Category Archives: media

weeks in review: a release, an arrest, a discovery and 2 belly-dancing

Early April [2-4, 2017], the Egyptian president visited the US  and his visit included Egyptians standing  on both sides of the street, waving flags and greeting him as his convoy passed in Washington DC. He was in the States to ask for the US president’s financial and military support for which he only received promises of cooperation. Social media made fun of some of the images that surfaced of his infamous meeting with the US president in which they spoke of collaboration against terrorism. One image in particular showed the US president sitting at his desk in the Oval Office with the Egyptian president standing by his side – contrary to all protocols where both presidents should either be seated or standing up. The US president himself tweeted the pictures.

In the Oval Office

The Coptic Church also, prior to the explosions of the two churches in Tanta and Alexandria, asked the Copts to mobilize and greet him. Even though it was not the Copts alone who went to greet him, many still accused the Church of being hypocritical.

Parliament Continue reading

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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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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

the aftermath

Coptic Orthodox Church statement regarding donations for the victims

Coptic Orthodox Church statement regarding donations for the victims

Update: An account for donations has been set up by the Coptic Orthodox Church. Details of the account are on the right side of this page and in the statement issued by the Church.
Donations to be sent to
Al Ahli Bank,
Sherif St., Downtown Cairo, Egypt
Account # in Egyptian pounds 01041406981
For donations in dollars to account  # 11014467156
Swift code: NBEGEGCX00001
HH Pope Tawadros The Second
<br />
أشارت الكاتدرائية، فى بيان رسمى، إلى أن رقم الحساب بالجنيه المصرى هو 01041406981، وبالدولار الأمريكى رقم 11014467156، وهى الأرقام الوحيدة للتبرّع على البنك الأهلى شارع شريف باسم البابا تاوضروس الثان


Alleged suicide bomber

Alleged suicide bomber

President Sisi announced on Monday, 12/12 the name of the alleged suicide bomber at St. Peter’s: Mahmoud Shafeeq Mohammed Ahmed whom they managed to identify from his DNA. The ministry of interior also issued a statement regarding the DNA analysis. The terrorist used 12 kilos of TNT which were allegedly ‘inside his jacket’.

Screenshot of Al Watan newspaper

Screenshot of Al Watan newspaper on the bomber’s first arrest in 2014

Mahmoud Sahfeeq has a history of terrorism: he was arrested when he was 16 years old in 2014 for possession of weapons and a hand grenade. Somehow he was released in 2014 according to news sources. In 2015 a court sentenced him to 2 yrs in absentia after he fled to the Sinai. Images of him torn to pieces from the impact of the explosion were posted on all news sites.

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month in review: a fridge, a dollar, sugar, torrential rain and a “war economy”

I’ve delayed my weekly review because so much was happening and I had no time to write a review. This, therefore, will be a quick month’s review of the most important and most absurd:

A rift occurred between Saudi Arabia and Egypt when Egypt voted against and for the same resolution, supporting US/Saudi but also supporting Putin/Assad. The foreign minister justified that by claiming they were looking for the best interest of Syria. However Saudi Arabia did not take to it kindly and the following day Aramco oil company announced they will stop shipments to Egypt. Initially Egypt denied it was because of the rift and said it was merely postponed, but then Aramco confirmed it. Egypt responded with banning omra for Egyptians.

Another incident occurred which did not cause a rift but caused outrage among Egyptians: the Saudi president of the Islamic Conference in Tunisia, Iyad Madani who addressed the president of Tunisia and called him ‘Sisi’ then apologized with a laugh and stated that he did not mean to insult the president of Tunisia by calling him Sisi [his name is Sebsi which is very close]. He then told him ‘I am sure your fridge has more than water’ – referring to Sisi’s statement earlier that week that he had no water in his fridge for 10 years. Egyptians went ballistic and there was a social media war of words between Saudis and Egyptians. Parliament considered it an insult and the media attacked Madani and everyone demanded his resignation. Although he apologized, he nevertheless resigned a week later citing health concerns. A Saudi writer wrote a satirical article entitled ‘It is not acceptable to interfere in Sisi’s fridge‘.

Opinion: while I normally do not express opinion in reviews, I just would like to say that I disapprove of the entire situation with Iyad Madani. It is not a matter of a Saudi making fun of the Egyptian president but had it been an Egyptian making fun of a Saudi, it would have been considered an insult as well. Having said that, I recognize the situation is a cultural matter – where Arabs unfortunately do not take kindly to satirizing or criticizing their leaders. I laughed at Madani’s comments but realized they would definitely be problematic in an Arab culture. If you can’t take it, then also don’t give it. Continue reading