- The Obama Doctrine
Gary Sick on Obama's uber-realist (unrealistic?) MENA policy
- Egypt army extends power by taking charge of Gulf aid
- Egypt: The Revolution’s Last Stand - The Daily Beast
On student unrest.
- Petites guerres locales en Libye
Good piece on the difficulty of "reading" Libya.
- Meet Egypt’s next would-be president | Mada Masr
Reminds us that Sisi + army said he would not run.
- BBC News - Abdul Fattah al-Sisi: New face of Egypt's old guard
- Sisi 2014!
Steve Cook on the challenges facing Sisi.
- Occidental’s $8 Billion Deal Stalled by Brotherhood Row - Bloomberg
Fallout of GCC divide.
- Saudi Arabia: A kingdom on guard - FT
Long piece by Roula Khalaf on Saudi, Egypt, MB, GCC, etc.
- Report: Qatar's World Cup Expected To Take More Lives Than 9/11
What a headline.
- Time to Get Tough on Egypt - Shadi Hamid - POLITICO
- Meet Egypt’s next would-be president
So Sisi has announced...
Above, the "Libyan navy" – actually Misrata militias loading their pickup trucks mounted with artillery weapons onto a barge – shoots at the Morning Glory, a tanker that loaded oil from the blockaded port of Sidra, controlled by "federalist" militias. The ship was later seized by US Navy Seals. And below, the long-overdue links.
- Israel’s War on American Universities
- In search of an energy vision | Mada Masr
On Egypt's energy crisis.
- Book on women driving banned
At the Riyadh Book Fair. Which also banned all the works of Mahmoud Darwish this year.
- Egypt Revolutionary Singer Stopped From Performing
Not the sign of a confident regime
- In Egypt, the Military Means (Big) Business - Businessweek
- Ahmed Shafiq, in leaked phone calls, talks smack about Sisi
Calls the army's decision to back general for presidency "bizarre and ignorant"
- L’Arabie saoudite, un royaume en pleine transformation dans un environnement régional en recomposition - Entretien avec Nabil Mouline
- Egyptian women in numbers
On the occasion of International Women's Day
- The Jazeera Trial
Good dispatch by Bel Trew
- Another letter from jailed activist Alaa Abdel Fattah
Who as usual shows how dangerously thoughtful he is
- MBC Misr signal jammed during Bassem Youssef show
Satirical news show briefly interrupted when an "unknown entity" jammed the signal. A warning?
- What Would People Say?
Amro Ali on the country's "obsessive-compulsive public-image disorder"
- Visit the cinema at the end of the world | Dazed
An outdoor ghost cinema in Sinai. If this is true it's amazing.
- Qatar to bar Saudis, Bahrainis and Emiratis from Harrods in response to ambassador withdrawal | The Pan-Arabia Enquirer
- Showdown in the Gulf
On the withdrawal of Saudi, Bahraini, Emirati and Egyptian ambassadors from Qatar
- Darwin in Arabia | TLS
Robert Irwin reviews.
- Brutality, torture, rape: Egypt's crisis will continue until military rule is dismantled | Emad El-Din Shahin | Comment is free | The Guardian
- Three Gulf Arab states recall envoys in rift with Qatar | Reuters
- The Strange World of the Muslim Brotherhood Court Cases
Another stellar piece by Peter Hessler. Too many memorable lines to quote.
- Police officers sentenced to 10 years for Khaled Saeed murder
Akheeran! Let's hope they serve their full sentence
- Rebel infighting kills thousands of Syrians
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant killed more rebel fighters than Assad's regime did
- Gulf atheism in the age of social media
Sultan Al Qassemi's very interesting history of atheism in the region
- Egyptian Stars of 'The Square' Can't Attend the Oscars
And it didn't win. Malesh!
- Manifesto - St.Catherine
Timeline of hiker's tragedy on Mount Sinai and official neglect
- Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict | MERIP
- How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations - The Intercept
- Egypt's generals: It gets ever sillier | The Economist
On the koftagi device
- Egypt PM retracts culture minister appointment - Ahram Online
Corporatist reflexes strong as ever - see last line.
- The $20 Million Case for Morocco
Well-researched overview of Morocco's Western Sahara lobby.
- Claims of cure for HIV, Hepatitis C are a 'scandal': Egypt presidential advisor - Ahram Online
- MEI Editor's Blog: Guest Post: Prince Charles' Sword Dance and the Early History of UK-Saudi Relations
- CC cures HIV/AIDS | moftasa.net
Must-read on Egyptian military's miracle device. This is to Sisi what Nile meeting was to Morsi, so embarassing.
