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Egypt in the balance: what the blogs are saying 23 - 30 September

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.

September 23

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy discussed developments in Egypt in New York on Sunday.

Sarah El Deeb (@seldeeb) tweeted at 10:35 AM on Mon, Sep 23, 2013: “@glcarlstrom:Nabil Fahmy promises John Kerry there won't b any military trials for civilians:http://t.co/GDaIMuveBv (Ar) #egypt” @Monasosh

Court decides the fate of the Muslim Brotherhood as a group and NGO; all activities are to be banned. This comes after a case was filed by the Tagammu Party demanding its dissolution. The group was banned twice in the 1950’s.

Ibrahim Monir, a member of the Brotherhood’s guidance office based in London, describes this as a political decision.

لإِسْكَنْدَرَانَيّة ‏@_Schehrazade_ 7:22 PM - 23 Sep 13: People who think banning the MB = the end of MB are so cute. Fast-forward to 2072, different year, same headline. #Egypt

Evan Hill (@evanchill) tweeted at 6:43 PM on Mon, Sep 23, 2013: Even Mubarak didn't figure Sisi for an interventionist. http://t.co/gYUbSqiN7V (via @erictrager18)

According to Aswat Masriya: Mohamed Al Beltagy, Muslim Brotherhood leader, is detained for 4 days “pending investigations in allegations that he insulted the judiciary”. Beltagy was arrested on August 29.

28 Muslim Brotherhood supporters are arrested for clashes that took place in Alexandria on Friday, September 20.

Dalia Rabie writes about the renovations taking place in Rabaa Al-Adaweya where the sit-in of the Muslim Brotherhood took place after June 30th in “The day after – Brotherhood sit-in sites are getting full makeovers, as history gets erased”.

Cairo University students return for the new academic year, with a few hundred protesting. However, former Grand Mufti, Ali Gomaa, goes to Cairo University to present a thesis and is not welcomed by students.

Evan Hill (@evanchill) tweeted at 6:32 PM on Mon, Sep 23, 2013: Cairo University students protest the grand mufti, who prescribed death for coup opponents, during a thesis defense http://t.co/3boBvazlZJ

Useofthelonghandle ‏@themuneeb 2:13 PM - 23 Sep 13: @_amroali @ahramonline good for him. Waiting for his death fatwa for 'harrassing a scholar' 

Bourse hits 6 month high after second interest rate cut by the central bank last Thursday.

Iris Bourtos writes “The ‘minimum wage’ defeat for ten million”:

“At the end of the day, in all the talk about minimum wage or total income, there has been no voice representing the majority of Egyptian workers. The interests of these ten million have been excluded, as none of these laws would improve their livelihoods. The new public sector minimum total income law will not help them. Neither will a private sector equivalent. Most signals of this technocratic interim cabinet have been that they themselves do not see these laws as particularly useful for the labour problems Egypt faces.” 

Minoush Abdel-Meguid ‏@minoushy 10:17 AM - 23 Sep 13: Min wage along with interest rate cuts will push inflation to the roof. Sticking a fork in a toaster economic policy #EgyEconomy #Bibs #Egypt

Galal (@GalalAmrG) tweeted at 6:39 PM on Mon, Sep 23, 2013: Tourism Minister: The Netherlands and Belgium lift Egypt travel bans.

The Daily News Egypt (@DailyNewsEgypt) tweeted at 5:28 PM on Mon, Sep 23, 2013: Agricultural exports of Egypt rose 20% in 2012/2013’s fiscal year: Abdelnourhttp://t.co/mIlqGxrTBf

50-member constitutional committee spokesperson, Salmawy, announces that the constitution adopted under deposed President Mohamed Morsi is likely to be “partially or totally amended”.  Leaders from the National Council for Women (NCW) meet with the Coalition of Feminists to discuss the role of women and girls in the Egyptian constitution. A delegation from the “No Military Trials” calls on the constituent assembly to cancel military trials for civilians in the constitution. The State Litigation Authority calls on the assembly to reconsider several of the changes made by the legal experts committee to the 2012 constitution, out of fear that they may lead to more corruption.

Galal (@GalalAmrG) tweeted at 0:33 PM on Mon, Sep 23, 2013: Al-Ahram: No Military Trials demands Committee of 50 to limit military trials to military personnel, ban it for civilians. #Egypt

Canadians, Tarek Loubani and John Greyson, remain in detention.

Omar Robert Hamilton (@ORHamilton) tweeted at 5:28 PM on Mon, Sep 23, 2013: Day 38: ways you can help John Greyson and Tarek Loubani > http://t.co/WjV0Il06Tq

On a cultural note…

Deena Mohamed created “Qahera”, a comic strip in Arabic and English about a hijabi super-heroine who combats Islamophobia and misogyny. Here’s the podcast of an interview with Deena.

Egyptian artists are to participate in London’s Nour Festival of Arts, which will take place mostly within the borough of Kensington and Chelsea throughout the month of October.

