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Egypt in the balance: what the blogs are saying 8 - 14 November

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

November 8

Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, announces parliamentary elections will take place between February and March followed by presidential elections.

The Upper house of parliament (Shura Council) has officially been eliminated from Egypt’s draft constitution.

AFP: A Russian official says their foreign and defense ministers will travel to Cairo next week for joint talks with their Egyptian counterparts about weapons sales and political relations.

@cairowire 1:27 PM - 8 Nov 13: RIA: #egypt eyes $4 billion arms deal with #russia, media reports — http://is.gd/7SmEvu  #EAF #FMF

Amro Ali ‏@_amroali 3:35 PM - 8 Nov 13: Govt overthrow -> jail MB -> hug Soviets (1950s script) ahramonline: Russia sending foreign, defence chiefs to #Egypt http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/85936.aspx 

Wael Nawara ‏@WaelNawara 3:40 PM - 8 Nov 13: Three reasons for the Egypt-Russia rapprochement by @Nervana_1 on @AlMonitor http://www.al-monitor.com/cms/render/live/en/sites/almonitor/contents/articles/originals/2013/11/egypt-russia-rapprochement.html …

Wael Nawara ‏@WaelNawara 4:13 AM - 8 Nov 13: Relations with the US deteriorate & Russia appears as a de facto ally http://fb.me/1b8ODdZf6 

Clashes erupt between Morsi supporters and security forces in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, killing one child and injuring others. According to the State news agency, two people are killed and 20 injured. The military prevents Morsi supporters from accessing Rabaa Al Adawiya square. Eight pro-Morsi supporters are arrested in New Damietta.

Dwight Bashir ‏@DwightBashir 10:14 PM - 8 Nov 13: A must read w/ a sobering conclusion by @HamzawyAmr for @EgyptSource: Two Sorrowful Scenes at a Church Funeral http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/egyptsource/two-sorrowful-scenes-at-a-church-funeral … #Egypt

Morsi supporters demonstrate in condemnation of police brutality against women across Egypt, under the slogan of “Egypt’s women are a red line”. This comes after 21 women were arrested in Alexandria last week.

@OthmaNation 4:37 PM - 8 Nov 13: I disagree with many points, but it's a well written piece "Five reasons Brotherhood will continue to lose in Egypt" http://almon.co/4nwq "

A spokesperson from the Salafist Al Nour Party accuses the Muslim Brotherhood of defaming the Salafist Calling.

For a roundup of Egypt’s constitution drafting process, visit “EgyConstitution”.

New York Times (video): “Satire Show Raises Questions in Egypt” by Will Storey and Mona El-Naggar.

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

Amnesty International: Lawyers denied access

 

November 9

Pro-Morsi protestors, under the umbrella of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, call for daily protests under the slogan of “Freedom for the honourable” in condemnation of recent arrests. Protests take place today in front of the High Court in downtown Cairo.

The Third Square ‏@TheThirdSquare 11:40 PM - 9 Nov 13: “Down with the next president” Interesting article by @sara_ab5 looking at the taboos broken since the revolution http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/11/09/down-with-the-next-president/ …

ElSayed Gamal Eldeen writes “Lawyers allowed to visit Mohamed Morsi in prison”.

Prosecutor orders the release of 25 Ultras Ahly football fans after having been detained since October 13 on charges of assaulting police officers at Cairo Airport when they went to welcome the handball team upon their arrival.

Francesca Cicardi ‏@FraCicardi 11:42 AM - 9 Nov 13: "#Egypt RT: @DaliaEzzat_: 20 human rights organizations request Cabinet reject anti-terrorism bill submitted by MOI http://bit.ly/1erg6M3 

Sarah El Deeb (@seldeeb) tweeted at 11:54 AM on Sat, Nov 09, 2013: #NoMiltrials organizing a protest against the legitimization of military trials for civilians in the 2013 Constitution. @4pm  Shura Council.

The Cairo Post ‏@TheCairoPost 8:53 PM - 9 Nov 13: #Rights group #protests #military articles in new #constitution, urges ban #Egypt #EgyConstitution http://thecairopost.youm7.com/news/33324/news/rights-group-protests-military-articles-new-constitution-urges-ban …

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits Cairo to meet with interim President Adly Mansour as well as other officials to discuss recent developments in Palestine. This comes a day after Border Guards destroy underground tunnels between Egypt and Gaza.

occupiedpalestine ‏@occpal 3:17 PM - 9 Nov 13: #A7A Egypt thanks Abbas for backing '3 July revolution', Ambassador to PA says http://alray.ps/en/index.php?act=post&id=2388 … Gratitude expressed in siege on Gaza?

Jasmine Fritzsche writes “Demonizing Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Egypt”:

“Due to recent political developments, the Muslim Brotherhood takes on the role of this other in the eyes of the current government and other promilitary institutions. This perception is also based on the alleged links between Morsi and the Syrian opposition as well as the Palestinian organization Hamas. Amplifying those links – and the alleged support of Syrian and Palestinian nationals for the Muslim Brotherhood – not only led to the de-nationalization of the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, but also created a strong anti-Syrian and anti-Palestinian sentiment in Egypt. This has resulted in a major change to the asylum policy regarding Syrian refugees, among other measures. Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Egypt have become a pawn in the government’s fight against the Brotherhood.”

