- 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...
In this week’s article selected from the Egyptian press, Islamist thinker Fahmi Howeidy highlights the recent wave of attacks against police and soldiers and condemns the government’s rush to blame the Muslim Brotherhood with scant evidence. The shadow of a wider insurgency against the regime looms large over Egypt, making comparisons with Algeria that recently seemed unthinkable more of a prospect.
Translation is provided by the excellent folks at Industry Arabic. Help them help us by using their translation services for your company!Read More
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
I wish that rather than "everyone knows", the title and refrain of Alaa Abdelfattah's latest, most explosive, prison missive had been translated as "everybody knows". Because then it would have fit perfectly with the Leonard Cohen song. An excerpt from its end is below, but read the whole thing:
Everyone knows that the current regime offers nothing to most of the young people of the country, and everyone knows that most of those in jail are young, and that oppression is targeting an entire generation to subjugate it to a regime that understands how separate it is from them and that does not want, and cannot in any case, accommodate or include them.
Everyone knows that there is no hope for us who have gone ahead into prison except through you who will surely follow. So what are you going to do?
- 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.
Last month, as the hit documentary film The Square hit silver screens, there were several reviews that used its heart-wrenching footage of Egypt’s revolutionaries to address the failings of the mostly young protest movement. Some American commentators like Eric Trager (in the New Republic) and Max Fischer in the Washington Post argued that the protestors were “incoherent”, that they “practically never leave Tahrir Square”, naively “too principled for politics”, that they “so alienated their fellow Egyptians as to actually engender sympathy for security forces” to take The Square’s director, Jehane Noujaim, to task for “never really addressing the many errors of the liberal protest movement.” Similar sentiment was echoed elsewhere, most recently (and prominently) by the influential New York Times foreign affairs columnist Roger Cohen, who wrote in a piece generally despairing of the state of Egypt,
There is plenty of blame to go around — for Obama, for the hapless Morsi, for the paranoid power-grabbing Muslim Brotherhood, for the controlling military. But above all I blame the squabbling Egyptian liberals who fought for Mubarak’s ouster but did not give democracy a chance.
In our view, these observers of the situation in Egypt compound mistake after mistake, in both their analysis and their taxonomy. Reducing the protest movement of 2011 to an ineffectual, middle class, left-wing group people detached from more profound realities of a poor country is not just unfair, it is simply inaccurate. Like so many observers of the “Arab Spring”, they confuse the media depiction of the protestors with their complex, at times surprising, reality. They also repeatedly make the mistake of labeling those people were neither members of Mubaraks’ regime nor Islamists as “liberals”, rendering the word meaningless in a country where that group actually includes many illiberal leftists, nationalists, progressives, and, yes, conservatives. But much more fundamentally, their decision to appropriate blame at the weakest component of Egypt’s polity (rather than the two strongest actors on the scene, the Muslim Brotherhood and the military and its backers in the business elite) appears not just misguided, but grotesque. This is not to say that these “liberals” did not make mistakes – no one has escaped unscathed from Egypt’s tragedy. But these are arguments are so specious (yet so widely propagated, most often by Western liberals – a category of people that itself hasn’t exactly shone in the last decade or two) it as if these commentators come from another reality.
This why the text below, by noted Egyptian activist and writer Amr Ezzat, packs such a punch. His indignation is fully understandable (even if he is somewhat unfair towards Trager, whose article does contain some worthy insights) and it amounts to a powerful rebuttal of the simply bizarre current trend of assigning blame on a generation of Egyptians that, tentatively but bravely, dared to imagine that their country could be different.
Many thanks to Industry Arabic for translating the article below (please use their services to make it possible for them to continue providing us with content only available in Arabic!), and KK for suggesting it to us.Read More
Note: The original posting of this podcast linked to an older episode. This has been corrected – we apologize for the mistake.
Arabist podcast hosts Ursula Lindsey and Ashraf Khalil talk to Khaled Dawoud, a prominent Egyptian reporter and activist. Dawoud campaigned to remove the Muslim Brotherhood from power in 2013 but resigned as spokesman for the National Salvation Front, a secular political coalition, in protest over the killing of Islamist demonstrators on August 14. Dawoud has been attacked from all sides of the political spectrum as he continues to argue for a poliitically negotiated solution rather than the ongoing cycle of violence and repression. He looks back on his last three years of activism; the role of the revolutionary; the secular movement and whether, in ousting the Brotherhood, it became the pawn of the former regime and the military.
- Mohamed Morsi's November 2012 constitutional declaration - link
- Family of Al-Hosseini Abu Deif alleges he was assassinated - link
- National Salvation Front Statement on August 14, 2013: "Today Egypt holds its head high..." - link
- Constitution Party's Khaled Dawoud Stabbed by Pro-Morsi Supporters - link
Nour Youssef writes to us regularly with a mix of legitimate, useful information and things I wish I'd never seen. I thought I'd put her latest missive up as a taste of the current ambient Egyptian insanity:
Reasons to at least limit ability to upload videos on Youtube:
- This person.
- And this one too. Remember that belly dancer Sema al-Masry who broke an olla in front of the US embassy and made that anti-Qatar song? She has her own show now where she wears a shirt with Mubarak's laughing face on it and had this supposed El-Baradei look-alike to shake her boobs at.
Things that maybe interesting:
- Bassem Youssef is coming back. On MBC.
- The transcript of the absolutely ridiculous interrogation of Ahmed Abdelaty, head of the presidential office under Morsi, and one of the defendants in the espionage case. What's funnier than the fact that their "evidence" of the "crime" that is talking to people out of Egypt -- or worse, not even Egyptian people in Egypt, or even worse out of it -- comes from hacking his email is that they a) don't care/understand that that is a crime and so don't react to his emphasis on that and b) el-Watan picked this up and ran with it like it proved that Mohamed Badie surprised the smuggling of weapons from Libya to Egyptian MB youth in 2012, completely indifferent to or unaware of the fact that the word Libya was not mentioned in the interrogation, that the man denied all charges and that the investigative bodies are a).