Sara Salem (@saramsalem) tweeted at 5:45 PM on Mon, Sep 23, 2013: Check it out! “@MsJamshidi: “The Future of the #ArabSpring: ” On the Role of the Grassroots in the Arab Uprisings: http://t.co/jhz8OyEBb4

September 24

Two policemen are wounded in Port-Said by an armed motorcycle drive by near a police station.

Egypt warns Hamas of a military response if there is any attempt to violate Egyptian security.

The Daily News Egypt ‏@DailyNewsEgypt 4:11 PM - 24 Sep 13: Hamas, choked by blockade, seeks to avoid Egypt clash http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/09/24/hamas-choked-by-blockade-seeks-to-avoid-egypt-clash/  

Thousands of Ultras White Knights (UWK) gather at the funeral of a fellow Zamalek football fan, Amr Hussein, who died after being shot in a protest on Thursday. This article “Egypt’s Ultras: Politically involved but not politically driven, yet” provides information about the relationship, or lack of, these football fans have with the Egyptian government.

Operation Egypt ‏@OperationEgypt 8:08 AM - 24 Sep 13: Students marching against "the coup" in the first day of the semester. Cairo University, Egypt, 22/9/2013. http://fb.me/6DJ3oNr1z 

Ahmed Mekki, former Minister of Justice under deposed President Morsi, is summoned to court for a lawsuit filed against the judges who oversaw the 2005 parliamentary elections. He fails to show up. 

Detained deputy leader of Al-Wasat Party, Essam Sultan, is fined a total of EGP 40,000 for insulting former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik. 

The Way of the Revolution Front, a new movement, hold a press conference to announce their establishment and clarify that they are against both the Brotherhood and the military. They aim to “recover the revolution and put an end to the counter-revolution”.

Maher Hamoud ‏@MaherHamoud1 9:10 PM - 24 Sep 13: "We will not ally with the Brotherhood or the Army": The Way of the Revolution Front http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/09/24/we-will-not-ally-with-the-brotherhood-or-the-army-the-way-of-the-revolution-front/ … #Egypt

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) calls on Head of the Constituent Assembly, Amr Moussa, to ensure that the new constitution protects press freedom.

Hani Shukrallah’s latest “A people’s history of the Egyptian Revolution”:

“It seemed to be working: the army was – more or less – back in the barracks, the police were now doing their torture and killing for the Brotherhood, the Judiciary was being subdued and MB and Mubarak Oligarchs were making nice”

The interim government postpones the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to the spokesman of the constituent assembly, Mohamed Salmawy, the amendments relating to the presidents oath and duties have been completed. Click here to read the proposed amendments. 

Dalia Ezzat ‏@DaliaEzzat_ 1:33 AM - 24 Sep 13: Campaign to issue new Egypt constitution (rather than amending it) gathers different momentum http://bit.ly/1eCMQSz  

Iris Boutros ‏@IrisBoutros 2:35 PM - 24 Sep 13: @Ibishblog In #Egypt public sector workers made LE657 per wk, priv LE397 on avg. #Facts ignored in min wage debate http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/09/23/the-minimum-wage-defeat-for-ten-million/ …

Jonathan Guyer discusses how political cartoonists work has been evolving in Egypt in  “Under Morsi, Red Lines Gone Grey”.

Jano Charbel discusses the Egyptian cotton industry in “Death of a sector – Egypt’s ageing textile industry speaks a tale of how corruption and mismanagement killed the sector, but also of mobilized industrial action”:

“Since the late 1990s, numerous committees have been established to salvage the state-owned textile companies — often resulting in privatizations, mass-layoffs and factory closures.

But three public-sector textile companies, which had been privatized under the Mubarak regime, had their privatization contracts nullified via court order in 2011. The state has repeatedly declined to reabsorb these three companies back into the public sector — thus leaving thousands of workers in a state of limbo.”

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR): Civil Society Representatives: The draft law is a positive step forward and civil society association needs every support available. 

 

September 25

TUI restarts trips to Egypt.

Five Morsi supporters are sentenced to 6 months with a EGP26,000 (approx. USD 3772) bail. Two State Security policemen are sentenced to 2 months with labor for torturing suspects in 2011, however the defendants are allowed to pay approx. USD 725 for a suspended sentence.

Clashes erupt at Alexandria and Zagazig Universities between pro-Morsi and pro-army students.

The Freedom and Justice Party, an Islamist political party with strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood, newspaper headquarters are shut down.

Salma Elwardany ‏@S_Elwardany 8:39 AM - 25 Sep 13: Egypt authorities raid Muslim Brotherhood newspaper HQ in Manial, sealed off HQ; confiscated equipment and papers: FJP news portal

The Big Pharaoh ‏@TheBigPharaoh5:51 PM - 25 Sep 13: Mubarak left a door slit for the MB because they were powerful. Revolution wide opened the door. Leveraging on popularity, Sisi slammed it. 

The Big Pharaoh ‏@TheBigPharaoh 5:55 PM - 25 Sep 13: Government announced that it will not disband the MB till there is a final court verdict.

Rafah Crossing with Gaza is set to be partially re-opened.

