This Week In Egypt – Week 28 2017 ( July 10-16)

Top Headlines

  • Attacker kills two German tourists at Red Sea beach resort in Egypt
  • Gunmen kill five Egyptian policemen in Badrashin south of Cairo
  • IMF approves second loan payment to Egypt
  • Deadly battle between police and island ‘squatters’
  • Egyptian army foils militants attempt to cross Libyan border
  • Egyptian churches suspend pilgrimages and trips amid fears of attacks
  • Electronics ban on Egypt-U.S. flights to be lifted next week
  • Egypt population reaches 93.33 million

 

Hurghada attacker

Abdul Rahman  Shaaban attacked six tourists, killing two Germans in Hurghada

Photo via AL-Arabiya 

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

 Thursday

  • Cairo airport passes US National Transportation Safety Board inspection
  • Egyptian churches suspend pilgrimages and trips
  • amid fears of attacksGermany to support Egypt to be main aerospace center in Africa

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Good Reports

 Good Read

  • Egypt’s Best Friends in D.C. Avi Asher Schapiro
  • Egypt’s Copts keep the faith in the fight against ISIS. Heba Saleh

Twitter

 

Plus

Finally here are Jayson Casper’s prayers for Egypt

Posted in Diary of Aak, Egypt, Sinai | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This Week in Egypt. Week 27 ( July 3-9)

Top Headlines

  • At least 23 Egyptian soldiers were killed when two suicide car bombs tore through army checkpoints in North Sinai
  • Egypt, Gulf countries say Qatar displaying ‘lack of seriousness’ in response to their demands
  • Supreme Constitutional Court forces government to reveal captive doctor’s whereabouts
  • Egypt arrests daughter, son-in-law of slamist leader al-Qaradawi
  • Number of tourists in Egypt up by 32.9 percent
  • Egypt refers 292 suspects to military court for plotting Sisi assassination

Main Headlines

Monday 

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • At least 23 Egyptian soldiers were killed when two suicide car bombs tore through army checkpoints in North Sinai
  • Egyptian police detain Uighurs and deport them to China
  • Cairo Criminal Court released business tycoon Ahmed Ezz

Saturday

Sunday

Good Reports

From Twitter

Photo Story

  • The Sinai Trail: A tourism initiative run by Bedouins in South Sinai. Enas El-Masry

Plus

Finally, here are Jayson Casper’s prayers for Egypt

 

Posted in Diary of Aak, Egypt | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Twitter thread: The New York Times and Journalist Mohamed Fahmy

This week, David Kirpatrick wrote in the New York Times a report about journalist Mohamed Fahmy who has filed a lawsuit against his formal employer the Al-Jazeera Media Network.

Here is a twitter thread by Samuel Tadros, Senior Fellow in the Hudson Institute, aptly explaining why this report is disturbing.

 

 

 

 

 

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Twitter Thread: A critical look at Ahdaf Soueif’s piece on Red Sea Islands

Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif has written an opinion piece about the transfir deal of two Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. Many in Egypt, myself included, share Soueif’s overall views. Her post was widely shared on social media.  There are, however, some critical comments about it. Here is an interesting Twitter thread by Samual Tadros, Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute:

 

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 26 ( June 26-July 2)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt raises fuel prices for second time in less than a year
  • Egyptian Air Forces air forces foil arms smuggling attempt in Western Desert
  • Tiran and Sanafir to be located within Saudi territories without a handover ceremony
  • Egypt’s UN delegation blames Qatar, other unnamed country in the region for terrorism in Libya
  • Hamas to create buffer zone with Egypt to improve ties
  • Egyptian court sentences 20 to death for killing policemen for killing policemen
  • Egypt property mogul back in charge after a presidential pardon
  • Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Diab to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

 Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

 Good Reports

Good Read

 From Twitter

Sports

Plus

Finally, here are Jayson Casper’s prayers for Egypt

 

Posted in Diary of Aak, Egypt | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Twitter Thread: Jenan Moussa and ISIS desperate house wives

Here are a selection of twitter posts by Journalist Jenan Moussa on ISIS house wives are definitely worth reading. A rare insight into the mind of those women.

