/index.html.
76 Josh Halliday, "Egypt Protests: BBC, CNN and al-Jazeera Journalists Attacked," The Guardian, February 3, 2011, https://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/feb/03/journalists-attacked-in-e….
77 Anne Alexander, "Internet Role in Egypt's Protests," BBC, February 9, 2011, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-12400319.
78 Sam Cherribi, Fridays of Rage: al-Jazeera, the Arab Spring, and Political Islam (Oxford University Press, 2017), 132.
79 Abdalla F. Hassan, Media, Politics and Revolution in Egypt: The Story of an Uprising (I. B. Tauris & Co., 2015), 68.