(Anti-sexual harassment march in Cairo 6th of February. Twitter via @_amroali)
- Activist dies following three days of torture in police custody.
- Signature campaign demands the departure of President Morsi.
- Egypt’s central bank tightens the pound ‘s trading band in the foreign exchange market.
- Budget deficit hits LE 91.5 billion: Finance ministry
- FJP to run individually in elections (except in Upper Egypt).
- Culture minister resigns “to protest assault on stripped protestor.“
- Teen cancer patient denied treatment in custody.
- Iran’s President Ahmadinejad in Cairo at start of historic Egypt visit.
- Egypt’s Salafis cranky about Ahmadinejad’s visit to Cairo.
- Scholar scolds Ahmadinejad over Sunni rights.
- Ahmadinejad attacked with shoe in Cairo.
- A Syrian man tried to attack Ahmadinejad during his visit to al-Husain mosque in Cairo.
- Egypt’s foreign reserves down to $13.6bn- “the lowest level since at least 1997.”
- Diesel reserve is only enough for three days.
- Coptic Pope criticizes the new constitution as discriminatory.
- Dozens protest unemployment in South Sinai.
- Iran declares readiness to lend Egypt much-needed funds.
- Protestor El-Gendy was tortured: Security Sources.
- Separate car for women on trains starting Wednesday.
- Iran downplays Ahmadinejad shoe attack in Egypt.
- Egypt- IMF’s negotiations “progressing normally.“
- At a summit of Muslim Nations in Egypt, divisions over Syria, Shiite-Sunni divide emerge.
- Egypt’s foreign reserves will only cover three months of imports.
- Women march against sexual harassment.
- Foreign Minister responds harshly to US Senator’s anti-Morsi comments.
- Egypt, Turkey and Iran are work together on a framework for Syria.
- Egypt’s prime minister sparks controversy with unhygienic breast comment.
- Raping women in Tahrir is not red line. (Egyptian preacher, Abu-Islam).
- Ahmadinejad escapes second failed attack in Cairo.
- Presidency condemns killing fatwa as an act of terrorism.
- Iran to let in Egyptians without visas without visas.
- Egyptian police deployed security at the homes of prominent liberal opponents after call for their death.
- Riot police and protesters clash in “Friday of dignity” rallies across Egypt.
- Tahrir Imam holds Morsi accountable for “betraying revolution.”
- Police tear gas protestors near Egypt presidential palace.
- Police fire tear gas at anti-Moris protestors in Alexandria.
- Clashes in Kafr el-Zayat as protesters attack police station.
- State TV presenter interrogated for asking Prime Minister Qandil about torture.
- Egypt delays cuts in fuel subsidies to tourism sector.
- Administrative court ban access to You Tube for a month.
- Battered by deadly protests, Cairo Book Fair ends Saturday
- Index of food prices rises in Egypt.
- Canadian-Qatari business cooperation in Egypt.
- Activists’ death fuels anti-Muslim Brotherhood sentiment in Tanta.
- Islamists and other political figures announce “Conciseness Front.”
- Egyptian Salafist leaders plan visit to Gaza.
A Few Thoughts
The most appropriate descriptor for the current state of affairs in Egypt is delirium; a severe confusion that develops quickly and often fluctuates in intensity. Once confusion prevails, rationality disappears, and a trail of misguided decisions and behaviors dominate the public sphere. Events of week 6 on various fronts fit in with this confused scene.
Perhaps Ahmadinejad’s visit to Cairo will be written in history books as the most strategic blunder in the joint history of Egypt and Iran. A statement on the official Twitter account of the Muslim Brotherhood read the following: “We value President Morsi’s efforts to restore Egypt’s regional role through balanced diplomacy based on mutual respect.” The two attacks against Ahmadinejad in Cairo and the scolding he endured by the Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar indicates that neither balance nor respect has been achieved, not to mention the failure to secure any progress on the Syrian front.
Police and Security:
Although in a dictatorship, the society suffers from police brutality, torture, and humiliation, but at least dictators maintain law and order and provide some sort of functionality and security to the state. Currently, Egypt is in a lose-lose situation in which police brutality is rife and is coupled with chaos and lack of security. Organized, horrific violent attacks on women is one of the manifestations of this tragic and alarming deterioration of security that is also infused with the misogynic, pathological thinking from the clerics of hatred and backwardness.
In Pakistani style, the administrative court was ordered to ban access to YouTube for 30 days in Egypt. This is a clear example of a politically motivated verdict that will serve nothing; it is aimed to bully and initiate fear, but will certainly fail to prevent further insults to the prophet or make non-Muslims respect Islam more. Ironically, the leadership of the Brotherhood has done nothing so far to stop the endless fatwas that incite and legalize murder in the name of Islam.
A unique Prime Minister:
One can only imagine how Egypt’s previous prominent prime ministers, including Saad Zaghloul and Nahaas, would react if they heard Qandil’s remarks about unclean breasts and diarrhea. They would undoubtedly shudder in disgust, like many Egyptian citizens who were furious by their prime minister’s reckless, ignorant, and snobbish remarks.
Meanwhile, the economy continues along its steady decline, without any indications of comprehensive future solutions.
So What’s Next?
One of the most alarming factors experienced in Egypt now is how many are hoping that the army will “do something”; I find this deeply disturbing. The army alone will not be able to save the country from chaos without a political solution. Yes, it can secure vital institutions of the state, but the army cannot play the role of the police, and it is not designed to deal with long-term anarchy and chaos.
It a big topic that I hope to discuss in upcoming pieces.
- Egypt’s conflict alert. Crisis group
- Is Egypt too big to fail? Steven Cook
- Can Egypt have a foreign policy? Hussein Ibish
- Back street’s back are changing. Elijah Zarwan.
- Revolution, interrupted. Hani Shukrallah
- Egypt’s incompetent politics turn citizens against the state. Issandr El- Amrani
- Why they were friends: Egypt and Iran. Holly Dagres
- President Morsi’s finger and human dignity in Egypt. Mai el-Sadany
- A lesson in the dangers of book burning. (From last week). Ahmed Naje
Finally, here is Jayson Casper’s prayer for Egypt