Jared Malsin discusses how the destruction of the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt has economic costs for both sides of the border:

“On the Egyptian side, people of north Sinai, largely excluded from Egypt’s army and security forces and sidelined from the formal economy in tourism, oil, and other industries, bought into a localized tunnel boom. They ran and transported anything into Gaza, from fuel cars to fish. The tunnel-based economy flourished after the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, when Sinai residents expelled police from much of the territory.” 

Hany Rasmy ‏@hany2m 11:42 AM - 25 Sep 13: #Egypt to open Rafah crossing for 3 days on Saturday for students and humanitarian cases | Ma'an http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=633088 … #Gaza

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nabil Fahmy, announces that anyone – Hamas or others - attempting to breach Egypt’s national security will be met with tough responses. He also said that Obama’s remarks on Egypt during the United Nations General Assembly were out of context. To see video of his interview with CNN, click here.

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 5:39 PM - 25 Sep 13: Sick, but not surprising ! RT@patrickgaley : #Egypt among 10 worst offenders for discrimination against women: pic.twitter.com/3Ue17xcWCR

The first draft of the amended constitution expected to be released to the public the first week of October, according to Amr Moussa – the head of the 50-member committee drafting the constitution. The debate as to whether military trials for civilians should be completely banned or not, continues.

The Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic (Christian) youth movement, meet with the 50-member committee and request that article 2 be dropped from the constitution, which stipulates that “Islam is the main source of legislation” and propose a new article that states Egypt a civil state.

Deena ‏@deenahsn 8:20 PM - 25 Sep 13: Copts rally at St Mark Cathedral in Abasiya protesting Bishop Armia's statement on Art3 of the constitution. http://www.youm7.com/News.asp?NewsID=1267262&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter … #Egypt

 The Egyptian Centre for Public Policy Studies (ECPPS) documents violence against Coptic Christians and releases a report titled “Oppressed under different regimes—Egypt’s Christians between sectarian violence and state negligence”. 

The Salafist Al-Nour Party announces that they do not have plans to withdraw from the constituent assembly. The Party spokesman also added that Al-Nour wishes to keep army articles in the new constitution as is.

September 26

General Abdel Fattah El Sisi meets with US Congressman to discuss strategic relations.

The Associated Press ‏@AP 10:40 AM - 26 Sep 13: Egypt Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy says relations with United States unsettled: http://apne.ws/18qJAVW  - VW

Hani Shukrallah ‏@HaniShukrallah 8:16 PM - 26 Sep 13: Westerners who lecture us on "Islamic identity" of #Egyptians - do they have anything but rubbish to actually define what that means?

orit perlov (@oritperlov) 9/26/13, 2:47 PM: @WaelNawara explains very wisely, why general Sisi should not run for president of #Egypt al-monitor.com/pulse/original…

Minister of Education, Mahmoud Abul Nasr, halts investigation of teachers refusing to play a pro-military anthem at a primary school in the Nile Delta. 

According to this article residents of Delga, the “village” that was raided to rid it of an “Islamic” stronghold, believe that security forces “got the wrong people”.

Truth Armor ‏@TrueIsayUntoYou 8:07 PM - 26 Sep 13: Delga Church Cancels Services For First Time In 1600 Years, Violence Against Christian… http://wp.me/p1qlPa-5G0  via @MidnightWatcher

Mahdy Akef, fromer supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, is transferred to a military hospital.

Fatima Said (@fattysaid) 9/26/13, 4:03 PM: Many detainees in #Egypt have been subject to torture & have been denied access to lawyers. This includes many women & children.

The “Revolution Path Front” is a new movement that is anti-military and Brotherhood aiming to provide an alternative to the current polarisation between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood. The spokespersons they have chosen are:

renowned novelist Ahdaf Soueif,

American University in Cairo professor Rabab El-Mahdi,

April 6 Youth Movement founder Ahmed Maher,

Cairo University researcher Hatem Tallima,

Strong Egypt Party member Mohamed El-Baqer,

Justice and Freedom youth movement member Mostafa Shawki,

activists Ali Ghoneim and Mohamed Youssef;

founding 'Revolutionaries' member Mohamed Ibrahim Shetigi 

Jesse Rosefiled comments on the detention of John Greyson and Tarek Loubani, the two Canadian nationals, in “Imprisonment of Canadian Activists Illustrates Egyptian Regime’s Growing Repression” and concludes:

“As ante-revolutionary authoritarianism has returned to the streets of Cairo, so have the old policies of supporting Israel in maintaining its blockade of Gaza. While Greyson and Loubani continue to refuse food, anti Palestinian rhetoric and conspiracy theories about foreigners helping the Muslim Brotherhood are rolled out on Egyptian streets to help justify the continuation of a bloody coup.”

Presidential decree extends pre-trial detention period to 45 days for crimes punishable by death or life imprisonment with no maximum limit.

