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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:47 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Since coming to power through a military coup in July 2013, Egypt's dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been blackmailing the West with fears over Egypt's security and stability.

He never misses an opportunity to remind his western counterparts that the Egyptian state is facing an existential threat, and that Europe could be flooded with millions of Egyptian refugees if his rule is weakened or undermined.

In return, Sisi was rewarded with international recognition and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic and military aid from Europe, the US, and international financial institutions. The last chunk was a half billion US$ in economic aid from Germany, announced during a visit by Angela Merkel to Egypt in March.

Sisi was also able to convince the West to turn a blind eye to his anti-democratic rule, and his regime's severe human rights abuses.

Over the last four years, Egyptian authorities have killed hundreds of Egyptian opposition activists, jailed thousands, and forced many others to flee the country fearing a similar fate.

The regime has imposed severe restrictions on the work the media and civil society organisations, and independent and opposition media outlets have been banned by the dozen. Draconian laws have been adopted to virtually ban NGO work and the right to public protest.

Political life has been severely circumscribed, especially after banning main opposition groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, whose party has won all free elections held in Egypt since the January 2011 revolution, and the 6 April youth group - Egypt's main youth activist group.

In this context, Sisi was able to nominate himself for his ability to secure and stabilise the country.

He effectively weakened all political opposition groups and crushed the mass protest movement generated by the January 2011 revolution. He met public dissent with an iron fist that made it too costly for people to protest.

However, there is a major difference between security and stability on one side, and oppression and silencing dissent on the other. In fact, a closer look at Sisi's record shows how he committed numerous blunders that raise serious doubts about his ability to rule the country.

On the economic side, most of Sisi's development projects, such as the expansion of the Suez Canal and the construction of a new capital, proved to be a wasteful spending on secondary projects. His lack of economic vision and wasteful spending have sent the national currency tumbling.

The price of the US dollar against the Egyptian pound has more than doubled since he took office. Poverty, inflation and unemployment have reached record highs. The regime has also failed to show any serious attempts to fix Egypt's structural economic problems, especially its weak export capabilities.

The country is also facing a growing security problem. Over the last six months, Islamic State group (IS) has been able to expand its activities to Egypt's mainland and launch some deadly attacks against the country's Christian minority.

Homegrown violent groups, such as Hasem and Revolutionary Punishment, are on the rise, benefiting from the growing political tension and human rights abuses.

More threatening still, Egypt is facing an unprecedented political trust crisis.

Traditionally, Egyptians have been known to be a conservative people, respecting all state institutions, such as the military, the judiciary and Al-Azhar - the country's main religious university.

Yet, continuous and widespread repression over the last few years coupled with an official political culture of hate directed by pro-regime media which fully dominates Egypt's airwaves, appears to have weakened Egyptians' traditional respect for their state institutions.

The military is increasingly seen as the main backer of the regime and its abuses. The regime uses judges to deliver extreme verdicts to thousands of regime opponents in sham trials. Public religious institutions, such Al-Azhar and the Coptic Church, have been forced to keep quiet on the regime's oppressive measures and human rights abuses.

Al-Azhar also came under growing attacks by pro-regime media when its leaders showed some signs of independence.

People's distrust for state institutions may have reached record levels, and it is now undoubtedly much higher than the 2011 levels when people revolted against the regime of president, Hosni Mubarak. At that time, the country's problems were blamed on a small circle of close advisors around Mubarak.

The military was widely respected and its intervention in politics in the immediate aftermath of the January 2011 revolution was welcomed by the people. Judges enjoyed a good reputation among the political and intellectual elites for their role in supervising elections, and challenging attempts by Mubarak's party to rig the vote.

Religious institutions were more respected because of the powerful religious political groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis, who dominated the scene.

Recently, there has been plenty of evidence that this culture of trust has evaporated. The political opposition has been severely weakened as well as its ability to channel or control people's anger.

They have become united only in their loathing of the regime. Political religious groups blame the regime for killing hundreds and jailing thousands of their followers.

