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Egypt Media Roundup (January 2)

[St. Peter and St. Paul church following the recent restoration. Photo from the Egyptian Armed Forces official Facebook page.] [St. Peter and St. Paul church following the recent restoration. Photo from the Egyptian Armed Forces official Facebook page.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] 

Political Rights

1,736 social, economic and labor protests across Egypt in 2016: ECESR According to a report published by the independent Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights on Monday, a total of 1,736 protests took place in Egypt over the course of 2016. This figure represents a decrease in the number of protests that the ECESR reported in 2015, when a total of 1,955 protests took place nationwide.

Whatever happened in the year of the youth? On 9 January, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made a promise “from the heart of a father to his sons”: to make 2016 “the year of the youth” through programs that activate young people’s role in the nation by providing access to key knowledge and participation in education, culture, economy and politics.

While a bad year for civil society, all vow to find ways to continue Between bills, court cases and security measures, civil society groups have been bearing the brunt of state repression. Yet, for many of them, the question is not whether to continue but how.

Al Jazeera demands release of news producer arrested in Egypt Al Jazeera urged Egypt to immediately release Mahmoud Hussein, a news producer at the Qatar-based TV channel, denying "fabricated charges" brought against him.

Arrested Al Jazeera journalist condemns Qatari channel Mahmoud Hussein, an Al Jazeera producer who was arrested on Friday while on a family visit to Egypt, announced in a recorded video that he condemns the Qatari news channel for airing a documentary critical of the Egyptian military.

Prominent journalist Ibrahim Eissa terminates TV show after threats, legal complaints Prominent journalist Ibrahim Eissa announced the termination of his TV show “Ma’ Ibrahim Eissa” on Sunday, which was previously broadcast on the privately owned channel Al-Qahera Wal Nas.

Shawkan Photo Awards holds second round in honour of detained photojournalist The Shawkan photography competition held its second round in honour of detained photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid and announced its winners in the first hours of Sunday.

Cabinet decision to send Tiran and Sanafir agreement to Parliament is criminal violation: Lawyer The Cabinet announced on Thursday that it will submit the deal facilitating the sovereign transfer of Sanafir and Tiran islands to Saudi Arabia to Parliament for approval.

Lawyers appeal government decision to send Tiran and Sanafir agreement to Parliament A group of lawyers appealed against a decision by the Cabinet to submit the deal facilitating the sovereign transfer of Sanafir and Tiran islands to Saudi Arabia to Parliament for approval, according to the complaint filed by the lawyers sent to head of the High Administrative Court.

Urgent affairs court upholds decision to proceed with Egyptian-Saudi accord The Cairo Court of Urgent Matters upheld on Saturday a previous ruling in favor of proceeding with the maritime border demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia and rejected opposition lawyers' appeal against the decision.

Egypt court to rule 7 February on referring Red Sea islands deal to parliament Egypt's High Administrative Court set 7 February to rule on a lawsuit against the cabinet’s decision to refer the Egyptian-Saudi maritime re-demarcation deal to parliament for voting.

Court orders release of 10 defendants in Rabea dispersal case on medical grounds, adjourns trial The Cairo Criminal Court ordered the release of ten defendants in the Rabea al-Adaweya dispersal case due to the poor health on Tuesday, and adjourned the trial until 17 January. Jailed photojournalist Shawkan was not among those released.

Court acquits 5 Azhar students and 14 others sentenced to 3 years The Court of Cessation acquitted five female Al-Azhar University students on Wednesday, after they spent three years in prison for violence, but Wednesday also saw fourteen Alexandria University students sentenced to three years in prison on similar charges.

Egypt military court hands down 148 life sentences in Minya violence case A military criminal court sentenced 148 alleged Muslim Brotherhood members to life in absentia and acquitted ten others in a case addressing violence that erupted in Minya after the Rabaa sit-in dispersal in 2013.

Ministry announces 3-year strategy for empowerment, integration of disabled persons During a conference on Monday, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Waly announced a medium-term strategy for “the protection, rehabilitation, and empowerment of persons with disabilities in Egypt.” This is a starting point for a more detailed and comprehensive national strategy for the future, Waly said.

Egypt's Sisi urges govt to increase medicine supply, set 'reasonable prices' Egypt's President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi said on Sunday during a cabinet meeting that the supply of medicines must be increased to end the country’s ongoing shortage.

New Egyptian law establishes media regulator picked by president Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will pick a chairman and members of a new media council under a law passed on Monday, giving the body the power to fine or suspend publications and broadcasters and give or revoke licenses for foreign media.

State Council top official arrested after his resignation over bribery case Egypt’s State Council secretary-general was arrested after submitting his resignation on Saturday on the backdrop of a bribery case in which another administrative employee has been accused last week.

Egypt's armed forces finish restoration of bombed church Egypt finished repairing the church adjacent to St. Marks Coptic Cathedral, which was the site of an explosion earlier this month, the armed forces said in a statement.

Egypt hands over remains of victims of flight crash to families Egypt started on Saturday procedures of handing over the remains of victims of the EgyptAir MS804 flight, which crashed in May in the Mediterranean, to their families.

