Ultras in Egypt: The Power of Organized Soccer Fans and their Political Influence on the2011 Egyptian Revolution and Post-Revolution Era Public Deposited

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  • June 15, 2020
  • Zikry, Fareeda M.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Curriculum in Global Studies
  • In this thesis, I will investigate how the Ultras, a group of organized and nationalistic Egyptian football fans who are widely credited with having played a major part in the more physical aspects of the Egyptian uprising (Woltering 2013), became politicized and significant actors in the 2011 Egyptian revolution. The Ultras, as hard-core soccer supporters, have the ethos of fanatical commitment towards their respective clubs (Jerzak 2013). In the case of Egypt, most of these Ultras are associated with the two largest soccer clubs, Al-Ahly and Al-Zamalek. I will analyze what political ideologies and social and economic factors have affected the mobilization of the Ultras, and assess whether the Ultras have specific sustainable political objectives and organizational leadership strategies to be viable Egyptian political actors. Interrelated factors, such as political beliefs, socio-economic status, educational level, organizational structure, gender, and age will be used to understand the coalescence of the Ultras as a significant political force during and after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. This analysis will provide a fundamental understanding of how the Ultras transformed into revolutionary actors, through their autonomy in public spaces, and why this dissent became an organized and influential political movement that transitioned from the soccer stadiums to the public forums of political protest. I will use semi-structured interviews, with academicians and Ultra leaders, and an analysis of published data and sources to understand how the Ultras transformed into revolutionary actors, and whether they will have a sustainable and meaningful political impact on the Egyptian political scene.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Funding: None
  • Aydin, Cemil
  • Bachelor of Arts
Honors level
  • Highest Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2014
  • English
  • 57

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