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Egypt is witnessing less freedom of expression than under Mubarak or Morsi : John R. Bradley

Egypt is witnessing less freedom of expression than under Mubarak or Morsi : John R. Bradley | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

By Huda Badri and Adham Youssef

 Since the 25 January Revolution in 2011, political unrest has held Egypt in its grip amid rapid regime changes. The ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak was followed by military rule, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ascent and ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and finally the crackdown on the Brotherhood and rise to power of current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

As parliamentary elections are approaching, Egypt is still witnessing a volatile, unstable political and social scene, including threats of militants in the Sinai and western borders with Libya. Also, the regime has been widely criticised by different entities for using excessive force against protesters and civilians as well as launching a mass scale crackdown on political opposition.

John R. Bradley, author and internationally published journalist was one of the few Middle East experts who predicted the massive popular uprising against the Mubarak regime in his book Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution, published in 2008. The book discussed political opposition, human rights and security issues in Egypt.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Bradley to discuss Egypt’s internal political situation and its foreign affairs, ranging from human rights abuses to the recent geopolitical developments in the region.


What is your opinion about what is happening now in Egypt after three years from the 25 January Revolution?


One baby step forward, twenty giant tyrannical leaps backwards. Hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent, unarmed Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been murdered in cold blood by the military and security forces – the worst atrocity by the Egyptian state in the country’s modern history.

Even the British occupiers during colonial rule, for all their considerable and unpardonable colonial violence and oppression, were never quite that barbaric in their treatment of the Egyptian masses.

Tens of thousands of men, women and even children – Islamists and secularists alike – have been arrested on the flimsiest of charges, or on no legal basis whatsoever. They languish in Egypt’s prison cells that have once again become notorious torture chambers, and which are run by state-hired thugs who carry out their ghastly deeds with almost complete impunity.

The economy is in tatters as the oligarchy that surrounded former president Hosni Mubarak and the military establishment (that controls about 40% of the economy) reasserted their dominance. But in the real Egypt there is rampant poverty, there are almost unbelievably high crime rates, the education system is on the brink of collapse, and as a result the masses are filled with nothing but a sense of hopelessness and helplessness – to the extent that polls show a growing number wish that the so-called revolution had never happened. They have therefore taken comfort in the tried and tested: military rule.

All this is happening at a time when official censorship has never been so shamelessly and ruthlessly enforced, with the state-run print and broadcast media now so subservient to the new president that it would make one laugh if it were not such a criminal betrayal of their profession – and such an insult to their readers’ and viewers’ intelligence. One gets the feeling that even Al-Sisi, since he’s obviously an intelligent and well-educated individual, might think that such sycophancy is a bit too much.


Human Rights Watch stated that the Rabaa dispersal was a “crime against humanity”. What do you think of this assessment?


Of course it was a crime against humanity. But I have mixed feelings when it comes to NGOs operating in, and reporting on, the internal affairs of other countries. For a start, it all seems to be coming from one direction – as in American (often government-funded) organisations reporting on abuses in so-called third-world countries, often doing fieldwork without any official accreditation or permission from the local government. Now, if I wanted to conduct a study on human rights abuses in America – which are legion – as a British citizen I would have to apply for a special visa in order to do so. Can you imagine how Washington would react if Egypt or Russia or China suddenly established, without any official notification, dozens of NGOs across the United States in order to promote their own values and constantly highlight what they saw as abuses committed by the US government and its legendary out-of-control SWAT teams? They would do what Egypt did: shut them down and kick them out of the country.

Of course, any Egyptian author could travel to the US or Britain and write about his experience of living in the country, however critical, which is all I did when living in and writing about Egypt and what Al-Aswany did in his novel Chicago. But I don’t believe foreigners should directly engage in Egypt’s internal political affairs – which is why I turned down every one of the numerous invitations I received in the months following the revolution to speak at events in Cairo organised by local NGOs and human rights organisations.

So, yes, the massacre was a disgrace. But that would better be highlighted by Egyptian-based and Egyptian-staffed NGOs, rather than by foreign groups that have a broader agenda in doing so.


What is your opinion about the situation in Egypt after Al-Sisi became president?


