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Mubarak and the Wolf Brigades

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: When this is all over and we look back to 2011 in 20 years’ time, the single most important outcome of the January 25 uprising will be the fate of Mubarak, his immediate family and their close-knit clique, some now basking in Tora prison while others continue to run the show …

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Mubarak and his ‘trial of the century’

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: I was there when the helicopter carrying Egypt’s 30-year tyrant flew overhead in an open space brimming with a motley crew of martyrs’ families, journalists, police, lawyers and the odd pockets of Mubarak supporters. I was there when a big screen perched from behind the walls of the vast Police Academy …

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25 days to go

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: On Thursday, three things happened: The Cairo Criminal Court cleared five police officers of charges over the killing of five protesters in Sayeda Zeinab during the January uprising; prosecutors; civil and military police raided 17 offices affiliated with 10 local and international NGOs in Cairo and Giza on accusations of receiving …

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EDITORIAL: SCAF’s psychological warfare

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: I will not write about the scenes of brute force used by the military against protesters last week. I will not write about the woman who was dragged, stripped and viciously clubbed and stomped by a mob of at least 10 uniformed thugs in a scene that has shocked the world. …

DNE

Editorial: Egypt’s democracy rehearsal

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Egypt’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections, some say, are too good to be true. Despite reports of some violations, mainly centered around continued illegal campaigning by the two main Islamist parties, Freedom and Justice as well as Al-Nour, and to a lesser extent by the liberal Egyptian Bloc, as well as a …

DNE

Editorial: The Definition of Insanity

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: The Egyptian people are fighting battles on all fronts, armed with nothing but hope that the handful of other Egyptians they’re betting on won’t fail them. No sooner had the battle at the polls completed round one and the results of the first phase of the staggered parliamentary elections were announced, …

DNE

A long way from elections 2010

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Ironically, one year ago to the day, on Dec. 3, 2010, in this very space, I wrote an editorial titled “Long Live the NDP!” Like then, the results of the first round of parliamentary elections were out and the ruling National Democratic Party had had won a sweeping victory, a testament …

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Whodunnit?

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: On Egypt’s political stage, the tragi-comedy continues. When two members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in an international press conference claim, after a belated apology recognizing the martyrs of Nov. 19, that only teargas was used to disperse protesters, 41 of whom have died nationwide, you don’t …

DNE

Editorial: Revolution Reignited

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: “I’d rather live blind with dignity than live with eyesight, but in humiliation.” The inspiring words of now iconic Ahmad Harara, a young dentist and political activist known for his Arabic calligraphy eye patch emblazoned with “January 28”, a reminder of the “Day of Anger” when he lost his right eye, …

DNE

SCAF’s weapons of mass distraction

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Each mass Friday protest is like déjà vu. As thousands spent Friday in Tahrir Square and other public areas throughout Egypt, the feeling that we have made a massive U-turn back towards square one becomes more palpable. Even though the Nov. 18 protest was planned before the constitutional principles bombshell was …

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Editorial: How to amputate a revolution

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: It’s official. Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is leading the counter-revolution. Why else would SCAF spearhead the unethical smear campaign against the now iconic activists who marched at the forefront of the January 25 uprising? Why else would SCAF refuse to issue a political exclusion law that would …

DNE

Editorial: Can you jail an idea?

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Before I embark on this editorial, I’d like to express my profound gratitude to Egypt’s venerable Military Prosecutor for giving the “No to Military Trials” campaign its biggest public boost yet earlier this week. It’s hard to think of any other activist more capable of galvanizing masses of pro-democracy advocates both …

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In memory of Khaled Saeid

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: The recent verdict in the case of the brutal killing of 28-year-old Alexandrian Khaled Saeid, which was central to galvanizing the anti-regime sentiment that eventually toppled Mubarak, is both a blow to everything Egypt’s uprising stood for and a wake-up call, especially in light of the recent torture to death of …

DNE

Back to square one

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: In his final moments, a blood-smeared, emasculated Qaddafi begs his “children” not to shoot. The formerly larger-than-life 42-year Libyan tyrant appears small, manhandled by the National Transitional Council fighters who, according to one version of the capture story, found him hidden in a rancid, massive, concrete drainpipe. The irony is all …

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In Egypt, it’s time for revolution

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: When we say history repeats itself, we never mean recent history, never as recent as 10 months ago. But the Sunday massacre in Maspero has shattered all our references, taking us back to a dark place we thought we left behind not so long ago. Has anything at all changed? Is …

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Editorial: See no evil, hear no evil, talk no evil

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Unfortunately Egypt’s three wise ones turned out not to be as wise as they seemed. While in Asian culture the proverb “see no evil, hear no evil, talk no evil” is associated with the notion of being of good mind, speech and action, in Egypt, the Western interpretation of the phrase …

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What have we achieved?

