Mahmoud Salem

86 Articles

Mahmoud Salem is a political activist, writer, and social media consultant. His writings could be found at www.sandmonkey.org and follow him @sandmonkey on Twitter

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Latest by Mahmoud Salem


Mahmoud Salem

And a toast to you all…

On 22 January 2012, two days before the then MB-controlled parliament convened for the first time, I hosted a party at my house. The moment you enter the door of the apartment, you face a big banner that said: “The Muslim Brotherhood are coming… quickly grab a drink or two”. Needless to say, the guests …


Mahmoud Salem

An unnecessary, yet much needed explanation

Dear Mahmoud, I have been following your writings, and I must say that I’ve been a bit disappointed by the shift in your views lately. While you were a big supporter of 30 June and the end of the unfortunate episode of Egyptian history called “The Morsi Presidency”, it seems that you have started to …


Mahmoud Salem

Your Weekly News

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week’s news from the fair land of Egypt, the place so magical that the state’s institutions spend all of their effort in putting a smile and a chuckle on its citizens’ faces. We start our broadcast with the latest update regarding the military’s miracle cure, the CCD, by General …


Mahmoud Salem

The Conman’s paradise

In the 1960’s, the Egyptian state newspaper Al-Ahram was filled with headlines about the amazing scientific breakthroughs of the Egyptian military. One such headline celebrated the invention of the first “Arab-made” airplane – one that could reach Mach 2 – while the other announced to the world the creation of Egyptian missiles that could reach …


Mahmoud Salem

Leadership and Spin

In an interview two years ago, a French journalist asked me the tired question of whether the pitfall of the 25 January Revolution was the lack of a clear unifying leader. With exasperated breath, I explained to her that this was impossible for two very logical reasons: (1) If such a leader existed, he would …


Mahmoud Salem

Al-Sisi’s dwindling options

The Media momentum was there: the constitutional referendum had passed without “major incidents” (which is code for polling stations not getting blown up), the presidential elections law was issued, Adly Mansour promoted Al-Sisi to the rank of field marshal, and even the military published its semi-endorsment for him to run for president. All the man …


Mahmoud Salem

Stuck

On 24 January Egypt was rocked by a number of explosions all over. Al-Qaeda offshoot “Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis”, claimed responsibility, and the Ministry of Interior acted accordingly went and ambushed leftist activist Nazly Hussein at the Maadi Metro station on the 25th and charged her of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Nazly, she …


Mahmoud Salem

Consequences

So, the constitutional referendum, as expected, has passed with flying colours. Official results cite a turn out that’s over 20 million people who voted Yes for the constitution by 98%. It is again worth noting that the supreme majority of those who voted for the constitution didn’t bother reading it or care what was in …


Mahmoud Salem

On means and ends

On Tuesday, Egypt votes on the new constitution, which aims to show the world that 30 June has electoral legitimacy, and thus undermine the Muslim Brotherhood’s legitimacy as well. Given that the Yes campaign is on the streets, on TV, in the newspapers, all over the social media and in targeted text messages to phones, …


Mahmoud Salem

The curious case of Egypt’s economy

According to economists, any country that experiences a revolution should have an economic recession within six months. For anyone who has followed our news, this was not the case in Egypt, and curiously, still isn’t. One of the strangest economic facts that very few people cite about this country is that it hasn’t suffered a …


Mahmoud Salem

The Weak State

As the months have trudged by since 30 June, there has been a myriad of talk in the media regarding the creation of the new Egyptian state. The 3 July press conference, showing Al-Sisi with ElBaradei (representing the NSF), Sheikh Al-Azhar, Pope Tawadros, and the Head of Al-Nour Salafi Party, showed the outline of what …


Mahmoud Salem

2013 Winner and Losers

With the year winding down, it’s time to count this year’s winners and losers. Winners: 1)      The Nour Party: Hands down 2013’s biggest winner is the Salafi Nour Party. It played its hand perfectly after 30 June, recognising its symbolic importance to the 3 July coalition on both national and international levels. The party managed …


Mahmoud Salem

Egypt’s others

“Old Regime Remnants”, “The traditional forces”, “The ruling elite”, “Mubarak supporters” and “Army Boot-lickers” are all names used to describe what some people believe to be Egypt’s strongest political force, the felool. They are the fourth player in post-revolution’s Egypt political field after the Islamists, liberals and revolutionaries; yet, there is very little written about …


Mahmoud Salem

Interests

Our dear military, we have a problem, and one that needs to be addressed immediately. We seem to have conflicting interests, and I fear that those interests, or rather your interests, will destroy this country for years to come, against the wishes of all of your supporters. Allow me to break it down for you, …