- The Conman’s paradise - DNE
Another instant classic by @sandmonkey
- The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer: Egyptian autocrats struggle with soccer’s political pros and cons
- Lourde peine requise contre le caricaturiste
Algerian cartoonist Djamel Ghanem threatened w/18 months prison for unpublished, unfinished comic against Bouteflika re-election.
- A return to the 1990s? | Mada Masr
An informative comparison of jihadi groups in Egypt, in the 1990s and today
- Egypt can stop its spiral toward radicalization - The Washington Post
- Syrian War Crimes: Regime Bombs Bakeries, Uses Starvation As Weapon | New Republic
- Crépuscule du pouvoir en Algérie
- Le métier d’intellectuel, un livre de Driss Ksikes et Fadma Aït Mous
New book on Moroccan intellectuals
- Aide’s Return to White House Reflects Changing U.S. Role in Middle East - NYTimes.com
- U.S. Steps Up Criticism of Russian Role in Syrian War - NYTimes.com
- Brewing Turkish Coffee: A Step-by-Step Guide
Nice illustrated guide by Brownbook
- Tunisia’s new constitution: progress and challenges to come | openDemocracy
Zaid al-Ali and Donia Ben Romdhane
- Convince, Coerce, or Compromise? Ennahda’s Approach to Tunisia’s Constitution | Brookings Institution
Monica Marks on Ennahda's internal politics.
- What was the thinking behind Libya’s transition? | THE DAILY STAR
Pete Cole urges patience.
- The Strategy of Egypt's Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis
Long War Journal's David Barnett
- The Egypt Effect: Sharpened Tensions, Reshuffled Alliances - Carnegie
Regional impact of July 3.
- Qatar’s leadership transition: like father, like son | ECFR
Andrew Hammond argues Qatar as Ikhwanophile as ever.
- An account of torture from Wadi al-Natrun prison | Mada Masr
- Cairobserver — Review: Ahdaf Soueif's Cairo
- Cairobserver — Second Print Edition of Cairobserver
- Luna of Cairo by Luna and Leela Corman - Narratively
Cute comic on life of foreign belly dancer in Cairo.
- Activist groups reject MB call to unite | Mada Masr
A (too) late apology from MB to revs.
- EU to grant Egypt €500 bn in aid | Egypt Independent
- U.S. Citizen Taken From His Apartment In Cairo By Egyptian Security Officials
- النائب العام يأمر بالتحقيق مع “بيبسي” بتهمة بث إعلانات تُحرض الشباب على التظاهر | ONA
Egypt Prosecutor orders investigation into Pepsi for ads encouraging youth to demonstrate
- Al-Qaeda made £50m from ransoms in 3 years, says British UN ambassador | Mail Online
- Priorities for Legislative Reform | Human Rights Watch
- The second death of Khaled Saeed | Mada Masr
On the eve of Jan 25, a look at the case and Facebook page that partly started it all
- Libya: Facing Economic Collapse in 2014
- EGYPT'S PRESIDENT: POLICE STATE HAS ENDED - AP
Happy new year, I guess.
- Dans l’oasis du Fayoum, au sud du Caire, les Frères musulmans rasent les murs
- Training Fighters of Future Across Gaza - NYTimes.com
- Does Egypt’s Vote Matter?
Ursula Lindsey on what the referendum signifies
- Democratic Republic of Zamalek
"Our official language will be a magical hybrid of Arabic, English and rural Filipino"
- Summary Of Egypt Aid Limits In The Omnibus Appropriations Bill
- A Recipe for Civil War? [PDF]
FRIDE's Kristina Kausch compares Egypt and Algeria
- Live updates: 98% of votes in 25 governorates in favour of draft constitution - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online
Egyptian news site estimates approval rate
- Rumour and referendum in Egypt: Staying on side | The Economist
And another great one from Max Rodenbeck
- Voters come out after Imbaba blast | Mada Masr
A good story from Sarah Carr
- Keep Pollard Behind Bars - NYTimes.com
- Egypt’s Quest for Itself
Peter Harling and Yasser El Shimy.
- Arab gloom: This year can’t be as bad as the last | The Economist
Oh yes it can.
- No more negotiating | Mada Masr
An obituary for negotiations between the Brotherhood and the authorities
- Morocco launches process to normalize illegal immigrants
Hundreds of thousands of Sub-Saharan African immigrants hope to obtain residency
- Egypt Says 3 Journalists Will Be Held 15 More Days - NYTimes.com
- الحكم على «ماهينور المصري» و6 نشطاء آخرين بالحبس سنتين و50 ألف جنيه غرامة | أخبار الموجز
More April 6 activists sentenced to 2 years for protesting outside the Khaled Said trial in Alexandria
- A state in shackles | Mada Masr
Lina Atallah on the Egyptian state's self-damage
- Taking stock of 2013 | Mada Masr
The thoughts and concerns of journalists at a progressive local publication in Cairo
Last link dump of the year...
