A report by BBC on the new Samsung factory being built in Beni Suef, Egypt
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NUL besoin d’être un spécialiste de la question pour constater que le mouvement des Frères musulmans est en train de vivre une des périodes les plus sombres de son histoire. Le coup de grâce vient d’être donné par le gouvernement britannique lorsque le Premier ministre David Cameron, à la surprise générale, a ordonné une enquête sur les activités du mouvement en Grande-Bretagne. Une évaluation à hauts risques pour un mouvement habitué à naviguer dans le gris de la clandestinité.
David Cameron avait lui-même défini le cadre et la problématique de cette enquête en en résumant les interrogations: «Quelles sont leurs valeurs? Quelle est leur présence au Royaume-Uni? Croient-ils en l’extrémisme, ou en l’extrémisme violent? Quels sont leurs réseaux?». Ce brusque tournant britannique intervient après deux séquences au cours desquelles le mouvement des Frères musulmans a subi deux violentes charges qui ont cassé son ossature. La première lorsque le ministre de la Défense égyptien, actuel candidat à la présidentielle égyptienne Abdelfattah Sissi, dépose le président des Frères musulmans Mohamed Morsi, démantèle la confrérie et la déclare organisation terroriste. La seconde lorsqu’un pays aussi puissant que l’Arabie saoudite le range sur la liste des organisations terroristes qu’il faut non seulement réduire au silence mais dont il faut aussi assécher l’influence. Lorsque ces deux pays, l’Egypte et l’Arabie saoudite avaient fait ces choix, rares étaient ceux qui pariaient sur une compréhension ou une complicité internationale.
L’image d’un «Londonistan» à la faune interlope djihadiste venue des quatre coins du monde est encore présente dans les esprits. Il est vrai que cette stratégie était motivée par une volonté de tolérer pour mieux infiltrer et éventuellement manipuler. Alors que les autres pays européens, notamment la France, montraient une intransigeance sans concessions à l’égard des tendances de l’islamisme radical au point de procéder régulièrement à des arrestations spectaculaires à but préventif et pédagogique, la Grande-Bretagne se distinguait par une politique d’ouverture et de tolérance à leur égard qui confirme pour les uns sa légendaire perfidie et pour les autres son douteux machiavélisme.
Le lien entre la violence envahissante et la discrimination structurelle contre les femmes inscrite dans le droit ne peut plus être ignoré, s'alarme la Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme.
Depuis la chute du président Moubarak, les Egyptiennes souhaitant prendre part aux diverses manifestations politiques n'ont cessé d'encourir des violences sexuelles exercées publiquement, et en toute impunité, affirme la Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme (FIDH) dans un long rapport rendu public au Caire ce mercredi 16 avril.
Ces violences – qu'aucun gouvernement n'a encore cherché réellement àcombattre - visent à dissuader toute velléité de participation à la vie publique et écarte ainsi les femmes de la transition politique de leur pays. Une situation choquante dénoncée par la FIDH qui formule toute une liste de recommandations aux autorités égyptiennes, les incitant à manifester d'urgence la volonté politiqued'y mettre fin.
Les dix huit premiers jours de la révolution conduisant à la chute de Moubarak furent étonnamment pacifiques, « magiques » affirment même des femmes, qui étaient étonnées de se sentir en sécurité sur la place Tahrir du Caire, débarrassées du harcèlement sexuel qu'elles expérimentent au quotidien.
Une période « euphorique » qui a rendu le brusque retour des violences « plus choquant » que jamais. Car durant les 16 mois suivant, sous le régime du Conseil Suprême des Forces armées, les manifestantes furent régulièrement les cibles des militaires, battues dans les rues et sujettes à différentes violences en détention, y compris aux tests dit « de virginité » opérés par des médecins hommes ainsi qu'à des menaces constantes de viols.
Sous la présidence de Mohamed Morsi à partir du 30 juin 2012, les femmes furent régulièrement attaquées par des groupes de jeunes garçons et d'hommes lors des manifestations situées sur place Tahrir ou dans sa périphérie. Des organisations ont documenté plus de 250 cas, dont des viols, entre novembre 2012 et juillet 2013. La police avait d'ailleurs déserté la Place Tahrir, laissant les femmes sans aucune protection, si ce n'est celle organisée par les activistes eux-mêmes.
