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Running for sexism

Running has long been used to promote causes; fighting cancer, eradicating poverty, promoting literacy among other worthy endeavours. It has been used by men to spread awareness, including women’s rights. In Europe, the well-known “walk a mile in her shoes” displays men wearing high heels and walking a mile to draw attention to the different …

Sara Abou Bakr

Who needs a constitution?

It’s a running joke in the political circuits in developing countries: “Who needs a constitution over here?” Currently in Egypt, the joke has turned sour. Three years, six cabinets (not counting the reshuffles), two Constituent Assemblies and two constitutions after the 25 January Revolution, Egypt remains a country not bothered by its own governing laws. …

Sara Abou Bakr

The Zamalek uprising

Two weeks ago dozens of Zamalek residents organised a protest to denounce the district’s deteriorating conditions. For over five years an infestation of new cafes and restaurants spread like wildfire in the Zamalek area. With no urban planning in mind nor care for the old island’s infrastructure, people dubbing themselves small and medium sized business …

Sara Abou Bakr

“Down with the next president”

During the two weeks spent in Tahrir Square in 2011 that culminated in ousting former president Hosni Mubarak, there was a young man who held a placard that read, “down with the next president”. It did not make sense to many who deemed it a witty play on words in Arabic, while others viewed it …

Sara Abou Bakr

The land of few men

This is what I have dubbed Egypt years ago, to the chagrin of some of my guy friends and agreement of others. Egypt-mostly- is not a very healthy society with regards to interaction between women and men. A clear example is simply walking down the street; cat-calls, sexual insinuation and at times groping are the …

Sara Abou Bakr

Animal rights in Egypt

Two days ago, a young lady in Port Said posted photos of a horse in the said governorate with a severely broken leg, eating from garbage bins. She implored the online community of animal activists to help the poor creature. She has tried to get in touch with the veterinary services, the police and other …

Sara Abou Bakr

Education, the spy-duck and threats to Egypt

“The police had confiscated a spy-duck.” This was how my reporters greeted me five days ago. At first I thought it was another pun by DNE’s wily reporters until they showed me the links in Arabic; the police confiscated a duck carrying a “strange” device. Two days later, after the intervention of animal activists, the …

Sara Abou Bakr

The Cabinet dilemma

The newly appointed Egyptian prime minister is currently undergoing the most difficult part of his job: forming the Cabinet. Hazem El-Beblawi was not the choice of the Egyptian youth. Close to 77 years old, he is far from the young visionary or the “revolutionary” that the predominantly youthful nation yearned for. When state-owned agencies broke …

Sara Abou Bakr

The unprofessional coverage of the ‘coup’

A coup d’etat is, according to Oxford English Dictionary, “a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government”. According to western media, this is what happened in Egypt on 3 July. It’s all cut and dry for the all-knowing western media who decided to label what happened a “coup”, not caring for what …

Sara Abou Bakr

Legitimacy v Rebellion, Mr President

Mr President, Because of you, Shar’aia (legitimacy) and Tamarod (rebellion) are currently gearing for a face-off on the streets of Egypt on 30 June. Only a year after Egyptians elected you, their first civilian president, calls have spread over the last two months for your removal. A year ago, Egyptians flocked to ballot stations to …

Sara Abou Bakr

Farag Fouda; assassination of the word

Twenty one years ago Egyptian thinker and philosopher, Farag Fouda was assassinated in front of his NGO, the Egyptian Society for Enlightenment at the hands of a radical Islamist group, Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya. He was shot with a machine gun in front of his son. He was shot because he was deemed an “infidel” by the …

Sara Abou Bakr

Watching Egypt crumble

  An acquaintance several weeks ago was in shock, “I got my daughter a bicycle which she parks on the street. Last night I found an old man trying to break its lock. I couldn’t believe it!” Confronting the petty thief, the old man fumbled, cried and apologised telling my friend that he needs the …

Sara Abou Bakr

What after the rebellion?

