the unfortunate tale of zubaida and her mother

Mother and daughter

BBC’s Orla Guerlin  filmed and wrote a scathing report about Egypt’s crackdown on human rights and civil society. She also posted  this video of the mother of a forcibly disappeared girl called Zubayda who claims that her daughter has been raped and tortured in prison. The Ministry of Information’s Diaa Rashwan denied claims in the report in a statement, after which activist Mona Seif, Alaa Seif’s sister, responded with another scathing statement.

TV host Amr Adeeb interviewed the alleged disappeared victim Zubayda who said she had escaped from her family and is now married and has a child. She said what her mother said was untrue and that her mother knew nothing about her. Social media pro Sisi accounts as well as TV hosts began attacking the BBC and Guerlin, claiming that there were no ‘forcible disappearances’ in Egypt. The foreign media, such as El Araby channel with Liliane Daoud questioned the whereabouts of Zubayda and questioned the issue of enforced disappearances. Continue reading


celebrating extraordinary egyptian women – March 8th

This week, this blog is celebrating two ordinary yet extraordinary women:

  • Rania Fahmy, an ordinary veiled Egyptian young woman from the province of Naga Hamadi, has done something extraordinary: she filed a lawsuit against a man who harassed her on the street and won. In a video she is shown beating the man when he grabbed her from the back, and she stated later that the people took his side and helped him escape.
  • Marwa Hassan, aى 11 year old from Aswan who sold handkerchiefs on the street  to help her ailing, widowed father, insisted on joining a competition for running even though she had no shoes and no gym clothes. She won first place.

Worthy of mention also are the following women: Continue reading

oil, Sinai offensive, offensive media, child spies, the king’s travels and other amusements

Although it is elections time, and everyone is focused on the sham elections, there have been other things going on in Egypt.


  • US’s General Tillerson was in Cairo meeting with Sisi. During the joint press conference in Egypt with Minister Sameh Shoukry, Secretary Tillerson stated: “The U.S.-Egyptian relationship is growing stronger every day as we work together to build a more secure, more prosperous region!”.
  • For several days Egypt was on high alert, mobilizing the army in Northern Sinai, issuing orders to hospitals to prevent staff vacations and closing schools, claiming there is a massive operation that will take place in Northern Sinai to fight terrorism. No known threats have been identified and people are in the dark as to what is happening. The military has only shown stock images of mobilization and some recent images and videos that do not show combat or engagement. A general stated that 2.5% of Egypt’s military has been mobilized.
    Parliamentary spokesperson said that “we are at war and need to stand behind our army.” This immediately followed the NYT article and perhaps it was a response to it to show that the army is capable. It also may be because of the upcoming sham elections and wanting people to support Sisi.
    Update from Mada Masr: The city of Arish is beginning to show signs of a food crisis, 13 days into the Armed Forces Operation Sinai 2018. Main markets have been devoid of fresh produce and supermarket shelves have been scarcely stocked with food products since February 11.

    Update: Sisi is shown in military attire  overseeing the ‘battle’ in Sinai.
    Update Feb 28: Videos surfaced of people in Sinai waiting in long lines for food and water. They say the government is starving them to death. [ElAraby TV also published another video of the same].

Continue reading

what the world thinks of the egy and egy elections

Here is a collection of articles on the Egyptian elections by foreign newspapers:



  • BBC: The ‘water war’ brewing over the new River Nile dam
  • BBC’s Orla Guerlin: The Shadow over Egypt. And video: Crushing Dissent in Egypt
  • Carnegie Melon: Why Sisi Seems Worried
  • The Washington Post: Egypt hits Sinai targets, killing 16 and arresting dozens
  • Wall Street Journal: Egypt’s President Sisi Touts Megaprojects Ahead of March Vote
  • The Sunday Times: Now is the time to visit Egypt. After recent troubles in the country, the home of the Sphinx is back on the tourist map. Travel editor Jane Knight visits with her son
  • The Economist: What fuel, bread and water reveal about how Egypt is mismanaged
  • Financial Times [requires subscription]: Egyptian news site keeps media freedom alive amid Sisi crackdown
  • Washington Post: Why Egypt’s oldest political party isn’t challenging President al-Sissi
  • Haaretz: Friends Like Israel and the IMF Can’t Fix a Broken Egypt
  • Atlantic Council: The State of Emergency in Egypt: An Exception or Rule?
  • NYTimes: Secret Alliance: Israel carries out air strikes in Egypt, with Cairo’s OK.
  • PRI: In Egypt’s ‘joke’ election, Sisi’s only challenger is perhaps his biggest fan
  • BBC: What’s the deal with Egypt’s elections?
  • The Sydney Morning Herald: In Egypt, Sisi’s election without candidates is a joke too grim for laughter
  • El Solta El Khamesa [The 5th Estate – Arabic program on Deutsche Welle]: Our man in Egypt: How the West sees Egypt
  • The New Arab: Sisi: A tyrant plagued by the ghosts of Egypt’s revolution
  • Reuters: Egypt opposition slams President Sisi’s warning to opponents
  • Foreign Policy: Egypt’s Undemocratic Election: Under Sisi’s iron fist, only one candidate is allowed to run.
  • The Atlantic: How to Save the Memories of the Egyptian Revolution. In a society where dissent has become dangerous, Mosireen’s archive is an exercise in the subversive power of memory.
  • Le Monde: En Egypte, une présidentielle atrophiée. Après les islamistes, après les révolutionnaires, c’est dans son propre camp que le président-maréchal Al-Sissi fait taire toute voix dissidente.
  • Le Monde: De quoi le président égyptien a-t-il peur  ?
  • Bloomberg: Egypt’s El-Sisi Gets Competition—and It’s From a Backer

sham election watch – february


Feb 22:

  • The sham presidential candidate Mousa Mostafa Mousa said that we don’t have to eat 5 loaves of bread a day: one is enough. He also stated a debate against Sisi would be pointless because he himself has no accomplishments.
  • Some posters and article that began showing up on social media and on the streets in Egypt supporting Sisi:

Continue reading