This Week in Egypt: Week 20 ( May 13-19)

Top Headlines

  • An explosion targeting a tourist bus has injured at least 16 people in Egypt
  • Egyptian forces kill 47 militants, lose five of their own men
  • UAE’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed visits in Egypt
  • The IMF reaches an agreement with Egypt in its final review of the country’s economic reform program, unlocking $2 billion in aid
  • US dollar reaches lowest against Egyptian pound in two years
  • Egypt opens world’s widest suspension bridge
  • Egypt’s Sisi pardons 560 prisoners, including journalis, Islamists and police officers 
  • Egypt’s New Rod-Al Farag Axis Bridge Receives Guinness World Record Certificate

Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

  • Egyptian forces kill 47 militants, lose five of their own men
  • Low-category ticket prices for Egypt’s matches at AFCON 2019 are reduced

Wednesday

  • Egypt’s Sisi has pardoned hundreds of prisoners and a prominent journalist who had criticized the country’s establishment
  • IMF reaches an agreement with Egypt in its final review of the country’s economic reform program, unlocking $2 billion in aid
  • Regeni family tells Sisi: without justice no one will feel safe in Egypt

Thursday

  • US dollar reaches lowest against Egyptian pound in two years
  • New NGOs law abolished freedom-restricting articles

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

  • An explosion targeting a tourist bus has injured at least 16 people in Egypt near the Grand Egyptian Museum, next to the pyramids in Giza
  • Mother of iconic January 25 Revolution figure, Khaled Said, dies
  • Electronic exams fail again across Egypt on Sunday
  • President Sisi briefed on Africa Cup of Nations preparations

Reports

From Twitter

 

https://twitter.com/_amroali/status/1129545618052063232?s=21

Sports

Plus

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The U.S. and the Muslim Brotherhood

 

I am delighted to contribute, for the second time, to the Carnegie Middle East’s Diwan, in its regular surveys in matters related to Middle East politics and security.

This time the question was: What impact would U.S. designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization have?

Here is my answer:

The Muslim Brotherhood is not a conservative Muslim party, but a cult that abuses Islam. By designating the group as a terrorist organization, the United States would send a clear message that it is firmly against the toxic ideology of Islamism, not the faith of Islam. Curtailing the group’s cancerous expansion among the American Muslim community would help counter Islamophobia by making it clear to the American public that Islam is not the enemy.

It would also send a message to regional players in the Middle East that the U.S. will not tolerate tactical deceptions by allies or excuses by others. Those, such as Turkey, who label the Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gülen movement as terror groups while continuing to support Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood will understand that the U.S. rejects such dualism. Arab regimes that resist democratic reforms under the premise of fighting terrorism would run out of excuses. And the cult would finally understand that its talent for deceptive violence has consequences. Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers inside and outside the U.S. may not like the decision, but their noise is irrelevant. The U.S. has an opportunity to kickstart a new post-Islamist world order with clear values and policies that are needed now more than ever.

 

Other experts gave different answers that you can read  here

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This Week in Egypt: Week 19 ( April 6-12)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation eased to 13.0 percent in April from 14.2 percent in March
  • Libya’s Haftar visits Cairo in second trip since Tripoli offensive
  • Egypt strongly condemns sabotage of 4 vessels near United Arab Emirates territorial waters
  • An Egyptian court sentenced two men to death over an attack on a church and Christian-owned shop in Cairo that killed 10 people
  • Egypt sentences two to death over church attack

 Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation eased to 13.0 percent in April from 14.2 percent in March
  • Egypt’s foreign ministry condemns Baghdad market bombing
  • US’s CDC to block imports of dogs from Egypt, citing rabies concerns

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

  • Egypt’s support for Hifter could cost it work in Libya. Ahmed Fouad
  • In-depth look into Egypt’s reinstated ‘Senate’.Egypt Today
  • What will change once Egypt’s new disability lawtakes effect? Fatma Khaled
  • How students were made into poster children for the constitutional amendments Mohamed Ashraf Abu Emaira
  • How Egypt used a fake tank to save its history from thieves.Peter Hessler

Good Read

 From Twitter

 

 

 

 Plus

 

Views expressed in reports and tweets do not  represent my personal views, but I believe they are worth reading.

