Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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The 25th of January, 2011 witnessed a wave of political unrest all over Egypt, with repercussions that have re-shaped the future of contemporary Egypt. For the first time in the modern history of Egypt since the 1952 Nasserite revolution, grass-root protestors went to streets chanting slogans against the military regime headed by the (since then ex-) President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak. This placed the then regime, as well as its mainstay, the National Democratic Party (NDP), in a political crisis on both local and international scales. It is this critical moment that led Mubarak to give his unprecedented speech on February 1st, 2011. The speech has brought about epoch-making political changes in the history of contemporary Egypt. Under public pressure, two seminal declarations were made in this speech: (1) Mubarak’s intention not to nominate himself for a new presidential term; (2) a call on the Houses of Parliament to amend articles 76 and 77 of the constitution concerning the conditions on running for presidency and the period for the presidential term in Egypt. The present paper seeks to answer the following overarching question: what are the discursive strategies used for saving the political face of Mubarak in his speech on February 1st, 2011? I follow a text-analytic framework based on the socio-semantic theory of social actors and the pragmatic models of speech acts and face-threatening acts. The analysis reveals Mubarak’s attempt to save his positive political face as a legitimate President who regarded himself as the official ruler invested with absolute power over Egypt.


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