North Africa, West Asia

Egypt in the balance: what the blogs are saying 9 - 15 October

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
18 October 2013

October 9

Remembering the Maspero Massacre, Mariam Kirollos posts:

“It's been two years since the military-induced Maspero massacre in Cairo, Egypt that left 28 peaceful protesters dead, mostly Coptic Christians. The massacre occurred during a peaceful march from Shubra to the Maspero building protesting the demolition of St George’s church in Aswan. APCs were driven recklessly over protesters while state TV called for "honorable citizens" to support their army against Copts.
Hidden forces have been accused, and instead of bringing the real perpetrators to justice, the state has honored them. Two years on, we still demand justice for those killed.”

Galal ‏@GalalAmrG 10:28 AM - 9 Oct 13: SCAF first denied that the army ran over any protesters, before sentencing 3 conscripts for manslaughter by running over protesters. #Masper

Bel Trew - بل ترو ‏@Beltrew 10:35 AM - 9 Oct 13: This is the most heartbreaking photo from #Egypt's bloody modern history rt @GalalAmrG: Two years ago today: Maspero"

Basil الضبع (@basildabh) tweeted at 2:38 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: The MB's statement about the massacre mentions "elections" three times #pt

Tarek Shalaby (@tarekshalaby) tweeted at 6:10 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: It's ironic (and very sad) that at the protest of the massacre of Copts by SCAF, the Copts and 'anti-coup' Islamists are nowhere to be seen.

Gigi Ibrahim ‏@Gsquare86 8:37 PM - 9 Oct 13: I was at Maspero protest earlier and nothung was happening we all left now #Tahrir is closed by army and news of MB marching/clashing

Osman El Sharnoubi reports about the vigil that was held today outside Maspero:

“Anti-military sentiment was heard in most chants yelled by the hundreds that gathered at Cairo’s state broadcasting building in Maspero, where the bloody events took place two years ago.

Around four hundred demonstrators chanted against the heads of the ex-Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) ruling of the country in 2011. SCAF head Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, now retired, got the lion's share of antagonism, followed by then second-in-command Lieutenant General Sami Anan.”

betsy hiel (@betsy_hiel) tweeted at 4:38 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: 1 side of street at Maspero gathering says they will be silent and are against both army brotherhood

MK مريم (@MariamKirollos) tweeted at 4:39 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: He came all the way from Sohag to commemorate the maspero martyrs

Sherief Gaber writes “Maspero and memory”:

“The clashes raged on through the night, and when I finally worked up the nerve to go home three days later, the graffiti in front of my house that had for months read, “The army are traitors” now simply proclaimed “THE ARMY.” The next weeks, too, saw a mindless lionization of the army and fervent denials that the massacre had even occurred. The Maspero Massacre became — and remains — our first experience in the collective erasure of murder.”

betsy hiel (@betsy_hiel) tweeted at 4:34 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: Shubra march has arrived at Maspero chanting down down with military rule #egypt

A human rights group, We are Following You with the Report (WFYR), demand the results of the fact finding committee appointed by deposed President Morsi for the Maspero Massacre:

“The WFYR holds Morsi accountable for the lack of punishment of culprits, as he allegedly ignored the committee’s recommendations and did not disclose the results and evidence of the report, only sending them to the prosecution for further investigation.

'The WFYR were later informed that the public prosecution sent all the reports regarding military personnel to the military judiciary, which did not investigate further,' said a WFYR representative, emphasising that final conclusions on the Maspero massacre were among the reports.”

Basil الضبع (@basildabh) tweeted at 2:38 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: The MB's statement about the massacre mentions "elections" three times #pt

Ahmed Ezz Eldin asks “Is Egypt Moving Toward Secularism?” in his latest article where he discusses the recent exclusion of Islamists from the interim government and constitution drafting body and the question of identity.

Reuters - The United States is leaning toward withholding most military aid to Egypt except to promote counterterrorism, security in the Sinai Peninsula that borders Israel, and other such priorities.

Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) tweeted at 6:18 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: Obama "suspension" of some Egypt aid will not affect coup regime's ability to besiege Gaza on behalf of Israel: NYT

salamamoussa (@salamamoussa) tweeted at 6:21 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: As reported in NYT, US aid reduction to #Egypt will likely be harmful, as it neither fixes the policy nor signals resolve.

