Brief interview with Per Gahrton about Egypt
Two questions for Per Gahrton, former European Parliament member, who also has written several books about the political system in Egypt. He has closely followed developments in the country since the 1960s.
Will the various political and religious groups be able to get along?
– The fact that there is a very strong national identity in Egypt makes this seem possible. In Egypt you often hear people talking about “the Arabs”, meaning those who live in the Middle East. There is a strong sense of national belonging and deep pride of the Egyptian cultural heritage.
You visited Egypt in December. Did you see signs of discontent at that time?
– Many people were upset over the parliament elections held in November, and the opposition accused authorities of election fraud. In a way people were already in the starting blocks for bigger protests, but the trigger of course were the developments in Tunisia where President Ben Ali was forced from power.
Per Gahrton along with Mats Karlsson, head of the Marseille Centre for Mediterranean Integration, will on the 17 February take part in a seminar about the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt. The discussion will be led by the NAI director Carin Norberg with the topic “Revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt… A new dawn?”. Read more here (only in Swedish, pdf will open in new window).