Thursday, June 09, 2011
In watching the developments across the Middle East region, there seem to be one of two paths that nations experiencing the Arab Spring can take. Although 800 Egyptians died in revolts leading up to the removal of Hosni Mubarak’s long-standing regime, the country is now on a path toward more democratic rule. The same can’t be said for Libya, Syria or Yemen where entrenched regimes—or a solitary figure, in the case of Muammar Gadaffi—refuse to cede power.
While some call Egypt and Tunisia the shining model for the Arab Spring’s revolutions — isn’t it more accurate to see it as an exception to the rule of civil war?
Thursday, May 26, 2011
In a major departure from the policy of the Mubarak regime, Egypt's official news agency has announced that, as of Saturday, May 28, 2011, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza will be permanently opened. The border's periodic openings and closings over the decades have reflected tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Territories — and an agreement between Israel and the Mubarak regime.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
There are reports that Hosni Mubarak will be tried in Cairo for his alleged role in killing protesters. So far it looks like it will be a closed trial with limited access for the media, says Hisham Kassem, former publisher of Al-Masry Al-Youm (The Egyptian Today), Egypt’s independent daily paper. He discusses the news of the trial and what this means for Egypt.
Friday, May 20, 2011
In his speech on the Arab world on Thursday, President Obama evoked images of the American Revolution, the Civil Rights Movement and the Fall of the Iron Curtain to parallel American values and the Arab uprisings. The speech comes nearly six months after the uprisings began in Tunis, and the state of democracy in Tunisia and Egypt is precarious at best. But what concrete steps is Obama promising — and can he come through?
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Egypt is changing. And so are its street names, signs of buildings, schools, hospitals and other institutions. What was once the Hosni Mubarak Library is now the Revolution Library. The Hosni Mubarak Experimental School is now just the Experimental School. And the Suzanne Mubarak Specialized Hospital is now the Red Crescent Specialized Hospital. This comes after a Cairo court ordered for all the images and signs with the name of Hosni Mubarak and his wife, Suzanne, be removed from public places and buildings. Egypt will most certainly have to go through a transitional period to move from the 40-year rule of Hosni Mubarak into a democracy. But does a country need to forget the past in order to build a future?
Thursday, May 12, 2011
It's been three months since the uprising in Egypt forced out Hosni Mubarak. Egyptians who participated in the historic protests were moved to press for social and political change, hoping for instant results. However, change is coming slowly to the country and there are still holdovers from Mubarak's regime in the government. The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen reports from Cairo.
Monday, May 09, 2011
12 people died and hundreds were injured in sectarian clashes yesterday in Cairo. The violence was the result of longstanding tensions between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt. Those tensions were softened in the immediate aftermath of the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February. David Kirkpatrick, Foreign Correspondent for The New York Times, says the violence has slowly crept back into the lives of residents in Cairo.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
A new investigation confirms that the Mubarak regime was behind the violence carried out against protesters during the revolution in Egypt. Egypt’s transitional government carried out the investigation and found that at least 846 people were killed during the three-week-long revolution that resulted in the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. The new death toll is more than double previous estimates by the Egyptian government. The results come from a panel of judges and are based in part on interviews with 17,000 government officials and witnesses and over 800 video clips.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Hosni Mubarak is being questioned for financial crimes, however he has recently been admitted to the hospital for poor health. Medical sources say that the 82-year-old refused to eat or drink before he was questioned. His two sons are also being held in custody for fifteen days of questioning. The pressure is on the general prosecutor to show that Mubarak is not exempt from justice. The BBC's Middle East correspondent Yolande Knell reports.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
David L. Phillips, director of the Program on Peace-Building and Rights at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, former senior adviser for the State Department, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and author of From Bullets to Ballots: Violent Muslim Movements in Transition, discusses why the United States should engage the Muslim Brotherhood as Egypt moves toward democracy.
Monday, April 11, 2011
MacArthur-winning poet and translator Peter Cole and essayist Adina Hoffman describe the discovery of the most vital cache of Jewish manuscripts—called “the Living Sea Scrolls”—in an Egyptian repository. Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza tells of the people who brought this treasure to light, and explores the medieval documents themselves—letters and poems, wills and marriage contracts, Bibles, money orders, fiery dissenting tracts, fashion-conscious trousseaux lists, prescriptions, petitions, and mysterious magical charms that present a view of 900 years of Mediterranean Judaism.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Protesters gathered Cairo's Tahrir Square once again on Saturday to demand that the Egyptian military open an investigation into former president Hosni Mubarak's abuses. Mubarak responded to charges of corruption in a radio address on Sunday, the first time he's addressed the country since being forced from power in February. How have Egyptians responded to Mubarak's claims of innocence? What does this mean for the future of Egypt?
Monday, April 11, 2011
Last Friday night, with a government shutdown staring them right in the eyes, Congress was able to come to temporary resolution over the 2011 budget crisis. President Barack Obama will lay out the details for reducing the deficit in a speech Wednesday night. What's the next big showdown in Washington? Raising the debt ceiling. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, sees the debt debate as "bigger and more troublesome" than what just transpired over the budget.
Friday, April 08, 2011
The Egyptian revolution has transformed more than just the government. For decades, freedom of the press was out of reach for most of the Egyptian media, but the revolution has changed all that — to an extent. Some topics such as the military are still left unreported by most traditional outlets. Blogs like "Tahrir Diaries," a website run by 25-year-old writer and activist Mona Seif, are one of the few sources reporting on military trials and violations.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The Egyptian military high council has announced that parliamentary elections are being put off until September. Opposition leaders are asking for more time to organize themselves into political parties. Presidential elections, originally scheduled for August, will also be held then. While younger Egyptians are hopeful about elections, they have grown wary of the military high council, which has ceased to be the force for change that they had hoped for.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Egyptians approved a referendum on constitutional changes over the weekend and ushered in a new era in the country, which will begin with parliamentary and presidential elections. The old ruling party and the Muslim Brotherhood seem to have the advantage heading into elections, but that could all change in an instant.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Operation Odyssey Dawn began Saturday with coalition missiles targeting Moammar Gadhafi's tanks and air defenses. Is the United States leading this effort? Meanwhile, relief and rescue efforts continue in Japan and time is of the essence as over 12,000 people are still missing and 8,000 have been confirmed dead so far.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
It’s been an eventful week in the Middle East, but much of the news has been overshadowed by the unfolding disaster in Japan. Saudi military forces have crossed into Bahrain as protester violence continues; the situation in Libya is escalating; and in Egypt, a referendum on the constitution scheduled for Saturday is the cause of raging debate. Amidst all this change in the Middle East, is the United States taking a strong enough position for democracy?
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Cairo yesterday for the first official U.S. visit to Egypt since Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power. During the visit, she emphasized the continued support being offered by the Obama administration to the people of Egypt as they transition into a new government. "To the people of Egypt, this moment belongs to you," Clinton said. "You broke barriers and overcame obstacles to pursue the dream of democracy."
Friday, March 11, 2011
As the Middle East convulses with more unrest this Friday we want revisit Egypt’s push for democracy and the role that women are playing in the movement there. It was only three days ago on International Women’s Day that women protesting for equal rights in Egypt’s Tahrir square were attacked and sexually harassed. What steps should they be taking next in the pro-democracy movement?