The writing on the walls of Egypt

Samuli Schielke, Jessica Winegar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The international hype around the spectacular graffiti of Muhammad Mahmoud Street in Cairo, and erroneous claims that the revolution brought graffiti to Egypt, have overshadowed the everyday presence of multiple forms of written messages. Egyptians have a long tradition of writing on the walls. They also stake claims to parts of cities for particular political affiliations, commercial operations, memorials or romance. Immediately after Husni Mubarak left office, citizens adorned Cairo with large portraits of martyrs. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) just as quickly began painting them over. Pro-SCAF youth whited out the famous image of a tank facing a panda, by the graffiti artist Ganzeer, under a bridge near a government-run youth center on Gezira island. Ganzeer and his crew returned and drew a SCAF figure with a forked tongue over the pro-junta graffiti. This well-known graffiti battlefield has been covered up with paint and scrawled upon again several times since then.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMiddle East Report
Issue number265
StatePublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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