Film + Q&A Session Recap

Egypt: The Story Behind the Revolution

Washington, DC | | December 21, 2011 -- Tuesday evening, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) opened its doors to more than 50 community members, leaders and academics for the screening of independent documentary film, “Egypt: The Story Behind the Revolution,” as part of its Arabesque Lecture Series. Director, Khaled Sayed and film interviewee, Amal Mattar came to the ADC Heritage Center to present the film for the first time in Washington DC.

Sayed filmed the documentary primarily in Egypt in March of 2011, soon after the January uprisings, and interviewed a variety of young protesters who were active in the revolution. The film pulled together a span of interviews, and news coverage, culminating in a broad, cross-societal reflection on what happened during the Egyptian revolution and why; giving the audience a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the way in which activists harnessed the power of collective consciousness to form a people’s revolution.

Interviewees included prominent Egyptian analysts and academics who lent insight into the origins of unrest and discontent under Mubarak’s 30 year rule. Interviewees discussed the evolution of the demonstrators’ demands which culminated in Mubarak’s resignation. The uprisings, which began as a movement by young, educated, upper middle class Egyptians, gathered momentum across the generations and classes of Egyptian society. 

Those interviewed offered their reflections on life in Egypt under Mubarak and their motives for getting involved in the revolution, the role of social media as an organizing tool, and finally, their hopes for a democratic and free Egypt in the future.  

The film included analysis of the United States’ response to the uprising as a reflection of its strategic interests in the region. Further, activists interviewed discussed tactics used to grow their numbers, organize, and overcoming police attempts at suppression. Especially poignant were eyewitness ac