North Africa, West Asia

Egypt in the balance: what the blogs are saying 15 - 20 November

This 'You tell us' feature offers some first hand accounts and a range of opinions in blogs, articles and tweets, first and foremost from the people of Egypt.

Rana Magdy
22 November 2013

November 15

The ministry of interior announces plans to deploy armed units in major squares and streets in Cairo in anticipation of pro-Morsi demonstrations. This is the first Friday since the dispersal of the sit-ins that Egyptians are not under a 7pm curfew. Marches take place in Cairo and Alexandria by Morsi loyalists, leaving a 15 and 13-year-old killed in Alexandria when clashes broke out. The father of the 15-year-old boy accuses the Muslim Brotherhood.

Pro-Morsi supporters are stopped by the Republican Guards from reaching the Presidential Palace. Clashes also erupt in Minya between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and residents.

Residents of El Saff village in Giza block off the village’s main road in protest over the absence of security since the dispersal of the sit-ins mid August.

AFP: According to a Russian official, Russia is offering to sell helicopters and air defence systems, worth USD2 billion, to Egypt.

Rumours erupted that classified CIA documents concerning negotiations between Egypt and Israel in the 1979 peace treaty, mediated by the US, were going to be released. Ahram Online publish part of a file analysing former President Anwar El Sadat’s personal characteristics and leadership style, here. They also publish part of a 1967 document that suggests that the Muslim Brotherhood received arms and financial support from the ex-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who supposedly supported opposition to El Sadat. For full report, click here.

Emily Manna ‏@EmilyManna 5:20 PM - 15 Nov 13: Some fascinating details in #CIA declassified #CampDavid docs on 1978 Egyptian-Israeli agreement  @OmarBaddar

Ali Abunimah ‏@AliAbunimah 2:06 PM - 15 Nov 13: This man must be brought to trial: Abbas encourages Egypt coup regime to tighten siege of Gaza …

moeali nayel ‏@MoeAliN 5:51 PM - 15 Nov 13: Sewage swamps #Gaza streets as Egypt tunnel closures cut off power  via @reuters #Palestin

The head of the 50-member constitutional committee, Amr Moussa, says the new constitution is not ‘eternal’ and that it should continue to develop and reflect people’s demands and aspirations. He also says he has no aspirations to run for any executive posts in the near future. The committee is still undecided on the quota for workers and farmers in parliament. A final version is now expected on December 3. 

Constitutional Trans ‏@ConstTrans 7:20 PM - 15 Nov 13: English translation of Egypt's draft constitution available via @AtlanticCouncil  

The Salafist Al Nour Party welcome a new proposed law to combat the conflict of interest of state officials aimed at fighting corruption.


November 16

A policeman is killed in northern Sinai.

Security forces fire teargas at Zagazig University students who were demonstrating for the release of 23 of their colleagues who were arrested last week after clashes took place on campus. 

A court postpones the decision on the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party to 15 February 2014. The pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, calls for national dialogue without explicitly demanding the return of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

Ahmed Eleiba discusses Russia’s appearance on the stage in “Egypt-Russia: the bear is back” – “Cairo aims to build on near and distant familiarity with Russian technology as Moscow readies to provide military hardware to a post-30-June Egypt which faces diplomatic pressures from its erstwhile ally, the US.”

Workers of Samanoud factory stage a sit-in, which is violently dispersed by security forces, leaving several injured.

Deena ‏@deenahsn 12:49 PM - 16 Nov 13: TT @ONewsAgency "ONA correspondent: 4 police armored vehicles arrived to disperse Samanoud textile workers' sit-in." #Egypt

Nader Fergany asks “Why is the government not laying down the foundations for social justice?” and concludes:

“According to statistics, if the government applies the maximum income cap on those earning LE1 million or more a month in the government and public sectors, this would free the necessary resources to fund the minimum income promised to all government workers. The large surplus that would remain can be deposited in a fund for other social justice purposes, such as guaranteeing the rights of the impoverished who crowd the streets of Egypt.

If the interim government took steps to establish a strong foundation for social justice in Egypt, perhaps this would be some guarantee that Egypt’s weak will not launch a third massive wave — after the first and second — of the great revolution of the people, in response to a blend of impoverishment and oppression that is produced and exacerbated by authoritarian regimes.”

