Last update: 00:00 am Tuesday ,31 Jul 2012 - Updated daily except Saturday and Sunday
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No timeout in Egypt’s judicial battles

Others | 31 July 2012
Egyptians who feel buffeted by one startling judicial ruling after another seem at first glance to have been given a respite last week. Cairo’s administrative courts seemed to back off, postpone, and duck the enormous issues before them — challenges to the current Constituent Assembly, the dispersal of Parliament, and the audacious June 2012 supplement to the country’s Constitutional Declaration were postponed or ruled beyond the reach of the courts. But there was far less modesty than meets the eye here. A little noticed but far reaching implication of last weeks’ rulings is that the SCAF’s June rewriting of the transition plan is here to stay. .. More

Qandil and the mystique of technocratic governments

Others | 30 July 2012
Now is a good moment to revisit the idea of a “technocratic government,” the type of government which the just-appointed prime minister Hesham Qandil said he intends to form, and which has circulated incessantly among the political elite.. More

The identity of Al-Azhar and its doctrine

Others | 27 July 2012
The proposed amendments to Article 2 of the constitution – giving Al-Azhar the final say in defining Islamic Law (Sharia) – is of critical importance, not only because it limits Islamic knowledge to Al-Azhar, but also because it transfers the debate over the institution of Al-Azhar to the issue of identity. .. More

Beyond control: America’s violent reality

Others | 26 July 2012
The tragic shooting that took place in Aurora, Colorado may be one of the least politically significant mass murders of its kind in recent memory. James Holmes, a 24-year-old scientist, opened fire last Friday at a movie theatre killing 12 people and wounding 58 others. Mass shootings are not a novelty in America, but the Colorado tragedy should make us realize that two things are happening in the United States: the effort to restrict gun ownership rights is failing and society seems to be starting to come to grips with the sad reality that some tragedies can’t realistically be prevented. .. More

Workers' politics and the elite politics of 'Mahmoud Bey'

Others | 25 July 2012
“Mahmoud Bey”, parliamentarian and businessman, is talking to a group that includes senior officers in the security apparatus, at what appears to be a party just before the January 1977 bread riots. To the sound of background music more befitting a cabaret, Bey speaks about the need to privatize Alexandria's beaches and all public sector factories. .. More

The state and the military: 60 years on

Others | 24 July 2012
When the official results of Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy’s victory in the presidential election were announced, some activists were quick to celebrate the fall of the “July state,” in reference to the military regime installed by Gamal Abdel Nasser and the Free Officers following the 23 July 1952 coup. .. More

The promise of the 23 July Revolution lives on: 60 years later

Others | 23 July 2012
This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the 23 July 1952 revolution led by the Free Officers Movement, which secured Egypt’s independence from British colonial rule, ended the monarchy of King Farouk and installed the first native regime to rule the country for two thousand years. Today, President Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s family commemorates the first anniversary of the revolution to take place after the death of his eldest son Khaled Gamal Abdel-Nasser in September 2011. .. More

Bearding Egypt's revolution

Others | 23 July 2012
Immediately after the 25 January revolution, national and independent papers have witnessed a werewolf-like transformation, with headlines reading, “Egypt on the verge of famine,” “The collapse of the stock market” and “40 days until wheat reserves run out.” .. More

Egypt's new constitution and 'divine religions'

Others | 20 July 2012
My brother, member of the Freedom and Justice Party, Al-Nour, Al-Assala, Construction and Development parties, or any other party based on religion, imagine if circumstance forced you to live in a European country or the US, which is not a far-fetched assumption since President Mohamed Morsi lived many years in the US while studying for his doctorate. Imagine you are living in the US and want to hold Friday prayers but you can’t because all the mosques have been shut down. .. More

Political Islam Threat to Diversity?

Others | 19 July 2012
There are those who claim that the Islamization of Egyptian society reflects "the will of the people." But history teaches us that the "will of the people" is not always beneficial. .. More

The Brotherhood's one per cent

Others | 18 July 2012
The American magazine Business Week, published by Bloomberg, describes Hassan Malek, a 53-year-old Muslim Brotherhood millionaire businessman as follows: “Mild-mannered and serious in conservative suits, Malek would easily blend in with the Wall Street crowd.” .. More

On the 60th anniversary of the coup

Others | 17 July 2012
The inauguration of the country’s first elected president on 30 June was meant to mark the final step in the country’s so-called “transition,” with a long-heralded handover of power from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to a civilian government, complete with an elected parliament and a new constitution. .. More

Is Egypt’s history repeating itself?

Others | 16 July 2012
In the early days of World War II, French Premier Paul Reynaud remarked to General Philippe Pétain: “You take Hitler for another Wilhelm I, the old man who seized Alsace-Lorraine from us and that was all. But Hitler is Genghis Khan.” Reynaud’s subtext was clear: if you wish to use the ‘history repeating itself’ line, use the right history. .. More

Revolutions are above the law

Others | 13 July 2012
The concept of revolutionary legitimacy became predominant in the early days of Arab revolutions, reflecting a unified popular will to bring down existing regimes, and their constitutions. .. More

The power of social capital for the unlucky revolutionary

Others | 12 July 2012
Since Morsy assumed his responsibilities as president, public opinion has gathered across three camps. A supporting camp, another pushing him to fulfill his revolutionary promises and hoping he would fail, and a third confused camp that may have secretly regretted taking to the streets on 25 January 2011, after seeing that Egypt’s political fate ended in a catch-22 between Mubarak’s regime and an Islamist party. .. More

Labour pains of democracy

Others | 11 July 2012
It is a mistake to think that democracy is the solution for all our problems. When Winston Churchill said that democracy was the worst political systems but there is no better system, he meant that what democracy gives us is nothing more than a peaceful way to resolve problems but the solutions themselves depend on people’s innovation, consensus and agreement. More so, achieving democracy itself is a path of pain and more wounds. .. More

With Europe in crisis, Egypt must reverse course

Others | 10 July 2012
Teetering on the brink of debt default, the eurozone economies have once again moved center-stage in the ongoing global economic turmoil. .. More

Egypt: The problem of technocratic government

Others | 9 July 2012
A week has passed since the official inauguration of Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s first freely-elected president. The new president has been engaged ever since in continuous trials to form a Cabinet of technocrats headed by an independent premier who belongs to no particular political camp or party. The immediate goal of such a proposition is to share the burden of running the country in such tumultuous times with other political and social forces. .. More

How to build the 'third current'

Others | 6 July 2012
Egypt is currently reeling from the outcome of the presidential race, exhausted, confused and with blurred vision. This is accompanied by deep frustration among half of the population who opted for Ahmed Shafiq, or reluctantly voted for Mohamed Morsi, or voided their ballot or boycotted the entire process altogether. It is a scene that forces the powers that lost the elections — or didn’t lose because they didn’t even run — to stop and think and review the situation to catch up on what they have missed and move forward. .. More

Attempts to confuse our collective memory

Others | 5 July 2012
For the past 18 months, Egyptians have been struggling to follow up with the constantly shifting developments in the political sphere. Developments seem to not only play with the existing balance of power, but rather with our own perceptions of what constitutes reality. It almost feels like we are under constant pressure to recollect, organize and reflect on the memories of the events of our enduring revolution, before they fade away, or even worse — are replaced. .. More

Maybe a Brotherhood presidency is not bad news for the military

Others | 4 July 2012
Since Mohamed Morsi was declared the first post-Mubarak president of Egypt, there has been widespread speculation of confrontation between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military. Many read the outcome of the presidential election results as one that went against the will of the SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces). .. More