Print Friendly and PDF
only search openDemocracy.net

Egypt in the balance: what the blogs are saying 16 - 25 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.

October 16

Dutch charter airline cancels flights to Sharm El Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula because of the threat of a militant rocket attack.

QAWEM (resist in Arabic) a new movement by Mohamed El Hadidy, a third generation Muslim Brotherhood member and supporter of Aboul Fotouh (former Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate in 2012), attempts to offer solutions for Egypt’s stalemate.

AhmedSaad ‏@Ahmed_Sa3d08 1:36 PM - 16 Oct 13: El-Hadidy ' #Brotherhood and the state must make vital changes in order to move forward' #Egypt #MB #QAWEM #Enough

Middle East Institute: “ Conversation with Egypt's Aboul Fotouh 

“Dr. Abdel Moniem Aboul Fotouh, once a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood, former presidential candidate, and head of the Strong Egypt Party, spoke with Cornelis Hulsman, editor of Arab-West Report, in an interview for MEI regarding his break from the Brotherhood, Morsi’s ouster, and what he sees as necessary for Egypt’s future.”

betsy hiel (@betsy_hiel) tweeted at 2:12 PM on Wed, Oct 16, 2013: Very interesting @arabist podcast that looks at the Sinai, the media and the constitution in #Egypt - listen in!http://t.co/qBxKUAtIdW

54 members of the liberal El Dostour Party submit their resignations; in protest at the party’s internal policies.

In an interview conducted by state-owned daily Al-Ahram newspaper, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy says that current Egypt-US tension will reflect on the whole region and impact US interests, adding that Egypt’s "forthcoming success," will also influence the area. 

Evan Hill ‏@evanchill 9:45 PM - 16 Oct 13: I'd like to know how Nabil Fahmy proposes Egypt pay for an overhaul of its entire military with Russian gear http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/16/us-egypt-usa-idUSBRE99F07220131016 …

Zack Gold (@ZLGold) tweeted at 1:01 PM on Wed, Oct 16, 2013: #Egypt: "the army is planning to diversify its source of weapons," incl possibly from Russia http://t.co/LWaGXlawZ8ht @hany2m 

Gabriele Del Grande writes “Back to the sea” and discusses the Libyan and Egyptian smuggling networks to Europe:

“The numbers tell the story. Since the beginning of the year until September 30, 30,100 people arrived in Italy via the Mediterranean, of whom 3,000 are Somalis, 7,500 Eritreans (nothing new so far) — and, above all, 7,500 Syrians, according to the UN. We can see that the Syrian disaster is the main flywheel for new smuggling routes toward Europe.”

Lauren E. Bohn ‏@LaurenBohn 11:09 PM - 16 Oct 13: More on the plight of #Syria refugees in #Egypt: http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/to-be-a-syrian-refugee-in-egypt/?_r=0 …

The battle between Al Jazeera and Egypt continues with Al Jazeera’s plans on prosecuting Egypt state TV for broadcasting the Ghana/Egypt football match, the first leg of the World Cup playoff, to which they own exclusive rights.

Security tightens at Cairo Airport in preparation for the return of the national team after the Ultras (hardcore football fans) said they would gather to welcome them.

ahramonline: “Egypt’s Justice Ministry to draft anti-terrorism law - With penalties possibly reaching to execution: the suggestions for the legislation stipulate it should not be used as an oppressive tool”:

“According to the report, suggestions for the new legislation include tight prison sentences for acts of aggression, sabotage and attacks committed against state institutions, public transport, museums, schools, hospitals, private property, police stations and checkpoints.” 

Margaret Coker ‏@margaretwsj 3:27 PM - 16 Oct 13: Because Egypt doesn't have enough ways to lock people up: new anti-terrorism law being drafted http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/84086.aspx  

Egypt’s interim government is keen on implementing a “protest law”. The law would give the interior minister and senior police officials the authority to cancel, postpone or change locations of protests. A written appeal would have to be handed in 24 hours prior to the protest outlining the location, purpose, names of organizers, the demands and start and end times – which would have to be “approved”. Protests would be banned in certain areas such as the surrounding areas of state buildings, presidential palace, etc…

The Salafist Al-Nour Party leader has criticized this draft protest law as well as the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).

Mohamed ElGohari discusses “The Struggle for the Public Sphere: The State versus Society”:

“Since the foundation of the first republic in 1952, Egypt’s rulers, regardless of name or political orientation, have struggled to distance the Egyptian people from politics and strip its individuals from the ability to act independently from the state. To ensure its success, the state nationalized the public and political spheres, seeing to it that they are managed and controlled exclusively by the state’s coercive apparatuses. The individual right to express oneself through protest, marches, public conventions, and even the media, was limited. Nowhere has this been more evident in Egypt’s recent history than with the laws governing the right to assembly. Repressive laws continue to stifle the right to protest, while government after government praises the street movement that brought it to the helm of power. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawy's cabinet joined these ranks, passing a highly repressive protest law, which is currently under review by the interim president.”

MiddleEast Institute (@MiddleEastInst) tweeted at 0:50 PM on Wed, Oct 16, 2013: Muslim Brotherhood's cohesion is also its pitfall (from @AP) http://t.co/k2Bn3e3E6b

maxrodenbeck (@maxrodenbeck) tweeted at 1:01 PM on Wed, Oct 16, 2013: Not My Brotherhood’s Keeper: The Fallacy of Crushing Egypt’s Chief Islamist Group http://t.co/hKQVUWYjYB

ahramonline: Amr Moussa, head of the 50-member constitution committee, says the charter is not being written to protect specific individuals. This comes after a tape emerges of what is claimed to be the army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah El Sisi asking for protected status.

