With very few exceptions, Egyptian media has become a media where one voice minimizes the opportunities for critical or opposing viewpoints. It imposes one predominant discourse which acquires its influence from insistence and repetition and narrowing the available options displayed before the people in the present and the future. Thus, it is a discourse with neither imagination nor ambition.
This absence of a US ambassador in Cairo for the last eight months could be for several reasons. First, it could be strong evidence of tension between the two countries and hesitation by the US administration on what it should do about developments in Egypt. Second, it could confirm the reliance on defence relations as the basis of bilateral relations; there have been more than 30 phone calls between US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his former counterpart Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, or one call every six days.
Egypt’s leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahy has become the second candidate after ex-army chief Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi to formally join Egypt’s presidential race. The Sisi/Sabahy presidential race evokes memories of the farcical Mubarak/Ayman Nour election in 2005. Nevertheless, some perceive Sabahy’s challenge as a brave one. However, regardless of the intentions of the military-backed interim authority and how it will conduct the presidential race, Sabahy has no choice now but to make the most of his presidential bid. Sabahy’s real challenge is neither the conduct nor the outcome of the 2014 election, but whether he can provide a workable civil model for the governance of Egypt.
I have no problem with replacing the 30 June alliance term with the national partnership. Recently, I have used the term 30 June alliance to refer to the alliance formed between the old state supporters, the democratic entities and the army. This alliance went through many stages and attacks leading me to believe that it has been broken.
Martyrs are not dead, they are living with God. Our colleague Mayada Ashraf is a martyr with God; a martyr of duty and the treachery of the Muslim Brotherhood, and more importantly the deluded — terrorists and killers — who aim their guns at innocents in cold blood and mean spirit.
The Anglo-Saxon reaction to Field Marshal Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi’s decision to run for president was conspicuously un-diverse. Most coverage, for example, unanimously introduced Sisi to uninformed readers as the general who toppled the “first democratically elected president” in Egyptian history, deliberately omitting the fact that at least 30 million people took to the streets in mass protests against said “democratic” leader, precisely because of his extremely autocratic rule.
For the survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, it feels like only yesterday that machete-wielding Hutu militias embarked on a mission to annihilate Tutsis. Marie Claude Mukamabano, a Tutsi aged 15 at the time, was one of such targets. She remembers vividly how scarily close she was to losing her life when the militias grabbed her and threatened to cut off her head.
Local real estate firm Arabia Group for Development and Urban Progress plans to invest in a 1m square metre project to include a hotel and 2,000 touristic and residential units in Sinai, according to the group’s chairman, Tarek Shoukry.
As demonstrated on Thursday, when some protesters held a rally downtown demonstrating against the Protest Law and demanding the release of prominent activists, we are looking at a country which is becoming starkly different from what it was in 2011. Of course, while I am not here to bury the 25 January Revolution nor to praise it, it is prudent to say that current Egypt rulers are well on their way to making Egypt revolution proof – at least for a while. Through some deft moves and legislations, the successive transitional governments are attempting to navigate the country back to pre-25 January demarcation lines. Here is a look at some of these game changers:
The most pessimistic Arab could never imagine the day would come when a US official would say, if “he covered the faces of top officials he met during the recent trip to Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, and listened to their perceptions on the issues and future of the Middle East, he would not be able to differentiate between the Saudi, Emirati and Israeli. Their views are the same on these issues.”
Egyptian football is adding salt to the run-up to presidential elections that are certain to be won by the country’s strongman, newly retired general Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, with the announcement of the controversial chairman of one of Egypt’s foremost clubs that he too was a presidential candidate.
Minister of Foreign Trade, Industry and Investment Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour announced earlier this week that the US Congress has recently approved a $120m initiative to support investment in Egypt. The minister’s statement marked the latest announcement made by the government regarding the efforts of international organisations and countries to support the Egyptian economy.
May God bless the souls of our martyr soldiers and innocent citizens, and may God curse all killers and funders of killers and saboteurs. Every day, we Egyptians become more convinced that we are in a war plot managed by major powers and executed by agents and traitors inside and outside the country who are targeting the country and people for destruction and bloodshed. It is an all-out battle where all vile and despicable means are being used.
Last month we spoke about the challenges facing the new Egyptian government. At the time of his appointment, Mr Mehleb proclaimed that his two main objectives were to wipe out militant violence and improve the economy. In the weeks that have followed his appointment, the prime minster has been very active, clearly adopting a management by wandering around (MBWA) technique, which seems to bode well with both the crowd as well as the media. There is no doubt that the man is displaying some visible efforts; Mehleb has paid numerous surprise visits to government offices throughout the country, displaying authority and at times sacking government employees who were caught sleeping at the wheel. The prime minister notoriously held cabinet meetings at 7 am and even took the time to meet with youths and party heads. However, notwithstanding the ongoing media propaganda, there are no signs of materials changes. In fact, Mehleb’s two main objectives remain as elusive as ever.
The military has sent mixed messages about its miracle cure that allegedly cures both AIDS and hepatitis C. On the one hand, news published by Al-Watan highlights that former defence minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the validity of the cure, but in recent days despite the committee’s scepticism, there are more signs that the military is standing behind the invention with members of the research team adamant that the cure works.
Nine months ago, last July, when the army backed the people who took to the streets on 30 June and Al Sisi came out in all his glory reading the armed forces statement which included almost everything protesting Egyptians demanded at the time. A specific roadmap was announced and a temporary civilian president was instated. Al Sisi’s speech promised early presidential elections, amending the constitution, freedom of the media, and empowerment of the youth…among other things. And to curb our fears, the statement emphasised the armed forces’ desire to remain “aloof from politics”.
Time and again, since 30 June last year, I’ve come up against the commitment to democracy that I’m supposed to have betrayed by appearing to endorse the army’s intervention in the outcome of Egypt’s second revolution.
It is a shame to lose the opportunity resolve issues like Egyptian-Qatari relations and the Syrian crisis in light of the diplomatic efforts by the prince of Kuwait.
The division between Qatar and Egypt was clear in the speeches of both the prince of Qatar and the Egyptian president. While the first accused some countries of failing to achieve their national unity and those countries blamed others for "supporting terrorism," on the other side the Egyptian president called on those countries to stop supporting people who have been carrying weapons against their own people. It is a huge gap between the two sides and it does not look to be bridgeable soon.
When incitement to violence becomes a staunch media campaign, managed from abroad and being persistent on people's minds night and day. When this incitement is backed up by aberrant Fatwas that confer religious legitimacy on burning, sabotaging and violating the sanctity of money and honour and portray the inter-fighting between sons of the same country as Jihad in the name of Allah. When arbitrariness increases in order to arrest innocent people, unsubstantiated accusations are leveled randomly on those who have nothing to do with anything and the most basic human rights of those detained are violated. When the blood of dozens is spilled recklessly, what will prevent a teenager or even a youth in his twenties from dipping himself into the quagmire of declaring Muslims as unbelievers (Takfir)?
H.H. Pope Tawadros Congratulates the Coptic People for Easter