This Week in Egypt: Week 14 -2019 ( April 1-7)

Top Headlines 

  • Egypt voices deep concern over new developments in Libya 
  • Egypt’s Sisi starts tour to West Africa and the United States
  • Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar expressed thank to Egypt for its “vital role in easing the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip
  • Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain to boycott meetings of Inter-Parliamentary Union in Qatar
  • Egypt unveils the discovery of a double tomb full of mummified animals

 Main Headlines

Monday

 Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain to boycott meetings of Inter-Parliamentary Union in Qatar
  • Australian manon his way home after more than 400 days in Egyptian prison

Friday

  • Egypt voices deep concern over new developments in Libya
  • Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar expressed thank to Egypt for its “vital role in easing the blockade imposed on the Gaza strip
  • Egypt’s Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashatwins 2019 global champion for tourism award
  • Egypt thwarted smuggling of 2,147 kilograms of heroin, 99 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine on a ship in the Red Sea

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

Good Read

From Twitter

 

Thread

Tourism

  • One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen is Egypt’s white desert. Harrison Jacobs
  • Egypt’s oldest pyramids has been saved from ruin thanks to a team of Newport engineers

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 13-2019 ( March 25-31)

Top Headlines

  • Trump to host Egypt’s El-Sisi on April 9
  • Contrary to earlier rumors, Sisi participates in 30th Arab League Summit in Tunisia
  • Egypt’s Sisi receives UAE’s crown prince in Alexandria
  • Egypt’sSisi raises minimum wage by 67 percent
  • Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah released from jail after five years
  • Egypt’s central bank keeps key interest rates unchanged

 Main Headlines

Monday 

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • UAE’s Crown Prince arrives in Egypt’s Alexandria on a visit to Egypt
  • Egypt parliament to take final vote on constitutional amendments on April 14
  • Egypt’s FM Shoukry and US’s Pompeo seek greater cooperation for Mideast stability in Washington talks in Washington talks
  • Egypt to construct new railway station to relieve pressure on Ramses station

Thursday

 Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Good Read

From Twitter

 

 

 

Video

Plus

  • Touristic sites you must see on the newly launched Aswan-Sudan Nile cruise
  • New temple palace is discovered at Ramses II’s temple in Upper Egypt’s Sohag
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Twitter Thread: Turkey’s Local Elections

The Turkish local elections of 2019 will be held on Sunday 31 March 2019 throughout the 81 provinces of Turkey. A total of 30 metropolitan and 1,351 district municipal mayors, alongside 1,251 provincial and 20,500 municipal councillors will be elected, in addition to numerous local non-partisan positions such as neighbourhood wardens (Muhtars) and elderly people’s councils. Here is a collection of tweets about the significance of this election:

 

 

 

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 12 ( March 18-24)

Top Headlines

  • Egypt has signed a deal with Russia to buy more than 20  Sukhoi SU-35 multi-role fighter jets
  • Egypt, Jordan and Iraq issue joint call to act against terrorism
  • Israel’s Netanyahu admits approving German submarine sale to Egypt
  • Sudan summons Egypt’s envoy over oil exploration bids in disputed area
  • Italy to grant citizenship to 13-year-old Egyptian boy who saved children on hijacked school bus
  • Egypt says BBC ‘promoting lies of Muslim Brotherhood’ in online article
  • Advisor to Yemeni defense minister has died in a lorry collision in Giza

 

Sisi Iraq Jordan

 

Main Headlines

Monday 

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Reports

From Twitter

Plus

  • Why do so many Egyptian statues have broken noses?
  • These are the 15 hottest destinations billionaires are traveling to in 2019
  • Troubled times have no borders – so it’s time we returned to Egypt.

