Here are links to articles and news stories I wrote the past five months.
**16 women journalists on the Middle East front lines
–Flattered to be listed among these brave women.
Lawyers in Muslim Brotherhood case seek new judges – CNN, Feb 22
Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — Lawyers representing Muslim Brotherhood members in a jailbreak case that includes former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy called Saturday for the judges to be changed.
As has been the case in previous proceedings, Morsy appeared in the courtroom from inside a soundproof glass box, a requirement he rejected last Sunday as a “farce.”
Detained Al Jazeera journalists appear in court as trial opens – CNN, Feb 21 – With VIDEO
Cairo (CNN) — Three Al Jazeera journalists were among eight who appeared at a hearing in a Cairo prison court Thursday, accused along with 17 other defendants of spreading “false news” and having links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt declared a terrorist organization in December.
“Tell her I love her. Big wedding when I get out,” Al Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy told journalists in a message to his fiancee, appearing in high spirits on the first day of his trial, despite a worsening shoulder injury.
Facing new charges, Egypt’s Morsy taunts court from glass cage – CNN, Feb. 16
(CNN) — Deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy on Sunday taunted court officials who placed him in a soundproof glass box during his trial on conspiracy charges, a proceeding cut short by his lawyers’ objections.
“If this farce continues, leave the trial,” Morsy told his lawyers through a microphone. “Those who are afraid of my appearance before the people have no public support,” he added.
**In second court date, Morsi struggles to be heard from his glass cage – Mada Masr, Jan. 30
Standing in a soundproof glass cage, deposed President Mohamed Morsi made his second public appearance since his July ouster on Tuesday in the first session of what his lawyers described as a “show trial.”
Along with 130 others, Morsi is charged with helping to facilitate a mass prison break from the Wadi Natroun prison in January 2011, where he himself had been incarcerated.
**Egyptian activists behind bars on uprising’s anniversary – CNN, Jan. 25, With Video
Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — As Egypt marked the third anniversary of the January 25 revolution, many of the activists associated with it were behind bars, awaiting trial, or facing a vilification campaign that turned heroes into traitors.
Meanwhile, the police whose brutal force stoked their anger three years ago vowed to protect the weekend celebrations.
**Normalizing Conspiracies with an Egyptian Puppet – EgyptSource/The Atlantic Council, Jan.9
Officials from the mobile phone operator Vodafone were questioned last week by Egypt’s public prosecutor about coded messages allegedly hidden in one of their online ads. The video, said to contain a secret message for terrorists, features internet sensation Abla Fahita, a puppet who rose to fame mocking Egyptian housewives who use the internet as their source of recipes and gossip.
The Prosecutor General saw that the report, filed by a wannabe singer and fame-seeking conspiracy theorist Ahmed “Sbyder,” was worthy of investigation and questioning. The prosecution didn’t ignore it like other complaints, including an earlier request for an investigation into how a TV anchor acquired and aired recordings of activists’ phone calls.
Egypt’s government fails to end civil strife, terrorism – Al Monitor, Dec. 30
The sight of blood and charred debris, the screams of loss and pain and the rising death toll often leave people speechless, unable to comprehend a thought.
The state of shock swiftly turns into hysteric consensus over any idea that appeals to the crowd or part of it. Probing questions are quieted or dismissed as preposterous.
Declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, even though a court is still to give a verdict to that effect, caters to this reaction and helps in distracting from the unpopular type of criticism directed at the government.
**Mosa’ab Elshamy: On escaping death and capturing tragedy – Al Akhbar English, Dec. 16
As the deadly crackdown on the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins by supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi was coming to an end on August 14, word spread that a photographer called Mosa’ab Elshamy was killed. It wasn’t long before the 23-year-old photographer assured his friends and colleagues that it was another Alexandria photographer by the same name who had been killed at the same Rabaa al-Adawya square where he was taking photos. The relief was soon replaced by the realization that another set of strangers were mourning the loss of their friend. This type of tragedy and conflict is what Elshamy is skillful at documenting.
Prison sentences for women as Egypt clamps down on protest –CNN, Nov. 28
Cairo (CNN) — Lengthy sentences handed down to 21 women and girls who were arrested at a pro-Morsy demonstration have highlighted growing unease over the Egyptian authorities’ treatment of dissent.
The protesters, including seven minors, were sentenced Wednesday in Alexandria after being arrested at a demonstration in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsy earlier this month.
And follow up here
Also watch Christiane Amanpour’s interview with Alaa Eldin Ezzat, whose daughter Ola was sentenced to 11 years in jail.
Egypt’s old and new battle over revolutionary discourse – Al Monitor, Nov. 21
CAIRO — On the evening of Nov. 18, Helmy al-Sayed carried a placard that almost got him kicked out of a march in downtown Cairo. The words on it and the ensuing argument represented the type of problems march organizers wanted to avoid by holding it a day before the second anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes and away from other events planned by opposing groups.
The Nonsensical Distance in Egypt’s Protest Legislation – Al Akhbar English, Nov. 18
Cairo – Walls. Walls. Walls. The geography of Cairo’s traffic has been gravely altered by the cement walls blocking streets to the Ministry of Interior, the cabinet and the parliament, all in close proximity, in addition to other facilities in central Cairo.
**Notes From Egypt’s Show Trial – The New York Times, Nov. 6
CAIRO — DURING a court recess on Monday, I approached the floor-to-ceiling, webbed-metal cage confining Mohamed Morsi, the deposed president of Egypt, and seven other defendants.
I sneaked a peek past a security guard. Mr. Morsi stood surrounded by his former aides and fellow defendants from the Muslim Brotherhood. They were dressed in white garments, as required by the authorities. He wore a blue business suit.
Youssef Turns the Joke on His Former Fans – Al Akhbar English, Oct. 29
Cairo – Bassem Youssef was facing a challenge in the build-up to the first episode of “al-Bernameg” following a four-month hiatus. Opposed to common belief, it wasn’t an issue of lack of material after Mohamed Mursi and Islamist TV channels disappeared from the scene. It was Youssef’s own audience, those who had avidly cheered and defended his painful mockery of Mursi and co. Now that they are supporting the state and status quo, and, like their Islamist counterparts, nodding to TV channels whose content is rich in material for Youssef’s show, the joke essentially would be on them.
Has Egypt Lost the Plot? – Al Monitor, Oct. 14
CAIRO — Posters of Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi outnumbered all other trinkets sold or distributed during the street celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the October 1973 War. The day turned into “Sisi Fest,” rather than a celebration of Egypt’s armed forces, during which a campaign for the general’s presidency found large numbers of supporters.
National Songs in Tune With the State – Al Akhbar English, Oct. 4
Cairo – Most Fridays, state-owned and private radio channels blast a single genre of music all day long: national and patriotic tunes. Instead of around-the-clock political analysis on the weekend or airing songs that might be insensitive to whatever is going on, a growing library of classic and contemporary national songs has been providing a safe programming choice since the January 25 uprising made Friday the day of protests.