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Wael Eskandar


The Saudi Leaks and Egypt: A Recap

[Wikileaks logo. Source:]

It was not long after Wikileaks had released the Saudi cables that the dirty laundry it revealed about Egypt’s political elite began circulating in news reports and social media. Although many of the leaks have only confirmed what observers had long suspected, the details they reveal regarding the conduct of various Egyptian political actors were quite shocking. The Saudi government first responded over twitter holding that these leaks were both false and destabilizing, ...

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From the Elections to the Protest Law: Signs of Egypt's Future

[Illustrated by Khalid Albaih via Flickr.]

Whatever uncertainty as to what Egypt’s future holds after the recent inauguration of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as president can now be set aside as we examine the regime’s most recent behavior. Presidential elections and the crackdown on dissent extending to journalists and human rights defenders suggest a far more oppressive future for the country. Past signs indicated the current trajectory, and the June 2014 election to crown the military’s candidate as president of Egypt ...

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The Warraq Funeral: Between Sadness and Anger

[Coptic church in Cairo, Egypt. Image originally posted to Flickr by Ana Paula Hirama]

The entrance of the church had two minarets with a yellow cross on top of each. About fifty meters away from the church was a mosque, smaller in size and with two similarly looking but taller minarets. This was the Church of Warraq, where unknown gunmen shot at a wedding killing four and leaving eighteen injured. Those killed during the attack were either elderly or children, including an eight- and a twelve-year old. Located north of Cairo, Warraq is a neighborhood that ...

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The Revenge of the Police State

[23 November 2012, Egyptian security forces. Image originally posted to Flickr by Lilian Wagdy]

While the ongoing violence in Egypt has contributed to a state of confusion and polarization, one thing is certain: The biggest threat facing Egypt remains the return of the police state. More specifically, the threat concerns, not only the reconstitution of a police state, which never really left since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, but also the return of the implicit, if not overt, acceptance of the repressive practices of the coercive apparatus. In this respect, the current ...

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What Happens on 30 June? The Silver Lining

[Protestors in Tahrir Square under an Egyptian flag, Cairo, Egypt. Image originally posted to Flicker by Yass Sharaf]

Numerous questions surround 30 June protests, most of which revolve around whether or not President Mohamed Morsi will be pushed out. The subtleties surrounding such questions are more important to note. What will the Muslim Brotherhood do? What will people do? Will the protests turn violent? How will security services react? What positions will the police, and, more importantly, the army adopt? It is no secret that the level of popular discontent with the Muslim ...

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Street Wars on a Hill: An Eyewitness Testimony

[Clashes near Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters in Moqattam on 22 March 2012. Photo by Mostafa Sheshtawy]

[The following is an eyewitness testimony covering some of the events that happened on 22 March 2013 near the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in al-Moqattam area.] Having missed the march to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)’s headquarters in al-Moqattam, I arrived late to the site of the protests. There had been reports of clashes at al-Nafoora (Fountain) square, one of the most used entrances to the area of al-Moqattam located at the west end of the district and closest to ...

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Clashing with the Ultras: A Firsthand Account

[Ultras flags appearing at the site of clashes between protesters and security forces near the Ministry of Interior. Photo by Mostafa Sheshtawy]

A march, scheduled earlier today, demanded that members of the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) be brought to justice for past crimes and abuse against revolutionary activists and Ultras protesters. The march started at El Fath mosque and was supposed to reach the area surrounding the Ministry of Defense. The call for the march, which was endorsed by prominent activists, was initiated by an Ultras Ahlawy member and activist in an attempt to unify the efforts of ...

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Protesting Is Not Enough

[Protesters set fire to tires near State TV building in Maspero on 25 January 2013. Photo by Wael Eskandar]

Another January 25 marked the third year of continued protests in the hopes of finding our way to a successful revolution. On Friday, I joined the Shubra march to Tahrir Square where I saw many the familiar faces along with many other protesters once again. This was not like last year’s march. This year there was certainly less energy and even less cohesiveness in the very long march that extended along Shubra’s streets. The street was laden with pockets of protesters. The ...

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Brothers and Officers: A History of Pacts

[Former Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, left, receives a high medal from Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt, 14 August 2012. Egypt's president has given awards to the nation's two top military commanders, two days after he ordered their retirement. Photo Source: AP]

The politics of the past two years have generated widespread interest in the historical relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Egypt’s wielders of power, especially at a time when observers are eager to understand the prospects for accommodation (or adversity) between the MB and traditional bureaucratic powers inside the Egyptian state, such as the military establishment. For instance, the circumstances surrounding the election of President Mohamed Morsi in ...

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The Muslim Brotherhood's Militias in Action: A Firsthand Account

[Site of clashes in Roxy Square. Photo by Bassam Haddad]

The recent clashes at the Itihadiyya presidential palace leave little room for confusion. A day prior to these events, people took to the streets in Egypt’s largest cities to denounce the manner in which the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled presidency has been running the country. On Wednesday 5 December, everything changed. The Muslim Brotherhood reacted by calling on supporters of President Mohamed Morsi to march to the Itihadiyya palace, where an anti-Morsi sit-in was ...

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Year of the SCAF: a Timeline of Mounting Repression

[Maspero, Cairo, Egypt on 9 October 2011. Image from unknown archive.]

[Jadaliyya Egypt Editors’ note: This post was originally published on 17 December 2011, under the title "SCAF: A History of Injustice".  It has since been updated and retitled.  The original and updated versions of this post were originally published on Ahram Online.] A year has passed since the military assumed power when president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February last year. But is Egypt any closer to the freedom and justice it sought when its ...

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How Are Seat Winners Determined in the Egyptian Elections ?

[Image from unknown archive]

The new system in Egypt’s 2011 elections may seem overwhelming to those trying to figure out how the winners will be calculated. The introduction of the list system and calculations using the ‘highest remainder’ method has been a cause for confusion. Also, in the individual system, voters can now vote for any two candidates as opposed to one professional and one worker/farmer. How individual winners are determined per district Each district will have two seats to be ...

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Wael Eskandar


Wael Eskandar is s an independent journalist based in Cairo. He is a commentator on Egyptian politics and has written for Ahram Online, Counterpunch, Daily News Egypt, and EgyptSource among others.