In an interview with AFP, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy says Egypt will expand its cooperation with Russia in arms sales and political relations, seeing that relations with the US are in the balance. 

Hosam El Sokkari ‏@sokkari 11:22 PM - 9 Nov 13: Egypt sceptical of peace because of Israel settlements: Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said on Saturday ... http://bit.ly/1daytkJ  

Young women organize a bicycle “demonstration” in Suez to protest their entitlement to live their daily lives without the threat of sexual harassment. 

mona el-naggar ‏@monaelnaggar 10:17 AM - 9 Nov 13: That's a half full glass, and a refreshing one! “Why I Think Egypt is the Best Place to Live Today ” by @hebsontwitt https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/5e5c6b702fd5 … 

280 members of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP) submit their resignations over dissatisfaction with recent internal elections.

 

November 10

Train services are expected to resume fully on November 15, after having been suspended since the dispersal of the sit-ins and only partially resumed a few weeks ago.

Two policemen are killed in a security checkpoint in Ismailia.

According to security sources, the army confiscates rockets and captures 19 extremists in northern Sinai.

Mohamed El Beltagy, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, condemns the arrest of 21 female protestors who had organized a human chain in support of deposed President Morsi in Alexandria. He also sends a message to the Muslim Brotherhood supporters through the Freedom & Justice Party’s Facebook page encouraging them to continue the revolution.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Mohamed Badie, Essam El Erian and Mohamed El Beltagy are to go on trial on December 9 for inciting violence last July. Others on trial for the same charges include Safwat Hegazy – a Salafist preacher – and Assem Abdel Magid – leader of Al Gamaa Al Islamiya.

According to this report by ahramonline, 109 (of 120 unidentified since June 30) corpses remain in Cairo’s Zeinhom morgue unclaimed.

Novelist, Alaa Al Aswany, writes “Egypt’s Two-Front War for Democracy” for the New York Times:

“What is happening in Egypt goes beyond political disagreement: We are seeing an armed struggle between the state and terrorist groups who are trying to plunge the country into something like the Syrian paradigm of chaos. Hence most Egyptians have given their support to the army in its war against the terrorism of the Brotherhood. This leaves an unanswered question: Is Egypt getting any nearer to instituting a real democracy?

The Brotherhood’s removal from power has given rise to a confrontation between the forces of the revolution and those of the Mubarak regime. Supporters of Mr. Mubarak still wield some power in the government and are resisting reforms to the state apparatus that enabled them to amass fortunes.”

@Sarahcarr 10:23 AM - 11 Nov 13: Someone book a dentist's appointment with Alaa el Aswany and throw up a Rabaa sign while in the chair and see what he does.

Hafsa Halawa ‏@HafsaHalawa 12:03 PM - 11 Nov 13: Dear Alaa El-Aswany: Maspero, Cabinet, Moh Mahmoud, Tahrir, Masra7 Ballon, Rabaa and others were all under SCAF. MB violence notwithstanding 

43 Al Azhar University students are referred to a misdemeanour court for allegedly causing riots on campus on October 26.

A group naming themselves “Students against the Coup” hold demonstrations against police deployments near university campuses and attacks on freedom of expression.

Gamal Essam El-Din reports “Secularists and Islamists exchange accusations over Egypt’s new constitution” when discussing article 1 (the word “civilian”); article 2 (principles of Islamic Sharia vs. Islamic Sharia as the major source of legislation in Egypt), article 3 (Egyptian Christians and Jews vs. non-Muslim Egyptians regarding their freedom to exercise their religious rites); article 4 (Al Azhar’s role in matters of Islamic Sharia) and article11 (women’s representation in parliament and city councils). 

The Tagammu Party accuses the 50-member constitutional committee of favouring the rich, by not limiting the expenditures of parliamentary candidates in election campaigns. They also believe the committee has ignored the rights of women, Coptic Christians and Nubians.

@cairowire 1:58 PM - 10 Nov 13: article 11 on women, shura council cancellation & other assembly news this week: http://is.gd/gC13m6  #egypt #dostor (via @maitelsadany)

Jahd Khalil discusses the “Constitutional woes”:

“This leaves the public with nothing more than knowledge of the general debates, and leaks of the disputes that flare up between members, with little insight into the language of the new amendments. The drafters say they do not want to confuse the population at large, but in a committee that is mostly composed of elites and state institutions appointed in an opaque vetting process, critics see that the everyday Egyptian will have little input until he or she marks yes or no next month.”

 ....

“The result is looking to be extremely vague, rather than thought-out enough to sufficiently tackle somewhat foreseeable structural issues that other countries have seen in transitions to free and fair democratic order.

The compressed time period and consequent vagueness creates space susceptible to authoritarian rule, says Ali, citing the example of speech regulations and independent auditing institutions. If important details are left out, he says, the executive will likely be able to bypass codified protections and checks on power." 

Interim President Adly Mansour and General Abdel Fattah El Sisi meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss peace and stability in the region. El Sisi says Egypt will continue to support the legitimate rights of the Palestinians and their call for an independent state.