A member from the April 6th Youth Movement is detained for handing out flyers calling for demonstrations on the anniversary of the 2011 and 2012 Mohamed Mahmoud battles.

The National Salvation Front announces its plan to participate in the commemoration on November 19.

Mai El-Sadany ‏@maitelsadany 7:43 PM - 16 Nov 13: "“Both sides want to take advantage of the [Mohamed Mahmoud] anniversary & revolutionaries might end up paying the price.” - Harara #Egypt

Omar Kamel ‏@Omar_Kamel12 10:15 PM - 16 Nov 13: Good read from @Sandmonkey on Mohamed Mahmoud anniversary #Egypt …

Deposed President Hosni Mubarak, his two sons – Alaa and Gamal – and his interior minister Habib El Adly’s retrial is adjourned. They are being re-tried on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the initial uprising in 2011. The re-trial will include testimonies of two of El Adly’s former aides. 

The first draft of Egypt’s amended constitution is expected to be issued on November 19. Controversial articles related to trying civilians in military courts remain disputed.

Zaid Al-Ali ‏@zalali 10:09 PM - 16 Nov 13: Reupping: links in Arabic and English to all important Egyptian constitutional documents of past 2years + commentary … 

In an interview, presidential media advisor Ahmed El Muslimani says senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood had accepted to be part of the interim government after Morsi’s ousting, and withdrew due to pressure from the US.

Hicham Mourad asks “What transition for Egypt?” - What is the fate of existing religious parties in Egypt, which have real popular support? And are we seeing the return of the former regime?

“The problem with the question of whether or not there is a return to the old regime lies primarily in the definition of feloul — an elastic term that critics of the former regime tend to expand to include all those who seem to them potential political rivals, or belonging to the opposing liberal camp. Thus, former foreign minister (1990-2000) Amr Moussa, the current head of the Committee of 50 responsible for drafting the new constitution, was often the target of attacks by Islamist and revolutionary groups for his past links with the Mubarak regime.

However, we should ask the question properly. A return to power of the leading figures of the old regime is excluded, because they have lost all credibility in the eyes of the population. What about the policies of the current interim government, which remind some of those of the Mubarak regime? The interim government, as its name suggests, is transitional. It is expected to leave after the holding of legislative elections, scheduled in principle in Spring 2014. We should not therefore overestimate its role.” 

The Rafah crossing into Gaza from Egypt remains closed. Hamas condemns the closure and calls on Egypt to reconsider as the humanitarian situation worsens.

Kenneth Roth ‏@KenRoth 1:05 PM - 16 Nov 13: Under siege enforced by Israel and Egypt, with little possibility of building an economy, the people of #Gaza suffer: 


November 17 

The ministry of interior warns against “elements that might infiltrate the gatherings to threaten public security and peaceful protest” on the planned commemoration of the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes on November 19. 

Dalia Ezzat ‏@DaliaEzzat_7:27 PM - 17 Nov 13: Ahead of Mohamed Mahmoud second anniversary, where more than 60 Egyptian protesters were killed..  by @JonathanRashad

Interim government build a monument in Tahrir Square “dedicated to the January 2011 and June 2013 revolutions” as part of an official commemoration ceremony, on the anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes, for the revolution’s martyrs. PM Hazem El Beblawi as well as other ministers and the National Salvation Front are expected to attend the ceremony.

Cynical Islamist ‏@CynicalIslamist 12:52 PM - 17 Nov 13: #egypt Interior ministry issues statement on Moh. Mahmoud anniversary, saluting the honored dead. "Glory to the martyrs." My head exploded.

Maher Hamoud ‏@MaherHamoud1 3:30 PM - 17 Nov 13: Egyptian schizophrenia: Interior&military commit a massacre, #MB approves it, and all celebrate its anniversary #Mohamed_Mahmoud 19/11/2011

Minister of Social Solidarity, Ahmed El Borei, says government is willing to hold talks with the Muslim Brotherhood only if they accept the transition roadmap. This comes after the pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy call for dialogue yesterday. Ahram Online report that a Muslim Brotherhood source reveals the MB view on the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy’s intention to negotiate.

