November 18, 2018

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  • Op-ed: New faces, old lies, same denial

    Hundreds of thousands of protesters congregated in Tahrir Square on Tuesday chanting the same slogans they did against Mubarak two years ago.

    BY ASMAA EL GAMMAL The morning after Tuesday’s massive demonstrations against President Mohamed Morsi’s recent constitutional declaration, the Freedom and Justice Party’s message was loud and clear: Tahrir is not to be taken seriously.   On the front page of the party’s newspaper, the headline read: “Revolutionaries, folol (former regime remnants) and peddlers in Tahrir Square. Disregarding the chants of tens of thousands of protesters outraged by the President’s declaration of invincible powers, the FJP’s mouthpiece chose to focus on a handful of corn-sellers to suggest that it was nothing more than a gathering of revolution-haters and petty salesmen.  …

    Morsi and US, Egypt, Israeli relations

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    BY AMRO ALI In 2007, Mohammed Morsi, then chairman of the Brotherhood’s political department and member of the Executive Bureau, complained of the inability of Washington to match its rhetoric on promoting democracy in Egypt. He said that Israel had no interest in a democratic Egypt as it, “would do more to support the Palestinians.” Now Morsi, having brokered a Gaza ceasefire has shown that his policy on the Palestinians is no more imaginative than Mubarak-era policies and, partly as a result of US approval, has undertaken a democratic rollback that has ignited Egypt’s streets. Morsi has inadvertently, and in…

    Op-ed: How to grow our economy

    More important than any of the specifics is the very fact that Turkey has a vision that has led to the phenomenal growth of its economy..

    BY HISHAM EZZ EL-ARAB What can Egypt learn from Turkey? (Part II)  Just a decade ago, Turkey was on the edge of state bankruptcy. The political system was paralyzed, and the Istanbul stock market had crashed. The prices of cars and computers rose 50 percent and hundreds of thousands lost their jobs. But since then, during a decade of rule by the Justice and Development Party, the Turkish economy has tripled. They weathered the global financial crisis of 2008 better than most of their peers. Now, they are looking ahead to 2023 — the hundredth anniversary of their republic —…

    Op-ed: The role of religion in politics

    Screen grab shows Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking in Cairo mid-November.

    BY HISHAM EZZ EL-ARAB What can Egypt learn from Turkey? (Part I) A common phrase in Turkey, where I have been living for the past three years, is ‘yavash, yavash.’ In English it means ‘slowly, slowly,’ and in Arabic ‘shwaye, shwaye’. It is often used in conversations about Turkey’s political transitions, which have been as massive and unexpected as those in Egypt over the past century. The popular election of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party to a parliamentary majority, along with the unexpected success of Salafi parties, then the success of Dr. Mohamed Morsy in the presidential elections,…

    Op-ed: The revolution will not be eroticised

    "Anything but sex" cries this down-and-out poverty-stricken Egyptian youth in this satirical commentary on Egypt's Prosecutor General's decree to block porn sites.

    BY AMRO ALI Whoever would have imagined that one of the challenges of the post-Egyptian revolution period would be the elevation of pornographic websites into a political issue? Yet Egypt’s Islamists have an uncanny way of not only surprising the public, but shifting the goalposts and reframing the debate – so that you find yourself swept up in matters far-removed from the country’s more pressing problems. Egypt’s ultra-conservative Salafis have called for a ban on pornographic websites based on a 2009 court order. The timing is suspect given the drafting of the constitution, and the wrangling over the word ‘Sharia’,…

    Buttered up: Out with the old

    Orzo Pudding. (Photo by Sarah Khanna)

    BY SARAH KHANNA “Chili sauce? But where’s the ketchup?” I huffed and puffed at my bag of artery-blocking fries, limp after their trip to me on the back of a motorbike. Only having started to eat ketchup recently, I could not understand why my new home at the time, Kuala Lumpur, was not delivering on my need to fit into the ketchup-dunking French fry-eating globalized world of 2008. Surely I could not yet be expected to accustom my tongue to rojak (a mixture of fruit and a zingy shrimp paste dressing) when I was still so fresh off the Boeing….

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