Gate of the Unknown ‏@GazaBarca 4:12 PM - 10 Nov 13: AL SiSi To Abbas : we will always stand beside Palestine and Support Palestinian Rights . actually you're a STAND in front of us . #Egypt

salamamoussa - “Sneering at Amreeka”:

“One can not come to the rescue of the US policy makers easily. They have often jumped to the dance floor with two left feet. On the other hand, what wisdom exists on this earth to make policy for a region suffering from a severe historical and cultural bi-polar disorder. The leaders of the region often seem to be auditioning for a Hollywood broad farce remake. Israel will cry bloody murder at the mere thought that someone might demand a modicum of civility in its policy. Turkey is led by tough men with thin skin and tender feelings.  Saudi Arabia refused a Security Council seat and took to the fainting couch instead. Iran’s haggling holy men can hardly be called trustworthy. Syria’s name is now spoken with pain and a lowered gaze for the brutality its various factions have adopted in lieu of politics. Then there is Egypt, oh Egypt!”

Ziad Asali ‏@ZiadAsali 3:51 PM - 10 Nov 13: Egypt is too big to lose.Nabil #Fahmy knows Washington & it knows him & shud listen when he speaks for#Egypt http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/11/10/Egypt-will-expand-cooperation-with-Russia-says-FM.html …

Mada Masr - “Sunday economy roundup”:

“Finance Minister says subsidies to decrease – the Egyptian Stock Exchange reaches a record high since 26 January 2011 – inflation is on the rise”

@cairowire 1:56 PM - 10 Nov 13: reuters analysis: egypt relies on gulf aid for economy — then what? http://is.gd/vXa0w4  #egyecon #GCC #IMF #CBE (via @Bassem_Sabry)

Mohamed Othman ‏@Othmanbay 2:49 PM - 10 Nov 13: #egypt govt, aware #IMF conditions will cause popular backlash before #elections, avoided #austerity measures http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/10/us-egypt-economy-analysis-idUSBRE9A904720131110 … #مصر 

Former Presidential candidate Khaled Ali is among the 280 members who resigned from the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP).

 

November 11

A Russian warship arrives in Alexandria, two days ahead of a planned visit by Russian foreign and defense ministers.

Reuters: According to the Minister of Investment, Egypt will finalise a tender for the development of the Suez Canal by the end of the month. 

Rena Netjes ‏@RenaNetjes 5:21 PM - 11 Nov 13: #pt After a journo asked the Min: The govt allows the UAE to invest in the Suezcanal region, while we opposed Qatar to do so.

نشرة القاهرة‎ (@cairowire) tweeted at 1:03 PM on Mon, Nov 11, 2013: foreign ministry begins hosting political consultations with delegations from #greece and #cyprus:http://t.co/NEqphdrL5G #egypt

نشرة القاهرة‎ (@cairowire) tweeted at 1:20 PM on Mon, Nov 11, 2013: RT @TheBigPharaoh Mansour, Sisi, Moussa will meet to discuss army's articles in the constitution.http://t.co/HrZlTVoMzM #egypt #dostor #EAF

The 50-member constitutional committee reject a proposal by Mohamed Ghoneim to introduce progressive taxation by adding an explicit article regulating taxes on incomes and profits.

Spokesperson announces that the committee members have agreed to adopt a French political system, where the prime minister and president share powers. They also voted on article 121, which states that the majority party of the parliament is responsible for naming the prime minister. If the people’s assembly do not endorse the selected prime minister within 60 days, the president then has 30 days to name a new prime minister.

Hany Rasmy ‏@hany2m 1:19 PM - 11 Nov 13: #Egypt well on #IMF's horizons, Lagarde says - http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/egypt-well-imf-s-horizons-lagarde-says … 

Ashraf Khalili writes “Egypt’s Committee of 50 rewrites the constitution – again”:

“Committee of 50 spokesman Mohammed Salmawy has estimated that 189 of the constitution’s 234 articles would ultimately be altered or replaced. It’s a massive task on a tight deadline. Yussuf Auf, a Cairo Primary Court judge and a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Middle East Center, a Washington D.C. based think tank, said that by expanding its scope the committee of mostly nonlegal experts had taken on more than it could handle.”

 ....

“One of the thorniest issues is national security. “If you ask them, ‘What do you mean by national security?’ nobody is giving you an answer,” Abla said.  That, Brown says, means the army could “accuse a comedian or an investigative journalist of undermining the morale of the troops.” Abla shares these concerns about granting the military such open-ended constitutional prerogatives. He complained of military representatives offering only vague assurances that this authority won’t be abused or used to silence peaceful dissent.”

Latest blog post on salamamoussa “Leave the revolution, take the constitution”:

““Democracy” is often mistaken for a desired end. But regular trips to the polling stations are of little value if the underlying constitutional order is rotten, as Iran has shown for nearly four decades. A good constitution will survive various trials that test the limits and deficiencies of democracy.”

orit perlov ‏@oritperlov 8:47 PM - 11 Nov 13: #Egypt, November 10-16: This Week in the Constituent Assembly by @maitelsadany http://egyconstitution.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/november-10-16-this-week-in-the-constituent-assembly/ … cc: @Nervana_1

Sarah El Deeb ‏@seldeeb 11:16 PM - 11 Nov 13: A video campaign #NoMilTrials for civilians in constitution From Aswan to Alexandria Against MilTrials : http://youtu.be/5K5Z_cMj7to  #Egypt

The Appropriate Communication Technique for Development (ACT), the Nadim Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, the New Women Institute, the Arab Women’s Association as well as other women’s rights organizations are calling for a demonstration to denounce article 11 of the amended constitution.