Samer Al-Atrush ‏@SameralAtrush 3:48 PM - 17 Nov 13: Bishr: MB initiative is really a "vision", not aimed at government but political parties, does not drop demand for Morsi's return 

Mona El Khawaga writes “June 30: From a revolution to a coup”:

“Finally, there are many indicators that shatter the societal agreement and demands of June 30. These include the recent drafting of the constitution in the dark, away from the media, the rush to pass legislation restricting the right to protest, and the terrorism act, in addition to advocating the right of military personnel to compete in presidential elections as well as the security crackdown on the opposition. All this goes against the principles of political diversity, the civil nature of the state, and the independence of public institutions.

We are in fact living through a soft “coup”, not only against the Brotherhood, but also against the political principles that made Morsi’s ouster acceptable and legitimate. It is also a “coup” against the premises that made June 30 a setting for a popular alternative legitimacy that would safeguard us against violation and domination of power.”

Egyptian Women ‏@EgyptWomen2011 12:32 AM - 17 Nov 13: #Egypt Protesters demand #women’s rights in the constitution … 

Zaid Al-Ali ‏@zalali 11:10 AM - 17 Nov 13: Yusuf Al-Qaradawi complains that Egypt's new constitution will remove all references 2morality. he needn't worry. they're all still there. 

Former Foreign Minister Aide for African Affairs, Mona Omar, says deposed President Morsi had contacted African Jihadists without the ministry’s knowledge.

Essam Sultan and Gamal Gabriel of the El Wasat Party as well as Taher Abdel Mohsen of the Muslim Brotherhood are referred to criminal court for insulting the judiciary

The trial of Mubarak’s last Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafik, for seizing land illegally is postponed to November 20. He is also accused of embezzling public funds along with Gamal and Alaa Mubarak. 

Interim President Adly Mansour is expected to join Arab-African summit in Kuwait on 19 & 20 November.

Sharif Kouddous ‏@sharifkouddous 2:27 PM - 17 Nov 13: Riveting. Readout of Secretary Hagel's Call with Egyptian Minister of Defense General Al-Sisi …

Egypt’s satirist, Bassem Youssef’s production company terminate their contract with CBC following the suspension of ‘The Program’ after the airing of the first episode of its’ third season, which was also the first episode since the ousting of Morsi.

Bassem Sabry باسم ‏@Bassem_Sabry 2:45 PM - 17 Nov 13: Prosecutor general refers accusations against Bassem Youssef (of spreading obscenity among others) to investigations 


November 18

A cargo train crashes into a bus and a pick-up truck killing 27 people and wounding 34 in Giza. The watchman at the Dahshour crossing says alarm bells and warning lights are broken and the train driver says the barriers remained open after he had sounded the alarm. PM Hazem El Beblawi, in a press conference, says an investigation is underway while the transportation minister says it was ‘human error’ that caused the crash.

Sarah El Deeb ‏@seldeeb 3:53 AM - 18 Nov 13: #Egypt: cargo Train slams into vehicles, kills 24, many from 1 family returning from wedding (from @AP) …

A national security officer is assassinated in Cairo. According to the ministry of interior, he was investigating a case related to deposed President Morsi as well as jihadist cells. PM Hazem El Beblawi and Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim attend the funeral.

Ahram Online: “EU’s Ashton sounds optimism on reconciliation potential in Egypt” - Senior representative of the EU hailed the recent lifting of the state of emergency saying the union supports the people of Egypt at this 'difficult time. 

Egypt’s ambassador to Tunisia will return after being recalled in September following the Tunisian president's call for the release of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi. 

Zeinobia ‏@Zeinobia 2:40 AM - 18 Nov 13: Links and Notes 11/17/2013 | Today about #KSA #Tunisia #Egypt #UNESCO #Photos #MohamedMahmoud #MB 

El Sayed Gamal El-Din reports “Minors and women to be tried for pro-Morsi protest” - 14 women and 7 girls are facing criminal charges, including illegal assembly, related to a march in Alexandria in support of Mohamed Morsi.

