April 17, 2014

Egypt’s deep state was never dismantled, is now stronger

Rabaa protester's T-shirt says: "I'm not a terrorist, I'm a Muslim and I love my country"

BY LEYLA DOSS Cairo – More than 10 days after attempts by envoys from the US, the EU and Arab Gulf states to mediate a standoff between Egypt’s military-installed interim leadership and supporters of the recently ousted President Mohamed Morsi, the presidency announced Wednesday that diplomatic efforts have failed. The statement by interim President Adli Mansour has raised fears amongst human rights advocates on an imminent crackdown on two large Islamist sit-ins which began late June. Following Morsi’s ouster on July 3 in a military coup after mass protests against his rule, a strengthened Interior Ministry announced plans to resurrect…

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Analysis: Morsi: A fairly typical Muslim Brother

Screen grab shows President Mohamed Morsi making his final speech before being ousted by a military coup.

BY NAEL SHAMA Cairo – Nikita Khrushchev once said that “politicians are the same all over,” for “they promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.” I agree with the second part. While most politicians are prone to making hefty promises and unrealistic pledges, their deeds and fates diverge fundamentally. Some politicians succeed and inspire, others fail drastically, leaving office disheartened and ostracized. Some politicians are forever remembered, others sink into oblivion in the blink of an eye. More importantly, only a few politicians conquer the constraints imposed by their environments, the rest remain prisoners of their…

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Analysis: Showdown in Egypt

Hundreds of thousands gathered at Rabaa El Adaweya Mosque in Nasr City to uphold the legitimacy of Egypt's first democratically-elected civilian president.

BY OMAR ASHOUR London – With massive anti-government protests across Egypt on June 30 – a year to the day after Egyptians elected their first-ever civilian president – a diverse and decentralized movement has challenged President Mohammad Morsi’s hold on power as never before. Hundreds of thousands were mobilized to take to the streets, with many storming and burning down the Cairo headquarters of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood. At the end of the day, the president was given an ultimatum. The first “revolutionary” statement of Egypt’s new grassroots Tamarod (rebel) movement demanded that Morsi leave within two days or face a march on the…

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Analysis: Should Egypt’s president resign?

Hundreds of thousands join mass protests at the Presidential Palace to demand the removal of President Morsi.

BY FARAH HALIME Cairo - Some said it was the biggest protest they had ever witnessed in Egypt, even during the demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak, the former president. Indeed, yesterday’s anti-government marches calling for the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi exceeded everyone’s expectations in size and were, until late in the day, peaceful. Now, protestors, led by the “Tamarod” or “Rebel” grassroots opposition campaign, are putting increased pressure on Morsi to resign. The Rebel group say they have given the president until 5pm tomorrow to resign, after collecting 22 million signatures from Egyptians, surpassing the 15 million quota they had envisioned….

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Is Egypt approaching revolution redux?

Graffiti on Mohamed Mahmoud Street just off Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square in memory of the martyrs of the January revolution.

BY AMRO HASSAN Cairo – Hassan Abdel Salam quietly sweeps the floor outside his humble hardware shop at the infamous Mohamed Mahmoud Street overlooking Tahrir Square. The 68-year-old has been around for over 50 years, but like many of his neighbors, he has never witnessed anything more exciting, hopeful, frightening and threatening than the events of the past 30 months. The walls behind his tiny store are decorated with graffiti images of those who died there and elsewhere across the nation. He takes a profound look at some of their faces as he expresses overwhelming anxiety over what the near…

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Ethiopia dam fears exaggerated, say experts

In a strongly-worded message to Addis Ababa President Morsi said that "all options are on the table" to protect Egypt's water supply.

BY LEYLA DOSS Cairo – In a fiery speech Monday night by Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi capping  weeks of tension between Egypt and Ethiopia over the latter’s Renaissance Dam mega project, Morsi said that all options were open, implying that a military solution was on the table to defend Egypt’s water supply. While Morsi stopped short of waging war, he sent a clear message to Egypt’s “neighbors” and to Ethiopia that Egyptians were ready to safeguard the country’s water security “with their blood”. Oscillating between dove and hawk, Morsi’s grandstanding was criticized as a tactic to thwart protests aiming to…

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Officers weigh in on military vote

File photo of a polling station during last year's presidential elections. The SCC's ruling that army officers must be allowed to vote has stirred controversy.

BY MAI SHAMS EL-DIN Cairo – Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) recently opined that the military and police have a constitutional right to vote, a ruling that sparked controversy over the possible politicization of both institutions already seen as having too much influence in politics. The ruling came as part of the SCC’s assessment of a reviewed version of the elections law by the Shoura Council, drafted in line with Egypt’s long-running tradition that bars army and police soldiers, conscripts and members of the security from voting while in service. The SCC deemed this part of the law as unconstitutional…

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Analysis: Media coverage of Sinai kidnappings

Screen grab shows army tanks deployed in Sinai to free seven soldiers who were kidnapped last week.

BY MAI SHAMS EL-DIN Cairo – The dramatic abduction and release of seven Egyptian soldiers in turbulent North Sinai last week ended with their “mysterious” release, but the flames of the media coverage of the week-long ordeal are still filling the air. A wave of inaccurate news, attributions to unknown sources and contradictions characterized the media scene both in the daily talk shows and in print. A conscript of the armed forces and six police personnel were kidnapped on May 16 by militants in response to the alleged torture by police of a Jihadist arrested in the summer of 2011,…

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Tamarod stokes revolution against Mursi

A few thousand protesters congregated in Tahrir Square spurred by Tamarod, a grassroots movement calling for early presidential elections. (Photo by Hassan Ibrahim)

BY MAI SHAMS EL-DIN Cairo – Full of enthusiasm, Iman El-Mahdy, member of Tamarod (Rebel) campaign says she never expected that the dream she shared with a group of her friends would become reality. Tamarod, a grassroots movement petitioning for a withdrawal of confidence from President Mohamed Mursi, in office since June 2012, announced last week that they had already collected 2 million signatures against Egypt’s first ever elected civilian president. The campaign has set a target of 15 million signatures by the end of June, when mass protests are scheduled to coincide with the first anniversary of Islamist-backed Mursi’s…

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Egyptians lose interest in Mubarak trial

Screen grab shows the ousted Mubarak in the cage on the first day of his retrial for complicity in the killing of protesters during the January 2011 uprising.

BY TAMIM ELYAN Cairo – Carrying a poster of her 20 year-old son, Moaz, who was killed in clashes with police in Tahrir Square in the early days of the January 2011 uprising, Sanaa Saeed doesn’t expect punishment to be meted out to her son’s killers, but she won’t give up the case. Outnumbered by media and riot police, Saeed and a handful of victims’ relatives stand under the blazing sun outside the police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb which plays host to what is dubbed the “trial of the century”. This is where ousted President Hosni Mubarak and…

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