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Translating Egypt's RevolutionThe Language of Tahrir (A Tahrir Studies Edition)$
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Samia Mehrez

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9789774165337

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774165337.001.0001

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The Soul of Tahrir: Poetics of a Revolution

The Soul of Tahrir: Poetics of a Revolution

(p.213) 6 The Soul of Tahrir: Poetics of a Revolution
Translating Egypt's Revolution

Menna Khalil

American University in Cairo Press

Shifts attention to a different register of language of Tahrir, namely, the polyphonic tapestry of the lyrical and poetic life of the midan that served to sustain the revolutionary experience and unite Egyptians from all walks of life through chants, songs, and poems. The authors translate selections from this open epic of Tahrir and capture how certain poetic elements became part of a common narrative across the lyrical tapestry of the revolution particularly through the concepts of al- sha'b (the people) and al watan (the homeland/ country). The selections in this chapter map out the transformations of these signifiers, as they were given new meanings and new significance during the January 25 uprising. Significantly, many of the poems chanted, tweeted, and exchanged on scraps of paper during the uprising against Mubarak have already acquired new meaning during the “Second Revolution” of November 18 against the SCAF. The most prominent examples had been written in January against Mubarak, but, ten months later, have come to speak to the SCAF's violence and counter-revolutionary design.

Keywords:   Poetics, SCAF, November 18, Counter-revolution, Chants, tweets

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