politics, economics & foreign policy during the arab spring
i've reported from throughout the Middle East and North America and written on a wide range of topics - politics, economics, science, and socio-cultural issues.
most of this time was spent working from Cairo, Egypt (2009 - 2013).
i most enjoy unorthodox interviews/profiles of interesting characters, and in-depth features on obscure or marginalised subjects and peoples.
now residing in melbourne, australia - contact: [email protected]
politics, economics & foreign policy during the arab spring
A darling of the left, Noam Chomsky is well-known for his articulate criticisms of US foreign policy. The American intellectual takes special interest in how the US coddles authoritarian regimes under threat, in particular when political and economic interests are involved. Steven Viney.
As political turmoil and sectarian strife continue to afflict post-uprising Egypt, the tourism industry is struggling to get its high season - which runs from March through September - off the ground. "Usually after some kind of tumultuous incident the industry in Egypt bounces right back up."
Almost three months have passed since the Church of St. Mark and St. Peter in Alexandria was attacked. Locals claim that restoration plans have been successful thus far, but what once stood as a safe haven for Copts now bears the indelible mark of ongoing sectarianism in the country. Steven Viney
With Egypt's economy struggling over the past year, everyone from generals and government officials to presidential candidates and academics have jumped at the opportunity to offer their two-cents on how to avoid economic collapse, often employing a variety of statistics like gross domestic product growth rates, GDP by sector or unemployment. Steven Viney
"While freedom of expression is ensured, such expression should not be violent or threatening. This is mutually agreed as a principle of basic human rights," said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a press conference Monday afternoon, following an attack on him that took place at the organization's Cairo headquarters in Tahrir. Steven Viney
As political uncertainty continues to grip the nation, many Egyptians are continuing to express their apprehension over the ongoing circumstances with statements that appear at first glance counter-intuitive, perhaps even illogical. Many, for example, share a longing for the days before the uprising, despite being in favor of the revolt at the time. Steven Viney
music, culture & long-form features on artists and society
True to the bone, musical oddball Gary Wilson has experienced a career path stranger than even he could have ever imagined. Having started off in the 1960s as a multi-instrumentalist and home recording prodigy - who found himself discussing his work with John Cage when he was only 14 - Wilson winded up recording a couple of fascinating albums before fading into obscurity from the early 80s onwards. Steven Viney
Forget the #Tay4Hottest100 fiasco for a minute, as well as the reality that frequency radio in the Internet-era isn't the centralized God of taste it used to be. But in 1993, Triple J's Hottest 100 was actually HOT. It was everything. If you loved alternative music in the 90s, you listened to Triple J religiously. Steven Viney
As cloud time continues to wreak anachronistic havoc on the linear way that artists rise to prominence and "important" musical happenings unfold and evolve, Martin Newell - and his longstanding home recording project, the Cleaners from Venus - is but another example, if not one of the examples, of a shadowy artist who seems to have had his hands meddling about in almost every era of pop music over the past 50 years, without really existing in any of them at all. Steven Viney
The musical subculture is no more. In some moldy basement you may find a brony metalhead sect sticking it to the system, but subculture - as in rave, or punk; or any group of people that sustainably detaches and differentiates itself from the existing culture in countercultural defiance is an extinct creature of the pre-digital age.
Recently, experimental art-rock outfit Swans played at Le National as they passed through Montreal on tour for their brilliant new record To Be Kind, which just came out in May to much critical acclaim.
Here's an early 2015 town cry to music fans and writers to try and end the lazy and domesticated ways that music is being described, categorized and shared. The need for oversimplified words and catchphrases to describe artists' music is understandable. When a 90-year old asks 'what type of music is this?'
rural issues, civil rights & the environment
Morocco is set to be the starting location for a 400 billion euro renewable energy "Desertec" project. By 2050, the project is intended to satisfy 100 percent of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region's energy needs and as well as 15 percent of the EU's.
On 11September, Egypt celebrated Farmer's Day. But the dire straits in which many farmers find themselves call for anything but celebration. Strangled by poor market access, marginalization and general disregard from the authorities, many of the country's 11 million farmers are either going bankrupt, losing their land or facing systematic violence. Steven Viney.
It might sound like a swear word, but "fracking" isn't causing a stir because of its sound. It's a drilling method that has caused worry among some local environmentalists, who warn it could contaminate the environment.
This is the first part of an exclusive interview with Dr Ray Bush, Professor of African Studies and Development Politics at the University of Leeds, in which he discusses the history of rural Egypt between 1987 and today, a period during which agriculture was adversely affected by economic reforms and liberalization.
For decades Egypt's economy was guided by political forces who wanted to enjoy the fruits of western capitalist democracy without sowing the seeds for the local economy to flourish on its own.
As winter bird hunting season continues, many environmentalists are at a loss for words as to how to prevent yet another illegal and unregulated hunting season. Many conservationists are claiming this hunting season to be the worst they have witnessed to date.
misc: obituaries, addiction, the role of religion in society and mental health
Image by Ben Thomson The idea of the certified IQ genius - a person ranking in the top two IQ percentiles - evokes stereotypes of business tycoons and unconquerable chess players riding the trajectory of their inevitable success. The are the World's Smartest People and we've been conditioned to expect great things from them.
Christopher Hitchens, the journalist, author and outspoken atheist died Thursday at the age of 62, after a long battle with cancer. His writings appeared in the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate, and the Nation, among others. "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence," Hitchens once said, in a quote that sums up his general ethos.
While there are still many stigmas associated with mental illness in Egypt, psychiatric hospitals have come a long way since the Abbasseya lunatic asylum was established by the British in 1883. For decades, this infamous institution subjected thousands of patients to 19th century psychiatrics.
Drug addiction is a major problem in Cairo, but one that is very rarely written about or discussed in politics accurately. To counter this, medical experts have offered to share reports and personal experiences with Egypt Independent in order to better understand the city's increasing drug problem, as well as the effect the revolution is having on it.
Anticipated by doomsayers as a potentially catastrophic event, Comet Elenin traversed the closest point in its trajectory around Earth (35,000km) early Sunday morning just before sunrise. But save for a few keen observers and astronomers, this went largely unnoticed.
Egyptian-born Wafaa El-Sadr originally a graduate from Qasr al-Aini Medical School in 1975 - is currently the director of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), and the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiologic Research at Columbia University.
other online portfolios & broadcast projects
Under The Influence digs into the lesser known influences, inspirations and recordings of interesting musicial artists and uses them to try present their sound and art in a sonic context that's different. High premium on live music and demos. High rotation of lesser known Canadian acts as well.
Steven is an Egyptian/Australian who has been living in and out of Egypt for the past 16 years. He graduated from University College London with a Master of Science in Physics in 2007. Since then, he has worked as a writer and editor in various disciplines, including science journals, cultural magazines, and creative advertising.
Steven Viney is a journalist with ABC News. You can follow him on Twitter: