An Apology to Egypt

I’m sorry, Egypt, and please accept my apology. Perhaps you will view this as only a half-apology, so allow me to give my excuses first. We were not here this summer, spending two months in the United States. It was a very nice time, but full of travel, conferences, and professional development. My computer crashed … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Gaza Again

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Gaza Again

God, It is not as if this is the first time. Mutual acrimony between Israel and Hamas leads to the exchange of rockets, with deeply disproportional suffering. Now a land invasion is poised to begin. Egypt has been the historic mediator, but this time – so far – unsuccessfully. Two years ago President Morsi, whose … Continue reading

Gaza and the Right to Self-Defense

There is much wrong on both sides. The situation is complex and begs for thorough analysis. All this is granted but within this debate, here is a well-researched article from Jadaliyya exposing a false rhetoric that seems eminently logical: On the fourth day of Israel’s most recent onslaught against Gaza’s Palestinian population, President Barack Obama … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Subsidies Lifting

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Subsidies Lifting

God, The first shoe drops. President Sisi’s first substantial act of policy reduced the massive government subsidy on fuel. Though a government agency predicted a 200 percent rise in commodity prices, so far, it seems like he can make it work. There has been a public outcry, of course, but no great surge in public … Continue reading

Allahu Akbar, Algeria

Allahu Akbar, Algeria

It has been a rather subdued World Cup so far in Maadi, Cairo. The cafes are full but by no means crowded. This World Cup has been a gem of a tournament, with average goals scored hovering around three per game. But it is not attracting local attention in our neighborhood. Most space is empty … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Tahya Masr

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Tahya Masr

God, Generosity is honorable. It is also symbolic. It can be a show. Make real and valuable its recent initiative. Tahya Masr was the campaign slogan of now-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. It translates, ‘Long live Egypt,’ and centered his focus on the importance of the nation. During his campaign Sisi asked for sacrifice, promised two … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Early to Rise

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Early to Rise

God, With a new president comes a new government, and with it a new promise. We will start our day at 7am. Candidate Sisi did not offer many specific policy details, but he offered a specific commitment to work. President Sisi now demands it throughout the government. It is not yet obliged on the population, … Continue reading

Christians and Political Manipulation

Christians and Political Manipulation

Many Egyptians these days shed no tears over the demise of the Muslim Brotherhood, seeing in them an unhealthy and manipulative merging of religion and politics. But religion, politics, and manipulation are known the world over. First take a look at this excerpt from Christianity Today, describing two evangelical leaders during the Jimmy Carter presidency: … Continue reading

Egyptian School Children on Sexual Harassment

These two videos, with translated subtitles, come from Dignity without Borders. The first interviews boys about their perception of sexual harassment, while the second gets the girls’ perspective. Both are intriguing and shed light on what is widely acknowledged as a significant social problem. Listen in and find out why.

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Sexual Harassment

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Sexual Harassment

God, The problem is well known: Over 90 percent of Egyptian women complain of sexual harassment. The problem is well witnessed: Repeatedly at mass rallies in Tahrir women are sexually assaulted by groups of men. Finally, perhaps, the problem is well addressed: The cabinet passed a law to criminalize such conduct and is undertaking plans … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Nearing Normal

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Nearing Normal

God, Several hours from now Egypt will have a new president; several weeks more and a parliament is promised. These are the last two steps of the roadmap to rebuild the state, presumably after which it will function again normally. But God, make normal good. Indications can be read toward either better or worse. President-elect … Continue reading