President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is a curious figure. Unlike Mubarak and his family, Al-Sisi clearly is not personally corrupt. I mean, he is not in it for the money. He demonstrated this by voluntarily cutting his own salary and donating half of his personal wealth to the state. And he’s obviously not a tyrant in the form of Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi – I really do feel that Al-Sisi is probably personally pained by all the bloodshed that has occurred under his rule. I mean, he seems to be acting in the genuine – if misguided – belief that everyone his security forces are killing is a bonafide terrorist. I mean, he’s not the kind of Arab tyrant who would massacre whole sections of his population just for the perverted feeling of power it would momentarily give him.

Nor does he appear aloof and an egomaniac like Mubarak. By all accounts he listens to the advice of those who surround him, although whether it is of any use is another question; and he is fully aware – as he makes clear in his public speeches – of the desperate circumstances faced on a daily basis by the overwhelming majority of Egyptian people. He also has a big advantage in that he is from the military.

The Islamists and secularist opposition may both hate the fact that Egypt has effectively returned to military dictatorship under the veneer of democracy – almost as much as they hate each other. But there is no denying that the military establishment has massive support among ordinary Egyptians, who – in their legendary apathy when it comes to the nitty gritty of party politics – appear to support neither the secularists nor the Islamists.

That makes the probability of another revolutionary uprising in the near future – this time against Al-Sisi – very slim. It would mean the Egyptian masses directly confronting the military, and, while that cannot be ruled out, as things stand I cannot for a second imagine that happening.

Al-Sisi also understands very clearly that it takes years, perhaps decades, to establish a flourishing Western-style democracy, even if we accept (as I do not) that this a viable and worthy goal for a country like Egypt that has its own unique and complex traditions and customs. Believing the opposite was the folly of those who called for the January 25 Revolution, the Westernised elite who naively thought they could change Egypt for the better overnight by having Western-style free-and-fair elections. Well, they lost every single election, and now most of those youth leaders and intellectuals are languishing in prison or have been silenced.

Essentially, what the president is asking for is a period of stability and an end to public demonstrations and endless political infighting so he can get the country back on its feet again. He understands that most Egyptian care most not about human rights and democracy, but rather about being able to work and feed their families. What use are free-and-fair elections every six years if in the meantime your kids are starving to death?

However, there are no quick fixes in this regard, and Al-Sisi’s personal donations in the end amount only to gestures and even, however well-meaning, in many Egyptian opposition activists’ eyes, to a patronising sense of paternalism.

In the meantime, by allowing his security forces to act with such mindless brutality and by silencing all criticism of his rule – and with the strong possibility that he will fail in any significant way to alleviate in the short term the fundamental problems of unemployment and poverty – he risks undermining in the long term the good-will of those who voted for him.

After all, Egyptians have a famous saying: ila el karama! [anything but dignity] Those sycophantic advisers who surround the president, instead of telling him how much the people adore him, should whisper that saying in the president’s ear at every opportunity. It was, in my opinion, a deep sense of a lack of personal dignity that led to the initial revolution.


Don’t you think that there is a contradiction between saying that a violent crackdown took place on peaceful Muslim Brotherhood protesters, and saying that Al-Sisi stepped in to take over for the good of the country?


Of course there is a contradiction, and that’s the root of the problem for those who argue that Egypt is now a democracy.

But there is no contradiction if you subscribe to the false narrative put forward by both the military establishment and the secular/leftist elite – the latter clearly out of touch with the sentiment of the Egyptian masses from the outset.

Remember, the military was initially seen as the saviour of the January 25 Revolution, and were warmly welcomed by the Tahrir demonstrators. They saw a clear distinction between the military establishment and the Mubarak dynasty – with the latter’s vast network of incredibly brutal internal police forces. Anyway, Mubarak hadn’t been active in the military for decades. Nor did his son Gamal, who was poised to succeed Mubarak, have any links to the military.

When the secularists/leftists realised that a military counter-revolution had taken place – the generals basically sacrificed Mubarak in order to retain their own privileges and stop the country from descending into civil war – the locals joined the security forces and military on the streets in pelting the anti-military demonstrators with stones and firebombs.