Elijah Zarwan ‏@elijahzarwan 2:15 AM - 26 Sep 13: Egypt's president removes 2-yr limit on preventative detention: http://bit.ly/19Gzo91  

The Press Syndicate announces solidarity with journalists of the Muslim Brotherhood newspaper and the Freedom and Justice Party following claims that security forces raided the paper’s headquarters. 

hebamorayef ‏@hebamorayef 4:56 PM - 26 Sep 13: Sinai Journo:"If we write about militants they threaten us with death, if we write about the military they threaten us with imprisonment"

Mohamed Abdelfattah (@mfatta7) 9/26/13, 4:04 PM: Mostafa singer, Sinai reporter with alshorouk, criticizing lack of support from outlets Abu draa worked for. pic.twitter.com/36AVysYWBC

Sarah Giaziri ‏@Sarah_RoryPeck 2:14 PM - 26 Sep 13: MT @sharifkouddous: Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy was arrested on August 14. His detention has been extended 45 days. #Egypt

Kuwait deposits $2 billion in aid to Egypt’s central bank.

Deena (@deenahsn) 9/26/13, 4:05 PM: As aid pumps in from Gulf, Egypt no longer needs IMF, says minister | @MadaMasr madamasr.com/content/aid-pu… #Egyeconomy 

Sarah El Sirgany ‏@Ssirgany 1:36 PM - 26 Sep 13: In Post-Revolution Egypt, Business Picks Up Online - Middle East Real Time - WSJ http://on.wsj.com/18rn9Oq  via @WSJ

Bel Trew - بل ترو (@Beltrew) tweeted at 10:12 AM on Thu, Sep 26, 2013:
Price of fruit and vegetables continue to decline due to government-imposed "pricing freeze" http://t.co/njnKKAZuHR

Bassem Sabry باسم ‏@Bassem_Sabry 8:09 PM - 26 Sep 13: According to a good source, apparently new Egypt govt is taking steps to end long bureaucratic paralysis on stalled private sector projects.

Mohamed Salmawi, spokesperson of the 50-member committee responsible for drafting the constitution, says an addendum may be issued due to the magnitude of changes to the 2012 constitution.

Galal (@GalalAmrG) tweeted at 10:10 AM on Thu, Sep 26, 2013: Nubian representatives in Committee of 50: We suffered systematic displacement for 45 years. #Egypt

مارا / Mara (@MaraRevkin) 9/26/13, 4:02 PM: #Egypt's constitutional committee leaning toward abolishing military trials for civilians [AR] gate.ahram.org.eg/News/399215.as…

H.A. Hellyer د. إتش ‏@hahellyer 12:12 AM - 26 Sep 13: And that's that. RT @ahramonline: Military representative defends military trials article in constitution http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/82513.aspx  #egypt 

Egypt and Turkey relations in the balance as the “Soap Boycott Adds to Trade Slump as Egypt Punishes Turkey”.

Mina Fayek (@minafayek) tweeted at 10:24 AM on Thu, Sep 26, 2013: At least four Egyptian television channels have halted broadcasts of Turkish soaps since Morsi’s removal http://t.co/KukXxsfOyf

Bel Trew - بل ترو (@Beltrew) tweeted at 10:14 AM on Thu, Sep 26, 2013: Egypt rejects request to increase number of flights between Turkey and Egypt due to "lack of interest" not politics http://t.co/lgZXBninmN

Francesca Cicardi (@FraCicardi) tweeted at 10:18 AM on Thu, Sep 26, 2013:
#Egypt FM says "need to create new #Syria, will be easier if you have a new figures", Cairo policy based on national security not ideology

Basil الضبع (@basildabh) tweeted at 10:02 AM on Thu, Sep 26, 2013: The Muslim Brotherhood calls on the international community to not recognize Nabil Fahmy as a representative of the Egyptian people.

Hussein Ibish ‏@Ibishblog 2:23 PM - 26 Sep 13: But Hamas also calls the Egyptian FM's warnings a "dangerous escalation." Really, what the hell are they thinking? - http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/82473/Egypt/Egypt-warning-a-very-dangerous-escalation-Hamas.aspx …

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR): The Criminal Court in Cairo preserves the case of torturing 5 citizens to pass its verdict.

The regional office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights fosters human rights in Egypt.

September 27

Daily News Egypt: “Cairo University students temporarily suspend sit-in” which was organised in protest against a decision made by the university regarding “waiting time” for student housing.

The Mosireen Collective release a powerful video titled “Prayer of Fear”. It is subtitled into Spanish, French and English. To watch click here.

Mai Shams El-Din discusses how political Islam is struggling to survive in “The battle over the mosques”.

The Ministry of State of Antiquities (MSA) urges London’s foreign minister to halt the sale of Egyptian artefacts on eBay.

Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, agrees with Ethiopian Foreign Minister on the importance of overcoming recent tensions over the construction of a new dam.

Podrasky gives an overview of the situation in “The Politics of Water in Libya and Egypt”.

Wael Eskandar ‏@weskandar 12:05 PM - 27 Sep 13: #Manifesto meets with workers in Alex to talk about documenting violations of worker rights. http://fb.me/2naY0Jp82 

Officials from the Doctor’s Syndicate call on the 50-member committee responsible for drafting the constitution, to increase the budget allocated to the Ministry of Health and to stick to international standards:

"The statement added that Egypt's current circumstances demand a huge budget to fulfill patients’ demands for a high-quality service, doctors’ fair wages and to treat the poor in state hospitals.

Abdel Salam also added that 50 percent of hospitals shortages in medical equipment."