US report: Egypt topped developing countries in arms imports in 2015 Egypt imported 5.3 billion USD worth of arms in 2015, more than any other developing country, according to a report released this month by Congressional Research Service, a public policy research arm of the United States Congress.

Economy

In the year of the economy, Egyptians kept their eyes on the dollar How has the fact that economic conditions now touch every corner of Egypt's social fabric changed the way Egyptians engage with the economy?

Tough Egyptian economic conditions will improve in six months, says Sisi President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday that tough economic conditions in Egypt would improve in six months and called on businessmen and investors to help the government curb price increases.

Foreign Relations

Russian flights to Egypt will resume soon: Putin to Sisi Russian President Vladimir Putin told Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in a phone call on Thursday that Russian flights between Moscow and Cairo will resume soon, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

Kerry’s vision for peace process is mostly consistent with Egypt's: Egyptian foreign ministry Cairo believes that the principles proposed by US Secretary of State John Kerry to revive the Middle East peace process are mostly consistent with the Egyptian vision, but it is important that those principles are implemented eventually, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Cairo criticises US Congress bill that would track efforts on church restoration in Egypt Egypt has said it rejects a bill introduced to the US Congress that would require the Secretary of State report on progress made in Egypt in restoring churches damaged during mob attacks in August 2013.

Domestic Security

Roadside bomb kills police officer, soldier in Egypt A police officer and a soldier were killed by a roadside bomb in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, security sources said.

Egypt refers 10 members of ISIS-affiliated cell to court An Egyptian prosecutor has referred on Monday ten men to criminal court on charges of forming an ISIS-affiliated terrorist cell in Suez governorate.

From Jadaliyya Egypt

Roundtable on UN Security Council Resolution 2334: Reflections by Noura Erakat, Mouin Rabbani, and Sherene Seikaly On 23 December 2016, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2334 confirming the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, as well as other measures to change the status of these territories. The resolution was sponsored by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, and Venezuela—after Egypt submitted then quickly withdrew the draft text in in order to appease the incoming Trump administration and Israel’s Netanyahu government.

Three Films, One Spectator and A Polemic: Arab Documentaries and ‘Global’ Audiences Alia Ayman examines German filmmaker Farid Eslam’s Yallah Underground (2015), US filmmaker Sara Taksler’s Tickling Giants (2016) and Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Siam’s Whose Country? (2016) as films that, in positing to inform, educate and explain what is going on “here” to audiences over “there,” become central to a pre-existing East-West dynamic—a sphere of knowledge production and image-making that tries to translate the orient to an elsewhere, thereby raising deeply political questions and connections.

ماتخافوش مافيش حاجة  Mark Lotfy examines and interprets the tragedy surrounding the recent church targeting through a philosophical lens.

Arabic

مصر تستنكر مشروع قانون «ترميم الكنائس المصرية» الأمريكي  Egypt’s Foreign Ministry denounces the US Congress church construction bill.

السيسي يصدر قرارات بتخصيص أراضٍ للمنفعة العامة منها معسكرات للأمن المركزي ومحطة للصرف الصحي President Sisi announced new decrees to allocate state-owned land for public interest projects.

فيديو.. «شعبة الصيادلة» تطالب بسرعة الإعلان عن تسعيرة الدواء.. وتؤكد: لن نغلق أبوابنا في وجه المرضى Head of pharmaceutical companies urges the government to approve the regulation of medicine prices.

السيسي: اقفوا جمب بلدكوا 6 شهور بس.. وإحنا نجحنا وبننجح وهننجح  President Sisi calls on citizens and businessmen to support the government for six months in order to achieve economic prosperity.

2017 ينذر المصريين بالمزيد من ارتفاع الأسعار Economists expect price hikes this year if dollar continues to fluctuate.

القضاة يتوحدون ضد مشروع تعديل «اختيار رؤساء الهيئات القضائية» Judges clubs refuse MPs proposal to amend the selection procedures of judicial bodies’ heads.

محكمة تؤيد حبس 16 طالبا بالأزهر 3 سنوات لإدانتهم بالتورط في أحداث عنف‎ Misdemeanors court sentenced sixteen Al-Azhar University students for three years over alleged violence on campus.

حصاد الدبلوماسية المصرية في 2016.. قليل من الانجازات كثير من التحديات Aswat Masriya reviews the most important political events during 2016.

مصر: السيسي يصدر القانون الجديد للإعلام President Sisi’s new law on press and media regulation raised journalists syndicate concerns over the domination of the executive power on press and media bodies.

مصر | تعديل قانوني مرتقب يعزّز سطوة الرئاسة على القضاء Parliament is expected to approve an amendment to the Judiciary law, in order to prevent certain personalities access to senior positions, what is likely to cause a confrontation between the judiciary and the parliament.

السلطات المصرية تبقي عاكف بالسجن رغم تدهور صحته The Brotherhood and human rights organizations calls for the release of former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Mahdi Akef after his health has reportedly deteriorated. 

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