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The name of the game

Others | 8 March 2012
Everyone knows that a free, independent system of information gathering, exchange, dissemination, analysis and debate is the lifeline of any democratic country. It is the only way citizens can consider, evaluate and make decisions on important issues. In the first year after the revolution, the Egyptian media has been under unprecedented pressure to do just that – with television being the most important because of its wide reach among a population with high illiteracy rates... More

A Tale of Revolutionary Candidates

Others | 7 March 2012
In recent weeks, almost every day has seen new public figures throw their hats into the presidential ring From political scientist Dr Hassan Nafaa, physicist Dr Mohammed El-Neshaai and television journalist Ahmed El-Moslemani, to a host of lesser-to-unknown candidates, the pool of presidential hopefuls continues to expand... More

English: haram or halal?

Others | 6 March 2012
CAIRO - I have spent the past 30 years dealing with English as a university student and as a career journalist. One of my favourite pastimes in my college days was to read Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz's novels in Arabic and compare them to their English translations. This hobby helped me come to grip with the niceties and intricacies of translating literary works. .. More

Beyond NGOs:The battle for Egypt

Others | 5 March 2012
Up until two days ago, Egyptian-American relations were facing their biggest crisis since June 1967, threatening a political, diplomatic, military, and security alliance that has endured for three decades. The crisis began with the arbitrary raid of pro-democracy NGOs, including American organizations. An international uproar ensued, which has at least temporarily been relieved with the lift of the travel ban on the American citizens employed by these organizations... More

The artistry of constitution making

Others | 5 March 2012
In 1991, after two decades of armed struggle against military rule, a tiny country wedged between Sudan and Ethiopia won its independence. This country is Eritrea and its revolutionary independence vowed for genuine democratic change. To accomplish this, a consitutent assembly was created... More

Deathly silence on national security

Others | 2 March 2012
It is said that war is too important to be left to the generals. This is not to prevent the military from performing its professional duties and guarding the homeland. Rather, it is because they operate within a society and a state. Firstly, the political leadership must define what the national security issue is that requires the use of armed force. Secondly, define the red lines that no other nation can cross. Thirdly, mobilise the human and material resources to achieve the above... More

Dous Adly Dous: Man of credibility

Others | 2 March 2012
I dont pretend to be a relative or even a close friend of him, though it would be such an honor. I only knew him through Facebook just as hundreds of people do. But I find him a very special one. A man who has made his name, world, history, glory, and became so distinguishable with a unique creativity; a man who doesn’t belong to our time or place, but to his intelligence; a man who belongs to the Coptic community, but he escaped jail of minority and opened his mind to the whole world in smart, and civilized way. He belongs to a prestigious well-known family and to the high class as a special diplomat who earned a PHD. Dous didn’t limit himself to live with his family or coworkers in the high .. More

Whats in it for the US and the West?

Others | 2 March 2012
With the come back of our Copts United English website I found the time has come to continue educating the western people on what their governments doing in the Middle East. When I say what is next, most of us will question what was before to think this is next. Very will, we told the west quarter a century ago the Whabbies are after the distraction of the western civilization and they did not listen. Do you still remember September 11? We alerted the west years before it happened and they did not listen. .. More

No sovereignty except for the people; No legitimacy above the people’s

Others | 1 March 2012
Since Egypt's newly-elected parliament began convening, and perhaps because of reactions to its initial performance, debate has erupted in Egypt about a conflict of legitimacy. This is a natural process, since Egyptians revived political activism thanks to the glorious January revolution after authoritarian rule had killed off serious politics in Egypt... More

A voter’s dilemma

Others | 12 December 2011
It has been some 25 years now since I first began voting in national elections, and in all those years I have never experienced a greater quandary than the one I faced this week as a result of the complex voting system introduced into the country following the 25 January uprising. .. More

Aliaa's nudity: A different form of protest

Others | 12 December 2011
How many Egyptians have appreciated the message behind Aliaa Magda Al Mahdy's naked photo? We only know that few have actually expressed admiration or support, and they did so by posting words of encouragement on her blog, her Facebook page and on Twitter, leaving the pages of printed media to reactions that ranged from the lack of sympathy to outrage. Her boyfriend Karim Amer who — though he has nothing to do with the photo — was not spared... More

Round one of the elections over. Now what?

