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James Buck | Photography | Egypt revolution and arrest, 2006-2008

Before the Arab Spring of 2011, before the revolution that overthrew Mubrak, a series of protests washed over central Egypt as rising food prices and labor disputes spurred people to action. Long lines for bread became increasingly agitated and in the town of Mahalla, home to the Middle East’s largest textile mill, tens of thousands took to the streets in a protest that laid a foundation – the April 6 Movement – for what was to come. I documented both the conditions leading up to the protest, the poverty as well as the daily life, the struggles in agriculture and the low-paying jobs working in Cairo and elsewhere, and eventually, the April protests, and the search for those who went missing in the mass arrests. I too was swept up in the arrests in Mahalla in 2008 and used Twitter to help get myself and my translator free.

Published by PBS FRONTLINE/World April, 2008.