Northern Africa

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Egypt’s Economic Tightrope

Egypt’s government, under the leadership of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is firmly wedged between a rock and a hard place – on the one hand the danger of economic collapse; on the other simmering popular discontent, which could descend into open revolt, at the steps being taken to relieve the problem.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has introduced emergency laws following the deaths of 45 Coptic Christians in an Isis attack this weekend Getty

ISIS in the Heart of Egypt Isn’t Sisi’s Biggest Problem

British author Robert Fisk has criticized Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s declaration of a state of emergency even without returning to his government, as his predecessors Sadat and Mubarak have done, stressing that this state of emergency will last for at least a year, not three months as Al-Sisi claims. In his article published in the British newspaper The Independent, Fisk saw that the army and police in Egypt failed to keep ISIS organization inside Sinai. The organization is now in Cairo, Alexandria, and perhaps in all poor cities along the Nile Valley. Fisk predicted that we will see more…
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Migrant Slave Trade Is Booming in Libya

Migrant Slave Trade Is Booming in Libya

It’s a mass grave that we don’t need the United Nations to verify. Every day an average of 14 migrants, the vast majority from countries in sub-Saharan Africa, die crossing the Mediterranean. Many more see their European dream turn into a nightmare long before they’re corralled on to flimsy rubber dinghies on Libya’s beaches. They’re the victims of a silent massacre in the Sahara desert – a journey more deadly than the crossing from the coast, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Egypt: © Photo: Hakim Khatib/MPC Journal

Islamic Media and Religious Change in 1970s Egypt

*This memo was originally drafted as a part of the Islam, Islamists, and the Media in a Changing Middle East workshop held at George Washington University on October 28, 2016. In the mid-1990s, satellite television and the Internet began to spread in the Middle East, permanently altering the previous hierarchy of political and religious authority. While longstanding institutions were not necessarily irrelevant if they used their financial might to acquire a high-tech bully pulpit, they were joined by a broad array of individuals and organizations that carried distinct religious messages and spoke to a mass audience. In tandem, these masses now challenged…
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Egyptian President Promises Change to Ease Pressure

Faced with a drop in popularity, intermittent protests against rising prices, and calls for a mass anti-government demonstration, Egyptian general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, is seeking to appease the country’s youth, soccer fans and activists with promises of change.

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Al-Sisi Seizes the Lead in the Peace Process

President Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt is a man of vision.   In addition to his ambitions for his own country, there is mounting evidence that he aims to build a positive legacy for himself in the wider Middle East. He seems to have set his sights on promoting not only a new peace-making initiative between Israel and the Palestinians, but a further effort to bridge the apparently irreconcilable differences between the two wings of the Palestinian body politic, Hamas and Fatah. It was in a determined counter-attack on the terror-based Islamism represented by the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates that Sisi…
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Religious Conservatism Redefines Symbolism of National Sports Teams

Religious Conservatism Redefines Symbolism of National Sports Teams

Over the past decade, religiosity and religious intolerance have seeped into national sports teams in Pakistan and Egypt, societies that have been wracked by faith-based narrow-mindedness and political fanaticism. The trend is exemplified by two national team managers, a controversial Pakistani cricket captain and a storied Egyptian midfielder-turned-glorified-soccer coach. The trend reflects the devastating impact of religious and/or political intolerance in Pakistan and Egypt. It has redefined the symbolism of Pakistan’s national cricket team and Egypt’s national soccer squad. Governments as well as national and international sports associations have encouraged the trend by failing to enforce good governance. Both managers,…
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Egyptian fans carry placards and the national flag (AFP)

Egypt Inches Towards Return of Militant Fans to Stadium Terraces

Egypt may be inching towards a return to the stands of soccer fans, who played a key role in the 2011 toppling of President Hosni Mubarak and have been barred entry into stadiums for much of the last five years. Clubs, players and fans see a June 28 CAF Champions League match between storied Cairo club Al Ahli SC and Ivory Coast’s ASEC Mimosas Abidjan as a dry run for a gradual lifting of the ban that has repeatedly sparked at times deadly clashes between militant, street battle-hardened fans and security forces. International matches have been largely exempted from the…
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