What’s it like to come of age in a Muslim Brotherhood family in Egypt’s Nile Delta? Abdelrahman Ayyash recounts his childhood, political awakening, and disenchantment.

Ayyash recounts his early history cocooned in a Brotherhood community that took care of its members’ schooling, moral training, social life, and career counseling. And he recalls with stark frankness his shock, as a young blogger and political activist, at the political rigidity of the movement in which he’d been raised.

Ayyash’s personal journey from a young movement standout to dissident, critical researcher opens Broken Bonds, a five-part special season of the Order From Ashes podcast. The remaining episodes of Broken Bonds explore the triple crises facing the Brotherhood, the organization’s likely resurgence, and how observers and policymakers mischaracterize the Brotherhood and its significance.

Broken Bonds explores the evolution of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood from the apex of its power, when it won Egypt’s presidency in 2012, to the organization’s disarray and marginalization today.

The podcast season is a companion to a new book, Broken Bonds: The Existential Crisis of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, 2013–22, published in February 2023 by TCF Press. Broken Bonds is part of “Faith and Fracture,” a TCF project supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.


  • Abdelrahman Ayyash, fellow, Century International
  • Thanassis Cambanis, director, Century International