This Week In Egypt: Week 8-2020 ( Feb 17-23)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s only announced coronavirus case tests negative for the disease
  • Pompeo says Ethiopia-Egypt dam dispute could take months to resolve
  • Egyptian court acquits Mubarak’s sons of illicit share trading
  • Egypt holds interest rates for the second straight month
  • Egyptian natural gas exports to Jordan to be resumed within 48 hours
  • Egypt’s Minya opens museum in remembrance of 21 Christians killed by ISIS in Libya
  • Egyptian prosecutor renews detention of researcher Patrick Zaki for 15 days

 

Main Headlines

Monday

  • Egypt ends 14-day quarantine for Egyptians returning from China’s Wuhan; no coronavirus cases detected
  • Jewish Worshipers fete ‘very emotional’ Shabbat in refurbished Alexandria synagogue in Egypt
  • Egypt’s Sisi attends inauguration of new military factory

Tuesday

  • Pompeo says Ethiopia-Egypt dam dispute could take months to resolve
  • Sudan is not conceding its share of surplus water from the River Nile to Egypt
  • The Egyptian and French air forces have carried out air defence drills across the Red Sea
  • Egypt’s Minya opens museum in remembrance of 21 Christians killed by ISIS in Libya

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

  • Egyptian court acquits Mubarak’s sons of illicit share trading
  • Egypt’s prosecutor-general refers doctor, parents to criminal court after girl dies from FGM
  • Egypt’s parliament says abolishing imprisonment of businessmen will attract investment
  • Egypt’s former minister Ghada Wali sworn in as executive director of UNODC
  • Egyptian prosecutor renews detention of researcher Patrick Zaki for 15 days
  • Egypt to manufacture electric buses by November 2020

Sunday

Reports

Read

Interview

  • Interview with Talha al-Masir (Abu Shu’aib al-Masri) Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

 From Twitter

 

 

 

Plus

  • Emirates Airline partners with Arab Hope Makers Initiative to build Magdi Yacoub Heart Centre in Cairo
  • Egypt applies for 8th world heritage site with Natrun Valley
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Reblog: Secret wiretap reveals Erdogan government’s clandestine links to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

I reblogged this piece by Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt regarding interesting wiretap that reveal Erdogan’s frustration with the Muslim Brotherhood after ousting of Morsi in 2013. You can read the original piece here.

 

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan grew frustrated with the Muslim Brotherhood when protests lost their strength in the aftermath of the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, secret documents have revealed.

According to a classified wiretap that recorded the private conversations of Erdoğan aide İbrahim Kalın and pro-government businessman Abdullah Tivnikli, Kalın lamented the fact that the Brotherhood’s protests were winding down in Egypt. Kalın was deputy undersecretary of the Office of the Prime Ministry  and chief foreign policy adviser to Erdoğan at the time. He currently works at Erdoğan’s palace as spokesperson and special advisor.

“[The] Brotherhood’s latest rallies have lost momentum,” he told Tivnikli, who asked how things in Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood were going. “How long they can keep these [demonstrations] up, I’m not really sure,” Kalın added. Tivnikli, a long-time ally of Erdoğan who ran a company called Eksim Investment Holding until his death in November 2018, sounded worried that Hamas could be the next casualty after the Brotherhood in Egypt. “Sure, they [the US and its European and Gulf allies] are weakening Hamas quite a bit now,” Kalın responded.

The wiretap was authorized by an Istanbul court on August 29, 2013 as Turkish prosecutors had been investigating dozens of people including government officials on allegations of running an organized crime syndicate. The recorded conversation took place on September 1, 2013 and was included in the criminal case file against Kalın, Tivnikli and many others.

In the phone conversation Kalın also predicted that things would get worse if some factions of Hamas were to resort to arms and assured Tivnikli that the government was trying to resolve the deadlock (between the military and the Brotherhood) in Egypt. Asked whether Turkey had lost its influence in Egypt, Erdoğan’s advisor said they still had leverage over the Muslim Brotherhood, which was refusing to cooperate with the Americans or the Europeans to find a resolution to the deadlock. Tivnikli suggested that the matter be handled under the guise of shoring up democracy in Egypt rather than openly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. Kalin said there were deeper issues at play in Egypt and did not want to talk about them on the phone.