Egyptian Women ‏@EgyptWomen2011 5:40 PM - 27 Sep 13: Very good website: The world constitutions : Read & Compare https://www.constituteproject.org/#/ 

Bel Trew - بل ترو ‏@Beltrew 12:55 PM - 27 Sep 13: EU's Catherine Ashton to visit Egypt next week says Al-Ahram,she is expected 2 discuss Brotherhood ban &Constitution http://gate.ahram.org.eg/News/399715.aspx …

Ashraf ElShahat ‏@ashrafelshahat 5:23 PM - 27 Sep 13: @monaeltahawy In 1956 #Egypt women demonstrating in support of constitution. Society changed so much pic.twitter.com/iGXY7L7gyp

The National Coalition for Supporting Legitimacy, supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, call for demonstrations. Brotherhood supporters and Alexandria residents clash. Clashes also erupt in Mansoura during the funeral of a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Deena ‏@deenahsn 2:59 PM - 27 Sep 13: TT @ONewsAgency "Pro-Morsi march at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and a pro-army one at Qaed Ibrahim." #Egypt @meedan

Mohamed El Dahshan ‏@eldahshan 3:41 PM - 27 Sep 13: It's almost 4 pm. With a 7 pm curfew, the one weekday off is pretty much over. Damn the curfew and those uniformed bastards who imposed it!

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 3:24 PM - 27 Sep 13: +1 @EricTrager18 MB's lack of realism is why #Egypt is where it is MT @Dr_Dardery Everyday I get convinced the coup will end sooner or later

Sherifa Zuhur ‏@SherifaZuhur 4:43 PM - 27 Sep 13: #Egypt Clashes today in Sidi Bishr, Mansoura and Haram St. between #Ikhwan and others

The Daily News Egypt ‏@DailyNewsEgypt 4:35 PM - 27 Sep 13: In Pictures: Pro-Morsi march in Nasr city http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/09/27/in-pictures-pro-morsi-march-in-nasr-city-2/ …

Deena ‏@deenahsn 6:25 PM - 27 Sep 13: TT @ONewsAgency "Explosive experts disarm a set improvised bomb placed next to an Imbaba police station (car)" #Egypt @meedan

According to state run Al Ahram newspaper Presidential advisor, Mostafa Hegazy, calls on the Muslim Brotherhood to abandon the attitude of “collision” they have adopted and claims that reconciliation is still possible.

Azza Radwan Sedky ‏@azzasedky 3:41 PM - 27 Sep 13: Verdict banning Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood opens way for crackdown on its large social network #MB #Ikhwan http://bit.ly/1bLBPgn 

Ikhwanweb ‏@Ikhwanweb 6:15 PM - 27 Sep 13: Due to escalating attacks on freedoms & HR by fascist regime in #Egypt; Ikhwanweb has relocated to #London, we no longer have reps in Cairo

Ikhwanweb ‏@Ikhwanweb 6:20 PM - 27 Sep 13: Dr Fatema Bayad's testimony during #RabaaMassacre (English Subtitles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppRwgu7BoPc&feature=youtube_gdata_player … @temanursurg #R4BIA #AntiCoup

Nader Bakkar, leading member of the Salafi Al-Nour Party, announces the party’s opposition to the political isolation of the Muslim Brotherhood. The party’s chairman, Younes Makhioun, rejects the return of Mubarak’s exclusionary constitutional article to ban the formation of political parties on religious grounds. 

Four suspects are arrested in Kerdasa, Giza. Three suspects are arrested in northern Sinai for presumably assaulting police and military forces. One of the suspects is Palestinian, others identities are not revealed.

Bel Trew - بل ترو ‏@Beltrew 3:46 PM - 27 Sep 13: Rt @Repent11: Police officer shot/killed in El Arish North-Sinai by unknown gunmen. #Egypt"

Hicham Mourad asks “The unprecedented offensive pitting the Egyptian army against jihadist groups in northern Sinai continues unabated. But can the military option really offer a sustainable solution?” in “Genesis of the Sinai crises”.

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 4:17 PM - 27 Sep 13: Schools are still closed on North #Sinai, as the security situation is tense amid crackdown and militant attacks. #Egypt

Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square is cleared of protestors.

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 4:01 PM - 27 Sep 13: #pt MT @Beltrew: It's 6 October War 40th anniversary& national Army day next week, security forces cleared Tahrir B4 beatification. #Egypt

The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) file a lawsuit against interim President Adly Mansour, Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy regarding the deportation of over 500 Syrian refugees.

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

Amnesty International: Egypt: Release journalist facing military trial for Sinai coverage 

September 28

The Egyptian railway partially resumes operations and re-opens two lines after being suspended for over a month.

Manar Mohsen in “On International Right to know Day, Egypt continues to grapple with freedom of information” discusses how the freedom to access information remains a topic of heated discussion with the new constitution drafting process under way. 

Samer Al-Atrush ‏@SameralAtrush 10:51 AM - 28 Sep 13: In story, former info min Haikal says allowing UN rights council to set up branch in egy "national catastrophe and stab to heart of Jan 25"

Samer Al-Atrush ‏@SameralAtrush 10:53 AM - 28 Sep 13: A UN rights council in egy would be a "major crime" cos it would use intl rights standards, not egy's, says Haikal. Clearly a crime...

