The Week in Egypt – November 4, 2013

Catch up on the latest out of Egypt every week, with analysis, news updates, photos, videos, and more.

Egypt in the News







Egypt’s Roadmap to Crisis| Mohamed Naeem, Jadaliyya  

It is necessary to recognize that this transitional roadmap was produced in a rush, in the midst of the heightened confusion following the unprecedented mass mobilization on 30 June 2013 in response to the Tamarod campaign that called for protests to force ousted President Mohamed Morsi and to call for early presidential elections. The repercussions of this have made the roadmap only one part of a wider political conflict.

Before the official announcement of the roadmap, it was leaked that there was a consensus around holding presidential elections within three months, while the constitution would be amended in six months, followed by parliamentary elections in a period of nine months.

Pushing back the presidential elections has contributed to changing the roadmap from being a way out of the crisis to a tool deepening it.  It has accordingly become a roadmap to confrontation, the aim of which is to primarily enforce the transitional government’s political will, rather than being a consensual plan that can be a subject of serious political discussion regarding its course of action and goals.

Egypt heading outside history | Fahmy Houweidy, Translation by The Arabist

Egypt’s current problem is that it is moving along a path leading outside of history, and one fears that Egypt will drag the Arab world along with it in the end.
The episodes of this repeated and rehearsed scenario would play out as follows: Weak parties fail in running the state; voices are raised calling for the military to carry out its role as rescuer; the military gives a warning to the government, telling it to carry out its responsibilities; after the warning, the military announces the coup and takes over the administration of the country and the management of the out-of-control conditions. Barely a few years go by (most usually ten) before the crisis recurs and the same voices and calls reverberate again. Then the military would give its warning, followed by intervention to take over power as the only disciplined and cohesive institution, and the one with the force of weapons on the ground.

With the continuing expansion of the military institution in the current political vacuum and the military’s undeniably increasing role, Egypt has begun to move outside the course of history. At the very least, this means that the dream of the democratic civil state that the January 25th revolution aspired to is in a state of decline and retreat. The tangible advancements barely hint at the possibility of achieving a fraction of this dream in the near future.

Egypt, if it loses itself through its current behavior will take the Arab world along with it as well. However, even if Egypt stands outside the course of history it will not be able to stop the wheel of history from turning. 

Video of the Week

Cairo Drive is a “a documentary that explores the life of one of the world’s most populated cities from its streets. Shot in 2009-2012 (before and during the Egyptian revolution, and ending with the most recent presidential elections), the film explores the country’s collective identity, inherent struggles, and the sentiments that lead through the historic changes taking place in Egypt today” – all through the lens of its streets and traffic. 

Photo of the Week

Cartoons of the Week

On Twitter: People React to the Suspension of Bassem Youssef’s al-Bernameg

Image: Photo: NASA