January 17, 2019

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  • Egypt’s fragmented politics

    BY NATE WRIGHT As a news journalist in Cairo, I have written my fair share of leads over the last year which feature an Egypt “plunging” in and out of crisis or its leaders “squaring up” for another decisive “showdown.” It has been a year of dramatic headlines and extraordinary confusion, as time and again the country’s major players have tried to launch themselves into power, only to find that the platform they were aiming at has shifted beneath them. This was my first post-revolution transition to witness up close — if I can still be permitted to suggest that,…

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    Sectarianism: Pandora’s box

    BY KARIM MALAK Egyptian society oscillates between admitting it has a “sectarian” problem and denying it. When I say Egyptian society, I ask you to think beyond Cairo, Alexandria and urban areas. I am talking about areas that have witnessed what some international commentators would call massacres. Immediately one may ask what does the international community have to do with this; it’s an Egyptian problem. It is precisely this attitude of keeping “family problems within the family” that Egyptian society is symptomatic of. I will later come to the international element and the fascination that the West has with “sectarianism.”…

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    Son of a …

    BY REHAM BARAKAT The title of this article may sound like the beginning of an insult, but that’s not my intention at all. It’s also the beginning of a phrase often used in Egypt, that curious term,  “Ebn Nass.” Literally the phrase means Son of People. The plural non-genderized form of the phrase is “Welad El Nass”  — Children of People — a term that is far from derogatory nowadays. In fact, in the past two days I have heard two people use the term so casually to connote positive attributes in people, and with no questions asked everyone around…

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    Against Dictatorship 2.0

    BY AMRO ALI ​Subtlety is not a strong feature of the Egyptian landscape, whether you look at its overt religious piety, emphasis on a person’s title, the fragrance generously sprayed that heralds a person’s arrival from 15 meters away, the imposing pyramids, or Judge Farouk Sultan’s protracted defense of the “divinely-sanctioned” electoral commission before he could get around to just announcing the presidential winner. ​Yet the least subtle of any Egyptian agency has to be the league of “extraordinary” gentlemen — the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). In seizing all branches of government, ripping up the constitution and…

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    Not my president

    BY JOSEPH FAHIM My name is Joseph. I’m a liberal Coptic Christian writer. Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s newly elected president, does not represent me, nor does he represent the 10 million Christians who refused to vote for him, or his party, at this month’s presidential election. Mohamed Morsi is not my president, and he’ll never be. Like millions of Christians, I sat home on the day Morsi’s victory was announced, watching the festivities in Tahrir Square from a distance, overwhelmed with a sense of alienation. How did it go so wrong? How did we allow ourselves to compromise so much?  Unlike…

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    Egypt holds its breath

    BY OMAR ASHOUR Cairo: “You are the authority, above any other authority. You are the protectors, whoever seeks protection away from you is a fool … and the army and the police are hearing me,” said Egypt’s president-elect, Mohamed Morsi, to hundreds of thousands in Tahrir Square. A man imprisoned following the “Friday of Rage” (January 28, 2011) took the presidential oath in Tahrir on a “Friday of Power Transfer” (June 29, 2011). But he almost did not. Ten days earlier, on June 19, I was with a group of former Egyptian MPs in Tahrir Square. One received a phone…

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    Racism in Egypt

    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…

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    What “Arab Spring”?

    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…

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    What to teach our children

    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…

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    Sudan revolts

    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…

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