Nervana Mahmoud (@Nervana_1) tweeted at 2:36 PM on Wed, Oct 16, 2013: It may be a revelation to some, but it is people that manufacture dictatorship, and not dictators who enforce themselves! #Egypt

H.A. Hellyer narrows down two names he predicts may run in Egypt’s next presidential elections in “Forecasting Egypt's presidential race 

Naira Antoun writes about the continuation of military trials for civilians, over which the 50-member committee responsible for drafting Egypt’s new constitution is divided; in “In search of fair trial”:

“And this has always been the case, from SCAF’s rule after Mubarak, to the Brotherhood rule, to the return of military stewardship over the past three months; the defendants are often activists around certain causes or ordinary citizens… Indeed it was under Morsi’s presidency that the residents of Qursaya Island, which the military claims it owns, faced military trials in a case that went viral and was often cited as a face of military control of civilian life and resources.

In this same year, the more banal case of a minor — Mahdy’s client — took place. The minor was arrested at a demonstration outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Cairo and was sentenced to six months in prison following a hearing that lasted just a few minutes and in which Mahdy was not allowed to speak. His client was being tried because he had answered an officer who had criticized his unconventional hairstyle with, “It’s better than being bald like you.” 

Jared Malsin asks “Whose sea?” and discusses how Gaza’s fishermen are losing their last refuge of water in Egypt:

“They are truly fishermen. They are not involved in politics, neither Hamas nor Fatah, or any organization,” says Jamal Basala, the father of Khaled and Ismail Basala and a fisherman himself. “Two of them were just young kids, 16 and 17 years old.”

Suzeeinthecity latest blog entry “Belal Ali Saber: Graffiti by Ammr Abo Bakr and El Zeft”:

“It is a sad reality to live in a country ruled by old men and suffered by its youth, where battles always end with more names added to the walls of martyrs; names that will no longer be remembered as the history books reflect the latest agenda of the latest regime: every regime supported the revolution, yet there was no revolution, not one bullet was shot, no one died, there were no youth, everything you witnessed never happened.

Cairo’s graffiti gives me sporadic bursts of hope because it functions as the memory of the revolution, proving that such things did happen, people did once feel pride and hope in this country, and yes, killing people is wrong.

As Tahrir’s most prolific graffiti artist Hosny once wrote: They are killing our Future.”

Press releases and reports by human rights organisations:

Amnesty International: Further information: Canadians Released from Egyptian Prison 

 

October 17

Security forces kill six alleged militants and injure two local residents in Northern Sinai.

Anti-harassment group reports 23 sexual harassment cases during the feast holidays.

Ethar El-Katatney ‏@etharkamal 11:54 PM - 17 Oct 13: Wonderful: "#SexualHarassment during #Eid came from 8 to 12-year-olds http://thecairopost.youm7.com/news/19424/inside_egypt/sexual-harassers-during-eid-are-8-to-12-years-old … #EndSH #Egypt via @TheCairoPost

Amro Ali ‏@_amroali 8:49 AM - 17 Oct 13: Meet #Alexandria's anti-sexual harassment task force. A new chapter is born for the city. #Egypt #Endsh v #Alex eyes pic.twitter.com/rptwVoVCjX

According to state news, Tamarod (Rebel) campaign leaders believe the new draft protest law is unjust. Others condemning the new law include: Abdel Moniem Aboul Fotouh (2012 presidential candidate), Mostafa El Naggar (former MP), Ezzeldine Choukri (diplomat & writer), the Salafist Al Nour Party, April 6th Youth Movement and the Youth Revolution Block.

Al-Azhar University bans political activity and threatens students with the suspension of classes. 

The 19 hardcore football fans “Ultras Ahlawy”, arrested on October 13, are released on bail. This comes after numerous demonstrations and peaceful protests in solidarity with those detained took place.

Tarek Radwan with #TahrirTrends asks “Who Represents Egyptians?” and concludes:

“The Tahrir Trends data, extrapolated into the new hyper-nationalistic environment, suggest a strong reliance on the cult of personality that has defined Egypt’s electoral politics over the last three years. As Morsi quickly fell out of public favor, so did the Muslim Brotherhood, only to be replaced with renewed faith in the army and security services, which are maximizing the opportunity to reclaim their lost status after January 25. Liberals who once touted political plurality and openness appear to have either sacrificed those values at the altar of nationalist sentiment, or left the political scene altogether—as in the case of Mohamed El-Baradei and former National Salvation Front spokesperson Khaled Dawoud…Their constituents still need bread, freedom, and human dignity. Anything less is inherently unstable: as we’ve seen, Egyptians can change their minds pretty quickly.”

Christiane Amanpour ‏@camanpour 8:48 PM - 17 Oct 13: Egypt will ‘find other sources’ for aid if needs not met, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy tells me. My interview: http://on.cnn.com/19N94f4 

ahramonline: Amnesty International calls on Egypt to end its 'appalling policy' of arresting and deporting Syrian refugees who fled armed conflict. And the Foreign Ministry responds saying “there is an official policy to deport Syrian refugees from Egypt.”

