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Book Picks: Protests in Egypt

Last night saw the most deadly protests since the uprising that ousted President Housini Mubarak this past February in Egypt. The surge of violence was brought upon by Coptic Egyptians angry over a recent attack on a church in Cairo. Some have reported that under the new regime, the Christians in Egypt–who had hoped for more support after the ousting–are actually finding it to be a worse situation for them than when Mubarak was in power.

“Why didn’t they do this with the Salafists or the Muslim Brotherhood when they organize protests?” Alfred Younan, a Copt speaking near Cairo’s Coptic Christian hospital where many of the dead were taken, told Reuters.

“This is not my country anymore.”

John Phillip-Jenkins’ book, The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia–and How It Died, helps shed light on the role Christianity has played in Egypt’s history, and how influential it may be in the future.

While, of course, the influences here are deeply embedded in hundreds and hundreds of years of history, the other side of the coin is the very modern and current role that technology has played in the protests.

Next year will bring Wael Ghonim‘s book, Revolution 2.0, about how modern technology helped create and fuel Arab Spring.

But in the meantime, it may be worthwhile to pick up Jeff Jarvis’ Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live .

And, finally, Alaa Al Aswany’s On the State of Egypt, is quite a useful read for an Egyptian’s firsthand account of the current situation.