Rana Allam

70 Articles

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Latest by Rana Allam


Rana Allam

A jihadi in the making

We used to work together in the same company during the 25 January Revolution, a genius upper-middle class young man in his mid-twenties and I was his manager. We would run into each other in Tahrir Square chanting the same slogans of “bread, freedom and social justice”, and carrying the same banners demanding change. After …


Managing editor Rana Allam

Justice Minister Al-Zind: a perfect representation of the times

“We [judges] are the masters and the rest are the slaves” is indeed the most memorable quote by Egypt’s new Justice Minister Ahmed Al-Zind, head of the Judges’ Club. The rest of this sentence as said by Al-Zind during a phone interview on a TV show was: “Whatever represents an attack on the Judiciary’s prestige, …


Rana Allam

Certain entropy

Since the revolution and until a few months ago, with every news item published, Egyptians of all walks of life would begin analysing and discussing the significance of said news item. Different opinions and agitated discussions would be heard on the streets, on social media and with friends. Analyses floated around, mostly made up of …


Rana Allam

Women’s rights do not sell

In late 2013, the Thomson Reuters Foundation conducted its third annual poll on women’s rights in Arab states. 336 specialists designed the poll to assess the extent to which states adhere to key provisions of the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which most Arab League states have signed, ratified or …


Rana Allam

Better than Syria?

It was back in the late 1980s when I, a young teenager then, visited my Syrian side of the family. In the garden of a family member’s villa, a group of us, all teenagers, gathered late at night and started telling jokes. The Syrians love the Egyptian sense of humour and jokes, and so I …


Rana Allam

‘Catastrophic’ it is!

Amnesty International said last week that Egypt is witnessing a “catastrophic” decline in human rights. Indeed, human rights conditions in Egypt are currently a disaster, but the “catastrophe” Egyptians are witnessing these days is all-encompassing. On Friday, the government announced an increase in fuel prices – a step every government has struggled to take and …


Rana Allam

Excuse us for being sceptical

The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict was held last week in London, the largest gathering to ever happen on the subject. Co-chaired by the UK foreign secretary William Hague and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, the summit gathered delegations from 129 countries, including 79 ministers. This gathering aimed at bringing the international …


Rana Allam

In search of alternatives

“Who is the alternative?” This was indeed the most repeated and frustrating question asked by the pro-Sisi camp during the past two weeks, before and during the surreal presidential election that brought a military man to power after three years of calls for democracy. The question is frustrating because this camp thinks that the “revolution” …


Managing editor Rana Allam

What am I going to tell my reporters?

Nine months ago, last July, when the army backed the people who took to the streets on 30 June and Al Sisi came out in all his glory reading the armed forces statement which included almost everything protesting Egyptians demanded at the time. A specific roadmap was announced and a temporary civilian president was instated. …


Managing editor Rana Allam

Al-Sisi’s austerity request

“Egypt’s youth is its hope; they need to give and not expect to take anything now.” “Egypt needs a lot from us. Egypt’s youth should not be thinking about when will they be able to get married or when will they ‘live’, they need to build the country first.” “Our economic situation is extremely difficult, …


Managing editor Rana Allam

The future of the two little girls

A couple of weeks ago, on my road back home using 6 October Bridge, I managed to avoid hitting two young girls – girls so little as to be invisible unless right in front of the car. For a full week, I saw them selling tissues in the same spot, and every day I could …


Managing editor Rana Allam

On women in Egypt: Equality doesn’t mean justice

In late 2013, Thomson Reuters conducted a poll ranking Egypt the worst country among 22 Arab League states for women’s rights. The poll measured women’s status in six different categories. First, “Women in politics” calculated women’s civil representation and presence in high public positions. “Women in society” measured tradition and cultural expectations and limitations of …


Managing editor Rana Allam

A constitution not worth its ink

Since the new constitution passed, I have been flooded with emails and meetings from foreign journalists, lawyers, rights advocates and what have you, asking the same question: Isn’t the newly passed constitution better in preserving human rights and freedoms, compared to the previous one(s)? And shouldn’t this be enough for Egyptians? I have faced the …


Managing editor Rana Allam

Impunity

In the past month, as a journalist, I was involved in discussions with several organisations that defend and protect journalists on the best way to handle Egypt’s crackdown on journalists and how to protect them. My opinion was always the same: in a country that follows no law, there can be no protection. There is …


Managing editor Rana Allam

The illusion of change

A new era has begun in Egypt: an era of stability and security, of safety and justice, of rights and freedoms, of women’s rights, children’s rights and rights for the disabled. An era of democracy has suddenly befallen on us on the eve of the landslide success of a Yes vote to a new progressive …


Managing editor Rana Allam

Mohamed Ibrahim, an unsolved mystery

Today marks the anniversary of the appointment of Mohamed Ibrahim as Egypt’s Minister of Interior. And so another year begins with the man who survived it all, whose forces killed indiscriminately under his command and proved to all the people of Egypt that the Ministry of Interior is the regime’s tool to oppress; any regime …


Managing editor Rana Allam

Will you vote this year?

