facility:tahrir square

  • The Real Reasons Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Wanted Khashoggi ‘Dead or Alive’

    Christopher Dickey 10.21.18
    His death is key to understanding the political forces that helped turn the Middle East from a region of hope seven years ago to one of brutal repression and slaughter today.

    The mind plays strange tricks sometimes, especially after a tragedy. When I sat down to write this story about the Saudi regime’s homicidal obsession with the Muslim Brotherhood, the first person I thought I’d call was Jamal Khashoggi. For more than 20 years I phoned him or met with him, even smoked the occasional water pipe with him, as I looked for a better understanding of his country, its people, its leaders, and the Middle East. We often disagreed, but he almost always gave me fresh insights into the major figures of the region, starting with Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, and the political trends, especially the explosion of hope that was called the Arab Spring in 2011. He would be just the man to talk to about the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood, because he knew both sides of that bitter relationship so well.

    And then, of course, I realized that Jamal is dead, murdered precisely because he knew too much.

    Although the stories keep changing, there is now no doubt that 33-year-old Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the power in front of his decrepit father’s throne, had put out word to his minions that he wanted Khashoggi silenced, and the hit-team allegedly understood that as “wanted dead or alive.” But the [petro]buck stops with MBS, as bin Salman’s called. He’s responsible for a gruesome murder just as Henry II was responsible for the murder of Thomas Becket when he said, “Who will rid me of that meddlesome priest?” In this case, a meddlesome journalist.

    We now know that a few minor players will pay. Some of them might even be executed by Saudi headsmen (one already was reported killed in a car crash). But experience also tells us the spotlight of world attention will shift. Arms sales will go ahead. And the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi risks becoming just one more entry in the annals of intensifying, murderous repression of journalists who are branded the “enemy of the people” by Donald Trump and various two-bit tyrants around the world.

    There is more to Khashoggi’s murder than the question of press freedom, however. His death holds the key to understanding the political forces that have helped turn the Middle East from a region of hope seven years ago to one of brutal repression and ongoing slaughter today. Which brings us back to the question of the Saudis’ fear and hatred of the Muslim Brotherhood, the regional rivalries of those who support it and those who oppose it, and the game of thrones in the House of Saud itself. Khashoggi was not central to any of those conflicts, but his career implicated him, fatally, in all of them.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is not a benign political organization, but neither is it Terror Incorporated. It was created in the 1920s and developed in the 1930s and ‘40s as an Islamic alternative to the secular fascist and communist ideologies that dominated revolutionary anti-colonial movements at the time. From those other political organizations the Brotherhood learned the values of a tight structure, party discipline, and secrecy, with a public face devoted to conventional political activity—when possible—and a clandestine branch that resorted to violence if that appeared useful.

    In the novel Sugar Street, Nobel Prize-winning author Naguib Mahfouz sketched a vivid portrait of a Brotherhood activist spouting the group’s political credo in Egypt during World War II. “Islam is a creed, a way of worship, a nation and a nationality, a religion, a state, a form of spirituality, a Holy Book, and a sword,” says the Brotherhood preacher. “Let us prepare for a prolonged struggle. Our mission is not to Egypt alone but to all Muslims worldwide. It will not be successful until Egypt and all other Islamic nations have accepted these Quranic principles in common. We shall not put our weapons away until the Quran has become a constitution for all Believers.”

    For several decades after World War II, the Brotherhood’s movement was eclipsed by Arab nationalism, which became the dominant political current in the region, and secular dictators moved to crush the organization. But the movement found support among the increasingly embattled monarchies of the Gulf, including and especially Saudi Arabia, where the rule of the king is based on his custodianship of Mecca and Medina, the two holiest sites in Islam. At the height of the Cold War, monarchies saw the Brotherhood as a helpful antidote to the threat of communist-led or Soviet-allied movements and ideologies.

    By the 1980s, several of the region’s rulers were using the Brotherhood as a tool to weaken or destroy secular opposition. Egypt’s Anwar Sadat courted them, then moved against them, and paid with his life in 1981, murdered by members of a group originally tied to the Brotherhood. Sadat’s successor, Hosni Mubarak, then spent three decades in power manipulating the Brotherhood as an opposition force, outlawing the party as such, but allowing its known members to run for office in the toothless legislature, where they formed a significant bloc and did a lot of talking.

    Jordan’s King Hussein played a similar game, but went further, giving clandestine support to members of the Brotherhood waging a covert war against Syrian tyrant Hafez al-Assad—a rebellion largely destroyed in 1982 when Assad’s brother killed tens of thousands of people in the Brotherhood stronghold of Hama.

    Even Israel got in on the action, initially giving Hamas, the Brotherhood branch among the Palestinians, tacit support as opposition to the left-leaning Palestine Liberation Organization (although PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat once identified with the Brotherhood himself).

    The Saudi royals, too, thought the Brotherhood could be bought off and manipulated for their own ends. “Over the years the relationship between the Saudis and the Brotherhood ebbed and flowed,” says Lorenzo Vidino, an expert on extremism at George Washington University and one of the foremost scholars in the U.S. studying the Brotherhood’s history and activities.