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 7-2019 (Feb 10-16)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s booming population officially hits 100 million
  • Egypt reports Africa’s first coronavirus case
  • No breakthrough yet on Nile dam talks, Ethiopia says
  • Egyptian pound strengthens to three-year high against the US dollar
  • Egyptian security forces kill 17 militants in shootout in North Sinai
  • Egypt builds a wall on border with Gaza 

 Main Headlines

 Monday 

 Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Second day of talks on Ethiopian GERD dam kicks off in Washington
  • Mask prices in Egypt skyrocket over coronavirus fears
  • Italy’s Edison starts exploratory drilling for gas in Egypt
  • Egypt did not import any liquefied natural gas in 2019
  • Egypt approves first gold mining licence in more than a decade
  • Egypt signs $35 million oil, gas exploration deal with Neptune energy
  • Muslim Brotherhood’s Tariq Ramadan formally charged with two more counts of rape

Friday

  • Egypt reports Africa’s first case of coronavirus
  • No breakthrough yet on Nile dam talks, Ethiopia says
  • Egypt’s Foreign Ministry says GERD agreement to be signed before end of February
  • A British man has been arrested and accused of sexual assault for patting a male police officer on the back at an airport in Egypt
  • Thousands sign petition demanding release of British holidaymaker held in Egypt

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

  • Egypt builds a wall on border  with Gaza.Rasha Abou Jalal
  • Egypt shows diplomatic finesse forging Gaza cease-fire. Al-Monitor
  • Egypt brings long-awaited compensation to thousands of Nubians. Muhammad Ghamrawy

Read

  • Why Egypt and Ethiopia can’t agree on how to manage water resources. Michael Greco
  • Libya in focus. Dina Ezzat

From Twitter

Plus

  • ‪Naguib Mahfouz’s daughter donates 257 translated editions of his works to his newly opened museum

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 6-2020 (Feb 3-9)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s Sisi calls for firm stance to confront dispatch of ‘terrorists to Libya
  • The Egyptian Navy is said to be close to purchasing a pair of European Multi-Purpose Frigate (FREMM) warships from Italy
  • Egypt ranks 9th in military strength among 138 states: Global Firepower
  • Egypt brings back home 32 fishermen detained by Yemeni Houthis
  • UN appoints former Egyptian minister Mahmoud Mohieldin as special envoy on financing the 2030 Agenda
  • Egypt to build first restaurant serving tourists at Great Pyramids of Giza

 Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday 

  • Egypt ranks 9th in military strength among 138 states: Global Firepower
  • Regulators rules that Saudi Telecom must offer to buy remaining 45% in Vodafone Egypt
  • Egyptian engineers attend training in Russia for construction of Dabaa nuclear power plant
  • Egypt’s Interior Ministry calls on car owners to get new e-stickers
  • Forbes names 9 Egyptians in ‘Middle East’s 100 Power Businesswomen’ of 2020

Thursday

Friday 

Saturday

  • The Egyptian Navy is said to be close to purchasing a pair of European Multi-Purpose Frigate (FREMM) warships from Italy
  • Egypt takes measures limiting subsidies to 2 children per family
  • Cabinet: Egypt’s inflation rate hits 9.2 percent in 2019, compared to 14.4 in 2018  

 Sunday

  • African Union Summit kicks off with participation of Egypt’s President Sisi
  • Egypt’s Sisi calls for firm stance to confront dispatch of ‘terrorists’ to Libya
  • Trudeau says he spoke to Egypt’s president about detained Canadians during AU summit Canada’s Trudeau
  • An Egyptian court sentences fugitive contractor Mohamed Ali to 3 years over tax evasion
  • Italy is alarmed after Egyptian studying in Bologna arrested in Cairo
  • New on-demand fuel delivery company to launch in Egypt

Reports

  • Egypt stays out of renewed Israel-Gaza escalations. Rasha Abou Jalal
  • A profit bonanza for for Egyptian banks is ripening the industry for acquisitions. Farah El-Bahrawy

Read

  • The dispute between the grand imam of Al-Azhar and the president of Cairo University reflects deep divisions over Islamic renewal. Gamal Essam El-Din
  • The revival of Egypt. CPI Financial

 From Twitte

 

 

 

Sports

 Plus

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For Erdogan, Western Libya is North Cyprus II

 

Erdogan and Sarraj photo

Erdogan met Libya’s Sarraj- Photo via AFP

As Turkish warships and loyal Syrian mercenaries have reportedly arrived in Libya, questions have been raised about the Turkish president’s real goals in his Libyan adventure. The formal Turkish line is that Erdogan is supporting the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, but the ambitious Turkish leader’s real intentions are much more sinister.

For Erdogan, Libya is the 2020 version of North Cyprus. The Turkish president is seeking to challenge Europe again by carving up a loyal entity facing European shores in an ambitious bid to expand his East Mediterranean gas exploration plans to expand within the heart of Africa.