The African Union delegation led by former Mali President, Alpha Omar Konare, holds talks with Turkish foreign minister on the situation in Egypt in Ankara, Turkey after the African Union's Peace and Security Council suspended Egypt's membership of the pan-African body following the ousting of Morsi. 

Adel El Adawy believes that “Erdoğan Needs to stand with Egypt, not the Muslim Brotherhood”:

“Erdoğan’s own future with the upcoming elections might now be put in jeopardy. Unless Turkey realises it cannot interfere in Egypt’s domestic affairs and stop its destructive policies towards Egypt, the strategic relationship that once was will remain history. After all, from an Egyptian perspective, it might be best for the Turkish-Egyptian relationship to see a leadership change in Turkey. The post-30 June Egyptian government and Erdoğan ‘s Turkey will not cooperate in the foreseeable future, as one of the two will have to take a step back and Egyptians believe that it will be Turkey.” 

Catherine Ashton, senior representative of the EU, expresses her concern over recent violent clashes but claims there is potential for sustainable democracy in Egypt.

Farid Zahran asks “What are the inner makings of Egypt’s democracy movement? (Part 2 of 2)” and discusses the social democratic and liberal parties of Egypt. Part 1 discusses the Nasserist and leftist political camps.

زياد عقل...Z ‏@ziad_akl1 10:39 AM - 9 Oct 13: I no longer relate or feel represented by anyone or anything in #Egypt at the moment. We're an alien group of frustrated revolutionaries!

Deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s trial is set for November 4, 2013.

The Muslim Brotherhood NGO is dissolved. Two Muslim Brotherhood leaders are arrested.

Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, grants General Abdel Fattah El Sisi the authority for full mobilization to confront crises starting the beginning of November. 

Deena (@deenahsn) tweeted at 3:34 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: Mansour issues press decree whereby Sisi is assigned presidential powers on general mobilization, war, crisis measures

MadaMasr: In Al Masry Al Youm interviews with General Abdel Fattah El Sisi, it appears that Sisi does not clarify whether he is planning on running for president or not.

Head of the liberal constitution party, Sayed El Masry, urges Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah El Sisi not to run for president and calls for a short political transition.

The constitution committee announces the decision to grant the military the right to name the defense minister for the next two presidential terms. Amr El Shobaki also mentions that the articles detailing the number of seats allocated to farmers and workers are still under discussion as well as the creation of a new upper house (senate). An initial draft of the amended constitution is expected to be released before the Muslim feast holidays.

The 50-member committee is also planning on hosting 30 children to discuss their rights in the country’s future constitution.

Amr Moussa, chairman of the constitutional committee, announces that the draft of the amended constitution will be complete by the end of November after which a national referendum will take place. 

Mina Fayek ‏@minafayek 2:15 PM - 10 Oct 13: #PT If past 2+ys taught us anything abt Egypt it’s that newly emerging regimes quickly fall out of public favor as they bcom more autocratic 

Hassan Abou Taleb writes an opinion piece “Egypt’s constitution: Warning to the committee of 50” in which he concludes:

“Accordingly, I believe any citizen, whether civilian or military, who dares to insult, assault or sabotage any military facility or equipment or target a soldier on duty should face a military tribunal. This is an international standard that all countries apply to protect their national security and army, which is essentially made up of the people. This is only fair; how can we leave a soldier, facility or equipment – paid for by the state – as a target for a saboteur or attacker or terrorist and protect these perpetrators and even reward them? How can we demand civilian trials for them in courts that cannot appreciate the full dimensions of an attack on a member of the Armed Forces?

This has nothing to do with protecting national security or a consensual constitution; it’s an insult to the entire country and violates a supreme value. I fear such one-upmanship will continue to put pressure on the work of the committee and in the end will result in a distorted constitution. At which point we would adamantly reject it.” 

According to state-run Al-Ahram website, the latest opinion poll by the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) indicates that only 12% of Egyptians reject the 50-member committee formed to amend the 2012 constitution, while 84% intend to participate in the referendum.

57 NGOs send a joint report to the UN stating that successive governments since January 2011 have failed to address the demands of the revolutionaries related to human dignity, social marginalization and justice.

Osman Fekri of the Al-Ahram Hebdo reports his interview with Ahmed El Mulimany in “End of violence first step to reconciliation: Egypt presidential media advisor”:

“The Brotherhood refuses to acknowledge the roadmap announced by the army after president Morsi was toppled from his post, calling the ouster a 'coup.' International mediation and several local initiatives have been proposed to end Egypt's political deadlock and ensure the inclusion of the Brotherhood in the country's public life. They have been met with little enthusiasm by the Islamist group and their allies, as well as the interim-rulers of the country.