La Banque mondiale a annoncé avoir accordé à l’Egypte un prêt de 300 millions de dollars destiné à faciliter l’accès des petites et très petites entreprises au financement.
Quelque 130 000 sociétés pourraient bénéficier sur une période de cinq ans de ce financement destiné prioritairement aux projets lancés par des femmes et des jeunes. «Les financements atteindront les zones reculées défavorisées et les régions rurales en Egypte pour fournir aux populations ciblées des opportunités économiques et contribuer ainsi à améliorer leurs conditions de vie», souligne Sahar Nasr, économiste en chef à la Banque mondiale et chef de l’équipe en charge du suivi de ce projet.
Les petites et micro-entreprises sont le principal moteur de l'économie égyptienne. Ce genre d’entreprises contribue à hauteur de 85% à la création d’emplois hors secteur agricole.
Le nouveau prêt porte le montant global des financements servis par la Banque mondiale à l'Égypte à 4,6 milliards de dollars.
By H.A. Hellyer
On April 13, the European Union delegation to Egypt and the head of Egypt's electoral commission signed an agreement to expedite setting up a complete Elections Observation Mission. Preceded by a somewhat unexpected trip by the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, the agreement has one predictable aim: to observe the imminent presidential elections, the first round of which is due to take place May 26-27. The decision was hardly unanimous, and there were significant voices both in favor of the deployment and critically opposed to it.
The agreement that will govern the setup is due any day now. While it is technically non-binding, it will carry certain moral and political weight. Regardless of the pact, however, the debate will continue within the EU and elsewhere over whether the EU should be conducting an elections mission at all.
There are essentially three camps on this issue. The first is composed of the current Egyptian government and its allies, all of whom are eager for the EU to organize a monitoring operation. The Egyptian authorities want as much international observation as possible for external and international validation of the process. Although the military-backed authorities enjoy substantial public support within the country, Egyptian officials want their standing to be restored in the international community — a standing that has taken quite a beating in the past nine months. Regionally in the Arab world, Egypt is in a strong position, with only Qatar and Tunisia expressing any significant opposition or criticism of the current regime, though the same cannot be said for Western and African countries. Egypt continues to suffer immense criticism in many quarters. Elections that receive a stamp of approval from the EU would back the argument that Egypt is on its way to democracy.
Within the EU’s own institutions, however, there are two strong views. The first, an important, albeit minority viewpoint, is that the EU should not engage in any monitoring of the Egyptian electoral process. The assumptions behind this view are simple: The electoral process is not going to live up to the EU’s standards of "fair" and "free." Various institutions of the EU have closely followed reports of human rights abuses in Egypt, and many within those institutions privately consider such violations appalling.
In response to a question from the audience at yesterday's event at the Wilson Center, Dr. Monica Hanna stated unequivocally that the Mubarak Regime (her words) was deeply involved in antiquities trafficking. Specifically, Hanna identified the former police chief of Cairo as a major smuggler.
By AYA IBRAHIM
CAIRO: Thousands of administrative doctors began on Tuesday a partial strike in hospitals and centers affiliated with the Ministry of Health, in a new escalation against the government due to the Cabinet’s reluctance in applying the medical professions cadre law, according to a High Committee of the Doctors Strike statement.
The strike included all the government’s hospital, health insurance centers and health units, and applies to all Egyptian physicians, whether appointed, contract-based or delegates.
The striking doctors are demanding a nine percent increased in the Health Ministry budget, as well as the improvement of public hospitals. They also demanded the implementation of financial and administrative changes approved in May 2012 by the Doctors Syndicate general assembly.
Striking doctors are now refraining from issuing any private medical certificates that are required for a range of purposes including obtaining a driving license, pilgrimage visas, marriage, and overseas employment. The strike does not include the issuance of certificates of birth, death and vaccination.
