The Week in Egypt – May 12, 2014

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

Quote of the Week

“Our problem is that we call up images of Western democracies that have been stable for hundreds of years and drop them into our reality.” -Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Former Egyptian defense minister and current presidential candidate

Egypt in the News


  • Presidential campaign period begins; Salafi Nour Party backs Sisi
  • Egypt court sentences 102 Morsi supporters to ten years prison
  • IMF’s Lagarde: Economic reforms a ‘must’ for Egypt growth


  • Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi gives first ever TV interview
  • Cairo court bans former NDP members from running in elections
  • FM Fahmy calls on the United States to end contact with the Brotherhood


  • African Union to monitor presidential elections; Mahlab says Egypt’s AU activities to resume this month
  • One killed in clashes at pro-Sisi demonstration on Tuesday
  • US asked Egypt to delay Morsi’s ouster says Sisi


  • Sabbahi vows to continue Brotherhood ban; reject US assistance
  • Egypt’s cabinet approves new anti-sexual harassment law
  • Egypt cabinet approves 5 percent tax hike on rich


  • Obama nominates ambassadors for key Egypt and Iraq posts
  • Sabbahi addresses supporters following Friday prayers
  • Morsi, Sisi supporters demonstrate in Cairo and Alexandria

On EgyptSource

The Battle Behind Campus Walls by Eric Knecht
The Death Sentence: Consequences of Taking the Wrong Path [Part II] by Youssef Auf
Sisi in the Hot Seat: Reading Between the Lines by Wael Eskandar
The Road to Presidential Elections [Update 5]


Egyptian Tourism’s Message to World: Come Anyway | by Kareem Fahim, New York Times

“At Cosmos, a 37-year-old tour company in Cairo that used to serve up to 30,000 customers a year, Khaled M. Ismail, the company’s director of operations, said he had not booked a single visitor since May 2013. The company’s once-hectic headquarters are deserted most of the time: Employees come in only once a week, to pay the bills. “We’re not expecting any business until 2015,” Mr. Ismail said, sitting alone in his office one recent weekday.

The loss of tourism has taken a disastrous toll on the economy, starving the country of income and badly needed foreign currency. Now many people in Egypt talk not just about short-term pain but long-term damage, as workers forsake years of training and experience to hunt for new jobs outside the industry, and students abandon what had been the country’s most promising career track.”

Grading Egypt’s Roadmap Toward Democracy | by Nathan Brown, Foreign Policy

“With over 1,000 death sentences, thousands of violent deaths, and well over 10,000 people jailed since the overthrow of Morsi, the claim that Egypt is in the midst of a democratic transition has convinced few outside observers. But even according to its own checklist, Egypt’s record is uneven. The shortcomings are not all technical and legalistic — some, such as the fate of the reconciliation pledge, have been fundamental. And the process has taken much longer than was suggested in July 2013, allowing it to be more carefully managed by the country’s new leaders.

The existence of two different visions of Egypt — one sliding into despotism, the other dutifully following its people to a democratic future — is deeply problematic for the country’s leadership. As a result, defenders of the new order have come to equate statements of concern about the political climate in the country to hostility to Egypt. Once again, regime, state, and society are being blended in political debates — and there is no better sign of the way that the hopes of 2011 have been dashed.”

On Twitter: Election or Coronation

Egypt’s two presidential candidates took to the airwaves this week to lay out their vision for Egypt just days after campaigning season began. The former defense minister, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is the heavily favored candidate. During the application process, Hamdeen Sabbahi, a long time opposition figure in Egypt, repeated complained of institutional bias in his effort to collect signatures qualifying him to run for president. Others are calling attention to bias in the media and popular intimidation in Egypt in favor of Sisi. Several commentators took to Twitter this week as the presidential campaigns were launched to denounce Egypt’s upcoming elections as a farce.

Video of the Week: Sisi on the Brotherhood’s future

During the first session of a two part interview on the satellite channel CBC, presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addresses the issue of the Muslim Brotherhood’s future if he is elected.

Cartoon of the Week: Social Justice

Writing on Snail: Social Justice