This Week in Egypt: Week 45-2021 ( Nov 8-14)

Top headlines

  • US, Egypt conclude first ‘strategic dialogue’ under Biden
  • World powers press for Libya elections but disputes remain
  • Sisi calls for withdrawal of all foreign troops from Libya
  • Israel, Egypt to increase military presence along Egypt’s Rafah border
  • Egypt’s Shoukry lays out steps for Syria to re-enter Arab fold
  • Egypt to host COP27 international climate conference in 2022
  • Egypt bans import of Tuk-tuk components
  • Storms in south Egypt unleash scorpions, leave 3 dead and dozens hospitalized
  • Population of Egypt’s capital Cairo exceeds 10 million

Main Headlines

Monday

  • Israel’s IDF generals travel to Sinai for rare public meeting with Egyptian army
  • Egypt, Israel agree on more Egypt border forces in Sinai
  • Blinken says Egypt has more ‘issues of concern’ on human rights ahead of dialogue
  • Egyptian FM tells US Secretary Blinken that partnership with US indispensable for preservation of peace  
  • Egypt’s Sisi, and France’s Macron discuss preparations for Libya International Conference in Pari

Tuesday 

  • Blinken: US agrees with Egypt on mercenaries withdrawal from Libya
  • Egypt and France confirm support for political process in Libya leading to the elections
  • Egypt’s Shoukry lays out steps for Syria to re-enter Arab fold
  • New central bank regulations will allow customers to make digital bank transfers for the first time

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • Egypt to host COP27 international climate conference in 2022
  • Sisi calls for withdrawal of all foreign troops from Libya

Saturday

Sunday

 Reports

Statement

From Twitter

Plus

Mohamed Salah shows his class after being targeted by pitch invaders

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This Week in Egypt: Week 44-2021 ( Nov 1-7)

Top headlines

  • U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue will be held in DC on November 8-9 
  • Ted Cruz, top Dem Bob Menendez have had a heated exchange over Biden’s Egypt policy
  • Egyptian president denounces assassination attempt on Iraqi PM
  • Egypt aims to generate 42% of power from renewables by 2030
  • Egypt to start exporting liquefied gas to Lebanon by the end of this year
  • Egypt government to begin move to new administrative capital in December 
  • Egypt raises Suez Canal transit tolls

Main Headlines

Monday

  • Egypt’s Sisi urges Cop26 to hit $100bn climate funds target  
  • UK’s Johnson and Egypt’s El-Sisi hold bilateral talks on side lines of COP26
  • Saudi Arabia deposits $3 billion in Egypt’s central bank
  • Egypt to start exporting liquefied gas to Lebanon by the end of this year 
  • Egypt’s chief prosecutor has ordered the detention of three hotel workers after 47 foreign tourists got food poisoning at a popular Red Sea resort

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • US senators Cruz and Menendez spar at Senate Foreign Relations hearing on Egypt
  • Biden Administration pushes Egypt to Free Muslim Brotherhood Associates 
  • Egypt government to begin move to new administrative capital in December
  • Luxor welcomes first flight from London after two-year hiatus 

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

Statement:

  • British PM meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: 1 November 2021

From Twitter

Plus

Plus

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This Week in Egypt: Week 43-2021 ( Oct 25-31)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s President Sisi ends state of emergency for the first time in years
  • American B1-B bomber flies over Mideast, including Egypt, amid Iran tensions
  • Egypt’s FM discussed latest developments in Sudan with US special envoy
  • Libya’s 5+5 Military Commission meets in Egypt to discuss withdrawal of foreign troops
  • Eni made three discoveries in Egypt’s western desert amounting to 50 million barrel of oil equivalent
  • UK sells warships to Egypt for first time in 30 years
  • Russian tourists flock back to Egypt’s Red Sea
  • Egypt’s city of Damietta wins UNESCO Learning City Award 2021

Main Headlines

Monday

  • Egypt’s FM discussed latest developments in Sudan with US special envoy
  • Egypt’s hotels are back to full capacity

