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Is Abouel Fotouh good enough for the revolution?

Others | 15 March 2012
The withdrawal of Mohamed ElBaradei from the presidential race has put pro-democracy groups on the horns of a dilemma. By pro-democracy groups, I refer to the non-Islamist groups and parties that are often defined as the “civil,” revolutionary or secular bloc. After ElBaradei’s pullout, this rather disjointed bloc of Egyptian pro-democracy groups was unable to reach a consensus on another candidate and is facing the challenge of submission to attempts to marginalize it from ongoing high-level political deals and concessions... More

Youth fighting uphill: The example of South Africa's legendary ANC party

Others | 14 March 2012
This year, South Africa celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the African National Congress, which has been the dominant party since the end of apartheid in 1994. The day-long celebrations held in the stadium of Bloemfontein culminated in a midnight ceremony in the very church where black intellectuals and activists, seeking the enforcement of human rights, founded the party in 1912. .. More

The prosaic realities of Egyptian justice

Others | 13 March 2012
A look at Egypt's court edifices — the majestic Dar al-Qada al-Ala in the center of Cairo or the imposing Supreme Constitutional Court Building overlooking the Nile in Maadi —cannot fail to impress the observer with the majesty of Egyptian law. The country's long legal tradition, its respected judiciary, and its deep constitutional heritage seem to take tangible expression in such buildings... More

Seven sins of Egypt's salvation government

Others | 12 March 2012
This article will focus on the failures of the salvation government headed by Kamal El-Ganzouri, appointed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Its top priorities were to restore security, resuscitate tourism and revive the economy, but it failed the people on every task — most importantly not taking serious steps towards achieving the goals of the revolution in terms of freedom, social justice, dignity and humanity. .. More

In 'the third place', I want everything but sex

Others | 12 March 2012
"The third place" is a sociological term that refers to informal public spaces. It is the cafe where you go to smoke shisha, complain about your manager and ask your friends for new job leads. It is the public park where you attend a free concert, sit next to a man with his seven children who make fun of underground music, while looking perplexed at your girlish ponytail. It is the microbus your cleaning lady has to take everyday to work to make enough money for her children’s school tuition. And it is any of the Tahrir “Squares” where you protested hand in hand with Her for equality and social justice... More

Defining the meaning of the new Egyptian state

Others | 9 March 2012
At last, we have arrived at the juncture of writing a constitution. This is a critical crossroads in the post-Mubarak phase since it dismantles the July 1952 regime and builds a new one that as yet remains undefined. The people have arrived at this moment after a long year of spilled blood, pain and frustration over how little has been achieved compared to our aspirations... More

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