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Maurice Chammah
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Maurice Chammah is a freelance writer and musician in Austin, Texas, where he writes for The Texas Observer, Texas Monthly, and other publications. He used to live in Cairo, and he plays in the band Mother Falcon. More of his work is at

Entries by Maurice Chammah

No One Knows Where Exactly Ohio Is Getting One Of Its Execution Drugs

(5) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 5:05 PM

This investigation was reported by Maurice Chammah for The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization. You can sign up for their newsletter, or follow The Marshall Project on Facebook or Twitter.

When Ohio officials announced last Thursday that they were...

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Abuse Allegations Still Plague Religious Homes for Troubled Teens

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 9:19 PM

While reporting recently on abuse allegations at a home for troubled teens, I realized that the article I was writing had been written before.

Sure, nobody had written about the Anchor Home for Boys, founded in Corpus Christi in the 1960s and reopened as Anchor Academy in Montana and...

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True Detective and the Satanic Panic

(1) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 1:56 PM

I took my time finishing the final episodes of True Detective. The twists and turns demand contemplative viewing, at least until the end. The detectives have spent eight episodes piecing together the identity of a serial killer whose devil-worshipping, ritualistic activities seemed to implicate major Louisiana politicians and a wide...

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Should Journalists Be Protected?

(6) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 12:01 PM

Thursday was World Press Freedom Day. On Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CJP) published an article listing the arrests, injuries, and assaults of at least eighteen journalists covering recent clashes near the Egyptian Ministry of Defense. Some reporters were beaten, others shot at, a few...

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The Military vs. the Muslim Brotherhood: Interview With an Egyptian Colonel

(1) Comments | Posted April 5, 2012 | 9:14 AM

Suddenly, two months ago, the news from Egypt was no longer in the streets. You couldn't look out the window at Tahrir Square, at Mohamed Mahmoud, at the sit-in outside Parliament. You had to do what political journalists and dinner party conversationalists do in most places -- interpret shrouded speeches...

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Did You Know Jordan Has a Teenage Prince?

(4) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 12:11 PM

I recently went to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for a Fulbright conference. It's a country often forgotten as we read the news of the last year from the Arab world.

Throughout this trip, however, I was fascinated by the pictures, hung in nearly every public space, of a...

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The Soccer Tragedy in Port Said

(1) Comments | Posted February 2, 2012 | 12:18 PM

The figures coming out in most of the press are saying that over 70 died and over 300 were injured in riots that broke out last night at a soccer match in Port Said between the most famous Cairo team, Al Ahly, and the home team Al Masry. Fans stormed...

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January 25th in Egypt: What to Expect This Time

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2012 | 3:11 PM

At an International Press Gathering last week, foreign journalists came to hear remarks by a few Egyptian counterparts about what to expect on January 25th, the first anniversary of one of the most reported revolutions in recent history. The nervous joke passing between the crisply dressed Americans and Europeans was...

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Journalism in Egypt: A Very Quick Guide

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 2:37 PM

January 25th 2012, the first anniversary of the Egyptian uprisings that brought down Mubarak, is approaching quickly. When it comes, the news will arrive fast and fragmented from Tahrir, as it has every time big numbers return to the square. The ruling military council has called for an...

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After Media Success, a Young Salafi Movement Looks to Politics

(1) Comments | Posted January 3, 2012 | 10:24 AM

Under a pavilion at Al Azhar Park, an uncommonly clean swath of grass and palm trees overlooking the bustle of Islamic Cairo, a group of young beaded men and modestly dressed women were having a debate. "Just being on Facebook is not enough," one said. "We need a board of...

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The Springborg Affair: A Censorship Debacle Reflects Egypt's Future

(1) Comments | Posted December 13, 2011 | 3:32 PM

It began on Monday, December 5th, when English newspaper readers in Cairo learned that a new paper, the Egypt Independent, had disappeared from newsstands. They learned about the disappearance from the British press, in an article by Alistair Beach of The Independent. "A censorship row has broken out...

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Tahrir Square, Seen From the Rest of Cairo

(1) Comments | Posted November 23, 2011 | 10:28 AM

A little before 4 p.m. on Tuesday I sat on a ledge across the Nile from downtown and watched a steady trickle become a rush of protesters towards Tahrir Square. A constant remark among foreigners (though an unfazing reality to most Egyptians) is how close you can be to the...

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Debating Press Freedom in Egypt, and Everywhere Else

(4) Comments | Posted November 16, 2011 | 11:20 AM

Freedom House, the organization that rates the level of "freedom" in countries around the world and assigns scores, rated Egypt "not free" last year. America, was of course, rated "free." This year the verdict is still out, and more than ever the idea of rating such things seems farcical.


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The Muslim Brotherhood, Richard Nixon, and the Fear of Crime

(7) Comments | Posted October 27, 2011 | 11:48 AM

The majority of headlines about the Muslim Brotherhood these days describe the tensions accompanying their role in the political landscape as elections loom in late November; internal rifts, careful diplomacy, alliances broken and reformed.

But under the surface of this political positioning, something else is happening. Over the summer and...

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What Shalit and Gaddafi Have in Common

(54) Comments | Posted October 20, 2011 | 7:11 PM

The 24-hour news cycle quickened this week. There was so much to say, but no time to say it, because the events happened so fast. Newspapers were ready to publish follow-ups and commentary on the prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel.

Everyone was still discussing the interview Gilad Shalit

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What Really Happened Sunday Night in Cairo?

(10) Comments | Posted October 12, 2011 | 10:17 AM

On Sunday night around 8 p.m., I logged into Twitter and the reports started streaming in, fragmented but urgent. Violence had erupted near the Maspero building between a march of Coptic Christians coming from Shubra and a mixture of soldiers, police, and civilians. Gunshots were heard. Deaths were confirmed. We...

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Armed Forces Day

(5) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 4:39 PM

Even if you could not see the military jets flying over Cairo on October 6th, you could hear them. Throughout the day, in nearly every part of the city, the air would fill intermittently with a loud passing roar, as if a single sound effect from a war film had...

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