Tuesday

  • Egypt’s President Sisi ends state of emergency for the first time in years
  • Eni made three discoveries in Egypt’s western desert amounting to 50 million barrel of oil equivalent
  • A third of Egypt’s Delta may drown due to climate change: Irrigation minister
  • Prince Charles to visit Jordan and Egypt

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

 Reports

From Twitter

Plus

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This Week in Egypt: Week 42-2021 ( Oct 18-24)

Apology for the delay in posting last week compilation. There are many important news today, Monday 25th, on Egypt, but last week too has a collection of important news, especially Reuters’ report on North Sinai, and the legendary performance of Mo Salah in the British Premier League. Enjoy

Top Headlines

  • Ninth Egypt-Greece-Cyprus summit held in Athens 
  • Greek PM: Greece, Cyprus, Egypt unite in condemning Turkey’s actions in region 
  • Turkey calls joint declaration by Greece, Egypt, Cyprus ‘manifestation of hostile policies’
  • Egyptian military consolidates grip on northern Sinai
  • Nearly 100 women become first female judges Egypt’s State Council
  • Israel is considering new pipeline to boost gas exports to Egypt
  • Egypt film on poverty ruffles feathers triggering patriotic backlash
  • Mo Salah overtakes Didier Drogba to become highest-scoring African player

Main Headlines

Monday

  • Judges postpone trials of three Egyptian activists
  • Egypt’s Sisi discuses Libya developments with Merkel, reiterates Egypt’s stance on GERD
  • Egypt seeks to benefit from British expertise in infrastructure projects: Transport minister tells UK’s Cleverly 

Tuesday

  • Ninth Egypt-Greece-Cyprus summit kicks off in Athens
  • Greek PM: Greece, Cyprus, Egypt unite in condemning Turkey’s actions in region 
  • Egyptian, US, Greek, Spanish navies carry out joint drills

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

  • Sisi calls for ‘binding, balanced deal’ on GERD ‘as soon as possible and without further delay’
  •  Egyptian army’s engineering authority announces contest to name the new capital
  • Mo Salah overtakes Didier Drogba to become highest-scoring  African player

Reports

Read

From Twitter

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This Week in Egypt: Week 41-2021 ( Oct 11-17)

Top Headlines

  • Greece, Egypt sign deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa
  • Cyprus and Egypt sign deal to pursue electricity hookup
  • Cairo requests freezing drones deal between Turkey and Ethiopia
  • Trial of Egyptians for Italian student’s murder is suspended
  • Russia-Egypt tactical exercise ‘Defenders of Friendship 2021’ kick off
  • Egypt says will impose coronavirus restrictions on public employees after Nov 15
  • Sadat’s nephew negotiates way out for Egypt prisoners
  • Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival opens fifth edition against the odds

Main Headlines

Monday

 Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Read

Sports

  • Mo Salah might be the best Premier League player ever but is the ‘unprecedented’ Liverpool forward still underrated? Jack Bantock

From Twitter

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Podcast: Political Islam lost opportunity for Turkey to coexist with West

In my latest podcast for Ahval’s Turkish Trends series, I spoke to Turkish political scientist Cengiz Aktar about his latest essay ” The Turkish Malaise – A Critical Essay,” in which he explains how Turkey was in a counter-process in terms of westernisation.

Aktar criticised those he called optimistic intellectuals who still believed in westernisation.

“Many Westerners still believe that Turkey is a normal country which can be reformed. They argue that all the misdeeds and wrongdoings of the present regime can be reversed, and Turkey can become a normal country,” he said.

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This Week in Egypt: Week 40-2021 ( Oct 4-10)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt close to finalising arrangements for gas supplies to Lebanon
  • Egyptian FM Shoukry delivers message from Sisi to Putin
  • Egypt starts construction of gas pipeline in the Western Desert
  • Egypt raises fuel prices by 25 piasters 
  • Egypt and US advance Palestinian unity government, but Fatah and Hamas leery 
  • Egyptian headline inflation rises to 6.6% in September
  • Sharm El-Sheikh receives first direct flight from UK following year-long suspension 

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

  • Egypt close to finalising arrangements for gas supplies to Lebanon
  • Egyptian FM discusses Libya, Middle East process with Russian security council secretary
  • Egypt has fully vaccinated over 7 million people against COVID-19 

