Richard Whittall:

The Globalist's Top Ten Books in 2016: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

Middle East Eye: "

The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer is one of the weightiest, most revelatory, original and important books written about sport"

“The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer has helped me immensely with great information and perspective.”

Bob Bradley, former US and Egyptian national coach: "James Dorsey’s The Turbulent World of Middle Eastern Soccer (has) become a reference point for those seeking the latest information as well as looking at the broader picture."
Alon Raab in The International Journal of the History of Sport: “Dorsey’s blog is a goldmine of information.”
Play the Game: "Your expertise is clearly superior when it comes to Middle Eastern soccer."
Andrew Das, The New York Times soccer blog Goal: "No one is better at this kind of work than James Dorsey"
David Zirin, Sports Illustrated: "Essential Reading"
Change FIFA: "A fantastic new blog'

Richard Whitall of A More Splendid Life:
"James combines his intimate knowledge of the region with a great passion for soccer"

Christopher Ahl, Play the Game: "An excellent Middle East Football blog"
James Corbett, Inside World Football

Monday, February 14, 2011

Egyptian Protest Leader Highlights Role of Soccer Fans in Ousting Mubarak

A New York Times reconstruction of collaboration between Egyptian and Tunisian bloggers and Facebook users highlights the role played by Egyptian soccer fans in ending the 30-year rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The lengthy report detailing how the bloggers and Facebook users shared experiences and brainstormed over ways of dealing with repressive police forces described how they “fused their secular expertise in social networks with a discipline culled from religious movements and combined the energy of soccer fans with the sophistication of surgeons.”

The report quotes Ahmed Maher, a 30-year-old civil engineer and leading organizer of the April 6 Youth Movement that was central to the organization of the protests as saying: “The youth of the Muslim Brotherhood played a really big role. But actually so did the soccer fans” of Egypt’s two leading teams who "are always used to having confrontations with police at the stadiums."

Maher was referring to Cairo arch rivals Al Ahly SC and Al Zamalek SC whose animosity dates back to their founding approximately a century ago. Al Ahly was home to the opposition to British colonial rule while Al Zamalek was founded by Egypt’s British overseers and their Egyptian associates.

The protests that toppled Mubarak brought together Al Ahly and Al Zamalek supporters used to facing off against one another in their support of the protests. At the same time, the protests accentuated the political and social differences that underlie the rivalry and also brought to the surface differences within the clubs themselves, but particularly Zamalek. Some Zamalek players and coaches participated in the protests while the club’s management appeared to support the embattled president.

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