Twitter Thread: The Washington Post, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen’s Houthis

The Washington Post has decided to publish an opinion piece by Yemen’s Houthi militia Mohammed Ali al-Houthi. That decision, however has triggered fierce criticism on Twitter. Here are few examples: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 45 ( Nov 5-11)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt puts key members of ‘al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya’ on terror list
  • An Egyptian court has convicted 65 suspected militants of setting up a terrorist group and declaring allegiance to the extremist Islamic State group
  • Standard & Poor’s credit rating for Egypt stands at B with a stable outlook, but the agency warned of financial challenges in light of worsening debt crisis.
  • Lebanon’s minister of tourism apologizes to Egypt for insulting its cleanliness
  • Egypt’s headline inflation surges to 17.7 percent in October
  • Seven sarcophagi, some dating back more than 6,000 years, have been discovered south of the Egyptian capital
  • Egypt’s new ambassador to Israel Khaled Azmi affirmed Egypt’s commitment to achieving justice and peace in the Middle East

 

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • An Egyptian military court sentences in absentia 8 ISIS members to death over 2016 deadly attacks on army checkpoints
  • A Church report contradicts state narrative about Minya attack
  • Egypt’s new ambassador to Israel visits Coptic Orthodox Church in Jerusalem following assault on monks

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

 Sunday

  • Dozens of cat mummies found in 6,000-year-old tombs in Egypt
  • Egypt puts key members of ‘al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya’ on terror list
  • Standard & Poor’s credit rating for Egypt stands at B with a stable outlook, but the agency warned of financial challenges in light of worsening debt crisis
  • Egypt court sentences two policemen to jail over detainee’s death
  • Egypt’s government is considering stripping ration cardsfor subsidized food from people who earn around double the average monthly salary
  • Egyptian parliament votes in favour of establishing Russian Industrial Zone in the Suez Canal
  • Egypt plans to ban gas-fueled cars by 2040, only electronic vehicles

Good Reports

  • Egypt treads carefully as a Gaza broker. France 24
  • Egypt deniesknowledge of Sisi critic’s disappearance. Ahmed Youness
  • Minya attack: Question marks surround the perpetrators of the Minya attack despite Islamic State claiming responsibility. Ahmed Eleiba
  • Egypt and Sudanmend fraying ties. Hagar Hosny
  • Sisi’s hot potato: Egyptians hit back after remarkson austerity.  Nadine Awadalla
  • Egypt struggles to restore Cairo’s historic heart. Emmanuel Parisse

Good Read

From Twitter

 

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/315910.aspx

 

 

 

 

Plus

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Saudi Arabia and the challenges of Khashoggi’s murder

The brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has triggered dangerous repercussions for Saudi Arabia. Following the country’s formal admission of killing Khashoggi inside its consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Arabia has hoped the crisis triggered by his brutal murder will gradually de-escalate, but the future of the Kingdom and its Crown Prince is still murky, as he faces several challenges on various fronts. Here are four of them:

 

Saudi Crown Prince

Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman -Via the National

The Turkish challenge

In an op-ed published Friday in The Washington Post, Turkish President Recep Erdogan, in a clear hint to the Saudi Crown Prince, openly stated that the order to kill Khashoggi came “from the highest levels of the Saudi government.”

His strong words were in stark contrast to his earlier softer stance. It is common knowledge there is no love lost between the Turkish President and the Saudi Crown Prince. However, the fact that Erdogan opted to write publicly in the American newspaper on which Khashoggi served as a columnist, indicates that he failed to isolate his nemesis or drive a wedge between the Saudi King and his son, the Crown Prince, as was widely speculated.  President Erdogan clearly hopes public pressure will do what his quiet diplomacy failed to achieve.

However, the Turkish President’s words have triggered much criticism for his dualism: while Erdogan has exhibited a passion to achieve justice for Khashoggi, his own track record is flawed, with plenty of human rights abuses and attacks on press freedom. President Erdogan may seem stronger in the wake of Khashoggi’s murder, but the Turkish President is his own worst enemy. Sooner or later, his ideology and ego will sabotage his seemingly improved image.

