Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Divorce and Authority

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Divorce and Authority

God, You know best the worth of a woman. You know what is timeless, you know what is cultural. Help Egypt to know as you do, and act accordingly. Troubled by rising divorce rates, the president pushed for reform. Hoping a standardized process might curb rash decisions, he asked administrative witness and registration be made … Continue reading

Ballerinas of Cairo

Ballerinas of Cairo

Al-Monitor highlights a new effort to get art to the street. Ballerinas of Cairo has some great pictures, combining cultural physique with iconic cityscape. By taking to the streets of Cairo, the young artists have succeeded in breaking the stereotype that ballet is an art form for the upper class only. Despite the dangers of … Continue reading

Let My People Build

Let My People Build

This article was published in the November print edition of Christianity Today. Long live the crescent and the cross!” shouted Egypt’s parliament in joy. All 39 Christian members joined the two-thirds majority to vote to end a 160-year practice instituted by the Ottomans requiring Christians to get permission from the country’s leader before building churches. … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Coalition

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Coalition

God, After campaigning comes positioning. Perhaps after that will come legislating and querying. But help Egypt’s newly elected representatives to get this interim period right. An effort is underway to draft members into a grand coalition to support the presidency of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. This would be consistent, as many campaigned on this very point. … Continue reading

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

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

Where is the Maspero Youth Union Now?

Where is the Maspero Youth Union Now?

Twenty-three Egyptian liberal activists were sentenced to three years in prison for demonstrating against the protest law on Sunday. Amid the ongoing clampdown on dissent, the common observer can sigh, but be forgiven for asking: Whatever happened to those Coptic youth activists? Did that massacre at Maspero all but end their influence? Or like most … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: New Government, Again

Friday Prayers for Egypt: New Government, Again

God, Amid continuing demonstrations by Islamists and supporters of President Morsi, the new Egyptian government is trying to get down to business. What that business should be is another matter. They must rerun the election process. The country needs a constitution, parliament, and president, laws to set them in motion, and a campaign to convince … Continue reading

Textbook Study Debunks Myth of Palestinian Incitement

From the Monitor, exposing a oft-unquestioned assumption that Palestinian students are educated with hatred toward Jews: Three years in the making at a cost of $500,000, the U.S. State Department–funded report explores textbooks issued by the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority (PA), and religious bodies. The research, overseen by Sami Adwan from Bethlehem University and … Continue reading

Two Years of a Shrunken State

From the Arabist: This is a useful follow-up to the previous post on diplomacy: Perhaps the only viable way to get the state to function is for the Brothers to offer the opposition enough reassurance that major political forces together could reach consensus on the illegitimacy of violent protest. If Egypt’s political forces acted in … Continue reading

Christian Center Opens in Iraq

From Ahram Online: Authorities on Sunday opened what they billed as the first Christian cultural centre in Iraq in a decade, despite a dramatic decline in the country’s once significant Christian population. The building was inaugurated in the northern city of Kirkuk, home to a diverse population of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, and is to … Continue reading