Patrick Galey ‏@patrickgaley 7:28 AM - 17 Oct 13: Another human rights abuse committed by an #Egypt's junta that coup supporters are less bothered by than football: http://mme.cm/H3KT00 

Rena Netjes ‏@RenaNetjes 10:23 AM - 17 Oct 13: RT @Sophia_MJones survivor: #Egypt's navy circled drowning #Syrian refugees off Alexandria while filming them. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/10/16/at_sea_syria_boat_refugees#.Ul7zVCFzWKE.twitter … …

Kenneth Roth ‏@KenRoth 2:36 PM - 17 Oct 13: #Egypt deported two groups of #Syria refugees back to Damascus where they were detained. Fate of some unclear. http://trib.al/wOQOn65 

The Economist ‏@TheEconomist 4:00 PM - 17 Oct 13: Syrian refugees in Egypt are now facing public hostility and bureaucratic obstruction http://econ.st/19OLQqL 

Sima Diab ‏@SimaDiab 6:03 PM - 17 Oct 13: There is nothing to be said of the horrors the #SyrianRefugees & Palestinian #refugees are living in the police stations across #Alexandria.

Sima Diab ‏@SimaDiab 6:17 PM - 17 Oct 13: Drawing by detained #refugee child held in an #Alexandria facility reads:Happy Eid, Why am I in jail? #syria #egypt pic.twitter.com/04l7qWrHep

Mohamed El Dahshan writes “Egypt Scores Dead Last on Schools—And Egyptians Couldn’t Care Less”:

"At least we're number one at something, even if it's from the bottom," quipped one of my friends in Cairo. We had just finished reading the recently issued World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, which rates Egypt as the worst country in the world in the quality of primary education. The report is based on the WEF's Global Competitiveness Indicator, an aggregate of 114 indicators grouped under 12 categories of "drivers of productivity and prosperity," including institutions, financial markets, technological readiness, and health and education, among others… This is a freedom that Egyptians are not likely to gain any time soon. Improvements in happiness, just as in competitiveness, will have to wait.”

Leader of Al Gamaa Al Islameya, Aboud El Zomor, claims that the deadlock between the Muslim Brotherhood and the army will be resolved after the feast holidays.

Jano Charbel writes about Cairo’s graffiti and how it mirrors a political tug of war in “CC on the walls”.

serena_danna ‏@serena_danna 6:12 PM - 17 Oct 13: "We removed Mubarak from the presidential palace but he lives in our bedroom" My interview with @monaeltahawy VIDEO http://27esimaora.corriere.it/articolo/mona-eltahawy-la-primavera-araba-deve-entrare-nelle-camere-da-letto/ …

Press releases and reports by human rights organisations:

Amnesty International: ‘We cannot live here any more: refugees from Syria in Egypt

End deplorable detention and deportation of refugees from Syria 

 

October 18

Merritt Publishing House founder and owner, Mohamed Hashem, plans to leave Egypt, claiming he can no longer see the revolution in action.

Demonstrations are expected in Cairo and Alexandria demanding the reinstatement of deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Military and police authorities block several main squares in anticipation and demonstrators are prevented from returning to Rabaa El Adawiya Mosque.

Al-Monitor ‏@AlMonitor 3:30 PM - 18 Sep 13: The Salafist Nour Party is seeking to lead Islamist current in #Egypt following fall of @Ikhwanweb http://almon.co/fd7 

Jack Shenker ‏@hackneylad 8:55 PM - 18 Oct 13: .@Amnesty: #Egypt's protest law "gives security forces free rein to use excessive and lethal force" & "paves the way for fresh bloodshed"

A policeman is shot dead in front of his house in Al-Arish – Northern Sinai.

Ali Abunimah ‏@AliAbunimah 3:24 PM - 18 Oct 13: Egypt’s US/Israeli-backed Sisi dictatorship destroys another lifeline tunnel to tighten Israel’s Gaza siege http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=638899 …

Amina Ismail ‏@AminaIsmail 7:47 PM - 18 Oct 13: #Sisi promised Amnesty tht th army will no longer carry out forced virginity tests after defending their use http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/egypt-military-pledges-stop-forced-virginity-tests-2011-06-27 …

Counterfeit Xanax anti-anxiety pills headed for Egypt are seized by Swiss customs agents.

Sarah El Rashidi asks “Why are Egyptians sad?”:

The failure of the state to address economic woes, which instigated the revolution for many, has led to disappointment and hopelessness.

“Many Egyptians feel depressed because we have not achieved the goals of the revolution: social justice, equal access, better education and healthcare,” Henry explains…. Poverty and political insecurity…. A lack of personal space…. Unwanted social contact…. Environmental degradation…. Poor education services…. Deficient health services.”

Alshimaa M. ‏@Agenda_kid 1:09 AM - 18 Oct 13: From an Egyptian to the world: Understanding Egypt- Shimaa from Tahrir Square: http://revolution-news.com/from-an-egyptian-to-the-world-understanding-egypt-shimaa-from-tahrir-square/ … #Anticoup #Egypt #Sisi #Morsi #MB

Egypt’s leading satirist, Bassem Youssef, writes “Egypt’s playground fight: ‘My religion is better than yours’” and starts his article by stating:

“Repetitiveness is often boring, and that’s exactly what I will be doing in this article. Some ideas are worth being analyzed, discussed and even “talked about over and over again,” especially if they are about the future of the country and those living in it.”

Press releases and reports by human rights organisations:

Amnesty International: Egypt's draft protest law paves the way for fresh bloodshed

Draft law to curb protests will pave way for further bloodshed: Media Advisory

 

October 19

ahramonline: The Egyptian Administrative Court postpones the case against Google for keeping the anti-Islam film 'Innocence of Islam' available on YouTube until 2 November.

Mohamed Ali Bishr, a Muslim Brotherhood figure, announces that the terms and conditions put forth to mediate talks between the Muslim Brotherhood and the interim government are biased in favor of the government.