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This Week in Egypt: Week 18 ( April 29- May 5)

Top Headlines 

  • The Trump administration is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organisation
  • Egypt has formally received a third submarine of the four it has been promised, as part of a deal with German
  • Egypt warns Turkey against drilling in E. Mediterranean
  • Egypt hands down life sentences to 7 Muslim Brotherhood members, including financer
  • Qatar rejects issuing ‘visas for enemies’, namely Egyptians
  • Egypt non-oil private-sector activity expands for first time in 8 months
  • Six British teens admit their part in street attack on Egyptian engineering student Mariam Moustafa

 

Main Headlines

 Monday

 Tuesday

 Wednesday

  • A British couple who died in Egypt may have been exposed to “an infectious biological agent or toxic chemicals” in their room

Thursday

  • Lebanon PM Hariri: Lebanon should learn from Egypt’s economic development
  • Hamas leader Sinwar heads to Egypt to discuss truce with Israel
  • Egypt targets economic growth of 8 percent in the 2021-2022 fiscal year
  • Canada updates travel guidelines for Egypt to the second category

Friday

  • Egypt has formally received a third submarine of the four it has been promised, as part of a deal with German
  • 15 persons injured due to fires in Cairo
  • Scorching Ramadan first week as Heatwave is expected to hit Egypt

Saturday

  • Egypt is trying to prevent collapse of Gaza ceasefire understandings
  • A tomb dating back 2,500 years has been discovered in Egypt, containing a limestone statue of one of the owners’ family
  • Egypt signs deal with CNN to promote tourism
  • Egypt’s Sisi meets with World Bank head in Cairo

Sunday

Reports

Good Read

On the possible designation of the Brotherhood as a terror group:

Against the decision 

  • Nine reasons why declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organizationwould be a mistake.Michele Dunne and Andrew Miller

Support the decision 

From Twitter

 

Plus

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The time is not ripe for a “deal of the century”

Ahead of Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to President Donald Trump, speech at the Washington Institute, in which he will discuss the Trump administration’s Middle East peace effort, here is my piece on why Kushner plan is doomed to fail. The points highlighted in this post are the barriers for peace on the Arab side. Off course, there are more obstacles from the Israeli sides, but many have discussed that already. I will write more on this topic in the next few weeks. 

 

Kushner

Jared Kushner

Four decades have passed since Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in March 1979. Much has changed in the Middle East throughout the long, turbulent years since then. But one simple fact remains: Egypt’s late president, Anwar Sadat, was right. Sadat’s true legacy is not merely his strategic embrace of peace, but his impeccable timing in his quest for peace and his sheer realism in a region that has been cursed with mistimed political moves and irrational emotionalism.

Two years before the Egypt-Israel peace accord was signed on November 17, 1977, Sadat went to Syria to meet with his Syrian counterpart, Hafez al-Assad. He tried to persuade Assad to back his planned visit to Jerusalem, with the aim of forging a grand deal that could guarantee the return of all occupied lands Israel had captured in the Six-Day War of 1967.

Assad refused. Amidst the wrath and curses of nearly all Arabs, Sadat went to Jerusalem alone. Eventually, he was able to regain the entire Sinai from Israel.

In 1978, most Arabs thought Sadat’s timing was out of sync with the mood of the Arab public. But the Egyptian leader was spot-on. If Sadat had waited until the Eighties, his peace mission would have coincided with the birth of the mullah regime in Iran, Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, and the rise of militant Islamist groups. His quest for peace would have failed miserably.

The Egyptian leader did not have a crystal ball to look into the future, but he understood that in a region in constant flux, he needed to capitalize on opportunities before unfavourable developments ruined them.

Over the next four decades, the collective handling of the conflict by Sadat’s Arab opponents and their successors has been “a crime against logic.” Many in the Arab camp have refused to negotiate when opportunities have arisen, then later joined the negotiations with little intention of making them successful, or failed to participate, fearing the consequences of a final deal that could end the conflict.

Following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election victory, the Trump administration is preparing to reveal  the “peace plan” of Trump’s senior advisor, Jared Kushner, as early as this month.

