This Week in Egypt: Week 38-2022 ( Sept 26- Oct 2)

Top Headlines

  • King Charles abandons plans to attend Cop27
  • Influential Sunni Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi dies aged 96
  • Egypt’s net foreign assets resume decline in August 
  • Egypt’s import squeeze hobbles economy as dollars run short
  • The Egyptian hosts of COP 27 urge leaders to set aside tensions over Ukraine
  • Egypt wants the Rosetta Stone back from Britain
  • Archaeologists hail ‘dream discovery’ as sarcophagus is unearthed near Cairo
  • Egypt’s population has reached 104 million

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

  • King Charles abandons plans to attend Cop27 in Egypt, ‘following Liz Truss’s advice’
  • Egypt’s net foreign assets resume decline in August
  • US dollar exchange rate stable at major banks in Egypt
  • Archaeologists hail ‘dream discovery’ as sarcophagus is unearthed near Cairo

Reports

From Twitter

Plus

  • Newly launched website gives Islamic art global exposure 
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Western Progressives and the Protests in Iran

For 43 years, Iranian women have been forced to wear hijab, yet throughout the more than four painful decades, their agony has been downplayed by those claiming that hijab is a choice.  

Following an initial dismissal of the protests in Iran, the “progressive” Western elite have changed their tune and are now voicing support for Iranian protestors. But their support comes with a caveat—a mixture of false equivalence and whataboutism.

From politicians to journalists and commentators, progressives rushed to lump the protest in Iran with other items on their agenda. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “The right to choose belongs to us all, from hijabs to reproductive care”, referring to the ongoing abortion ban debate in the US. 

Journalist Ayman Mohyeldin, compared the situation in Iran with the ban of hijab in a state in India, and managed to add the American Republicans in the topic too. While, Shahed Amanullah, compared the situation in Iran with France.

Tossing everything into one basket may sound fair, but it is not; it is lazy, often cynical, politically motivated, and—frankly—demeaning, not just to Iranian women, but to all women in the Middle East, who endure patriarchal oppression on a daily basis. 

Equating 43 years of a ruthless policy of enforced hijab in Iran with the recent dispute over abortion in the US or with the situation in India or France is spitting in the face of Iranian women. Banning hijab in public institutions in France or in a state in India is the kind of injustice that pales in comparison to facing bullets on the streets or torture in police stations for daring to wear “improper hijab.”

Other progressives label hijab as an “authentic” part of Middle Eastern culture and frame the notion of social progression as a Western imperial concept not applicable to the Muslim world. As a result, they see what is happening in Iran as part of the American agenda, denying the brave Iranian women their own agency and aspiration for freedom. As Ralph Leonard aptly stated : “The gloomy assumption that Middle Easterners can’t agitate for social progress without being ‘tools of imperialism’ is itself a form of orientalism. ”

“Social progress” may be a Western concept, but its essence has existed in the Middle East since the Pharaonic and Persian civilisations, ancient Jewish society, and parts of Moorish Spain—long before it was embraced by the West. 

It is time for Western progressives to admit that they got it all wrong. Instead of forcing their own political agenda, throwing enforced hijab in with other grievances, Westerners should listen and learn from the native Iranians and their genuine, authentic quest for freedom. Enough of the cheap political spinning, the whataboutism and false equivalences.   

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This Week in Egypt: Week 37-2022 ( Sept 19-25)

Top headlines

  • Egypt’s central bank eases currency rules to clear import backlog, and keeps interest rates unchanged
  • US Secretary of State met with Egyptian Foreign Minister in New York
  • Egypt’s 2021-2022 natural gas and LNG export revenue hits $8 billion
  • Egypt’s Sisi meets with Sudan’s military ruler in Cairo
  • Egypt is exploring affordable loans from China and Japan
  • Egyptian coal factory shuts down in lead-up to COP27
  • India, Egypt sign MoU to further defence cooperation 
  • Digital travel company Booking.com announced the stoppage of supporting the Egyptian pound 

Main Headlines

Monday

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in New York
  • Egypt and France navies conclude ‘Cleopatra-2022’ joint drills in French waters
  • Egypt unveils ancient Rameses II-era ‘royal secretary’ sarcophagus

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • E&P company Energean starts a new gas production from Abu Qir concession located offshore Egypt 
  • Mohamed Salah shines for Egypt with an impressive brace against Niger
  • Samsung studying the manufacture of smart phones in Egypt 

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

 

From Twitter

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The wider impacts of the death of Iran’s Mahsa Amini

The raging protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, who had been detained for allegedly breaking strict hijab rules, represent a unique moment in the history of the twenty-first-century’s Middle East. The brave Iranian women unintendedly upended decades of an orchestrated Islamist PR campaign of legitimising and glamorising enforced hijab.

For decades, Islamists, including many apologists of the Iranian regime, used various forms of mental and physical bullying to force Muslim women to cover their hair while also gaslighting anyone who questioned their claims of authority.

