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In December 2013, Egyptian Archaeologist and contributor Daily News Egypt contributor Dr Monica Hanna was named as the 2014 winner of the SAFE Beacon Award. Hanna has been active for many years, even before the 25 January revolution, trying to expose the consistent looting and destruction of archaeological sites and monuments. She has been instrumental in protecting many sites, including the Egyptian Museum during the 25 January Revolution, Abu Sir el-Malaq and Dahshour among others. She has also participated in the surveying the damage of the Museum of Islamic Art and the Egyptian National Library and Archives after the 24 January 2014 bombing of the Cairo Security Directorate.
After completing her Bachelor and Masters degrees at the American University in Cairo, Hanna travelled to Italy where she received her PhD from the University of Pisa. During the 2011 revolution she was in Berlin conducting post-doctoral studies and travelled back and forth between Egypt and Berlin. Shortly afterwards, she decided to relocate to Egypt full time so that she could fully dedicate herself to the protection of monuments and archaeological sites.
Reacting to the announcement of winning the award, Hanna said: “It means a lot for the cause. It will bring a lot of attention to the problems of looting. So, it is very good for the cause. It should shed light on the market because if there is enough attention paid to the market [for stolen antiquities], the looting will cease to happen. This award is not the result of only my own effort, but also of a great team and projects we have been working on for three years.”
By THE CAIRO POST
CAIRO: The Foreign Ministry is not imposing new taxes on Egyptian expatriates, said Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs Ali Al-Ashry during a television interview with ONtv on Sunday.
Newspapers have been reporting that the government intends to impose new taxes on Egyptian expatriates, news of which has been followed by widespread criticism.
The General Union of Egyptians Abroad sent two letters to the interim president and the prime minister calling for them to find a legal formula to impose new taxes on Egyptian expatriates, to contribute between $4 billion and $7 billion annually to the state fund.
Egyptian expatriates are already paying income taxes to the countries that they are from, and the decision to add taxes from Egypt is unfair, said the head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Hafez Abou Seda on his Twitter account March 8.
Abou Seda said that at least 40 percent of expatriate income would go to Egypt taxes if new taxes were imposed.
Al-Ashry said he read about the tax debate in newspapers, adding that the foreign ministry has been discussing for years the idea of creating an authority to aid Egyptian expatriates in times of crisis. It is holding daily meetings with ministry representatives about that issue, he said.
Remittances from around eight million Egyptian expatriates reached record heights in the fiscal year 2012-2013, $18.7 billion, compared to $18 billion in the fiscal year 2011-2012, according to the Central Bank of Egypt, the Al-Ahram state newspaper reported.
Additional reporting by Rofayda Awadeen and Hagar Housam.
By AMIRA EL-FEKKI
CAIRO: Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi said his vision for Egypt is “a state based on democracy and secularism, patriotism and Arabism, an ideology which takes into consideration accurate calculations on the present moment, bigger dreams for the future, without disconnecting from the past,” during an interview aired both on Mehwar TV and Jordan TV channels on Sunday.
Sabbahi, head of the Popular Current Party and co-founder of the Karama Party, declared his intention to run for presidential elections a few weeks ago. For a short while, he was the first and only candidate to publicly make such an announcement.
During the interview Sunday, Sabbahi was asked about his ideas for the forthcoming phase. He spoke of his determination to link the January 25 Revolution with the events of June 30, and to combine both events into a wider revolutionary context in Egypt and the entire Arab region.
Sabbahi said the fact that he has been inspired by former President Gamal Abdel Nasser “is no secret,” but it is also something he does not openly speak about. What Egypt must take from “Nasserism” is its ideology, he said, “which recognizes the importance of Nasserism as a popular movement, while on the other hand admits that with great success comes great failure.”
When he was a student at Cairo University, Sabbahi lived under the regime of former President Anwar Sadat but was very active in politics and founded a club based on Nasser’s ideologies. In 1977, he notably disagreed with Sadat in a public debate, blaming him for drifting away from Nasser’s heritage. He was president of Cairo University’s student union at the time.
Sabbahi said he aims to restore Egypt’s position in the Arab world, which will also have an important impact on boosting the country’s economy.
“My project is establishing Egyptian patriotism within an Arab identity, which represents the demands of the revolution, which are freedom, bread, social justice and human dignity. The real challenge of a revolution is not in bringing down a regime, it’s in building up a new regime,” Sabbahi said.
During the television interview Sabbahi spoke of specific tactics such as the need to “protect our Arab nation from any foreign interference, and to protect Syria from terrorist invasions. Qatar must once again become part of the Arab nation.” But Qatar needs to apologize to Egypt to do so, he said.
Sabbahi said more than once during the interview that he is determined to “achieve revolutionary demands,” adding that foremost is the seeking of social justice; real incorporation of youth in the economy through the support of small and medium enterprises, which would also decrease the need for foreign investment; and the importance of integrating the private sector and civil society.
He ran for president in the elections of 2013 and lost in the first round. He is running again this year despite strong public support for Deputy Prime Minister Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is most recognized for his role in the events of June 30 against Muslim Brotherhood rule.
“Sisi is welcome to take part in a real democratic competition,” Sabbahi said.