El-Muslimany also said he feared that the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails, were ready to ruin the nation in order to re-gain power.”

Mina Fayek ‏@minafayek 12:48 PM - 10 Oct 13: MoFA spox says Egypt is committed to the roadmap not to satisfy the U.S. but to respond to the ambitions of Egyptians 

An empty army intelligence office near the Gaza Rafah crossing is bombed

A Sinai-based militant group, Ansar Beit Al Maqdis, claim responsibility for the attack on Al Tor - South Sinai on October 7.

Egyptian Women  (@EgyptWomen2011) tweeted at 6:25 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: A touching video from the 2 released Canadians in #Egypt thanking Canadians, Egyptians and people worlwide 4 support

MiddleEast Institute (@MiddleEastInst) tweeted at 6:24 PM on Wed, Oct 09, 2013: Graphic (Novel) Repression In #Egypt By MEI's @marionekirk for @MideastChannel

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

Amnesty International: Christians scapegoated after dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins

‘How long are we going to live in this injustice?’: Egypt’s Christians caught between sectarian attacks and State inaction


October 10

The pro-Morsi alliance calls for marches to Tahrir Square on Friday. 

According to State news, youth centres are going to be named after police members who lost their lives while on duty.

Hossam عمو حسام ‏@3arabawy 9:12 PM - 10 Oct 13: VIDEO: Mahalla textile workers on strike  #RevSoc #Egypt 

Sarah Carr discusses why the Maspero Massacre is different and collects a number of interesting comments made by Egyptians yesterday.

A car bomb explosion in Arish – North Sinai, kills 5 soldiers. Security forces arrest five militants supposedly responsible for the bombing in Al-Tor – South Sinai on October 7.

Ali Abunimah ‏@AliAbunimah 10:50 PM - 10 Oct 13: US, Egypt using claims about Sinai situation to incite Egyptian population, reinforce coup regime … via @intifada 

Egypt criticizes the decision by the United States to halt some military and economic aid in the wake of a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood pending progress on democracy and human rights. Analysts believe that the halt will have limited impact. US Secretary of State, John Kerry, says:

"The interim government understands very well our commitment to the success of this government, which we want to see achieve, and by no means is this a withdrawal from our relationship or a severing of our serious commitment to helping the government."

And Israel fears a negative impact from the aid freeze.

Azza Radwan Sedky ‏@azzasedky 5:40 AM - 11 Oct 13: U.S. freeze of aid to Egypt whips up anti-American sentiment, may help army chief #Egypt #USAid #MB #Morsi 

Nervana Mahmoud discusses “4 Reasons Why US Shouldn’t Reduce Aid to Egypt” and highlights some interesting points about the US’ foreign policy and recent maneuvers. She concludes:

“Perhaps the United States should consider a shift in its aid policy from the current carrot-and-stick approach to a more substantial coaching and mentoring package. The civil-military relationship in emerging democracies is a particular area in which the United States can help — that is, of course, if it really considers Egypt a friend, not just an ally.

The Arab awakening may have been a tragic and disappointing journey, but at least it taught people that the mess is their own, and that they are the only ones who can sort it out. All the people from the outside world want — including the United States — is straight, honest and impartial support, even if very little money comes with it.”

AhmadSarhanأحمدسرحان ‏@Sarhan_ 9:24 AM - 10 Oct 13: Suspension of USAID to #Egypt comes a few hours after announcing Morsi trial Nov-5. Now we can give him the death penalty, who cares?

Trade and Industry Minister, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, announces plans of a second stimulus package early 2014.

Christine Lagarde, IMF chief, says they’re keen to resume loan talks.

UAE Finance Minister, Ahmed al-Gaber, asks IMF and World Bank to help Egypt according to Al Masry Al Youm newspaper.

Middle East Monitor ‏@MiddleEastMnt 10:05 PM - 10 Oct 13: IMF expects decline in Middle East growth rate and Egypt's bankruptcy: In its latest report… 

Justina Poskeviciute writes “The EU arms ban on Egypt: a regional response for a limited change?”:

“On 21 August, EU foreign ministers called for an emergency meeting in Brussels as a response to the turmoil seen on the streets of Cairo. The EU states have suspended arms export licenses for any military equipment that could be potentially used for internal repressions by the Egyptian military. The context in which EU arms companies have operated before the ban cannot be trivialized: in 2011, the total of EU exports of weapons and military equipment to Egypt amounted to more than €300m.”