Al Jazeera English ‏@AJEnglish 12:00 AM - 18 Nov 13: As an Egyptian court sentences 12 students to 17 years in prison, what is behind the verdict? @AJInsideStory l 

Mada Masr ‏@MadaMasr 11:34 PM - 18 Nov 13: The politics of silence: Diverging voices have evaded Egypt’s polarization opting for some silence … #BassemYoussef

The Rafah Crossing from Egypt into Gaza is going to temporarily be re-opened on November 19 for three days.

Tom Rollins ‏@TomWRollins 1:37 PM - 18 Nov 13: Little hope for change in Gaza wout Egyptian-brokered reconciliation or sudden collapse of Hamas, argues @daoudkuttab …

The pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy calls on its followers to avoid Mohamed Mahmoud Street in today’s planned protests. Activists gather in Abdeen Square chanting against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) who were ruling Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood who denounced the protests at the time. They also demanded retribution for the martyrs of 2011 and 2012.

PM Hazem El Beblawi lay the foundation stone for the memorial being built in Tahrir Square today. In the evening, pro-revolution protestors enter the Square for the first time since Morsi’s ousting and paint anti-military, anti-brotherhood slogans on the monument.

Nora Shalaby ن. شلبي ‏@norashalaby 11:13 AM - 18 Nov 13: On anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud: Never Forget. Always Remember: اوعى تنسى وخليك فاكر 

Jonathan Rashad ‏@JonathanRashad 5:16 PM - 18 Nov 13: Remember, remember the 19th of November. My photos of November 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud clashes:

Simon Hanna ‏@simonjhanna 6:44 PM - 18 Nov 13: One mother of a Martyr after another crying on stage. Difficult to watch. #Egypt

Coopting Mohamed Mahmoud” by Tarek Radwan:

“As vying political forces try to pick clean the bones of the revolution, Mohamed Mahmoud remains an annual reminder of the spirit of the January 25 revolution. The power of this day rings loudly in the Egyptian psyche—which would explain the desperation on the part of both the military and Islamists to claim it. Its victims are real and those who remember them will refuse to allow their memory to become a pawn in anyone’s game. Its goals, while not yet realized, will continue to plague those who wish to escape their culpability in subverting the revolutionary spirit. In short, the revolution is down, but as protesters today have shown, it is not yet out.”

Mosa'ab Elshamy ‏@mosaaberizing 3:57 PM - 18 Nov 13: Portrait of iconic revolutionary Ahmed Harara who lost his second eye two years ago in Mohamed Mahmoud clashes

The constitutional committee spokesman, Salmawy, says their work will be finished by the end of November and that they have finished voting on the judicial authority articles. The article mandating 50% of parliamentary members to be workers or farmers is removed. Articles related to the military are yet to be finalized, especially those related to the trial of civilians in military courts (Article 198).

The re-trial of deposed President Hosni Mubarak, with his two sons and former minister of interior Habib El Adly is postponed yet again to December 14, after being initially scheduled for November 16. It is postponed to allow for new testimonies by former head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) Hussein Tantawi, former chief of staff Sami Anan and the former head of the military police Hamdy Badeen.

Tarek Shalaby ‏@tarekshalaby 9:24 PM - 18 Nov 13: Big day tomorrow ya welad el balad. A chance to stand together against SCAF, Mubarak's clan and the opportunist Islamists. #Jan25 continues. 

AP: Russia strikes missile deal with Egypt

Patrick Kingsley ‏@PatrickKingsley 10:57 PM - 18 Nov 13: Haha! This article says the Turks have conspired w the Bros to bribe the Guardian to exaggerate tomorrow's protests …


November 19

According to a Kuwaiti newspaper, interim President Adly Mansour has no intention of running for president next year.

Protestors gather in Tahrir Square and on Mohamed Mahmoud Street to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of violent clashes that took place there in 2011 and 2012, protesting against security forces. The Islamist ‘Youth Against the Coup’ demand their right to participate in the march on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, claiming they are not affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood and that they support the demands of the revolutionaries, but their entry was blocked by other groups of protesters. The Way of the Revolution Front, having called for demonstrations, said that Muslim Brotherhood supporters are not welcome. Tamarod/Rebel cancel their participation in the Mohamed Mahmoud commemoration today, claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood will disrupt the day. Morsi supporters protest at the Kobba Presidential Palace to avoid clashes. The day passes with minor clashes, leaving 17 injured – according to the Ministry of Health. However, scuffles break out late in the evening as pro-Sisi and pro-Morsi protestors attempt to enter Tahrir Square. Security forces fire teargas to clear the Square and military tanks blocked the entrances. 