Wednesday

 Thursday

Friday

Saturday

  • Sharm El-Sheikh receives first direct flight from UK following year-long suspension 
  • First Libyan flight lands in Cairo Airport after 7 years 
  • Canterbury Archbishop urges Ethiopia to ensure fair GERD use, calls for Israeli-Palestinian peace process 
  • Egypt to receive 7 million doses of COVID vaccines within days 
  • Two doctors, employee sentenced to two years in jail for bullying a nurse

Sunday

Reports

Read

From Twitter

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This Week in Egypt: Week 39-2021 ( Sep 27- Oct 3)

Top Headlines

  • U.S. security adviser visits Egypt, discusses various issues with Egyptian officials
  • Egypt Air flight lands in Tel Aviv for first time in decades
  • Egypt’s FM Shoukry visits Moscow for political consultations
  • Egypt is “selected as nominee” to host COP27 climate talks  
  • Egypt inaugurates world’s largest water treatment plant
  • Historic court ruling on FGM case in Egypt
  • Egypt welcomes naming of Tunisia’s new PM Najla Bouden
  • UK Foreign Office relaxes advice for Egypt, Maldives and Sri Lanka

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • Egypt welcomes naming of Tunisia’s new PM Najla Bouden
  • Egypt’s EFG Hermes in talks to buy stake in Spain’s Ignis
  • Egyptian authorities have said they had thwarted an attempt led by an imprisoned businessman to revive activities of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood

Saturday

Sunday

  • Egypt Air flight lands in Tel Aviv for first time in decades
  • Egypt’s FM Shoukry visits Moscow for political consultations
  • Egypt’s Sisi urges speedy vaccination of education sector staffers, university students
  • Egypt’s Sisi pledges continuous support for DR Congo as current chair of African Union
  • Egypt’s Armed Forces mourned on Sunday the death of an Egyptian peacekeeper who was killed in an explosive blast in Mali

Reports

  • Egypt steps up efforts to ‘restore Syria position in the Arab world.’ Mohamed Saied
  • Egypt sends display of artefacts to Dubai Expo 2020 George Mikhail
  • Egypt allocates billions for development in Sinai.  Mohammad Hanafi

From Twitter

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The Time Magazine and the Western Attitude towards Islamism

Abdul Ghani Baradar- Time 100 list 20211 – Photo by Sefa Karacan—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It was a baking hot July day in Cairo and my first day in medical school. Like many well-sheltered Egyptian girls, I was shy and introspective; I decided to spend my lecture break in the female section of the university’s mosque, instead of in the public café.  In hindsight, that was a turning point in my life. For the first time I was faced with the raw, unfiltered, unapologetic face of Islamism. 

It was not prayer time, but the self-appointed niqabi-wearing fellow student had started a preaching session on what she claimed to be “the real Islam.”  When she saw me, she was not impressed. “It’s a shame your parents opted to choose such an infidel name for you; to prove you are Muslim, at least you need to wear the hijab,” she added.  For the next six years, I heard her and other “sisters and brothers” preaching about the mandatory obligation to wear a hijab, the need for segregation between male and female students, the importance of female “circumcision,” how music is forbidden in Islam, and why it is crucial to return to what they labelled the “puritan spirit of Islam.” 

Yes, I heard all those Taliban-style teachings a long time ago, well before the 9/11 terror attacks in New York. Those Islamist colleagues eventually joined the various Islamist movements that spread underground in Egypt during Mubarak’s tenure. Some of them joined the Muslim Brotherhood; some joined various Salafi groups; others went to Afghanistan, and a few of them emigrated to Europe pretending to be “reformers.” The cobweb of Islamists is tangled, diverse, and multidimensional.  

Islamists may differ in strategy and tactics, violent or non-violent, but all are united in one goal: Achieving a significant paradigm shift in the minds of both Muslims and non-Muslims. They aim to convince Muslims that Islamism is the real Islam, and to persuade non-Muslims that the concepts of equality and women’s rights are alien to Muslims and should not be imposed by the West.

