Egypt is just weeks ahead of the referendum on the newly amended constitution after Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy assured that the referendum would take place during the second half of January.
There is no better place to begin than to go back to the 1940s — in fact 1945 and 1948 when Washington lay down the strategic foundations for its presence and interests in the Arab world through unique special relations with two countries: Saudi Arabia and Israel. Today, these two special relationships continue to control the thought process of any US president on Middle East issues. The issue of Egypt is no exception.
Political powers in Egypt exchange their seats, despite their differences, and they use the same method to deal with constitution referendums, convincing people to vote “yes,” no matter the content of the constitution.
I may have personal remarks on the protest law, but fortunately I am not an official in the current ministry. That is why it astonishes me when an official in the government, whether a deputy Prime Minister or a minister, objects the issuance of the protest law.
Religion was not an issue at the start of Arab Spring revolutions three years ago. Islamist groups and parties were not key instigators of these revolutions, but one of several forces that benefited from the overthrow of corrupt and oppressive regimes. Nonetheless, the struggle over religion was a decisive factor in the dynamics of political transformation that accompanied efforts to form new political systems in the Middle East.
Are train accidents a normal thing, that when you hear the news you apathetically continue with whatever you were doing? Do assassinations and murders on the streets leave you unsurprised and unfazed? Do the wails and screams of mothers over their murdered children not affect your feelings?
This article is neither in solidarity with nor against satirical star Bassem Youssef or his famous show "El-Bernameg." It is rather about the suspending of the show as part and parcel of the efforts of the interim government to restrict freedoms during the current interim phase.
Since the start of Mohamed Morsi's trial on 4 November, the question arises of the strategy to be followed by the Muslim Brotherhood. This question arose in reality since his removal as president on 3 July.
When I read statements by Russia’s foreign minister about the visit by himself and Russia’s defence minister to Cairo in preparation for a higher-level visit, I recalled the events of 30 June. Egyptian citizens in several squares raised pictures of presidents Abdel-Nasser, Sadat, and Russian President Putin alongside General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
The 50-member constitutional committee is done with identifying all the sections of the constitution , and the total number of its 241 atricles.
Rise Up, Egypt’s first major entrepreneurial summit held in Cairo on November 24- 25 was a resounding success. It brought together many different and important players from the entrepreneurial ecosystem: investors, accelerators, corporates, civil actors and entrepreneurs. Between the panels, talks, workshops, hackathons, makeathons, and ideathons, it was hard not to be inspired or to walk away without better ideas and connections. Entrepreneurs are changing Egypt for the better.
I spent a few months this year studying how the US foreign policy machine has been responding to the avalanche of developments in the Middle East since December 2010 when the ostensibly stable region erupted into turmoil that brought its peoples to the streets in an upheaval that has not ended yet. Through written material, documents and interviews in Washington DC and New York, these articles are an attempt to piece together how US foreign policy was formulated and why in this period.
The Cairo elite are making noises today to spotlight the issue of illiteracy and its link to citizens exercising their political rights. Some have said they do not object to the idea and in fact demand that illiterates should not be allowed to vote. Tweets by writer Alaa Al-Aswany and earlier press statements by Mohamed ElBaradei have said as much. More recently, several judges have joined this campaign, which not only wants to block illiterates but even suggests limiting voting to those with at least a middle education. They argue that people voting for their parliamentary or presidential representative should have a certain level of awareness and culture.
Since January 2011, everywhere I went people would eagerly ask for a first-hand account of the situation in Egypt. The tone accompanying their questions varied greatly over the course of what is now approaching three years.
Where will Bassem Youssef go after terminating his contract with the Capital Broadcasting Center (CBC) channel?
Mohamed Morsi is in jail and Hosni Mubarak was released from prison. This highly symbolic double movement, and oft-repeated soundbite, news of which toured the world, was for many evidence of the return of the old regime, overthrown by a popular uprising in February 2011. Although the facts are slightly different (Mubarak is still detained awaiting retrial for the murder of some 850 protesters, while Morsi has not been convicted), the headline was widely spread to emphasise the reversal of the political situation in favour of the officials of the Mubarak regime, the famous feloul, remnants and profiteers of the authoritarian old regime, often accused of corruption.
Finally, after several months in office, Egypt's interim powers — the presidency and cabinet — gathered some courage and revolutionary spirit and took a decision on minimum income for workers in the government and public sectors. But it appears to be an embarrassed and forced courage, and thus the outcome is too little, very late. There are also overtures that the minimum wage will not be applied to the private sector, or at least some components of it, although I believe minimum income should be higher in the private sector.
This time last year, Egyptians were a week away from the disastrous extra-judicial decree of then president, Mohamed Morsi. Everyone knew, however, even without that decree, that the Muslim Brotherhood-led government had not the faintest idea (or perhaps intention) on how to govern inclusively. In a country that desperately needed consensus in order to simply maintain a path of reform (let alone actually implement any such reforms), such an approach eventually led to Morsi’s downfall, and the suspension of the democratic process altogether. It seems, however, that the idea of inclusion, and the corresponding one that relates to respect for diversity, is still not on the table in a real sense for Egyptian citizens. Indeed, it appears Egyptians now have to deal with yet more exclusion, and yet more contempt for diversity.
The article that I wrote under the heading "Miscellaneous" and initiated with the title "trial of the century", where I spoke about the trial of the "deposed" president; I convey to you the first paragraph on the subject.
The world will be watching on Monday, November 4, 2013 what may occur during the transferring of the "deposed" president by the will of the Egyptian people, Dr Mohamed Morsi Issa al-Ayatt, from his whereabouts under guard to the court for his trial based on what the prosecution has filed against him for crimes he committed before taking office and during his rule against the right of safety of the nation of Egypt and the Egyptian people.
During the two weeks spent in Tahrir Square in 2011 that culminated in ousting former president Hosni Mubarak, there was a young man who held a placard that read, “down with the next president”.
Engineering students at Cairo University begin sit-in over the death of Mohamed Reda, who they say was killed by police on campus