Faculty Emeritus Jed Kee Visits Egypt with Family, Speaks about Democracy

December 01, 2012

Professor Jed Kee traveled to Egypt in November 2012 for a family vacation. While there, he gave a lecture at the American University of Cairo on a new book that he is writing with GW Professor John Forrer and doctoral graduate Eric Boyer, entitled Governing Partnerships and Networks: New Choices for Public Managers.

Professor and Associate Dean of AU Cairo Laila El Baradei hosted Professor Kee at the university in southwest Cairo. His lecture was well received, and there was a great deal of discussion about the current political situation in Egypt. He noted that our own democracy was rooted in conflict and severe disagreements among the founders, and a key in the United States constitutional debates was an agreement to create the Bill of Rights. He suggested that a similar document might help ease the tension felt by Coptic Christians and others who fear the Muslim Brotherhood's approach to governance. The issues are indeed difficult, but Professor Kee believes they can be solved if there is a reasonable amount of good will on the part of the negotiators. 

He noted that the uncertainty and violence in Egypt has had a major effect on tourism. Professor Kee’s tour group had only 15 people and was often the only group of American tourists at historic sites. They toured Cairo, Luxor and took a cruise up the Nile to Aswan and then on Lake Nasser to Abu Simbel. The group was fortunate to have an excellent PhD Egyptologist as a guide. The group stayed at the Intercontinental Ramses Cairo Hotel, just one block from the heart of the demonstrations and democracy movement, Tahrir Square.