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  • Article

    Is Egypt Heading to "Ikhwanization," "Wafdanization," or "Militarization"?

    The conflict in and over Egypt cannot be reduced to being a mere struggle over political power, albeit the latter is an intricate part of it. Indeed, in a major part of it, it is an ideological struggle related to the identity of the state and its policies, and...
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    The revolution cannot be negotiated: No to recognition...No to reconciliation...No to negotiations

    In the New Labour Party, we were silent about the endless initiatives and negotiations, discussed during the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy meetings, because we were sure they would fail and the conditions we agreed upon ensured such failure. However, with the disturbing calls for negotiations increasing, we thought...
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    Egypt: into the unknown and beyond the bounds of history

    Egypt's current problem is that it is moving beyond the bounds of history and it is feared that the Arab world will follow suit. Those who read Egyptian newspapers and the statements made by the country's politicians, which flatter the military establishment and do their bidding, may not have...
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    Protests between the delusions of the coup and the hopes of the protestors

    The people behind Egypt's coup mock the pro-legitimacy supporters and their protests, calling them "foolish". They claim that the thousands on the streets are misguided and will not achieve anything. The coup's "road map", they insist, is proceeding as planned; Al-Sisi is holding the reins; the government is doing...
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    Egypt's Kung Fu champion evokes memories of the 1968 black power salute

    Wearing a yellow t-shirt with the familiar Rabaa salute, Egyptian Kung Fu champion Mohammed Youssef stepped up to receive his gold medal at the World Championship in Russia this weekend. But what was for him a symbol of solidarity with those violently attacked demonstrating in Rabaa Adawiya square, Egypt,...
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    Chasing away the Tunisian revolution

    Al-Nahda Party is struggling to make sure that what happened to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt does not happen in Tunisia. More importantly, the party is working towards sparing the Tunisians the fate of the Egyptian revolution. It would seem as though the situation of the revolution in Tunisia...
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    Protecting the creative voices of the Arab Uprising

    Last week rapper Ahmed Ben Ahmed was released after three weeks in prison. The Tunisian artist, aka Klay BBJ, was originally sentenced to 21 months in prison for 'insulting the police' in one of his protest songs at a concert in the resort of Hammamet. According to Freemuse, a...
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    How credible is the claim of the failure of political Islam?

    Whenever the Islamists suffer a setback, or even a small decline in votes, some Western experts monitoring the Islamic Movement's path rush to proclaim to the world that political Islam has failed and collapsed, and that it has come to an end. This is reiterated in their forums and...
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    A revealing phone conversation

    I was having lunch when my Egyptian line rang. The caller was Dr Osama al-Ghazali Harb, head of the Democratic Front Party, a member of the National Salvation Front, a former member of the dissolved National Democratic Party's policy secretariat, and former editor in chief of the International Politics...
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    Modernising but Non-Democratising Armies? Part II

    In the first part of this two-part series, a comparison was drawn between the Turkish and Egyptian armies. This comparison highlighted potential pitfalls that could occur before civilian control is achieved in Egypt. I also showed that these armies preyed on their own people instead of protecting their societies...
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    Egypt: its status, history and the Palestinian case

    Ever since the beginning of Egypt's incitement campaign against Hamas and the Palestinians in Gaza, including the attempts to disfigure the image of the Palestinian resistance in Egyptian media, we have met many foreign journalists, ambassadors, politicians, aid workers and activists who asked questions about the goals of this...
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    The trial of the century versus the scandal of the century

    According to the announcement made by the coup government in Egypt, today, November 4th, marks the beginning of the trial of President Mohamed Morsi on numerous counts. The most prominent includes incitement to the murders that occurred in front of the Itihadiya Presidential Palace last December, as well as...
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    Morsi is the strongest, most legitimate person in this farcical trial

    Perhaps the military rulers will realise, in the coming days that the presence of the elected president Mohamed Morsi, in the presidency cage would be much more merciful and less costly to them than his presence behind bars or standing in front of the comical courts' judges. What happened...
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    In Egypt and democratic countries

    A state is a political and lawful unit that consists of three components and three main branches and powers. The components of the state are territory, the people and the government. At certain times, a state will be recognised after it has been established without having any prior foundations,...
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    Morsi and Rabaa: Revolutionary symbols

    With regards to President Mohammed Morsi, he deserves to be a symbol for all the free people of the world, not only as a democratically elected president who was overthrown, but also because of the great defiance and perseverance he has repeatedly demonstrated ever since he was kidnapped. His...
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    Search for the politics...

