Tagged with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Crucifixion and Liberation in Cairo

Crucifixion and Liberation in Cairo

Last summer the body of Hisham Rizk turned up in a Cairo morgue. The 19 year old graffiti activist had been missing for a week, and the official autopsy labeled him as having drowned in the Nile River. No further information was given on the English language Ahram Online. But withholding comment only fuels speculation … Continue reading

Where Tolerance is at Home

Where Tolerance is at Home

A scant eighty feet from St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church in Port Said, two small bombs exploded last month. Despite the second detonation being delayed until after a crowd had gathered and police were summoned, no one was killed. Even so, it is one more mark of an insurgency aiming to destabilize Egypt. ‘It is … Continue reading

A Regime-Islamist Reconciliation?

A Regime-Islamist Reconciliation?

Very important but under-reported news in this article from al-Ahram Weekly: Recent developments suggest the possibility of a thaw in relations between the state and political Islam. President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi recently met with three members of the Dissident Muslim Brothers, a breakaway group from the Muslim Brotherhood. There is also a reconciliation initiative, proposed by … Continue reading

Strong Egypt: A Party in the Middle

Strong Egypt: A Party in the Middle

On an uncontested electoral list at the Strong Egypt Party’s first general conference on February 13, Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh was confirmed as president along with his running mate for general-secretary, Ahmed Fawzi. But this was the least remarkable event of the day. Their acceptance speeches set the tone for the controversy to follow. “I have … Continue reading

Egypt’s Struggle to Return to Normal

Egypt’s Struggle to Return to Normal

Four years have passed since Egypt’s revolution began in 2011. They have been inspiring years; they have been difficult years. Some say they have resulted in much good; some say they have resulted in a restoration of the bad. But millions of Egyptians simply a desire a restoration of the normal. The state is striving … Continue reading

Talk Peace, Broadcast Violence

Talk Peace, Broadcast Violence

The Washington Post recently published an excellent article detailing the escalation of violent rhetoric between the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian state. Language is shocking on both sides, but the government crackdown on the Brotherhood is well-known and admitted, even as accusations of terrorism in the Sinai remain unproven in the eyes of many. But the … Continue reading

A Color (Printed) Revolution?

A Color (Printed) Revolution?

With decent regularity pro-Morsi supporters have conducted small protest marches around our Maadi neighborhood since his removal from office in July 2013. They do not tend to be violent but usually result in ugly graffiti insulting now-President Sisi. Recently, new graffiti has emerged, calling the people to ‘man up’ and protest on January 25, the … Continue reading

Translation: President Sisi at Christmas Eve Mass

Translation: President Sisi at Christmas Eve Mass

Last night on Christmas Eve according to the Coptic Orthodox calendar, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became the first ever Egyptian head-of-state to attend the holiday mass. His appearance lasted for about ten minutes, during which he gave a short speech. The video selection and translation is provided kindly by Paul Attallah. It was necessary to … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: China, Elections

Friday Prayers for Egypt: China, Elections

God, Two fronts are brewing, and both received a push. Egypt is trying to stabilize through its economy and elections. For the first, President Sisi traveled to China and signed a number of trade agreements. For the second, just before leaving he signed into law the mechanisms for parliamentary elections. In March is scheduled a … Continue reading

Misrepresenting the Coptic Church and Politics

Misrepresenting the Coptic Church and Politics

The debate is valid: What is the proper role of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the nation’s politics? It is also an unavoidable debate. Once Pope Tawadros appeared with the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar to back the popularly-backed military overthrow of President Morsi, he reasserted the church into the political scene. The decision of the … 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

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

Why Does Egypt Suffer Power Cuts?

Why Does Egypt Suffer Power Cuts?

Even into late September Cairo temperatures reached 100 degrees. Statistics show that 40 percent of energy demand comes from home consumption, and increased air conditioner use contributed to overloading the system. The one complaint about a recent article at the Middle East Institute on the energy crisis is that it does not describe the ‘how’ … 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

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