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Revolution-proofing

As demonstrated on Thursday, when some protesters held a rally downtown demonstrating against the Protest Law and demanding the release of prominent activists, we are looking at a country which is becoming starkly different from what it was in 2011. Of course, while I am not here to bury the 25 January Revolution nor to …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

A predictable summer

Last month we spoke about the challenges facing the new Egyptian government. At the time of his appointment, Mr Mehleb proclaimed that his two main objectives were to wipe out militant violence and improve the economy. In the weeks that have followed his appointment, the prime minster has been very active, clearly adopting a management …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Inside the Box

Since 25 Jan and former president Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, Egypt has been in a perpetual stage of transition. All dreams of a better future and rosier outlook have evaporated in the midst of unrest that has kept investors and tourists at bay, stifling economic growth. The economy has been battered ever since, with foreign debts …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

The Nasser restoration

Conservatives in Egypt – whether or not they admit to being so – will find themselves more content these days as matters seem to be rolling back to business as usual. As we live in a lull reminiscent of the Bourbon Restoration in France, a lot of the old is slugging it out with a …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

On being Karman and Hamzawy

We live in strange days where events change at dizzying velocity and people’s stances change even faster. Voltaire once noted; “Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.” In one of those troublesome opinions, women rights activist, self proclaimed revolutionary and Nobel Laureate Tawakkol Karman caused a stir recently through …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

The turning point

Deep inside, one must feel it even if one hesitates to admit it: the whole 25 January hoopla is long gone. The only thing left of 25 January is its largely undisputed international allure, which is ironically the only legitimising factor that both former President Morsi and the now ruling military paid lip service to. …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

The long winding road to Yemen

As the debates rage in Egypt on whether presidential elections should be held before parliamentary elections, the country seems headed to an all too familiar scenario. In February 2012, elections were held in Yemen with acting president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Al-Hadi as the only candidate on the ballot. While many Egyptian activists ridiculed this move, …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Suspended Logic

By Dr Mohamed Fouad Last week, we spoke about the gripping polarisation turned mass mania. We have seen how it became easier and less painful to choose sides rather than be pragmatic about any situation. There is no doubt that we have been living three years where logic has been put on hold and all …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Polarisation

Since the 25 January Revolution, Egypt has witnessed fierce debates. Torn between the novelty of the Democratic experience and other factors newly thrown in the mix such as Religion, and identity, the country continued to descend into chaos. Every passing instance and each event have continued to present an opportunity to label and take sides. …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

The saga of Mohamed Mahmoud

Throughout the mid 1990s, Mohamed Mahmoud was a street that carried so many good memories for me and perhaps other students of the American University in Cairo who would cross this street several times per day trotting from one campus to the other, stopping by El Kady to get the occasional chocolate bar or odd …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Contemporary Egyptian nonsense part 4: The demise of political Islam

Is political Islam dead? Are the so called “Islamic Movements” suffering their final moments following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the ruling Muslim Brotherhood? That is indeed a claim that keeps on getting more attention in Egypt these days. The Myth: According to many pundits, 30 June has dealt a virtual knockout to …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Contemporary Egyptian nonsense part 3: The debate that sealed their fate!

Our talk this week is about the 2012 Egyptian presidential debate, the first ever presidential debate in Egyptian history. It was held between presidential candidates Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Amr Moussa, broadcasted live on May 10, 2012 and moderated by famed TV personalities Yousri Fouda and Mona El Shazly. We take a quick stroll down memory’s lane …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Contemporary Egyptian nonsense part 2: The riches of Egypt!

So we continue with examining some of those wild ideas and unfounded claims which haunt the minds of many people. We are hoping to do so in a constructive manner with the aim to move beyond the old tales and actually think about something meaningful. Our discussion this week will be about the age old …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Contemporary Egyptian non-sense part 1: Suez Canal in Pounds!

In modern days Egypt, so many ideas grow out of the blues captivating the minds and souls of the population. Some of these ideas are political, economical, or social. While some fade away fast, others never seem to go out of fashion, surfacing every now and again as if begging to be shot down. Over …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

US aid: “Recalibration” or change of strategy?

