(Friday Protestors demanding the return of Military rule. Photo, the Daily News Egypt)
- Morsi uses TV interview to burnish image.
- Salafist Nour Party to run in parliamentary elections.
- Beltagy: Opposition makes farcical demands to postpone elections
- Qandil tells opposition to stop providing cover for “vandals.”
- Stock market drops for a second day as protests continue
- Federation Of Chambers (FCC) “boycotts” Ministry of Supply.
- Three Salafists resign from Islamic umbrella group.
- Opposition NSF to boycott the elections.
- Shura Council to deliberate tax reform draft law within 48 hours.
- Court rules Gaza tunnels threaten national security
- Celebrities, public figures call for elections boycott.
- Five hundred Egyptian factories close as a result of increased Mazut prices.
- Egyptian prosecution opens investigation into air balloon accident.
- Revised economic plan hikes cigarette, iron, cement, alcohol taxes.
- FJP investigate its leader Ali Abdel Fatah after he accused the army of killing its soldiers in Sinai. Arabic
- Morsi opens “national dialogue” in run-up to parliamentary poll.
- Fitch expects delay in IMF deal.
- NSF rejects U.S. pressure to run in elections.
- Abu Ismail initiates Al-Raya party.
- Civil disobedience’ calls spark demos, clash in Dakahliya province.
- Brotherhood member to take top job at Nile News.
- A number of Port Said citizens sign proxies demanding the army to run the country. (Arabic)
- NSF leaders refuse to meet Kerry in protest against US pro-Morsy stance
- El-Sissi: Military will defend Egypt against internal or external threats.
- IMF is studying revised fiscal steps.
- Shura Council: SCC not entitled to review election law amendments -
- Egypt struggles as joblessness soars
- Factories struggle in Egypt as costs, and risks rise.
- Bakers threaten strikes over rising costs.
- Pro-military protestors declare Nasr City sit-in.
- Christian-Muslim tension flares in South Egypt.
- Salafi group calls for new ministry to regulate virtue and vice.
- Minister accuses election boycotters “sowing destruction and chaos.”
- Sohag police officers block railways, and demand arms.
- Protesters in Mahalla call for civil disobedience.
- Kerry is hoping to nudge Egypt toward reforms.
- Kerry delivers remarks with Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr: Transcript
- Fresh clashes break out in Mansoura
- The locust infestation could complicate Cairo’s efforts to secure food subsidies.
- Protesters burn a police station in Port Said.
- Hamas denies stealing Egyptian ID printer.
- Egypt sets Mubarak retrial in “Camel battle” protestor killings.
- Egypt’s defense Minister to Kerry: I have no disagreement with Morsi.
- With forensic report inconclusive, accusations fly over al Husseini Abu Deif’s death
- Protesters in Ismailia shut government offices, halt train traffic amid growing civil disobedience campaign.
- Policeman killed, army officer wounded in Port Said
- Health Ministry: 310 people injured in Port Said clashes.
- Protestors closed the roads heading to ministry of interior in Cairo.
A Few Thoughts
Who wants the Military?
Have a look at the above photo; are those the liberal elites of Egypt? It is a myth that only liberals demand and hope for the military return to political life. In fact, it is the ordinary Egyptians who are struggling to get their basic daily needs met, and view the army as the only disciplined party that can restore some law and order back.
One of the best metaphors I heard this week was about the Port Said stadium tragedy and how it represents the current political arena, where politicians abandon the rules of the game and resort to bloody, dirty tools to win.
The symbolism of signing proxies and petitions should not be overlooked. In 1919, Egyptians collected proxies in support of their revolution leader, Saad Zaghloul, who fought against the British occupation. Sadly today, many view the Islamists as occupiers who want to change the soul of Egypt with an ongoing soft revolution against them but there is no Saad.
I have argued in my last piece that the Military cannot save Egypt and I still stand by my opinion, although I am deeply alarmed by the dismissive attitude of the Brotherhood of the whole pro-military campaign, it reminds me of the pro-Mubarak, and their underestimation of the degree of public resentment against them.