Al-Sisi believes that the military is destined to have a prominent and permanent role as a force for Egyptian unity and stability, even if he claims it has no direct role in the political running of the country; and since most Egyptians see the military establishment as a force for good, and have fond memories of their time as conscripts (when they lived in an almost parallel world that was not brutal and demeaning as was Egyptian society under Mubarak), that works to Al-Sisi’s advantage.

The regime has presented the peaceful demonstrates as armed terrorists who threaten to drag Egypt into the abyss of armed civil war. In that context, from Al-Sisi’s point of view, they had to eliminate for the good of the country as a whole, and if that means suspended all civil liberties then so be it.

In your opinion, what went wrong for the Muslim Brotherhood to reach to this end?


The Muslim Brotherhood dug its own grave. They committed three main, inter-related mistakes, and by doing so they have no one to blame but themselves for their spectacular fall into political oblivion – and I say that despite condemning in the strongest possible terms the way its peaceful supporters have been massacred and incarcerated.


The first mistake the Muslim Brotherhood made was that they interpreted their electoral victories to mean that they had the overwhelming support of the Egyptian masses. This led them to become arrogant in the belief that they could move swiftly to impose Sharia law, in cahoots with their then Salafi allies.

But elections are complicated events, and to be legitimate they depend on a high turnout of registered voters

Yes, the Muslim Brotherhood won 70 or so percent in most of the elections. But the voter turnout was usually appallingly low – sometimes as little as 25%. Winning 70% of the 25% who turned out actually demonstrated, to anyone who looked at the figures objectively, their lack of popular support. It simply meant that they could only get about 10 to 15% of the total population to vote for them. To put it in a nut shell: the Muslim Brotherhood never managed to galvanise more than their core base, which are – and always have been – a very small minority of the total Egyptian population.

That is why they quickly alienated the great majority of Egyptians, who are by and large a tolerant people – an alienation that led to the June 30 uprising against them.

Egyptians cannot countenance the idea, for example, that their president would call – as Morsi did – for all able-bodied Muslims in the country to join the jihad in Syria, while creating nothing but economic catastrophe in their own country. For ordinary Egyptian Muslims, the idea of travelling to a brotherly Arab country to slaughter its religious minorities is an insane idea, pure and simple. It goes completely against their mindset and historic principle of religious coexistence. Despite what the Islamaphobes in the West say, the overwhelming majority of Egyptian Muslims do not see Christian Egyptians as inferiors, but rather as brothers and sisters in a united nation.

Incidentally, while I haven’t seen any polling data in this regard, I suspect that for this reason most Egyptians, like me, hope that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the end crushes the jihadist maniacs who now call themselves the Islamic State and want to impose what they call Islamic law – that is so strict and barbaric that even Saudi Arabia, of all countries, has now washed its hands of them.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s third mistake was to underestimate the power of what is called the “deep state” – meaning the military establishment, media moguls and the billionaire business elite. I think this so-called “deep state” would have tolerated the Muslim Brotherhood if they had not directly threatened their interests. But when it became clear that Morsi was absolutely determined to radically undermine those interests, for example by threatening to send the traditionally secular Egyptian Army into conflict alongside the jihadists against the secular Syrian regime, the “deep state” mobilised its massive resources in tandem with the masses – and that combination (of self-serving outrage amongst the elite and the acute alienation among the masses) proved fatal – literally so, for thousands of the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters.


Since 2008, when you published your book, what has differed when it comes to human rights?


Things are as bad as ever, if not worse. And the problem is that now the dream of Western-style democracy has gone up in smoke, the whole issue has been couched in terms of Western interference in internal Egyptian affairs – in the midst of a mindless whipping up of rank anti-foreigner hatred. The new regime has been very clever in, on the one hand, crushing internal dissent, while on the other blaming all criticism on hostile outside powers – using every last ridiculous conspiracy theory it has up its sleeve. With the local press joining in the chorus of anti-foreigner abuse, coupled with its failure (compared to under Mubarak’s rule) to try to hold the regime to account when it comes to human rights abuses or anything else, the security forces seem to have a green light to do what the hell they like.


What do you think of the vicious war taking place now in Sinai? Does the lack of media coverage concerns you?