By Rania Al Malky It’s been nine months to the day since a group of virtual activists made the final tweaks to a planned January 25 protest, a date that will be forever be etched in the memory of this nation. We all know what happened next. Or do we? As news emerges of the sudden …

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Egypt’s courtroom drama: Much ado about nothing

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Don’t expect a “you-can’t-handle-the-truth” moment in Mubarak’s trial. Jack Nickolson’s immortal words, spoken at the climactic scene of the ultimate courtroom drama of the 90s, “A Few Good Men,” in a confrontation with rooky lawyer Tom Cruise, revealed that the victim was given a “Code Red.” Defending the two marines accused …

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The right choice for Egypt

By  Rania Al Malky CAIRO: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Egypt is no exception. Many are comparing the developments in the Libyan uprising, the recent storming of Tripoli by the rebels and the fact that they are the ones holding the reigns of power and forming their own government, with …

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Editorial: Egypt’s revolution on the brink

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: It was only a matter of time before Israel entered the equation. An attack by gunmen on a bus and blasts targeting two other vehicles in southern Israel near the border with Egypt that killed seven and wounded 25 were precisely what our neighbors were waiting for to wage an offensive …

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Of gladiators, little boys and wolves

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: The Wikipedia definition describes a gladiator as an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic through violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their legal and social standing and their lives by appearing in the arena. Most were despised as …

DNE

Mubarak: A Cautionary Tale II

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Under the scorching August sun on the third day of Ramadan, a couple of hundred protesters cheered as a helicopter flew over the New Cairo Police Academy. I was there. I saw it. But until a large TV screen outside the court showed state TV footage of Mubarak being transferred from …

DNE

Egypt’s Salafis: Enter the Dragon

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: A motley crew of Egypt’s Salafis, Brotherhood members and liberals gathered Friday in what some described as the largest Tahrir Square protest since an 18-day uprising ousted the previous regime in February. The contrived ideological clash that drove tens of thousands of Salafis — ultra-conservative Muslims who, from my limited experience, …

DNE

Why #NoSCAF?

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: For a very long time, many Egyptians, including myself, were convinced that this was not the time for outspoken criticism of Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). As the bedrock of stability and the protectors of the revolution, the honorable army generals who defended Egyptians’ legitimate calls for …

DNE

EDITORIAL: Egypt’s ‘silent majority’ put their foot in it

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: First, a disclaimer: As a journalist and an editor for the past 13 years, my commitment to freedom of thought and speech is unshakable. But does this mean that I don’t often question the limits of this freedom? Clearly not. Where does freedom of expression end and incitement to hatred, xenophobia …

DNE

EDITORIAL: In Egypt, a second uprising

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Egypt’s youth are once again taking matters into their own hands, as leaders of political parties continue to do what they do best: wage ideological wars against each other through silly Mickey Mouse tweets and hurling the proverbial holier-than-thou shoe in the name of guarding Islam. Calls by youth groups for …

DNE

Towards KG1 democracy in Egypt

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: The debate over the pros and cons of holding legislative elections as early as next September has polarized Egypt’s political class, and in turn the newly politicized Egyptian street, both negatively and positively. The camp lobbying to postpone the elections — self-proclaimed liberals made up of a handful of parties under …

DNE

Editorial: What dialogue?

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ (SCAF) almost obsessive preoccupation with “communicating with the public” stands starkly in contradiction with its complete failure to do so, if the events of the past week are anything to go by. First I must state my position on the SCAF: While I have …

DNE

It’s not revolution fatigue, but…

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Watching the live transmission from Tahrir Square Friday morning as hundreds of Egyptians gathered to “realign the path of the revolution”, I’m heartened by the fact that they have drowned out voices calling for an open-ended sit-in dubbed “the second revolution of rage” in the past two weeks. Despite the emotional …

DNE

Editorial: Leaks and the ethics of journalism

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: As Egypt oscillates between waves of absolute chaos and tense calm, the role of the media in steering public opinion and street action in this critical transitional moment in our history must come under closer scrutiny. On Tuesday, the privately-owned Al-Shorouk newspaper published as its lead story an article titled “Mubarak …

DNE