January 17, 2019

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  • Op-ed: The flawed world of ‘eib’

    BY REHAM BARAKAT A long time ago an Egyptian I would describe as an intellectual, told me a very disturbing story about the limitations of thought in schools. He recounted how in the classroom when he was a child, the teacher was explaining that God made the world. Innocently, the young intellectual asked the teacher, “But who made God?”. The teacher got so aggravated, he proceeded to hit him for asking the question without offering any explanation to the child as to why he was being punished. I never forgot that story. It reminds me of a term that is…

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    Egypt and Iran: it’s complicated

    BY AMRO ALI When Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down on Feb. 11, 2011, the clerics in Tehran beamed with a smug of satisfaction that the divine hand had chosen Iran’s Revolution Day for the Pharaoh’s downfall. It could not have been a more surreal start for the besieged Islamic republic seeking to break out of its isolation and gridlock vis-à-vis a regional reconfiguration. Fast-forward to the recent reported saga at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Iran, in which Egyptian president Morsi (given the red carpet treatment and all) diverged from the Iranian script when he stated, “Our…

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    Op-ed: My ‘neo power marriage’

    BY ETHAR El-KATATNEY I got married yesterday. It was kind of a big deal. You know, worrying about my dress and my shoes and my makeup and this lifetime commitment and things along those lines. Oh, and also if the President was going to make it, or if he was planning on canceling, and if I was going to be called a traitorous, lying, power-hungry, conniving rhymes-with-witch by the internet trolls. All in a day’s worth. As a journalist, it shames me to see the kind of shoddy journalism and sensationalist tabloid trash that’s been swirling around the country ever since…

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    Op-ed:Morsi’s excellent adventure

    BY NOUR BAKR What links China, Qatar and Iran? Yes, Herman Cain probably doesn’t know the names of their leaders, but it’s not that. There is a temptation to describe them as three “unlikely” foreign policy priorities for Egypt’s President Morsi, but then what were his likely priorities? He has already made his spiritual and political pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, and a visit to Washington D.C. when scarcely a month before Hillary Clinton was given a positively hostile reception in Cairoby objecting crowds would have been a domestic PR disaster. The likes of Libya and Tunisia would have been relatively…

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    Op-ed: Owners of the revolution

    BY REHAM BARAKAT It’s Eid. Kahk (cookies) is overflowing; amateurish and almost dangerous fireworks light up the sky; fire-crackers are startling and there is an assumed spirit of joy.But not for everyone. There are millions of Egyptians living below the poverty line. In extreme cases, we know that unlike what we were brought up to believe, that “nobody in Egypt sleeps hungry,”  some people are eating out of piles of garbage whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. I say this because unfortunately there are some people who ignore these facts or even worse, believe that it’s not a…

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    Op-ed: Our fabled Arab rulers

    BY AMRO ALI Saudi Arabia’s revered King Faisal once remarked: “If anyone feels wrongly treated, he has only himself to blame for not telling me. What higher democracy can there be?” This line of “reasoning” has permeated the thinking of Arab rulers in which somehow they are the personification of a popular mandate and that democratisation is misunderstood by the wider population. Yet it’s one thing when Arab rulers say it, it’s another when the Arab public quotes and endorses it. One of the ideational stumbling blocks to the Arab uprisings and democratic transitions is a public adept at citing…

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    Op-ed: Can laughter change Egypt?

    BY MARK PETERSEN Oxford, Ohio That Egyptians are funny is a well-known Arab stereotype. Egyptians are said to be khafiift id-damm (light of blood) — able to turn things that would make anyone else’s blood boil into a joke. Before the revolution, this was often expressed in everyday life through political satire – jokes about politicians, the police and the president himself challenged the status quo and poked fun at the pretensions of the powerful. But because these jokes were told privately, among friends and family, they had little effect upon the regime’s grip on power. However during last year’s…

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    Qandil: Technocrat vs. revolutionary

    BY NICHOLAS OXENHORN  Hesham Qandil, prime minister of mystery. At least he seems to be, as in no one knows very much about him. So can we make any judgments about the man who will lead Egypt’s first non-transitional post-Mubarak government? Do we know his perspectives? His opinions? His ideology? His inclinations? In response to criticism of his religiosity and out of concern that he may be from out political group or another, he proclaimed himself a “technocrat.” What does this designation mean and is it meaningful? What we do know is that Qandil has worked on water management issues…

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    Op-ed: Transparency first

    BY REHAM BARAKAT Mark Twain once said: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything,” reflecting that once we are guided by honesty, we can live in peace because we don’t have to worry about following up on what we have said. It makes perfect sense, and you would think that this would be the premise upon which politicians would build their communications strategy — truth and complete transparency. But somehow this doesn’t always appear to be the case. Why this issue matters is because despite Egypt having a democratically elected president, we are evidently still going…

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    Editorial: Morsi’s Sinai front

    BY RANIA AL MALKY Cairo: One day before he took the official oath of office under two months ago, Egypt’s first civilian president, Mohamed Morsi, addressed throngs of cheering Egyptians in Tahrir Square. In what appeared to be a spontaneous show of bravado, he gestured to his bodyguards to step aside and opened his jacket to show that he was not wearing a bulletproof vest. It was clearly the first and last time he would take this risk. But bullets come in all shapes, sizes and formats. While Morsi’s spokesman Yasser Ali has attempted to dodge the bullets of hostile…

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