AllianceForArabWomen (@AllianceForArab) tweeted at 1:02 PM on Mon, Nov 11, 2013: Police representative: 9468 cases of harassment against women, Alexandria topping the list. #communityse2013 http://t.co/Zp7ntdxKNz

نشرة القاهرة‎ (@cairowire) tweeted at 1:21 PM on Mon, Nov 11, 2013: activists stage protest against military trials for civilians in #egypt's constitution: http://t.co/HuI2jjTL1w#dostor #EAF #NoMilTrials 

hebamorayef (@hebamorayef) tweeted at 4:16 PM on Mon, Nov 11, 2013: Usual conflicting statements every day from govt officials re draft protest law - only thing that's clear is that it's moving fwd ..

Head of the Central Auditing Agency (CAA), Hisham Geneina along with Al Masry Al Youm journalist and former editor-in-chied, Mohamed El Sanboury and Magdi El Gallad, are referred to court for allegedly libeling the Judges’ club in an interview published in January 2012. 

H.A. Hellyer writes “Egypt: Inevitable consequences of June 30” and concludes:

“General Sisi could have implemented early presidential elections immediately, using the same coalition he put together on the July 3, rather than enforce any road-map, as another option. Alternatively, the army could have simply stayed out of it altogether, except to keep protest groups apart from each other (as their encounter would have undoubtedly led to a great loss of life). We will now never know what might have happened.

Where does that leave Egyptians now? It leaves them in much the same place that they’ve always been – with a choice. The choice is fairly simple: whether or not to call foul when those in power fail to live up to their responsibilities, and demand a better future - or to simply remain acquiescent when one’s own ‘team’ is the one that has failed the nation.”

Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) tweeted at 1:02 PM on Mon, Nov 11, 2013: Fuck this shit: Pro-Sisi campaign wants army support on Mohamed Mahmoud anniversaryhttp://t.co/vR19OznM5v

Deposed President Morsi’s detention is extended for 30 days for breaking out of prison during the January 2011 uprising.

Wael Nawara (@WaelNawara) tweeted at 1:08 PM on Mon, Nov 11, 2013: A Cairo Court reaffirms release of 39 #Brotherhood members in #Fath Mosque ( #Ramsis) clashes in #Egypt http://t.co/FTohro2Z8g via @youm7

The Daily News Egypt ‏@DailyNewsEgypt 10:32 PM - 11 Nov 13: Ziad A. Akl writes: Morsi’s political trial http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/11/11/morsis-political-trial/ …

Rabaa Al Adawiya Mosque and surrounding area are re-opened, after having been sealed off to the public after the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins in August.

Rana Allam ‏@Run_Rana 10:12 PM - 11 Nov 13: A Must Read by Rasheed Hammouda: Egypt cannot be censored into unity http://shar.es/8r0wh 

Sumita Pahwa ‏@SumitaPahwa 7:09 AM - 11 Nov 13: This sounds like a must-watch documentary on MB family-education classes. http://en.qantara.de/content/mona-el-naggar-on-her-film-istislam-close-up-on-the-muslim-brotherhoods-grassroots-work … 

Adam Ramsey recounts his experience in police custody after attempting to cover October 6 demonstrations in “British Journalist: My horrific ordeal in a squalid Egyptian jail”:

“As soon as the Brotherhood marchers turned onto Tahrir Street, which leads to the square, fighting broke out. Riot police fired tear gas at the marchers, who immediately retreated. Small groups of police then trained their shotguns towards the side alleys, where men and women cowered, occasionally firing what I hoped were blank rounds.

Burning tires combined with the tear gas created an unholy swirling mixture of black and white smoke that engulfed the protesters. One riot policeman who had clearly watched too many action movies started shooting his shotgun into the crowd one-handed; he was smiling.

I was reporting on the marchers, and not long after I gave the policemen cigarettes, a young police recruit grabbed me by the back of the neck. He slapped me on the head repeatedly as his friend took my camera from around my neck and my phone from my pocket. He marched me toward a small alley that leads off Tahrir Street, where I could see a number of other Egyptian men being penned in by some riot police.”

Ahly football player, Ahmed Abdel Zaher, is referred for investigations for flashing the four fingered Rabaa Al Adawiya sign after scoring a goal.

MK مريم ‏@MariamKirollos 6:45 PM - 11 Nov 13: Some advocates of "democracy" can't respect the choice of a person to stick up his/her four fingers. 

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

Human Rights Watch: Syria refugees detained, coerced to return

 

November 12

Bassem Ouda, the former minister of supply and internal trade under deposed President Morsi, is arrested.