    The first hearing of the case against ousted President Dr Mohammed Morsi has shed light on several mysterious issues and, more importantly, has helped to clear up many questions that have been on many people's minds. For example, we learnt that Dr Morsi has been held at the Abu...
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    From bombs to books and development to diplomacy, Middle East involvement in Africa has it all

    Visiting South Africa is always a pleasure, but when the purpose is to attend a conference there is usually something extra special to look forward to. The Afro-Middle East Centre's "In whose interests? Exploring Middle East involvement in Africa" in Pretoria on 5-6 November was no exception. AMEC and...
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    Israel and the rules of the game in Egypt

    Egypt's independence from British occupation, which officially began in 1882, went through two main phases. The first was the period after the 1919 revolution, leading the British government to announce Egypt's independence in 1922 while highlighting four principles, the most important of which was the end of the British...
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    Tunisia provides a model of legitimacy to counter illegal coup

    The counter-revolution in the Arab world is engaged in a critical battle after its victory on the ground in Egypt; it is now seeking to reproduce the same situation in every Arab Spring country. The methods used take into account the distinct circumstances of each country where change has...
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    Female entrepreneurs make their mark across the Middle East

    Starting a business in Egypt is never an easy feat, but poses a unique set of challenges and advantages for Egyptian women in particular, who are increasingly leaping into entrepreneurial ventures. Yasmine El-Mehairy, the co-founder of Arabic-language parenting website Supermama, explains that the newness of "entrepreneurialism" in Egypt allows...
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    Egypt's position in the changing equations of the region

    Since the start of the Arab spring, the Arab world has undergone many strategic changes. Egypt's position following these changes must be determined, particularly since the Arab Spring has led to political blunders in Egypt. Egypt has withdrawn from regional affairs and regional mapping without playing an active role...
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    Morsi's trial, between "Defiance" and "hysteria"

    "Defiant" and "challenge" are the words that have been prevalent in most foreign media's description of deposed president Mohammed Morsi's trial and his refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of the court trying him during the first session on Monday, November 4. However, the Egyptian newspapers and television stations, both...
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    Army for the state...not a state for the army

    Those following the military coup's media campaign will notice its use of the phrase "incitement against the army" to describe anyone criticising the leader of the military coup and Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, or rightfully calling what he did a military coup, and holding him legally and politically...
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    The Middle East and North Africa suffer the world's highest depression rates, according to new research.

    The study, recently published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS) Journal of Medicine, found that globally, the prevalence of depression was 4.4 per cent, while Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories were amongst the most depressed states. According to the research, depressive orders are second only to lower respiratory...
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    The security state has returned to Egypt

    It was reported in Al-Sabah newspaper that 575 soldiers who worked for Mubarak's security state and were dismissed during the revolution, have been reinstated. I then read of a young man named Alaa Hawari from Sohag, who was protesting about the shortage of gas barrels for stoves and found...
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    Collaborating out in the open

    I have spent quite a long time trying to determine the definition of the term "collaborating" now being used across Egypt. I resorted to Arabic dictionaries and found that the word was innocent and neutral, as it is a derivative of the word "inform", meaning exchanging information and discussing...
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    Tragicomedies playing out in Egypt

    Egypt in these days of the coup is a state of unprecedented absurdity of a kind not even experienced during the worst tyranny and injustice that began with the reign of Ramses II and ended with the rule of the tyrant Hosni Mubarak, passing the regime of the dictator...
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    Ali Gomaa: Kill them, they stink

    "Shoot them in the heart … Blessed are those who kill them, and those who are killed by them . . . We must cleanse our Egypt from these riffraff … They shame us … They stink. This is how God has created them. They are hypocrites and seceders...
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    Where are the youth of the Egyptian revolution?

    How and why did the Egyptian revolution evolve from a struggle of the youth and the people to an elitist concern? What must we do to restore the role of the youth and people together? It may be best to try to find out where the youth succeeded prior...
  • Operation Pillar of Defence on Gaza Strip [Wikipedia]
    Article

    A year on: Operation Pillar of Cloud

    Exactly a year has passed since Operation Pillar of Cloud, or defence as it has since been rebranded as, ended. The operation's stated goal was to deter the rockets being fired into Israel by Hamas' military wing and weaken the Islamic leadership. After 8 days of hostilities, Hamas emerged...
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    Rabaa Al-Adawiya massacre reveals what came before it

    Even the supporters of the military coup in Egypt could not handle the story of the Egyptian security forces holding a memorial for the martyrs of the Mohamed Mahmoud Street incident, because the extent of the contradiction was too much to justify in writing. The coup authority obviously saw...
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    About those who are restoring the Muslim Brotherhood to power

    All regimes that insist on denying the facts and refuse to read the true reality will, inevitably, pave the way for their own downfall. The regime that ignores what it does not wish to hear, that is delighted to hear the trumpets of falsification, and lets loose hired voices...
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    How Egypt's coup supports the Israeli economy

    There is absolutely no doubt that the coup in Egypt has benefited Israel strategically and in terms of security. Yet, one must not overlook the more serious contribution that the coup has made in Israel's favour in that it has contributed greatly to the development of the Israeli economy....
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    Which deserves reform more in Egypt: the people or the government?