The war in Sinai is obviously different to the so-called war on the Muslim Brotherhood. In Sinai, those fighting the regime are undeniably jihadist terrorists who murder indiscriminately and want to overthrow the current regime through violence to create a strict Islamic state.

The Egyptian government has no option but to try to eliminate every last one of them, because violence is all they understand – and, believing that God is on their side, they will not end their so-called jihad until they are either murdered, captured or achieve their goal. I think there are a number of reasons why this is not getting the international attention it deserves.

For a start, the Egyptian government will not allow journalists to work freely in the region, so how are they supposed to report on what’s going on there? It’s also a very complex situation, having its roots in a sense of alienation felt by the local Bedouin tribes. The Western media doesn’t like complicated narratives; it prefers articles that pitch goodies against baddies.

Also, there’s so much mayhem in this world at the moment and there’s only so much the Western press can focus on. So you tend to see the region reported on only when the jihadist nutcases launch attacks against foreign tourists, which obviously makes for eye-catching, sensationalist headlines in the Western press because it’s something that Westerners who holiday in Egypt can directly relate to.


With putting the status of journalists in mind, how do you see freedom of speech now in Egypt?


As I pointed out earlier, there is no freedom of expression in Egypt now in any meaningful sense of the term. Let me give a brief account of my own personal experience – not as a crude form of self promotion, but in order to justify that bold statement.

When my book Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution was published in 2008, it was initially banned by the Mubarak regime. But at the time there was a very vibrant and feisty opposition press, and they came out very strongly in my defence and against the decision to ban the book. For almost a month, my photograph and the cover of the book was featured in articles and accompanying lengthy interviews with me – in Al-Masry Al-Youm, Al-Dostour and countless other newspapers and magazines, often on the front pages.

Eventually, the Mubarak regime rescinded its ban. But it did so under pressure from the – at the time – courageous Egyptian opposition media, not from the West. And I am certain of this that because no articles appeared in Britain or America about the initial book ban – apart from a few little dispatches from AP and AFP.

Moreover, when the Muslim Brotherhood was in power, a prestigious Cairo-based publishing house published an Arabic translation of Inside Egypt and, shortly afterwards, an Arabic-translation of my latest book After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked the Middle East Revolts (2012) with an new introduction aimed at Arabic-language readers. After the Arab Spring is basically a ferocious polemic against the Muslim Brotherhood and everything they stand for, just as Inside Egypt has a chapter very critical of them. I call them, very frankly, fascists and hypocrites, an opinion I continue to hold.


However, the Morsi regime, for all its considerable faults, did not ban either book – indeed, After the Arab Spring received as many reviews in Egypt as had Inside Egypt, including a full-page positive feature in the state-controlled Al-Ahram (which at the time was broadly supportive of Morsi). At the time, both books were in their window displays of all the bookshops I walked past in Cairo. And I felt at ease living in Egypt at the time –as much as anyone could during the continuing mayhem – just as I had during Mubarak’s rule even during all the fuss over Inside Egypt.

Now, imagine for a moment that I was about to publish a new book about Egypt under Al-Sisi’s rule, detailing in a similarly anecdotal manner all the outrageous human rights abuses his regime has committed. As it happens, I have no plan to do so – I can’t see the point in writing more than one book on a single country. But if I was planning on doing so, do you think the Al-Sisi regime goons would hesitate for a moment before banning it, then arresting me, torturing me and sending me to one its ridiculous kangaroo courts, with accusations that I was an Israeli spy or in collusion with Islamist terrorists or some other such nonsense? And if that were to happen, the so-called opposition and independent Arabic-language newspapers – the ones that gave me their full support during the Inside Egypt hoo-haa – would, of course, do their utmost to justify the resulting nightmarish show-trial.

The point here is not about me, but to illustrate that there is less freedom of expression in Egypt these days than under either the Mubarak or the Morsi regimes – both for foreigners and locals. The fact that a writer as courageous and principled as Alaa Al-Aswany, who is an Egyptian national treasure, has taken a vow of silence tells us all we need to know about how intellectual figures are facing what could justifiably described as a fanatical assault by the idiots now in control of the Ministry of Information and their lackeys who edit the state and most of the now not-so-independent media. The latter are nothing more than what some wit has termed “presstitutes” for their equivalents in the Western media.