The case demanding the dissolution of parties formed in religious grounds, the Freedom & Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Al Nour Party, is postponed.

Mai E. ‏@MaiE_89 10:04 PM - 19 Oct 13: Lack of agreement on Armed Forces, Article 3, farmers-workers quota & other Constituent Assembly news https://egyconstitution.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/october-13-19-this-week-in-the-constituent-assembly/ … #Egypt 

Khalil Al-Anani discusses “El Sisi and Egypt’s bankrupt civil elite”:

“The actions of the civil political elite in Egypt have not ceased to amaze since the 3 July coup. Events over the past months have proven that their actions are not based on any moral or value-based system but more an expression of political opportunism and a desire to get rid of Islamists, even if the price is to create a military dictatorship.

This is obviously apparent in the exclusionary rhetoric of many key figures of this elite, that primarily focuses on excluding Islamists and isolating them from society and politics. They also eagerly support and promote Minister of Defence Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as a presidential candidate — a paradox that history will ponder at length.”

A bomb explodes near the Ismailia army intelligence building northeast of Cairo. According to security sources and state media another undetonated bomb is found and at least five soldiers and a civilian are injured. Military spokesperson, Ahmed Ali, blames the attack on ‘sectarian factions’.

Corruption case against Ahmed Shafik – Mubarak’s last PM and 2012 presidential candidate – is adjourned to November 17.

The Ultras Ahlawy, hardcore football fans, stage large demonstrations demanding the release of 25 members arrested during clashes at Cairo airport on October 13 and charged with attempted murder and assault on security forces.

According to ministry spokesman, Badr Abdelatty, Egyptian Ambassador Mohammed Abu Bakr is in "intense contacts with Libyan authorities and several local chieftains to secure the release of Egyptian drivers kidnapped by armed men" in the eastern city of Ajdabiya - Libya.

Mohamed El-Menshawy writes “The US and the strategy of populating Egypt’s Sinai” in which he concludes:

“Stabilising Sinai could serve Washington’s interests, but the security or military option to secure Sinai will never succeed in serving Egyptian interests. El-Sisi offered assurances that “The Armed Forces will never allow any threats against Sinai, and its sons are ready to sacrifice their lives in order for Sinai to remain part of Egypt and never depart from it.” Yes, sacrificing their lives for Sinai is a noble cause, but it will not change the painful and frightening reality of the Sinai Peninsula, which should begin by giving the people of Sinai their rights on their land and the land of their forefathers.

There is no alternative to a “strategy to populate Sinai” and no other way than to move millions of Egyptians – who overcrowd our cities and villages with random housing, work and life – into Sinai if we want to secure Sinai. This would not be for the purpose of serving US interests but in order for Sinai to remain Egyptian.”

 

October 20

A boat of 254 Syrian and Egyptian migrants including 94 minors arrives in Italy; they are rescued some 150 nautical miles southeast of Sicily. 

‏@LinahAlsaafin 4:02 PM - 20 Oct 13: RT @ANimer Syrian refugees held in prison in #Alexandria #egypt #syria pic.twitter.com/b6swunhZlE

ahramonline: Interim Prime Minister, Hazem El Beblawi, says there are indications that Egypt is "on the right track," asserting that improvements are evident in terms of security, politics, and economy. 

Muslim Brotherhood leading figure, Mohammed Ali Bishr, says there are no new reconciliation initiatives with government on the table.

Nervana’s latest blog post is titled “General Sissi is no savior for Egypt’s non-Islamists”, in which she discusses why it’s not a homogenous coalition, why old habits die-hard and how the social void continues.

Ahmad Talaat ‏@Ahmadtal3t 1:15 PM - 20 Oct 13: PHOTO: One of the detained ultras Ahlawy members after being whipped and tortured by #Egypt's Police. pic.twitter.com/GLbA6aWn6S #UA07 #CNN #BBC

Sarah Naguib (@Sarahngb) tweeted at 7:21 PM on Sun, Oct 20, 2013: Jan25 is no longer being spun as the revolution that the MB hijacked. It's almost spun as the coup the MB carried out

Sawsan Gad writes “Egypt Parallel Constitution” and discusses “vetocratic” nations and concludes:

“There is no place in our political world for late learners and our constitution should reflect this reality. Let’s not be stubborn enough to make Egypt ungovernable, let’s not be short-sighted enough to deem our state irrelevant.” 

@SultanAlQassemi 11:42 PM - 20 Oct 13: Egypt's army chief rides wave of popularity towards presidency http://gu.com/p/3jyba  by @PatrickKingsley for @Guardian Quotes @Bassem_Sabry

A bus carrying Central Security Forces (CSF) conscripts is attacked in North Sinai.

Al Azhar University banned political activity prior to the start of the academic year, however, several hundred students ignore the ban and protest against the army. 7 students are arrested. The Ministry of Interior denies television reports of raiding the campus and Al Azhar SU vows more protests after violence and arrests.

Mohamed Fadel Fahmy ‏@Repent11 4:28 PM - 20 Oct 13: The Ministry of Interior announced that the security forces arrested 55 student from Al Azhar University during clashes #Egypt

betsy hiel ‏@betsy_hiel 5:48 PM - 20 Oct 13: In Pictures: Al-Azhar Pro-Morsi students clash with police http://shar.es/EFHd2  #Egypt

Galal ‏@GalalAmrG 2:27 PM - 20 Oct 13: Anti-coup protest at GUC campus and students immediately started chanting pro-Sisi and anti-MB slogans. #Egypt

According to an Egyptian railway authority official 28 trains between Cairo and Alexandria will return to service on October 22, after the first session of deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s trial. This comes after nearly a two-month standstill.

