Muhammad Ali Khair

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Muhammad Ali Khair (Source: Al-Youm al-Sabi`)

Muhammad Ali Khair (Arabic: محمد علي خير, alternative spelling Mohamed Aly Kheir; 1964-) is an Egyptian writer and political analyst. In early January 2011, a couple of weeks before the protests that toppled Muhammed Hosni Mubarak began, he published his book Al-Tariq ila Qasr al-Orouba (The Road to the Orouba Palace) in which he predicted that the political climate in Egypt in 2011 would change significantly, and Mubarak's regime would face stronger, unprecedented opposition.

He was born in Gharbiyya. His father studied shari`ah (Islamic law) and usul al-din (the fundamentals of religion) at al-Azhar University.

Khair is married to Professor of English Literature Mona Elnamoury and has a son, Yusef, and a daughter, Mariam.[1]


Education and Career

Muhammad Ali Khair graduated from Al-Aqbat Secondary school in 1982 and then went to Cairo University to study journalism.[2] In 1986, he graduated with highest honors. Soon after, he began working as an editor for Al-Wafd newspaper.

In 1989, Khair traveled to Saudia Arabia, where he worked for Al-Riyadh newspaper. He went back to Egypt in 1993, and began writing for various newspapers like Al-Masry al-Youm, Al-Balad, Al-Alam al-Youm, Al-Mal, among others. From 2006 to 2008, he worked as editor-in-chief of Al-Midan newspaper. He writes a weekly column for Al-Dostor.[3]

Al-Tariq ila Qasr al-Orouba on the Eve of the Revolution

In early January 2011, Khair launched his best-selling book Al-Tariq ila Qasr al-Orouba. In it, he predicted that the presidential election that was scheduled for 2011 would be fierce and difficult. The book was "the result of one and a half years of surveys and interviews" Khair conducted with many influential Egyptian politicians and thinkers. He explained that various state and non-state actors, like the military, al-Azhar, the Coptic Church, the media, businessmen and social media,[4] would indirectly and directly play important roles in the election. Independent political movements like Kefaya, Khair writes, would also pose a challenge to the Mubarak regime.[5] Khair devotes a whole chapter of his book to Mohamed ElBaradei, who he believes rejuvenated the opposition movement and garnered the support of many Egyptian youth. But he also argued that the political elite in Egypt is exclusive and fails to sympathize with the workers or dissenters in general; "The elite failed to connect with the masses... especially during protests carried out by many oppressed workers... The intelligentsia did not even think about joining the protests in solidarity with these people, let alone spend the night on the same pavement [in protest]."[6]

Also noteworthy is how Khair predicted so accurately the important role social media would play during this period in Egyptian history:

We cannot overlook... the role of the youth who, for the first time in the political history of Egypt, found a way to act and communicate effectively through the use of the internet and other modern means. They are a formidable force that cannot be overlooked, a force that can mobilize people in a way that no political party can... We [also] must not ignore the technological innovations that surfaced during the past decade like the wide availability of mobile phones and the internet... which made it easy for any group, with members from Alexandria to Aswan, to communicate in no time. This is indeed a technological revolution that cannot be measured.[7]

After January 25, 2011

Muhammad Ali Khair actively participated in the protests that started on January 25, 2011. Khair made almost daily appearances on satellite channels, on which he analyzed the political situation. His book Al-Tariq ila Qasr al-Orouba instantly became a best-seller, especially after the Revolution began.

After Mubarak's ouster, Khair suggested that the government pardon members of the old regime, who were not implicated in the assault against the protesters, under the condition that they return the money they owe the Egyptian government and the Egyptian people.

In response to Egypt's ever-worsening financial crisis and in an effort to prevent Egypt from taking more loans from international organizations, Khair suggested and set in motion a campaign urging the Egyptian diaspora to send remittances to Egypt to revive their country's economy. The initiative eventually reached the Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri who fully endorsed it.[8]

Khair is currently working on two books: Al-Watani wal-Ikhwan wa baynahuma Thawra (The National [Democratic Party], the Muslim Brotherhood and the Revolution in between) and Sina`at al-Ra'is fi Misr (The Making of a President in Egypt).[9]


The Journalists' Syndicate awarded Muhammad Ali Khair several times (in 2000, 2006, 2009).


  1. Khair, Muhammad Ali. Personal interview. April 18, 2012
  2. Muhammad Ali Khair's facebook page:
  3. Khair, Muhammad Ali. Personal interview. April 18, 2012
  4. Khair, Muhammad Ali. Al-Tariq ila Qasr al-Orouba. (Cairo: Sefsafa, 2011), 18-22
  5. "Egypt writer warns of fierce '11 presidential elections". Trans. by Sonia Farid. Al-Arabiya. January 10, 2011. Accessed April 15, 2012
  6. Khair, Muhammad Ali. Al-Tariq ila Qasr al-Orouba. (Cairo: Sefsafa, 2011), 36
  7. Khair, Muhammad Ali. Al-Tariq ila Qasr al-Orouba. (Cairo: Sefsafa, 2011), 20
  8. Khair, Muhammad Ali. Personal interview. April 18, 2012
  9. Khair, Muhammad Ali. Personal interview. April 18, 2012

Other References

"Al-Matlub Nuwwab al-Barlaman al-Gadid- Ustaz Muhammad Ali Kheir #Dec15". Youtube. December 15, 2011. Accessed April 15, 2012.

El-Bey, Doaa and Gamal Nkrumah. "Egyptian Press: That invisible other". Al-Ahram Online. February 9 - 15, 2011 (1084). Accessed April 15, 2012.

Hassan, Mahir. "Muhammad Ali Kheir.. Al-Tariq ila Qasr al-Uruba." Al-Masry al-Youm. January 12, 2011. Accessed April 15, 2012.

Khair, Muhammad Ali. "(Dollarak li-Misr) Mubadara li-Inqadh Iqtisad Misr". Al-Wafd. January 2, 2012.مقالات-الرأى/152-محمد-علي-خير/143638-دولارك-لمصر-مبادرة-لإنقاذ-اقتصاد-مصر Accessed April 20, 2012.

"Muhammad Ali Khair ala Hal al-Sahafah al-Misriyya fi Manshat 1/3". Youtube. February 23, 2010. Accessed April 15, 2012.


Muhammad Ali Khair's facebook page:

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