    Over the decades factions of the Brotherhood, like communists and fascists before them, “adapted to individual environments,” says Vidino. In different countries it took on different characteristics. Thus Hamas, or its military wing, is easily labeled as terrorist by most definitions, while Ennahda in Tunisia, which used to be called terrorist by the ousted Ben Ali regime, has behaved as a responsible political party in a complex democratic environment. To the extent that Jamal Khashoggi identified with the Brotherhood, that was the current he espoused. But democracy, precisely, is what Mohammed bin Salman fears.

    Vidino traces the Saudis’ intense hostility toward the Brotherhood to the uprisings that swept through much of the Arab world in 2011. “The Saudis together with the Emiratis saw it as a threat to their own power,” says Vidino.

    Other regimes in the region thought they could use the Brotherhood to extend their influence. First among these was the powerful government in Turkey of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has such longstanding ties to the Islamist movement that some scholars refer to his elected government as “Brotherhood 2.0.” Also hoping to ride the Brotherhood wave was tiny, ultra-rich Qatar, whose leaders had used their vast natural gas wealth and their popular satellite television channel, Al Jazeera, to project themselves on the world stage and, they hoped, buy some protection from their aggressive Saudi neighbors. As one senior Qatari official told me back in 2013, “The future of Qatar is soft power.” After 2011, Jazeera’s Arabic channel frequently appeared to propagandize in the Brotherhood’s favor as much as, say, Fox News does in Trump’s.

    Egypt, the most populous country in the Arab world, and the birthplace of the Brotherhood, became a test case. Although Jamal Khashoggi often identified the organization with the idealistic hopes of the peaceful popular uprising that brought down the Mubarak dynasty, in fact the Egyptian Brotherhood had not taken part. Its leaders had a modus vivendi they understood with Mubarak, and it was unclear what the idealists in Tahrir Square, or the military tolerating them, might do.

    After the dictator fell and elections were called, however, the Brotherhood made its move, using its party organization and discipline, as well as its perennial slogan, “Islam is the solution,” to put its man Mohamed Morsi in the presidential palace and its people in complete control of the government. Or so it thought.

    In Syria, meanwhile, the Brotherhood believed it could and should lead the popular uprising against the Assad dynasty. That had been its role 30 years earlier, and it had paid mightily.

    For more than a year, it looked like the Brotherhood’s various branches might sweep to power across the unsettled Arab world, and the Obama administration, for want of serious alternatives, was inclined to go with the flow.

    But then the Saudis struck back.

    In the summer of 2013, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the commander of the Egyptian armed forces, led a military coup with substantial popular support against the conspicuously inept Brotherhood government, which had proved quickly that Islam was not really the “solution” for much of anything.

    Al-Sissi had once been the Egyptian military attaché in Riyadh, where he had many connections, and the Saudis quickly poured money into Egypt to shore up his new regime. At the same time, he declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, and launched a campaign of ruthless repression. Within weeks of the coup, the Egyptian military attacked two camps of Brotherhood protesters and slaughtered hundreds.

    In Syria, the efforts to organize a credible political opposition to President Bashar al-Assad proved virtually impossible as the Qataris and Turks backed the Brotherhood while the Saudis continued their vehement opposition. But that does not mean that Riyadh supported moderate secular forces. Far from it. The Saudis still wanted to play a major role bringing down the Syrian regime allied to another arch enemy, the government of Iran. So the Saudis put their weight behind ultra-conservative Salafis, thinking they might be easier to control than the Muslim Brothers.

    Riyadh is “okay with quietist Salafism,” says Vidino. But the Salafis’ religious extremism quickly shaded over into the thinking of groups like the al Qaeda spinoff called the Nusra Front. Amid all the infighting, little progress was made against Assad, and there to exploit the chaos was the so-called Islamic State (which Assad partially supported in its early days).

    Then, in January 2015, at the height of all this regional turmoil, the aged and infirm Salman bin Abdelaziz ascended to the throne of Saudi Arabia. His son, Mohammed bin Salman, began taking into his own hands virtually all the reins of power, making bold decisions about reforming the Saudi economy, taking small measures to give the impression he might liberalize society—and moving to intimidate or otherwise neutralize anyone who might challenge his power.

    Saudi Arabia is a country named after one family, the al Saud, and while there is nothing remotely democratic about the government, within the family itself with its thousands of princes there traditionally has been an effort to find consensus. Every king up to now has been a son of the nation’s founder, Abdelaziz ibn Saud, and thus a brother or half brother of the other kings.

    When Salman took over, he finally named successors from the next generation. His nephew Mohammed bin Nayef, then 57 and well known for his role fighting terrorism, became crown prince. His son, Mohammed bin Salman, became deputy crown prince. But bin Nayef’s position between the king and his favorite son clearly was untenable. As one Saudi close to the royals put it: “Between the onion and the skin there is only the stink.”