This peace plan, however, is doomed to failure. If Sadat were still alive, he would advise President Trump that now is not the right time for a grand deal between the Arab world and Israel.

The director of the Washington Institute, Robert Satloff, has also reached the same conclusion. Satloff argues that Jared Kushner’s peace plan is bound to fail, as it would legitimize Israel’s annexation of the West Bank, strengthen Iran, and its allies, and give Saudi Arabia leverage.

Even if Kushner manages to convince the victorious Netanyahu not to annex any part of the West Bank and endorse the two-state solution – which is unlikely – the geopolitical scene in the Arab world is not ripe for a grand peace deal.

It is true many Arab States, particularly Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain have softened their stances towards negotiations with Israel. But that alone is not enough for Kushner’s peace plan to succeed.

For any grand peace deal to work, the conflict has to be only two-dimensional, with clear players on both sides, just as it was in the 70s, when it was strictly between Israel and the Arab States. But for four decades, the conflict has morphed into a complex, multi-dimensional one with non-state players and regional players, particularly Iran and Turkey, manipulating the situation to serve their own agendas.

On the Iranian front, although the US administration has imposed sanctions on Iran, and announcedits intention to designate Iran’s military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as a foreign terrorist group, it remains to be seen whether those decisions would limit Iran’s toxic policies in the region. Nonetheless, US pressure on Iran is not enough on its own. Without creating a solid Arab front that can counter Iran’s influence in Arab affairs, the sanctions and designation will be ineffective. Moreover, the American effort to form an Arab NATO is falling apart, especially with the recent quiet withdrawal of Egypt. This Egyptian move, regardless of its motives, highlights the long way the American administration has to go to unite Arab efforts against the mullahs’ regime in Tehran.

On the Turkish front, Turkey and its Arab ally, Qatar, have significant links with various Islamist groups, particularly Hamas and its bigger sister, the Muslim Brotherhood. Although both countries have not firmly rejected Kushner’s plan, their media outlets have circulated outlandish scenariosand hostile opinion piecesagainst “the deal of the century.” Over the past year, Arabic followers of Al-Jazeera and the Turkey-based Islamist channels have been saturated with hostile ideas and relentless negative reporting of Kushner’s plan. This is hardly surprising, as Turkey and Qatar want a deal that favors Hamas; not a deal that can potentially end the group’s grip on Gaza.

Haaretz journalist Bradley Burston once wrote, “There are those who fear peace, and those who hate it.” Anwar Sadat was a rare exception. The Egyptian leader did not fear peace and did not hate it. It is refreshing to see other Arab leaders breaking away from such a toxic dichotomy and demonstrating an open willingness to give peace a chance. However, without neutralising all the obstructive players, and restraining Netanyahu’s land grab ambitions, American efforts to forge peace between the Arabs and Israelis will be doomed to fail —again.

Until that happens, it seems the Egypt-Israel peace treaty will continue to be the only modest success in a region addicted to failure and mistiming.

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 17-2019 ( April 22-28)

Top Headlines

  • Constitutional Referendum: 88.3% of Egyptians back changes that could see President al-Sisi stay in power, amid vote-buying claims
  • Egypt hosts Africa summits on Sudan and Libya crises
  • Egypt extends state of emergency by 3 months, commencing April 25
  • Egypt steps up security for Coptic Easter and Sham El-Nessim celebrations
  • Moody’s upgrades five Egyptian banks, outlook changed to stable
  • Muslim Brotherhood exiles from Egypt face uncertain future in Sudan
  • Sisi and Putin discuss returning Russian flights to Egypt

 

 

Salah and rami 

Mohamed salah and Rami Malek at  TIME 100 Gala

 

 

Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

 Wednesday

Thursday

Friday 

Saturday

Sunday

  • Egypt steps up security for Coptic Easter and Sham El-Nessim celebrations
  • Sisi meets Italian prime minister in Beijing to discuss Regeni murder
  • China to invest US $5 billion in Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone
  • Mixed reactions to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood junior members’ initiative
  • Egypt Air begins new service to Rwanda’s Kigali as carrier eyes African expansion

Reports

Good Read

From Twitter

 

Thread

Sports

Plus

Views expressed in reports and tweets do not  represent my personal views, but I believe they are worth reading.

