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Tahrir’s Youth: Leaders of a Leaderless Revolution, Rusha Latif

Reviewed by Emad El-Din Shahin
 

Awed by the heroic role the youth activists played in the Arab mass uprisings of 2011, analysts labeled these popular demonstrations the “Youth Revolts.” Young activists’ determination, resolve, and skills helped mobilize millions of Egyptians who took to the streets and, in eighteen memorable days, managed to topple late President Hosni Mubarak and end his thirty-year rule. In a few years, however, hopes about a new future for Egypt and its young were dashed by a counter-revolution that restored neo-authoritarianism and changed the optimism and lives of millions of young Egyptians. Hundreds were killed, thrown in jails, or forced into exile, making them question the entire experience, what happened, and what could have happened differently.

Rusha Latif’s book, Tahrir’s Youth: Leaders of a Leaderless Revolution, seeks to provide answers to these questions. Based on extensive fieldwork, numerous interviews, and firsthand experience during Tahrir’s days in 2011, Latif focuses on ten activists who played key and diverse roles in the Egyptian revolution. These were leaders, organizers, and active participants. In seven beautifully written chapters, the book offers fascinating reading into the career of youth leaders of the Egyptian popular uprisings. It traces through their biographies the evolution of the revolution fro

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