The regional challenge

The Financial Times has published a report claiming Arab neighbours are hoping that the fallout from Khashoggi’s death “will lead the Saudi Crown Prince to temper aggressive policies that have unsettled the region since his ascent to power.” The report cited anonymous sources, including a “Gulf official” who expressed dissatisfaction regarding Saudi Arabia’s boycott of Qatar.

Undoubtedly there are deep concerns in some Arab capitals about the ramifications of Khashoggi’s murder, but evidence of a widespread desire to curtail the Saudi Crown Prince’s policies is hard to pin down. The Financial Times report seems to underestimate the close alliance between the Saudi Crown Prince, UAE’s leader Mohamed Bin Zayed, the Bahraini King, and Egypt’s President Sisi, and their collective agreement to counter Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, backed by Qatar and Turkey. In Egypt, for example, TV anchor Amar Adeeb, who is regarded as close to the leadership of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, did not hide his displeasure at the idea of a ​​reconciliation with Qatar, and appealed to Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed not to bow to external pressure.

Perhaps other countries such are not on the same wavelength as others, but their ability and, more importantly, their desire to counter the Saudi Crown Prince is not strong, to say the least.

The Western challenge

The Saudi Foreign Minister described the reactions after Jamal Khashoggi’s death as “hysterical”.  The uproar has succeeded in undermining the image of the Saudi Crown Prince in many Western capitals, and it would be difficult for him to embark on a Western tour any time soon.  A large part of this “hysteria” is a natural reaction to the atrocity of the crime. But the coverage of the case in the Western press reflects other reasons too. Khashoggi’s death came just a few weeks before the midterm elections of the US Congress, making the assassination an effective weapon in the hands of Trump’s opponents, who reject the rapprochement between the US President and the Kingdom, as Hussein Ibish highlighted in his latest piece.  In other words, the Saudi Crown Prince is paying a high price, not only for the brutal murder, but also for his cosy relationship with the current U.S. administration. A decisive victory for the Democrats will have a huge impact on US-Saudi relations.

Internal domestic challenge

Two important news items have emerged from inside Saudi Arabia: First is the return of the Saudi Crown Prince’s uncle and critic, Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, to Riyadh. The New York Times, Reuters, and the Financial Times reported that the prince’s return had sparked speculation about his role in the Kingdom’s crisis management efforts following Khashoggi’s murder. Second is the release of Prince Khalid Bin Talal, a nephew of King Salman, who had been locked up for 11 months for criticising a corruption crackdown in the Kingdom.

n a Huffington Post article, Akbar Shahid Ahmed wrote: “Away from the spotlight, members of the Saudi ruling family and influential foreign governments are quietly debating the crown prince’s future.” He added “Though the Saudi royal family won’t allow the rest of the world to determine its choice of crown prince, they understand the expectation of a change.”

The return of Prince Ahmed and the release of Prince Khalid indicate that the Saudi Royal Family is embarking on some changes to counter the unprecedented storm it is currently facing. It is unclear, however, how this change will affect the future of the Crown Prince. It is worth noting, however, that in addition to the foggy political scene inside the Kingdom, there is also a very murky ideological affiliation. Some Saudi elites share Jamal Khashoggi’s “soft spot” for the Turkish model and Brotherhood-inspired Islamism. Those individuals are silent opponents who are probably working behind the scenes to undermine the Crown prince’s power

Another important factor observers occasionally miss is that more than two-thirds of Saudis are under the age of 30. Those younger generations may not necessarily be supporters of the Crown Prince’s aggressive policies or Khashoggi’s brutal murder, but, at the same time, they welcome the social transformations within the kingdom and fear the return of the old guard, with their socially conservative doctrines. Those youth are possibly the ones hoping the Crown Prince will survive the crisis.

Khashoggi’s case and its repercussions confirm that the killing of dissidents does not serve any regime, but turns into a weapon in the hands of its enemies. It also proves the futility of economic reforms without political reforms that support them and reduce the ability of a country’s opponents to undermine it

The curse of the Khashoggi murder may continue to chase the Saudi Crown Prince for years. In addition to the reckless crime, the ambitious prince has made a big strategic error in which he created more enemies than friends. No wonder those enemies united after the crime seeking his head.