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 25 ( June 19-25)

Top headlines

  • Egypt to extend state of emergency for three months
  • Egypt’s Sisi ratifies contested deal handing Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt’s constitutional court temporarily halts all verdicts on islands transfer deal
  • Interior Ministry kills three leading figures of ‘Hasm’ militant group
  • Egypt’s police repel major militant attack in North Sinai
  • Egypt says 7 militants in connection with recent attacks on Christians were killed in raid on desert camp

 Tiran and Sanafir via BBC

Tiran and Sanafir Red Sea Islands via BBC

Main headlines 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

 Thursday

  • Egypt to extend state of emergency for three months for three months
  • Egypt says 7 militants in connection with recent attacks on Christians were killed in raid on desert camp
  • Interior Ministry kills three leading figures of Hasm militant group
  • Sisi arrives in Entebbe for Nile Basin countries summit
  • Al-Azhar prepares bill to counter hatred, violence in the name of religion
  • Cairo to host political consultations with Sudan

Friday

Saturday

  • Egypt’s Sisi ratifies contested deal handing Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt strongly condemns ‘vile’ attempt to attack Grand Mosque in Mecca
  • UN and international organizations condemn death sentences against 6 people in Egypt 

Sunday

Good Reports

From Twitter

Plus

3Finally here are Jayson Casper’s prayers for Egypt

Posted in Diary of Aak, Egypt | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Good readings on the Qatar crisis

In my latest piece, I wrote about western media’s imbalanced coverage of the recent crisis between Gulf states and Qatar.  There are, however, some balanced pieces about Qatar  that are worth reading:

First, here is Richard Spencer’s very detailed piece  published in Britain’s The Times Magazine

“It is this willingness to dally with all sides that has led to the recent rifts with its neighbours, and President Trump’s apparent preference for siding with them against the host of his own Central Command. Despite Qatari denials about terrorist funding, allegations of a relationship with al-Qaeda persist. As the group, now separate from Isis, grew prominent in Syria’s civil war through its local branch known as the Nusra Front, a similar pattern emerged. Its leader gave interviews to Al Jazeera. The group seemed suspiciously well funded – America alleged that some of the money was coming from an influential Qatari called Abdulrahman al-Nuaimi, who has connections with a human rights charity known as al-Karama. Despite his US listing as a terrorist fundraiser, a claim Nuaimi denies, he continues to operate in the country. Nuaimi is a past president of the Qatar Football Association, too: those circles remain small.”

To read the whole piece  click here   You have to register first.

 

The second piece is by Gregg Carlstrom on Qatar’s based Al-Jazeera channel published in The Atlantic

“The climate changed in the summer of 2013, after the Egyptian army overthrew Mohamed Morsi, the elected Muslim Brotherhood president. On August 14, as security forces were brutally clearing a pro-Morsi sit-in, an Al Jazeera English presenter asked a Brotherhood spokesperson a valid question: why were women and children still present at a protest that would inevitably be targeted by the authorities? The anchor was almost immediately pulled off the air and reprimanded for being insufficiently sympathetic to the group. For months, she was barred from presenting the news and relegated to a pre-recorded chat show. There was also an internal struggle over how to cover that summer’s protests against Turkey’s Islamist president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

 

To continue reading click here  No registration is needed

 

 

Posted in Middle East, Qatar | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Western media’s imbalanced portrayal of the Qatar crisis

The crisis in the Gulf has entered its third week, since a number of Gulf States including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain together with Egypt have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region. The crisis in the Gulf is complex and multilayered, and has understandably triggered varied responses inside and outside the region. What is baffling and frankly disappointing is the manner in which prominent Western media outlets have decided to take sides in the crisis.

The Economist wrote an incoherent article saying that American President Trump’s support for Saudi actions also damages America’s credibility. The article also claims “the accusation that wealthy Qataris fund terrorism is unproven.”

The New York Times (NYT) went even further, writing an editorial claiming that attacks on Qatar- based Al-Jazeera channel are “misguided.” The editorial said that “Qatar’s critics accuse the station of supporting Sunni Islamist terrorism and Iranian ambitions, but Saudi Arabia is hardly innocent when it comes to spreading Islamist extremism or supporting terrorist groups.” The editorial also assertively described the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood as a “loose political network” that renounced violence, basing its argument on a link to another editorial defending the Muslim Brotherhood without providing solid evidence for such a passionate defense.

