Op-ed review: Messages of unity between Muslims and Christians and praise of the regime

Amira El-Fekki
6 Min Read

In Sunday’s issue, state-owned daily Al-Ahram’s op-eds focused on presenting examples of the achievements made by the president and the regime.

First, its editorial team wrote on the occasion of Coptic Christmas, celebrating national unity and the opening of the New Administrative Capital’s church.

Second, Al-Ahram Chairperson Abdel Mohsen Salama praised what he considered a government initiative to a comprehensive project to develop the “isolated” Sinai Peninsula, which, in his opinion, started with infrastructure projects and would bring economic prosperity to the peninsula.

Salama also admired award-winning football player Mohamed Salah, who brought Egypt back onto the sports scene and helped Egypt make it to the World Cup. On a different note, Salama applauded Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr’s efforts in eliminating long bureaucratic procedures facing investors, asserting that simple procedures are now in place.

As for TV host Ahmed Moussa, he focused on the “accomplishments” of President Abdel Fattah, saying that maintaining them will be his major challenge in the upcoming elections.

Moreover, Makram Mohamed Ahmed, head of the Supreme Media Council, dedicated his column to Egypt’s role during its two-year membership at the UN Security Council. Ahmed said Egypt worked towards fighting terrorism, ending the humanitarian crisis in Syria, political reconciliation in Libya and most important of all, the resolution it pushed forward against US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

On the inauguration of the new church, two writers in Al-Youm Al-Sabea praised the president’s fulfilment of his promise before due time. Youssef Ayoub said Al-Sisi delivered his promise to “our Christian brothers.”

“I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said we live in the best times of national unity,” Ayoub wrote, saying that sectarianism has ended under the current regime, as it was fuelled in the past by the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood members and some extremist Salafists.”

For Al-Youm Al-Sabea’s Mahmoud Saad El-Din, the New Administrative Capital is not getting enough marketing and media attention. There are no weekly newspaper pages covering the stories of success of the engineers and workers or any other sort of regularly organised media content to cover the “dream coming true.”

The newspaper’s editor-in-chief Khaled Salah shared hopes that this year’s Christmas celebrations would bring end to extremist ‘fatwas’ banning Muslims from greeting Christians. Salah celebrated the birth of Jesus in his article. Also, Karam Gabr, head of the National Press Council, shared the same idea on national unity in Egypt, denouncing hatred.

Meanwhile, Al-Shorouk’s writers took a more critical tone in their op-eds published on Sunday.

Ahmed Abd Rabo, Comparative Politics teacher at Cairo University, reflected on the death penalty in Egypt, in which he said he was absolutely in favour of it by 2013. Abd Rabo explained how his view gradually changed as the political and legal contexts of the penalty became confusing. He believed that military courts opened doors for the execution of innocents. He proposed amendments to procedures which would guarantee justice, “because revenge alone would not be enough.”

On a different topic, journalist Ayman Sayyed insisted that the resolutions issued in UN Special Sessions are obligatory, wondering whether Arab diplomacy would stand in defence of the latest resolution on Jerusalem or choose not to fight with their “friend” Donald Trump “over side issues?”

Why some Arabs are totally subordinating to Trump was the topic tackled by Al-Shorouk’s editor-in-chief Emad El-Din Hussein. In his column, Hussein raised concerns about recent reports suggesting that the US was the mastermind of the Saudi Arabian “coup” which brought Mohamed bin Salman to power. According to him, some Arab officials continue to fully trust American officials despite the fact that the latter will not have problems breaking that confidence if it came to their own interests.

Last but not least, several pieces discussed the recent tensions between Egypt and Sudan. In Al-Ahram and the private Al-Bawaba newspapers, there was a common argument that the crisis could be contained, given the historical bonds between the two countries.

But in the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm and Al-Watan, there were more serious accusations to Sudanese President Omar Bashir. In Al-Masry, journalist Abbas Al-Tarabili argued that the president’s strategies are harmful to Egypt – and Sudan too.

Samir Ragab criticised the president too, claiming that he repeatedly sought to make moves that would upset Sudan, including the recent Suakin island handed to Turkey, thus becoming not only a threat to Egypt’s national security but also to his stay in power.

This comes as senior journalist Emad El-Din Adeeb wrote in Al-Watan that Sudan continued escalating against Egypt, after ceding its sovereignty over the island to Turkey, as well as the Renaissance Dam issue, Halayeb and Shalaten, and accusations to Egypt of supporting the rebels. “Bashir is only looking to protect his own interests and that is the core of his stance towards Egypt,” Adeeb concluded.

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Journalist in DNE's politics section, focusing on human rights, laws and legislations, press freedom, among other local political issues.
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