 

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 11-2019 ( March 11-17)

Top Headlines 

  • Four Egyptians among casualties of New Zealand terror attack
  • Egypt condemned the terrorist attacks that targeted two mosques in, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Ankara prepares to deport 12 Muslim Brotherhood members to Egypt over violations
  • Egypt returns to LNG exports club seeking to sell cargoes
  • Pipeline snag to delay Israel gas to Egypt for 3 month
  • Egypt joins wave of countries banning Boeing 737 MAX jet from airspace

Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday 

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

 Saturday

Sunday

Reports

Profile

Twitter

 

Plus

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Human Rights Watch, Egypt, and the Oscars

Rami Malek

 

International human rights organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a recent article titled: ‘Egypt should win an Oscar for hypocrisy over praise for Rami Malek.’ Neela Ghosal, a senior researcher in the organisation, wrote that Egypt’s positive reaction to Egyptian actor Rami Malek winning the Oscar for his role in the film “Bohemian Rhapsody” as gay music legend Freddie Mercury of Queen, was hypocritical.

Ghosal, who described Mercury as “unabashedly, flamboyantly queer,” cited a quote from Malek’s acceptance speechin which he said, “We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself.” To support her claim that Egypt was being hypocritical, Ghosal said that if the Egyptian government and its apologists “want to own a piece” of Malek’s Bohemian Rhapsody triumph, they should “own up to the facts” about the appalling treatment of homosexuals in Egypt. In her view, Rami Malek “gave life, joyfully, to a queer icon,” but Egypt, under President Sisi, would not allow either Freddie Mercury to thrive on its soil, or a Malek to celebrate him.

Even if we acknowledge the writer’s view that Mercury’s sexual orientation was the core part of the film, the researcher’s argument is still deeply flawed.

Firstly, the celebration of a young man of Egyptian origin, who was passionately proud of his Egyptain roots, is not hypocritical and has nothing to do with homosexuality. Secondly, the idea that the Egyptian government has no right to celebrate Rami Malek’s Oscar, unless it recognizes homosexuality is frankly absurd. By that logic, the Egyptian government must recognise prostitution, sex outside marriage, and all other taboos in Muslim societies in order to celebrate any film that addresses those issues with any degree of positivity.

Perhaps the researcher did not follow the history of Egyptian cinema. For over a century, Egyptian film-makers have challenged taboos and produced daring movies about various controversial topics, including homosexuality. Films such as “Cat on Fire” and “The Yacobian Building” bluntly deal with homosexuality, and despite creating an uproar and controversy, both were eventually approved by the governent censorship authority. Furthermore, film critics and the vast majority of Egyptian audiences praised both Nour El Sherif, the main actor in Cat on Fire, and Khaled El Sawi for playing the daring roles of gay men. Along with homosexuality, Egyptian cinema has addressed other social taboos, such as sex workers, and even portrayed them as victims.

In fact, The Yacobian Building movie was approved in 2006 during Mubarak’s era, despite several crackdown cases against homosexuals throughout his tenure. In 2001, 52 gay Egyptian men went on trial for offending religion and practising debauchery. In 2004, HRW reported how a 17-year-old private university student received a 17-year sentence in prison for posting a personal profile on a gay dating site.

Moreover, it is no surprise that the current Egyptian Immigration Ministry celebrated Rami Malek’s Oscar and tweeted a quote from his Oscar acceptance speech. Since the current Immigration and Expatriates Affairs Minister, Nabila Makram, started her term as one of eight female ministers in the Egyptian government, she has taken an open approach to Egyptian expats, irrespective of their different moral values. Therefore, celebrating Rami Malek is consistent with her own style, regardless of the regime’s treatment of homosexuals.

It is indeed true that the current government has increased the crackdown on homosexuals. However, authoritarianism alone is not the main reason behind Egypt’s anti-gay crackdown. According to a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center, 95% of Egyptians believe society should not accept homosexuality. This simple fact is clearly inconvenient for HRW to acknowledge.

This anti-gay hysteria can be traced to the rise of social Islamism since the 1970s. It has left its mark on the whole society and blurred the differences between religious sins and illegal crimes. Regrettably, successive Egyptian regimes have tried to match Islamist movement regression by cracking down on unpopular groups, such as gays, to cater for its increasingly conservative subjects.

Such a policy , from the current Egyptian leadership, is shortsighted, to say the least, especially from the current leadership that consider fighting radicalism its top priority. Homosexuals are the least dangerous group to the Egyptian state. They may be guilty in the eyes of religion, but they have not conspired against Egypt or terrorized Egyptians as those radicals who claim top masculinity and honor have done.