Daily News Egypt: “Army spokesman denies allegations of negotiations with Brotherhood”

A 14 year old is arrested and detained for a day for expressing anti-military sentiments.

Muslim Brotherhood leading figure, Safwat Khalil, dies while in detention in Mansoura – Daqahleya. 

Patricia Kubala writes a piece in memory of Mohammed al-Deeb, a victim of the police vehicle that was gassed on August 18:

“And now, in remembering his death, we are forced to ask: How is it possible to think and remember a martyr over which the community is so deeply divided? What do we do with these silenced bodies and chants and energies that are not our own, that push our tolerance to its limits? In the complete absence of agreement as to the righteousness of his cause, his status as a martyr, and his value to the community, can Mohammed al-Deeb’s life and death symbolize anything other than how divided Egypt’s political life has become?”

8 more people are arrested in Kerdasa – Giza for allegedly attacking a police station. Over 100 people have been arrested over the past few weeks.

Karim El Hayawan ‏@KarimElHayawan 10:42 AM - 28 Sep 13: So 4 Kerdasa suspects get arrested in high-end residential compound Wadi El Nakhil, Hmmm... What next? The 4 seasons? http://gate.ahram.org.eg/News/399982.aspx … 

Maher Hamoud ‏@MaherHamoud1 10:54 AM - 28 Sep 13: The revolution is not over to use the term "post-revolution". #Egypt is still stuck in a "post-Mubarak" phase fighting to keep square one.

The privatization of the Tanta Flax and Oil Company is deemed illegal by the Supreme Administrative Court.

Bousaidi ‏@lbousaidi 12:57 PM - 28 Sep 13: #Egypt Court nationalizes #textiles firm "Tanta LilKattan" by dissolving sales contract signed in 2010 with Saudi investor #Privatization

Today is the anniversary of the death of former President Gamal Abdel Nasser…

Ahram Online ‏@ahramonline 10:39 AM - 28 Sep 13: Gamal Abdel-Nasser, the man who never died http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/82608.aspx 

The Big Pharaoh ‏@TheBigPharaoh 10:57 AM - 28 Sep 13: Interesting. Sabahy, Heikal AND Sisi will go to Gamal Abdel Nasser's burial site to commemorate the anniversary of Nasser's death.

September 29

Interim Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nabil Fahmy, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly claims that Egypt’s transitional phase will end in Spring 2014. He also stressed that June 30th protests are proof that the will of the people cannot be broken and that they can grant authority, just as they can remove it from the hands of those who abuse it.

Zeinobia ‏@Zeinobia 1:50 PM - 29 Sep 13: wow people now are reporting their colleagues in work to security if they support #MB !! #EpicFail #Egypt

Former Vice President, Mohamed El Baradei, warns against ‘fascist’ media campaign in Egypt.

Egyptian SRK Fan ‏@eslam_SRK 5:28 PM - 29 Sep 13: @Misr_kinglover el baradie rejected using excessive force with pp in rabaa sit_in,he was right coz what police did was massacre

wael elelaimy ‏@waelelelaimy 10:04 PM - 29 Sep 13: DR @ElBaradie is threatening us with violence which is the key word of MB messages now. MR. Baradie we r ready nothing to lose

Egyptian journalist, Ahmed Abou Deraa, military trial postponed to October 2. He is facing charges of spreading false information about the military.

Sharif Kouddous ‏@sharifkouddous 9:35 AM - 29 Sep 13: RT @glcarlstrom Sinai journalist Ahmed Abu Deraa back in military court today for next hearing in his absurd trial: http://bit.ly/1aAISF2 

Sharif Kouddous ‏@sharifkouddous 9:00 AM - 29 Sep 13: Military spokesman calls on media not to publish info on army without coordination with military http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/82724/Egypt/Politics-/Coordination-with-military-required-to-publish-inf.aspx … #Egypt 

Canadian citizens, John Greyson and Tarek Loubani, are held in detention for an additional 45 days.  They have been on hunger strike since mid September in protest of the prison conditions and lack of due process.  This article suggests that they were arrested because they witnessed deaths of dozens of Egyptians in Ramsis Square in August during the crackdown on the various sit-ins. This is part of their statement:

We were two of 602 arrested that night, all 602 potentially facing the same grab-bag of ludicrous charges: arson, conspiracy, terrorism, possession of weapons, firearms, explosives, attacking a police station. The arrest stories of our Egyptian cellmates are remarkably similar to ours: Egyptians who were picked up on dark streets after the protest, by thugs or cops, blocks or miles from the police station that is the alleged site of our alleged crimes.”

Dalia Ezzat ‏@DaliaEzzat_ 3:43 PM - 29 Sep 13: At least the two Canadians are getting media coverage. I wonder what happened to the Pakistani man arrested at the Ramsis rally. #Egypt

The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights begin a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Manpower as well as 10 other locations around Egypt, in protests against the dismissal of workers from large companies.