A wedding at a church in Warraq, Imbaba – Giza is attacked by unknown assailants leaving 18 injured and 4 confirmed dead, including the groom’s mother and 8 and 12 year old girls.

@adamakary 11:40 PM - 20 Oct 13: tonight, the deep state wins again.

Nelly Ali (@nellyali) tweeted at 1:53 AM on Mon, Oct 21, 2013: The smallest minority is the individual, w/no respect 4 individual rights, protection, freedoms, dignity-what chance do Copts have in Egypt?

Former Prime Minister, Atef Ebeid, and former Interior Minister, Ahmed Gamal El-Din, and current Petroleum Minister, Sherif Ismail are to testify in the retrial of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, and his interior minister Habib El-Adly. The three sessions are not going to be aired publicly for “security reasons”.  

The court adjourns a case against Hosni Mubarak's two sons and his last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, on charges of squandering public funds and facilitating the illegal sale of state land to October 24. 

Witchy ‏@nagoul1 3:14 AM - 20 Oct 13: So when will the #Jun30 Revolution put Mubarak and Tantawi on a real trial? Huh? #Egypt

fustat ‏@fustat 9:56 AM - 20 Oct 13: Transparency needed to safeguard martyrs rights.. #MubarakTrial resumes in closed session: #Jan25 #Egypt | Reuters http://reut.rs/1b2lYGf 

Jahd Khalil asks “Dysfunction or opportunity?” and discusses various creative new endeavors by Egypt’s young entrepreneurs.

A suspect is arrested for the killing of Shia leader and three others in June 2013.

Associated Press: Egyptian doctor Mohamed Helmy was honoured last month by Israel's Holocaust memorial for hiding Jews in Berlin during the Nazi genocide. However, a family member tracked down by the Associated Press (AP) this week in Cairo said her relatives wouldn't accept the award, one of Israel's most prestigious. 

Egyptian drivers held in Libya are to be released after talks with tribes.

 

October 21

Authorities arrest dozens of Al Azhar University students following protests on October 20.

shadi rahimi شادي ‏@shadirahimi 7:03 PM - 21 Oct 13: "#Egypt police clash with Al-Azhar protesters meanwhile gunmen fire on Christian wedding" http://buff.ly/HdrUD4  and http://buff.ly/16mTD03 

Rana Allam discusses the protest law and how authorities tried to implement it in 2011, 2012 and now in “The right to say NO!

The Muslim Brotherhood condemns the attack on Al Warraq church and holds the Ministry of Interior responsible for not protecting Egyptians. And the Maspero Youth Union demands the dismissal of the Minister of Interior, Mohamed Ibrahim, who was initially appointed by Morsi and call for protests on October 22 against the government. The Salafist Al Nour Party as well as Al Gamaa Al Islamiya also condemn the attack.

Basil الضبع ‏@basildabh 2:39 PM - 21 Oct 13: A reminder to those blaming the church’s July 3 position for sectarian attacks: similar things happened under Morsi, SCAF, Mubarak, Sadat… 

Mina Fayek ‏@minafayek 11:10 PM - 21 Oct 13: Warraq Church officials said they had received threats before the shooting and had informed the police to no avail. http://reut.rs/1fQu76o 

Mina Fayek (@minafayek) tweeted at 1:07 AM on Mon, Oct 21, 2013: So MB NOW quote Copts criticizing state for not protecting churches, aren't they the very same Copts who conspired against Morsi & Islam?!

Yasmine Fathi in the “Al Warraq church attack: From wedding to funeral” explains what took place yesterday:

“Local residents say the area has seen virtually no security presence after police raided two major Cairo protest camps set up by loyalists of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, leaving hundreds dead and setting off days of deadly street showdowns…. Eyewitnesses noted that police and ambulances on Sunday arrived almost two hours after their numerous distress calls.

The Imbaba police station, a few miles away from the church, was razed to the ground in the immediate aftermath of the deadly crackdown on Morsi's supporters.”

Sarah El Deeb (@seldeeb) tweeted at 1:57 AM on Mon, Oct 21, 2013: #pt "regardless of creed or class.Its painful 2note that..priest of Warrak Church..confirms a total lack of police protection since 30 June"

Mosa'ab Elshamy ‏@mosaaberizing 7:57 PM - 21 Oct 13: Three Copts killed as gunmen shot at a wedding last night. My photos of today's funeral at the Warraq church: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjL92RXW 

The US as well as the EU condemn the attack on the church.

Bel Trew - بل ترو ‏@Beltrew 5:09 PM - 21 Oct 13: The huge crowds are shouting in unison "with our blood and our soul we give ourselves to the cross" as they follow the coffins into Warraq

salamamoussa ‏@salamamoussa 6:39 PM - 21 Oct 13: Asking MOI to protect Churches in #Egypt is pointless, unless #Copts demand a constitution that doesn't disenfranchise them.

Ansar Beit Al Maqdis claim responsibility for blast at army intelligence building in Ismailiya on October 19. They had claimed responsibility for the attack on the Minister of Interior last month and advise the “people of Egypt to avoid army and police buildings.”

Kuwait gives Egypt 5 years to repay USD 2 billion loan.

Joel Gulhane ‏@jgulhane 11:10 PM - 21 Oct 13: A great read: Social enterprises: The missing piece to protecting #Egypt’s natural treasures? by @IrisBoutros. http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/10/21/social-enterprises-the-missing-piece-to-protecting-egypts-natural-treasures/ … 

The third closed session in Mubarak’s retrial is to take place today. Former Major-General of the armed forces, Hassan El-Roweiny, is to testify as well as Omar El Dardiry, the head of the investigation unit at Minya prison during the 18 days in January 2011. Both Hosni Mubarak and his PM Habib El Adly received life sentences in June 2012 for the killing of peaceful protestors. The trial is postponed to November 16, 17, 18 as the 2012 verdicts are overturned due to procedural improperties.