The handover of Afghanistan to the Taliban, and naming the Taliban’s co-founder, Abdul Ghani Baradar, as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2021 under the “leaders” category is arguably the top real victory of Islamism as a global ideology. Both events symbolise a significant paradigm shift in the minds of top Western policy makers.  

Western elites have convinced themselves that their values are alien to Muslims, at least in Afghanistan, and have been preoccupied with finding a “moderate” path, even within the most radical oppressive puritan groups such as the Taliban. Baradar represents a more moderate current within the Taliban, “one that will be thrust into the limelight to win Western support,” Time’s profile explained.  As Afghan-Canadian entrepreneur Sara Wahedi tweeted: There was a clear campaign to sanitize the Taliban from the very beginning of the peace process. Think tanks vis-à-vis consultants, journalists, and “experts” were tasked with planting the seed of neutrality, at the cost of destabilizing a nation.

One might argue that the choice is merely political, because the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban is arguably the biggest political event of 2021. Nonetheless, that “victory” of the Taliban is hardly a credit to Baradar and his clan, but is largely an American political move. It is the United States that decided to withdrew from Afghanistan, regardless of the implications of such a decision, or the negotiation skills of Mr Baradar and his team. 

Shortly after Time Magazine’s prestigious selection, it was revealed how the Taliban, defying international calls for diversity, inclusion, and gender equality left women out of the line-up of ministers and deputies and accommodated few ethnic minorities. Moreover, a Taliban official has revealed that the group will once again carry out strict punishments and executions.  Many Western pundits, however, claim that Baradar is moderate and that he has been ‘side-lined’ by radicals within the group on the mere basis of the flowery cheap words he uttered during his negotiations with US officials.   

In an attempt to look balanced, Time Magazine also included a female Afghani entrepreneur, Roya Mahboob, in its prestigious list. But this quest for balance is farcical, to say the least. One does not put a drug dealer and an anti-addiction champion in one list, with the aim of presenting a balanced list of global influencers. Only a cruel, soulless editor can do that without a shred of shame. 

Thus far, however, the success of Islamists in conquering the minds of Muslims seems limited only to their core supporters. Many have noted the images of desperate Afghanis clinging to the side of a moving US military plane leaving Kabul airport, the decisive defeat of an Islamist party in a free and fair election in Morocco, and the rising resentment against the Mullah regime in Tehran and Erdogan’s ruling party in Turkey. Even Western-based Islamist political thinkers who are applauding the Taliban did not move to Afghanistan and bask in the laws of sharia. Instead, they prefer to resume their lives enjoying the freedoms and liberties guaranteed by democratic and secular laws in the West, as Hany Ghoraba highlighted.

The battle for the soul of Islam in the modern era will continue, but despite the paradigm shift within many Western institutions in support of Islamism, such ideology will not prevail. Islamists may rule and oppress their opponents. They may also be glamorised by prestigious Western magazines. Nonetheless, their inability to provide a successful formula for governance will eventually lead to their defeat in every corner of the Muslim world.

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This Week in Egypt: Week 38 -2021 ( Sep 20-26)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt’s former military ruler Tantawi, key figure in 2011, dies at 85
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Egypt’s FM hold talks in New York
  • Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his counterparts from Egypt and Cyprus in New York
  • UN secretary-general urges resuming GERD talks in spirit of compromise
  • Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo to temporarily close for “economic reasons”
  • Egypt’s Suez Canal revenue at $4.09 billion in 8 months –statement
  • Egyptian court bans use of mosques for political purposes
Egyptian, Greek, Cypriot FMs meet in NewYork. Via AFP

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

  • Egypt’s former military ruler Tantawi, key figure in 2011, dies at 85 
  • Egypt’s Sisi  says River Nile lifeline for Egyptians, slams Ethiopia’s intransigence in GERD talks 
  • President Sisi inaugurates 6th tunnel to connect Africa to Asia among new national projects in Sinai
  • Egypt records highest coronavirus death toll in more than 70 days 

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Egypt’s FM hold talks in New York
  • Egypt expected to sell up to $3 billion in bonds

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

Read

From Twitter

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