Daily News Egypt: “Court nulls privatisation contract of Nile Cotton Ginning Company” - 50% of the company’s shares were sold in the bourse in 1997 due to a stakeholders’ decision; process is deemed illegal

Sarah Carr brings the upcoming Doctor’s Syndicate elections into the spotlight by profiling one of the candidates, Amr al-Shora in “Battling to improve Egypt’s health care”:

“Doctors Without Rights (DWR) spent much of its time attempting to get its voice heard during syndicate general assemblies, and its 2008 sit-in was prompted by the syndicate failing to uphold an assembly decision to go on strike for better wages. The board was dominated by members of the Brotherhood and the NDP, and the Brotherhood was careful not to compromise the reach the syndicate offered it by challenging the regime.”

Egyptian ambassador is recalled from Tunisia after the Tunisian president demanded the release of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

Dalia Ezzat ‏@DaliaEzzat_ 2:06 PM - 29 Sep 13: Oh look, the UAE has called back its ambassador from Tunisia too in protest of Marzouki's meddling in Egypt's affairs http://bit.ly/15DbolU 

Nervana’s latest blog post discusses the Muslim Brotherhood’s international links with the UK, Pakistan, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE and how these links may be more of a hindrance than help.

Spokesman, Mohamed Salmawy, of the 50-member committee responsible for drafting the constitution announces the forming of a “special mini-committee” of military and civilian figures to review the articles related to the regulation of the armed forces in the new constitution.

Women’s rights groups in Egypt demand quotas for women in parliament.

The constituent committee approves the allocation of 25% of its municipality’s seats to women and another 25% to youth. 

mia (@amiramikhail) tweeted at 0:41 AM on Sun, Sep 29, 2013: Children's rights group submits proposals to Constituent Assembly - Daily News Egypthttp://t.co/1jY0a19sQ5 

Rasheed Hammouda in “Roadmap to nowhere”:

“I trust that the international community, which has long rejected terrorism, will firmly stand by the Egyptian people in the fight against violence and its advocates, and will not accept any attempt to justify it, or tolerate it.”

This statement comes from Nabil Fahmy, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, during his recent address to the UN General Assembly. Depending on one’s political allegiances, such a statement could be met by a number of responses. From some, a standing ovation, others may meet the speech with pure disgust. From those of us who have watched events of the past few months unfold with a sense of extreme somberness and disbelief, a question: Mr. Fahmy, are you asking us to stand against your own administration?”

Alfred Raouf ‏@Kemety 12:02 PM - 29 Sep 13: Police stupidity has no end! RT @3yyash: #Egypt, security forces are arresting children students 4 supporting Rabaa pic.twitter.com/y3b2uYukkV..

Hossam عمو حسام ‏@3arabawy 7:29 PM - 29 Sep 13: Their shoulders were next to yours in almost every protest before #Jan25, and now they are betraying the revolution. #devastated #angry

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR): EOHR demands the president of the Republic to cancel the amendment of the law on remand

September 30

Three police conscripts and one civilian killed in an attack on a police station in Arish – northern Sinai.

Clashes erupt between two gangs in Al Ayyat – Giza leaving 4 dead and 25 injured.

Sharif Kouddous ‏@sharifkouddous 2:09 PM - 30 Sep 13: Great. Egyptian government is considering joining anti-terrorism law and demonstrations law into one law http://www.ahram.org.eg/NewsQ/234552.aspx …

Zaid Al-Ali (@zalali) tweeted at 0:43 PM on Mon, Sep 30, 2013: Here is Egypt's draft protest law in Arabic: http://t.co/SOotiYZXnO and in English:http://t.co/m5PM2GSatR

Zamalek football fans, Ultras White Knights (UWK), march to high court to protest the death of one of their members last week.

According to state-run newspaper Al Ahram, media advisor to interim President Adly Mansour is to meet with ex-Muslim Brotherhood leaders. 

Bel Trew - بل ترو (@Beltrew) tweeted at 9:41 AM on Mon, Sep 30, 2013: Presidential advisor to meet with former Brotherhood youth members - not sure how this will help http://t.co/wlwIU7dAWy

Ahmed Ateyya  (@Ateyya) tweeted at 0:48 PM on Mon, Sep 30, 2013: How can a so-called civil state threaten to arrest a preacher for not obtaining a gov. permit? This is pure religious fascism

Ahmed Ateyya  (@Ateyya) tweeted at 0:46 PM on Mon, Sep 30, 2013: As a secular, I am enraged and offended by the gov. Campaign against uncertified mosque preachers and Imams

Rafah Crossing into Gaza to remain open till Friday, to allow pilgrims from the Gaza strip to reach Saudi Arabia for Haj.

Bel Trew - بل ترو ‏@Beltrew 9:35 AM - 30 Sep 13: In times of turmoil, vulnerable groups suffer: Palestinians protest at Rafah border, demand Egypt lifts restrictions http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/82790.aspx 

Laura King writes “God is everywhere in Egypt” - The social and cultural mix is highly complex, but among Islamists, progressives and conservatives, the many faces of piety are rarely absent from discourse:

“Sisi and other top military leaders routinely employ religious rhetoric to rally the troops, many of whom have been deployed to fight Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula and elsewhere. Confrontations with these "terrorists," whether out in the vast desert reaches or in crowded Cairo slums, are described by the military leadership as carrying divine blessings, as well as patriotic accolades, for those who take part.”