Maha J ‏@mahazja 3:40 AM - 19 Nov 13: Well, that was quick. MT @_amroali:The Rise & Fall of the #Tahrir monument  by @liamstack & @RobertMackey #Egypt

Basil الضبع ‏@basildabh 4:19 PM - 19 Nov 13: Protesters cheer loudly when someone in an apartment takes down a Sisi banner that was hanging from the building.

Amro Ali ‏@_amroali 5:18 PM - 19 Nov 13: Wow MT @estermeerman: March with thousands heading for #MohamedMahmoud from Talaat Harb. V energetic, constant chants

ashraf khalil ‏@ashrafkhalil 5:45 PM - 19 Nov 13: Someone should build a memorial monument to fallen memorial monuments. #tahrir

Sarah El Deeb ‏@seldeeb 6:23 PM - 19 Nov 13: #Egypt revolutionaries make return to #Tahrir Square (from @AP) with @tonygabriel1 …

Hadeel Al-Shalchi ‏@hadeelalsh 8:45 PM - 19 Nov 13: Guy got beaten and blood ran from his head at memorial. Ppl there said he had flashed Rabaa sign. #nov19 #tahrir #egypt

Kareem Fahim writes “Small Protest in Tahrir Square Restores Dissent to Cairo’s Heart”:

“Even so, a demonstration on Tuesday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square seemed to represent a breakthrough for young leftists and other revolutionary activists who have struggled to find their voice since the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July, splitting the country into polarized, feuding camps.

Galvanized by anger and marching under the banners of slain comrades on Tuesday, the activists tried to offer an alternative in Egypt’s sclerotic political scene. As they have in the past, the activists condemned Mr. Morsi’s Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood. But now, just as vigorously, they denounced the military and its leader, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, brazenly defying Egypt’s ultranationalist mood.”

Amira Salah-Ahmed ‏@Amiralx 8:45 PM - 19 Nov 13: Mohamed Mahmoud: a battlefield for contesting politics and ownership of memory - by @hebaafify  

The Big Pharaoh ‏@TheBigPharaoh 11:54 PM - 19 Nov 13: Photos of Mohamed Mahmoud's anniversary today by @JonathanRashad …

Lina Attalah writes “Happy birthday, general”, concluding:

“Today, when Sisi’s image is raised alongside that of the late Gamal Abdel Nasser it forces reflection about Egyptians’ lust for strong military leaders at tumultuous times, in a moment of conflated histories. But beyond their shared battle with the Brotherhood — which is naturally different for each of them — the similarity between the two figures can at best only hold on rhetorical levels: They are saviors of the state. But what state was Egypt imagined to be back in the 1960s and what contract did it have with the people then? And what is that state today and what contract can it afford to have with its people now? The answers differ deeply. Back then, a new republic was being born and it had its own promises to the people. Today the remnants of this republic stay on in the form of a series of consolidated and incumbent institutions that hold no vision beyond their own individual survival. Beyond populist rhetoric, Sisi’s Egypt needs to carve out some new promises to survive. But does it have any to offer?”

Gigi Ibrahim ‏@Gsquare86 9:53 AM - 19 Nov 13: Let's give Sisi a birthday he may never forget...see you in Mohamed Mahmoud !

Egypt Independent ‏@EgyIndependent 3:04 PM - 19 Nov 13: Police deliberately killed Mohamed Mahmoud demonstrators, fact-finding committee concludes 

A group called ‘We are following you with the report’ issue a statement demanding justice for the 47 protestors killed in the clashes in 2011. The general aim of the group is to pressure state institutions to investigate crimes committed by the state against its citizens.

MK مريم ‏@MariamKirollos 10:47 AM - 19 Nov 13: First they run over u, then they shoot u, then they blind u & if u win, they build a memorial monument to commemorate the ones they killed.

