Videos (5)

  • Multi-party elections in 2005 fell short of their promise of fairness.
    Shayfeen.com: Egypt’s 2005 Election

    Multi-party elections in 2005 fell short of their promise of fairness.

    Clip (6:53)

    http://cdn.itvs.org/shayfeencom-egypt-elections-01.jpgmp4:shayfeencom-edu-election-1024_senso.mov
  • Mobile and social media as tools for pro-democracy movements.
    Shayfeen.com: Digital Activism

    Mobile and social media as tools for pro-democracy movements.

    Clip (7:24)

    http://cdn.itvs.org/shayfeencom-egypt-digital-01.jpgmp4:shayfeencom-edu-activism-1024_senso.mov
  • Three women work to assure the  legitimacy of Egypt's first multiparty elections.
    Shayfeen.com: We're Watching You Trailer

    Three women work to assure the legitimacy of Egypt's first multiparty elections.

    Clip (2:00)

    http://cdn.itvs.org/shayfeencom-trailer.jpgmp4:shayfeencom-trailer-1024.mov
  • Meet Cairo's Zaballeen, a disenfranchised coptic Christian minority.
    Garbage Dreams Clip

    Meet Cairo's Zaballeen, a disenfranchised coptic Christian minority.

    Clip (3:35)

    http://cdn.itvs.org/garbage_dreams-trailer.jpgmp4:garbage_dreams-egypt-page-1024.mov
  • Cairo's Zaballeen recycle 80 percent of the trash they collect.
    Garbage Dreams Trailer

    Cairo's Zaballeen recycle 80 percent of the trash they collect.

    Clip (1:09)

    http://cdn.itvs.org/garbage_dreams-clip1.jpgmp4:garbage_dreams-trailer-1024.mov

The Egyptian Revolution in Context

The Egyptian people successfully — and peacefully — brought down the autocratic government they had feared for decades. Pro-democracy activists in the Middle East are exercising the power of popular resistance as they agitate for democracy, transparency, and accountability in traditionally closed governments. This makes for what some might call a "teachable moment."

Here at ITVS, in partnership with PBS NewsHour and Independent Lens, we have been working with international filmmakers and newsmakers as well as community organizers, educators, and activists to trace the evolution of democracy movements worldwide, with a special focus on Egypt in light of the revolution unfolding there. Our films and discussion guides may help place current events into historical context. The revolutions have been televised, and they did not materialize out of the blue.

Shayfeen.com: We are Watching You follows three women in Egypt during the 2005 election who organized a new media-savvy grassroots campaign for democracy in their country, presaging the "Wikileaks Revolution" by six years. Check out free lesson plans for this film, which focus on digital activism and civil engagement in the political process.

Garbage Dreams, a film shortlisted for the 2010 Academy Awards, tells the story of one of Egypt's most disenfranchised minorities — the Zabaleen, a coptic Christian community that recycles 80 percent of Cairo's trash.

Also included here are study guides and collections featuring clips and lesson plans from several international films focusing on democracy movements around the globe.

Shayfeen.com: We're Watching You

Watch Online

Get an intimate look at the 2005 multi-party elections in Egypt through the eyes of three women working to assure the election’s legitimacy. The women provide unprecedented access to activists operating in and around the highest levels of both government and opposition groups.

Watch Shayfeen.com in its entirety at SnagFilms

Read more about the film at The International Museum of Women

Garbage Dreams

Transmedia Resources

The Zaballeen, a coptic Christian minority in Cairo, are among the most disenfranchised groups in all of Egypt. Known as the "garbage people," they've been collecting trash in the city since the early 1900s. In recent years, the Mubarak government has outsourced trash collection in Cairo to multinational corporations, endangering the Zaballeen's way of life. Not only do the new trash collectors rob the Zaballeen of a living, they recycle only a tiny fraction of what the Zaballeen can, sending millions of tons of refuse to landfills.

The Garbage Dreams Game asks players to take on the role of the Zaballeen: sort, process, and profit from the garbage collected from Cairo’s neighborhoods. The film, the game, and the corresponding lesson plans explore the human and environmental impact of globalization in Egypt.

More about Garbage Dreams

Explore lesson plans

Play the Garbage Dreams Game

Illusions of Democracy: When Is It Not Free or Fair?

Discussion Resources

What makes an election democratic? How might elections subvert true democracy by inefficiency, manipulation, or abuse? Using the film Shayfeen.com: We're Watching You as a starting point, discover global populist efforts to move societies from authoritarian regimes to democracies. These lesson plans can be useful in organizing an analysis of the Egyptian situation within the context of global democracy movements.

Explore the lesson plan

Download the Shayfeen.com discussion guide (PDF)

Digital Media as a Civic Engagement Tool

Discussion Resources

In this lesson, students will analyze how digital media tools work in less developed nations or areas where media access is limited. In addition, they will evaluate the savvy, resources, skills, and support needed to develop effective media outreach. Explore social networking and video as empowerment tools — and create your own.

Explore the lesson plan

Download the Shayfeen.com discussion guide (PDF)

Vote Democracy!

Community Classroom Collection

For a broader examination of democratic experiments around the world, check out our Vote Democracy! collection, designed for students but useful to anyone interested in a deeper understanding of global democracy movements. This collection offers thought-provoking perspectives on the changing nature of democracy with four documentaries: An Unreasonable Man, Chicago 10, Iron Ladies of Liberia, and Please Vote for Me. From a class election among eight year olds in China, to Africa’s first female president tasked with reviving Liberia; from the Chicago 10 conspiracy trial, to a closer look at consumer activist Ralph Nader, the Vote Democracy! collection’s film modules, lesson plans, and activities explore democracy abroad, elections, gender, and media literacy.

Explore the collection