Head of the Doctors Strike Coordinating Committee Ahmed Shousha told Youm7 that the clinics are committed to issuing the medical certificates required for marriage, Umrah (the minor Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca), and travelling abroad, on Monday and Thursday of each week so as not to delay citizens.
The number of doctors participating in the ongoing strike has exceeded more than 70 percent in all public medical facilities, Shousha said, adding that the strike would not end until their demands are met.
“The Doctors Syndicate is tasked with protecting the striking doctors in accordance with the general assembly decisions, which ordered that any person who violates the strike should be referred to discipline,” Shousha added.
Shousha also said the Doctors Syndicate’s general assembly ordered in February the collection of mass resignations from doctors employed by the Health Ministry, and is now collecting them from pharmacists and physicians.
The High Committee of the Doctors Strike statement in March stated that doctors are facing a state that “ignores the medical sector,” and described Health Ministry hospitals as “inadequate” in providing medical services.
Doctors began their first strike in May 2011, which included most public and several university hospitals. Their demands included raising the national health budget from three and a half percent to 15 percent of the state budget and a higher minimum wage.
By DALIA FAROUK
CAIRO: Due to the continuous violations that target ancient monuments in Egypt, “Save Cairo” was launched aiming to defend architectural heritage in the Egyptian capital, CBC aired in a report on Saturday.
Omnia Abd el-Bar, a member in the initiative, explained that constructions near the monuments could cause them to collapse.
There are no accurate statistics regarding the violations that affect monuments, which include mosques, according to Salah Adel, another member in “Save Cairo.”
He added that some mosques suffer from neglect, in addition to the theft of historical texts in them.
The Egyptian Creativity Front released a statement on Facebook on Monday, saying “the front denounces the Ministries of Antiquities and Culture for what is happening in Fustat.”
The front added that the Ministry of Antiquities allowed this region to be transformed into a park against the law, neglecting the fact that it is considered to be one of the most important regions in Egypt that contains Islamic monuments.
In the statement, the front said that some experts also stated that constructing a park in that historical place could destroy monuments due to watering.
El-Badil reported on Monday that the governorate of Cairo started on the same day to fill up the remaining land of Fustat, Egypt’s first Islamic capital, which is estimated to be seven acres.
Smarat Hafez, Head of Islamic Antiquities Sector in the Ministry of Antiquities, told El-Badil that a ministerial committee inspected the location to protect it from waste, adding that the park is temporary and it will be planted with Cactus to limit groundwater.
The change demanded by tens of thousands of people in Tahrir Square more than three years ago came quickly and subsided even faster. The leader of three decades, Hosni Mubarak, finally stepped down; a democratic vote put the Muslim Brotherhood at the seat of power; and the nation’s army chief, who helped orchestrate a coup last July, resigned—only to run for president. That turmoil, along with a deadly crackdown on Islamists and attacks on the press, has made progress hard to pin down.
Bieke Depoorter, a photographer based in Ghent, Belgium, found a way to capture the often-unseen reality of a nation collapsing into its past. She would ask people on the streets of Cairo and other areas to stay a night in their homes. In each of her four several-week trips since late 2011, she would spend a few nights photographing, each time with a different family, then take a day off and repeat. She’s been to between 30 and 40 homes but denied entry from far more.
Depoorter, 27, doesn’t know Arabic, but the language barrier hasn’t proven a fault. “By not speaking, just being together, you can really get to know each other in a more thoughtful and real way,” she says. “People give me a lot and I give a lot, and it’s easier with strangers because they know I’m going away the next morning,” she adds. “It’s a very short, intense moment. It’s there and it will never come back.”
She mostly approaches women with her request but has also struck up conversations with others, like older men who were drinking tea. A translator helps her facilitate access, and after that she usually works alone. But as xenophobia has escalated and as a foreigner with a camera, she nevertheless stands out.
One time that meant overhearing a woman, who invited her home, talking hysterically with a neighbor on the phone about her. Depoorter was so concerned she told the woman that she deleted her photos, then went back to her room. She couldn’t leave because of the state-imposed curfew.