    Bin Nayef was pushed out in 2017. The New York Times reported that during an end-of-Ramadan gathering at the palace he “was told he was going to meet the king and was led into another room, where royal court officials took away his phones and pressured him to give up his posts as crown prince and interior minister. … At first, he refused. But as the night wore on, the prince, a diabetic who suffers from the effects of a 2009 assassination attempt by a suicide bomber, grew tired.” Royal court officials meanwhile called around to other princes saying bin Nayef had a drug problem and was unfit to be king.

    Similar pressure was brought to bear on many of the richest and most powerful princes in the kingdom, locked up in the Ritz Carlton hotel in 2017, ostensibly as part of an extra-legal fight against corruption. They were forced to give allegiance to MBS at the same time they were giving up a lot of their money.

    That pattern of coerced allegiance is what the Saudis now admit they wanted from Jamal Khashoggi. He was no prince, but he had been closely associated in the past with the sons of the late King Faisal, particularly Turki al-Faisal, who was for many years the head of the Saudi intelligence apparatus and subsequently served as ambassador to the United Kingdom, then the United States.

    Although Turki always denied he had ambitions to be king, his name often was mentioned in the past as a contender. Thus far he seems to have weathered the rule of MBS, but given the record of the crown prince anyone close to the Al Faisal branch of the family, like Khashoggi, would be in a potentially perilous position.

    Barbara Bodine is a former U.S. ambassador to Yemen, which has suffered mightily since MBS launched a brutal proxy war there against Iran. Both MBS and Trump have declared the regime in Tehran enemy number one in the region. But MBS botched the Yemen operation from the start. It was dubbed “Decisive Storm” when it began in 2015, and was supposed to last only a few weeks, but the war continues to this day. Starvation and disease have spread through Yemen, creating one of the world’s greatest humanitarian disasters. And for the moment, in one of those developments that makes the Middle East so rich in ironies, in Yemen the Saudis are allied with a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    “What drives MBS is a ruthless effort toward total control domestically and regionally; he is Putin of the Desert,” says Bodine. “He has basically broken the back of the princelings, the religious establishment and the business elite, brought all ministries and agencies of power under his sole control (’I alone can fix it’), and jailed, killed or put under house arrest activists and any and all potential as well as real opposition (including his mother).”

    In 2017, MBS and his backers in the Emirates accused Qatar of supporting “terrorism,” issuing a set of demands that included shutting down Al Jazeera. The Saudis closed off the border and looked for other ways, including military options, to put pressure on the poor little rich country that plays so many angles it has managed to be supportive of the Brotherhood and cozy with Iran while hosting an enormous U.S. military base.

    “It was Qatar’s independent streak—not just who they supported but that they had a foreign policy divorced from the dictates of Riyadh,” says Bodine. “The basic problem is that both the Brotherhood and Iran offer competing Islam-based governing structures that challenge the Saudi model.”

    “Jamal’s basic sin,” says Bodine,“was he was a credible insider, not a fire-breathing radical. He wrote and spoke in English for an American audience via credible mainstream media and was well regarded and highly visible within the Washington chattering classes. He was accessible, moderate and operated within the West. He challenged not the core structure of the Kingdom but the legitimacy of the current rulers, especially MBS.”

    “I do think the game plan was to make him disappear and I suspect the end game was always to make him dead,” said Bodine in a long and thoughtful email. “If he was simply jailed within Saudi there would have been a drumbeat of pressure for his release. Dead—there is certainly a short term cost, whether more than anticipated or longer than anticipated we don’t know yet, but the world will move on. Jamal will become a footnote, a talking point perhaps, but not a crusade. The dismembered body? No funeral. Taking out Jamal also sends a powerful signal to any dissident that there is no place safe.”

    #Arabie_Saoudite #Turquie #politique #terrorisme #putsch

  • How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump

    To understand how digital technologies went from instruments for spreading democracy to weapons for attacking it, you have to look beyond the technologies themselves. 1. The euphoria of discovery As the Arab Spring convulsed the Middle East in 2011 and authoritarian leaders toppled one after another, I traveled the region to try to understand the role that technology was playing. I chatted with protesters in cafés near Tahrir Square in Cairo, and many asserted that as long as they had the (...)

    #Google #Facebook #Twitter #Instagram #algorithme #manipulation #domination #web (...)


  • Why Was an Italian Graduate Student Tortured and Murdered in Egypt? - The New York Times

    The target of the Egyptian police, that day in November 2015, was the street vendors selling socks, $2 sunglasses and fake jewelry, who clustered under the arcades of the elegant century-old buildings of Heliopolis, a Cairo suburb. Such raids were routine, but these vendors occupied an especially sensitive location. Just 100 yards away is the ornate palace where Egypt’s president, the military strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, welcomes foreign dignitaries. As the men hurriedly gathered their goods from mats and doorways, preparing to flee, they had an unlikely assistant: an Italian graduate student named Giulio Regeni.