Yara Sallam ‏@YaraSallam 2:54 PM - 19 Nov 13: #Egypt: @ElSheikhAdam writes " #MohamedMahmoud : The revolutionary romance continues" via @MadaMasr …

Dina Ezzat interviews Ahmed Harrara, a former dentist who lost both his eyes in 2011 in “The state must bow to the people: Egypt's revolutionary icon Ahmed Harara”:

““The state wants to simply turn its back to the whole course of the 2011 revolution; this is what the military regime, which in fact has been ruling this country for 60 years, is doing through the [executive] authorities and the control over the media and the coercion of the ministry of interior,” Harara said. “But little do they see the determination of this nation to make its victory.””

Louisa Loveluck ‏@leloveluck 2:49 PM - 19 Nov 13: Good stuff from @Alastair_Beach on the Egyptian authority's attempts to reshape the narrative of a revolution: … #Egypt

Abdel Fattah Ibrahim, representative of the trade unions, withdraws from the constitutional committee in condemnation of the removal of the 50% parliamentary quota for workers and farmers. Committee spokesman, Salmawy, announces the beginning of preparations for the final vote on the draft constitution, although the articles related to the army and the electoral system are yet to be decided. The deadline is December 3.

ashraf khalil ‏@ashrafkhalil 10:54 PM - 19 Nov 13: My latest for Time on #Egypt's lonely Shiites: still outcasts even after fall of the MB & Salafists …

Amal Abou-Setta writes “This is still a revolution”:

“Looking at our situation now, we seem to be repeating the same mistake again. Once again, the military is in power and, quite surprisingly, many Egyptians have already forgiven and forgotten crimes of the very recent past. It is amazing how you can mobilise the crowds by inciting feelings of fear and making them think you are their one and only saviour. The situation is depicted as if we are caught between a rock and a hard place; as if Egypt is doomed to choose between the Brotherhood and the old corrupt regime forever.

It is the same old trick - “security” versus freedom. But the good news is, you cannot deceive all the people all the time. Experience has showed that every time people wake up after a while and find out that there is a third alternative.” 

 ECRF ‏@ECRF_ORG 7:49 PM - 19 Nov 13: Al Masdr network announces the release of its two correspondents Afaf Mamdouh and Mohamed Sayed after questioning by Military Intelligence.

H.A. Hellyer د. إتش ‏@hahellyer 11:46 AM - 19 Nov 13: "From Hero to Public Enemy?" @hebamorayef on human rights workers in #Egypt … (as always, fabulous.)


November 20

Tahrir Square is re-opened to traffic.

A 20-year-old man dies from birdshot wounds to his head and a 25-year-old also dies from birdshot wounds to his head, stomach and chest near Tahrir Square yesterday. A total of 51 were injured and 4 were arrested.

Ahram Online ‏@ahramonline 11:49 AM - 20 Nov 13: Ahram Online Video Playlist - Mohamed Mahmoud past and present: … #MohamedMahmoud #Egypt #Nov19

Zeinobia ‏@Zeinobia 12:50 PM - 20 Nov 13: Recap of the #Nov19 in #MohamedMahmoud #2013 : A big long day |  #Egypt #Protests #Tahrir #Egypolice #Clashes 

MK مريم ‏@MariamKirollos 4:16 PM - 20 Nov 13: I’ll never forget the dead woman I carried after seeing army conscripts setting tents on fire, dragging dead bodies to a pile of rubbish.

Paul Sedra on “The lies that states tell”:

“Egypt’s military rulers have a great stake in what is remembered and what is forgotten about the past three years of the country’s history. The clumsy and deeply insulting effort to memorialize the revolution’s martyrs at the center of Tahrir Square is only the most conspicuous attempt on the military’s part to control the narrative of Egypt’s recent past — and arguably, the least dangerous. Of far greater concern are the attempts not to build, but to erase — the repeated whitewashing of the graffiti that has adorned the walls of Mohamed Mahmoud, or the landscaping and painting in the vicinity of Rabea al-Adaweya.”

An Islamist group called ‘Ansar Bayt Al Maqdis’ claim responsibility for the killing of a senior police officer on Sunday. This is the same group that had supposedly claimed responsibility for the attack on the Minister of Interior early September.