Some experts may argue that the “security solution” may give a rise to a new wave of extremism. Do you have any comment on that?


Al-Sisi is apparently the most popular Egyptian leader since Gamal Abdel Nasser, who with his fellow Free Officers seized power in 1952 and established the military dictatorship from which Al-Sisi hails. Like Nasser, Al-Sisi has shut down the free media, outlawed the political opposition, encouraged mindless xenophobia and banned all criticism of himself and his policies. Especially targeted, as they were during Nasser’s rule, are the Islamist critics, against whom – as we have said – he has launched a ferocious crackdown.

But Nasser’s own legacy shows that any Egyptian president puts his country’s long-term stability in grave danger by resorting to such brutal repression, especially against the Islamist minority. Nasser, you will recall, similarly suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood, and the result was a jihadist blowback that began in the early 1970s and lasted three decades. Alas, most Egyptians, like Al-Sisi, appear more concerned with evoking the imagined glories of a more dignified, Nasser-dominated past, in order to forget the dismal present, than learning from this dark earlier period of Egypt’s history.

Sooner or later the Muslim Brotherhood will, once again, have to be incorporated in some form or other into the political process if stability is to be restored. Some Egyptian officials have already hinted that this could take place. Like them or loathe them, the Muslim Brotherhood have been around for a century and represent a strong if minority voice in Egyptian society.

The only alternative would be to kill or imprison them all, which is sheer madness as a political strategy. It will only encourage their supporters to join the more extremist groups.

How do you see the scene after the Arab revolutions of the Arab Spring? And what about the role the Western powers played during the last period?


The decision by the Western powers, along with its allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia, to train, fund and arm the jihadists fighting to topple President Al-Assad was the most insane and inexcusable imperial foreign policy blunder since the decision by Britain, France and Israel to try to take over the Suez Canal in 1956.

The idea was that the “moderate” and Western-friendly Islamists would take over Syria, thus weakening Iran and Hezbollah. This was done with the aim, firstly, of furthering the ambitions of right-wing in Israel, which obviously wants Hezbollah eradicated and at the same time sees a potentially nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat to its existence; but it was also done to empower key Western ally Saudi Arabia, which – for no reason other than anti-Shi’a bigotry – wants to see Iran contained and weakened.

Well, it all backfired, the Saudis lost control of their jihadist foot soldiers, and now the Islamic State is calling not only for the destruction of Israel but the overthrow of the Saudi regime too. And, contrary to popular myth and the hopes of Washington, London and Tel Aviv, ordinary Syrians did not rise up against President Al-Assad.

So now we have a clearly defined battle line. On the one side are Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the other oil monarchies, Israel, the moderate Palestinian factions and the West – all of whom have a shared interest in ensuring that the Islamic State is crushed. On the other side are Qatar, Hamas, Turkey and the Islamic State itself – all of whom are determined to back, albeit in different ways and at their own singular pace, the new so-called Caliphate.

The country everyone should be watching very closely is Saudi Arabia. I lived there for a number of years, and published a book on the country called Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis (2005). If it was in a state of crisis then, it is now ripe for a popular revolution.

If the House of Saud falls, it would mean not only unimaginable inter-tribal and sectarian bloodshed inside the Wahhabi kingdom itself, but also the Islamic State moving to take control of Mecca and Medina. So, although it almost makes one vomit to say it, one must admit that the Saudi royal family is the best option for that country, at least in the short term. Its fall would also mean the almost immediate subsequent overthrow of the ruling regimes in the Saudi client states of Bahrain (which is majority Shi’a but ruled over by a Sunni ruling family) and Jordan (whose population is mostly of Palestinian origin and where the only opposition is the Muslim Brotherhood). That would mean Iran moving into Bahrain and the Islamic State into Jordan. No one in their right mind wants either scenario to become a reality.

The fall of the House of Saud would also have terrible consequences for Egypt specifically, since it is aid from the Saudi royal family, and remittances from Egyptian expatriate workers in Saudi Arabia, that is essential in the short term to keeping the Egyptian economy from total implosion.

