Egypt For Everybody

Immediately following the Egyptian revolution, my friend Greg Berger, a filmmaker, and journalist Al Giordano, of Narco News, went to Cairo to make a series of short videos with the activists who made it happen, “A Video Manual on How a Civil Resistance Was Built to Win.” Some of you are probably ready to click through to the videos based just on that title; others are rolling your eyes. Don’t. (The eye-rollers, that is.) The first two entries in the series are fabulous, funny, and hopeful in a way that’s so authentic that you realize you’d forgotten what real hope feels like. These are the best movies I’ve seen in months. They give me chills.

The first one, “How We Did It When the Media Would Not,” is an interview with “viral video producer” Aalam Wassef, who under the pseudonym Mohamed Michael — a deliberately unlikely mash-up of Muslim and Christian — “televised” dissent with wit and style when the international news media was still following the conventional wisdom of Mubarak and his Western allies.

The second, “The Other Revolution in Egypt,” is an interview with Muslim Brotherhood activist Mohammed Abas that’ll overturn everything you thought you knew about the Muslim Brotherhood and the role of piety in democratic revolution.

Both activists are exactly what we had in mind when we named this site Killing the Buddha, after the old Zen parable, 11 years ago. “Buddha killers” in the best sense.

Jeff Sharlet is a founding editor of Killing the Buddha, coauthor with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (2004) and co-editor of Believer, Beware (2009). Sharlet is also the author of Sweet Heaven When I Die, (2011), C Street, (2010), and the New York Times bestseller The Family (2008).