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.
Lawyer wearing T-shirt saying ‘sell yourself for Egypt’ mobilized to greet Sisi.
Greeting Sisi in 2016 and then again in 2017
Anba Karas, Coptic Bishop of North America asked people to mobilize
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Parliamentarian Haytham al Hariri explaining why the decision was wrong.
The biggest news had to do with the economy: people in several cities around Egypt [except Cairo], rose up in what was termed ‘the bread intifada’ reminiscent of the ‘bread intifada’ of 1977 – because the new Minister of Supplies decided to reduce the number of bread rations to people. Anger erupted and people took to the streets which made the minister retract his decision. The rations had apparently led to corruption but the way forward was not to reduce it but to supervise it more thoroughly. People chanted against the government and the minister:«باطل» و«حسبنا الله».. Several people were arrested.
Several events occurred this week, perhaps the most significant and by far the most tragic was the Pulse attack by an alleged Islamist Omar Mateen. This caused Egyptians to begin a discussion on matters pertaining to gays and homosexuality. However the larger discussion was about what leads to the creation of lone wolves, what is fundamentalism, as well as what is and is not Islamic.
But mostly it was the economy that occupied people’s minds, and in particular, the rise in prices of multiple commodities immediately prior to, and during, Ramadan and beyond. It should be mentioned that this follows increase in prices of electricity and medicine over the past few weeks.
Cartoon Shorouk Geneina posted
Finally, a topic that has been at the forefront was that of the continued interrogation of former Auditor General Judge Hisham Geneina, occupied the news, and in particular his statements to his interrogators. But the most outrageous of it all was the firing of Geneina’s daughter, Shorouk, from her position as prosecutor administrator for posting on her Facebook account a cartoon criticizing former minister of justice, Judge Al Zend in February of this year. It simply showed a regime that would stoop as low as firing the family members of whomever it perceives as a threat to it.
Arrests/detention/human rights Continue reading
Social media was particularly incensed about what people perceived as the ‘deceptive’ coverage of the EgyptAir crash by foreign media. A visit by Abu Dhabi’s Emir was uneventful, but a visit by the Grand Imam of Al Azhar to the Vatican was highlighted – though not always favorably [as is shown below]. Besides that, this week was very eventful in terms of arrests, releases, detentions, lawsuits and interrogations. By Wednesday, the issue of the Coptic incident in Al Karm, Minya, was the top topic [see below].
- The Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement regarding the EgyptAir disaster, taking the opportunity to score points and settle issues with the government. It was a very distasteful and bad idea. Part of the text included the following:
MB statement in Arabic
This new catastrophe occurred while Egypt is mired in disaster, with fires burning the whole country, mad price rises scorching the impoverished population, more taxes and ‘protection money’ being extorted from ordinary citizens, the Egyptian pound tumbling, the entire economy collapsing, and Egypt losing its historic right to Nile waters after the traitorous general Sisi gave it up, just as he slumped under the feet of the Zionists, carrying out their orders, succumbing to their heinous plots, and losing Egypt its identity and heritage.
Those who massacred thousands of innocent people with unprecedented brutality, burned and swept their bodies into piles of garbage, cannot possibly care to protect the lives of a passenger plane. Traitors who betrayed, hijacked and steered the homeland to suit their own whims and desires, allowing corruption, fires and disasters to devastate the homeland, will not be moved by the loss of human lives.
The repeated Egypt Air aircraft disasters, with the loss of security at Egyptian airports, fuel an international scandal bound to cause more tourists to stay away from Egypt, which is a great loss for the Egyptian economy already weakened by failing coup regime maneuvers.
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