However, according to this article, atheism is supposedly on the rise in Egypt. 

Dalia Ezzat ‏@DaliaEzzat_ 8:24 PM - 30 Sep 13: Watch: 1600 years of Christian history reduced to blackened ruin. Newsnight's Tim Whewell reports from Delga http://bbc.in/192Po40  #Egypt

The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) condemns a court verdict served to a Christian citizen charging him with contempt of Islam:

“AFTE described the charge of contempt of religion and the verdict Dawoud was served as a violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, which stresses the right to freedom of expression. AFTE stated that Dawoud’s statements, believed to have insulted Islam, were not coupled with violence or inciting against it.”

Orthodox Christian Bishop of Tanta walks out of constituent assembly meeting in protest over the amount of time he was allowed to respond to the Salafi Al-Nour’s party representative.

Bishop of Minya escapes an assassination attempt. 

Sara El Sheekh & Sherif Tarek in “Egypt's public school system: Failing all tests” claim:

“The decision by Egypt's interim-authorities to exempt public school elementary students from annual symbolic fees this year will do too little to improve the education system, whose decades-old problems are set to keep lingering into the new school year and beyond.”

Canadian Minister of State of Foreign Affairs expresses his “disappointment” with the decision by a court to extend the detention of two Canadian nationals,  Tarek Loubani and John Greyson, for another 45 days.

Hossam عمو حسام ‏@3arabawy 4:54 AM - 30 Sep 13: VIDEO: Foreign ministers discuss jailed Canadians in Egypt http://ow.ly/pkhAN 

A campaign called “Kammel Gemilak” is collecting signatures to “convince” General Abdel Fattah El Sisi to run for presidency. They are also calling for demonstrations under the slogan “Returning the favour and supporting Al-Sisi for presidency”.

Former Prime Minister under deposed President Mohamed Morsi, Hisham Kandil, accused of failing to implement a court ruling in April 2013 of the renationalization of a textile company sold by the administration of Mubarak, is to be jailed one year. 

The Dostour Party’s spokesman, Khaled Dawoud, announces a possible merger with the Social Democratic Party due to similarities in views and their stance against excluding Islamists. 

H.A. Hellyer writes about “The Egyptian state’s insecure victory over the Brotherhood” in which he concludes:

“Finally, the diplomatic efforts of the Egyptian authorities will count for naught in terms of promoting their narrative, without addressing, seriously, the violence that took place at the hands of the state. An independent enquiry, with international participation and involvement, needs to be established for the Republican Guard killings, the forced dispersal of the sit-ins, and any other killing of unarmed civilians where the state was involved. In so doing, the Egyptian state would be showing its confidence in its narrative and the veracity of its efforts to hold itself to account.”

April 6th Youth Movement co-founder, Ahmed Maher, criticizes the smear campaign against former Prime Minister, Mohamed El Baradie, who resigned after the violent dispersal if the sit-ins mid August.

ahramonline: “The constitution drafting-body mulls retaining upper house” - Legal subcommittee recommends keeping Shura Council (parliamentary upper house) and is contemplating lowering farmer and worker representation in the parliament.

Egypt Independent (@EgyIndependent) tweeted at 5:53 PM on Mon, Sep 30, 2013: Shura Council prevails in new constitution

Scoop Empire list the “9 Depressing Things About Living in Cairo” with traffic being the number 1.

Bassem Sabry discusses the potential problems that lie ahead for the Egyptian constitution.

This article, by Jano Charbel, gives a brief history and recounts the current views of the Minister of Manpower, Kamal Abu Eita, who was previously a labour activist.

Ahmed Gabr raises question of unemployment in the Middle East in “Can the Arab world freelance its way out of unemployment?”, in which he highlights that the Middle East has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.

fustat (@fustat) tweeted at 9:39 AM on Mon, Sep 30, 2013: Egyptian students clash as Mursi turmoil spreads to campuses (Reuters) http://t.co/GITXtuSfpx #EgyStudents #AinShams #Zagazig #Tanta #Egypt

Carina Kamel (@Carina_bn) tweeted at 9:40 AM on Mon, Sep 30, 2013: #Egypt Fin Min Ahmad Galal justifying LE22bn stimulus pkg, says we chose to go down route of 'expansionary policy' @almalgtm

Carina Kamel (@Carina_bn) tweeted at 9:33 AM on Mon, Sep 30, 2013: #Egypt Invest Min: Ministerial meetings next week to determine main facets of Suez Canal investment plan incl building housing units 

Minoush Abdel-Meguid (@minoushy) tweeted at 9:41 AM on Mon, Sep 30, 2013:
Minister of finance says #Egypt will move from a sales tax system to a VAT to ensure equality and efficiency #MF2013 #EgyEconomy

 

See ‘related articles’ for openDemocracy highlights. 

Our next Egypt in the balance update will be published in the week of Monday, October 7, 2013.

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