- West signals to Syrian opposition Assad may stay | Reuters
- To kill or not to kill: Army and politics in post-revolution Egypt - Al Jazeera English
- Preventing South Sudan’s Inferno - The Daily Beast
- Gabbling and Gobbling on the Nile | Jonathan Guyer
Thanksgiving in Cairo, featuring friends and colleagues of the Arabist
- Fighting in South Sudan: More accident than plot | The Economist
A strange so-called coup
- This Egyptian Constitution Poster Is A Total Disaster
Poster at press conferences misspells "Egyptians," features random white people from the internet
- Veritas Egypt
Bernard Kouchner attending what appears to be a pro-coup conference.
The latest in pseudo-NGO astroturf
- Questions on Drone Strike Find Only Silence - NYTimes.com
- Floundering in a mire of its own creation, the Saudi government is incapable of reform
- Why Egypt’s Army Is Bad At Doing Business
- Qaradawi’s War for Egypt
By WINEP mufti David Schenker - good example of Lobby/Gulf shared interests.
- forced to walk through sewage | In Gaza
Life in the Strip keeps getting worse.
Still more overdue links:
- A field guide to losing friends, influencing no one, and alienating the Middle East - Le Monde diplomatique
- مراسل إم بي سي ضحية التعذيب لـ«الضابط»: «أبوس رجلك اتعلمت الدرس»
Egyptian TV reporter arrested and tortured after argument with army officer
- Syrian Students Find a Haven in Rural Illinois
The Chronicle of Higher Education on Syrian students finding shelter at US universities
- Egypt's ousted president in high-security prison
After court session in which he insists he is still president
- U.S. Is Losing Advantage in Spying, Report Says - NYTimes.com
- Marvel Comics Introducing a Muslim Girl Superhero - NYTimes.com
- What to Make of Saudi Hand-Wringing - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Interesting piece by Fred Wehrey.
Yet another long overdue link dump.
- Egypt’s Coming Civil War - Bloomberg
- Map showing how border controls ...
Very cool map of migration patterns in North Africa the Middle East and the Mediterranean
- When Wealth Disappears - NYTimes.com
"We are reaching end times for Western affluence"
- In Sudan, "freedom for my mum"
Women play a big part in recent protests in Sudan
- Libya: In Search of a Strongman by Nicolas Pelham | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books
- What’s Become of Freedom of Expression? - Sada
Maati Monjib on the Ali Anouzla case.
- In Leaked Video, Egyptian Army Officers Debate How to Sway News Media - NYTimes.com
- Moroccan king backs away from reforms - The Washington Post
- CAIRO: Egypt’s ‘revolution’ is over as people accept imposition of military rule
Buyer's remorse in Egypt, yet again.
- Star Trekking through the Middle East. Whatever happened to Arab science fiction?
It's being lived.
Much overdue bookmarks dump...
- Egypt Reports Gains Against Militants in Sinai - NYTimes.com
- Algeria’s Bouteflika appoints allies to key ministerial roles - FT.com
- Egypt Defends Decision to Nix Al Jazeera Misr - WSJ
- Tamarod members in Beni Suef submit resignations
Wonder how much has to do with crackdown in Beni Suef
- La Stampa - Diary Of Humiliation And Faith From A Hostage In Syria
- 73% of Egyptians don't feel safe; 62% expect living conditions to improve in a year
A lot of fear, and un-meetable expectations: the take-away from a recent poll from the Baseera Center
- Tahrir Doc THE SQUARE Is A Modern Masterpiece
This doc about the Jan 25 uprising and its aftermath gets a rave review
- NOREF - Saudi Arabia and the export of religious ideologies
- Violence Reshapes Egypt's Politics - By Dina Rashed | The Middle East Channel
- Sharing my depressing thoughts on Egypt | moftasa.net
"Our attempt to stand up have showed us that we have a broken back."
Various things clogging up the browser tab bar...
The most important piece of the last few days about Egypt, in my view, in this great reporting by David Kirkpatrick, Peter Baker and Michael Gordon in the New York Times. It's worth reading carefully because it represents the most detailed public account of efforts at defusing the post-July 3 crisis, negotiations between the army and the MB and how hardliners in the government nixed them, and gives some indication of key personalities around Sisi. It also provides details, such as that Mohammed ElBaradei meant to resign in late July after the second massacre of pro-Morsi protestors in Cairo but was convinced to remain by John Kerry. It's really sterling work.
