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Latest in In Focus


Outside looking in: An international perspective on Egypt’s economy

Reform is needed to boost investor confidence and bring back higher levels of FDI

Bessma Momani has a PHD in political science with a focus on international political economy. She is an associate professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo and authored the book IMF-Egyptian Debt Negotiations.

Momani highlighted three key areas investors view as intersecting with politics: confidence, perception and reform.

Mostafa Salem

Hijab fashion in Egypt: a classical wrap or a trendy “Spanish”?

The hijab fashion in Egypt has been changing rapidly over the last ten years. Although the Spanish style veil has emerged five years ago, a newer and faster “Spanish” is getting simpler and looser now. Some argue that the traditional hijab, despite the new florescent colours, will soon fade out in Egypt.

Ethar Shalaby

Constitutional amendments: Repeating past mistakes?

Parallel to the ongoing political turmoil, the country is having its second constitutional debate. The amendments have been criticised heavily and they will be handed over to the constituent assembly that was formed this week. Daily News Egypt reviews the amendments and the criticism of them.

Sarah El Masry

Where is Egypt heading?

Today Egypt stands mired in a political conflict so dire and complex that the country’s future is hard to forecast. Egypt, once hailed as a beacon of democratic hope for other countries associated with the so-called Arab Spring, is more consumed with calming political infighting following the ouster of its first elected president. In an attempt to understand where Egypt is heading, political analysts offered explanations and lessons from the history of countries such as Algeria. The Daily News Egypt explores these scenarios and their feasibility for Egypt.

Sarah El Masry

Polarised, politicised and biased: Covering Egypt

In Egypt’s dire political situation, one of the most important ways to understand the complexities of the situation is the media; supposedly the institution that seeks to find the truth and present it to its audience. However, in Egypt’s case, much of the local media is polarised, politicised and biased, and international media as well does not serve as an alternative for objective reporting due to the many challenges it faces. The Daily News Egypt reviews the positions of local and international media coverage of Egypt’s latest events, and the different narratives that are presented.

Sarah El Masry

Ramadan’s drama series infused with politics

Every year dozens of drama series and soap operas are produced in Ramadan. While politics have always found their way into these series, the January 25th Revolution has taken this politicisation to a new level. The Daily News Egypt reviews the themes portrayed in drama series of this year’s Ramadan, how the political conflict is represented and what narratives are propagated.

Sarah El Masry

Smoke and mirrors: Smuggled cigarettes

There’s no doubt that smoking is a detrimental practice; no matter how light some cigarettes are, they still do harm to the body. Yet in Egypt, about 40% of adult men and 8% of adult women are smokers, and since 25 January, access to cigarettes has only increased, as new brands have entered the Egyptian market illegally and are sold at cheaper prices. The Daily News Egypt looks into the issue of smuggled cigarettes and their additional harmful impact on smokers.

Sarah El Masry

Ramadan: A spiritual journey

In the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims across the world fast for the holy month of Ramadan. Although the observance of this month can be hectic and less productive for some, it undoubtedly boosts spirituality and reminds Muslims of some of the core values of Islam: honesty, charity and purification. The Daily News Egypt takes you through a journey to discover Ramadan’s rituals and spiritual aims.

Sarah El Masry

A solution for Egypt’s fuel crisis?

The recurring petrol and diesel crises have left Egypt’s streets paralysed and the people angry. Despite the continuity of the diesel crisis throughout the past months, the petrol crisis is primarily affecting Egyptians from middle and upper classes, a phenomenon unprecedented on the current scale. The government has promised the crisis will end once the new smartcard system is in effect. The Daily News Egypt reviews the new system and asks people about the system’s feasibility and convenience to their needs.

Sarah El Masry

Egypt’s right to information law

Ninety-three countries worldwide have passed right to information (RTI) laws. Among Arab countries, Jordan was the first to take the initiative in 2007, followed by Tunisia in 2011 after the Jasmine revolution, and Yemen in 2012. Now it is Egypt’s turn to pass its right to information law in an attempt to improve economic conditions for investments, establish a system of accountability and fight a long legacy of corruption deeply embedded in the Egyptian state. However, two years after the revolution, the country is still struggling with its draft of an RTI law, mainly due to the implicit resilience and restrictions different parts of the Egyptian government are imposing in the drafting process. The Daily News Egypt untangles the debate around the RTI draft, examines the main issues of the draft and what benefits it may bring to Egypt if it were to be passed.

Sarah El Masry

On the social stigma of divorce

The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) issued a report on 19 May that revealed the number of formal divorce cases from 2011 to 2012 had risen from 151,900 to 155,300 cases. Despite its increasing prevalence, divorce still evokes social stigma for women that differs depending on their socio-economic level. This stigma is said to be shifting in certain classes. Women shared their stories with Daily News Egypt on how the stigma of their divorce has affected their lives.

Sarah El Masry

Egypt: The question of the environment

On the occasion of World Environment Day (WED), Daily New Egypt examines the status of environmental rights in Egypt, the main environmental challenges, and the government’s strategies regarding the environment.

Sarah El Masry

The struggle: Egyptians obtaining foreign visas

It is summer time in Egypt, a season when many Egyptians prepare to travel abroad for a myriad of reasons, whether for tourism, business or studying. However, it is a struggle for many of them to get visas to certain destinations, including the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. Daily News Egypt explores the stories of some Egyptians and the problems they faced when dealing with foreign embassies.