Two days later, she went back with her translator. The woman explained that the son of the neighbor, who was visiting the day before, told his father about the camera-wielding foreigner next door. The father had phoned the woman to say Depoorter was a spy, which the woman denied. She and the translator smoothed everything out—to the point that Depoorter admitted she still had a few pictures left from the night—but suspicion like that has been a constant theme for her and others.
Depoorter was once in the predominantly Christian area of Minya, in one of the neighborhoods with her translator, when someone began shouting, “They are spies!” Hundreds of people swarmed around them, but an older man helped the duo to a taxi. It was enough to call off their plans, but the day wasn’t lost. “We were sitting in a park when a woman came over and said her boy wanted to talk in English with us,” she recalls. The woman, a police officer, lated insisted she spend the night in her family’s home.
That’s the real Egypt to Depoorter, a mix of hospitality, curiosity, suspicion and awe. She’s motivated by the small things, how people interact or make their lives together, the impact of a failed revolution. Sometimes she’ll stay awake all night, just taking pictures and observing what’s going on around her. “I think it’s really amazing that people trust me and show their lives,” she says. “Every time they take me home, it’s a surprise.”
Depoorter plans to return soon to continue the project, which pairs well with pictures from similar work she’s done in the U.S. and Russia, the latter of which led to her book Ou Menya. She hopes to show that even when disparities between people are being shown so much, there are undeniable parallels. “People are very similar,” she points out,”when it’s about intimacy and being at home, with family.”
Bieke Depoorter is a photographer and a nominee with Magnum. This project was supported by The Pascal Decroos Fund for Investigative Journalism.
Even the tomb of Tutankhamun holds virtually unknown treasures. A group of decorated gold leaf-on-leather objects is currently under restoration by an Egyptian-German team in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, to be displayed for the first time.
Gold-leaf decoration showing a hunting-scene (a dog and a griffin attacking an ibex) using motifs from levantine art (Photo: Christian Eckmann)The objects which formed part of Tutankhamun's war chariots, the trappings of their horses and the sheaths of weapons are since their time of discovery in 1922 in a bad condition and were never studied adequately. However their decoration is of unusual beauty and decisive historical significance. The combination of Egyptian and Levantine motifs bears witness to the political and cultural interconnections between Egypt and the city-states of the Levant in the 14th century BCE.
A team of restoration specialists and archaeologists from the Egyptian Museum Cairo, the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz (the leading German Institution for scientific restoration), the Institute of Near Eastern Archaeology of the University of Tübingen (which excavated and studied similar objects at the site of ancient Qatna in Syria) and the German Archaeological Institute Cairo embarked now on a project to carry out a full archaeological and technological analysis of this group of objects and to restore them so that their value and importance can be appreciated for the first time.
Thanks to special funding by the Federal Republic of Germany and investing a sum exceeding 1 million Egyptian Pounds, a specialized restoration lab could be equipped at the Egyptian Museum Cairo. To support professional capacity building in the context of this project, scholarships are extended to Egyptian restorers to receive high-level specialized training at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz.
On the 6th of April 2014, the project was inaugurated in the presence of H.E. the Minister of State for Antiquities, Prof. Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim, the representative of H.E. the German Ambassador to Egypt, Chargé d'Affaires Kai Boeckmann and the representatives of the research institutions involved. It is planned that the project, which is supported also by funds of the German Research Council (DFG), will be concluded after three years with a first public exhibition of the objects in the Egyptian Museum.
By: AYA IBRAHIM
CAIRO: United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, said Monday that the UAE’s aide to Egypt is limited, and will not continue forever.
Al-Jaber added, during his interview with the UAE’s Al-Roaya newspaper, that the current priority is to complement the developmental projects that have been agreed upon with the Egyptian side, as well as developing a comprehensive and integrated plan that aims at reviving the Egyptian economy.
“Eight million Egyptian citizens are now taking advantage of the Emirati aid program,” Al-Jaber said.
Al-Jaber emphasized that the UAE’s support is not aimed at supporting a certain political candidate against another, but aims to back Egypt to restore its pivotal role in the Middle East.”