The Guardian has also joined the chorus, describing criticism of Al-Jazeera as “muzzling journalism,” part of an assault on free speech that should be condemned and resisted.

Moreover, these editorials are taken by Al-Jazeera and other Qatari outlets as certificates of “good behaviour” from the West. I stopped counting the number of times Al-Jazeera quoted those pieces in its 24/ 7 Arabic coverage of the Qatar crisis. In addition, such editorials are used deviously and indirectly to loosely blame the West collectively, not just the Trump administration, for the ongoing Gulf crisis. Those manufactured perceptions will fan more flames and feed existing hatred among many devoted Al-Jazeera Arab followers.

The behaviour of those Western media outlets reminds me of a similar pattern in Arabic media that I have witnessed from a very young age. Whenever a crisis emerged in the region between Arab states, Arab pundits and newspaper editorial boards took sides and started to shower opponents with accusations. The result has always been a constant state of polarization and confusion in which public opinion is shaped by distorted truth. I grew up yearning for the day I could read Western editorials and opinion pieces, assuming (rather naively) that the level of depth and professionalism would be much better. And it was; when I first moved to England, reading the printed editions of most prominent American and British outlets was simply a pleasure. Depth and nuance and covering various angles of conflicts have always been the staples of Western journalism.

Not any more. Recently a new trend has emerged, in which liberal journalists seem to think that defending Islamism, particularly after the failure of the various Arab uprisings, is a moral duty against the various autocratic leaders in the Middle East. Editorials defending political Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and its patron nations like Qatar has become a recurring theme. Legitimate accusations against Islamists are downplayed, dismissed, or ignored altogether. Balance, nuance, and depth in covering the region’s complex crises have become a rarity these days; shallowness, instead, is now the journalistic neo-norm. The easy way to defend the Brotherhood Islamism and its patron Qatar is to write about Saudi Salafism and Egypt’s Sisi oppression. Both are indeed facts, but both are also part of a complex and intertwined net of events in which Islamists are not innocent victims.

Qatar’s support of the Brotherhood’s style of Islamism is problematic mainly because of its deceptive faux moderate veneer and its disingenuous support of democracy, while it is as autocratic and oppressive as the autocratic leadership they claim to oppose. If Qatar is truly moderate, it will not tolerate Al-Jazeera Arabic’s open sectarian tone, and it will not allow its Doha- based anchors and scholars to spread hatred and xenophobia. Since 2011, none of the Qatar-based activists, pundits, or scholars has once advocated harmony or reconciliation; instead they feed more anger, hatred, and division.

In 2016, well before the current crisis, an opinion piece in the Guardian highlighted what is wrong with Al-Jazeera, and how it is now a shadow of its former idealistic self. Sadly, Al-Jazeera has ignored calls for balance and continued with partisan venom in its coverage of the region’s crisis Western media defend an Al-Jazeera that once was, not the current channel, which is an ugly version of its earlier form.

As much as I respect all the above Western outlets, I hope they reconsider their stance. The last thing Western media should do in handling the poisonous climate in the Middle East is to be seen as taking sides. Standing with Al-Jazeera or against boycotting Qatar may sound moral to the editorial boards of the top liberal Western outlets, but it is not; it is actually an act of counter-muzzling of the truth in a region where the shades of grey are not that distinctively lighter from each other. One can stand with free speech, but also against hatred, dualism, and deception.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Twitter Thread: The Sectarianism of Al-Jazeera Arabic

Amidst an intense debate about Al-Jazeera news TV station, many western media editorial defending the channel, claiming it is a voice for free speech, and ignoring the channel’s sectarian agenda. Hayder al Khoei, an Iraqi -focused MiddlE East watcher has compiled an interesting examples of the sectarian tone of Al-Jazeera Arabic anchors. There are many more examples of Al-Jazeera ugly language of hate, but those tweets are enough for non-Arabic audience to understand why many in the Middle East currently oppose this media outlet.

I also add to this list:

A new post on the crisis in the Gulf to follow

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