    He arrived in Cairo a few months earlier to conduct research for his doctorate at Cambridge. Raised in a small village near Trieste by a sales manager father and a schoolteacher mother, Regeni, a 28-year-old leftist, was enthralled by the revolutionary spirit of the Arab Spring. In 2011, when demonstrations erupted in Tahrir Square, leading to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, he was finishing a degree in Arabic and politics at Leeds University. He was in Cairo in 2013, working as an intern at a United Nations agency, when a second wave of protests led the military to oust Egypt’s newly elected president, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi, and put Sisi in charge. Like many Egyptians who had grown hostile to Morsi’s overreaching government, Regeni approved of this development. ‘‘It’s part of the revolutionary process,’’ he wrote an English friend, Bernard Goyder, in early August. Then, less than two weeks later, Sisi’s security forces killed 800 Morsi supporters in a single day, the worst state-sponsored massacre in Egypt’s history. It was the beginning of a long spiral of repression. Regeni soon left for England, where he started work for Oxford Analytica, a business-research firm.

    From afar, Regeni followed Sisi’s government closely. He wrote reports on North Africa, analyzing political and economic trends, and after a year had saved enough money to start on his doctorate in development studies at Cambridge. He decided to focus on Egypt’s independent unions, whose series of unprecedented strikes, starting in 2006, had primed the public for the revolt against Mubarak; now, with the Arab Spring in tatters, Regeni saw the unions as a fragile hope for Egypt’s battered democracy. After 2011 their numbers exploded, multiplying from four to thousands. There were unions for everything: butchers and theater attendants, well diggers and miners, gas-bill collectors and extras in the trashy TV soap operas that played during the holy month of Ramadan. There was even an Independent Trade Union for Dwarfs. Guided by his supervisor, a noted Egyptian academic at Cambridge who had written critically of Sisi, Regeni chose to study the street vendors — young men from distant villages who scratched out a living on the sidewalks of Cairo. Regeni plunged into their world, hoping to assess their union’s potential to drive political and social change.

    But by 2015 that kind of cultural immersion, long favored by budding Arabists, was no longer easy. A pall of suspicion had fallen over Cairo. The press had been muzzled, lawyers and journalists were regularly harassed and informants filled Cairo’s downtown cafes. The police raided the office where Regeni conducted interviews; wild tales of foreign conspiracies regularly aired on government TV channels.

    Continue reading the main story

    Manon 31 minutes ago
    Thank you for shedding light on the horrible death of my compatriot and the responsibilities of the Egyptian authorities.
    Emanuele Cerizza 31 minutes ago
    Great reporting. Thank you Mr. Declan Walsh for this solid view on Giulio Regeni’s ill fated death. More and more we Italians have to...
    oxerio 32 minutes ago
    If a foreign person come in NY or Palermo or Shanghai or Mexico City and became to investigate about local gang, or local mafia’s...
    Regeni was undeterred. Proficient in five languages, he was insatiably curious and exuded a low-intensity charm that attracted a wide circle of friends. From 12 to 14, he served as youth mayor of his hometown, Fiumicello. He prided himself on his ability to navigate different cultures, and he relished Cairo’s unruly street life: the smoky cafes, the endless hustle, the candy-colored party boats that plied the Nile at night. He registered as a visiting scholar at American University in Cairo and found a room in Dokki, a traffic-choked neighborhood between the Pyramids and the Nile, where he shared an apartment with two young professionals: Juliane Schoki, who taught German, and Mohamed El Sayad, a lawyer at one of Cairo’s oldest law firms. Dokki was an unfashionable address, but it was just two subway stops from downtown Cairo with its maze of cheap hotels, dive bars and crumbling apartment blocks encircling Tahrir Square. Regeni soon befriended writers and artists and practiced his Arabic at Abou Tarek, a four-story neon-lit emporium that is Cairo’s most famous spot for koshary, the traditional Egyptian dish of rice, lentils and pasta.


  • Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age, Archiving as an Act of Resistance | Ibraaz


    Vox Populi: Tahrir Archives, a project by Lara Baladi

    Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age, Archiving as an Act of Resistance
    From the very first day of the 2011 uprisings in Egypt that toppled president Mubarak, archiving played a central role. During the 18 days of the revolution in Tahrir square, photographing was an act of seeing and recording. Almost simultaneously, because a photograph is intrinsically an archival document, this act of resistance turned into act of archiving history as it unfolded.

    #archivage_militant #Égypte

  • Tensions rise between Italy and Egypt over Giulio Regeni murder - World Socialist Web Site


    Tensions rise between Italy and Egypt over #Giulio_Regeni murder
    By Marianne Arens
    20 April 2016

    The brutal murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo has resulted in an open diplomatic crisis between Egypt and Italy.

    On April 8, the government in Rome recalled its ambassador to Egypt. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that Italy had a duty to Regeni’s family “but also to the dignity of us all” to bring the “genuine truth” to light.