He also added that the UAE implements projects for the purpose of serving the Egyptian people, including developing infrastructure, and construction projects related to housing, education, health, and food security projects, noting that the total value of the Emirates aid allocated for the completion of these projects in late 2014 to mid 2015, is estimated at U.S. $7.447 billion.
“Cooperation ties between the UAE and Egypt were deep rooted, since the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan had established the relations, and they are not related to a certain political stage,” Al-Jaber said.
“The UAE carried out an integrated recovery plan for Egypt’s economy to restore it back to sustainable growth”, Al Jaber had told Al-Ahram on March 23,noting that “the UAE is ready to cooperate fully to push forward the economic growth in Egypt.”
The Gulf states’ financial support filled a prominent gap for Egypt after the United States announced the suspension of their aid to Egypt, including deliveries of tanks, fighter aircrafts, helicopters and missiles as well as U.S. $260 million in cash aid following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi. Meanwhile, Egypt received support from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Further, the UAE has embarked on implementing development and service projects in Egypt since the ouster of Morsi in July, including a major housing project announced by Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, aimed at lower-income people.
By AMIRA EL-FEKKI
CAIRO: Amr al-Sayed, a photojournalist for Sada el-Balad, and Khaled Hussien, a reporter for Youm7, were both shot on Monday while covering clashes between students and security forces at Cairo University, according to media reports.
Their injuries shed light on an increasingly dangerous environment for reporters and photojournalists in Egypt, which is reaching a critical point.
Sayed suffered from gunshots in the back, Sada el-Balad reported, while Hussein was shot in the chest, Youm7 reported. Both news agencies said that their reporters were in stable condition after undergoing emergency operation.
Reporters in danger
In March, Mayada Ashraf, a young journalist working for Al-Dostour newspaper, was shot dead while covering similar clashes, sparking rage among journalists who objected to their lack of protection from the institutions they work for.
A gas mask is typically the only safety equipment provided to a field reporter by their newspaper, Mostafa el-Sayed of Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper told The Cairo Post.
Following Ashraf’s death and demands for more protection, the Press Syndicate and the Ministry of Interior agreed to supply 100 bulletproof vests to journalists. However, journalists are not convinced that this would be enough to protect them.
“A bulletproof vest? Apart from being expensive, those vests would probably be more trouble than protection to journalists, who would be immediately identified and targeted in clashes,” Sayed added.
Most field reporters argued after the January 25 Revolution, and again after the events of June 30, that violence against them has increased, whether from protesters or security forces.
“The journalist is responsible for his own life,” said Mohamed Antar, a 26-year field reporter who works for Al-Shorouk newspaper, adding that there cannot be a specific safety plan because “incidents come unexpectedly, usually from both sides of the sudden conflict using gun and birdshots.”
Danger is often more imminent for photojournalists, Antar added, because they are everyone’s target as soon as the camera is spotted.
Lobna Tarek, a photojournalist for El Shorouk newspaper, told The Cairo Post she stopped covering life-threatening events out of fear particularly since photojournalists are subject to assaults both from protesters and from security forces.
“While covering, I begin shooting, and then usually protesting students ask me to stop taking pictures of them because they see me as the media who will label them as ‘terrorists.’ On the other hand, security forces assault photojournalists and confiscate their cameras. I choose to leave at the right moment before it costs me my life,” Tarek said.
“No picture is worth a life,” she added.
On January 26, El-Wady News published a report of all assaults on journalists that occurred in one day, during the commemoration of the January 25 Revolution. At least 19 reporters and photographers were arrested, cameras were seized, and seven others including foreign reporters were assaulted by protesters, in addition to gunshot injuries for two reporters.
Reporters need protection
The Press Syndicate has condemned repeated attacks on journalists, and its president Diaa Rashwan called for a protest on Thursday at the syndicate and a strike from field reporters until their demands are met.
“I demand the Attorney General launch immediate investigations into the cases of reporter shootings, and I also call on media institutions to respond to the syndicate’s initiatives aimed at providing protection to reporters during the coverage of dangerous events,” Rashwan told The Cairo Post on Monday.