The future of the Crown Prince, however, will not be decided in Ankara or Washington, but in Riyadh_____ even if more gruesome leaks about the crime continue to emerge.  Regardless of the Crown Prince’s fate, Saudi Arabia needs to transform the ordeal into a a new beginning, without bowing to Turkish blackmail, American pressure, or by reversing the Kingdom’s counter-Islamism policy, as the Democrats may wish to see. Instead, the Kingdom needs to learn the lessons of the crisis with much-needed wisdom, devoid of emotion and anger. With real internal political, social, and religious reforms, as well as transparency and justice for Khashoggi, the Kingdom can survive the storm. It is a tough journey, but it is not mission impossible.

 

An earlier Arabic version of this piece was published in Al-Hurra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Week in Egypt- Week 44 (Oct 29-Nov 4)

Top Headlines 

  • ISIS terror attack kill seven Copts in a bus ambush in Upper Egypt
  • Egyptian security forces killed 19 Islamist militants from a cell believed to be responsible for an attack on Christians in Minya
  • Egyptian security forces kill 19 militants in desert shootout
  • Russian-made MiG fighter jet crashes in Egypt
  • Israel appoints its first female ambassador to Egypt
  • Egyptian court frees author of critical book on Egypt’s economy

 

Minya attack 2018

 Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

 Saturday

 

Minya attack 2

 

Sunday

Good Reports

Good Read 

  • A Theological Murder Mystery Is Rattling Christians in Egypt. Farid Farid

From Twitter

https://twitter.com/EgyptTodayMag/status/1058838626442903552

Photo Gallery

 Plus

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 43-2018 ( Oct 22-28)

Top Headlines

  • Egyptian police kill 11 ‘fugitive terrorists’ in shootout in Western Desert
  • Egypt reaches agreement between Israel and Hamas to ease violence on border
  • Egypt’s Sisi heads to Berlinfor a four-day visit
  • Egypt has announced that news websites and other media outlets operating in the country must apply for work licenses
  • An Egyptian court listed on Sunday 164 Islamists as leaders of terrorist entities
  • Israeli forces assault Egyptian Coptic Monk  during Jerusalem monastery protest

 Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

 Wednesday

 Thursday

 Friday

Saturday

Sunday 

Reports

 Good Read 

From Twitter

 

 

Plus

 

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The Khashoggi affair: The art of the leak

This is an important read on how Turkey handled Jamal Khashoggi case , all the “leaks” and how western media published and reacted to them.

Seth J. Frantzman

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN

Nick Paton Walsh articulated it well: “The role [Turkey has] taken is not that of the virtuous prosecutor, but of the exploitative politician,” he wrote on October 18 about Ankara’s handling of, what at the time was considered the disappearance of Saudi journalist and insider Jamal Khashoggi. Why do we still know so little, he asked at the time, before Saudi Arabia had admitted to the murder. “The slow, purposeful, yet absolutely deliberate series of leaks to the media of evidence pointing towards the involvement of the Saudi Crown Prince and his immediate entourage has been disrespectful to the cause of justice itself, let alone to Khashoggi’s grieving relatives.” The BBC’s Mark Lowen identified the trend even earlier on October 10. “drip-feeding leaks on Khashoggi to pro-govt media: pics of 15 alleged members of Saudi hit squad, CCTV showing them arriving in Istanbul, checking into…

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This Week in Egypt: Week 42-2018 ( Oct 15-21)

Top Headlines 

  • Egypt extends Egypt’s state of emergency for three months
  • Putin and Sisi take Russia-Egypt relations to a “strategic level”
  • France rejects Amnesty criticism of arms exports to Egypt
  • Egypt’s al-Sisi to visit Sudan next week
  • Hamas has rejected an Egyptian request to stop Gaza border protests
  • The Egyptian army said that 450 jihadists are estimated to have been killed in its eight-month offensive in Sinai

 Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

  • Russia’s Putin receives Egypt’s Sisi in Sochi, hold informal talks ahead of official meeting
  • ‘I believe Russian flights will return to more Egyptian cities soon,’ Egypt’s Sisi
  • Egypt extends Egypt’s state of emergency for three months
  • The Egyptian army said that 450 jihadists are estimated to have been killed in its eight-month offensive in Sinai
  • Egypt has been exerting efforts to achieve rapprochement between rival Libyan parties
  • Egypt warns against politicisingGamal Khashoggi case: Presidency
  • Egypt’s grand mufti calls for modernising fatwasmodernising fatwas to combat extremist ideas

Wednesday

  • Hamas leader Abu Marzouk expressed “regret” over the cancellation of a planned visit by Abbas Kamel, head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Force
  • The LNG regasification vessel Egypt was renting for the past years is set to leave, as the country is no longer dependent of gas imports

Thursday

 Friday

Saturday

Sunday 

Good Reports

From Twitter

 

Interview

Plus

  • An Egyptian man presses charges against his wife for FGM of their two daughters. Women can be the enemy of women rights
  • First successful trial run for Cairo underground extension in Heliopolis
  • Ministers, ambassadors to attend ceremony marking Ramses II statue sun alignment
  • Tattoos are discovered on Egypt’s 3,000-year-old female mummy
  • Return to Egypt revives memories of desert battle for British veterans.

 

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Reading list: Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance

13 days ago, prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. His case has provoked a global outcry. Here is a collection of articles, which I think are worth reading about his mysterious disppearance 

 

Saudi Arabia Missing Writer

 

10 questions to answer about Khashoggi before buying the narrative. Lee Smith

 

Saudi Arabia’s troubled revolution. Stephanie Flanders

 

Death of a dissident: Saudi Arabia and the rise of the mobster state. John Bradley

 

Jamal Khashoggi’s long road to the doors of the Saudi Consulate. David Ignatius

 

Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance is even stranger than it seems. Steven Cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Week In Egypt: Week 41 (Oct 8-15)

Top Headlines

  • Libyan forces have captured one of the region’s most dangerous Islamist militants, a former Egyptian special forces officer, Hisham al-Ashmawy
  • Egypt’s Sisi says Egypt wants terrorist El-Ashmawi to face justice on its soil
  • Egypt Backs Saudi Arabia Over the Case of Missing Journalist Khashoggi, call for transparent investigations
  • Egypt’s Sisi says ‘no role for Brotherhood as long as he stays in power’
  • Egypt to give legal status to 120 unlicensed churches
  • 17 are sentenced to death for their involvement in the bomb attacks on Coptic Christian churches on Coptic Christians churches
  • Leaders of Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus pledge to strengthen cooperation in energy and tourism

Hisham Ashmawy

Egypt’s most wanted terrorist Hisham al-Ashmawy arrested in Libya

 Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday 

Saturday

Sunday

Good Reports

Good Read

From Twitter

Sports

  • Muscle injury forces Salah out of Egypt Africa Cup of Nations qualifier

Plus

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This Week in Egypt: Week 40 ( Oct 1-7)

Top Headlines

  • America’s first lady Melania visits Egypt on final stop of Africa tour
  • Islamic State announces death of senior militant in Egypt’s Sinai
  • Egypt commemorates 45th anniversary of 1973 Arab-Israeli War
  • Blast at an Egyptian fuel depot kills one, injures others
  • Egypt begun a campaign to eradicate Hepatitis C 

 

Flotus 2 

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

  • America’s first lady Melania visits Egypt
  • Twitter mocks Melania Trump’s outfit in Egypt, compares her to Michael Jackson, Carmen Sandiego
  • An Egyptian judge orders travel ban on human rights lawyer Khaled Ali
  • Egypt commemorates 45th anniv. of 1973 Arab-Israeli war
  • Russian-Spanish consortium participates in Egypt’s Dabaa nuclear project

Sunday

Reports/ Opinions

From Twitter

Photo Gallery

Plus

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