    #italie #égypte
    Italian student and journalist Giulio Regeni was tortured to death in Egypt in January in a bestial manner. On January 25, the fifth anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, he disappeared without a trace close to Tahrir Square. Then on February 3, his horrifically disfigured body was found in a ditch by a highway.

  • #Egypt police arrest men suspected of sexual assault at #Sisi rally

    Egyptian police have arrested seven men accused of sexually assaulting women at celebrations marking President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s inauguration, officials said Monday, as a graphic video of one such attack triggered outrage. The footage shows a crowd of men surrounding the young woman, who was stripped of her clothes and badly bruised, as police escorted her to an ambulance following Sunday’s attack at #Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square. Shared widely on social media websites, it appears to have been filmed using a mobile telephone. read more


  • From the Editors
    by The Editors
    published in MER269

    ... we do not share the opinion that Egypt has come full circle.


    Our hope is that the spirit of Tunisia and Tahrir Square in 2011 will reassert itself. Our fear is that the horrors of the intervening years will repress that spirit for a generation or more. Our expectation is that Egyptians will defy expectations, for good, ill and everything in between.


  • On the Tragedy of Two Revolutions in #Egypt and #syria

    A young Egyptian sells key rings and portraits of Egypt’s military commander Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is to run for the presidency in the upcoming elections, along with portraits of Egypt’s late leader Gamal Abdel Nasser (top-R) in Cairo’s landmark Tahrir Square on January 28, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Mohamed el-Shahed) A young Egyptian sells key rings and portraits of Egypt’s military commander Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is to run for the presidency in the upcoming elections, along with portraits of Egypt’s late leader Gamal Abdel Nasser (top-R) in Cairo’s landmark Tahrir Square on January 28, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Mohamed el-Shahed)

    It is an interesting and bizarre coincidence that two developments (...)

    #Opinion #Abdel-Fattah_al-Sisi #Ahmad_al-Jarba #Articles #Lebanon #Syrian_Oppostion

  • Nearly 50 killed on third anniversary of #Egypt revolt

    A member of the April 6th movement (center-back) is attacked by supporters of Defense Minister army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (front) in Cairo’s Talaat Harb Square, near Tahrir Square, on January 25, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Khaled Kamel)

    Nearly 50 people were killed in weekend clashes that erupted during rival rallies marking the anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 that toppled Hosni Mubarak, the health ministry said Sunday. Three years after Egyptians rose up to demand the overthrow of Mubarak, thousands of demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Saturday chanted slogans backing another military man, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as police clashed with Islamists and activists elsewhere. read (...)

    ##Jan25 #Top_News

  • #Egypt’s Salafis: Inheriting the Brotherhood and Courting the Regime

    Egyptians celebrate in Tahrir square after a new constitution was approved on January 18, 2014 in the capital Cairo. (Photo: AFP - Mahmoud Khaled). Egyptians celebrate in Tahrir square after a new constitution was approved on January 18, 2014 in the capital Cairo. (Photo: AFP - Mahmoud Khaled).

    In the midst of its scramble to inherit the #Muslim_Brotherhood, the Salafi #Nour_Party of Egypt is dithering between the challenges of maintaining its ideological consistency and expanding its role. The Nour Party has to safeguard its call for the bottom-up “Salafization” of society against the backdrop of the current regime’s anti-Islamist attitudes and counter-tensions from the Muslim Brotherhood. (...)

    #Mideast_&_North_Africa #Abdel-Fattah_al-Sisi #Articles #Salafi_Call

  • #Egypt constitution approved by 98 percent of voters, despite low turnout

    Pro-Sisi Egyptians celebrate in Tahrir square after a new constitution was approved on January 18, 2014 in the capital Cairo. (Photo: AFP - Mahmoud Khaled)

    Egyptian voters have approved a new constitution by 98.1 percent, the elections chief said Saturday, in what the government declared a popular endorsement of the army’s overthrow of president Mohammed Mursi, despite low voter turnout. The result of the Tuesday-Wednesday vote had never been in doubt, as Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists boycotted it, but the authorities wanted a large turnout in the first democratic test since the ouster in July. read (...)


  • Egypte - Ahmed Maher du mouvement du 6 avril : « Nous avons fait une grave erreur le 30 juin. Le régime brutal est de retour » - Middle East Monitor


    We took part in the 30 June (demonstration), and that turned out to be a big mistake, and we took part in what was called the correction revolution of 30 June . We went to Al-Ittihadiyyah (presidential palace) and we went down to Tahrir Square. We heard that it was (meant to be) a correction and a remedy for Morsi’s mistakes.

    We do not deny that Morsi did wrong. And we do not deny that he dealt with the situation with stupidity, nor do we deny that the Brotherhood group were too opportunistic. But what is happening now is seriously a return to the old regime and a return to the same old tactics used by Mubarak in the past; the same persecution, the same torture, the same corruption and the same lies are being spread in the media that existed during the time of Mubarak and the time of the Military Council, and, to some extent, during the time of Morsi. What is happening now is much worse.

