The Week in Egypt – March 31, 2014

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

Quote of the Week

“From this day on, we aren’t dealing with al-Sisi as the general who stood on 3 July, but as a presidential candidate who has to first present his electoral program before we have any official stance,” Ahmed Fawzi, secretary-general of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, responding to the announcement of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s presidential bid

Egypt in the News






On EgyptSource


Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: New face of Egypt’s old guard, Robert Springborg | BBC

“First and foremost, Field Marshal Sisi is the product of the military high command under former President Hosni Mubarak, as his career trajectory and personal alliances suggest. The “political track” in the Egyptian military is the army and within it, the infantry, the corps which produced both the late presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat.”

“Field Marshal Sisi is an enormously talented, manipulative, and highly politicized officer who has managed to rescue the military and the deep state more generally from potential destruction at the hands of revolutionaries or Muslim Brothers.

He was charged with that role by the high command of the Mubarak-Tantawi era, he has executed it, and is now reaping personal rewards for his sterling performance.

The danger is that his ambitions, combined with the institutional interests of an overly large, inadequately trained, arrogant and corrupt military will lead to political, economic and foreign policy over-reach, much as a similar combination did under Nasser.”

529 Reasons to Doubt Egyptian Justice, Louisa Loveluck | New York Times

“Some local commentators say that the Minya verdict is an example of “telephone justice” — a decision phoned through from above. But it’s not even necessary to assume interference when the Egyptian state’s military-backed executive, deeply conservative judiciary and resurgent security forces act in a complementary manner with the aims of restoring stability, consolidating power and exacting revenge for previous perceived transgressions.

But these attempts at establishing order and control have succeeded only in fostering their very opposite. On Aug. 14, in the wake of the military coup, riot police officers violently dispersed an encampment of Morsi supporters in east Cairo, killing an estimated 900 people and catalyzing more violence nationwide. The police station attack at the center of Monday’s trial took place during that chaos.”

“As polarization leads to dehumanization on both sides, the potential builds for further flare-ups. On Wednesday, hundreds were involved in an enraged protest at Cairo University over the Minya verdict in which the crowd was tear-gassed and one person was killed.

In portraying ordinary citizens as enemies of the state, the government risks alienating the public. When each side means very different things by responsibility and accountability, this civil conflict cannot be won with violent acts — by the isolated judiciary, an increasingly angry Islamist movement, or the police. Unless a reinvigorated center emerges to steer Egypt toward a more inclusive political process, extremists both within the state and on the fringes will continue to lash out with gestures ever more violent, ever more empty.”

On Twitter: Journalist killed in Cairo clashes on Friday

Al-Dostour journalist Mayada Ashraf, 22, was among five people killed in clashes in Cairo on Friday. Details of how she was killed remain a point of controversy as authorities and the Muslim Brotherhood hold each other accountable for her death.

Video of the Week

Wednesday evening, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addressed the Egyptian people on state TV and radio to announce that he is resigning his position as defense minister in order to run for president. In his speech Sisi said that he would always serve the nation in whatever capacity the people requested. He also called on the Egyptian people that rebuilding the Egyptian state would require hard work and asked for them to join with him fighting for Egypt.

Photo of the Week

Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appeared on Sunday in a tracksuit riding a bike in Heliopolis, following his announcement that he plans to run for the presidency.


Image: Photo: Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appeared on Sunday in a tracksuit riding a bike in Heliopolis, following his announcement that he plans to run for the presidency