The release of the draft of the amended constitution is delayed, as military articles related to military trials for civilians and the appointment of the defense minister by the military are still unresolved.

Mai E. ‏@MaiE_89 9:23 PM - 10 Oct 13: Baseera poll, military trials, international law, & other topics discussed by the Const. Assembly this week … #Egypt 

Daily News Egypt’s editor, Maher Hamoud, in the “Editor’s letter: Egypt between the two Gamals (1 of 5)” asks in his opening paragraph:

“Bread, freedom and social justice! A slogan and a statement that simply explains why Egyptians had to head to Tahrir Square on 25 January, 2011 and what their aspirations were. But have they reached what they sacrificed for? Or has the revolution crashed?”

Dina Hussein writes “Adaptable autocrats – Joshua Stacher presents a vital comparative study of Egypt and Syria”

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR): Civil society organizations’ meeting at the Ministry of Social Solidarity. Consensus over the new law of associations


October 11

MENA Solidarity ‏@MENAsolidarity 6:16 PM - 11 Oct 13: Thousands of workers at the Egyptian ... Weaving & Textile Company in Mahalla ... strike,...  

Brotherhood supporters march in Cairo and Giza, avoiding Tahrir Square to mark 100 days since Morsi’s ousting. Some make it to Qubba Presidential Palace and mount the iron gates; one person is killed after security forces shot at a pro-Morsi march in Rabaa Al Adawiya. Teargas is fired on pro-Morsi supporters in Alexandria.

The head of the Egyptian Ambulance Organization says one person was killed in clashes in Sharqiya and seven others were injured in Damietta. And nine are injured in Kafr El Sheikh clashes.

Hossam عمو حسام ‏@3arabawy 4:25 PM - 11 Oct 13: I'm hearing gun shots in Abbas el Akkad st 

Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) tweeted at 5:49 PM on Fri, Oct 11, 2013: #Egypt #AntiCoup National Alliance Urges Short Friday Marches Avoiding Bloodshed - Ikhwanweb 

betsy hiel ‏@betsy_hiel 5:30 PM - 11 Oct 13: When I left Quba Palace area, a man with a loudspeaker was telling everyone to leave and many pro-Morsi protesters were leaving. #Egypt

Cliff Cheney ‏@cliffcheney 5:38 PM - 11 Oct 13: 1 hour ago RT @3arabawy: rounds of live ammunition fired in Abbas el Akkad St

Fatima Said (@fattysaid) tweeted at 5:54 PM on Fri, Oct 11, 2013: A sad, sad day for #Egypt, military trucks running over peaceful protesters in #Alexandria & a young protester being shot in Nasr City. #RIP

Hossam عمو حسام ‏@3arabawy 6:06 PM - 11 Oct 13: Army runs over protesters in Alexandria

 فيديو: الجيش يدهس المتظاهرين بالإسكندرية. #السيسي

Tony Gamal Gabriel writes “More violence likely in Egypt as political deadlock remains unresolved”:

“The Muslim Brotherhood, however, has repeatedly denied resorting to violence. ….Instead, the group has denounced the violent state crackdown against them which has left hundreds dead. "When a soldier or a policeman uses ammunition against a specific social group, you can't simply call that 'violence'," Tarek El-Morsi said. "This is deliberate murder." Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members have been arrested….One alternative would be for the Muslim Brotherhood to join the country's current political transition, a move the group has so far refused to make. "Is there really a political transition? There is a group that arrived to power riding on tanks and is imposing its will on the people," Tarek El-Morsi said, vowing to continue the protests for now. "When the power is legitimate, we will join a political transition."

Nancy | نانسي ‏@nfm 5:24 PM - 11 Oct 13: Five remain detained following #Maspero arrests including a minor  #Egypt

Ikhwanweb ‏@Ikhwanweb 4:24 AM - 11 Oct 13: MT "@EgyAgainstCoup: 5th episode of "Witnesses of the Massacre" w English subtitles #AntiCoup …" #RabaaMassacre #R4BIA

Six soldiers are wounded by the Rafah Crossing – Northern Sinai after a bomb explodes.

