Last update: 16:49 pm Monday ,28 May 2012 - Updated daily except Saturday and Sunday
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Abul-Fotouh and recalibrating the Islamist condition

Others | 28 May 2012
Away from the the presidential race, one can view Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh as a key to understanding the Islamist condition in Egypt after the revolution. .. More

Egypt elects its president while in crisis (Part 2)

Others | 25 May 2012
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is attempting to rebuild the state’s structures; however, its ambition to maintain its networks is gradually declining following its failure to reproduce the chaos scenario on a level that would lead to a general panic. This is, of course, in addition to the state security system’s loss of all direction, save for the preservation of some of its privileges. .. More

Egypt elects its president while in crisis (Part 1)

Others | 24 May 2012
One cannot say that most Egyptians sense a political crisis. However, large sectors of activists from across the political spectrum feel the existence of a crisis in Egypt’s political scene. That is why the presidential race is intensely competitive in a manner perhaps incommensurate with the importance of the election itself. .. More

The presidential race: A game of Egyptian roulette

Others | 23 May 2012
Before going to bed, I decided I was going to write an article on the presidential election first thing in the morning. I closed my eyes and before falling into a deep sleep I wondered if there was any use to add to the unbearably noisy pool of voices debating the elections. .. More

The pragmatic spirit of Egypt's civil forces

Others | 22 May 2012
Civil forces are transforming, developing and changing. If the Islamic current itself – a conservative force – is changing, then it is not unnatural that civil forces, too, are transforming and, therefore, today are divided about the best presidential candidate between Amr Moussa, Hamdeen Sabbahi and Khaled Ali – or even those who support Abdel-Moneim Abul-Futouh in the belief that his victory would serve civil forces in the long run. .. More

It is all political when it comes to Sharia

Others | 21 May 2012
The issue of requiring the principles of Islamic Sharia to be the main, and sometimes the sole, source of legislation in Egypt arose immediately after the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces suspended the 1971 constitution. This issue is expected to surface again by the time the new constitution is drafted. I will examine the ramifications of this insistence on making Sharia the main source of legislation on Egypt’s political arena. .. More

Watermelon republic

Others | 18 May 2012
In the last few weeks cyber politicising has centred on the presidential elections. Apart from a few smallish boycott campaigns on Facebook, few have discussed the significance of what—were it not for the Washington-blessed military-and-Islamist pincers holding political reality in place—would have been the most significant event in Egyptian history since 1953. .. More

I will not vote for these candidates

Others | 17 May 2012
Everyone asks: Who are you voting for in the coming presidential elections? Finding an answer would seem to be easy, especially after the peaceful young revolution of 25 January 2011, and given that the elections would seem to be free and fair, which returns to each individual the necessity to vote, not only because it is the first time that we might really participate in the selection of leaders, but because it is a national duty and a revolutionary one to bolster political change and to guarantee that there will be no fraud. .. More

Egypt's administrative judiciary dangerously meets politics

Others | 16 May 2012
One of the most remarkable new phenomena to appear on Egypt’s political scene since the revolution has been a radical decentralization of decision making. This is an entirely new characteristic of the Egyptian political scene, brought about by a revolution that liberated politics from the strictures of authoritarianism. Over the course of this decentralizing process, we are seeing Egypt’s administrative judiciary emerge as one of the most dynamic new players, to such an extent that this supposedly neutral court system can now be considered one of Egypt’s “ruling powers.” .. More

The future of the revolution under incumbent powers

Others | 15 May 2012
We are worried that political Islamist forces believe democracy — which they boast about practicing — to be a battle of numbers whereby greater numbers trump courage, wisdom, the principles of democracy themselves, and even protecting public interests. Everything is always resolved through larger numbers. The least that can be said about this reasoning is that it is deficient and superficial, if not deliberately flawed for calculated reasons. But this is not an unusual misnomer because there is no such concept as democracy, let alone the practice of it, in entities based on blind obedience and loyalty, especially military and restricted religious groups. Therefore, religious and military organisations are both the enemies of democracy and the antithesis of a democratic civil state... More