This will be the third year in a row that Egyptians will vote on a constitution. Yet another referendum with yet another Yes campaign. Vote Yes for stability , they said in 2011. Vote Yes for Islam, they said in 2012. Vote Yes for your country, they are saying in 2013. Never are there campaigns …


Rana Allam

The Bachmann dilemma

When I got into the newsroom Tuesday morning, a heated discussion between my colleagues was ongoing about whether or not to publish Michele Bachmann’s piece (which was sent to us by her office). Most of the young democracy-passionate reporters were vehemently against publishing her, very few were for it, and our Opinion editor was quite …


Managing editor Rana Allam

Keeping Egyptians in check

A 16 year old boy, the son of an acquaintance, went to attend the Ghana-Egypt match dressed in an Al-Ahly t-shirt and holding a fireworks stick. The boy watched the match, left and was taking a cab when the police arrested him, charging him with participating in Mohamed Mahmoud clashes. Why is this alright? Because …


Managing editor Rana Allam

Humiliating Mohamed Mahmoud

The thing about the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes specifically is the mere fact that those who had never joined a protest even through the 18 glorious days took to that one. They did so not because they wanted to grab power or even present a political demand, but in defence of family members of those who …


Managing editor Rana Allam

The right to say NO!

On 23 March 2011, under the rule of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and two months after the 25 January Revolution, the then-cabinet of Essam Sharaf approved a protest law that criminalised strikes, protests, demonstrations and sit-ins that “interrupt private or state owned businesses or affect the economy in any way”. The law …


Managing editor Rana Allam

There will be no progress

There will be no progress, as long as we keep repeating the same mistakes, as long as hypocrisy and lies are the name of the game, as long as no real change happens. There will be no progress in the Tourism industry, as long as our government continues to believe that it is a “marketing” …


Rana Allam

The ‘democracy’ that was

“Egypt needs to revert back to the democratic path,” is a common line thrown in our faces from every Tom, Dick and Harry across the world.  Egypt’s leaders diplomatically respond with the roadmap of election, constitution drafting and the rest of the plan they have in mind. Being on the ground, dealing day-to-day with that …


Managing editor Rana Allam

If you are not with us, you are against us

For three years, Egyptians have been taking to the streets demanding democracy, social justice and freedom, and for three years they have been denied. They are being cornered over and over into making tough choices, then end up choosing what they deem “less horrible” and the results have never lived up to their aspirations. As …


Rana Allam

The isolated tent city of Rabaa

A friend had to go to the police station by the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in for some documents, and there was no escape but to go through the thousands of protesters stationed in front of the Nasr City police station. My friend said: “it is a city of a parallel world”; posters of ousted president Morsi …


Managing editor Rana Allam

The media talks to ghosts

On Thursday 4 July, state owned news agency MENA and several international agencies, reported that the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, was arrested along with his deputy Khairat El-Shater.  We published the news. On Friday 5 July, Badie was giving a speech from the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in where thousands of his supporters …


Managing editor Rana Allam

A not-so-silent majority

Back in 25 January 2011, the revolutionaries who started the uprising were later joined by the Muslim Brotherhood, who contributed in relatively increasing the number of protesters. But what made all the difference was the participation of what is called “the silent bloc;” after that, the number of people on the streets soared and the …


Managing editor Rana Allam

The Islamisation of a culture

For 23 years, Egypt’s cultural scene was in the hands of Farouq Hosny. One can write volumes on the man, rumours mixed with truths until his reputation was completely ruined. What we do know though is that he was a lousy painter; he painted like a six year old and yet he was able to …


Managing editor Rana Allam

A country afraid of its parliament

There is not one political faction that wants to hold parliamentary elections nowadays, except maybe the Salafis. Elections were expected to be held in the next few months, right after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. However, everyone seems to be dreading these elections, despite the show to the contrary. It seems that all parties …