Category Archives: Egypt

a hollow oath, hooligans and thugs, world cup and other absurdities

[Updated throughout the month of June]

Mo Salah’s injury during the Liverpool vs Brazil game took center stage among Egyptian discussion boards, social media, and coffee shops. Of particular interest was the amount of anger they exhibited at the Brazilian Ramos for ‘deliberately’ injuring Salah. From extreme comedic comments about Ramos to extremely angry comments, people wavered in their assessment.

Sisi also met with  Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt’s during their visit to Cairo. Sources told Mada Masr say that several projects in the Sinai are expected to be “central” to the deal, which the US seeks to propose as a resolution to the Palestinian conflict.

As Egypt moves forward with its World Bank and IMF-mandated policies, a report by Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights stated that “the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has a “tiny conscience” and must do more to protect low-income and vulnerable individuals from bearing the brunt of austerity policies. “

Sisi/Government/Parliament:

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the regime clamps down: a time for the generals and the activists

الجبان إبن الجبانه.. كَل غدانا قام لقانا شعب طيب كَل عشانا
احمد فؤاد نجم

May 2018:

On the global front, the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been at the forefront of the news. The murder of 90 Palestinians and injury of thousands by Israeli snipers, for protests at the Gaza border have also been in the news with the Arab states barely objecting to the atrocities. These are incidents that profoundly impact the Arab region. Adding insult to injury, the Israeli Embassy decided to celebrate the anniversary of its founding at the Cairo Ritz Carlton and invited many Egyptian businessmen who have attended. Parliament head Abdel Aal warned parliamentarians about attending the celebrations.

This happened as revelations and leaks began to expose the role the UAE and Saudi Arabia played in the election of US President Trump and their securing the boycott of Qatar whose business dealings with Jared Kushner failed, hence prompting Trump to agree to the boycott. Additionally, Prince Salman stated that Saudi Arabia will develop nuclear weapons if Iran develops them!  Continue reading

baby detained, ‘i dream of sisi’, amira is not my love, election aftermath, media mania…

Elections aftermath:

  • President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has declared a renewed 3-month state of emergency, to begin April 14, after Egypt’s previous 3-month state of emergency ended the day before.
  • The State Council said that collecting fines from people for not voting is just rumors that were created by evil people. It should be noted that several officials have made statements assuring people that they will be fined.

    Shahat

  • Salafi extremist Abdel Monim El Shahat has been photographed in a voting queue to vote for Sisi.
  • A lawyer filed a law suit against actor Amr Waked for ‘spreading doubt about the integrity of the elections.’
  • Reuters was forced to withdraw its report on the Egyptian elections after the regime threatened their Egyptian journalists with imprisonment.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted this: Statements by alleged international observers of Presidential Elections 2018 stated how reputable the elections were.
  • General Anan has been acquitted of charges related to disobeying the military [by nominating himself as a candidate for presidency against Sisi]. However Anan remains in custody. Following his acquittal, the military issued a lengthy statement attacking him and justifying why he had been arrested and why he remains guilty in spite of the judge’s sentence.
  • Sisi as God: how the media portrayed Sisi as a God

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neom, detentions, calls for freedom, and the ‘144th strongest man in the world’

Government/Parliament:

Saudi Prince Salman visited Egypt. During this visit, Sisi apparently gave him 1000 sq. kms of South Sinai for ‘investment’. It is a project called Neom which is part in Saudi Arabia and now will be part Egypt and Southern Sinai. Egypt signed the $10bn deal to support the Neom project.
Egypt also gave it special legal status and created an independent judiciary system for it. This was all done without parliamentary approval or notification and without any Egyptian knowing anything about it. Social media was obviously in an uproar. International media said that Egypt had given up part of its land to Saudi Arabia. One day before the Prince’s arrival, the constitutional court annuls all previous court decisions against the Tiran and Sanafeer agreement and states that it was a ‘sovereign’ decision, thereby confirming Sisi’s right to give away the islands.

The Prince and the Pope

While in Egypt, Salman visited the Cathedral and Pope Tawadros.
It should be noted that at the airport, Sisi by-passed protocols and hurried to the airplane stairs to greet the Prince. Continue reading

sham election watch – march. Posters posters everywhere…

The sham election saga continues.. [this post will has been updated throughout March. You may read February sham election watch here].