A prominent member of the Brotherhood went even further (check headlines), and accused military leaders of killing its own soldiers in Sinai, this outrageous accusation was later denied, despite a circulated video on social media, nonetheless, it reflects the mindset of some of the Brotherhood members.
One of the most entertaining events this week was the live broadcast of the so-called National dialogue. Participants have competed with each other to blame the media for nearly all the problems of the political scene. The Salafi Nour party emerged from the “dialogue” as a fierce opponent to the Muslim Brotherhood, in what appeared to be a rehearsal for forthcoming confrontation in the future parliament. Well, good luck!
Despite its futility and its failure to come up with any results, I still blame the non-Islamist opposition for not attending, at least for the first round; it was a missed opportunity to expose the Islamists in front of the general public.
It is no longer news that violence has become a part of the daily life in Egypt, not just between protestors and the police (Mansoura as one example); but even what was once a civil exercise of a Syndicate election has now been marred by clashes among participants. It is no exaggeration that Egypt has become a tense society and can easily descend to “a nervous breakdown.” Of course, the Brotherhood continues to dismiss the symptoms and signs, and claim that “anti-revolutionary forces” have every intention to derail the country; going with that logic, those evil forces love to be capitated by armored vehicles and tear gassed day and night. The Islamist leadership dismissive attitude toward the growing tension in many of Egypt’s provinces will bread more violence and could disrupt the next election. The assumption that violence will ease on election day is simply. reckless.
Tonight clashes in Port Said mark a new turning point; for the first time and despite formal denial, there are many leaked reports of clashes between the army and security forces. The city is rife with rumours, and it is difficult to know what has happened exactly, but the worse may yet to come, as the final verdict in the football tragedy is expected next Saturday. for more details read Zeinobia‘s blog piece.
ID Cards Scandal:
The intriguing story of a the ID printer that has been lost since the collapse of law and order in Sinai during the January 25th revolution, only to be found by chance when security forces this week raise a legitimate questions; how many fake I.D. cards were printed by this machine? Is there any link between it and the court case filed by an ex-MP that alleged that 9 million votes in the previous referendum were duplicated due to use of a fake I.D. (same person with several different home addresses). The verdict in this case is due next week and I think it will be interesting. Hamas has denied any link with the story. Gaza is not just Hamas, but Hamas is the responsible governing body that rule Gaza.
The ongoing sectarian tension in Egypt is not new; sadly, it has been on-going for decades, remember the church of Imbaba? The differences now are three factors: a powerful Salafi movement, a complacent government, and the collapse of law and order. There are other stories than the church of Kom Ombo that were covered by the English media and another story from Bani Souef was reported in Arabic media. Although the reason for the clashes are well known, usually, they are sparked by disputes over rumors of conversion, Muslim-Christian love affairs and the construction of churches; yet, nothing have been done to solve or prevent it.
The reason behind sectarianism in Egypt also highlights one fundamental difference between Muslims and Islamists. Muslims believe the right to leave Islam is entrenched in the Quran: “So let him who please to believe, and let him who please disbelieve,” while Islamists deliberately ignore the verse, despite their passion with literalism, and create sectarian fights just because of alleged conversion to Christianity.
There is nothing more symbolic of the dramatic era that Egypt is currently witnessing more than the swarms of insects that stormed Cairo this weekend. It is new; Egypt had bad infestations in 2004. Why the government did not formulate a preventative plan since 2004? The best answer I heard was, Locusts are the soldier of God.
For Kerry’s visit, and the opposition boycott, I would rather write about these in separate pieces in due course.
- What is Egypt? Steven Cook
- The Egyptian opposition. Issander el Amrani
- Answers needed on state and religion. Ibrahim El Houdaiby
- The Egyptian left love defeat. Holly Dagres.
- Egypt’s culture of violence. Sarah el Sirgany
- An open letter to John Kerry, from an Egyptian Liberal. Naguib Abadir, via Evan Hill
Also, here are Jayson Casper’s prayers for Egypt