As for the more general role of the West in all this, as you can imagine, despite all its empty talk about promoting human rights and democracy, Washington will do absolutely everything in its power to keep the Saudi king on the throne, while Western-allied Arab states will continue their pressure on Qatar to stop funding the Islamist terrorists.

And so long as Al-Sisi maintains the peace treaty with Israel, keeps the Suez Canal open, maintains close ties with Saudi Arabia and continues his “war on terror”, his regime thugs will be free to commit however many human rights abuses they want to – without fear of any serious repercussions from the West.


Some might argue that the Islamic State (IS) is a creation of the West. How reasonable is this assessment?

There’s no doubt that the Islamic State is a creation of the West. That much we can take for granted. But the real question is: was this done by design or by sheer stupidity?

Those who argue that there is a method to the West’s madness claim that it’s all part of a project to “Balkanise” the region – to use Bernard Lewis’ famous term. Their aim is to weaken strong states that are hostile to the West in order to steal their oil reserves and weaken Israel’s enemies. This has clearly been the intention of the Neocons [Neoconservatives] and Likudiks [Likud affiliated member] since the invasion of Iraq. But I really don’t think there was a well-thought out plan to create the Islamic State. Even the neocons are not that insane.

Rather, it’s yet another case of the West fooling itself into thinking that it can hire jihadists to do its dirty work for them – meaning in this case overthrowing the Syrian regime, and thus establish a “moderate” pro-Western regime in Damascus while by default weakening Iran and Hezbollah – all with the hope of keeping them onside in the long term. Obviously, they have learned nothing from the experience of Afghanistan, whose mujahadeen were armed, funded and trained by the United States, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and then moved into the West’s Enemy Number 1: the Taliban. Or, more recently, from the experience of Libya, where NATO aided the radical jihadists who turned on their Western backers within months of Gaddafi’s assassination.


So, no, I think it’s more a case of ignorance, inhumanity and wishful thinking on the part of the dimwits who run the West’s strategy in the Middle East from Washington and London than some great conspiracy to impose a mediaeval-style Caliphate that will serve their imperial interests. After all, the Islamic State serves nobody’s interest but its own.

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Pour suivre l'actualité de l'Égypte... | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


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Egypt’s government taking serious steps in economic reform: IMF

Egypt’s government taking serious steps in economic reform: IMF | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Officials at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank said Tuesday at the opening of the Euromoney Egypt Conference that some of the country’s economic reform measures are promising, but that Egypt still must ensure future legislation to return the confidence of investors, Youm7 reported.

The Egyptian government is taking serious steps in economic reform, said Chris Jarvis, the IMF mission chief for Egypt, in his speech at the conference.

Under the slogan of “Stability, Investment and Growth,” the conference says it aims to create and lure new investments to revive Egypt’s limping economy hit by political upheaval since the January 25 Revolution.

Egypt should achieve an 8 percent economic growth rate and boost employment to be in the right track, he said, adding that citizens should feel the change and “we” should see the recently launched projects on the ground.

Jarvis stressed that the IMF has been maintaining strong ties with Egypt, adding that the fund provides financial advice to the government.

For her part, Keiko Honda, executive vice president and chief executive officer at the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), said that investors are confident in Egypt’s investment atmosphere, but they are waiting in anticipation of the restructuring of investment legislations and laws.

A survey conducted by MIGA revealed that investors interested in Egypt suspended their plans for the country after the January 25 Revolution, and await stability.

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Paul Klee : influences égyptiennes

Paul Klee : influences égyptiennes | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Le 17 décembre 1928, Paul Klee arrive en Égypte pour un séjour de quatre semaines, financé par la Klee-Gesellschaft (Société Klee), une association de collectionneurs fondée pour le soutenir.

Artiste suisse, citoyen allemand, celui qui se définit comme "peintre - poète" est alors à l’apogée de son succès connaissant une renommé mondiale. Le Museum of Modern Art de New York ainsi que la National Gallery préparent, pour l'année suivante, de grandes expositions à l’occasion de ses cinquante ans.

Paul Klee voyage seul d'Alexandrie au Caire et de Louxor à Assouan, avec un minimum de bagages.

