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Egypt Media Roundup (August 28)

[President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with Senior Advisor to the US President Jared Kushner on 23 August, 2017 to discuss the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Photo from the official Facebook page of the Spokesperson of the Egyptian Presidency.] [President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with Senior Advisor to the US President Jared Kushner on 23 August, 2017 to discuss the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Photo from the official Facebook page of the Spokesperson of the Egyptian Presidency.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] 

Political Rights

2 rights lawyers released following interrogation in case against civil society organizations Rights lawyer Malek Adly was released after being investigated in relation to a case against civil society organizations in Egypt. Investigations judge Hesham Abdel Meguid also released lawyer Osama Khalil on 3,000 LE bail in the same case, according to lawyer Ragia Omran.

Zagazig University suspends professor, refers him to disciplinary committee for ‘insulting Islam’ Zagazig University administration took the decision to suspend Maher al-Maghraby, a professor of neuropsychiatry at its Faculty of Medicine, for three months, banned him from campus and referred him to a disciplinary committee for comments considered insulting to Islam, allegedly posted on his personal Facebook page.

Expanding the powers and mandate of Egypt’s president Egypt’s political sphere should be occupied by discussions about the forthcoming presidential elections, set to begin in a few months, in preparation for the close of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s current term in June 2018. Many had hoped that the conclusion of Sisi’s term might also signal the end to Egypt’s political stagnation.

Alexandria Deputy Governor Soad El-Kholy arrested on bribery charges Alexandria’s Deputy Governor Saod al-Kholy was arrested on Sunday on several corruption charges, including bribery, profiting and squandering public funds, Egypt's Administrative Control Authority said in a statement.

Food crimes and Hunger Games Though well intentioned (at least so they say), the restaurant “Garemt Akl” (eating crime), is a naïve attempt to tap into a trending curiosity about incarceration among the Egyptian public. The restaurant promises a fully-fledged prison food experience, through which co-owner Mohamed Hammad promises “to keep impressing guests … in good spirit and humor.”

Egyptian Liver Foundation and Adult Education Authority Aim to Eradicate Illiteracy of Patients with Hepatitis The Egyptian Liver Foundation and the Adult Education Authority are teaming up for a new mission: empower citizens with hepatitis viruses.

Egypt Confiscates Assets of 16 Alleged Muslim Brotherhood Members, Seizes Control of Alef Bookstores Among Others An Egyptian governmental committee established to seize and manage the funds of the Muslim Brotherhood confiscated the assets of sixteen alleged Brotherhood members.

President Sisi chairs first meeting of Egypt's Supreme Council to Combat Terrorism and Extremism Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi chaired on Thursday the first meeting of the Supreme Council to Combat Terrorism and Extremism.

Security forces prevent Copts from holding feast day prayers in Minya Egyptian security forces prevented hundreds of Coptic Christians from holding prayers to mark the Queenship of Mary feast day in a village in Minya.

Egypt Approves EGP 40 Million Restoration of Synagogue in Alexandria Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities has approved a request to allocate forty million LE for the restoration of the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria.

Economy

Egypt is 2017’s ‘Second Fastest Growing’ Tourist Destination: UN Egypt has risen up the ranks to be one of the world’s fastest growing destinations for international tourists in 2017, reported the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Egypt’s Suez Canal Revenues Reach $477.1 Million in July Egypt’s revenues from Suez Canal trade rose to 447.1 million USD in July, compared to 427 million USD in June, according to data from the Suez Canal Authority published by the state-run Egypt Information Portal.

Foreign Relations

U.S. Withholds $290 Million in Aid to Egypt Citing Human Rights Concerns The United States has decided to delay 195 million USD in military aid and about 95.7 million USD in other aid, citing a failure to achieve relevant progress in its human rights record and democratic norms.

Trump Calls Sisi after U.S. Suspends $290 Million in Aid Funding to Egypt United States President Donald Trump called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday, less than forty-eight hours after it was announced the US would be suspending some financial aid destined for Egypt.

Egypt's Sisi discusses reviving ME peace process with advisor to US president Kushner Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met in Cairo on Wednesday with a senior advisor to US President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, where they discussed the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Egyptian presidency announced. 

‘Egypt is not Tunisia’ when it comes to women’s rights Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi’s call in a speech on 13 August for equality between men and women in inheritance and cross-religious marriages continues to stir controversy in Egypt, and more particularly in Al-Azhar, which claims historic leadership over Sunni Muslim affairs in the region.

Malak Zaalouk First Egyptian to Head UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning Egyptian Professor Malak Zaalouk has been selected as the Chairperson of UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning, making her the first Egyptian to be elected to this post.

Italian newspaper claims Washington source has evidence of Egyptian security involvement in Regeni death Italian newspaper La Stampa published a report on Monday claiming that the United States government has evidence that Egyptian security was involved in the death of Italian researcher Giulio Regeni, citing anonymous sources in Washington.

Raison d’état: On Giulio Regeni and the return of Italy’s ambassador to Cairo Four Italian academics explain why the return of the Italian ambassador to Cairo is not in the Italian national interest.

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II Inaugurates First Coptic Church in Japan Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has inaugurated the first Coptic Orthodox church in Kyoto Japan.

Egypt, China Sign Deal to Construct New Fast Tram In Cairo Representatives from Egypt and China signed a new deal worth around 1.2 billion USD to construct a fast tram transit system connecting Greater Cairo with the new Administrative Capital.

Sisi reviews contract on Dabaa nuclear power plant with head of Rosatom Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi received on Sunday the new head of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, Alexei Likhachev, expressing Egypt's keenness to finalize contracts and start work on the al-Dabaa nuclear power plant as soon as possible.

