Labyrinth

The Nonsensical Distance in Egypt’s Protest Legislation

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.

National Songs in Tune With the State

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.

Justify a Crime With Another

Disjointed Scenes From Egypt’s August

June 24: The Morgue

A trip to the Hawamdia Public Hospital and Morgue in Giza leads me to Cairo’s central morgue, where a group of photographers stand outside amongst a handful of grievers. The families get out of the building carrying the coffins to the sunlit dust of the quite streets. One of the men tries to beat up a photojournalist with a hammer. Following the murder of four Shias by a mob of villagers incited by ultraconservative Salafis, they don’t want their faces to appear in fear of more hate crimes in their respective communities.

Five Misconceptions and Dilemmas in Post-June 30 Egypt

Cairo – Before Mohamed Mursi’s ouster, the word “complex” was the best to describe all developments. It was never black and white and couldn’t be explained in a simple good vs. evil narrative. Each issue had multiple sides with a mixed bag of manipulation, personal gains, and legitimate concerns. Mursi’s ouster and everything that led to it are no different and none can be described in anything less than a paragraph to do it its due justice.

Egypt Cabinet, Constitutional Decree Show Who Holds Power

Cairo – There’s no reason to accept a faulty decree, Yehia Abdel-Shafi told the founders of Tamarrud, the “rebel” campaign that mobilized street action against ousted President Mohamed Mursi, during a press conference on Monday. He was referring to the constitutional decree issued by Egypt’s interim president.

Today’s Kings Are Tomorrow’s Prisoners

Cairo – The only lesson that has been hammered in over and over again during the past two and half years is that nothing remains the same. Today’s kings are tomorrow’s prisoners. But it’s a lesson that everyone has been intent on not learning.

The rotation of power in Egypt sure fails to awash some institutions with change. Some hold on to power and try to wrestle control behind the scenes. Upheavals, however, have presented numerous opportunities for constructing a “New Egypt.”

Conviction of Harasser Is a Reason to Celebrate

Lyla El Gueretly celebrates the verdict in downtown Cairo. (Photo: Sarah El Sirgany)

Lyla el-Gueretly was among friends, supporters, and journalists when she heard the verdict. The man who beat her up after verbally harassing her last April was sentenced to three months in prison. Minutes earlier, at a restaurant a few streets away from the court, the idea of receiving the maximum sentence, a total of two years, was tossed around over breakfast. The verdict is good, a friend declared after the lawyer called with the news. It’s a prison sentence and not a fine, another one added, reaffirming the still-shaky positive attitude. They applauded in celebration.

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