Blog archive: Egypt

  • 13th February 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    "Egypt sinks deeper into junk status," a headline in the Financial Times says after Moody's announcement that it has downgraded the country's bond rating from B2 to B3 with a threat to downgrade it further "depending on the severity of possible adverse developments". Moody's gives...
  • 13th February 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    What are we to make of Egypt today, on the second anniversary of the people's uprising? Mubarak may be gone but the old, paternalistically authoritarian attitudes linger on under the country's new leaders. The problem was neatly encapsulated yesterday in reports of a contretemps between Ahmed...
  • 4th January 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The requirement in Egypt's new constitution for the state to protect "public morality" is facing its first test with a lawsuit filed by a former member of parliament. Hamdy al-Fakhrany – who was an independent member of the People's Assembly before it was dissolved – has...
  • 3rd November 2012
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In the first of the "Arab Spring" countries – Tunisia and Egypt – political debate now centres on the drafting of a new constitution. In both cases there is much discussion about the role of Islam in relation to the state and the rights of women (here and here, for example). But there is...
  • 1st November 2012
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Seven men have been arrested in Cairo on charges of belonging to a “debauchery” network. The men, aged between 20 and 31, are said to have been in possession of “underwear, cosmetics, wigs and a number of bottles of liquor”, and a judge has ordered them to be sent to Heliopolis Hospital to be...
  • 1st June 2012
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      Egypt claims to have succeeded in blocking discussion of "health care issues concerning the homosexual community" at the World Health Organisation's board meeting on 29-30 May.  According to health minister Mostafa Hamed, Egypt was joined by other member states of the Eastern...
  • 11th May 2012
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last night's presidential sparring match in Egypt proved a huge success – at least for the TV companies who managed to spin it out to four-and-a-half hours with a barrage of lucrative advertising. As for the candidates – who knows? The debate itself began with handshakes but inevitably descended...
  • 18th November 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It's almost a year since I wrote a series of blog posts about the scandal of human trafficking in the Sinai desert of Egypt, and the Mubarak regime's ludicrous denials than anything untoward was happening (here, here, here and here). Well, the trafficking is still going on...
  • 17th November 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    TUNISIA After some delay, the definitive results in Tunisia's hung election were announced earlier this week. There are some minor changes (the Ennahda party has 89 seats out of 217 – one less than originally reported). The Tunisia Live website has produced useful a graphic showing...
  • 17th November 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A group on Facebook has declared January 1 next year to be  National Gay Day in Egypt and already the move is generating controversy – not just from the usual suspects but also among gay Egyptians. In many countries the struggle for LGBT rights began with a few brave souls making a...
  • 11th November 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Several prominent human rights groups in Egypt have turned down an invitation from the authorities to take part in discussions about the constituent assembly which will draft a new constitution. They say the government and the ruling military council must first "prove their respect for the dignity...
  • 23rd October 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A man has been jailed in Egypt for "insulting Islam" on Facebook.  Ayman Youssef Mansur, who had been arrested in August, was sentenced to three years with hard labour by a civilian court on Saturday on charges of "exploitation of religion to promote extremist ideas with the...

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