weeks in review: Jan 19-29

President Sisi visited Aswan to attend a conference on youth. While there he stated ‘if Egypt is lost, it will never return.’ He also stated that Egypt is poorer than anyone can imagine. Sisi was uncharacteristically silent about US president’s statements that he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem. When pressured, he responded vaguely [since he is a friend of Drumpf’s] that he does not want to “complicate matters.”

Meanwhile the anniversary of the Jan 25, 2011 revolution passed quietly and without incidence. There weren’t even attempts at demonstrations. It was business as usual. The military congratulated the president on the ‘Jan 25 Revolution’ and stated that ‘it is a people’s revolution that was protected by the military.’ This, of course, is contrary to the entire rhetoric of the pro-Sisi people who claim that it was not a revolution or anything but chaos and a conspiracy, and an attempt at bringing Egypt down.

القوات المسلحة تهنئ الرئيس بذكرى ثورة «25 يناير»: «ثورة شعب حماها الجيش» | المصري اليوم

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copts – January 1-Jan 18, 2017

President Sisi attended the Cathedral 7 January celebration with much fanfare.

He also announced a week later that he would donate LE100k to build a cathedral and a mosque in the New Administrative City after which several other parliamentarians donated to the same cause.

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Tiran and Sanafeer – the final verdict

Update: January 16: Final court ruling declares Egyptian sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir islands

Honorable Judge Chancellor Ahmed El Shazly, chairman of the higher administrative court, has issued a final verdict on the issue of the two islands amidst mass cheers in court. People celebrated immediately began singing the national anthem.

Thanks to lawyers Khaled Ali and Malek Adly as well as a myriad others who headed the defense and went against the State in spite of threats and fear. Continue reading

on terrorism, corruption, booklets, and other stories

The Economy:

  • President Sisi stated in this week’s TV interview that the first Egyptian plant to produce children’s milk will open 6 months and added that what has been done would have been hard to be accomplished in 30 years.
  • Egyptian researcher Mohamed Abdel Hamid Abedeen devised 42 hybrids of zucchini that do not need pesticides and are resistant to disease and drought. It will also allegedly increase the productivity of the traditional crop five-fold.

    increase in prices for fool and taamiya at a store

    sign declaring increase in prices for fool and taamiya at a store

  • A contract has been signed between the two auto Teda and Carcity to create the first integrated logistics city cars in Egypt with investments of 300 million pounds in the Ain Sokhna.
  • Newspaper alleges that for the first time in the world and using cooling technology  Egypt succeeded in having a wheat in January, after the success of planting it twice per season
  • Prices have continued to increase. They have increased in percentages as follows: potato prices by 23.1% and 80.2% dry onions and vegetables 77.7%, tomatoes rose 2c and 5c kilo and lemon between LE14-17. Complete prices may be found here.
  • Parliamentarian Atef Makhaleef stated that the loaf of bread has become smaller and that the premium has now reached a pound, and all flour has been mixed with sand.
  • Prices of electric equipment such as fridges etc. has also increased. The Army’s Military Productions has announced it would start selling its Helwan 360 refrigerators for far less.
  • Simon Baptist of the The Economist magazine predicted that in 2017 there will be 12 appreciating  currencies against the US dollar in 2017, among them the Egyptian pound. He stated “Our most bullish call is for the Egyptian pound; we think that the markets have overshot after the welcome float of late 2016 and expect a 14% appreciation this year.” Fingers crossed. I hope he’s right.
  • People were captured on video fighting at Carrefour supermarket for subsidized rice. [Jan 1, 2017]

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month in review: controversies, resolutions, hunger, DNA, God’s punishment and more…

So it is the new year and frankly I don’t have the time to do a year review since so much has happened. As the year ends, here are the highlights from this past month:

Two issues gained much attention over the past month:

1- The Tiran and Sanafeer islands issue:

The year ended with  the Supreme Administrative Court by adjourning the decision to annul the agreement to Jan 16, 2017, with its final ruling on the government’s appeal of a June sentence that annulled the deal originally struck in April. The government announced it has accepted the deal and that it will transfer it to Parliament for approval, even as the case is pending in court.

According to lawyer Malek Adly and Khaled Ali who had initially filed the lawsuit contesting the transfer and also according to Law Professor Nour Farahat, the government’s current decision violates the Constitution, given that it ignores a previous court ruling in June issued by the Administrative Court invalidating the agreement. They filed another complaint stating that the government is now facing criminal charges for accepting and passing the deal to parliament while the case is still pending in court and thus ignoring the initial court ruling that annulled the deal.

According to MadaMasr newspaper, “the government’s surprising move follows an unannounced visit to Cairo by Torky bin Abdel Mohsen, a consultant to the Saudi royal court. Abdel Mohsen accompanied Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz on his visit to Egypt in April, when the deal was brokered.” Continue reading