The forgery case against Salafist leader, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, is adjourned for the third time for no-show.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Khairat El Shater and Saad El Katatni, are charged with espionage and the Supreme Guide, Mohamed Badie, is accused of inciting clashes in July 2013. Their detentions are extended for a further 15 days.

The April 6th Youth Movement is choosing a new head to replace co-founder and leader Ahmed Maher who is planning to assume an advisory role.

Final discussions of the new constitution are to take place behind closed doors to resolve contentious articles and a final draft is expected to be presented on December 3.

Zaid Al-Ali ‏@zalali 1:20 PM - 21 Oct 13: C50 is contemplating possibility of removing all civilian oversight on the military http://shorouknews.com/news/view.aspx?cdate=21102013&id=d4be8837-8980-461b-9d98-1df3dee30638 … #Egypt #constitution

salamamoussa ‏@salamamoussa 6:47 PM - 21 Oct 13: There is no indication that the constitution of 2013 in #Egypt will be anything more than lipstick on the pig of the 2012 version.

Sherif Elsayed-Ali ‏@sherifea 11:06 AM - 21 Oct 13: BBC film inside a police station where #Syria refugees are held without charge in #Egypt http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24606803 …

 

October 22

For the first time since the dispersal of the sit-ins on August 14, railway services resume operations between Cairo and Alexandria. The Cairo – Sohag line remains closed.

PM media advisor, Sherif Shawky, announces that the state of emergency is due to end in November without the possibility of extension.

Galal (@GalalAmrG) tweeted at 6:37 PM on Tue, Oct 22, 2013: President Adly Mansour can't extend the emergency state after it ends in Nov without a referendum, according to the decree. #Egypt

LE5000 (equiv. to USD725) is offered in compensation by the Giza governorate to the families of the victims of the Warraq church attack. The administrative head of the church tells prosecutors that police conscripts responsible for guarding the church were not present during the assault.

betsy hiel (@betsy_hiel) tweeted at 6:26 PM on Tue, Oct 22, 2013: Attack on wedding is latest horror for Egypt's Coptic Christians http://t.co/GQCFVNO8wN

Dalia Rabie reports first hand accounts of witnesses and victims of the attack on the church in “Shooting turns a wedding into a funeral”.

H.A. Hellyer also comments on recent sectarian violence in “Crosses flanked by Crescents won’t cut it”:

“As with many things, the problems with Egypt do not come down to not knowing the correct solutions – but having the political will to apply them. It is not that Egyptians are incapable of doing better on these issues – that’s preposterous and denies history. It is that the leadership they have permitted to rule over them has consistently, and constantly, failed them. Until that is resolved, Sunday’s tragedy will not only go unpunished, but is likely to be repeated, again and again. All the crosses encased in crescents, with all the signs declaring “Egyptian Christians and Muslims are one”, will do nothing to obviate that fact.” 

Four police officers are detained over the killing of 37 arrested individuals. They died of asphyxiation due to teargas and overcrowding while they were being transferred to Abu Zabaal prison. For more information, see “Egypt in the balance: what the blogs are saying”, August 18.

hebamorayef (@hebamorayef) tweeted at 4:03 PM on Tue, Oct 22, 2013: Referral of 4 police to trial for killing of 36 detainees in Abu Zaabal truck incident is the first hint of any accountability since 30/6

An opinion poll by the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) shows that 37% of Egyptians say that the performance of the country’s interim leaders is “good” while half say it is “average” and 13-14% believe it’s “poor”. 

@adamakary 7:52 PM - 22 Oct 13: So far 663,265 #Egypt expats from 164 countries have registered to vote in upcoming const'l referendum. Dec 2 is the deadline to register.

Egypt's presidency denies media reports suggesting that they made contact with opposing "factions" in order to pull Egypt out of its current stalemate. 

18 people are injured in clashes at protests in universities in and outside the capital.

Police and military forces thwart an attempt by Muslim Brotherhood supporters to storm the Deir Al-Barsha police station in south Mallawi, Upper Egypt.

A senior member of the Salafist Al Nour party asks interim Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa El Din to enforce transitional justice and promote reconciliation.

Interim President Adly Mansour is presented with a stimulus package with the request to amend the State budget. 

According to U.S. officials and congressional aides President Barack Obama's first package of economic aid to Egypt since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi is hitting a roadblock in Congress, where a key Republican senator is holding up the transfer of $60 million to a program to spur private investment in Egypt.

Egypt’s Jon Stewart equivalent, political satirist Bassem Youssef, believes supporters of army chief Abdel Fattah El Sisi may file legal complaints against him when his show comes back on air. He also added that fear of censorship will not stop him from political critique. 

The retrial of 11 Ultras Al Masry, die-hard football fans, for the Port Said massacre that took place in February 2012 where 70 Ahly football fans were killed, is postponed to December 18. They are convicted of premeditated murder and were handed sentences in absentia ranging from 15 years to life in prison last January.

Mahmoud Salem writes “On popularity and bubbles” in which he concludes:

“Bubbles burst from overexposure, popularity is a two way street that is contingent upon consistency and quality, and personality cults are too twentieth century to survive in our day and age, especially Messianic ones, because the age of miracles is over. The only constant in our day and age is disillusionment. Remember Obama mania and how long it took for the shine to wear off? Exactly. However, the military critics shouldn’t bring out the champagne just yet, for the popularity of Al-Sisi may come and go, but in a weird way, it will never affect the popularity of the armed forces. Some popularities are more entrenched than others."