Jonathan Moremi ‏@jonamorem 5:41 PM - 11 Oct 13: Btw #Egypt - John and Tarek will now tell the world how prisoners are treated: beaten, tortured, neglected medically. Nothing has changed.

April 6th Youth Movement co-founding member, Ahmed Maher, believes the US aid cuts are a step towards national independence

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 5:42 PM - 11 Oct 13: Exactly! RT @stevenacook: It's inaccurate to suggest that the US supports the MB, but Washington has made it a compelling story. #Egypt

Mina Fayek ‏@minafayek 5:52 PM - 11 Oct 13: #PT Cutting aid will boost Sisi popularity, frame him as a national hero who stand against America after saving the country from islamists.

Amina Ismail (@AminaIsmail) tweeted at 5:45 PM on Fri, Oct 11, 2013: "@maxstrasser: The IMF predicts that Egypt will be bankrupt in three months"

Egyptian expatriates are allowed to vote in upcoming constitutional referendum. The Higher Elections Commission spokesman, Hisham Mokhtar, announces that registration for expatriates will start on October 12 till December 1.

Omar Kamel ‏@OmarKamel 11:24 PM - 11 Oct 13: I'm sick of the army and the cops and the Islamists, who are all about as loyal to #Egypt as a kidnapper is to his hostages.

A boat carrying refugees and migrants sinks off the northern coast of Egypt leaving 12 people dead. Most of the passengers are Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

Sheera Frenkel ‏@sheeraf 4:16 PM - 11 Oct 13: Boat with Syrian refugees capsizes off Egyptian coast, reports that at least 13 people killed, more than 100 pulled out of water.

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

Amnesty International: Boat sinking underlines wider tragedy for refugees from Syria

Egyptian Center for Economic & Social Rights (ECESR): New report brings economic & social rights deficits to attention of UN


October 12

Interim President, Adly Mansour, meets with Egypt’s top judicial figures to discuss their grievances re- proposed constitutional amendments to reduce the functions of the State Council.

An earthquake shakes Cairo on the 21st anniversary of a deadly earthquake in 1992.

The Big Pharaoh ‏@TheBigPharaoh 3:46 PM - 12 Oct 13: In Oct 12, 1992, Egypt had a major earthquake. I remember seeing international rescue workers at the site of a tall building that collapsed.

The two Canadian nationals, John Greyson and Tarek Loubani, return to Canada after being detained since August 16, released on October 6 then banned from travelling till October 10.

Former supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahdi Akef, is transferred to criminal court for “insulting judges” in an interview he gave to a Kuwaiti newspaper.

Mina Fayek ‏@minafayek 4:49 PM - 12 Oct 13: Nour Party says communication with Muslim Brotherhood failed due to insistence on ‘losing issues’ 

According to an army spokesman, the army is continuing its efforts to clear 20 villages in North Sinai from extremists and outlaws. An announcement is also made on their Facebook group stating that 76 extremists and outlaws are arrested.

Mina Fayek ‏@minafayek 5:05 PM - 12 Oct 13: Sisi says that Jan & Jun revolutions are cornerstones for building Egypt, represent a popular desire for democracy, freedom & social justice

Ain Shams University students protest the killing of a colleague, Belal Ali Saber, in Friday’s clashes. The prosecution orders an investigation into the killing.

H.A. Hellyer د. إتش ‏@hahellyer 12:27 PM - 12 Oct 13: If the new DC lobbyists don't tell the Egyptian gov the best PR tactic is to restrain the security forces, they've failed in their duty. 

Egypt and Poland discuss investment cooperation.

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 12:20 PM - 12 Oct 13: Doubt it, thongs may pick up again! RT @todayszamancom: 'The slow divorce of the US and Egypt' by @HayatAlvi 

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 12:21 PM - 12 Oct 13: RT @borzou: #Egypt hires top DC lobbyists after U.S. aid suspension 


October 13

Clashes erupt at Cairo airport when El Ahly – the Ultras – fans are prevented from entering the airport to receive the Ahly club’s handball team. 13 are injured.

Funeral for Belal Gaber, the student that was killed during Friday’s protests, is to take place today.

Emad Abo-Zeid, a reporter for the Arabic Al-Ahram news website, is released on bail after having been detained for a month for “spreading false news”.

Prosecutor orders the detention of 14 suspects for 4 days, pending investigations, into allegations of committing “homosexual acts” in a medical centre in the neighborhood of El Marg in Cairo. Homosexuality is not formally illegal by law, however sodomy can be punishable. This is the first of such incidents since 2001 when 52 Egyptian men stood trial after the “Queen Boat” arrests.