Others | 12 December 2011
In the wake of consistent rigging over the past 60 years, its hardly surprising that everything about these elections, from the spectacularly inefficient organization by the High Elections Commission (HEC) to the behavior of the parties competing, has been so eccentric. At this point, however, those Egyptians (and international observers) who are susceptible to panicking — presumably secular liberals and ethnic and religious minorities — should take a deep breath and consider the significantly more practical question: “Now what?”.. More

Is Tantawi reading the publics pulse correctly?

Others | 12 December 2011
In his speech to the nation on 22 November, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, almost as an aside, announced that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was prepared to hold a referendum on the issue of the military turning power over to civilians. This was intended as a threat to his civilian challengers. Reported to be a keen follower of public opinion polls, the Field Marshal and his advisers no doubt calculated that in any such referendum, the majority of voters would support military over civilian rule... More

Short-sighted policies produce criminals

Youseef Sidhom | 2 October 2011
Strongly believing that the criminal acts which have plagued Egypt’s streets since the 25 January Revolution require extraordinary measures to combat them I have, contrary to many politicians and pundits, defended the decision by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed forces to enact the emergency law. Hardly anyone can deny that the rampant incidents of thuggery and terrorising peaceful civilians have become so perilous as to warrant exceptional measures. I am confident that authorities have no appetite for oppressing and victimising the opposition as long as it does not incite lawlessness or undermine the community’s security... More

Tantawi's testimony

Others | 2 October 2011
Some of us were under the impression that Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi’s testimony would mark a watershed in the trial of ex-President Hosni Mubarak. But the fact that Mubarak was Tantawi’s long-time leader renders unlikely any radical change in Tantawi's view of the president... More

The emergency law: Trap or protection?

Youseef Sidhom | 25 September 2011
It is no secret that Egypt is living through a critical transitional phase in the aftermath of the 25 January Revolution; a chapter replete with abnormal conditions and events that warrant temporary, exceptional policies. The magnitude of the risks now threatening the homeland renders extraordinary decisions fully understandable. I say this in response to the wave of angry protest which swept the Egyptian scene in the wake of the decree enacted by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to enforce the emergency law in specific, given cases... More

Something to censor

Others | 25 September 2011
Book censorship in Egypt is alive and well and may signal trouble for the country’s fledgling democracy. It serves as a distressing reminder that the old regime is not a mere ghost from the past. For most Egyptians, censorship might not be seen as a critical issue today, given the other weighty challenges the country is facing. But the persistence of censorship is indicative of a pre-revolutionary mindset that refuses to go away.

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Wild terrorism; tame authorities

Youseef Sidhom | 18 September 2011
Amid rampant acts of thuggery and the absence of a unified law for building places of worship—which Prime Minister Essam Sharaf seems to have forgotten all about—new forms of aggression have emerged. Extremist Islamic groups have put aside the law, undermined the authority of the State, and imposed their custody on public will in the most audacious, assertive, insolent manner. And why should not they when the official response to their threats and crimes is at best feeble and helpless. The authorities never go beyond holding traditional ‘reconciliation meetings’, a measure which victims see as an unequivocal insult and the utmost in humiliation since it places victim and offender on the same footing, and imposes on the former unjust settlements which flagrantly violate citizenship rights... More

The politics of symbolic forms

Others | 18 September 2011
Where does Israel live in the Egyptian public imagination? Some unfortunate instances are usefully recalled: Jewish settlement in Palestine; a few wars, and the loss of Palestine; bloody incursions into Lebanon and Gaza; the destruction of Arab cities, including the Suez Canal towns. Then there is the saga of intelligence struggles against the Israeli espionage machine, folklore that captured many an Egyptian mind as it emerged from screens big and small... More

Will America destroy Israel?

Others | 13 September 2011
Creative Chaos, the well-known and most famous slogan, raised and set by New Conservatives Team of the former U.S administration, was aiming to reformulate the political map and scene in the Middle East, especially around Israel, and, at the same time, to end the old formula that was working for the last sixty years.. More

What if it was the Egyptian flag?

Youseef Sidhom | 11 September 2011
The wrath which raged, and is still raging, against Israel in the Egyptian street is both legitimate and justified. It is a show of public fury at the killing of five Egyptian security personnel last month during an Israeli operation against cross-border terrorist raiders who had assassinated eight Israelis and injured 30 before escaping inside Egyptian territory near Eilat. Angry demonstrations and sit-ins were held in front of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, protesting Israeli transgression against Egyptian sovereignty. The public hostility and anti-Israeli sentiments express bitterness which has been for decades building up against Israeli aggression, and is fully understandable. The burning of the Israeli flag was a condemnation of Israeli practices and came as an expression of protest used worldwide... More