Même s'il a déjà été sensibilisé à l'Égypte antique par le biais d'expositions, notamment celle organisée en Allemagne présentant le fameux buste de Néfertiti trouvé à Tell el-Amarna, ce séjour est une découverte.

Curieusement, au cours de ce mois "égyptien", il ne "produit" presque pas. Il laisse "place à la réflexion sur la transformation de stimuli visuels".

C'est à son retour, dans l'intimité retrouvée de son atelier, qu'il créera une nouvelle série d'œuvres.

Si en 1928 il écrivait à sa femme Lily : "Le Nil est la veine de tout", ce n'est qu'en 1937, à Berne, ville d’enfance devenue terre d’exil, que Paul Klee peint le Nil. " Dix années après, ce n’est point le "vert magique", terrestre, des rives qui fait retour sur la toile, ce sont, comme en écho intérieur, les sonorités bleues du grand fleuve que le peintre met en résonance avec l’ocre sombre, dense, chaleureux, du monde qui le peuple et foisonne à sa surface et dans sa profondeur. Une orchestration de présences. Sur l’eau, sous l’eau, des formes dialoguent, en harmonie ; un ensemble organique, cohérent, qui palpite paisiblement.”

Par ces tableaux, des pyramides (comme "Pyramide"), du Nil (comme "Légende du Nil") et d'autres encore, comme "Chemin principal et chemins secondaires", par les signes hiéroglyphiques qu'il emploie figurant des barques, des poissons et des plantes aquatiques, il est flagrant que l'empreinte que ce voyage laisse sur lui est prégnante.

"Ce voyage qui le mène en Égypte n'en sera pas moins décisif ; sa peinture en témoignera d'une façon persistante, elle se fera plus abstraite, usant plus que jamais de signes et de symboles"

Marie Grillot


“The Travels of Max Slevogt and Paul Klee”

K20 Grabbeplatz

Grabbeplatz 5

40213 Düsseldorf
6 September, 2014 – 4 January, 2015



Illustration : “Nuit égyptienne”


Pour consulter l’ensemble des Unes d’ “Égypte-actualités” : http://egyptophile.blogspot.fr/2014/06/egyptophile-un-recueil-des-unes-degypte.html?view=flipcard

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Sisi to announce economic program at UN: Minister

Sisi to announce economic program at UN: Minister | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi plans to announce a long-term economic program that includes a restructure of investment legislation at United Nations General Assembly meetings in late September, Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman said at the Euromoney Egypt conference Tuesday.

Euromoney Egypt conference, with the slogan “Stability, Investment and Growth,” kicked off in Cairo Tuesday, and the ministers of finance and investment inaugurated the event in the presence of economists and domestic as well as international investors.

During his speech at the conference, Salman said that economic legislation includes modified policies of bankruptcy, labor law, new energy, unified investment, and industry law. Moreover, he said the government would not privatize before restructuring indebted public companies, because it “will not give investors a product that doesn’t function.”

The larger scheme aims at a six percent growth rate, a budget deficit of nine percent, and to reduce poverty to 20 percent in a five-year time frame.

Egypt has economic potential because of its location and its open market of 90 million consumers, the minister said, adding that the reaction of Egyptians in buying 64 billion EGP worth of the Suez Canal investment certificates in eight days “proves that the country can rebound economically in a short period.

The government’s challenge is raising growth rates, reducing poverty and unemployment rates, improving living conditions in an integrated economic social program aiming at social justice, he said.

The economic scheme aims at 260 to 336 billion EGP investments from the public sector, with the government having contributed 58 billion EGP thus far. The funds will be used for infrastructure projects: roads, bridges, water plants and other development proposals.

In 2014, the government has targeted a $1.5 billion investment from the gulf.

In two weeks time, four gigawatts of solar and wind energy will be offered to the private sector, and another four soon afterwards, Salman detailed. Within 10 years, the government plans to offer 30 gigawatts to end Egypt’s energy crisis and frequent blackouts.