The Tamarod or “Rebellion” campaign has promised to have 15 million signatures calling for the removal of Mohamed Morsi by 30 June. The campaign, which started less than a month ago, has collected two million signatures on their last official count two weeks ago. Unofficially they claim to have over six million signatures. The significance …

Sara Abou Bakr

Calling all animal activists

Six days ago, three grizzly bears died at Giza Zoo. Reports on the news stated that the three female bears were fighting over a male. Thus ensued a slew of jokes about the prowess of the male bear, though how someone can find such negligence- on the part of the zoo- hilarious escapes me. Two …

Sara Abou Bakr

Celebrating Mubarak’s birthday

Today, 4 May, marks a date hated by many of my generation; Hosni Mubarak’s birthday. For 30 years, the “people” celebrated his birthday. The people in this case were mainly state media, publishing articles regaling our magnanimous dictator, as state TV aired songs praising his birth, mainly with a song well-mocked among the younger generation, …

Sara Abou Bakr

Seif pharmacies, racism and bringing down the Ikhwan

On Wednesday, Egyptian activists were in a frenzy. One of the most well-known pharmaceutical chains in Egypt, Seif Pharmacies, was in deep water after one of their appointed pharmacists refused to take money from a Nubian Egyptian for “being black”. Unfortunately for him, it was outspoken Nubian film director, Nada Zatouna. She went online and …

Sara Abou Bakr

Raising tyrants in the name of Islam

“In China, they have blocked YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and no one is upset; life is good and everyone is happy. And they say we do not have freedom of speech in Egypt.” These were the enlightened words of Saad Al-Shater on his Facebook page, the son of Khairat El-Shater, vice of Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme …

Sara Abou Bakr

The dead of the Salem Express

Out of all the dive sites in the Red Sea, the Salem Express wreck is known among divers as the most depressing. In 1991, the passenger ferry carrying pilgrims back from Saudi Arabia sunk 18 metres under the turbulent waters of Safaga’s sea, killing all most of its passengers Resting on its side, the twisted …

Sara Abou Bakr

Targeting Activists in the Ikhawni state

On Friday night in Alexandria, well-known activist Mahienour Al-Masry, together with several others, was arrested after they staged a protest in support for those detained in the latest clashes. Al-Masry, for those who are not familiar with her work, is one of Alexandria’s top human rights defenders. During the Mubarak era, she was known for …

Sara Abou Bakr

On blood, lynching and moving forward

Two months ago, after a heated discussion, a bunch of us self-proclaimed analysts concluded that Egypt is about to dive head-first into a fresh wave of violence. The trigger to this downward spiral started in November 2012 with Morsi’s dictatorial presidential decree immunising his decisions and the work of the Shura Council while passing a …

Sara Abou Bakr

The West and shopping for a new president

On Thursday night, the European parliament, after heated discussions, passed a resolution recommending the withholding of budget support to Egypt and tying financial aid to “significant progress” in areas of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The MEPs criticised Hesham Qandil’s government and Morsi, whom they accused of making decisions that oppose the …

Sara Abou Bakr

The legitimacy of Morsi

Wikipedia defines political legitimacy as “the popular acceptance of an authority, usually a governing law or a regime”. The keyword here is “popular”. The voting system was concurred as a way to gauge public acceptance of a person or government. The tallying of ballots is used as a means to assess the will of the masses. …

Sara Abou Bakr

On blasting Morsi into space

Egyptians have done it again. After ousting a dictator two years ago, now they are sending their first elected civilian president into space. President Mohamed Morsi is now sitting in first place in Axe’s competition to send one civilian to space, an adventurous soul seeking a new frontier. Voting is required and whoever gets the …

Sara Abou Bakr

Red hearts on a torched truck

A photo of a torched CSF truck painted with red hearts near Tahrir Square took the virtual world by storm a couple of days ago. It seems some creative soul decided to decorate the recently torched truck with festive hearts, possiby to display his deep and undying love for his beloved amid the rubble. Valentine’s …

Sara Abou Bakr

On turning 30

So I am turning the big “three-oh” in a couple of days. I have been itching to reach this age since I was 17 and just starting college. For me, it was the magical number, the age of finally knowing who I am. I was never keen on being a teenager. Childhood was a wonderful …

Fady Salah

Egyptian women and Morsy

You have to have lived in Egypt to understand what I am writing about now. Many foreigners would say that it is a failed attempt to empower Egyptian women, but the few who have spent years over here fully get it. Women run Egypt. Even one of the Lonely Planet guides advises their readers to …

Fady Salah

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