Sarah El Masry

Syrian Refuges: No work, no home

Refugees leave their homes for fear of death, often with little more than the clothes on their backs and their hands in their pockets. Escaping the horrors of a civil war that has engulfed their country for two years, thousands of Syrians have made the journey by land, sea and air to find themselves in Egypt; a nation which despite its own extreme economic malaise has opened the gates to provide them with a safe haven in which they can endure the storm.
This is not the case, however, for the Palestinian-Syrian refugees who have also come seeking refuge from the storm, only to find themselves in a barn without a roof.
Daily News Egypt investigates how Syrian refugees survive in Egypt, and how Palestinians are all but forgotten.

Hend El-Behary

The “Japan” of Egypt in crisis

Damietta is one of Egypt’s most productive cities, and is considered the “Japan” of Egypt. The city, however, has been affected by the harsh recession that hit the nation’s economy. Prices of raw materials increased, and caused micro and small enterprises to shut down, leaving behind angry artisans and craftsmen. The Daily News Egypt visits Damietta’s high season of furniture sale to investigate how the business has been affected.

Sarah El Masry

Foreign maids: a flourishing new market in Egypt

Every month, hundreds of immigrants, whether Nigerians, Indonesians or Filipinos, arrive in Cairo seeking employment as cleaners and babysitters. More and more families are hiring foreigners rather than Egyptians as maids despite the higher financial cost. Daily News Egypt explores the burgeoning community of foreign maids in the country and also seeks out the fate of traditional Egyptian housemaids vis-a-vis the new configuration of domestic help within Egypt.

Ethar Shalaby

Egypt’s railways: past, present and future?

Egypt has a long history of railway accidents. Over the past 20 years more than 1,500 people have lost their lives to train collisions and derailments. The disastrous situation of the railway system continued since the 25 January uprisings with new victims. The Daily News Egypt explores the reasons for the recurring accidents and speaks to top managers from the Egyptian National Railways and workers close to the problems.

Sarah El Masry

Fighting against repression: The labour movement

The downfall of Hosni Mubarak’s was realised in part thanks to Egypt’s labour movement. Despite this pivotal role, under the new regime, the status of workers has not changed much due because of political and economic forces. The new regime seems to be following Mubarak’s footsteps in handling the workers’ activism through security repression and unfair laws. The labour movement is being challenged daily; however workers are refusing to give up.

Sarah El Masry

Liver transplants: Driven by desperation

In Egypt, the chronic liver disease Hepatitis C is a major concern in medical circles. Specialists are recording an increasing rate of infection in the country, and liver transplants are sometimes the only solution. However, it can be extremely difficult to find liver donors in Egypt.

Ethar Shalaby

Abortion in Egypt: Whose choice?

There are few options for women in Egypt who choose to undergo an abortion. Financial constraints, social stigmas, the issue of morality and “unavailable” over-the-counter medication have forced a vast number of women into backstreet abortions. Daily News Egypt explores how social, cultural and religious ideals restrict a woman’s right to choose what is best for her.

Ethar Shalaby

My religion is “none of your business”: Campaigning against division

Following sectarian strife that hit Egypt a few weeks ago, a group of young activists initiated the “none of your business” online campaign against division and sectarianism. The campaign is calling for concealing religious affiliation on national identity cards, stirring controversy and debate in different media outlets. Daily News Egypt speaks to the campaign’s organisers, supporters and opposition.

Sarah El Masry

The story of Om Hamada

Like every day, she wakes up at the break of dawn. Sending her children off to school, she heads off to her new job in the city of Zagazig, the capital of Sharqeya governorate.

Sarah El Masry

Street children: What they are not

We see them everywhere. They beg, they clean cars, they fight in the street. We see mothers with their babies and babies without their mothers. We see them in wheelchairs, sitting on the ground, leaning on our cars. Begging, touching us. Asking us to help them, for the love of God. We see them sleeping in the street, under a blanket, on a piece of cardboard. Sometimes, we mistake them for a pile of garbage. They are everywhere, all day, all night. We call them street children and most of us have never exchanged a single word with them.

Daily News Egypt

A daunting mission: Getting back Egypt’s stolen assets

Over the course of Hosni Mubarak’s rule, the illicit outflow of funds from Egypt are estimated at $132bn. After the January 2011 Revolution, countries such as Switzerland and the United Kingdom have been asked to freeze and repatriate Egypt’s stolen wealth. However, many legal, political and financial hindrances stand in the way. Daily News Egypt examines these hurdles and the efforts the Egyptian and foreign governments have exerted in order to recover these lost assets.

Sarah El Masry

Belly Dance in Egypt

Belly dancing is one of the most fascinating styles of dance in Egypt. Cairo is known as the global capital of belly dancing. Following the increasing appearance of foreign belly dancers in Egypt’s nightclubs and casinos, the Daily News Egypt looks at the belly dancing industry in Egypt and learns about the different techniques and styles of belly dancing. Considering the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence in Egyptian politics, some are concerned that belly dancing might become more restricted in Egypt. Belly dancers, though, have faith that their profession will continue to grow.

Ethar Shalaby