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Egypt Media Roundup (February 20)

[The Egyptian parliament. Photo from Aswat Masriya.] [The Egyptian parliament. Photo from Aswat Masriya.]

[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

Court calls on Interior Ministry to pursue HRW for ‘illegal’ operation in Egypt An Egyptian court called for the Interior Ministry to legally pursue the New York-based Human Rights Watch organization for not having state clearance to operate in Egypt, despite the international nongovernmental organization not having an office or any full-time staff in the country.

Egypt court sentences journalist to 6 months in prison An Egyptian court has sentenced on Tuesday a journalist and the legal adviser for the dissolved Freedom and Justice Party to six months in jail. 

Alexandria police accused of torturing man to death The family of Mahmoud Saeed Shehata, who died in custody on Tuesday, has accused Alexandria police of torturing him to death. Shehata was arrested on Monday for suspected involvement in the robbery of documents from the administrative prosecution office in Alexandria.

Suspects implicated in assault on Coptic Minya woman referred to trial Three men implicated in the May 2015 assault on an elderly Coptic woman in the village of Karm in Minya were indicted on Wednesday when a judge accepted the petition of the victim’s lawyer, Ihab Ramzy.

North Sinai Copts face death or displacement in absence of security and tribal protection The three recent murder incidents targeting Copts represent a worrying development in North Sinai, where Copts are often the secondary targets of Islamist groups in the area – most prominently Province of Sinai – whose primary efforts are focused on the Egyptian Armed Forces.

Parliament confirms 9 new ministers in Cabinet reshuffle Egypt’s Parliament appointed nine new ministers on Tuesday in the latest Cabinet shakeup.

Egypt swears in 9 new ministers, 5 new governors including 1st female governor The new ministers appointed in Tuesday’s cabinet shakeup were sworn in before President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday in addition to five new governors, among them Egypt’s first female governor and two generals.

New education minister raises hopes for future of education in Egypt Egypt’s new education minister, Tarek Shawki, who was sworn in on Thursday along with eight other ministers in the country’s latest Cabinet reshuffle, has been hailed on social media as the answer to Egypt’s ailing educational system — in stark comparison to his predecessor, Al-Hilaly al-Sherbiny, who received widespread criticism during his tenure, including calls for resignation from Members of Parliament and protests by students over the postponement of high-school exams.

Discipline to what end: Egypt’s failing schools and a new Education Ministry initiative Students in Egyptian schools may see a series of disciplinary measures begin to come into effect this week, as the Education Ministry announced the launch of the Week of General Discipline initiative on Sunday.

AUC students resort to Egypt’s judiciary against tuition increase The Court of Administrative Justice held a hearing on Sunday to review a lawsuit filed by parents of American University in Cairo students that challenges the university’s 2014 decision to collect fifty percent of tuition fees in US dollars.

Economy

Finance minister: Egypt’s inflation rate expected to peak by end of March Egypt’s rising inflation rate is expected to increase further, reaching a peak by end of March as a result of the currency flotation, among other factors, according to Finance Minister Amr al-Garhy.

Egypt's unemployment rate eases slightly to 12.4 per cent - CAPMAS Egypt's unemployment rate eased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 12.4 percent from 12.6 percent in the third quarter, the state statistics agency said on Wednesday.

Egypt’s economic transition could be “coming to a close”, IMF'S Lagarde says Egypt is making good progress in its economic reform program and the recent developments might be an indicator that the transition is coming to a close, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Monday. 

Crackdown on fake cotton helps revive Egypt crop Egypt's most famous export, the silky soft cotton prized by makers of luxury bedding and clothing, has become so scarce as production has fallen that most supplies sold under its brand name last year were fake.

Foreign Relations

Israel declassifies documents on 1967 Arab-Israeli War Marking nearly fifty years since the conclusion of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel’s armed forces have declassified documents, audio recordings and photos pertaining to Operation Focus, which aimed at wiping out Egypt’s air force on the ground on the first day of the six-day conflict.

A year ago, Israel, Jordan and Egypt secretly met for peace - report Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met secretly a year ago with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan in a failed attempt by the Obama administration to convene a wider regional summit on Israeli-Palestinian peace, Israel's Haaretz said on Sunday.

Arab League, Egypt say Palestinian-Israeli conflict needs two-state solution The Palestinian-Israeli conflict requires a two-state solution, the Arab League and Egypt reaffirmed on Thursday, distancing themselves from a move away from that commitment by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Sisi meets reps from US-based Zionist groups 5 times in 20 months President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with representatives from US-based pro-Israel organizations in Cairo on Sunday, for the fifth time in twenty months.

13 Egyptians kidnapped in Libya released - Armed Forces Egypt’s armed forces secured the release of thirteen Egyptians who were kidnapped in the northeastern Libyan city of Ajdabia, the Egyptian Army Spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.

