Timna Medovoy

Political Science

After traveling twice to study in Cairo, Egypt, Timna Medovoy became inspired by the young people she met—their passion for political causes and their love for their country. She approached Professor Lynch about turning that inspiration into a research project, and started focusing on the questions she wanted to ask. Timna received the 2015 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for the School of Social Sciences in recognition of her passionate dedication to her project. Now based in Jerusalem, Timna serves as the Middle East Program Coordinator for the Olive Tree Initiative and is pursuing a Master’s Degree at Hebrew University in Conflict Research, Management and Resolution.triangle.gif (504 bytes)




Since the 2011 revolution in Egypt, much political discourse has centered on an Islamist versus non-Islamist dichotomy, leaving leftist youth an under-examined subset of the non-Islamist umbrella. In this research, I focused on educated leftist youth in Cairo to provide more insight into the shifting political profile of this subset of the Egyptian populace. This study combined qualitative research of Egypt’s modern political history and in-depth assessment of political analysis produced since the 2011 revolution, with interviews of leftist youth and political analysts in Cairo. Findings indicate that leftist youth are decidedly heterogeneous, with a diverse demographic composition and a discordant set of views on Egypt’s future and their role in it. There are, however, clear and unifying trends in the evolution of their political views. In the years since the uprising, respondents expressed a radical increase in anti-military and anti-Muslim Brotherhood sentiments. The majority has abandoned political parties and protest movements, with many shifting their efforts to civil society and other forms of activism. The majority also view leftist youth, on the whole, as largely disillusioned and disengaged. Still, many have persisted in their political involvement. Therefore, it is important to analyze both their internal trends and divisions to provide insight into their role in Egypt’s tumultuous political environment.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                

Cecelia M. Lynch

School of Social Sciences

Timna Medovoy's research is a terrific example of a dedicated researcher getting (as much as possible) to the bottom of a puzzling and very timely question of international importance. Timna had traveled to Egypt before working on this paper, and she really wanted to understand what was going on with youth in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the subsequent coup in Egypt. She is an incredibly independent young scholar who pursued interviews doggedly, traveled several times to the region, and consistently came back to discuss with me whether and how her initial assumptions had altered, how to refine her methodological choices (including her categories of interlocutors) and to get support as she sifted through and refined her analysis. She did a superb job throughout the research process, and it was a pleasure to work with her.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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