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Descripción de editorial
In 2003, Rachel Aspden arrived in Egypt as a 23-year-old trainee journalist. She found a country on the brink of change. Of Egypt's 80 million citizens, two-thirds were under 30. The new generation were stifled, broken and frustrated – caught between a dictatorship with nothing to offer them and autocratic parents still clinging to tradition and obedience after a lifetime of fear.
In January 2011, the young people’s patience ran out. They thought the revolution that followed would change everything for them. But as violence escalated, the economy collapsed and as the united front against Mubarak shattered into sectarianism, many found themselves wavering, hesitant to discard the old ways.
What happens when a revolution unravels?
Why is a generation raised on Hollywood movies and global brand names turning to religion?
How do you choose between sex and tradition, consumerism and faith?
Why would people who once chanted for freedom support a military state?
And where will the next generation take the Middle East?
Following the stories of four young Egyptians – Amr the atheist software engineer, Amal the village girl who defied her family and her entire community, Ayman the one-time religious extremist and Ruqayah the would-be teenage martyr – Generation Revolution unravels the complex forces shaping the lives of young people caught between tradition and modernity, and what their stories mean for the future of the Middle East.
British journalist Aspden, who lived in Cairo from 2003 to 2004 and from 2011 until 2015, shows Egypt's recent revolution through the eyes of the young people who demanded it, fought for it, and suffered most from its eventual failure. Weaving in dramatic moments of Egypt's recent past with vivid depictions of its contemporary culture, Aspden uses her subjects' candid narratives to reveal how the pressures of a corrupt state, a stagnating economy, a restless and disenfranchised youth, the repression of women, and the infiltration of Western innovations such as the Internet led Egyptians to erupt into revolt. Using the same gritty narrative technique, she draws a horrifying picture of the consequences of the 2011 revolution, notably the military coup of 2013 that led to tragic loss of life and plunged the country into worse crime, repression, discontent, and fear. Her insights into trends such as the groundswell of religious conservatism are sound yet concise. Despite the hopelessness and demoralization that prevail in her conclusion, she holds out hope that Egypt's young people will again see a path to freedom. The book offers a sobering but necessary education in "the intractable suffering in the region" that Western countries can no longer afford to ignore.