In God we trust

Others | 14 May 2012
Did you know that one of the greatest symbols of the United States was originally intended for Egypt? The Statue of Liberty is as American as baseball and doughnuts, but it might not have been. Many people know that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the American people, but few know that the statue was first commissioned by Egypt’s ruler, Said Pasha (1854 - 1863)... More

Retired generals render election platforms unfeasible

Others | 11 May 2012
Since the Presidential Elections Commission announced its final list of candidates, we have seen discussions of their platforms in various media outlets. Now the candidates, particularly the more revolutionary ones among them, discuss their platforms as if they are competing in a clean electoral race... More

Urban encroachment eats up agricultural land

Others | 10 May 2012
Agriculture is an important economic sector in Egypt, one that depends on the limited resources of the fertile land and water. Fertile arable land is limited to the valley and Delta of the Nile, which does not exceed 4 percent of Egypt’s surface. Arable land faces serious challenges, most important of which is urban encroachment... More

‘Everything will get back to normal’

Others | 9 May 2012
My acquaintance with Samih Sawiris dates back to the first years of his ‘El-Gouna’ Project, which became a landmark in Egypt's tourism. The project shows that comprehensive development can boost tourism by creating tourist centres and resorts... More

Great walls of Cairo: The politics of segregation

Others | 8 May 2012
The Qasr Al-Aini cement barricade. Half of it was pulled down last month by protesters, while a roughly one-metre-high solid cement-block wall still remains. The scene is surreal... More

Red flags surround Abouel Fotouh’s candidacy

Others | 7 May 2012
Recent developments must force liberals to question their support for the presidential candidacy of Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh. These developments center on Abouel Fotouh's shifting position about the ideal balance of power between the military, president, and Parliament, as well as his contradictory statements regarding the importance of selecting a “consensus revolutionary candidate.” This is in addition to his newly announced alliance with Salafi political movements and his changing stances on the politicization of the Muslim Brotherhood... More

Great walls of Cairo: The politics of segregation

Others | 4 May 2012
The Qasr Al-Aini cement barricade. Half of it was pulled down last month by protesters, while a roughly one-metre-high solid cement-block wall still remains. The scene is surreal... More

To visit or not to visit Jerusalem, why make that the question?

Others | 3 May 2012
In April 2010, the prominent Saudi cleric Mohamed al-Arif announced that he was going to make a trip to Jerusalem, then changed his mind under pressure. Two years later, Egypt’s grand mufti, Ali Gomaa, made good on Arif’s unfulfilled desire. Gomaa’s visit came after influential Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa prohibiting such a visit, equating it with the normalization of relations with Israel. The visit was criticized harshly by nearly all Islamic currents and many secularists who had been staunch opponents of normalizing relations with that state, but defended by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. It is particularly significant because it looks like other Muslim clerics might follow in the mufti’s footsteps. .. More

Protestophilia

Others | 2 May 2012
It's been an aeon since Egyptian cyber-activists decided to try grafting the virtual world onto reality. The result was breathtaking at first, surpassing the initial plan to put an end to police brutality and the emergency law—which plan, thoroughly forgotten since then, was never implemented. But with apparently good reasons: the protests and, perhaps more importantly, the regime's idiotic response to them, seemed to have far more important consequences: Mubarak not only became the first president in Egyptian history to leave office in his lifetime, he also stepped down against his will; plans for his son Gamal to succeed him were stopped in their tracks; and a precedent was established for "the people" gaining rights by sheer force of collective will, independently of institutions... More

Abouel Fotouh: The wrong choice for secularists

Others | 1 May 2012
Presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh is a good man and the best product of Egypt’s Islamist currents. His importance lies in that he represents the democratic evolution of the Islamist wave. I still believe, however, that he is not the right candidate for the secular and civil parties, whose existence is the raison d’etre of the 25 January revolution. .. More

Whatever happened to the Egyptian presidential candidates?

Others | 30 April 2012
More important than finding out which presidential candidate someone supports, is knowing why they support him. About three weeks ago, I was riding a taxi to the airport and wasted no time in finding out the cab driver’s opinion about his preferred presidential candidate. Like most, the driver tried to avoid answering the question until he first found out who I supported. I also was evasive and refused to answer the question before he replied first. Finally, he told me either Ahmed Shafiq or Hamdeen Sabbahi... More