The Campaign Against Coal in Egypt

by Dina Zayed , Jeannie Sowers
published in MER271

A campaign opposing coal imports would seem unlikely to attract much attention given the political upheavals and deepening social polarization that Egyptians have witnessed over the past three years. Yet since 2012, a loose coalition of environmental and human rights activists, government officials and voluntary organizations have led a sustained campaign to contest the government’s decision to import coal to supply Egypt’s cement plants. Making use of new and old media, and drawing upon the “Tahrir networks” forged in street protest, the anti-coal coalition challenged government and business assertions that importing coal was the only way to meet Egypt’s energy needs.

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New President, Old Pattern of Sexual Violence in Egypt

by Vickie Langohr | published July 7, 2014

On June 3, the day that the Elections Commission announced the victory of ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt’s presidential race, television announcer Radwa Ruhayyim covered the festivities in Tahrir Square. Surrounded by ululating revelers, she noted that, amidst the celebrations, several women had been assaulted. [1] Live coverage of the June 8 inauguration festivities also included references to assaults that day. Tragically, the story of mass sexual assaults at large political gatherings is nothing new. Between November 2012 and August 2013, over 200 women were assaulted at political events including celebrations of the second anniversary of the January 25 uprising against Husni Mubarak and protests against President Muhammad Mursi in 2012 and 2013.

Egypt's Government by Baltaga

by Andrea Teti | published July 3, 2014 - 4:57pm

Most reactions to the farcical convictions of Australian journalist Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamad Fadel Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamad express shock and outrage at everything from the ridiculous evidence presented to the sentences that would have made Dra

Sisiphus

by Andrea Teti , Vivienne Matthies-Boon , Gennaro Gervasio | published June 10, 2014

Over three days in late May, ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, the retired field marshal and former head of military intelligence, was elected president of Egypt with 96 percent of the vote. This tally was far higher than the 51.34 percent recorded in 2012 by the man Sisi helped to depose, Muhammad Mursi, and higher than the 88.6 percent racked up by Husni Mubarak in the rigged contest of 2005. Since the only other candidate, Hamdin Sabbahi, scarcely disagreed with Sisi on matters of policy during the campaign, a Sisi victory was a foregone conclusion, even if the margin was not.

Stay Off the Street

by Jillian Schwedler | published May 21, 2014 - 9:31am

In a recent Slate article, Anne Applebaum makes the case that Egypt’s presumptive president-to-be ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi should look to India, Brazil or South Africa, rather than the United States or other industrialized states, for examples of how to “do” democracy. She rightly notes that Sisi’s argument that Egypt isn’t ready for democracy is an old standby for authoritarian regimes.

The Moral Panic Over Chinese in Egypt

by Jessica Winegar
published in MER270

On a brisk autumn evening in 2010, male coffee shop patrons in the upscale Cairo neighborhood of Zamalek were treated to the sight of young Chinese women in miniskirts circulating to hand out brochures for a new massage parlor. It was an unusual sight indeed for Egyptian public space -- both the women’s attire and the presence of so many Chinese. Besides a small number of Chinese Muslim students at al-Azhar University, Chinese immigration to Egypt is a very new phenomenon.

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"You Can Watch the Circus from Your Couch"

by Sheila Carapico | published May 6, 2014 - 10:36am

Wael Eskandar is an independent journalist and blogger based in Cairo. He writes for al-Ahram Online, al-Monitor, Jadaliyya and other outlets. Sheila Carapico interviewed him by e-mail about the political and media atmosphere as Egypt prepares for the May 26-27 presidential election that is expected to anoint ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, the former field marshal and defense minister, as chief executive.

The China-Africa Axis in Relation to Other Regional Axes

by Engseng Ho
published in MER270

China and Africa grosso modo are often seen as standing at two ends of the spectrum of developing countries, the former having acquired enormous industrial capacity in short order, and the latter not. In this view, a great potential for exchange exists between the two: manufactures and infrastructure in exchange for raw materials. Certainly the two do not exist in a vacuum; to think about how this potential may be realized in the coming decades, it is useful to think about them in the larger international arena.
 

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In Egypt, Nasty Business as Usual

by Steven Brooke | published April 29, 2014 - 9:18am

Egypt certainly has a penchant for tragicomedy. A week after prosecutors in the terrorism case against Al Jazeera employees introduced a video of sheep farming -- among other absurdities -- as evidence, a judge in southern Egypt sentenced 683 alleged supporters of the Society of Muslim Brothers to death. Last month the same judge pronounced the same sentence upon 529 other members of the group.

The Egyptian Arms Industry

by James Paul
published in MER112

Egypt, with the earliest industrial economy in the Middle East, has engaged in some military production for many years, supplying its own armed forces with light arms and small naval ships. Such production remained minor until recently, both in terms of the Egyptian economy and in terms of the arms purchases of the Egyptian armed forces. Now, with encouragement from the United States and other Western governments and arms manufacturers, Egypt is planning a major arms industry. In the past, such investment plans have fallen short in actual implementation. If these plans do materialize, however, Egypt may soon fill much of its domestic arms orders and begin sizable arms exports to other countries in Africa and the Middle East.

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