    #AhmedMaher #6avril #Egypte #armée #Morsi

  • #Egypt bans #Protests at universities

    Cairo University’s students backing ousted president Mohammed Mursi shout slogans during a demonstration against July’s military “coup,” in Tahrir square on December 1, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.(Photo: AFP - Mohammed el-Shahed) Cairo University’s students backing ousted president Mohammed Mursi shout slogans during a demonstration against July’s military “coup,” in Tahrir square on December 1, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.(Photo: AFP - Mohammed el-Shahed)

    An Egyptian court banned on Monday student protests inside all university campuses without a prior notification to the authorities as demonstrations by pro-Muslim Brotherhood students entered it’s third consecutive day. Several universities have been witnessing recurring protests (...)

    #Muslim_Brotherhood #Top_News

  • Politics Delay #Cairo-Khartoum Highway

    Cairo University’s students backing ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi flash the four-finger sign during a demonstration against July’s military “coup,” in Tahrir square on December 1, 2013 in Cairo, #Egypt (Photo: AFP - Mahmoud Khaled). Cairo University’s students backing ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi flash the four-finger sign during a demonstration against July’s military “coup,” in Tahrir square on December 1, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AFP - Mahmoud Khaled).

    Cairo – The opening of the overland road connecting Cairo and #Khartoum has been suspended, awaiting further action by both countries’ political leadership. The opening has been delayed for over a year due to security conditions and political (...)

    #Mideast_&_North_Africa #Articles #Sudan

  • Kerry’s pro-army remarks stir controversy in US, Egypt | Mada Masr


    The Egyptian Armed Forces are bringing democracy back to their country, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared on Wednesday.

    “And those kids in Tahrir Square, they were not motivated by any religion or ideology,” Kerry said in statements published on the US Department of State website.

    “They were motivated by what they saw through this interconnected world, and they wanted a piece of the opportunity and a chance to get an education and have a job and have a future.”

    According to the American official, the Egyptian people created the revolution through Facebook and twitter because they were through with the corrupt government, but “then it [revolution] got stolen by the one single-most organized entity in the state, which was the Brotherhood.”

    Some analysts say Kerry’s statements mark a rift within the White House as President Barack Obama’s administration continues to struggle to find a cohesive stance on Egypt. According to an article in the Daily Beast, Kerry was told by the National Security Adviser Susan Rice to take a firm position on deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s trial, which he seems to have ignored in these remarks.

    “[Kerry] made a deliberate and conscious decision not to mention Morsi in his Cairo meetings,” a US government official told the Daily Beast.

    The statement angered certain parties in Egypt. Amr Darrag, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, said on Thursday that Kerry’s remarks were proof that the US government supported the “coup” that ousted Morsi, and is trying to abort the revolutionary movements sweeping the region since the 2011 Arab Spring, reported the Turkish Anadol news agency.

    Darrag added that Kerry has no right to meddle in Egypt’s internal affairs, and by no means could he tell who started the January 25 revolution, and who stole it.

    “The role of the MB is evident in all phase of the revolution," Darrag added.

  • #Egypt's Anti-Coup Alliance advises supporters to avoid Tahrir Square

    An Islamist alliance urged its supporters to stay away from Cairo’s Tahrir Square during protests Friday to avoid more bloodshed after a week in which nearly 80 Egyptians were killed. The Anti-Coup Alliance, which rejects Egypt’s military-installed government, said the “coup regime is shedding blood without any respect to law or values adopted by our great people”. “So the alliance is calling for marchers to evade places of bloodshed, be it Tahrir or other squares,” said a statement from (...)

    #Tahrir_Square. #Top_News

  • En Egypte, retour des affrontements sur la place Tahrir - Le Monde

    Au moins 51 morts, plus de 400 blessés selon les sources et au moins 423 arrestations en marge de la commémoration de la guerre de Kippour.


    Au moins cinquante personnes ont été tuées et 268 blessées, dimanche 6 octobre en Egypte, lors de heurts entre manifestants partisans du président islamiste destitué Mohamed Morsi d’un côté, et des anti-Morsi et les forces de l’ordre de l’autre côté.

    War anniversary politicized | Mada Masr

    Marches from across the capital opposed to the military-backed interim government were planning to converge in Tahrir Square. The iconic square was blocked off to traffic and under heavy security on all sides in anticipation of protests called for by the Anti-Coup Alliance, comprising of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Despite threats by the interior and defense ministries to use force against any attempts to spoil October 6 celebrations, the marchers pressed on towards Tahrir Square.
    But unlike previous pro-military rallies, the turnout on October 6 was markedly low. Eyewitnesses said numbers reached a maximum of a few thousand, compared to the hundreds of thousands who have previously taken to the streets at the general’s request.

    The area around the Ettehadeya Presidential Palace was quiet most of the day, and by evening, a few hundred were there to mark the day’s commemorations.

    Much of the celebrations in Tahrir and on national television was focused more on the actions taken against the Muslim Brotherhood over the past three months than on the 40-year anniversary of the October 6 War. Both were dealt with by the state press as victories against a national enemy.

