Posted in February 2012

Military Rank

I know very little about military affairs, either in America or the rest of the world. With the important role of the armed forces in Egypt, however, I thought it useful to understand the local chain of rank. The enlisted soldier is known as either a jundi or ‘askari. He has received no formal education, … Continue reading

Rethinking Iran

It is a given that every nation must pursue its interests, and these are often at odds with one another. Yet the United States suffers from the inconvenient reality that the majority of its population holds to a sense of morality vis-à-vis interests. In order to take decisive steps in the international arena, the government … Continue reading

Touring Egypt with Egyptians

Our family recently had the privilege to go on a Nile tour from Luxor to Aswan.  With my parents visiting from the US, one of the sites my Dad wanted to see was the Valley of the Kings.  At first we said it was too far to try, but then Jayson heard our local Orthodox … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Presidential Musings

God, It seems things can never be simple in Egypt. While the official registration period for presidential candidacy does not open for a few weeks, Egypt already has multiple self-professed seekers, as well as one to drop out already. Some have been bold and outspoken, others lie quietly and wait. And for the Muslim Brotherhood, … Continue reading

Living in Fear

“I haven’t gone out in over a year.” This was one of the statements my friend said to me the other day in talking about the changes in Egypt recently, particularly the lack of safety. “I used to go out with my sister-in-law.  I would leave the kids at my mother-in-law’s house, and my sister … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: NGO Crisis

God, You know what is in the hearts of men; you know what moves the engine of nations. Perhaps it is too much to ask international relations to be built on justice and principle – the world of interests is too strong a competitor. You turn the heart of the king as you will, but … Continue reading

Revolutionary Valentine’s Day Humor

A small collection of jokes in Egypt celebrating February 14 (I find the last one the most humorous): Our romantic date was spent protesting I love you as much as the Muslim Brotherhood loves parliament I would catch a tear gas canister for you He finally said the three words I have been waiting for: … Continue reading

Interview with a Presidential Candidate, Summarized

Dr. Abdel Munim Abul Futuh is a frontrunning candidate in the Egyptian presidential elections. He has been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Council for twenty-five years, but now finds himself officially outside the organization as a result of his desire to run for the presidency. The Brotherhood has stated it will not field … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Civil Disobedience

God, A year ago today the revolution emerged successful. Mubarak stepped down, and the military council began leading the transition to democracy. One year later, few are actively celebrating the anniversary. There is substantial distraction from a call to escalate the revolution against the military itself. Thank you, God, that yesterday’s protests – for the … Continue reading

Walls All Around

The disturbances in and around Tahrir Square in recent weeks have resulted in the erection of several walls cutting across downtown streets. These were built at the time to separate demonstrators from security forces as they battled in the streets. Additionally, some were built to provide additional protection from sensitive government facilities, especially the Ministry … Continue reading

Instability in Upper Egypt, Experienced

Ever since the revolution Egypt has suffered / benefited from waves of popular protest. The expressions in Tahrir Square were largely political, yet included a significant expression of social and economic discontent. The original chant which rang through the streets demanded, ‘Bread, Freedom, and Social Justice.’ Most focus since the revolution has been on political … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Soccer

God, It seems every month more people die. This month is the most inexplicable. Around eighty people were killed at a soccer match in Port Said, when partisans of one team set upon the other. Whether or not this was senseless violence complicates matters all the more. Some say there were signs of a planned … Continue reading