Last update: 00:00 am Thursday ,22 Mar 2012 - Updated daily except Saturday and Sunday

Examining the liberal critique of Abouel Fotouh

Others | 22 March 2012
Many liberal critiques directed at presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh disregard his political platform, while focusing solely on the fact that he was an ikhwan — a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Following the Supreme Council of Armed Forces’ continuous crackdown on revolutionaries and the Islamist takeover of Parliament, liberals in Egypt have been frustrated and feel increasingly marginalized from the political sphere. Egypt’s liberals and revolutionaries believed that Mohamed ElBaradei would be the last, dim of hope for instilling real democratic change, only for ElBaradei himself to snuff that light out when he quit his presidential campaign... More

Constitutional confusion is at root of conflict btwn govt powers

Others | 21 March 2012
In the past few weeks, controversy has erupted over the relationship between the three branches of government – the legislative, executive and judicial – because of several issues of dispute. Most prominently, the scandal involving the spiriting of foreign nationals out of the country while they still faced criminal charges in Egypt in the case of foreign-funded NGOs, especially since the decision to lift the travel ban that had been placed on them was issued by a judicial body that did not have the authority to decide on the matter, and was hastily formed, at night, to issue a predetermined decision... More

The scenario of Egypt’s consensus president

Others | 20 March 2012
Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections can be looked at as being the last major battle in the course of the first revolutionary wave that began on 25 January 2011, as well as the beginning of a new phase in which polarization and battle tactics are bound to change... More

The pope's predicament

Others | 19 March 2012
Just over ten years ago, before the illness that took his life yesterday had sapped his body’s strength, I had the opportunity to meet with Pope Shenouda III, the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. It was September 2001, only a matter of days after the September 11 attacks, and I was in Egypt beginning a year’s worth of dissertation research. My father had opted to travel with me, to help me settle into the rhythms of life in Cairo. I was delighted with this, not so much for the advice he could give about the year ahead, but because — as a prominent diaspora Copt — he could work his connections to secure a meeting with the patriarch. At the time, this seemed the only way that I could possibly secure access to the virtually untapped patriarchal library, whose contents would pave the way to not only a brilliant dissertation, but a career’s worth of research... More

Losing the job for a nose job

Others | 16 March 2012
CAIRO - The Salafist ultra-conservatives are newcomers to Egypt 's politics. But last week they earned plaudits here in Egypt and beyond for proving that politics has ethics, even if the precious membership of the Parliament is the price. When reports started to appear in the local media that Salafist MP Anwar el-Balkeemy had made up a false story to cover up having a nose job, the stakes were high that his party Al Nur would stand by him. This is part of Egypt 's political practices. .. More

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