Welcome to Twitter political humour, a humour that lays bare an Egypt consecutive regimes have sought to paint as rosier than its reality. Conflict, bloody and otherwise, has a deep impact on the emotional stability of the populous at large. A blow to the head, a thump to the heart, a punch to the soul: Egypt, in summary, over the last 43 months. But, through the darkest of times, the time tested saviour has been humour; particularly one of the political persuasion. Some may argue that political satire, caricature, jokes are a form of escapism but they are, in fact, a multi-faceted path to sanity in a nation such as Egypt.
It is unclear if the war on the Islamic State will leave much room for the western media to cover something as important as Tunisia's parliamentary elections slated for 26 October and the presidential race on 23 November. However, even holding such elections in the Arab world – afflicted by the scourge of IS and such groups, as well as chronic dictatorships – is reason enough for the world to turn its eyes to Tunisia.
Over its long history, which ushered in the written history of the world, Egypt lived through decisive moments when the future of the entire nation was at stake. Every time, its heroic people prove the country has a sword and invincible wall of human valour to repel any assailants and propel the nation to the stature it deserves above all enemies.
As the US moves into a new theatre of the war on terror, it will miss its best chance to beat back Islamic State and other radical groups in the Middle East if it doesn’t deploy a crucial but little-used weapon: an aggressive agenda for economic empowerment. Right now, all we hear about are airstrikes and military manoeuvres—which is to be expected when facing down thugs bent on mayhem and destruction.
The other week the office of one of Egypt’s leading political cartoonists, Mohamed Anwar, got a phone call from a patriotic reader. She was in tears – devastated that his cartoon that day had indirectly teased President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. “Why are you doing this to Sisi?”, she asked Anwar’s colleagues. “Why are you always fighting him?”
“I just want my daughter back,” said a sobbing mother as she laid her seven-year-old daughter’s clothes and books on her bed. “She was playing in the garden and then just disappeared.”
The struggle for women’s rights to engage in and attend sport events has commanded increased attention with the hunger strike of a British-Iranian national incarcerated in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, the expected arrival in Saudi Arabia of Australian women fans for the Asian Champions League final, and the rare appearance of Saudi women in an all-male stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Bill Maher, the man famous for hating religion, is now becoming infamous for hating one religion in particular: Islam.
On last week's episode of his HBO show, "Real Time," Maher got into a heated exchange with Ben Affleck over Maher's use of sweeping generalizations to define Islam. In fact, Affleck went as far as to dub Maher's views of Muslims as "gross" and "racist."
It was back in the late 1980s when I, a young teenager then, visited my Syrian side of the family. In the garden of a family member’s villa, a group of us, all teenagers, gathered late at night and started telling jokes. The Syrians love the Egyptian sense of humour and jokes, and so I was always asked to tell them the “latest jokes” of my home country. At some point, one of my jokes started with “Mubarak, Assad, and Reagan …” I was violently shushed and shoved inside the house. One of my older cousins led us inside, closed the door and windows of a top-floor room, and said I could now tell the joke. They explained to me that if one of the neighbours or the “garbage man” heard us telling a joke on Assad, we would be detained and never heard of again. They then started telling me stories of acquaintances who “disappeared” as a consequence of passing comments on Assad, being snitched on by colleagues at work or at school, some were even family members. One particular story shocked me at the time, was of a 10 year old girl who was eating a sandwich at her school break, the sandwich was wrapped in a newspaper page which had Assad’s picture on it. The girl unwrapped her sandwich and threw the paper in the garbage…she was told on by her teacher and was taken along with her father and never were seen again.
In some ways, Egypt’s new government has become even more repressive and intolerant than the regime that was overthrown in early 2011. One disturbing example is the incarceration of dozens of gay men, a crackdown that has vilified a community that had hoped the popular uprising in 2011 would bring minorities greater freedom.
Any baseball fan who has been alive in the last decade is familiar with a truism: "That's just Manny being Manny."
It has been used to describe one of the best outfielders in baseball history, Manny Ramirez, who -- like a certain Vice President -- had a way of stumbling into (and creating) some truly terrible press.
The United States is at war against the Islamic State (Daesh in Arabic, and formerly known as ISIL, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), the jihadist group that recently conquered almost a third of Syria and Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate in the territories under its control. To win its war against the terrorist group, which is inspired by Al-Qaeda, Washington rallied an international coalition of Western and Arab states.
More than five weeks after the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands of people whose homes were destroyed or badly damaged in the fighting still live in classrooms, storefronts and other crowded shelters. In some of the hardest-hit areas, the displaced have pitched tents next to the debris that once was their homes.
Sometime last week, on the Ismailiyia-Cairo highway, there was a man hung by rope from a billboard. Painful, but precise, the image rendered an imperfect Egyptian economic/political landscape. That postcard of desperation was the furthest thing from the minds of Sisi supporters at the other end of the world at the UN. The crowd, of the boisterous celebratory sort, but equally so of the censoring, fascist type, reflected what remains confounding and exclusionary about Egypt. While Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi painted an image of a tolerant, equality driven, human rights loving Egypt during his UN general assembly speech, his supporters projected anything but. In fact, as a journalist traversing the scene, one got the distinct feeling that any contrarian opinion should be held close to the vest or one’s safety might be endangered. Why those who hold oppositional viewpoints have to be careful is one of multiple reasons why Egypt continues its slide into the unknown. It is high time that Sisi receive a love letter from New York on behalf of those silenced in Cairo.
In a dusty courtyard in Egypt's Nile Delta, men gather to ask for favors at the home of retired police general Sayyed Azb.Some are seeking jobs, others want certificates proving they are literate or help in securing building licenses - a throwback to the patronage politics of Hosni Mubarak that many Egyptians had hoped would disappear when the autocrat fell three years ago.What Azb has to say suggests the chances of a fresh start
“This is my last week presenting Akher Kalam (the final words) television show. I’m proud of my experiment with the team and ONtv channel,” broadcaster Yosri Fouda wrote on his Facebook page Monday.
He added that he ending his contract with the channel was long-awaited chance for him for “take a breath;” he described the past period of working as the hardest and most beautiful years in his career in a stressful environment. “I’ll write more soon,” Fouda added. Fouda was considered one of the most “neutral” broadcasters
Talking to young tech entrepreneurs gathered at a conference here, you hear the hunger for change that is pervasive in the Middle East. They're frustrated and angry about the status quo, not least because they fear it has helped spawn the extremism of jihadist groups such as the Islamic State.
On 9 April 1948, 120 fighters from the Irgun and Lehi Zionist paramilitary groups attacked Deir Yassin, near Jerusalem, a Palestinian-Arab village of approximately 600 people. During the assault, around 107 villagers were killed, including women and children. In addition, several villagers were taken prisoner, and were later jeered, spat at, and stoned.
Egypt has begun the construction of a national project aimed to exploit its strategic location by widening and deepening the Suez Canal, the most important maritime corridor connecting world markets.
As the United States gears up for its war on the Islamic State (IS), US Secretary of State John Kerry is flying all over the Middle East to form an international coalition of regional powers to join the war. His efforts have been met with nothing more than lip service for many reasons, but primarily the lack of credibility the United States has in the Middle East under President Barack Obama’s leadership, especially in Egypt. The Egyptian government’s official position is “backing the coalition” but “not joining” it, preferring to “fight its own battle against this common enemy.”