نشرة القاهرة‎ ‏@cairowire 9:44 PM - 12 Nov 13: mohamed fouad: while political islam suffers a setback, imprudent to discount it from ever coming back — http://is.gd/O1BPvZ  #egypt #MB

The curfew, imposed since the dispersal of the Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins on August 14, is expected to be lifted on November 14. The Ministry of Interior announce that troops will remain on main streets and squares and warns against violence on the Mohamed Mahmoud anniversary on November 19.

Rumours circulate that the curfew had been lifted today, however, a military spokesperson says the army will continue to enforce the nightly curfew until an official court order.

Hafsa Halawa (@HafsaHalawa) tweeted at 0:13 PM on Tue, Nov 12, 2013: and there you have it people: November 19. a day re-written. http://t.co/w9LdkdJIjx 

The picture in the above tweet reads:

Hafsa Halawa (@HafsaHalawa) tweeted at 0:29 PM on Tue, Nov 12, 2013: .@whyman @Beltrew 'join us on November 19, to remember the Martyrs of #mohmahmoud and confirm the police, army and people are one hand'

Rana Allam writes a strong piece to commemorate the November 19, 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud massacre in  “Humiliating Mohamed Mahmoud”.

Mona Seif ‏@Monasosh 4:50 PM - 13 Nov 13: From this cacophony, the clearest voices were not those outside clashes, but only those with the clarity to see them http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/11/12/humiliating-mohamed-mahmoud/ …

saraab ‏@sara_ab5 1:44 PM - 13 Nov 13: A must read and if you were part of Mohamed Mahmoud it will hurt like hell http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/11/12/humiliating-mohamed-mahmoud/ … by @Run_Rana via @DailyNewsEgypt

Amrou Kotb and Mohamed Elmenshawy discuss “Egypt and the death of liberalism”, in which they conclude:

“We are now seeing a brand of liberalism in Egypt which does little to serve its own values and principles. Disenchanted onlookers and advocates of the goals of Egypt's 2011 revolution look on as so-called liberals work with the military to supervise the resurgence of authoritarianism.

An Egypt which serves the interests of Bread, Freedom, and Social Justice cannot exist without a pluralistic society participating in an inclusive democracy, the principles of which struggle to survive within the minds of a powerless minority.”

Deposed President Morsi is urged to appoint a defence lawyer by his son Osama, Mohamed El Damaty – the freedoms committee head of the Lawyer’s Syndicate -  and Mohamed Selim El Awa – an Islamist thinker- . Morsi did not appoint a lawyer as he refused to recognize the court and trial, declaring he is still the legitimate president of Egypt. According Al Ahram, Morsi accepts a defence panel comprised of El Awa, El Damaty, Mohamed Tosson and Osama El Helw.

Security forces fire teargas at students in Mansoura University.

Dina Ezzat writes “Egypt’s university students challenge new ‘oppressive regulations’”:

“According to Tanta University Student Union member Hossam Fahmi, contacts have already been initiated with lawyers and concerned NGOs to pursue the intervention of the administrative court against a decree issued on 1 November by the Higher Council of Universities prohibiting demonstrators at universities from targeting a particular individual or body…

The new decree bans any protest without prior notice to the university administration, bans the use of megaphones and drums in protests, and imposes up to LE5000 in fines for graffiti on university walls or facilities.

The decree also bans on-campus gatherings of a non-educational nature, including those held for partisan purposes. Furthermore, only university students and staff are allowed by the decree to attend on-campus gatherings.”

Crina Boros of the Thomson Reuters Foundations writes “Egypt is worst Arab State for women, Comoros best: survey”.

Monique Villa, the CEO of Thomson Reuters Foundation, in an interview with  Ahram Online,  explains why Egypt came last in a recent poll on women's right in Arab world:

“It’s important to bear in mind this is a perception poll, meaning it is based on gender experts’ perception of women’s rights across the Arab League countries.

Egypt scored badly in every category, from violence against women, to reproductive rights, to the treatment of women in the family and their inclusion in politics and the economy. The poll clearly shows that - almost three years after the revolutions – three out of five Arab Spring countries are ranking at the bottom of the list.” 

ahramonline: “Rise in crime, harassment key security threat facing Egyptian women: NGO”  - New report by NGO, Safer World, argues that Egyptian women face an increase in gender-based violence as they seek to participate more in public and political space 

Mariam Rizk discusses the concern raised over the poll in “Poll labeling Egypt worst for women in Arab world is ‘misleading’: Activists”.

Aswat Masriya interview Dalia Abdel Hameed in “Sexual harassment in Egypt linked to wider violence”. 

Omar Halawa discusses the conflicts over the judiciary and the military in Egypt’s constitution drafting process in “The State and its constitution”:

Quoting Youssef Auf “It seems that some judicial authorities have decided to keep all the privileges they won through the Brotherhood’s constitution. They are even demanding more powers, regardless of their efficiency or capability to implement them. Why don’t representatives of these authorities come up with realistic solutions that justify their demands?” he wonders.”

 ....

“Moreover, the 10-person committee of legal experts that worked on the constitutional amendments ahead of the 50-member committee recommended keeping the articles concerning the military from the 2012 Constitution. They stipulated that the defense minister is commander in chief of the Armed Forces, and is selected by military officers. They also lowered civilian representation in the National Defense Council, which discusses the military’s budget and draft laws.”