In my native country, Al Azhar has cast wearing hijab as mandatory for Muslim women despite there being no law enforcing hijab. Several Islamist websites and preachers promote slogans such as “My Hijab is my virtue”. Even the recent brutal slaughter of the student Naira Ashraf did not reduce the zeal of Islamists, who blamed her — the victim — for not wearing hijab, triggering huge debates in Egypt, as Hany Ghoraba wrote. 

A few months ago, in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour [wearing hijab], Taliban deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani claimed that “[wearing] hijab is not compulsory, but it is an Islamic order that everyone should implement”. Now, as the world watches, Afghani women are being brutally mistreated as well as denied work and education as a result of the Taliban’s takeover last year. 

Moreover, in Western countries, glamorising hijab has been ongoing since decades. Even Playboy magazine published an article about the first “hijabi” news anchor in American TV history. Meanwhile, questioning hijab authenticity and enforcement has been framed as “Islamophobia”. For years, Iran regime apologists trivialised the trauma of hijab, as Vahid Yucesoy aptly highlighted.

But the death of Mahsa Amini has changed everything. 

Commentators who downplayed the impact of enforced hijab have changed their tune. Today, CNN’s Christiane Amanpourdeclined an interview with Iranian President Raisi, and the Biden administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s notorious morality police and senior officials for the violence carried out against protesters and the death of Mahsa Amini.

The visual impact of the scenes in Iran has extended to the Arab world too. Arabic media outlets have felt the wind of change. The death of Mahsa Amini and resulting protests in Iran are now top headlines, with Arab audiences watching daily as Iranian women from all age groups remove their hijab and challenge the regime policy. The visual impact of the Iranian defiance should not be downplayed and undoubtedly will unhinge many Islamist groups and preachers. 

Iranian women are making history. They are teaching the world — including the Muslim world — about the glaring difference between opting to wear hijab and being forced to wear it, whether by law or due to social pressure and mental bullying. Finally, non-hijabi women are not afraid to proudly defy their Islamist oppressors. Regardless of the future of the regime in Iran, the discourse about the veil has changed. The era of shaming Muslim women for not wearing the hijab is over. Our hair is now a flag of honour and a symbol of freedom.

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This Week in Egypt: Week 36-2022 ( Sept 12-18)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s Sisi visits Qatar for the first time since 2017, signed agreements to boost cooperation 
  • Egypt frees detained Al Jazeera journalist 
  • U.S. to withhold $130 million of military aid to Egypt over human rights
  • Egypt to raise Suez Canal transit fees for ships in 2023
  • Russia uses ruble, Egyptian pound currency settlement in trade exchange with Egypt
  • Egyptian court confirms dismissal of lecturer who shared belly dancing clip
  • Egyptian researchers uncover 2,600-year-old cheese at ancient necropolis
2600 -old cheese discovered in Egypt

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

  • Egypt’s Sisi holds first phone call with UK’s King Charles; offers condolences over the Queen’s death
  • Egyptian FM Shoukry heads to New York for high-level meetings of UNGA 77
  • Egypt to raise Suez Canal transit fees for ships in 2023
  • Russia uses ruble, Egyptian pound currency settlement in trade exchange with Egypt

Sunday

Reports

  • This 1373km long undersea cable will bring ‘green energy’ from Egypt to Europe’s electricity grid
  • Egypt to focus on water crises at COP27. Ayah Aman
  • Egyptian pound continues to lose value. Amr Emam

 From Twitter

Plus

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This Week in Egypt: Week 36- 2022 ( Sept 5-11)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s annual inflation rate up by 16.7% in August
  • Egyptian and US navies conduct drills in the Mediterranean
  • Egypt’s FM withdrew from an Arab League session in protest against the representation of Libya at the summit
  • Four Egyptian journalists have been charged over an article about a pro-government party  
  • More hurdles could delay opening of Egypt’s new administrative capital
  • USA returns 16 priceless stolen ancient artifacts to Egypt  

Main Headlines

Monday 

  • Egypt’s Sisi congratulates Liz Truss for winning British PM’s race
  • Egypt sends 90 trucks loaded with relief supplies to  flood-hit Sudan

Tuesday

  • Egypt withdraws from 158th session of  Arab League Council
  • Eni to complete EastMed pipeline, fully replace Russian gas  by 2025

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is supporting the green economy  in Egypt
  • Amnesty calls on Egyptian authorities to drop all charges against four Mada Masr journalists Mada Masr journalists

Saturday

  • Saudi Arabia to announce joined bid with Egypt and Greece for 2030 World Cup
  • USA returns 16 priceless stolen ancient artefacts  to Egypt 

Sunday

  • Egypt is keen to boost military cooperation with US: Defence minister  to CENTCOM commander
  • Egypt is keen to allow greatest possible number of NGOs to participate  in COP27
  • Egyptian national dialogue’s full squad  is selected
  • An Egyptian court sentenced a judge to death over murdering his news anchor wife
  • Egypt inaugurates visitor centre and restaurant on Giza plateau