If you visited North Cyprus and sat in its small eclectic Ercan Airport, observing that all the flights arriving and departing belong to Turkish Airlines, you will sense the inevitable fate of Western Libya under Turkish control___ an isolated entity stuck in a permanent state of no peace/no war, and no horizon for a comprehensive political solution.

The Turkish president is popular within certain groups in Western Libya, particularly Islamists and Libyans of Turkish descent, more so than he is in North Cyprus, where most of the natives are moderate, non-ideologically oriented Muslims. Furthermore, there is a growing, misplaced nostalgia towards the bygone era of Ottoman-controlled Libya, fuelled mostly by decades of oppressive pan-Arab nationalism that has ruined Libya. In fact, Islamist groups loyal to the Turkish president aggressively encourage such nostalgia in a bid to win hearts and minds among the heavily populated tribal and civilian groups in Western Libya.

Against that backdrop, the Turkish government rushed to sign tentative military and maritime agreements with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj. This was later followed by sending thousands of armed militants from Syria, together with advanced heavy weapons to boost the defence of GNA forces and to stop the advance of the GNA’s opponent, the Libyan National Army (LNA), which was marching from Eastern Libya under the command of General Haftar.

Erdogan’s strategy in Libya is threefold: First, he wants to achieve a military balance between Saraj’s GNA forces and Haftar’s LNA to stop the latter’s advance towards Tripoli.  Second, Erdogan is determined to block any political agreement that aims to disarm his loyal militias in Western Libya or return them back to Syria. Third, he wants to create a de-facto partition in Libya and a separate entity in Western Libya that is fully dependent on Turkey for its survival.

The current weak and divided global order will ultimately help the Turkish president achieve his goal. The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, openly admitted the situation in Libya is a “scandal,” and he criticized the countries that met in Berlin last month to push for progress in the Libyan peace talks. “They committed not to interfere in the Libyan process and they committed not to send weapons or participate in any way in the fighting,” Guterres said, and added, “The truth is that the Security Council (arms) embargo remains violated.”

Judging by the unfolding tragedies in Syria and Yemen, the UN may succeed in forging a ceasefire in Libya (which may or may not last), but it will not achieve a lasting political deal between the two rival sides.

Moreover, the Turkish president understands that even if direct negotiations resume between the two rival Libyan leaders, Serraj and Haftar, and they miraculously reach a political settlement, their agreement will not survive in reality, simply because no rational country will commit to sending UN peacekeeping forces that have a mandate to disarm hard-core Islamist militants embedded in Libya. Those militants are not willing to abandon their lucrative payments and return to the Syrian inferno.

Unlike Syria, however, those countries that back General Haftar and the LNA, whether they be Egypt, the UAE, or even Russia, cannot afford the political cost of advancing into heavily civilian areas in Tripoli and Misrata. Therefore, any permanent ceasefire devoid of an agreed political settlement will lead to the inevitable de-facto partition of Libya.

Northern Cyprus serves as a vivid example of Turkey’s ability to bring political and military paralysis to a country in the heart of Europe, leaving behind a permanent legacy of no war/no peace. The likelihood of repeating this scenario in Libya does not necessarily depend on the ability of Erdogan’s Libyan allies to achieve field victories, but on the failure of international and Arab parties to prevent the existence and long-term survival of the unfolding pro-Turkish entity in Western Libya.

The Turkish president’s foreign policies may be erratic, emotional, and overly ambitious, but unlike other fronts, he stands a good chance of succeeding in Libya, despite all the odds.

 

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

 

 

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Eulogy for a Father

I would like to share this beautiful eulogy by Maged Atiya for his father who passed away last year. It is truly moving and worth reading

salamamoussa

“There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.” Ecclesiastes 1:11

In remembrance of Samir Nessim Atiya (November 4 1925 – October 17 2019)

The nonagenarian and his first born son
were bound by filial love and separated by almost everything else, especially
God and Country. He was a man marked by early losses, those of a father as well
as beloved siblings. He remarked to his son, in a moment of transparency
brought on by old age that his deepest wish is to finish life’s course…

View original post 4,110 more words

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This Week in Egypt: Week 5 ( Jan 27-Feb2)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to sign final agreement on Blue Nile dam next month -joint statement
  • Egypt Israel gas line is attacked by unidentified assailants
  • Egypt sentenced Hisham al-Ashmawy, a former special forces officer turned Islamist militant, and 36 others to death
  • Egyptian businessman and Sisi’s opponent Mohamed Ali steps away from politics
  • 12-year-old girl in Egypt dies after genital mutilation
  • Egypt’s court upholds ban on face veil for academic staff at Cairo University in a final verdict

 Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

  • Egypt calls on ‘both parties’ to consider Trump’s Middle East peace plan
  • Egypt signs two gas exploration deals in Mediterranean worth $332 million with ExxonMobil
  • ‘Super dad’ saves daughter from under a moving train

Wednesday

 Thursday

 Friday 

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

  • US to boost Egyptian air defenses despite congressional anger. Jack Detsch
  • Egyptian army flexes muscle near border with Libya. Al-Monitor
  • Egypt’s population nears 100 million, putting pressure on resources and jobs. Reuters

And

Read

From Twitter

 

Plus

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 4-2019 (Jan 20-26)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s FM Shoukry heads to Washington in final round to secure agreement over the Ethiopian Dam
  • US dollar is weakening in Egypt as economy improves
  • Egypt’s Foreign Minister visits Algeria for meeting of Libya’s neighboring countries
  • Egypt starts screening travelers from China for new coronavirus

 Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

 Thursday 

Friday

Saturday 

  • Egypt denies rumours of decrease of Nile water level
  • 2,957 inmates pardoned, 2,957 released on parole in Egypt
  • Egypt’s police celebrates 68th National Police Day with chocolates and roses
  • Egypt’s Sisi gets Germany’s St. George medal for peace-making in Africa
  • Orange Egypt to build new data centre in Cairo

 Sunday

Reports

  • ‪Nine years after Egyptian revolution started, Tahrir Square icon languishes in jail. France24
  • Greenback weakening in Egypt as economy improves. Ahmed Elleithy
  • First Nuban language dictionary is published by volunteers. Ahmed Megahid
  • Egypt Consumer Appliances Market AP

Read

Video

 From Twitter

 

Plus

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This Week in Egypt: Week 3-2020 ( Jan 13-19)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s Sisi participated in Berlin summit on Libya
  • Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan make a draft deal on Ethiopian Dam
  • Israel starts exporting natural gas to Egypt
  • Pompeo expresses outrage over American’s ‘pointless’ death in meeting with Egyptian President Sisi
  • France asks to join Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum
  • Egyptian police arrest four in raid of Turkish-state news agency in Cairo, later released
  • Central Bank of Egypt keeps interest rates unchanged

 

Berlin summit 2

 Berlin Summit 

( Photo Italian PM,Giuseppe Conte, FB page)

Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

  • ‪Egypt held ‘long, in-depth talks’ with US officials in Washington over Ethiopian dam
  • Egypt military says a pilot killed in fighter jet crash during training
  • Mustafa Kassem: Egyptian-American dies on hunger strike in Egypt.
  • Egypt’s top prosecutor orders autopsy after death of detained American-Egyptian citizen

Wednesday

Thursday

  • France asks to join Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum
  • Egypt, Greece, Italy mull repercussions of sending Turkish forces to Libya
  • GERD statement signed after Washington talks does not constitute new agreement: Egypt’s FM
  • Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has has no legal presence in Egypt: SIS
  • Egypt’s top prosecutor orders release of two Turkish citizens and three Egyptians in Anadolu case
  • CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during 2020’s 1st meeting

Friday

Saturday 

Sunday

 Reports

Read

From Twitter

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 2-2020 ( Jan 6-12)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt blames Ethiopia for latest failure of Nile Dam talks
  • Ethiopian PM calls on South African president to intervene in Nile dam dispute
  • France, Greece, Egypt and Cyprus declared “null and void” agreements between Turkey and Libya
  • Egypt’s House of Representatives holds public session supporting Libya
  • Egypt declares 3-day mourning over Oman’s Sultan Qaboos death
  • Egypt unveils historic Alexandria Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue after three-year renovation

 Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • France, Greece, Egypt and Cyprus declared “null and void” agreements between Turkey and Libya
  • Scottish businessman Colin Finnie missing after yacht found on Egypt reef
  • Egypt’s FM: Current middle East conflicts need political solutions, not force

Thursday

  • US Embassy in Egypt issues security alert of heightened Mideast tensions
  • Egypt’s Foreign Minister to head to Algeria carrying a message from President Sisi
  • Egypt’s annual headline inflation rises to 7.1% in December
  • Room for more Egyptian rate cuts even as inflation accelerates
  • Chinese firm to finish 20 commercial towers in Egypt by 2022
  • Egypt Air will resume Baghdad flights on Saturday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

  • Egypt launches microfinance incentives to contain informal economy. Mohamed Hammad
  • The Grand Egyptian Museum will finally open at the end of 2020. Lonely Planet
  • Mixed reactions over turning Egypt’s Investment Ministry into an authority. Amira Sayed Ahmed
  • 3 points of disagreement between Egypt and Ethiopia over GRED. Egypt Today

Good Read

From Twitter

 

 

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