Cairo University students belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood staged demonstrations outside the faculties of commerce and science on the first day of classes after the midterm holiday. They chanted slogans against the army, the police and the campus guard. Universities have deployed campus guards that are not from the Interior Ministry. Cairo University Security Director Yasser Manna said cars are checked at the gates and IDs must be presented. “We also have female security personnel to check the bags of the girls that the students use to bring in prohibited material,” he said. Meanwhile, Brotherhood students of the Saidia schools set fire to a car belonging to CBC News that was parked outside the main gate of Cairo University, terrorizing passersby in al-Nahda Square. Also, Brotherhood members of the Students against the Coup Movement staged protests in Banha University, flashing the Rabaa sign and chanting slogans against the army and the police. University President Ali Shams Eddin warned the students of disrupting classes. “We will not tolerate demonstrations that are not peaceful,” he said. Edited translation from MENA and Al-Masry Al-Youm
By MOHAMED EL-GALY
CAIRO: The Cabinet, rather than the State Council, is tasked with preparing amendments to the law on parliamentary elections, said Ali Awad, advisor to the president for constitutional affairs, in a statement to Youm7.
Awad added that the State Council’s legislation department would discuss and make observations on the amendments, then send it to interim President Adly Mansour for approval.
He said the Cabinet would make amendments to the Legal Council of Representatives for the House of Representatives in order to be commensurate with the 2013 Constitution, because there are two interpretations on organizing parliamentary elections.
Awad also said community dialogue would be held on the amendments, as it was for the Presidential Election Law.
Originally published in Youm7.
Interview de Michel Guénaire et Philippe Braud
The Egyptians aligned pyramids of the fourth dynasty, including the Great Pyramid of Khufu and its neighbor, Khafre, to cardinal points with amazing accuracy. For the most part, scholars who have studied the issue have concluded that the Egyptians must have used the stars to achieve such accuracy. In this paper, I demonstrate that they could have achieved that accuracy using the sun.
Several constitutional experts, politicians, and rights activists have criticised the presidential election law that was approved by Interim President Adli Mansour on Saturday.
President Mansour has ratified the presidential election law in preparation for the upcoming presidential race, said Ali Awad, presidential advisor for constitutional affairs.
Nour Farahat, a constitutional expert, told ON TV that immunizing the decisions of the Supreme Elections Committee in the election law is clearly unconstitutional.
Farahat urged Mansour to commit to article 79 of the constitution which prohibits immunity to any resolutions from judicial oversight.
Immunizing the elections committee's resolutions is a constitutional flaw since this is incompatible with the articles of the constitution, said Magdi al-Garhi, deputy head of the State Council.
The presidency's justifications of the election committee's immunization are flimsy and could have been avoided, Garhi told CBC channel.
He pointed that the State Council's legislative body has recommended not immunizing the election committee and offered alternatives to appeal its decisions.
The law should have included an article stating that the sons of a presidential candidate cannot hold any nationality other than Egyptian, said Ahmed Refaat, law professor and former President of Bani Soueif University.
Refaat said that there should be a way to appeal the committee's decisions before the administrative court to ensure fair results.
Ayman Nour, head of the Ghad Party, expressed his rejection of the law and said it "clashes with solid constitution principles".
Nour said on Twitter that he will challenge the constitutionality of the presidential election law.
Preventing detainees from running for president contradicts the legal premise that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty, said Hafez Abu Seada, the National Council for Human Rights.
If this rule is applied, the president can prevent his opponents from contesting the presidential elections by detaining and charging them, Abu Seada added.
In Egypt, the hymen is vastly considered to be the only evidence of a woman’s virginity, and in the pervasively traditionalist atmosphere, this makes it the only way to safeguard her ‘honor.’
The notion has been legitimized to the extent that state services have been reportedly performing forcible virginity tests on detained women.
One of the most well-known incidents was in March 2011, when Samira Ibrahim and at least 18 other female protesters in Tahrir Square were subject to virginity tests by male military doctors.
In December 2011, the State Council Administrative Court ruled that the practice is illegal. However, the doctor whom Ibrahim claims had carried out a virginity test on her was acquitted in March 2012 by a military court.
Egypt is party to the United Nations Convention to Eliminate all Forms of Discrimination against Women, but its laws are still a long way from protecting the rights in the convention it ratified.
The Egyptian authorities are expected to present its Universal Periodic Review in 2014 to the UN committee that monitors the implementation of the convention. A group of Egyptian human rights organizations is also expected to present its own report on the condition of women’s rights in the country to the committee.
The quality of the public universities is dramatically falling, giving birth to the increase of -private universities and colleges that are not necessarily offering good or better education. However, they are offering another opportunity for higher education and, most importantly, opening a new horizon for outstanding well-rewarded business opportunities. Nothing wrong with the model, yet, the devil is in details. The crisis lies in the implementation not in the concept itself and the objectives behind it. It is not always comprehensive; it is still emerging, mostly underdeveloped, subjective and very individual. Subject to the full command of the P&L indicators, education, which is supposed to carry on human interests and pure abstract seeds turned into a business opportunity with an owner on the top seeking the lowest costs, the highest return and judging quality his own way. Others constantly fly away seeking international higher education with one of those universities dispersed all around the globe giving rise to more social dilemmas and ascendant cultural crisis.
Ecrivain engagé sans être militant, Alaa El Aswani, auteur de "l'Immeuble Yacoubian" est un observateur attentif de la société égyptienne. Il revient avec un nouveau roman et nous livre sa vision des derniers soubresauts subis par son pays.