Last update: 00:00 am Wednesday ,8 Aug 2012 - Updated daily except Saturday and Sunday

Profound changes needed to end Christian-Muslim clashes

Others | 8 August 2012
What happened in Dahshour last week confirms that there is a deep problem in Egyptian society. What I call "the sectarian syndrome" bluntly describes the crisis between Christians and Muslims. The current environment is unhealthy to build bridges between the two sides. The reactions by President Morsi and other organisations in Egypt, such as the Shura Council (upper house of parliament) and the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights are good and necessary, but they are not enough to end the repeated clashes between the two sides in different regions, such as Koshh, Al-Zawaya Al-Hamra, Atfiah and others. There are structural changes needed to tackle the roots of the problem. .. More

In the presence of the London Olympics

Others | 7 August 2012
I was never an athlete or sports expert, but sports intrigued me as a model of human competition and social concepts, just like music, theatre and literature, which hold international human qualities irrespective of gender, colour, religion, ethnicity, creed or anything else that distinguishes one human being from another. .. More

If I were Egypt's president: My 100-day programme

Others | 6 August 2012
I am about to put myself into the shoes of Mohamed Morsy, our new president, if just for the purpose of this article. As president, I have been in power for one month, and the nation is waiting for me to fulfil the promises I made for the first 100 days of my presidency. .. More

A President, A Ghost and Their Spies

Others | 3 August 2012
On the eve of the infamous “Battle of the Camel” on 2 February last year, Hosni Mubarak gave an emotionally-charged speech, recounting his love for Egypt and pledging not to run for another presidential term. .. More

Patron Saints

Others | 2 August 2012
In one week, there have been three calls of a new kind to mobilise the street. They are united by a common theme that is unrelated to the constitution or elections or transfer of power or any of these key political issues that have dominated the scene since the January revolution.. More

Blackouts in Egypt are also politics

Others | 1 August 2012
In one week, there have been three calls of a new kind to mobilise the street. They are united by a common theme that is unrelated to the constitution or elections or transfer of power or any of these key political issues that have dominated the scene since the January revolution. “We want to live,” “We will not pay” and “A clean country” are three campaigns that focus on issues that are more tangible than the battles of previous months. They all focus on average citizens. .. More

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