Friday Prayers for Egypt: Natural Gas

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Natural Gas

God, Thank you for good news for Egypt. Please prepare her to use it well, three-to-five years from now. A massive offshore pool of natural gas was found this week in Egypt’s Mediterranean waters. Estimates say it increases her reserves by third. Long suffering an energy crunch, within a few years Egypt will be self-sufficient. … Continue reading

The Egyptian Street is Still Alive…

The Egyptian Street is Still Alive…

Thousands are in jail for breaking the protest law. Revolutionary hope takes a backseat to stability and security. Yet, despite the crackdown on opposition politics, an unlikely source of protest is taking back the streets. ‘Even now, I am calling for the revolution to continue and the rejection of dictatorial paths,’ Fr William Sidhom told … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Police vs State

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Police vs State

God, The police have a hard job. They are targets for terrorism, accused of corruption, and scapegoats of a revolution. Their moral authority has been compromised, yet they are on the front lines of state sovereignty. How much compensation do they deserve? The lowest of them, the most numerous, and perhaps those most exposed, think … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Borders, Bombs

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Borders, Bombs

God, The bombs continue, this time striking a security directorate in the early morning hours with a blast that rattled all Cairo. Several injuries, none killed – it is a marker of taunting more than a message of death. But from where? There are problems at the borders, God. To the west, Libyan officials have … Continue reading

Two Wings of the Brotherhood

Two Wings of the Brotherhood

The text has 75 footnotes. Samuel Tadros of the Hudson Institute has dutifully followed the internal power struggle consuming the Muslim Brotherhood since the fall of Morsi. It is a long read, but he ties the strands together in a compelling narrative. The thrust is that there are two competing wings, an old guard that … Continue reading

The Duel of Drawing Egypt’s Future

The Duel of Drawing Egypt’s Future

What will Egypt one day look like? Declaring this future, and drawing it visually, is one way to secure authority. This is a view put forward by Mada Masr, discussing the plans for the new Egyptian capital to replace Cairo. The presentation thus stands not only for a city, but for a whole world — … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Remembering Rabaa

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Remembering Rabaa

God, Two years are past, hundreds are dead. Help Egypt to remember correctly. In response to massive protests against then-President Morsi, his supporters rallied in protests of their own. They continued several weeks after he was removed by the army. After several warnings to disband, the camp was cleared forcibly. Some policemen were killed, but … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: New Suez Canal

Friday Prayers for Egypt: New Suez Canal

God, The Suez Canal is now longer, and wider, and deeper. It can accommodate ships in both directions. It was funded by the people; may they quickly recoup their investment. Much, of course, is out of Egypt’s control. Revenue from the canal rises and falls from global shipping patterns. The new project keeps the watercourse … Continue reading

The Virgin’s Fast and Intercession

The Virgin’s Fast and Intercession

In the Coptic Orthodox tradition, today begins two weeks of fasting from animal products in honor of the Virgin Mary. During our six years in Egypt we have attended the Orthodox Church regularly, appreciating without fully accepting many of their traditions. But today a small part of the mass, seemingly special for this fasting period, … Continue reading

US Behind ISIS?

US Behind ISIS?

Here in Egypt the conspiracy thinking is strong that the United States, or at least her allies in the region, are a force behind the emergence of the so-called Islamic State. From the London Review of Books, here is some of the evidence. Fortunately, the author also deals with it along the conspiracy spectrum: His … Continue reading

Remember the Captive Assyrian Christians

Remember the Captive Assyrian Christians

There is so much bad news, often repeated, that five months later it is easy to forget. On February 23, 253 Assyrian Christians from the Hassaka area of Syria were taken captive by the so-called Islamic State. Unlike others, they were not executed for propaganda. It appears the jihadis desire ransom instead. On March 1, … Continue reading

The Brotherhood Admits Mistakes?

The Brotherhood Admits Mistakes?

Writing in Carnegie, Nathan Brown and Michelle Dunne say that the Muslim Brotherhood has survived the crackdown and reconstituted itself both inside and outside of Egypt. Though severely weakened, opportunity has emerged for a new, more youthful generation of leadership that has conducted an internal review of policies during the revolutionary period. Both before but … Continue reading

The Family House at the Ministry of Youth

The Family House at the Ministry of Youth

In a sign of cooperation between the government and Egypt’s religious institutions, the Ministry of Youth and Sports hosted Pope Tawadros of the Coptic Orthodox Church, representing the Egyptian Family House. The Family House is a partnership institution between the Azhar and Egypt’s Christian denominations. It is tasked to promote and preserve national unity, at … Continue reading

How Morsi Could Still be President

How Morsi Could Still be President

This article from Reuters details a deal that was in place, brokered by the EU with the opposition, that was spurned by Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, two months before he was pushed from power: Under a compromise crafted in months of shuttle diplomacy by EU envoy Bernardino Leon, six secular opposition parties would have … Continue reading

Debate: Genocide for Syria’s Alawites?

Debate: Genocide for Syria’s Alawites?

If you think American news is polarized, check out al-Jazeera. If you think American news pushes boundaries and aims to shape a narrative, check out al-Jazeera. If you think news in general reflects the attitudes of its audience, then God have mercy, check out al-Jazeera. I remember many years ago, when the channel was first … Continue reading