Mohamed Abdelfattah ‏@mfatta7 1:53 PM - 20 Nov 13: The Guardian: #HSBC under fire over leading role in land deals for #Mubarak regime  via @guardian #Egypt

Muslim Brotherhood members, including the son of Khairat El Shater, remain detained, pending investigations, after court refuses their appeal.

Enas Hamed sheds light on the women’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in “Egypt’s ‘Muslim Sisterhood’ moves from social work to politics”:

“Speaking to Al-Monitor, Hudaybi attributed the female predominance on the current political scene within the organization — shown by the fact that women are staging protests and forming popular anti-coup movements — to the political situation, which compelled women to take on the role of men since the majority of the organization leaders are in prisons.

Rasmiya, the former chairwoman of the Women’s Committee in the Freedom and Justice Party, spoke to Al-Monitor and asserted that decision-making among the Muslim Sisters is highly independent of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Office and the Supreme Guide. The Sisters refer to them merely for purposes of advice. In addition, the organization did not ban its female members from political participation.”

Army spokesman vows to press ahead with the "war" against Islamist militancy in the Sinai Peninsula. This comes a few hours after a car bomb exploded in north Sinai killing 11 soldiers, wounding 37. The pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy and the Muslim Brotherhood say they have no links to the bomb attack.

General Abdel Fattah El Sisi addresses the nation and vows to fight “terrorists” and anyone who attacks Egypt’s soldiers. He also extends his condolences to the soldier’s families. Interim President Adly Mansour declares national mourning for the soldiers killed in today’s bomb attack, the victims of the train crash, and the intelligence official who was assassinated.

According to the cabinet spokesperson; the emergency law and curfew will not return but a counter-terrorism law is in progress.

Sumita Pahwa ‏@SumitaPahwa 10:04 PM - 20 Nov 13: @RebelEconomy turns her magisterial eye to the myths and reality of Egypt's military economy - succinct, revealing. …

According to the advisor of Gaza’s PM, negotiations are ongoing with Egypt’s interim government to re-open the Rafah Crossing. 

According to state-run Al Ahram [Ar] newspaper, interim President Adly Mansour calls on Egyptians to vote in the upcoming constitutional referendum. He also dismisses any chances of reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Cairo Post ‏@TheCairoPost 7:01 PM - 20 Nov 13: #Mansour: #Kuwait will provide #Egypt with billions of dollars of aid … #New

Joel Gulhane ‏@jgulhane 4:41 PM - 20 Nov 13: Arabic transcript of #Egypt interim President Adly Mansour's speech at the Africa-Arab Summit in Kuwait … 

An US-made missile boat is delivered to Egypt, S. Ezzat; the first of four ships Egypt is due to receive. 

People with physical disabilities hold a protest in front of the National Council for Disabled People in Cairo to demand greater access to jobs.

In a press conference the constitutional committee spokesman, Salmawy, says there are 39 completely new articles in the amended constitution and discussions are still ongoing regarding the removal of the 50% parliamentary quota for farmers and workers. Moreover, a new quota for women, Coptic Christians and youth in parliament is expected to be introduced. A temporary article has been included; article 174, which states that for the next eight years, the minister of defense is to be chosen by the president and must be from the ranks of the armed forces with the military council's approval.

The Cairo Post ‏@TheCairoPost 4:00 AM - 20 Nov 13: Nour Party representative rejects abolishing 50% workers quota. #Egypt #Politics... … @alnourpartyeg

A new poll shows that the popularity of Egypt’s interim government has fallen since September.

M. Lynx Qualey ‏@arablit 3:15 PM - 20 Nov 13: New Blog on the Block: ‘Cairo Booklore’ …

The Turkish foreign ministry denies claims made by Egyptian media that they, along with Muslim Brotherhood supporters, instigated Tuesday's clashes in Cairo.

Josephine Zohny ‏@jzohny 9:20 PM - 20 Nov 13: I am so confused by this - Egyptian Nazi Will No Longer Participate at Georgetown Conference 

Al Azhar students march from their university campus to the Al Azhar headquarters demanding the removal of the Al Azhar Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed El Tayeb, as well as the head of the university. They supposedly attempt to storm the building and police forces use teargas to disperse the crowd.


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Our next Egypt in the balance update will be published in the week of November 25, 2013.

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