October 23, 2018

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  • Racism in Egypt

    File image of a Sudanese refugee arrested following a violent crackdown on a Cairo sit-in in 2005.

    BY MARIE-JEANNE BERGER On the fateful Saturday of Mubarak’s verdict, I spent a tortured morning at the Mugamma then went to meet a friend for an Arabic lesson at Cilantro on Mohamed Mahmoud Street. Normally, we would sit in Borsa cafe, but the heat and the stress of the day dictated the sanctity of air conditioning and a mango granita. When he came in, one of the waiters started shouting at him, afraid that he was going to harass me. My friend spoke calmly, told him that this kind of behaviour towards customers is unacceptable and inappropriate. The man was…

    Morsi’s multiple oaths

    Mohamed Morsi gives his first speech as Egypt's president at Cairo University.

    BY SARAH EL SIRGANY and AMIRA SALAH-AHMED Cairo: In his first speech as Egypt’s president, Mohamed Morsi said in a mildly confrontational tone, that the institutions elected by the people will resume their role, and that the “glorious” armed forces will go back to fulfilling their duty to protect the nation and its borders. The message was not lost on the crowd in attendance at the grand hall of Cairo University, which included head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, seated in the front row along with Military Chief of Staff Sami Anan, Speaker…

    What “Arab Spring”?

    In Egypt, where the military still seems to be holding all the cards even after the election of a new president, the Arab Spring seems like a distant dream as protesters have returned to Tahrir.

    BY FIRAS AL-ATRAQCHI Is anyone else tired of the bizarre label used to describe the upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa? Arab Spring. What on earth does it mean? Considering historical allusion, the “Spring” part is used in reference to such leaps in human development that came about during the Renaissance (French for rebirth), which is synonymous to the blossoming of flora as snow thaws; fresh brooks and creeks to run through the land, a time of re-invigoration, reformation, and reawakening. In a nutshell, think new beginnings. The first part of the term, Arab, is a misnomer. In…

    Chit Chat on the Nile: Last summer?

    Egyptians flock to the North Coast in the summer months.

    BY HEBA ELKAYAL Last month, I did the most frivolous thing I have ever allowed myself to do: buy a plane ticket and travel to another country to attend a concert. Lady Madge, aka Madonna, was set to give not one, but two concerts in Abu Dhabi as part of her MDNA world tour and a friend had a ticket to spare. I appreciate a good pun and I suspected Madonna’s tongue-in-cheek tour name wouldn’t involve anything related to the party drug MDMA but certainly a musical and visual high. I have spent money recklessly on shoes and dresses but…

    Emotional catharsis in El-Maslaha

    Ahmed Ezz and Ahmed El Sakka in a scene from Sandra Nashaat’s “El-Maslaha”.

    BY MARIE-JEANNE BERGER Cairo: If it bleeds, it leads. We fallible human creatures gloat over destruction, delight in the horrible and the macabre, and choose to see terrible movies full of unnecessary violence to amuse ourselves. But it’s not as if violence is something rare: some sort of exceptional knowledge detached from our lived experience, isolated, occasional and infrequent. Violence is a frequent, necessary facet of experience. And don’t we get enough of it already? Susan Sontag used the opening phrase to censure society’s obsession with violence and trauma in news media and popular entertainment. Mulvey called it scopophilia: the…

    What to teach our children

    Parents often face the question of whether to encourage their children to be competitive.

    BY REHAM BARAKAT Let’s get one thing straight upfront: I don’t have children. But I do remember very clearly what it means to be a child. I remember what it was like to win a sports tournament at a very young age and be showered with praise and to feel awkward when receiving my trophy. I also remember what it was like to lose another and to come in second place; it was also awkward. Looking back at that time, sports was only about winning or losing, it wasn’t what it is today for me, for health and pleasure. This…

    Sudan revolts

    Screen grab shows protests in Sudan.

    BY FATMA EMAM I write this on the tenth day of the #SudanRevolts tide that has started to sweep Sudan. Sudan is a land of revolutionaries. They started in the 20th century with the Mahdi revolution against the British occupation and the ruling Egyptian government and today Sudan is revolting against militarization, human rights atrocities, poverty, corruption and fundamentalism. Sudanese youth are rising up against 23 years of dictatorship by the National Congress Party (NCP) which has brought them nothing but extreme economic deficit, eternal wars and violence, racism and finally the separation of part of South Sudan which led…

    What Egypt women want

    Although Egyptian women have been instrumental in the revolution, this did not translate into adequate political representation in the now dissolved Parliament.

    BY SAHAR AZIZ Cairo: Whether before or after the revolution, Egyptian women’s primary concern has been  the lack of economic and social development. A poll by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies found that religion is not the most pressing concern for Arab women after the “Arab Spring.”  Rather the recent findings on Arabs’ attitudes towards women’s rights, religion, and other social issues in Muslim majority countries corroborate the notion that economic challenges take precedence over all other issues notwithstanding the historic revolutions. Nonetheless, Egyptian women’s representation in governance is starkly absent. Despite accounting for nearly a third of Egypt’s…

    Women unconcerned with Sharia

    A recent Gallup report found that women are as likely as men to favor Sharia as a source of legislation.

    BY DALIA RABIE Cairo: At a time when a newly elected Islamist president is seen as a direct threat to women’s rights, a recent poll showed that Egyptian women are as likely as men to favor Sharia as a source of legislation, stating that their top concerns are rather economic and social development as well as security. Forty-four percent of women said they want Sharia as a source of new legislation, compared to 50 percent of men. While 38 percent of women said they prefer it to be a source of legislation, but not the main one, compared to 37…

    Ministerial decree overturned

    Many Egyptians blame the failing economy continued protests recently led by Islamists who some believe to be part of the counter-revolution.

    BY RANIA AL MALKY Cairo: An administrative court Tuesday suspended a justice ministry decree allowing officers, non-commissioned officers of military intelligence and military police to conduct judicial arrest of civilians. Decree No. 4991 for the year 2012, which was passed earlier this month, was challenged by five human rights organizations which described it as “worse than the state of emergency.” The decree would have allowed military officers to illegally arrest civilians and subject them to military trial for such vague crimes as “resisting the rulers” and “non-compliance with their orders” as well as “verbal abuse” directed at them. It also…

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