March 30: The Day After:

  • Pope Tawadros says the Church believes the president of Egypt is a divine choice and that he wishes military discipline spreads to all institutions. This Pope is a disaster!
  • Pope Tawadros stated that ‘It seems there is one candidate who will overtake the elections.’ Duh!!
  • Parliamentarian said all those who did not participate in the elections should be deported. Where and how and by which law? he didn’t say.

March 26-29:

  • Update: Sisi won a landslide victory with 92% of the vote, and a 40% turnout according to preliminary results quoted in state-run Al-Ahram newspaper but also private daily Masry Al-Youm.

The sham elections continue..but this time it has turned into a very dark comedy. The sick and the elderly were carried to the polls and filmed and photographed. Women and men danced in front of the polling stations, some in hysterics.

Bribes and pressure:

The other side of the story was different: people reported being forcibly bussed to the polling stations, and being given food and other goods if they voted.

  • The government threatened people who boycotted the vote, some with LE500 fines, and in many cases threatened government civil servants and coerced them into voting and bringing back copies of papers that prove they voted in addition to the red-inked finger.
  • Governor of Kafr El Sheikh insulted people who boycotted and threatened them on public television. Videos of bribes to voters surfaced all over the social media and the internet.

    Withdraws offer

  • The governor of Qaliyobiya stated that he would give every Bishophric in his province LE100k each if voter turnout was 40% or more. The day following the elections he withdrew the offer and said he only meant to mobilize people!

    Hotel letter

  • Sonesta Hotel urged its employees to go vote in a letter and promising them they would receive LE150 per voting person if they show HR their finger with the red ink.
  • Qena education branch bussed its employees to polling stations.
  • Beheira governor said that the village with the most voters will have its problems re water and sewage systems resolved.
  • Abdel Abdel Moneim, deputy of the ministry of education in Fayoum said that he will grant every student who votes 10 extra points to his/her grades, and will have priority in entering military schools.
  • Aswan governor says he will be giving an award to the village that has the most voters.

Sasha Toperich – fake monitors?

A monitoring that isn’t: 

Meanwhile, Egyptian media claimed an American man was a representative from the US Congress – which turned out to be untrue – and quoted him as saying that elections were fair and square. He was filmed dancing with people at the polls and given food and shisha with his partners one male and one female. The man’s name is Sasha Toperich and he had been used as an ‘expert’ on Egyptian affairs and has expressed strong support of Sisi in the past. He is a virtually unknown person. He is suddenly shown as an election ‘observer’ even though Egypt denied everyone who applied for election monitoring with very few exceptions who are pro-regime. Even the Swiss organization they claimed was monitoring elections was founded by an Egyptian who supports Sisi. As political analyst Evan Hill stated on Twitter “With major election observation missions staying far away from Sisi’s plebiscite, Egypt appears to have recruited a random band of clueless foreigners.”

The evil ‘other’:

And then of course Egyptian media began calling foreign media conspirators telling lies. Egypt’s state owned Al Ahram said that foreign media coverage of election is “full of lies” and claimed that Reuters deliberately “hid” pictures of long queues of voters, publishing ones of half empty polling stations instead.

It should be noted that the Egyptian regime deported journalist Bel Trew one week ago claiming it was because she did not renew her permit. Bel Trew was taken directly from Shubra, where she was interviewing some people on the street about the elections, and made to ‘choose’ between a military trial or being escorted directly to the airport. Naturally she chose the latter.

Local Media and Press:

Picture of before and after the complaint against Al Masri Al Youm

To conclude the day, Al Masri Al Youm published a surprisingly uncharacteristic headline stating that the state amassed/mobilized people for the last day of elections and that officials made promises of donating food and money if people voted and giving gifts in front of polling stations. Lawyer Samir Sabri immediately filed a lawsuit against the newspaper claiming that it was threatening peace and stability and national security. Later in the day the newspaper issued an ‘explanation’ for using the term ‘mobilized’ and said that it did not mean any harm by it.

At the end of the day, El Menassa magazine was blocked in Egypt for its coverage of the elections.

Egypt also set up a hotline for ‘reporting fake news’.

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