Egypt’s workers in revolt
Book Review: The Egyptians: a radical story • By Jack Shenker
On 3 February the mutilated body of Italian student Giulio Regeni was found in a ditch. The military regime of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi denied involvement in the torture and killing of Giulio, blaming his death on members of a criminal gang who were subsequently executed. But evidence has since emerged of Giulio’s arrest by the security services on the day before his disappearance. Jack Shenker, former Egyptian correspondent at The Guardian, demonstrates why the regime would target Giulio, a Cambridge University student researching independent trade unions in the country.
Shenker’s book is written from the perspective of ordinary Egyptians, the millions who rose up to overthrow Hosni Mubarak in January/February 2011. He emphasises the central role of workers, not only in 2011 but throughout the recent history of Egypt. Weaving together narrative, anecdotes, eye-witness testimony and analysis, the result is a readable, detailed and very useful account of a process of revolution and counter-revolution which is not yet finished.