Basil El-Dabh

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Latest by Basil El-Dabh

280 referred to criminal court for ‘violence, joining terrorist organisation’, other charges

The chief prosecutor of the South Sharqeya district referred 280 people to criminal court on Sunday, including 12 students, accused of violence and incitement in seven separate cases, according to state media. The charges filed by the prosecution include joining a terrorist group, violating the Protest Law, possessing material deemed to be incitement against the …

As little like IS as possible

A tiny, misunderstood, and often-persecuted community is facing a serious crisis in Iraq. The Yezidi, who practice an ancient monotheistic religion, face genocide as militants of the “Islamic State” (IS) have overrun Sinjar, the main hub for this minority, and proceeded to slaughter and torment them, sending tens of thousands of them up into the …

Basil El-Dabh

Unsustainable solutions to unsustainability

Subsidy reform was inevitable. That’s what President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his supporters said this week when fuel prices were raised and taxes on some consumer goods were hiked. And they aren’t wrong. The “social contract” between the government and its people has clearly become unsustainable as deficits increased, especially over the past three years. …

Basil El-Dabh

Facts are stubborn things

On 5 March 1770, British soldiers killed five civilians in Boston, Massachusetts in what Americans would call the “Boston Massacre”. The incident happened within the larger context of escalating polarisation between factions calling for American independence and those loyal to the British Crown. Leading up to the trial of eight British soldiers, the polarisation was …

Basil El-Dabh

The first step to solving a problem

You don’t need to read the United Nations report saying 99.3% of Egyptian women have been sexually harassed (and worse) to know how serious of a problem the issue is in Egypt. Half of Egyptian society is under constant threat in the public space — studies, reported cases, and anecdotes all make this very clear. …

Basil El-Dabh

The EU, Bassem Youssef, and reinforcing criticism

On Saturday night, a video of a National Council for Women (NCW) press conference went viral. The footage shows representatives of the European Union Electoral Observer Mission (EUEOM) leaving the press conference after being berated and criticised for the mission’s preliminary report by attendees at the press conference, including head of the NCW Mervat Tellawy. …

Basil El-Dabh

A not so good omen

Music is a powerful means to stimulate the memory. Certain songs take me back to specific moments in my childhood, university years, and adulthood. The song Bushrat Kheir (“Good Omen”), recently released by Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jasmi for Egyptians in celebration of these presidential elections, will always remind me of Monday and Tuesday of this …

Basil El-Dabh

Egypt’s rule of law: Strong on paper, shakier on the ground

Earlier this month, Egypt’s cabinet passed a law confronting one of the country’s worst epidemics. The new sexual harassment law both increases fines against offenders and expands actions which are defined as harassment by law. In a country where it has been estimated that 99.3% of women are sexually harassed, the amendments to the Penal …

US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy speak to the media prior to their meetings in Washington, DC on April 29, 2014 at the State Department.  AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV

Fahmy meets with Kerry

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy says Egypt-US ties will change but have “new and firmer foundation”