 

October 23

Security forces arrest 72 suspects in Rafah – Northern Sinai in connection to a bomb attack on a security convoy.

17 are wounded and 5 are killed in microbus collision in southern Egypt.

Hatem Khater, the head of Egypt's state NGO federation, is detained for 15 days while investigations into allegations of inciting violence and belonging to an outlawed group –the Muslim Brotherhood – are to take place.

Mokhtar Awad ‏@Mokhtar_Awad 6:34 PM - 23 Oct 13: Hatem Khater, whom Egyptian authorities arrested under suspicion of being MB had approved the dissolution of the MB http://www.hatemkhater.com/?p=702 

Nader Fergani writes “No reconciliation; prosecute them and cure them” in which he concludes:

“While it is true the so-called Islamist Right has many followers, most of them are misguided, and many who participated in their non-peaceful and criminal activities are hired mercenaries. Other followers were misled and made mistakes, but did not commit crimes. Perhaps they are still living under illusions and delusions such as “Morsi will be back, God willing” and “6 October is the last day” – even though many days have passed since without their delusions coming true. As for those who were paid to participate in their demonstrations, they are also sick and need to be cured. Thus, the transitional ministries of health and justice should prepare to administer an effective cure to them all, and the entire cabinet should prepare to economically rehabilitate anyone who needs it.”

Farid Zahran asks “What are the chances of mergers and alliances inside the democratic movement?” and discusses four directions: the liberals, national Nasserites, the leftists and the social democrats. 

Washington Post ‏@washingtonpost 8:19 PM - 23 Oct 13: Egypt government is considering a law that would ban sit-ins and permit lethal force for vague reasons http://wapo.st/16vFBnE 

The head of the constitutional committee responsible for drafting Egypt’s constitution, Amr Moussa, denies rumours that the army has demanded 'immunity' for army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Disputes on the final draft of the constitution erupt within the 50-member committee due to controversial articles related to the armed forces and judicial authorities.

Amr Fahmy ‏@AmrAdelFahmy 7:48 AM - 23 Oct 13: “@mike_giglio: Good preview of Egypt's new constitution from @EricTrager18 http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/egypt-prepares-its-next-constitution … h/t @AmrAdelFahmy

Essam Derbala, a senior member of Al Gamaa Al Islamiya's political wing, says that his group has been devoted to peaceful participation and protest since the late 1990s and that there is no basis for concern that they will resort to violence.

Salah Abdel Maqsoud, Information Minister under Morsi, is referred to criminal court and accused of the involvement of theft of public property during the pro-Morsi Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in.

Mohamed El Dahshan writes “Egypt's Got 99 Problems, But U.S. Aid Ain't One”:

“The decision is not serious - because, if it were, the United States would have done much more than cancel war games and a four-year-old order of tanks. The United States merely wants to be seen as doing "something" to sanction the military-led Egyptian government, which clearly isn't concerned with its already shaky international standing, and continues to wantonly kill its own citizens without a second thought (including on the national holiday a few days prior to the U.S. decision). And even as the State Department spokesperson was searching for the most diplomatically appropriate way to say, "We are really mad at you," Secretary of State Kerry was making reassuring remarks to Cairo, emphasizing the United States' "commitment to the success of this government," and that the aid suspension wasn't "a withdrawal from the countries' relationship." That doesn't make for a very convincing message.”

A new political movement, the National Partnership Current, is launched. They aim to bring the advocates of January 2011 and June 2013 together.

Hani Shukrallah discusses “Coverage in black and white: Mainstream media and post- 30 June Egypt” and states:

“If you were looking for truthful, objective and balanced coverage of the profoundly complex, intensely polarised Egyptian scene after the 30 June uprising, you had to look outside the mainstream media–at home or abroad”

Mohamed Mahmoud El Sayed a.k.a. the “Maadi thug” accused of sexually terrorizing women has his sentence reduced from 45 to 5 years.

Samer Al-Atrush ‏@SameralAtrush 6:32 PM - 23 Oct 13: Despite his nickname, the Maadi Butcher did not in fact kill anyone, but slashed his victims, all women

FMF ‏@MajoritySpeaks 6:34 PM - 23 Oct 13: #Women in #Egypt can now map and report #streetharassment with HarassMap. http://bit.ly/19vrrGh  #EndSH

Mona Eltahawy ‏@monaeltahawy 2:31 PM - 24 Oct 13: "There are no explicit anti-sexual harassment provisions under Egyptian law." #Egypt

 

October 24

Death toll of Al Warraq church attack rises to 5.

Mahmoud Khattab ‏@Mamoudinijad 8:32 PM - 24 Oct 13: To my friends involved in human rights activism in #Egypt who are working to be 'represented' in new constitution: don't be fucking fooled.

syd naser ‏@sydnaser1 3:14 PM - 24 Oct 13: US lawmakers demand response to Egypt's human rights violations - See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/7940-us-lawmakers-demand-response-to-egypts-human-rights-violations#sthash.iB9xrFat.dpuf …

Although PM media advisor, Sherif Shawky, announced on October 22 that the state of emergency is due to end in November - without the possibility of extension. The Al Ahram [Ar] reports that the curfew could remain in place. A legal expert says the curfew currently in force cannot be extended legally outside the state of emergency. Meanwhile, the curfew is shortened to four hours, 1AM-5AM, except on Fridays – the day of protests - when it will continue to start at 7PM.