To trace the link between social Islamism and anti-gay attitudes, one should look beyond Egypt. Malaysia, supposedly a democratic country with an increasingly Islamist tune, does not recognize the LGBT community and has denied the existence of gay people in the country. Moreover, in Britain, Muslim families have withdrawn 600 children from their schools, claiming their kids were being brainwashed over gay lifestyles. Those families are neither Egyptians nor Sisi supporters. I doubt, however, that HRW will accuse those families of hypocrisy for voluntarily living in an open liberal society, while rejecting its values of equality and diversity.

In its desperate attempts to control the narratives and pinpoint authoritarianism as the mother of ills, HRW has dragged Rami Malek’s Oscar victory into a deeply complex social morass. HRW has every right to oppose the appalling persecution of homosexuals in Egypt, but has no right to spin Egypt’s sincere delight for Rami Malek as “hypocrisy.” There are many reasons to criticise the Egyptian regime, but celebrating Rami Malek is not one of them. The same organisation, and probably the same researcher, would curse Egypt if its leadership rejected Rami Malek and his Oscar film. Such dualism from a supposedly neutral organisation is the ultimate example of hypocrisy.

 

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

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This Week in Egypt: Week 10-2019 ( March 4-10)

Top Headlines 

  • Six Egyptians are killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash
  • Egypt’s Sisi appoints close military ally as transport minister
  • Egyptian photojournalist Shawkan is released after five years in prison
  • Malaysia deports 6 Egyptians allegedly affiliated with Ansar al-Sharia radical group to Cairo
  • Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation increased to 14.4 percent in February
  • Egypt destroys nine tunnels near Gaza border
  • Fears for transgender Egyptian woman held in men’s prison

 

Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Egyptian activists and media are targeted by phishing attacks – Amnesty
  • Egyptian authorities have arrested another five people over deadly train crash
  • Egypt’s PM urges stiffer penalties against drug abuse by government employees
  • Egyptian delegation calls on UNHRC to investigate ‘Qatari aid of terrorism’ in Libya
  • Arab foreign ministers meet in Cairo

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Good Reports

Good Read 

From Twitter

 

Video

Poll

Sport

Plus

 

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My Twitter Thread on Women’s Day 2019

I do not usually re-publish my own Twitter threads, but this particular twitter thread is important to me as it reflects on my views on various issues related to women rights. I share it here for followers who are not on Twitter.

 

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Twitter Thread: Ilhan Omar and Israel

U.S. representative for Minnesota’s 5th congeressional  district, Somali -American politician Ilhan Omar has stirred several contraversies recently. The latest was her fued with fellow Democrat Nita Lowey over support of Israel and alleged anti-Semitic comments. Ilhan’s controversial comments has prompted the Anti-Defamation League to send a letter urging Democratic leaders to consider a resolution condemning Omar’s remarks. That vote will apparently happen tomorrow in the Congress.

In view of the above, I wrote a thread on Twitter summing my views as a liberal Muslim on Ilhan Omar and why I find her views disturbing. I herewith share it with my followers who are not on Twitter.

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Reblog: Russian missiles separate NATO allies U.S. and Turkey

If you are interested in the Turkish-Americas relations, then you need to read this blog by Murat Yetkin. Enjoy…..

What would President Trump ask from Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan if he were allowed to ask for one thing only? An American official talking to a group of Turks on condition of anonymity recently asked that rhetorical question and continued without waiting for the Turks to answer: it would be to cancel the Russian S-400 air defense missiles.
All other problems on the agenda would be secondary in American eyes today: from the serious discrepancy in Syria to the sanctions on Iran, from the U.S.-resident Islamist preacher accused of masterminding a coup attempt in Turkey to the release of American employees and citizens from Turkish jails.
The U.S. escalates pressure on its NATO ally Turkey to cancel the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense missiles amid diplomatic traffic over the cooperation against terrorism in Syria, which might further delay the American troops’ withdrawal. The Donald Trump administration threatens Tayyip Erdoğan’s…

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