Secular parties - often motivated by strong nationalistic ideas - are increasingly talking of the regime as a traitor, especially after its recent efforts to give up control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

They feel that giving up the two islands will only one benefit Israel, and will waste the sacrifices of thousands of soldiers who gave up their lives defending Egypt's eastern borders.

In fact, many ordinary citizens have lost their trust in regime and opposition alike. They are getting poorer by the day and flooded with dark political propaganda full of hate and tension.

In this context, Egyptians' anger is growing and if another wave of protest engulfs the country it will be more difficult to channel or control. It will be more radical and destructive in nature, and will challenge all state institutions.

At this moment, Egypt may look more stable compared to Syria and Iraq, for example. But the country is being constantly pushed by regime oppression towards a worrying future.

Oppression might build strong regimes but it cannot build stable countries. The Sisi regime could use sheer force to stay longer in power, but it will simultaneously undermine the laws, traditions, and institutions required to build a stable state.

Domestically, Sisi is counting on the support of the military, top bureaucrats, and the business elite. He also has the backing of the Trump administration, Israel and Arab dictatorships, especially in the Gulf. However, such support is delaying reform and distracting the regime from addressing the growing concerns of its own people.

This leaves many in Egypt and aboard with the fear that excessive oppression could lead to a sudden explosion of public anger that will be impossible to contain or control this time.


Alaa Bayoumi is an Egyptian journalist and the author of two books studying US foreign policy in the Middle East. He also writes on democratic transition in the Arab world.

Source: https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comme ... ff-a-cliff

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:28 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Bring back Mubarak, all is forgiven :|

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:52 am  |  Posted from: Cyprus
  

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What a great post DJ, and so perfectly true.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:06 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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:tk ninety million Lemmings can't be wrong...can they?

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Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:59 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Well if you look at the state of most of these countries after the so called Arab Spring, you have to come to the conclusion that they are. ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:27 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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The author's perspective on how the majority of Egyptians feel is not one I sense at all.

The Egyptians look at their neighbours and think "another revolution chaps?". Ermmm...."No thanks ".

Add to that the fact there is no organised opposition, and the likelihood of another uprising is very remote.

And as far as suffering personal indignities is concerned, the Egyptians have the patience of Job..


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:04 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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The majority of people I speak to in Luxor say they want Sisi to go, also they wish Mubarak was back. :)

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge using Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:57 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Wishing Mubarak was back is perhaps an indication that some Egyptians should not be trusted with a vote :lol:

It's in the nature of the public everywhere, in every country, to moan about their current rulers and demand change.

Their complaints will fall on deaf ears in Egypt and those who raise their voice to a level the government finds irritating will be swiftly silenced.

My impression is that for every Sisi hater, there is one who thinks the sun shines out of his backside....and it's the government supporters who have a voice which is transmitted by the media.

Without denying the existence of considerable opposition in the country, it won't amount to anything for many years.....if ever.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:45 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Yes I have heard that too Keefy but they seem to forget what things were like before the ousting of Mubarak. Who ever is in charge of Egypt has one hell of a job on their hands I wouldn't like to be responsible.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:27 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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I heard all those moans from the point of Morsi taking charge, Personally I think the new man is doing his best to turn the countries wealth and prospects around. But the task is not an easy one, like trying to crack a nut with a cotton bud.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:18 am  |  Posted from: Australia
  

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Those who want Mubarak back may get their wish.

His ‘boys’ are putting themselves about in public and testing public reaction to their carefully managed media exposure.

In the past few months they have:

(Gamal) ‘shown up at a wedding, a funeral and a soccer match, happily snapping selfies with onlookers still enamored of the flamboyant figure’ http://www.smh.com.au/world/dynasty-in- ... uuizb.html

(Alaa) ‘Another public appearance by Alaa Mubarak, in a popular Kebab restaurant in the Cairo urban poor area Sayeda Zeinab.’ pic.twitter.com/kNgE0uhIFj

‘Alaa was spotted earlier this month in Cairo’s Heliopolis district celebrating Egypt’s footballing victory over Burkina Faso at the latest edition of African Cup.