Antar said Rashwan’s initiative is “a positive step toward escalation on the issue,” although he believes that there should be further action.
“The syndicate must impose rules, restrictions and penalties on media and newspaper institutions to force them to take care of journalists,” Antar told The Cairo Post.
According to Rashwan, newspapers and news websites are responsible for the safety of their journalists, and they often “fail to properly protect their reporters.”
One of the basic rights for reporters is to be officially hired by their institutions, which would provide them with social and life insurance, he said. Rashwan said he has called for that action over and over again but with little response from the various newspapers.
“Taking this step means legally and professionally recognizing field reporters,” Khaled Salah, editor-in-chief of Youm7, said in press statements on Monday evening.
However, the Committee to Defend Press Independence in Egypt blamed the syndicate’s lack of action. “Facing a campaign of attacks against journalists will not be solved by protesting or filing lawsuits. The syndicate’s council should be more focused and dedicated to journalists’ issues,” it said in a press release on Monday night.
The committee also condemned the shooting of Hussein during the clashes.
“[The shooting] is only an episode of an ongoing series of attacks targeting reporters to silence them and prevent them from conveying facts to public opinion,” the statement read.
At the same time, journalist Nafisa el-Sabagh criticized journalists for complaining without attending the syndicate’s general assembly meetings to discuss their problems, adding in remarks to The Cairo Post that 7,500 registered journalists are entitled to vote on syndicate decisions.
“In the last meeting, only 13 people attended, including three members of the syndicate’s council and five reporters in charge of covering the syndicate news, which leaves only 10 journalists attending,” Sabagh added.
The debate surrounding the Press Syndicate is not the only complication that has revealed itself. Following Monday’s incidents, more direct accusations addressed the Ministry of Interior’s role, regarding assaults on reporters and the excessive use of force.
“Why would the police use live ammunition on students inside a university campus?” Salah stated during his Monday program on Al Nahar TV, during which he addressed the Deputy Interior Minister for Central Security Forces, confirming that Youm7 will legally pursue the Interior Ministry.
According to Sayed, the Press Syndicate should officially address the Ministry of Interior to coordinate and establish a mutual agreement or protocol ensuring reporter safety on the job.
Between having to work undercover and fearing being exposed, currently “journalists are responsible for their own lives,” Antar said.
D’après l’Agence AsiaNews, le tribunal correctionnel de Beni Souef, situé à cent dix kilomètres du Caire, a condamné, le 14 janvier 2013, la famille Mohamed Abdel-Wahab à quinze ans de prison pour s’être convertie au christianisme.
L’histoire de la famille de Nadia Ali Mohamed a commencé en 2004 quand elle-même et ses enfants ont décidé, après leur conversion au christianisme, de remplacer leurs noms musulmans sur leurs cartes d’identité par leurs noms chrétiens. Pour ce faire, ils ont obtenu l’aide de sept employés du bureau de l’état civil. Née chrétienne, Nadia Mohamed Ali s’était tournée vers l’Islam pour épouser son mari Mustafa Mohamed Abdel-Wahab. Après la mort de celui-ci en 1991, Nadia avait décidé de revenir à sa religion d’origine et de pousser ses sept enfants Mohab, Maged, Sherif, Amira, Amir, Nancy et Ahmed à se convertir.
En 2006, l’un des fils, arrêté par la police dans un centre d’information de la ville de Beni Souef, avait été interrogé par la police pendant des heures jusqu’à ce qu’il avoue s’être converti au christianisme. Les juges ont alors procédé non seulement à l’arrestation de sa mère mais aussi à celle de tous ses frères et sœurs et des sept employés du bureau de l’état civil ayant modifié leurs documents.
En Egypte, la religion des individus est inscrite sur les cartes d’identité égyptiennes. Les chrétiens, convertis à l’islam, pour des raisons diverses, qui tentent de retourner à la religion à laquelle ils appartenaient, ont d’énormes difficultés à corriger leurs noms sur les documents administratifs. Le processus inverse, c’est à dire le passage du christianisme à l’islam n’est jamais entravé et, dans de nombreux cas, est favorisé par les fonctionnaires.