The U.S. State Department announced on Wednesday that it would halt the delivery of large-scale military systems and cash assistance to Egypt’s government. It said “credible progress” must be made towards free and fair elections. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States is “recalibrating” its military aid to Egypt. While State Department did …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Does Egypt Need Affirmative Action?

As the debates rage regarding Egypt’s electoral system, the notion of affirmative action and quota often surfaces as an area of great contention. The legacy resulting from years of discrimination based on age, gender, and religion has not been eliminated. Despite strides made during recent times, some still view that affirmative action is much needed …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Bloody September

September has been a month that has witnessed heinous crimes against humanity that claimed scores of lives in many dispersed parts of the world. From the All Saints church bomb in Peshawar to the roadside attacks in Northeast Nigeria, to the suicide bombings in Baghdad, to the atrocious Westgate Mall siege in Kenya to the …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

One-hit wonders

In a country that has become infatuated with political talk, the lack of sustainable political actions never ceases to amaze me. Despite their instantaneous impact, several movements that have surfaced on the Egyptian political scene in the past 10 years never took off or accomplished the form of continuity which brings about significant structural change. …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Musical Chairs

You have to admit that despite all the heartaches that we have come to encounter in Egypt, the place is becoming quite the rollercoaster ride. It is interesting to watch how roles are being exchanged at dizzying velocity. A once villain is now considered prince charming, a once prince charming is now seen as a …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Squandered Opportunities

Over the past 3 years, there may have been numerous instances when Egypt has taken the wrong turn. Some of those wasted chances are indeed lamentable. The bitter irony is that 32 months following 25 Jan, there isn’t a single concrete aspect in Egypt that justifies the soaring death tolls, the economic stalemate, the degradation …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Whom does the United States Support?

Following 30 June, Egypt has been awash with conspiracy theories. An interesting one aims to answer the infamous question: Whom does the US really support in the Egyptian debacle? Supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi as well as the current regime are accusing each other of heavy reliance on the US; such assertions border on …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Next generation Brotherhood

It is no secret that the current political events in Egypt are dealing the Muslim Brotherhood perhaps the biggest blow in their 85 year history. I would dare say that this is much more severe than the assassination of Hassan Al-Banna or the execution of Sayyid Qutb. The organisation, which has historically endured oppression from …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

“Revollusion”

By Dr Mohamed Fouad The following is not for the faint hearted, the revolutionary buffs, the hopeless romantics and the easily agitated ones. You need to “marinate” on these thoughts a bit in order for them to sink in, or not. During the famed 18 days in 2011, I sat with a tenured and experienced …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Ousting Morsi: A Pyrrhic victory?

Analysts and pundits inside and outside Egypt are deliberating and wondering what exactly happened in the country. People are asking questions such as: “Was it a coup d’état? What do the US and the world think of us?” Others are taking on the news channels and blogs, venomously rejecting the notion that this was indeed …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Salvation Now

There isn’t a talk show or an article which does not attempt to take a stab at the current mesmerising state of Egyptian affairs. The guests are different, the writing styles are diverse but the burning question remains unchanged: “What is the solution to all of this?” This question on its own carries within it …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

Morsi and the erosion of legitimacy

These days, where rhetoric runs high and adrenaline runs even higher, it is worth taking a step back to take a look at things with a cooler head. Having said this, it is worth taking the news with a grain of salt. The latest chatter to have become widely accepted as fact surrounds the mandate …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

30 June and reinventing the revolution wheel

As 30 June approaches, debates and speculations are already running high. Some are experiencing an adrenaline rush, as they brace for the second wave of the revolution. However, some are playing down the expected outcome while others are skeptical and waiting to see how the events will turn before weighing in with their opinion. One …

Dr Mohamed Fouad

The Egyptian Teddy Bear!

It irks me so much how some of us Egyptians are sometimes very casual in the ways we infringe on other people’s feelings while becoming overly sensitive when it comes back to haunt us. It is what we call Karma. You get what you give, whether bad or good. However, we seem to think of …

Dr Mohamed Fouad