Egypt

What Happened To The "Arab Spring," And What's Next

May 13, 2014
Hossam el-Hamalawy / Flickr/CC

Three years after what was dubbed the “Arab Spring”, Egypt is preparing for its first election since a military coup last summer. The candidate presumed to win is Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who led the coup against Islamist President Morsi last July.  Since then, he’s been the de facto leader of Egypt, and has engineered mass crackdowns on dissent. It’s not the type of reform many imagined, when the fabled Tahrir Square uprisings began – and now, Egyptians are wondering if their revolution has left them any better off than before.

Senator Ayotte Calls For Cutting Off Aid To Egypt

Aug 19, 2013

Senator Kelly Ayotte has changed her views on sending aid to Egypt following continued, bloody crackdowns on Muslim Brotherhood supporters.  Speaking Sunday morning on Meet The Press, New Hampshire’s Republican Senator said President Obama isn’t doing enough to stem military violence against civilians.

As unrest continues in Egypt, we'll get the thoughts of Granite Staters with an affiliation to the country. We’ll get their thoughts about the recent unrest in that country after the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi last month.  We’ll find out what they’re hearing from friends and family in Egypt and hear their hopes and concerns for the country’s future, including its relations with the U.S.

Guests:

Jonathan Rashad via flickr creative commons

A roundtable of Granite Staters with ties to Egypt gives us their thoughts about the recent unrest in that country, and its difficult transition to a new government, after popular protests toppled the Mubarak regime two years ago.  We’ll also find out what they’re hearing from friends and family in Egypt and hear their hopes and concerns for Egypt’s future.

Guests:

Egyptian state television has begun running an ad that seems to be stoking fear of foreigners.

The ad shows a man walking into a café to talk to Egyptians about politics and their everyday problems. The narrator warns them: "He'll sneak into your heart as if you knew him for a long time."

As the Egyptians talk, the man says in English, "Really?"

Egyptian election officials upheld their ban of nearly half of the presidential candidates running in next month's contest. Among them are two leading Islamist candidates and the intelligence chief for former President Hosni Mubarak. The decision radically alters the race for a post that will shape Egypt's political landscape.

Minutes after official news outlets announced the election commission ruling, candidate Hazem Abu Ismail took to the airwaves to denounce it as a conspiracy.

In Egypt, next month's presidential election has undergone a wrenching several days.

First, leading Islamist candidates faced possible disqualification on legal grounds, and then, hours before the deadline to register, a leading face from the regime of Hosni Mubarak jumped into the race.

The appearance of 75-year-old Omar Suleiman, Mubarak's former intelligence chief, has sparked fears that the military council running the country is maneuvering to bring back the old regime.

The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in Egypt are flexing their growing political muscle. They control the legislative agenda in parliament, and in recent weeks introduced controversial proposals to curb social freedoms and legal rights.

Islamist lawmakers also handpicked a 100-member panel that began meeting this week to write a new constitution, which is widely expected to enshrine Islamic law.

Even so, Islamist leaders say they want Egypt to remain a secular state. But many secular Egyptians are not convinced.

For Samira Ibrahim, and many other Egyptians, the struggle to remake their country didn't end with the ouster last year of Hosni Mubarak.

Ibrahim, a 25-year-old from southern Egypt, was arrested by the military during a protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square in March of last year, a month after Mubarak was overthrown.

While in custody, Ibrahim said, she and six other young women were subjected to a so-called "virginity check" — a forced penetration to check for hymen blood. Amnesty International has called the procedure a form of torture.

Bedouin tribesmen on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula rely on tourists for their livelihood — taking them on safaris, selling them trinkets, renting them huts at no-frills resorts on the Red Sea.

But these days, some Bedouins are using tourists for something completely different: as hostages in their political battle with the Egyptian government. In one recent incident, the tribesmen kidnapped two Brazilian tourists to secure the release of imprisoned relatives. The kidnappers released the women unharmed a few hours later.

Anti-Americanism is on the rise in Egypt these days. A highly publicized trial is under way in Cairo against U.S.-funded pro-democracy groups, and Egyptians are making it clear they reject any American involvement in their country's affairs.

There's one exception, however: an American living in Cairo whom Egyptians are counting on to shake things up. His name is Bob Bradley, and he's the New Jersey-born coach of Egypt's struggling national soccer team.

Sam LaHood, the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood, spent four weeks holed up at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, sleeping on an air mattress part of the time and trying to fathom why the Egyptians wanted to prosecute him and his pro-democracy colleagues.

Eventually, LaHood's organization and others with employees facing prosecution paid more than $300,000 a person in bail to get them off the Egyptian travel ban, and the U.S. government flew most of them home.

Egypt's presidential race officially kicks off Saturday, and there are already more than a dozen contenders for what is expected to be the most competitive presidential election ever.

Nevertheless, many Egyptians fear those currently in power will try to manipulate the process to make sure that a candidate of their choosing wins.

At 41, Khaled Ali is the youngest Egyptian vying to be his country's next president.

Egypt's Press Still Feels The Power Of The Military

Feb 23, 2012

When Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power last February, many Egyptian journalists hoped for a new era of freedom of expression.

But many now say they've been disappointed. A year after the revolution, Egypt's independent media still face many challenges, mostly, but not exclusively, from the country's ruling military council.

The Egyptian government has further escalated tensions with Washington by accusing U.S. officials of directly funding nonprofit groups to create chaos in the Arab country.

The latest comments were made by an Egyptian Cabinet member to prosecutors conducting a criminal probe into the activities of 43 aid workers, many of them American.

Such claims anger U.S. officials, who have threatened to hold back more than $1 billion in military aid if the crackdown on private, pro-democracy organizations doesn't end.