24 Sep 2010
Anyone following the Madinaty dispute knows that the government is up to its head in this case, despite Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif’s reassurances to shareholders and buyers that their rights would be preserved. Truth be told, President Hosni Mubarak’s intervention to resolve this issue helped soothe the nerves of both buyers and shareholders, as well as improve stock prices for Talaat...
23 Sep 2010
Sha’ban Riyad Abdel Latif, a 45-year-old father of four, was made homeless after being forcibly evicted from his room on 25 December 2009, along with many other families living on a dangerous rocky slope in the Duweiqa informal settlement, east of Cairo. He was barely given time to remove his possessions before a bulldozer demolished the building where he used to share a toilet with nine...
22 Sep 2010
A visitor who stays at your home for an hour, a day or even an entire year is a guest. But the description is much less fitting for someone who has stayed for 14 centuries.
This is how Father Bishoy, secretary of the Coptic Ecclesiastical Council and a vocal Church leader, described Egypt’s Muslims--as guests.
Commenting on recent calls for the Egyptian government to stop interfering...
21 Sep 2010
I have a soft spot for contrarians. There is something endearing about people who take a perverse pleasure in going against the grain: they are necessary, not least because they challenge the rest of us to revisit ideas we hold as gospel truths and re-examine our own prejudices. Even when they do not change our minds, they help refine our beliefs and strengthen our arguments for them. They are...
19 Sep 2010
There are two possibilities regarding the digitally-manipulated photo initially taken at the launch of the Middle East peace talks in Washington and later published in state-run daily Al-Ahram. In the photo, President Hosni Mubarak, who had trailed behind a procession that included Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Barack Obama on...
18 Sep 2010
Mohamed ElBaradei and the National Association for Change (NAC) persist in calling for a boycott of the People’s Assembly elections in November, yet remain unclear about whom their calls are addressed to. Are they for independent candidates, political parties or the general public?
Most independents have already made up their minds, settling on participation. Many have been preparing their...
17 Sep 2010
Why won't the government come clean about Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin’s recent decision to accept a managerial position at the World Bank? Can't it admit that the minister himself sought the new appointment? Or is the government afraid the truth may anger the Egyptian public?
Several interpretations have been offered to explain Mohieldin's decision, but none of them...
16 Sep 2010
Tolerance is a very peculiar thing. Not only is it both a sentiment and a behavior, it is also defined by its antagonist--intolerance. To be tolerant, one must not only learn to accept others who are different, but also that intolerance is the greatest threat to tolerance itself. What should a tolerant person do then when confronted with intolerance?
History is full of examples where intolerance...
15 Sep 2010
What’s the relationship between nuclear power and democracy? This question may appear strange as the two seem entirely unrelated, at least at a first glance. What does popular sovereignty have to do with the production of atomic energy?
Like other industries, nuclear energy can pose immense hazards to humans beings and their environments, due to the production of radioactive waste and the...
14 Sep 2010
A few weeks ago I wrote that the current crisis over Park51 (also known as Cordoba House, and to its detractors, the “Ground Zero Mosque”) is America’s Danish cartoon crisis. I meant that in the sense that a wide segment of public opinion had been roused against the project partly because of the manipulation of fear and prejudice by a few. I also noted that some of the...