Mahmoud Salem

Thy will be done

In this column we have often discussed the past and the present, so let’s for a minute discuss the future. Make no mistake, this is not a column about hopes and aspirations and dreams of an unlikely future if we all did this or stopped doing that. This is about reality, and how despite everything …


Mahmoud Salem

Beyond Definitions

A couple of weeks ago, on a beautiful sunny Friday, I was having breakfast with a young and brilliant economist, who is a friend of mine. I asked for her opinion on how Egypt is doing economically, and if there was a term that actually defined our economic state. She laughed hysterically, then told me …


Mahmoud Salem

Eight things the interim government can do

The Egyptian interim government’s performance has been rather disappointing to the population. The current Prime Minister, Hazem El-Beblawi, seems to be only focused on getting more money from Gulf  nations to sustain the current dysfunctional government, rather than actually lead on, well, anything. His government has operated so far to serve one objective: spend money …


Mahmoud Salem

The trial

Last Monday was the trial of ex-President Morsi, and as expected, it was a circus. The deposed president looked healthy in a grey suit, walking into a cage of senior MB members dressed in prison whites, who were cheering him as president and holding up the Rabaa sign. As expected, he repeatedly shouted that he …


Mahmoud Salem

The selfish heartless argument for keeping Syrians in Egypt

Dear Egyptian readers: This article will not try to garner your sympathy over the plight and horror that Syrian refugees face in Egypt. It will not try to appeal to your humanity by informing you of the horrible conditions under which they live here, the random arrests they face or the horror that awaits them …


Mahmoud Salem

On popularity and bubbles

Stories by foreign journalists on Egypt usually come in themes. One period it’s all about sexual harassment, the other it’s all about Egypt’s very bad liberals, and currently it’s all about the Sisi Personality cult. Articles probing all sides of the “story”, from the cult’s prevalence to what it means to the role of the …


Mahmoud Salem

The Way of the Revolution Front: A critique

On 24 September The Way of the Revolution Front -a new group made of old faces that include Alaa AbdelFatah, Ahmed Maher, the socialist revolutionaries and various ex-MB activists– was created, in an effort to create a  political “revolutionary” third option that rejects both the MB and the military, and aims to focus on achieving …


Mahmoud Salem

November 19th

For many Egyptians, 19 November is a black stain on our history, since it’s the anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes of 2011. With over 40 dead and thousands other injured in four days of clashes with the MOI, there has been no accountability or justice for the victims’ families. In a post-30 June world, …


Mahmoud Salem

Waiting in the Queue…

We’ve been fighting for fifty years the same war, we can’t forget And the country is like a waiting room, And the queue reaches the airport “From the Queue”, By Mashrou’ Leila ……….. A picture of a wedding, where the bridesmaids are all wearing army fatigues, appears on your timeline. Another picture of a different …


Mahmoud Salem

Strategy

There are three schools utilised by the state facing strategic Political Violence, also known as terrorism: 1) The Justice System model, where the police and the judiciary pursue such acts as civilian criminal offenses (the most effective model  and takes place in civilised democratic countries; but to be fair, it usually takes a really long …


Mahmoud Salem

Snippets from a fun society

On June 26th, four days before June 30th, I was driving home to Heliopolis passing by Ghamra, when the following took place in 60 seconds: The driver of the car in front of me suddenly got his arm out, which had a gun, and proceeded to shoot three times in the air, before swerving and …


Mahmoud Salem

Here to inform…

When the television was invented back in the early 20th century, many people believed that they had finally found an effective method to eradicate ignorance all over the world. Enthusiasts believed that children would learn from their homes, and the public would become better informed about the issues that governed their lives. While most people …


Mahmoud (Sandmonkey) Salem

For Mohamed Ibrahim, the clock is ticking for his removal…

In case you are not familiar with who Mohamed Ibrahim is, he is the current Minister of Interior in Egypt, and a disgrace. He was appointed by former President Mohamed Morsi in the middle of the constitutional crisis in order to turn a blind eye when the Muslim Brotherhood’s thugs were sent to attack and …


Mahmoud Salem

State of play

Upon returning from a two-week trip abroad, the level of hatred towards the Muslim Brotherhood that I found in every person I spoke to is unprecedented and shocking.  From the moment I boarded the plane in New York until I left the airport in Cairo there was a constant theme to every small talk conversation …


Mahmoud Salem

The Dark Tunnel

This should be a Happy Story If this revolution had a motto, it would be “Everything you ever wanted, in the worst possible way”. Conventional wisdom said that if there was ever a revolution against Mubarak, then the Muslim Brotherhood would win. Conventional Wisdom said that if the Islamists ever made it to power they …