Sisi, ISIS, Tunisia, and Arab Spring Values

Sisi, ISIS, Tunisia, and Arab Spring Values

In a recent article at Foreign Policy, Iyad el-Baghdadi described the near-eternal and present dichotomy hoisted upon the Middle East: Support a dictator, or his overthrow via violent Islamism. He finds an ironic symbolism in that the names of Sisi and ISIS are spelled backwards, and describes their evils as parallel. Near the end of … Continue reading

Economic Aid to Egypt

Economic Aid to Egypt

Curious about who is funding Egypt these days? American military aid gets all the press, but many have contributed to support Egypt’s economy. Daily News Egypt recently provided a detailed breakdown. Except for deposits made to the central bank, I have not listed loan agreements. In some cases it is not clear if the money … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Tidying House

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Tidying House

God, Egypt is trying to redecorate. But beware the house swept clean if it is left unoccupied. The police force had long been closed to the Muslim Brotherhood, but the revolution opened the door. This week forty students were expelled, for family ties to Brotherhood members. The state had always been wary of infiltration; after … Continue reading

Searching for Youth to Save Education

Searching for Youth to Save Education

  Egypt has a youth problem. According to official statistics, 31 percent of the population is under the age of 14, and 24 percent of the population is between 18 and 29. Integrating them into the social and political fabric of society is expected to be challenging, especially given the raised expectations of the revolution. … Continue reading

New Hope in Turbulent Times

New Hope in Turbulent Times

A condensed version of this article was printed in the December 2014 edition of Presbyterians Today. Please click the link below to open it in pdf, and here to view the magazine’s feature articles. New Hope in Turbulent Times (pdf) God’s planning is perfect. In 2008, long before the Arab Spring fixed world attention on … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Threat and Rumor

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Threat and Rumor

God, Keep Egypt safe, from both threat and rumor. Help her to distinguish between the two. Several Western embassies closed their doors this week, citing security threats but giving few details. The government seemed offended, and some claimed conspiracy. Stability comes from both truth and perception. Leaks were released, with the voice of an army … Continue reading

Protecting the Bad under Threat of the Worse

Protecting the Bad under Threat of the Worse

In the United States, torture is no longer an allegation. As the US Senate released findings from thousands of internal CIA memos, the nation confirms — and makes public — the horrific treatment given to detainees. Some of the debate, however, concerns whether or not the Senate errs by releasing the details. The argument accuses … Continue reading

An Israeli Solution to the US Racial Crisis?

An Israeli Solution to the US Racial Crisis?

With America gripped by conflicting rhetoric over the nature of race relations and police performance, has anyone yet suggested this solution: Just get the African-Americans to go back to Africa? If so, surely it would be from the political fringe. If anyone knows of a more mainstream source among right-of-center bulwarks like Fox News or … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Mubarak Verdict

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Mubarak Verdict

God, The judge ended his 200 page judgment with an appeal to you as Ultimate Judge. Perhaps his conscience was pained after avoiding a ruling. Mubarak was neither convicted nor acquitted, his case dismissed on a technicality. And a similar reasoning let his security generals off the hook. Since no officers were found guilty in … Continue reading

Who Profits from US Aid to Egypt?

Who Profits from US Aid to Egypt?

From Global Post, two articles which detail the contracts given out the past two years, and which companies receive them: Until recently, the United States and Egypt shared a very special arrangement. Here’s how it went: the US government would collect taxes from the American people. It would give a portion of the proceeds — … Continue reading

Mubarak Verdict Reactions

Mubarak Verdict Reactions

From Paul Attallah, a roundup of reactions to the verdict acquitting former president Hosni Mubarak from responsibility for the deaths of protestors during the January 25, 2011 revolution. His perspective is evident, and he is a decent representative of  local, non-Islamist opinion: Mixed reaction According to Professor Said Sadek of California Miramar University, there is … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Blame and Impose

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Blame and Impose

God, The last three years in Egypt have been troublesome. Find a culprit, and force your way. An early culprit was Mubarak. Today he faces a verdict that may exonerate him. The current culprit is the Muslim Brotherhood, according to a national fact-finding investigation into the post-June 30 violence. They initiated the violence in the … Continue reading

Thankful for Islamic Identity

Thankful for Islamic Identity

Happy Thanksgiving to American friends and family, but as you are thankful today be aware about tomorrow, at least as concerns your interest in Egypt. Friday may be black here as well. There are two reasons this could be true. First, the Salafi Front has called for nationwide demonstrations, seeking a ‘Muslim Youth Uprising’. They … Continue reading

Rain, One Day Later

Rain, One Day Later

Yesterday Egypt experienced one of its very few yearly rainstorms, for which its roadways are terribly unprepared. I realize great swaths of the United States are covered with snow these days, so there is little room to complain. But nonetheless, the puddles and mud left behind a day later complicate the daily walk to school. … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Deep Wounds

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Deep Wounds

God, When all is not well the wounds can go deep. Continued health demands paying attention. The Muslim Brotherhood has stumbled badly. Tripped deliberately or drunk with power, their wound still feels fresh to many. And the United Arab Emirates throws salt on it by designating them – and allegedly connected organizations – as terrorist … Continue reading

Baghdadi, the Prince of Criminals

Baghdadi, the Prince of Criminals

In traditional Islamic terminology the caliph is known as amir al-mu’mineen, or, the prince of the believers. In this new music video, Shaban Abdel Rahim adjusts the Arabic slightly to call him amir al-mugrimeen, the prince of criminals. The video blasts the Islamic State for its conduct, and declares Islam to be innocent of their … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Allegiances

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Allegiances

God, Two declarations were issued this week, at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. From Sinai, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis pledged to obey the caliph of the Islamic State. From the Chamber of Commerce, a business delegation pledged to recruit other American companies to invest in Egypt. One allegiance is to you, God, the other is … Continue reading