Russia approves aviation security protocol with Egypt Russia approved "the draft cooperation protocol between the governments of the Russian Federation and Egypt to maintain civil aviation safety and security," according to a statement by the Russian government on Friday.

"Blind sheik" convicted in World Trade bombing dies in U.S. prison Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Muslim cleric known as "the blind sheik" who was convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and of planning a broader "war of urban terrorism" in the United States, died on Saturday in a North Carolina prison, authorities said.

Domestic Security

Cabinet bans motorbikes in areas of central and north Sinai for a year Egypt’s Cabinet announced a decision on Saturday to ban motorbikes from several areas in central and north Sinai for a year. The move is part of a wider strategy to restrict movement in the peninsula, particularly North Sinai, where security forces have been engaged in armed conflict with militants since 2013.

Alleged Province of Sinai statement threatens gov’t with retribution for civilian deaths Islamic State-affiliated militant group Province of Sinai allegedly distributed a statement to the public in the North Sinai city of Arish, offering condolences for unarmed civilians killed in violence with the state in recent years.

From Jadaliyya Egypt

Shadows of the Imperceptible: PhotoCairo6 (15 February - 23 March 2017) Shadows of the Imperceptible, the five-week-long public articulations of the sixth edition of PhotoCairo, consists of two exhibitions at Contemporary Image Collective and Saad Zaghloul Cultural Center as well as performances, screenings, talks, discussions and studio visits in different locations across the city. Exhibitions run from 15 February 2017, at seven pm, until 23 March 2017.

The Price of Love: Valentine’s Day in Egypt and Its Enemies This Valentine’s Day, Jadaliyya is proud to republish Aymon Kreil's article "The Price of Love: Valentine's Day in Egypt and Its Enemies" from the Fall 2016 issue of the Arab Studies Journal. 

خطوات مرحة في شارع البهلوان Marc Lutfi uses a scene from Salah Abu Seif’s 1949 film, “Acrobat Street” as a point of departure to examine the juxtaposed “duplicity” of women in both film and mainstream culture. 

اليأس كسلاح للاستبداد In light of the seventh anniversary of the wave revolutions that swept across the Arab world, Sinan Antoon examines the importance of characterization as exemplified by the Western political branding of the past popular uprisings as an “Arab Spring,” a misnomer which Antoon argues to have had a mystifying effect.

Arabic

مصر: 16 مرشحاً رفضوا الانضمام الى حكومة اسماعيل  A cabinet reshuffle, which included nine ministerial portfolios, was approved by the parliament.

«القضاء الإداري» تقضي بعدم اختصاصها بإلغاء إدراج «بديع» و«الكتاتني» على قائمة «الإرهابيين» Egypt’s Administrative Court rejected Muslim Brotherhood leaders Badie and Katatni’s appeal to remove their names from terror list. 

«القضاء الإداري» تقضي بعدم قبول دعوى إغلاق مقار منظمة «هيومان رايتس ووتش» Egypt’s Administrative Court dismissed on Tuesday a closure lawsuit filed against Human Rights Watch and foreign NGOs based in Egypt alleging that these NGOs work without authorization.

مرشحين جدد لانتخابات نقابة الصحفيين.. و«محبوس احتياطيا» ضمنهم 6  The committee on press syndicate elections continues to receive nominations for the coming elections which will be held on 3 March, 2017. 

وزراء و5 محافظين جدد يؤدون اليمين الدستورية أمام الرئيس السيسي9  Nine new ministers were sworn in before president Sisi on Thursday.

هل يتحمل المصريون تضخم الأسعار في 2017 كما تحملوه في 1986؟ Egypt’s consumer prices record a sharp increase during January 2017, the highest inflation rate since 1986.

المصري لحقوق المرأة: التعديل الوزاري "محبط" لآمال النساء في عامهن Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights stated that the cabinet reshuffle was not up to expectations or hopes of Egyptian women due to the very modest number of women represented in the cabinet.

 صادرات القطن المصري تقفز 63.9% في الربع الأول من الموسم الجاري Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics recorded an increase in Egypt’s cotton exports, jumping almost sixty three percent during the first quarter of 2016-2017.

(تقرير حقوقي صادم يرصد انتهاكات النظام المصري في 2016 (شاهد Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms reported 290 state-led killing cases during 2016.

"القضاء المصري ينظر في إغلاق "الغارديان Egypt’s Court reviews on Thursday lawsuits demanding closure of The Guardian office in Cairo over fabricating false news about the ongoing events in Egypt.

مقتل خمسة من قوات الأمن المصرية بانفجار في سيناء  Five security forces were killed and two injured on Friday in northern Sinai attack led by militants affiliated with ISIS.

  

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