    Our friend the poet and physician, Dr Ahmed Taymour, has written a poem characterised by the highest level of political romance, entitled "I want a president". The poem demands a president with characteristics only present in angels. On the other hand, the constitution and the laws for electing the...
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    Constitution-drafting committee makes its move against the civilian state

    Political and legal experts have claimed that the Committee of 50 appointed by the coup-appointed government in Egypt has added articles to the constitution that effectively to militarise the state and tighten the grip of the army over the country and its national institutions. These clauses lead to what...
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    Egypt's bout of mad judiciary disease

    Since ancient times, members of the judiciary have served as the wise, careful, farsighted and impartial arbitrators in litigious disputes. The early Muslim leaders started a trend which no people before them had ever done; they separated the judiciary and politics. They then did something else that nobody else...
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    The winners and the losers in the Egyptian constitution

    The Egyptians did not have the chance to follow the discussions of the constitution committee, which were held behind closed doors, in keeping with the new-old "transparency". However, some coincidences give us hints about what has been going on behind those doors. We were destined to find out about...
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    Egypt's sectarian constitution: The triumph of the Church and its allies and the defeat of Al-Azhar and Al-Nour

    The coup authorities are moving quickly to ensure the constitution is approved no matter what. If necessary, they will mobilise officers and soldiers in the military and the police and their families to vote for the constitution and create the façade that it is popular among the people when...
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    Mandela's legacy for Palestine

    Over the next two weeks tributes to the life and struggle of Nelson Mandela will continue to cascade on every media platform. All will no doubt be united on the fact that he was unquestionably a global figure. Like the people of South Africa, Palestinians across the political divide...
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    The Machiavellian general and the false democrats

    Legend has it that when the young Colonel Gaddafi first met Gamal Abdel Nasser he was told, "I see my youth in you." The compliment went to the young Gaddafi's head. More than 40 years later, Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, the former editor of Al-Ahram Newspaper and Nasser's chief propagandist,...
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    Israel's plunder of Egyptian gas must be investigated

    It is essential for an investigation to be opened into Israel's plunder of Egypt's huge natural gas resources. The matter is too serious to be met with silence and too dangerous to be disregarded. It is undoubtedly good news that exploration indicates the presence of huge gas reserves in...
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    Security of the Zionist entity comes first...but is there a second?

    The negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians that are being held under American patronage are ironic, and their purpose seems to be buying time and spreading the delusion that a settlement can be reached to prevent the third Intifada, which indeed is on the horizon in retaliation against the...
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    Boycott the undemocratic, discriminatory constitution

    The prelude to the constitution drafted by the 50-member committee states that Egypt is the head of Africa. Yet, the African Union suspended Egypt's membership because of the coup in July. While the document also claims that Egypt is an Arab country that endeavours to achieve Arab integration, our...
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    A truce is no longer a possibility

    I was not surprised when I read a story on Twitter about a man divorcing his wife after 12 years of marriage and having two children because he was a supporter of Dr Morsi while his wife continued to support General Al-Sisi. Nor was I surprised by what I...
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    Egypt's options over US-Iran rapprochement

    I have warned over the years that US-Iran rapprochement will end all the current political considerations based on conflict between Washington and Tehran, and I called for Arab-Iranian talks before the Arabs were forced to do so, after Washington used Arab hostility towards Iran to push for this reconciliation....
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    Mass killings in Egypt get neither justice nor recognition

    Today on International Human Rights Day, 13 local and international human rights organisations have called on the Egyptian authorities to acknowledge and investigate thoroughly the killing of up to 1,000 people by security forces dispersing Muslim Brotherhood protests on August 14, 2013. So far, the government has neglected to...
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    Who is really harming the Egyptian regime?

    When the head of military justice tried to defend the article in the new Egyptian constitution that allows civilians to be tried before military courts, he included any person who attacks military installations "and the like". This applies to all of the army's economic interests including petrol stations, hospitals,...
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    Human rights between conflicts and responsibilities

    Strange circumstances led to the appointment of the former president of the Tunisian League and the Arab Commission for Human Rights as the head of the state in post-Arab Spring Tunis. What do the current problems look like to the human rights activist who is faced with the daily...
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    General Al-Sisi and the Red Sword

    In a recently leaked sound clip of an interview with General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Egypt's Minister of Defence and current de facto leader, interviewer Yasir Rizk, the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Masry Al-Youm Egyptian newspaper, asks the General if he had ever dreamt of leading the Egyptian army, to which Al-Sisi...
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    A constitution for all Egyptians, except the opposition

    A new banner advertising a 'constitution for all Egyptians' depicts an unlikely looking collection of people. Standing in a line, from right to left, is a soldier, a man with downs syndrome, an Egyptian farmer, a woman wearing a suit and a doctor wearing a stethoscope round his neck,...