Sudan Imposes Entry Visa on Egyptian Men Sudan has issued on Friday a decision requiring Egyptian men from eighteen to forty-nine years seeking to enter its territory to obtain entry visas.

Egypt opens Gaza border crossing for two days ahead of Eid celebrations Egypt opened its border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Sunday, allowing passage in both directions for two days ahead of the Eid Al-Adha celebrations.

Egypt’s FM to visit Germany, Belarus and Romania to bolster bilateral ties Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry will head to Berlin Sunday as part of a three-country tour to bolster bilateral ties.

'Britain committed to war against terrorism,' UK minister Burt tells Egypt's FM Shoukry Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry met on Thursday in Cairo with Alistair Burt, the UK's minister of state affairs for the Middle East and North Africa, where they discussed the war against terrorism and the latest developments in the Middle East, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Domestic Security

MOI: 2 members of Hassm militant group killed in Beheira shootout Two alleged members of the Hassm militant group were killed in a shootout with police personnel in a residential area of Wadi al-Natrun in Beheira governorate, according to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry on Thursday

Militant group Lewaa al-Thawra claims no members killed or arrested since March The militant group Lewaa al-Thawra claimed Egyptian security forces have not arrested or killed any of its members in recent months, in an interview on Monday. 

Egyptian army kills 6 militants, wounds 4 in North Sinai: Spox Egypt's armed forces killed six "extremely dangerous" militants and injured four in a raid in North Sinai on Friday, the army spokesman said.

From Jadaliyya Egypt

George Wassouf: the People's Champ Mohamad Ali Nayel examines iconic Arab singer George Wassouf’s identity and legacy, which is perceived as not particularly Lebanese nor exactly Syrian or Egyptian, but a mix of these three all at once; an embodiment of one shared heritage that transcends borders mediated by the particular kind of Arab music and singing that for which this artist became famous.

Arabic

بعد حجب المساعدات .."دعم مصر":علامة استفهام حول جدية واشنطن في محاربة الإرهاب The parliament’s Support Egypt coalition denounced the US decision to withhold part of its annual aid package to Egypt in a statement, stressing that the decision would undermine mutual efforts between both countries to address important issues for the region.

مصدر دبلوماسى: قرار واشنطن بشأن المعونة جاء عكس اتجاه العلاقات المصرية الأمريكية حاليًا  Egypt’s decision-makers are currently evaluating the US decision to reduce economic and military aid and its repercussions on US-Egyptian strategic relations, a diplomatic source revealed.

لهذه الأسباب.. جمدت أمريكا مساعدتها عن مصر «القصة الكاملة»   The article explores the reasons behind US aid cuts to Egypt.

تحليل| عودة السفير الإيطالي لمصر.. المصالح أهم من ريجيني   Analysts discuss the reasons that led Italy to restore diplomatic relations with Egypt after the Regeni crisis.

ما وراء المنح الإماراتية في مصر.. سيطرة على كبرى القطاعات الاقتصادية  The article explores how Egypt’s biggest strategic economic sectors and profits became under the control of the United Arab of Emirates following Sisi’s inauguration as president.

بعد منع القافلة الجزائرية من دخول غزة.. هل ستنفجر العلاقات الجزائرية المصرية؟  Egypt prevented an Algerian aid convoy from entering Gaza, sparking popular outrage against Egypt’s practices to hamper humanitarian aid access to Gaza.

مراجعات لشباب من الإخوان بالسجون.. لهذه الأسباب قرروا ترك الجماعة  Muslim Brotherhood prisoners disclosed that they withdrew definitively from the organization after deliberate revision.

بعد العيد.. البرلمان يعقد جلسات حوار مجتمعي لمناقشة قانون الإجراءات الجنائية  The parliament's Legislative and Constitutional Committee announced that it will hold dialogue sessions to discuss the new Criminal Procedures Law after the Eid Al Adha holiday.

أهالى الوراق يقدمون طلبًا للمحامى العام للإفراج عن شباب الجزيرة  Al-Waraq families demanded Egyptian authorities release their sons who were arrested during the government’s encroachment and demolition campaign.

يوم تحين لحظة التغيير في مصر  Nael Shama writes about the failure of the political process in post-2011 Egypt and the prospects for change.

ممنوع من الصرف.. قائمة التحفظ على "أموال الإخوان" تتمدد  Egypt’s committee on Funds Management has started to implement the decision to freeze the assets of nineteen Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated companies.

تعديل الدستور: عودة إلى أيام السادات ومبارك!  The article draws parallels between the current regime’s practices and those of Sadat and Mubarak's in regards to the absolute privilege of the executive power.

مصر | اقتراح تمديد الولاية الرئاسية: هل يعيد الحياة إلى السياسة المصرية؟  The latest debates on the constitutional amendment to the presidential term show how stagnant the Egyptian political scene is today.

عشان المرتب يكفي لآخر الشهر».. تباديل وتوافيق الطبقة الوسطى« Egyptians from the middle class describe their daily suffering to secure their living following the unprecedented price hikes and the devaluation of the Egyptian pound.

الوصاية الدينية ليست حلًّا "المبادرة المصرية" تحذر من مقترح "قانون خطاب الكراهية" المقدم من مشيخة الأزهر  The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights issued a detailed commentary on Al-Azhar's bill to “combat hatred and violence in the name of religion,” stressing that it imposes more restrictions on freedoms.

المحلة" تصلح ما يُفسده صندوق النقد" Al-Mahala workers ended their sit-in as the company promised to pay their bonuses.