James Henry, an American citizen who was allegedly arrested for breaking the curfew, shows up dead in his prison cell in Ismailia. Security sources claim he committed suicide. The General Prosecution orders an investigation into his death. However, the US embassy claims that the person found in the jail cell is not James Henry but James Lone. This comes only a few weeks after a Frenchman also accused of breaking the curfew showed up dead in his cell in Cairo after fellow detainees supposedly killed him.

Dan Murphy ‏@bungdan 8:23 PM - 13 Oct 13: One thing to reporters on Lunn's death in Egypt custody. Make him 2nd "westerner" to die in month. God knows how many (if any) Sudanese etc.

Betsy Hiel writes her story of the “American found hanged in Egyptian jail”.

Evan Hill ‏@evanchill 4:34 PM - 13 Oct 13: 55-year-old American reportedly living alone in Sinai & arrested in August ( ) hanged self in cell per @SameralAtrush

Deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s detention is extended for another 30 days pending investigations into allegations of a prison escape in 2011.

Galal ‏@GalalAmrG 11:48 PM - 13 Oct 13: If you want the world to believe it's not a coup, don't make it look like one! #Egypt

Erin Cunningham ‏@erinmcunningham 11:19 PM - 13 Oct 13: "Virtually every sin with which the oppo charged the MB was a sin they embraced with unseemly enthusiasm in Jul 2013" 

ahramonline: “Gamaa Islamiya calls for political solution to Egypt’s crises” 

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 5:56 PM - 13 Oct 13: #pt I thought #MB would be smart & abandon convulsive reactions. I thought #Sisi would be smart & not play the national card. I was wrong!

Pro-Morsi alliance call for protests today, on the eve of the feast, to ‘pray for Egypt’. The Eid El Adha feast is one of the most important religious occasions for Muslims around the world.

No feast prayers will be allowed to take place in Mostafa Mahmoud or Nahda Squares due to security concerns.

Hicham Mourad writes “Revising Qatari policy on Egypt”:

“The change in Qatar's ruler could, and pragmatically should in time, allow the emirate to improve its relations with Egypt, cutting losses incurred from supporting the Muslim Brotherhood”

Amro Ali ‏@_amroali 4:34 PM - 13 Oct 13: To prove we don't care RT “@MaherHamoud1: #Egypt hires top Washington lobbyists after #US aid cut …

Three state security conscripts are wounded in a drive-by shooting in Sinai. 

Amira Howeidy ‏@amirahoweidy 11:30 AM - 13 Oct 13: Because our Sinai strategy has thus far been successful? Cutback of US aid to Egypt leaves Israel nervous … 

A military place crashes due to malfunction, killing one, near Luxor.

According to the state statistics agency CAPMAS, the percentage of poverty in Egypt has increased to 25.2% in 2011:

“In May it was estimated that 13.7 million Egyptians or 17 percent of the population suffered from food insecurity in 2011, compared to 14 percent in 2009, according to the UN World Food Programme and CAPMAS.” 

Zeinobia puts together a collection of photos in “A Kodak Agfa-Production: #Oct73War anniversary in #Tahrir Square”.


October 14

Police fire teargas at the Ultras football fans demonstration that is demanding the release of 25 fellow fans detained during airport clashes on Sunday on charges of attempted murder and vandalism.

Mina George Yassa ‏@mgyassa1:24 PM - 14 Oct 13: The way things are going w/ increasingly repressive measures, the #Egypt'ian people may, sooner or later, turn against this government too. 

Jano Charbel ‏@JanoCharbel 1:02 AM - 14 Oct 13: #Egypt: Student dies in police custody … [Via @tweesop @DailyNewsEgypt] #EgyStudents #EgyPolice #PoliceBrutality

Interior Ministry tightens security measures ahead of Muslim feast holidays, vowing to deal firmly with anyone who 'spoils holiday celebrations' amid calls for demonstrations by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. 

Abigail Hauslohner ‏@ahauslohner14 Oct 12:58 PM - 14 Oct 13: #Egypt's govt has asked journos 2 "inform" it of date/location before filming anywhere in country. Another nail in the coffin of freedom of expression 

Maher Hamoud ‏@MaherHamoud1 11:31 AM - 14 Oct 13: In reaction to a Twitter mania regarding General Sisi's huge posters on Ein El Sokhna gates, they have been taken off press 

Blogger, a paper bird, posts a long but very interesting piece titled “New arrests for “homosexuality” in Egypt”. He discusses the recent arrest of these 14 individuals and delves deeper into how homosexuals have been and still are vilified in Egyptian society.