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Twitter Thread: Executions in Saudi Arabia

The execution of 37 men convicted of terror-related crimes in Saudi Arabia has triggered many angry responses, here is twitter thread by Professor Firas Maksad, the director of Arabia foundation that shed more light on the motive behind those executions

 

 

 

 

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Twitter Thread: ISIS and Sri Lanka Terror Attack

As the so called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the wave of co-ordinated suicide bombings that resulted in the Easter Sunday carnage in Sri Lanka, here are few Tweets by the, always insightful, New York Times’s Rukmini Callimachi, and few others, that are worth reading:

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 16 ( April 15-21)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt votes on changes that would allow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to rule until 2030
  • Special U.S. Envoy Greenblatt: Deal of the Century does not include Sinai
  • Moody’s upgrades Egypt’s rating to B2, expects more economic growth
  • Egypt’s Sisi calls Sudan’s transitional military council to offer support for security and stability of Sudan
  • Abbas meets Sisi in Cairo to discuss ‘Deal of the Century’
  • Mohamed Salah named one of world’s 100 most influential people by Time

Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

 Wednesday

Thursday

  • Moody’s upgrades Egypt’s rating to B2, expects more economic growth
  • Defence ministers of Egypt, Greece, Cyprus attended joint military drills
  • Mo Salah:‘ We need to change the way we treat women in our culture’
  • Egypt’s Mufti citizens to take part in referendum on constitutional amendments
  • Marking World Heritage Day, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities unveiled a restored statue of ancient Egyptian King Rameses II in front of Luxor Temple

Friday 

Saturday

  • Egypt votes on changes that would allow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to rule until 2030
  • Referendum result expected in a week’s time: Egypt’s election authority
  • Heavy security is deployed across Egypt to secure constitutional referendum
  • Egyptians abroad continue to cast their votes at embassies on second day of constitutional referendum
  • UN says attack in central Mali kills peacekeeper is from Egypt
  • Egypt’s Sisi to participate in China’s Belt and Road forum

Sunday

Reports

 Interview

  • Released but imprisoned daily: Alaa Seif on the need for new imaginations. Mada Masr

From Twitter

 

 

 

 Plus 

  • An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Egypt’s new £600m Giza museum
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This Week in Egypt: Week 15 ( April 8-14)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s Sisi visits Washington
  • Trump taps diplomatic veteran Jonathan Cohen to be ambassador to Egypt
  • US pledges sanctions on Egypt if purchasing of Russian fighter S-35 jets occurs
  • Egypt’s president meets Libyan commander Haftar in Cairo
  • Egyptparliament to vote Tuesday on constitutional changes
  • IMF gives Egypt economic reform program a thumb up 

 Main Headlines

 Monday 

Tuesday

  • Egypt’s Sisi visits Washington
  • Trump says Egyptian President doing a ‘great job’ despite human rights abuse claims
  • Egypt’s non-petroleum exports to the United States increased by 15 percent
  • In meeting with KushnerEgypt’s Sisi urges int’l community to end suffering in occupied Palestinian territory
  • Seven people, including three civilians, were killed and 26 civilians were injured in a suicide bombing near a marketplace in North Sinai
  • Egyptian author seeks UN intervention to end his ‘persecution’

Wednesday

  • IMF gives Egypt economic reform program a thumb up
  • Egyptian cabinet dismisses reports that new law allows random street drug tests

Thursday

  • US Pledges sanctions on Egypt if purchasing of Russian fighter jets occurs
  • Egypt says security forces kill 11 militants in Sinai
  • Iran welcomes Egypt’s reported withdrawal from ‘Arab NATO’ plan
  • El-Sisi arrived in the Ivory Coast early in the first ever visit by an Egyptian president to the West African country

Friday

  • Host Egypt get favorable African Nations Cup draw
  • Russian belly danceris sentenced for a year in prison for ‘inciting debauchery’ in Egypt after she was filmed performing in a nightclub on a Nile boat
  • Weak purchasing power accompanied by a boycott campaign caused car sales to fall iin Egypt

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

Good Read

From Twitter

 

Tourism

 Plus

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