Both brothers also attended a friendly football match between Egypt and Tunisia held in Cairo on Jan. 8., carrying on a tradition seen under their father’s reign in which they attended games played by the national team.
…They were also spotted at Cairo-working class district Shoubra in December having dinner and surrounded by people rushing to take photos with them.
…They also appeared at the funeral of prominent Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, and offered condolences to actor Mohammed Sobhy on the demise of his wife.

Their first public appearance ever since their release was at the funeral of journalist Mustafa Bakry’s mother. https://english.alarabiya.net/en/featur ... gain-.html

There have also been other stunts like a press release asking to be allowed to donate money to the families of the victims of the train accident in Assiut.

For their many fans anxious about their health and happiness here are some photos of recent jaunts, kindly provided by ‘the boys’:

Here is Gamal at the football, third from the right: Image

Alaa at a local restaurant with ‘friendly ordinary people’: Image

And in another restaurant on another ‘occasion’ playing backgammon with the ‘average Egyptian’: Image

There have also been some ‘unscheduled’ appearances:

(Alaa) in the Panama Papers (not the newspaper of choice). They have also appeared in leaks from Swiss banks.

Their outstanding business ‘luck’ has got some detailed attention with one article detailing that in one $US21 million Cyprus deal without ‘Gamal Mubarak …making any significant investments, taking any risk or providing any real service that added value’ He made a 120,000% profit over 10 years which is a gain (uncompounded) of 32% per day. Good work if you can get it, if indeed any work was actually involved. https://www.madamasr.com/en/2016/10/20/ ... l-mubarak/. To me it looks not unlike off-shore money-laundering.

Also ‘their assets’, in the broadest definition of that term, are still frozen. Poor things. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170 ... ze-assets/. Improbably, given they are getting about in S class Mercedes, their lawyer, who may be no more truthful than his clients, said a few days ago that ‘the family is “poor and destitute.” and ‘do not have a penny to their name.’ Their lawyer seems to be unaware of the $US21 million sitting in Cyprus – a notorious dirty money/Russian bolthole and the journalist forgets to ask about it.

The reaction to appearances shows that Egyptians are quick learners. One teacher tweeted this: "They would have reformed the country. They grew up with silver spoons in their mouths and wouldn't have looked at us to steal more." (revealingly he seems to betray a belief that some stealing did actually occur but that 'more' would not). Another revealing tweet said: “Mubarak’s sons are well-bred and modest. The so-called revolutionaries know nothing. They are so conceited that they don’t want to admit the destruction they have caused to this country.” Well bred obviously includes, in Egypt, being Welsh.

Their supporters aren’t rooted in reality (no change there) because legally the Mubaraks are not allowed to hold office or any political position for six years, so a presidential run in 2018 should be impossible. For once Egyptian law is on the right side of justice.

Newcastle – yes and no. Clearly Syria and Libya are a mess but Tunisia seems to be moving/staggering in a ‘better’ direction. Morocco has made small democratic concessions after 2011 which seem to be proceeding. The reform plan in Saudi seems positive – although might bring the ‘house’ down and starts from a very low base and some of the Gulf states seem to be making some positive noises. The general direction of democratic change in Jordan seems positive – but very slow.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:07 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Those that wish Mubarak (or his oily offspring) back should be careful what they wish for.

Those that would take to the streets should recall what happened on the two previous occasions.

Third time lucky anyone?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:15 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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I remember a conversation that I had with my then taxi driver while Mubarak was still in power. He was bemoaning the fact that two of his cousins that worked for good pay at a BMW outlet and repair shop in Cairo had lost their jobs. Apparently one of these brothers took a liking to the garage and offered to buy the owner out, but the owner refused, so the brother just took it having made life ''uncomfortable'' for the owner.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:34 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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One of the main reasons, in my opinion, for the revolution against Mubarak was the likelihood of Gamal taking over the leadership from his Father. He was and remains very unpopular.
Someone once said to me Gamal only wants one apartment in Egypt but it must stretch from Aswan to Cairo.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:16 am  |  Posted from: Cyprus
  

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Does not matter who is President really, there is a lot of money to pay back.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:57 am  |  Posted from: Cyprus
  

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Regarding is he pushing Egypt over the edge, I would say he already has done, brought it to its knee's


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