Tag Archives: Egypt

Isis has finally reached central Egypt – but that’s not even al-Sisi’s biggest problem

So it’s back to Egypt’s ghastly prisons, no arrest warrants, fearful interrogations, and a presidential state of emergency which brings the army back onto the streets. But it’s also a frightening prospect for President al-Sisi in the aftermath of the church attacks and the slaughter of 45 Coptic Christians – for it means that Isis has “crossed the canal”, something which his army has been trying to prevent for months.

Donald Trump may think that al-Sisi has done “a fantastic job in a very difficult situation” but in fact he’s done a deplorable job, presiding over multiple disappearances of anyone the police don’t like, allowing torture to resume in police stations (we should not forget the Italian student found tortured and murdered beside a highway outside Cairo), and pretending that the Muslim Brotherhood, whose government he overthrew in a coup d’etat, is Isis.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 11, 2017 in Africa



Europe’s migration trade with Egypt

Long before the advent of the “migration crisis,” Italy signed a series of deals with Libya’s Colonel Muammar Qadhafi designed to stop thousands of mostly African migrants from reaching the shores of Europe.Between 2006 and 2011, Qadhafi took billions in development money and, in return, enforced Europe’s borders. Tens of thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants were held in detention facilities where human rights groups reported physical abuse, torture and, in some cases, the use of lethal force.

Source: Europe’s migration trade with Egypt | MadaMasr

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 13, 2017 in Africa, European Union


Tags: , ,

This is the one thing Donald Trump, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and President al-Sisi in Egypt have in common

We reporters love crowd figures. The bigger the mob, the better the story. Politicians love them too. The greater the masses, the greater the popularity. Ask not who said: “I’m like, wait a minute. I made a speech. I looked out, the field was, it looked like a million, million and a half people.” Ah, those millions.Back in 2011, the crowds in Tahrir Square were in their hundreds of thousands. A million Egyptians – that’s the figure Al Jazeera went for. Or maybe it was a million and a half people in central Cairo. They helped to overthrow Hosni Mubarak – with the help of the army, of course, the people’s protector. Experts thought 300,000 was the greatest number of Egyptians you could cram into the Tahrir district. But what the hell? It was a revolution.

Source: This is the one thing Donald Trump, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and President al-Sisi in Egypt have in common | The Independent

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Africa, Middle East, North America


Tags: , , ,

What one journalist’s time in an Egyptian prison tells us about the fight against Islamist jihad 

To interview a jihadi is one thing, to live among jihadis quite another. To share their prison cells and their jail trucks on the way to a dictatorship’s trials is both a journalist’s dream and a journalist’s nightmare. Which makes Mohamed Fahmy a unique figure: in a prison bus, he hears his fellow inmates rejoicing at the beheading of a captured journalist in Syria. “They won’t let us out,” a voice shouts at Fahmy in Egypt’s ghastly Tora prison complex. “We haven’t seen the sun for weeks.” And he hears the rhythmic voices of prisoners reciting the Koran.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 3, 2017 in Africa



Egypt: Laughter in the Dark

I first heard the name Ahmed Naji at a PEN dinner last spring. I looked up from my dessert to a large projection of a young Egyptian man, rather handsome, slightly louche-looking, with a Burt Reynolds moustache, wearing a Nehru shirt in a dandyish print and the half smile of someone both amusing and easily amused. I learned that he was just thirty and had written a novel called Using Life for which he is currently serving a two-year prison sentence. I thought: good title. A facile thought to have at such a moment but it’s what came to mind. I liked the echo of Georges Perec’s Life: A User’s Manual—the coolness of that—and thought I recognized, in Naji’s author photo, something antic and wild, not unlike what you see when you look at pictures of Perec. You could call it judging a book by its cover: I’d rather think of it as the readerly premonition that this book might please me. If he had written a book called Peacocks in Moonlight and posed for one of these author portraits where the writer’s head is resting on his own closed fist, I would have been equally shocked and saddened to hear he was in prison, but perhaps not as keen to read it.

Source: Egypt: Laughter in the Dark | by Zadie Smith | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 20, 2016 in Africa



Why the West cannot afford to ignore political Islam

After a US presidential campaign conducted, for the most part, in the gutter, and the spectacle of national newspapers branding three top judges in Britain “enemies of the people” for a judgement which did not suit their cause, Britons and Americans are in no position to lecture Arabs on “democratic principles and liberal values”.

Source: Why the West cannot afford to ignore political Islam | Middle East Eye

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Africa, Europe


Tags: ,

Saudi Arabia reaps what it has sowed

There have been two signs that Riyadh’s grip over its neighbourhood is loosening.

The first was a long range missile which the Houthis fired at Jeddah airport, west of Mecca. The second was the election of Michel Aoun as Lebanese president, which was guaranteed by the support of Saad Hariri, the businessmen the Saudis once bankrolled. Aoun is backed by Hezbollah and Damascus, the power he fought as a general.

Source: Saudi Arabia reaps what it has sowed

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 4, 2016 in Middle East


Tags: , ,

Giulio Regeni: From a small village to a world cause | | مدى مصر

Fiumicello, Duino and Ferrara.It is almost dawn in the early days of spring in Fiumicello. The small village in northwest Italy is dressed in yellow banners, reading, “Verita Per Giulio Regeni” (the truth for Giulio Regeni).The cloth banners are hung on doorsteps and strung up between street lamps, moving gently in the breeze, but voicing the resolve of a village entirely taken up by finding the truth behind the murder of one of its young men.Giulio came to Cairo in 2015 as a student and left in a body bag in February 2016. His body was found on the outskirts of the city, after he was reported missing on January 25, bearing traces of brutal torture.

Source: Giulio Regeni: From a small village to a world cause | | مدى مصر

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 21, 2016 in Africa, European Union


Tags: ,

Who murdered Giulio Regeni?

The Long Read: When the battered body of a Cambridge PhD student was found outside Cairo, Egyptian police claimed he had been hit by a car. Then they said he was the victim of a robbery. Then they blamed a conspiracy against Egypt. But in a digital age, it’s harder than ever to get away with murder

Source: Who murdered Giulio Regeni? | Alexander Stille

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 6, 2016 in Africa, European Union


Tags: ,

Sisi is a dead man walking

“You want to be a first-class nation? Will you bear it if I make you walk on your own feet? When I wake you up at five in the morning every day? Will you bear cutting back on food, cutting back on air-conditioners? …People think I’m a soft man, Sisi is torture and suffering.”

So said the field marshal in a leaked recording of a conversation he had with a journalist shortly before he became president. Little did he know then how prescient his words would be. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s rule has indeed become torture and suffering for Egypt.

He has lurched from one promise to another, each one a glittering bauble dangled over a credulous and fearful nation. The first was the untold billions that Egypt would continue to get from the Gulf states who bankrolled his military coup. He boasted to his aides that their money was so plentiful it was “like rice”, a judgment that now looks dated after the collapse in the price of oil and the Yemen war. He burnt his way through up to $50bn of their cash, loans and oil guarantees.

Source: Sisi is a dead man walking

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Africa