Reports

  • More hurdles could delay opening of Egypt’s New Administrative Capital  Mohamed Elsayed
  • Egypt has emerged as regional energy power   in Africa.  Mohamed Sabry
  • Egypt is determined to disrupt Ethiopia’s ties  with Uganda George Mikhail

From Twitter

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This Week in Egypt: week 35-2022 ( Aug 29-Sept 4)

Top Headlines

  • Egyptian pound approaching all-time low amid global economic crisis
  • Egypt’s struggle to win back investors to local debt is adding urgency for the government to reach a deal with IMF 
  • Finance minister unveils regulations on reduced customs tariffs
  • Iran has officially announced its intentions to purchase Russian fighter jets produced for Egypt 
  • Tug boats refloated an oil tanker that was briefly stranded in Egypt’s Suez Canal
  • Egyptian and American navies carried out joint training
  • Investigators seized 27 looted historical artefacts from the Metropolitan museum, which are to be returned to Italy and Egypt
  • Egypt to open 1st line of high-speed electric railway project in November

Main Headlines

Monday

  • Egypt’s Sisi offers Iraqi leaders Egypt’s full support amid the storming of government Palace
  • Default jitters stalk Egypt, sending traders on wild ride
  • Egypt pledges 6% budget deficit, 1.6% initial surplus to IMF in lead-up to a new loan
  •  Egypt plans to issue yuan-denominated bonds worth $500 million-plus
  • Saudi’s Alfanar signs MoU for $3.5 bln green hydrogen project in Egypt

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday 

Friday

Saturday

  • John Kerry to visit Egypt on 7-8 September
  • Investigators seized 27 looted historical artefacts from the Metropolitan museum in NewYork, which are to be returned to Italy  and Egypt
  • Egypt spends over EGP 100  million annually on free family planning methods

Sunday

  • Iran has officially announced its intentions to purchase Russian fighter jets produced for Egypt
  • Egyptian and American navies carried out  joint training
  • Egypt’s struggle to win back investors to local debt is adding urgency for the government to reach a deal with IMF
  • Finance minister unveils regulations on reduced  customs tariffs 
  • Egypt to open 1st line of high-speed electric railway project in November
  • Egypt’s revenge porn case: Man arrested after leaking nudes of woman who  rejected him
  • A 19-year-old Egyptian girl shot dead by man for refusing engagement proposal

Reports 

  • Why Egypt’s plans for solar power are left in the shade? The Economist
  • Oil spill darkens Egyptian  tourist town. Emma van der Zalm
  • Egypt restores massive statue of King Thutmose II. Ahmed Gomaa 
  • A 750,000 population surge in 6 months:  what does it mean  for Egypt? Shereif Barakat
  • Pollution erodes fish stocks and livelihoods in Egyptian lake. Reuters

From Twitter

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This Week in Egypt: Week 34-2022 (Aug 22-28)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt is nearing an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a new loan
  • Egypt hosted summit of Arab leaders against backdrop of intensifying Iran nuclear talks
  • Egypt calls on Libyan sides to end escalation
  • Egypt’s foreign reserves dropped 19%
  • Egypt’s Central Bank removes max limits on daily deposits
  • Egypt directly buy 240,000 tonnes of Russian wheat 
  • Cairo metro employs Egypt’s first woman driver


Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

  • IMF calls on Egypt to unify loan interest rates
  • The Iraqi prime minister cut his visit to Egypt short amid Baghdad protests
  • Sisi discusses fraternal relations with leaders of  Bahrain, Jordan, and UAE In New Alamein
  • Less than 1000 Egyptians  will be affected by ‘Kuwaitisation’ of Kuwait’s municipal affairs ministry

 Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

  • Egyptian army makes gains against Islamic State in western Sinai. Al-Monitor 
  • Israel’s Shin Bet chief talks security  in Egypt.  Lilach Shoval
  • Egypt’s Central Bank governor resigns 
  • amid economic crisis. Muhammed Magdy
  •  Israel to invest more in Egyptian renewable energy projects. George Mikhail
  • Fatal stabbings highlight violence against women in Egypt. Reuters

Read

From Twitter

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This Week in Egypt

For reasons beyond my ability, I won’t be able to publish my weekly Egypt’s newsletter.

hopefully, will be back next week.

My apology

Nervana

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This Week in Egypt: Week 32-2022 (August 8-14)

Top Headlines

  • At least 41 people have been killed in fire at church in the worst fire tragedy in Egypt’s recent history
  • Ethiopia completes third phase of filling of its dam reservoir
  • Annual urban inflation in Egypt increases to 13.6% in July 2022 
  • Derivatives traders are pricing in further declines for Egyptian currency
  • Egypt seeks 15% savings in natural gas used in generating power to increase exports  
  • Egypt appoints 13 new ministers in Cabinet reshuffle
  • Egypt’s Sisi appoints new commander for Egyptian Air Force

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

 Sunday

Reports

From Twitter

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