Teargas is fired at pro-Morsi protests in Alexandria. Three Muslim Brotherhood supporters are arrested after clashes erupt in Alexandria.

Zeinobia ‏@Zeinobia 10:29 PM - 14 Oct 13: Hymn to Egypt army evokes love, anger as takeover splits nation …

Mohamed Salmawy, the spokesperson for the 50-member constituent committee, announces there will be a vote on the draft constitution in November.

Sonja Jo ‏@Sonja_Jo 7:23 PM - 13 Oct 13: Salmawy: "Each article must receive at least 75% of the committee members' votes in order to be passed." #EgyConstitution #Egypt /AMAY

Mai E. ‏@MaiE_89 10:38 PM - 14 Oct 13: Members of #Egypt's Baha'i Community meet w the Constituent Assembly: … #EgyReligion #EgyConstitution via @DwightBashir

The family of deposed President Mohamed Morsi says he will not enter negotiations or accept any compromises following the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Nervana Mahmoud (@Nervana_1) tweeted at 1:21 PM on Mon, Oct 14, 2013: #Egypt Judge Walid Sharabi, wrote on #FJP FB page a long praise of the Brothers with a final sentence: "but I am not one of them." Why not?

The Tamarod/Rebel Movement leaders back General Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s decision not to run for President and announce that they will begin election rallies for seats in the Egyptian Parliament after the feast holidays.

Ahmed Kadry (@AhmedKadry) tweeted at 1:10 PM on Mon, Oct 14, 2013: "I'm not being funny but I feel like no one has a clue what they're doing in #Egypt." My old age pensioner neighbour just now. #cantargue 

A British man is arrested in Arish - North Sinai for allegedly possessing clothes similar to those of the army and central security. The authorities claim they were notified that this man was interacting with local residents at coffee shops. He is freed the same day.

Erin Cunningham (@erinmcunningham) tweeted at 1:13 PM on Mon, Oct 14, 2013: "A foreigner goes to coffee shops in Arish and interacts with citizens.” and he has trousers and a black jacket

آدم مكاري ‏@adamakary 11:12 AM - 14 Oct 13: James Lunn had 5 names yesterday, so be careful not to create new ppl yourselves bc ppl in our govt can't spell western names.

Authorities decide to close the Rafah Crossing with Gaza over the feast holidays.

H.A. Hellyer latest piece discusses why he believes the most bizarre response to the suspension of aid came from Egypt in “The insult to Egypt”. An interesting piece in which he concludes:

“The real insult to Egyptians is not that the U.S. government has partially suspended aid. The real insults are that no public investigations into the disastrous loss of life during the past few weeks, months and years have taken place – and that such investigations were ever needed in the first place.” 

Bassem Sabry باسم (@Bassem_Sabry) tweeted at 1:15 PM on Mon, Oct 14, 2013: Egypt’s Stock Index Climbs to Highest Since 2011 #Egyeconomy

The UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women release a report: “First women’s cooperatives changing lives and lands in Upper Egypt”:

A cattle-raising cooperative in Luxor has secured decent jobs and working conditions where 26 women earn an income and are the primary decision-makers on land and the division of labour.” 

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

Amnesty International: State-sanctioned pattern of excessive use of force by security forces


October 15

Today is the first day of the Muslim feast “Eid el Adha”. MadaMasr report on where Egypt’s officials are conducting Eid prayers.

Ikhwanweb ‏@Ikhwanweb 9:41 AM - 15 Oct 13: As we celebrate Eid,let's remembr thousnds of families who've lost their loved ones to death or jail for sake of #freedom & #justice.#R4BIA

Abdel Rahman Youssef writes why there’s “Little comfort for Egypt's Brotherhood during sacred Eid.”

Clashes erupt between pro- and anti-Morsi protestors after prayers in Giza.

Nervana’s latest blog post is about “Mosques and Politics in Egypt” is well worth a read. She concludes with a wish:

It may be difficult to untangle Islam from politics in countries such as Egypt, but at least let’s leave our divisions at the doors of our mosques and let the houses of god become sanctuaries from the current poisonous environment. Happy Eid everyone.”