Wael Eskandar ‏@weskandar 11:40 PM - 12 Nov 13: Egyptian courts are like Egyptian traffic lights... they're present on an advisory basis and no one really respects them.

Kristen Chick reports “Egypt’s Christians close ranks as kidnappings spike” - Close to 100 Christians have been kidnapped for ransom in southern Egypt since the 2011 revolution. Frustrated by police indifference, Christians are now demanding action.

Amro Ali ‏@_amroali 12:08 PM - 12 Nov 13: #Egypt's Copts launch a ‘Scream' campaign to ensure their demands are included in next constitution http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/86202.aspx  v @ahramonline 

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 9:11 PM - 12 Nov 13: Charming! MT @betsy_hiel @minafayek Jamaa Islameya says church representative in C50 is defending athiests & satanists. #EgyConstitution

Matt Bradley  (@MattMcBradley) tweeted at 9:17 AM on Wed, Nov 13, 2013: Morsi was criticized for supposedly antagonizing Shi'a. Now post-coup minister opposes Shi’a celebrations in mosques. http://t.co/3tIetgvIPZ

Prosecution will investigate complaints filed against Egypt’s satirist Bassem Youssef. Bassem returned to the screens in October for his third season, which was then suspended after the airing of only one show.

According to state news, the Egyptian foreign ministry summons the Turkish Ambassador over calls from Turkey requesting the release of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

Fatima elmjid ‏@elmjid_fatima 11:50 PM - 12 Nov 13: "Let's kill them all." Article by Dr H.A. Hellyer in Daily News Egypt. http://ow.ly/qKSmw  #Egypt #Morsi #MB

Mada Masr - “Russia and Egypt warming up”:

“Some Russian media leaks suggest that Russia's support to Egypt is brokered by the Saudi Arabian and Emirati governments, both of which are backers of Egypt's pro-military government. In early August, Russian weekly Argumenty i Fakty reported the visit of the Saudi intelligence chief to Russia and his meeting with President Vladimir Putin, who was asked to support the military in Egypt in return for Saudi Arabia retracting support from some Syrian militias fighting the Bashar al-Asad's regime, an ally of Russia. 

Besides the current political rapprochement, Russia and Egypt have been mulling over a collaborative nuclear program for non-military purposes since 2008, while Russia has contributed some of the largest numbers of foreign tourists to Egypt."

Farmers fear the consequences of the new dam project in Ethiopia. 

FocusOnLandInAfrica ‏@AfricaLandRts 9:41 PM - 12 Nov 13: #land and #naturalresources issues with #Africa's biggest hydroelectric dam project http://bit.ly/1ckn7tw  @GlobalPost

Amira Salah-Ahmed reports back from the nineteenth annual Euromoney Egypt Conference in “Today’s economic challenges, yesterday’s unaddressed problems”.

 

November 13

A court sentences 12 university students to 17 years in prison over clashes that took place at Al Azhar University.

The National Council for Human Rights is calling on citizens to submit their testimonies related to violent incidents that have taken place since ousting of President Morsi. 

Bel Trew - بل ترو ‏@Beltrew 11:04 AM - 13 Nov 13: I hate the inaccuracies of #Egypt polls: Survey 62% of Egyptians favour "A" anti-terrorism act NOT "the" current one http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/survey-62-egyptians-favor-anti-terrorism-act …

Although a military spokesperson announced that troops would remain on the streets until an official court order is received, PM Hazem El Beblawy says the state of emergency was lifted, and April 6 Youth Movement welcome the court’s decision to lift the state of emergency two days earlier than scheduled. The US also welcomes the “formal lifting of the state of emergency including the curfew”.

Slate ‏@Slate 11:19 AM - 13 Nov 13: Egypt's three-month state of emergency and nighttime curfew is over: http://slate.me/HQ6Inu 

The spokesman of the 50-member constitutional committee announces that twenty new provisions protecting freedoms have been newly incorporated into Egypt’s amended constitution. Most of the articles have now been completed except for those related to the judiciary and army. A panel member says the drafting committee agrees to articles allowing the president to appoint key ministers, remove the cabinet with a third of parliament’s consent and dissolve parliament through referendum. 

Ahdaf Soueif ‏@asoueif 8:31 AM - 13 Nov 13: Constitution by the People: An Interview with Egypt Parallel Constitution Co-Founder Sawsan Gad http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/15076/constitution-by-the-people_an-interview-with-egypt … via @jadaliyya

Zaid Al-Ali ‏@zalali 4:40 PM - 13 Nov 13: Here is an unofficial translation by @Int_IDEA of a partial draft of #Egypt's #constitution: http://www.constitutionnet.org/vl/item/egypt-draft-constitution-2013 …

Reuters: Deposed President Mohamed Morsi claims he was kidnapped and held by the Republican Guard and then at a naval base a day before he was formally ousted by the military. 

Amr in Love w Egy ‏@Cairo67Unedited 10:56 PM - 13 Nov 13: (Resonant reasoned calm analysis by @hahellyer) The trial of the Muslim Brotherhood #MB #Egypt #Morsi http://ln.is/wapo.st/zp57 

In an interview on CBC, an Egyptian satellite channel, on November 12 President Mahmoud Abbas spoke about Hamas’ involvement in Sinai violence. He also said that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has information they are keen to share with Egyptian authorities. This comes after scheduled meetings with interim President Adly Mansour and General Abdel Fattah El Sisi earlier this week.