One impression I came away reading this was that, while dynamics inside the Egyptian leadership were the most important factor, the interventions of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham may have prevented (because of their perceived arrogance from an Egyptian point of view) a breakthrough in efforts to avoid further violence.
Update: A source familiar with the negotiations / mediation efforts (not a journalist and not an American) confirms the NYT account is, small errors aside, largely correct but that the deal had already collapsed when McCain and Graham came to Cairo. Their swagger, at most, helped the Egyptian government in providing a pretext for nationalist backlash, but the decision had already been made to close the talks and move to a crackdown.
Below are links collated in the last few days, from different perspectives. I may come back to a few later.Read More
All Egypt-related, about today's violence.
So it begins...
Linkin' not likin'
Maati Monji on Morocco's institutions.
On police propaganda in Egypt
Sultan Qassemi - learning the wrong lesson from Morocco, methinks.
That Kerry interview in full.
Tout le monde ment dans cette affaire.
I love that RS are getting a platform in a US paper!
On the absolutely dismal Egyptian TV
Reporting from Assiut
Good piece by Wael Gamal.
Atlantic Council Report by Duncan Pickard (PDF)
Unfortunately none of this is happening.
If you want to know what it's like receiving Nour The Intern's sometimes twice-daily email of links, see below. I have reproached her many times about her choice of reading material, to no avail. Warning: some links will take you to the websites of some completely discredited Egyptian publications, in other words, almost all of them at this point.
Previously on Egypt:
- Raba’a residents may be complaining about the protesters relieving themselves in their gardens, the building of makeshift stone walls around the mosque, the loudspeakers, the chanting and the hassle of getting searched, but the protesters, too, are not exactly happy themselves. The shock still hasn’t subsided and although leaders try to keep the morale high throughout the day, but once it’s time for prayers many often cry. Here’s a video of an entertainment segment, where a young man paints a portrait of Morsi upside down in under 12 minutes, while the speaker told this painful joke: The “lying (secular) media that believes itself” is like a man with an 80s model car he wanted to sell, but knew he couldn’t because it’s an 80s model. So his friends tell him a sign on the car saying “Mercedes 2013.” Days later his friends asked him if he sold the car. “What, am I crazy to sell a 2013 Mercedes model!”
- The Raba’a protesters truly believe there is 4 to 5 million on the street supporting Morsi. They also believe that there are Christian Morsi supporters among them, they are just really quiet and invisible.
- In an effort to assert their persistence and intention to stay in Raba’a not just to reinstate Morsi, but also because there is safety in numbers for their wanted leaders, who were now impossible to arrest without more bloodshed than usual, Safwat Hegazi went on stage to announce the suggestions of female protesters to bring ovens to the sit-in in order to bake Kahk for Eid, which is about a month away.
- Beltagy told Bloomberg that “if Mursi is returned to office, the upper house of Parliament is reconvened, and the constitution is restored, then the Brotherhood will agree to early presidential elections and will grant amnesty to everyone who carried out the coup.”
- The MB has washed its hands clean of responsibility for whatever is said on stage in Raba’a. According to its spokesperson, Ahmed Arif, the MB has no control over the stage and its views are not represented by the speakers. That way Jamaa’ al-Islamiya leader and longtime Morsi supporter Assem Abdul Maged can go on stage and thank “American stupidity” for turning Morsi, a regular president who had his fans and critics, into a symbol for Muslim nations to unite behind and fight American culture and military coups, and MB’s Essam el-Haddad can ask the US and EU to send forces to protect Morsi from protesters.
- Stories about “sex jihad” and “legitimate privacy” apartments for married couples in Raba’a al-Adawiya all over the place. For instance, a FB post about two women at Raba’a have been allegedly sexually assaulted by islamist protesters, who tried to use “sex jihad” to excuse themselves was widely circulated and readily accepted as a proper representation of all things bearded, when, on the other hand, the 80 cases of group sexual assault in Tahrir, July 3, didn’t tarnish the protesters.
- El-Beltagy said that the video of him talking about the Sinai attacks was "creatively edited" to make it look as if he masterminded the attacks.
- Youssef el-Husseiny told the spineless Syrians who are here to support Morsi to go back and solve their problem in their country, or else they’ll come in contact with the shoes of the Egyptian people.
- Wagdy Ghoniem prays for the death of Sheikh Al-Azhar because he sided with "Tawdoors" against a bearded Muslim, who memorized Quran and has a wife who is veiled.
- Army distributes 950 thousand meals in all governorates. When MB does it; it’s morally reprehensible. When the SCAF does it; it’s ramadan charity.
- Morsi’s son, Abdullah, intentionally ruined the presidential car (which is worth 3 million) appointed to him before returning it. Worth noting that the car that Gamal Mubarak bought and treated like family: el-Fagr.