The Big Pharaoh ‏@TheBigPharaoh 11:22 PM - 24 Oct 13: Egypt might enter the Guinness Book of Records as the country that had the longest and most useless curfew in human history.

H.A. Hellyer د. إتش ‏@hahellyer 10:38 AM - 24 Oct 13: Military officers back Sisi for president, and Saad Eddin Ibrahim calls him Egypt's 'saviour from darkness . http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/23/uk-egypt-sisi-idUKBRE99M0RO20131023 ... 

A policeman is shot dead at a military checkpoint in Al Arish – North Sinai.

Army and police forces discover an underground field hospital set-up near the border with Gaza in Sheikh Zuwayed - Northern Sinai. 

Shadi Hamid ‏@shadihamid 9:15 PM - 24 Oct 13: In his paper, @zlgold assesses interests & capabilities of each of the main actors in Sinai - Egypt, Israel, Hamas: http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2013/10/22-sinai-hamas-egypt-israel-gold …

The verdict in the corruption case against Mubarak’s last PM Ahmed Shafik and his sons Alaa and Gamal will be announced on December 19. Shafik is being tried for facilitating the sale of 40,000 sqm. of land owned by the Association of Pilot Officers to Gamal and Alaa Mubarak at a lower than market price.

Basil الضبع ‏@basildabh 2:15 PM - 24 Oct 13: Beblawi, Bahaa El-Din, Central Bank gov, and ministers of investment, trade, industry, housing, and petroleum will travel to UAE Oct 25-27.

Nour Bakr writes “Recalibrating a policy of not taking sides in Egypt”:

“That the US decided to continue providing equipment and parts needed to keep Egypt’s jets and helicopters operational only illustrates a clear intent to avoid undermining Egypt’s ability to cooperate with Israel on security matters. Only when this cooperation is no longer in Egypt’s interests to maintain, the US may seriously consider the possibility of a complete cut to aid.

Until then, a policy of not taking sides reinforced by a continued process of recalibrating ties is the only position the Obama administration can take which minimises its inflammatory presence in Egypt’s domestic affairs whilst preserving the national interests of both nations.”

Hatem Khater, the NGO federation head, arrested on October 23 on charges of inciting violence and belonging to an outlawed group is released while investigations continue. 

A Muslim Brotherhood-led coalition is to hold a week of protests dubbed 'Suez resilience, our way to Jerusalem' beginning on October 25 to condemn what they describe as "the bloody military coup" against Mohamed Morsi. 

Jahd Khalil reviews “The Brotherhood, before and after”:

“When the Brotherhood was able to crawl back from the shadows to participate publicly in politics and society at large, reformists inside the group found that the conservative leadership had little interest in engaging with others. While reformists attempted to cooperate with other social forces in professional associations and civil society, the conservatives focused on bringing the base closer to their own conceptions of Islam, which were traditional but never truly defined. At times, Wickham writes, the conservative wing simply “clung to the traditional conception of the Brotherhood’s mission as an expression of Islam itself,” rather than articulating what Islam was to them.”

State Commissioner's Authority recommends overturning the court ruling to dismiss the case against satirist Bassem Youssef for allegedly insulting the president, arguing that as a symbol of the state, the president should not be insulted.

 

October 25

The cabinet has been discussing recent losses in the textile industry. 

Prime Minister, Hazem El Beblawi, visits the UAE to discuss future cooperation between the two States. This is his first official foreign visit. 

Small pro-Morsi rallies take place in greater Cairo, leaving four injured. And clashes erupt in Sidi Bishr – Alexandria. Security forces disperse demonstrations in several governorates.

Bassem Youssef, Egypt’s famous satirist, show returns to Egypt’s screens tonight.

Zeinab ElGundy looks back on his ten most talked about episodes here. And David Kenner asks “How Far Can Egypt’s Jon Stewart Go Without Being Thrown in Jail? 

Galal ‏@GalalAmrG 11:04 PM - 25 Oct 13: Bassem Youssef already getting some hate from many Mubarak supporters. Great sign.

The Muslim Brotherhood repeat their denial of any involvement in the recent Al Warraq church attack that left five dead. The Archbishop of the church suggested that three Brotherhood members were injured in the incident.

The 'No to Military Trials' Movement says the army is attempting to keep the mandate to subject civilians to military tribunals in the amended constitution.

Nourhan ‏@NourTR  2:17 PM - 25 Oct 13: Daily News Egypt: Draft protest law violates international human rights law: ANHRI http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/10/25/draft-protest-law-violates-international-human-rights-law-anhri/ …

EgyptSource ‏@EgyptSource 6:03 PM - 25 Oct 13: National Council for Human Rights propose amendments to protest law http://bit.ly/1c42Ict  #Egypt #NCHR

A new Israeli Ambassador is appointed to Egypt. 

Karina Loren ‏@miskelayla 3:09 PM - 25 Oct 13: Pro-Morsi coalition in #Egypt plans week of protests inspired by 'resistance to Israel' seeing support 4 Palestinian cause reason 4 ouster

The Cairo Post ‏@TheCairoPost 4:43 PM - 25 Oct 13: #Israel claims $ 470 bln. compensation for #Egypt #gas cut off. http://thecairopost.youm7.com/news/23722/news/israel-claims-470-bln-compensation-for-egypt-gas-cut-off …

 

See ‘related articles’ for openDemocracy highlights. 

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

Please send us your suggestions of relevant blogs, articles and twitter accounts to share with our readers worldwide, on arabawakening@opendemocracy.net


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the
oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.