According to Aswat Masriya, the Egyptian army arrests 11 “extremists” in northern Sinai. ahramonline reports “Five were killed in Egypt's Sinai Thursday, including three militants, as an armed insurgency continues to plague the restive region”.

Associated Press: CIA declassifies 1400 pages of intelligence related to the Camp David Accords. The papers cover the period from January 1977 to March 1979.

Nader Bakkar of the Salafist Al Nour Party writes “The Egyptian dilemma: between crushed winners or the felool”, in which he concludes:

“We, in the Nour Party, which belongs to the Islamist current, have had to make some challenging, but flexible, choices. We are focused on passing through this transitional period, to reach the stage of parliamentary and presidential elections, whatever they may bring. Our strategic goal now is to preserve the presence of a political scene, even if it’s not very bright and regardless of our representation in it. Otherwise, the country will either descend into chaos, or be gripped by a totalitarian regime. Either choice will destroy Egypt.”

ahramonline: Sources say that the Egyptian military want Russia to help Egypt develop its own weapons production

Samy Omara, Al Ahram’s correspondent in Russia, interviews Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Larov in “Relations with Egypt are a ‘priority for Russia’”.

Jon Jensen ‏@jonjensen 8:06 AM - 13 Nov 13: Russia seeks biggest Egypt arms sale since 1970s after U.S. halt http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-12/russia-seeks-biggest-egypt-arms-sale-since-1970s-after-u-s-halt.html …

@SultanAlQassemi 8:41 AM - 13 Nov 13: "Egyptian officials are seeking financing from an unidentified Gulf country to buy as much as $4B of Russian arms" http://goo.gl/iuwtyz  

Mada Masr: “IMF sees regional economic growth slowing”

Ahram Online ‏@ahramonline 2:00 AM - 13 Nov 13: IMF says still ready to aid Egypt when needed http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/86216.aspx  via @ahramonline

orit perlov ‏@oritperlov 12:58 PM - 13 Nov 13: 8 pillars to #Egypt's economic recovery by @Bassem_Sabry http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/11/egypt-economic-recovery-sabry.html … #IMF cc: @WaelNawara

The government plans to build an airport city around Cairo airport at a cost of USD 14.49 billion.

Shadi Hamid on “Why did we suspend aid to Egypt, again?

“Presumably, this is why U.S. officials—recognizing the dangerous path Egypt was traveling down—felt compelled to announce some sort of change in the aid relationship. But, even then, the aid "cut"—which is itself a misnomer since the aid was always likely to resume—was largely symbolic, with little meaningful impact on the military. An aid cut, to be effective, needs to change the calculus of Egypt's generals. But, in this case, there was little at stake: all essential aid would continue to flow (and one of the army's biggest perks—"cashflow financing"—would be unaffected).” 

Mohamed El Dahshan comments on the Thomson-Reuters “Women’s rights in the Arab World” poll methodology in his latest blog post, to which journalist Crina Boros, data journalist of the Reuters Foundation, responds in the comments.

Ahmed Kadry ‏@AhmedKadry 4:05 PM - 13 Nov 13: Thank you @eldahshan for pointing out flaws in the "Women's Rights in the Arab World" poll where Egypt ranked last. http://eldahshan.com/2013/11/13/womens-rights-poll/ …

 

November 14

Ahram Online ‏@ahramonline 10:31 PM - 14 Nov 13: President Mansour issues anti-corruption law for government officials http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/86493.aspx  

ahramonline: “Teacher in Upper Egypt 'beat girls for praising El-Sisi'”

A police officer is killed in northern Sinai. 

Rawah روعه ‏@RawahBadrawi 5:14 PM - 14 Nov 13: Police officer shot 12 times in front of his wife & kids by militants in Arish, Sinai: http://dostorasly.com/news/view.aspx?cdate=14112013&id=3887da82-0cc6-4a9d-ba3b-225b7e7cef68 …

The Arabist posts a chart of Egypt’s recent experiments with constitutions by Ziad Al-Ali, courtesy of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

EgyptSource ‏@EgyptSource 6:45 PM - 14 Nov 13: #Egypt president able to name key ministers in new constitution http://bit.ly/1hIGW4G  #Dostour #EgyConstitution 

Hani ‏@HaniAbdulal 11:18 PM - 14 Nov 13: I hope members of the constitution panel r well-aware their so-called "mixed system" of gov will only further destabilize Egypt @Dostor2013

Reuters: According to the Electricity Ministry spokesman - before talks with Russian officials on cooperation between the two countries- , Egypt will launch an international tender in January to build its first nuclear power station.