Activists in Alexandria pressure the MOI to tackle sexual harassment and mark the first day of the Eid with a campaign ‘Harass the Harasser’.

The Cairo Post ‏@TheCairoPost 9:00 PM - 15 Oct 13: #Eid without sexual harassment. #AntiSH #Egypt …

19 members of the Al Ahly Ultras are arrested after trying to block the road to the airport on Monday night to protest the detention of 25 fellow Ultras.

Washington Institute ‏@washinstitute 10:16 PM - 15 Oct 13: How have diehard soccer club fans - ultras - shaped #Egypt politics since start of revolt? Dorsey explains 

MadaMasr: Amnesty International – London find evidence of police use of live ammunition against protestors on October 6. 

US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, and Egyptian Defense Minister, Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, meet

Security forces arrest suspect for RPG attack on state-owned satellite station that took place on October 7 in Maadi – Cairo.

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 11:44 AM - 15 Oct 13: A pro-Morsi Salafi scholar: Both West & East are infidels, our identity is neither Arabic nor Egyptian but Islamic … Ar

Egypt Independent: Social Solidarity Minister, Ahmed al-Boraei, says that government monitoring of NGOs will continue as a temporary measure to prevent what he described as the “groups of evil.” 

WrongKindofGreen ‏@CompromisedNGOs 12:30 AM - 16 Oct 13: The shadowy world of Egypt's NGOs  #NGOs 

Shehab Fakhry Ismail discusses how Cairo’s street art has evolved and what he makes of it in “Revolutionizing art.” He concludes:

“Seen in contrast to Kundera’s aesthetic vision, perhaps the biggest failing of Cairo’s revolutionary art is that it fails to see itself as art. It fails to reflect on and experiment with its aesthetic vision as aesthetics. Rather, Egyptian revolutionary artists have succumbed to the temptation of seeing their art as subservient to a higher cause, which neither really helps this cause nor offers anything artistically novel, thus unnecessarily limits them to an impoverished aesthetic vision. By way of this long detour though Kundera’s reflections on aesthetics and politics I am only expressing my wish for Egyptian artists to pay more attention to their art as art rather than as a running commentary, however witty, on political life. Instead of the facile aestheticization of the revolutionary moment and instead of political sloganeering, artists would do better to revolutionize the vocabulary of their art, which in no way precludes treating political themes in a more radical manner. Perhaps then will art do what it can actually do best: shake us away from the complacency of unthinking.” 

The Egyptian Center for Economic & Social Rights (ECESR) report back after their participation in two major international meetings:

“Mahinour El-Badrawi of the ECESR emphasized the role of economic and social injustices in sparking revolutions in the Arab region, stressing therefore the need to depart from the past “rentier economic model” which led to inequalities, a decrease in the productive capacity of the State and an increase in the levels of unemployment in the region. Instead, Ms. El Badrawi recommended a shift to a “democratic developmental State” model that revives the productive capacity of the State, can redress inequalities in wealth distribution, generates sustainable development, and redresses inequalities and wealth and wage depression, 'for development that meets the rights and aspirations' of people in revolt.”

betsy hiel ‏@betsy_hiel 4:11 PM - 15 Oct 13: Laboratory of Violence: #Egypt Struggles for Control of Sinai 

Egypt is on its toes about a football match with Ghana that will qualify the winning team for the World Cup. The first leg of the playoff ends with Egypt defeated 6-1.

السيد مانكي ‏@Sandmonkey 5:55 PM - 15 Oct 13: Pro MB people hope that Egypt loses and are giving ghana fans rabia signs. Way to win hearts and minds u guys.

Matt Bradley ‏@MattMcBradley 7:14 PM - 15 Oct 13: "Somewhere along the line, someone's gonna say you're an American spy," said Bob Bradley, #Egypt coach.  via @WSJ

Shadi Hamid ‏@shadihamid 8:34 PM - 15 Oct 13: I'm just waiting for the conspiracy theories: "American coach undermines Egyptian football team in Obama-MB plot to destabilize Egypt."

Galal ‏@GalalAmrG 8:53 PM - 15 Oct 13: What a lot of people fail to recognize is that: yes, football is still a huge part of Egypt and millions of Egyptians needed a win tonight.


See ‘related articles’ for openDemocracy highlights. 

Our next Egypt in the balance update will be published in the week of Monday, October 21, 2013.

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