Today marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 War, which ended with a defeat that changed the shape of the Arab region. This war had and still has implications on the shape of power in our countries, its political choices, our cultural production and even our understanding of ourselves. This is why, after 50 years, we find ourselves needing to re-read the war and its consequences, as well as critiquing its analysis and our perceptions of it. This is what this co-authored special report is trying to do.
In February this year, the Amman-based media organization 7iber hosted a number of independent online news websites, which share the common ground of independent and critical journalism. The meeting built on another gathering hosted in Cairo by Mada Masr the year before. The aim of these meetings, which we decided to call “February Forums,” is to open channels of communication and learning from our different experiences and develop a number of shared projects.
This is where we started to work on shared projects, the first of which is this special report co-authored by seven media projects, including: Itijah, Dona Taraddod, Al-Jumhuriya, 7iber, Sowt, Mada Masr, Ma3azef and Manshoor. The full report will be translated from Arabic, which has already been launched, and linked below in the coming days.
Egypt’s cinematic gems: A Taste of Fear – With its powerful score and two iconic scenes that have come to symbolize feminist action and the power of a collective lyrical nullification of an intolerable reality, Hussein Kamal’s striking 1969 film A Taste of Fear is a document in which the post-1967 sentiment is delivered by unusual suspects, writes Rowan El Shimi.
How state intellectuals responded to 1967: Silence, propaganda and conspiracy
–With this review of three major culture periodicals from 1967, Ismail Fayed shows how, with article titles such as “This Viper, How Did it Sneak In?” and “The Battle Didn’t End, It Just Started,” state intellectuals failed to move beyond the paradigm of pre-war propaganda and stepped out of sync with a people reeling from the shock of defeat.
We are still in the dark: A conversation with Khaled Fahmy –Fifty years after June 5, 1967, the Egyptian government continues to deny access to information about what happened during the Six-Day War, disallowing citizens an understanding of both why defeat was so swift and why red tape continues to be festoon the archive. Historian Khaled Fahmy suggest that the gaps in the archive would force a depiction of the war beyond terms of Israeli aggression, rooting defeat also in a failure of leadership and inter-state feuding.
Historiographical frustrations: Writing the history of the 1967 defeat –The absence of official Egyptian archival documents is particularly felt in history writing about the 1967 War, one of the most crucial stages in the country’s modern history. Osman El Sharnoubi examines the issues and obstacles facing historians writing about the 1967 War, and subsequent sentiments of defeat.