Hartwig Schafer ‏@HartwigSchafer 4:18 PM - 14 Nov 13: We signed w/ #Egypt project for power plant that will add 10% of new generation capacity. #Helwan http://goo.gl/o9j9sR  @WorldBank

Iris Boutros ‏@IrisBoutros 10:08 AM - 14 Nov 13: What's #Egypt's process? How are decisions made on how to spend money for greater social justice? @DailyNewsEgypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/11/11/egypts-veil-of-ignorance-and-the-social-contract/ … 

Reuters: General Abdel Fattah El Sisi hails a new era of defense cooperation with Russia during a visit by Russian officials, signaling Egyptian efforts to revive ties with an old ally and send a message to Washington after it suspended military aid.

Dalia Ezzat ‏@DaliaEzzat_ 1:58 PM - 14 Nov 13: Moscow not seeking to replace 'any country' in Egypt: FM Lavrov http://bit.ly/HVkIfW  subtle message: who needs the U.S. anyway?

Erin Cunningham ‏@erinmcunningham 6:39 PM - 14 Nov 13: No weapons deal announced in Cairo today. But Russia's all up in the region's biz http://wapo.st/174L0Wa 

Sharif Kouddous ‏@sharifkouddous 9:44 PM - 14 Nov 13: So Saudi Arabia is funding Egypt which might buy arms from Russia which funds Assad while Saudi Arabia also funds Syrian rebels. I see. 

Iyad El-Baghdadi ‏@iyad_elbaghdadi 9:50 PM - 14 Nov 13: So KSA gives money to #Egypt which uses it to buy weapons from Russia which arms Assad who fights the FSA who are funded by KSA.

H.A. Hellyer comments on the Thomson Reuters Foundation study on the status of women in “Women’s rights survey raises too many questions”, in which he concludes:

“The Arab woman – all different types of her – has been present in the struggle for Arab advancement throughout the past few years of revolutionary uprisings, and the decades before. She pays a greater price for those struggles than the Arab man, but she does not need pity, or misrepresentations by well-meaning but ultimately disconnected “experts”. What she needs, frankly, is for the rest of us to listen.”

MK مريم ‏@MariamKirollos 7:44 AM - 14 Nov 13: Egyptian Women Slam Poll Calling Egypt Worst Arab Country For Women http://huff.to/1buCjWF  via @HuffPostWorld

Annabell Van den Berghe discusses an awareness group called Basma in their fight against sexual harassment, in “Cairo women bring men back on the rails”.

maría ‏@twitdemaria 5:20 PM - 14 Nov 13: @RawahBadrawi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mEczGANfsc … Look at these Egyptian #women actively demanding their rights at yesterday's peaceful vigil. Please RT. 

Mohamed Elmashad discusses the recent dismissal of Egypt’s Kung Fu champion, Mohamed Youssef, and Ahly football player, Ahmed Abdel Zaher, for raising a four-finger salute that has become symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Rabaa Al Adawiya sit-in, and compares them to Smith and Carlos (1968) who were part of the American civil rights struggle, in “Sport gestures, censored”:

“Youssef, Abdel Zaher, Smith and Carlos are not athletes who I would say purposefully mixed politics and sports. Aside from the underlying politics of Youssef’s Rabaa gesture and the Americans’ Black Power salute, we realize that both cases involved socially conscious actors who saw it unfit to engage in fulsome celebrations while atrocities pass by unnoticed in the countries that they represent and bring so much pride to.”

EARLA ‏@EARLAEgypt 10:02 PM - 14 Nov 13: Al-Ahly turns African championship into anti-government protest: http://bit.ly/1bxUdrt 

Kareem Fahim writes “Memory of a Mass Killing Becomes Another Casualty of Egyptian Protests”:

“Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch said Egypt’s “short memory” had gotten progressively worse throughout its stormy transition. “People have forgotten the rights of the martyrs,” she said. “The only people who keep fighting are the mothers, the families of the victims and the lawyers.”

After Rabaa al-Adawiya, the amnesia appeared forced by the government.

“The state is taking it to a whole new level of denial,” Ms. Morayef said, noting that Egypt’s interior minister said in a television interview soon after the violence that only 40 people had been killed, even as the Health Ministry was putting the early toll at close to 300 people.

The local news media has largely fallen in line with Egypt’s military-backed government, relieving pressure on officials to investigate, or at least acknowledge, the magnitude of the killings, Ms. Morayef said.”

Wael Eskandar ‏@weskandar 5:06 PM - 14 Nov 13: People were against the military back then http://fb.me/6AhohLLag 

Wael Eskandar ‏@weskandar 3:46 AM - 14 Nov 13: Very old article .. shows #Kazeboon's role in fighting back military.. back then their lies were blatant http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-unfinished-revolution-egypt-s-youth-mark-anniversary-with-calls-for-more-changes-a-811039.html …

Sarah Carr and Basil El-Dabh on “Tawfik Okasha: Egypt’s Glenn Beck” conclude:

“Government authorities will be unable to push such rhetoric to the margins of Egyptian media unless they can implement a fair code consistently across channels. Yet the media crackdowns that have shuttered pro-Morsi channels in parallel with the reinstatement of Faraeen indicate that the government is using the “media code” to implement its politically-motivated media oversight. Such policies work in favor of Okasha and his ever-changing viewpoints.”

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

Amnesty International: The dirty secret behind some of Cairo’s development dreams

 

See ‘related articles’ for openDemocracy highlights. 

Our next Egypt in the balance update will be published in the week of November 18, 2013.

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