    Mohamed Rabie, a 36-year-old employee in the Giza Youth and Sports Authority, said his employers asked him to celebrate October 6 in Tahrir: “They asked me to come here with my colleagues, but I don’t see it as a command, because we all love the military and are against the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorism.”

    Posters of Sisi were abundant as some in the square collected signatures for a petition calling on the general to stand in the upcoming presidential elections.

    Ahmed Khalil, in his 40s, told Mada Masr he came to Tahrir Square with his family to “show gratitude for the Egyptian army’s efforts and in support of Sisi,” who he hopes will run for president.

    One Mada Masr reporter who attended the rally in Tahrir Square as well as the anti-regime clashes said the day was a continuation of the war of exchanged hatred between both sides, as it was obvious that no party was protesting for clear demands.
    Despite the numbers, however, attempts to approach Tahrir were quickly quashed and met immediately with tear gas to disperse the crowds, leading them to scatter in surrounding streets in Garden City and Dokki, where the longest and most intense fighting took place.

    Another Mada Masr reporter described the determined desire of Brotherhood protesters to enter the symbolic square, without thinking of the consequences of challenging the brute force of the military and police forces stationed there.

    Although the protests include those who are not officially members of the Brotherhood, the discourse and the composition of the protests reflected, for the most part, a strong Islamist identity.

    Protests in Dokki, Mohandiseen and Garden City had a strong youth presence, which made clashes inevitable, as one Mada Masr reported explained.

    Diaporama - Ahram online http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContentMulti/83363/Multimedia.aspx

    Le maréchal Tantawi a été invité aux célébrations militaires.

    #Egypte #violence #6octobre

  • Egypt’s Counter Revolution « LRB blog

    While accusing one another of betraying the revolution, both liberals and Islamists, at various intervals, tried to cut deals with the army, as if it might be a neutral force, as if the people and the army really were ‘one hand’, as people had once chanted in Tahrir Square. Neither had the ruthlessness, or the taste for blood, of Khomeini, who began to decapitate the Shah’s army as soon as he seized power.

    While the old regime reassembled its forces, Egypt’s revolutionaries mistook their belief in the revolution for the existence of a revolution. (...).

    The triumph of the counter-revolution has been obvious for a while, but most of Egypt’s revolutionaries preferred to deny it, and some actively colluded in the process, telling themselves that they were allying themselves with the army only in order to defend the revolution. Al-Sisi was only too happy to flatter them in this self-perception, as he prepared to make his move.

  • Robert Fisk on Egypt: As impoverished crowds gather in support of Mohamed Morsi, the well-heeled march behind their images of the
    The Independent, 27th of July


    Hundreds of thousands of people turned out outside Cairo’s Rabaa mosque yesterday to protest against the coup d’état in Egypt, while hundreds of thousands poured into Tahrir Square to support their favourite general, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who staged the coup-that-we-mustn’t-call-a-coup.

    Grotesque, unprecedented, bizarre. Call it what you like. But the helicopters swooping happily over Tahrir, and the line of visor-wearing riot police and troops standing opposite the Muslim Brotherhood’s barricades, told their own story. Journalists should not be merchants of gloom, but things did not look too good in Cairo last night.

  • The Violence on the Female Body in Pina Bausch’s Work - The Funambulist

    Many of us probably saw the horrifying videos of the new collective rapes that happened in the last few weeks on Tahrir Square by groups of men who took advantage of the political crowd in order to commit the unforgivable. These assaults on women occurred several times in the past already and I invite my readers to look at the work Bridgette Auger (see past article) has been doing to document these extremely violent acts. How can art express this unbearable violence that has been perpetuated for centuries by men on women? The work of Pina Bausch has such a strong response to this question that it allows us to wonder how deep can art go.

    #femmes #violence #danse

  • Egyptian Revolution: Three Myths - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

    Egyptian Revolution : Three Myths

    (...) The first popular misconception was that Mubarak was deposed by the protesters. It wasn’t the demands of protesters in Tahrir Square alone that brought Mubarak down. Cleavages that had already developed between Mubarak and his military command prior to the protests also contributed to his demise. (...) The second misconception was that what occurred in 2011 was a revolution. Although the protest movements in 2011 were building toward becoming a full revolution, that process was stopped in its tracks before it could reach its tipping point. (...) The third major misconception was that the events of 2011 were a win for the protesters. Ironically, the military in 2011 wrested power from Mubarak but also snatched it from the secular groups that had opposed him in the street. The mostly secular protesters, who had a competitive advantage in the tumult of Tahrir Square, were at a disadvantage when competing in the rough-and-tumble post-Mubarak political environment.

  • When the democratic process isn’t enough
    By Rami G. Khouri

    The fascinating, simultaneous demonstrations and challenges to democratically elected regimes in Egypt, Turkey and Brazil this month suggest that we need to look for an explanation for all this in something structural in newly democratized societies, rather than in cultural explanations. The silliest common cultural line of analysis asks about the compatibility between “Islam and democracy,” without our ever hearing an analogous discussion of, say, “Judaism and democracy” or “Christianity and democracy.”

