Kira completed a DPhil in Oriental Studies (Islamic World) and an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford. She holds a BA in Government and Linguistics from the College of William and Mary. Her research focuses on online/offline politics, space, and mobility in Egypt after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. She is the Communications Director for the Oxford Human Rights Hub and the producer and co-creator of the RightsUp podcast series.
- This article examines the use of everyday mobile technologies, and mobile telephony in particular, in political activism and protest during the 2011 Egyptian uprisings and throughout its continuing aftermath. The Arab revolutions have their own, now familiar, nomenclature, derived from the semantics of revolution and the digital age. Much of the language used to describe and analyze events in the Middle East has emphasized the “newness” of the technologies of protest and coordination and the uniquely 2.0 characteristics of these political movements. This article confronts this narrative, exploring the role of mobile telephony in Egypt during an ongoing period of political upheaval by moving away from the question of what is “new” or “revolutionary” toward what is ordinary put toward revolutionary ends. The article argues that the Arab Spring presents a crucial opportunity to interrogate and deconstruct the hybrid ecology of people and technological tools. By exploring several specific ways in which mobile telephony has played a role in the Egyptian revolution, this article demonstrates how a fixation on newness not only tells an incomplete story of this technologically mediated revolution but also undermines the ongoing practices of historicizing it.
Cyberpolitics in the Middle East and North Africa, mobility studies, neoliberalism and technology in the Middle East.