    The mass demonstrations in these three countries are particularly intriguing because their leaderships are democratically elected, and therefore unquestionably legitimate. Also, all three countries were passing through moments of great hope and achievement; these included significant mass economic improvements in people’s well-being in Brazil and Turkey, and a democratic transition in Egypt that created a new global icon of the popular will for mass dignity and civil rights: Tahrir Square. Politically mummified Egypt set a new benchmark against which other political agitation around the world would be measured, whether in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2011 or in Turkey this month where analysts debated whether the Turkish people were about to create a new Tahrir Square.

    (...) If the legitimacy of the leaderships in these three countries is not directly in question – after all, they were elected in free and fair democratic elections – then why have dissatisfied citizens taken to the streets to show their concerns?

    I suspect that what we are witnessing is a dramatic expression of the weaknesses inherent in two simultaneous processes that are slowly expanding across the world: One is democratic rule based on majoritarianism, and the other is the continued diffusion of neoliberal capitalism, which turns citizens into consumers and gives corporations much greater power in the public realm than it does to the mass of ordinary citizens. (...).


    Most of the protests have been spontaneous, locally organized and not coordinated in a sustainable national movement. The best outcome from these protests would be to reinvigorate the formal democratic processes – elections, parliaments, courts, political parties – that tend to lose their glamour and much of their legitimacy when they become callously arrogant.

  • The circle of hell : Inside Tahrir’s mob sexual assault epidemic

    Cet article revient sur les viols collectifs survenus sur la place Tahrir. On note depuis plusieurs mois que ce sont toujours les mêmes procédés, même si depuis peu, il y a de plus en plus de victimes (19 victimes en 3 heures lors du second anniversaire de la Révolution) et que les attaques sont plus violentes.
    A ce jour, aucune arrestation selon cet article, qui remet ce phénomène en perspectives.

    “The context of Tahrir is political and the attacks that happen there are probably organised,” argues Ghozlan.
    “The question is, why is it only taking place in Tahrir Square?” Tallima asked. “Why not in front of the presidential palace [where many demonstrations have taken place] or during other large marches? Tahrir is targeted. It is the symbol of the revolution and they want to break it.”
    Tallima argues that counter-revolutionaries have been trying for months to damage the image of the square. He said that during the notorious ’Battle of the Camel’ in February 2011, the regime used Egyptians from the poor suburb of Nazlet El-Saman to wield an attack on the square to empty it of protesters.
    “One girl was raped with a knife. The horrifying nature of this attack and others do not give any sexual gratification unless you are a sadist,” El-Shafie said. “And they cannot all be sadists. The aim is to give women the worst experience possible so that they will never go back again.”
    If the new gang attacks on women are a political weapon, it would not be the first time it is used in Egypt.

    Politician Gamila Ismail was assaulted in 2001 when she was running for parliament against a member of Mubarak’s now dissolved National Democratic Party.
    “I was attacked by 17 ex-convict women in front of the polling station,” recalls Ismail.
    “The judges, supervising the elections, saw the attack. I even saw state security officers directing the attack.”
    In 2005, several female reporters and journalists were beaten and stripped during an anti-regime protest in front of the Journalists Syndicate.
    “The government took no action against this attack. It was clear that the state was sanctioning terrorism and intimidation of women,” said Said Sadek, political sociologist at the American University in Cairo (AUC).
    The state, says Sadek, has been using sexual humiliation to crackdown on opponents for years. Neither men nor women are spared. He cites the case of Emad El-Kebeer, a microbus driver who was sodomized by two police officers in 2007. To humiliate him, they recorded the act.
    “It was videotaped and spread in his area on purpose to humiliate him,” Sadek said. “This is called the shame culture.”
    The government’s lack of response in the recent Tahrir gang assaults also raises question marks, says Sadek.
    “I don’t think their tactic will scare women, but definitely any woman who goes to Tahrir must know the consequences,” says Ghozlan. “You may get shot, you may get tear gassed and you may also get raped and sexually assaulted.”


  • Graffiti artists defend work in Tahrir Square with ’Quranic verses’ - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online

    Minor clashes erupted in Mohamed Mahmoud Street near Tahrir Square on Friday between revolutionary Graffiti-supporters who gathered to close down the street to protect art work on its wall from potential vandalism, and Salafist demonstrators.
    The clashes allegedly started after rumors circulated that Salafist protesters erased the graffiti of the Egyptian uprising’s martyrs on the street and replaced them with Quranic verses.

    According to Al-Ahram Arabic news website, the verses were drawn by pro-revolution graffiti artist Ammar Abu Bakr and his partners on Thursday night.

    The graffiti artists used Quranic verses to communicate with the Islamists “in their own religious language,” according to Abu Bakr.

    #graffitis #Le_Caire #Égypte #Abu_Bakr #Al_Ahram