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4 alleged Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militants killed in N. Sinai

4 alleged Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militants killed in N. Sinai | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
CAIRO: Three alleged Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) members were killed in Rafah inside a truck equipped with an anti-craft missile, and eight suspects were arrested, security sources in North Sinai told Youm7 Monday.
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CINEMAProjection du documentaire « Des dominicains au coeur de l’Islam » retraçant la mission de l’Institut Dominicain d’Etudes Orientales au CaireLe mardi 23 septembre à 19h, IFE Mounira

CINEMAProjection du documentaire « Des dominicains au coeur de l’Islam » retraçant la mission de l’Institut Dominicain d’Etudes Orientales au CaireLe mardi 23 septembre à 19h, IFE Mounira | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Le mardi 23 septembre à 19h, IFE Mounira">
L’institut dominicain d’études orientales (IDEO) a été créé il y a 60 ans par des religieux catholiques désireux de promouvoir une meilleure compréhension entre chrétiens et musulmans.
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La Russie et l’Egypte resserrent leurs liens culturels et artistiques

La Russie et l’Egypte resserrent leurs liens culturels et artistiques | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Une délégation représentative égyptienne a effectué une visite à Moscou pour discuter des mesures concrètes en vue d’étendre la coopération bilatérale dans le domaine de la culture et des arts.

Monsieur Osmat Yahya, ancien président de l’Académie des arts d’Egypte et président du Conseil pour la promotion de la culture et des arts en Egypte, a fait part à notre correspondant de projets communs que les personnalités les plus marquantes de la culture, de l’enseignement et des arts des deux pays sont en train d’élaborer.

« Notre visite à Moscou a été organisée avec un concours actif de l’attaché culturel à l’ambassade d’Egypte en Russie, Monsieur Oussama al-Seroui. Pendant ce voyage, nous avons eu beaucoup de rendez-vous avec des personnalités éminentes de la culture, des arts et des médias russes.

Nous nous sommes notamment rendus à l’Université russe de l’art théâtral dont je suis diplômé. J’ai pu rencontrer mes pédagogues dont le professeur Anatoli Borzov qui a dirigé la soutenance de ma thèse de doctorat en 1977.

Quant aux mesures concrètes pour développer la coopération entre nos pays, premièrement, on a organisé pour nous plusieurs rencontres avec des représentants de médias russes, à savoir la radio et la télévision. Ces entretiens ont porté sur la mise en place d’une chaîne de télévision conjointe russo-égyptienne qui diffusera depuis Le Caire. Nous espérons que dès le proche avenir cette chaîne évoquera les arts égyptiens et russes et les grands évènements culturels – les concerts, les expositions et les festivals - qui surviennent en Egypte et en Russie.

Des négociations ont également eu lieu avec des responsables du département de la coopération internationale du ministère russe de la Culture sur l’inauguration d’un opéra à Al-Minya dans le delta du Nil. Selon le gouverneur de la région, il y a des ressources financières et un terrain pour la construction de ce théâtre. Cela a permis de signer un accord initial sur le début de la réalisation du projet, accord dont les détails restent à préciser.

Enfin, au cours des négociations avec nos collègues russes nous avons exprimé la ferme intention de créer en Egypte une Académie des arts, des sciences et de la culture, académie qui bénéficierait du soutien de l’Union des chefs des universités égyptiennes. Il faut maintenant réfléchir aux plans d’études et aux programmes de cours. »

Selon Monsieur Osmat Yahya, une attention soutenue est maintenant prêtée en Egypte à l’enseignement et à l’éducation des enfants et des adolescents et au développement des talents d’enfants. Dans ce domaine aussi, l’Egypte compte sur des projets communs avec la Russie.

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Le Maroc et l'Egypte signent un accord de coopération religieuse - Yabiladi

Le Maroc et l'Egypte signent un accord de coopération religieuse - Yabiladi | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Le Maroc et l'Egypte signent un accord de coopération religieuse
Après la Guinée et le Mali, le Maroc a signé, au Caire, un accord de coopération religieuse avec l'Egypte.
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L’Egypte a appelé la coalition internationale à déclarer la guerre contre le terrorisme

L’Egypte a appelé la coalition internationale à déclarer la guerre contre le terrorisme | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
La Coalition anti-terroriste ne doit pas être limitée à la lutte contre le groupe radical l'Etat islamique, et doit s’opposer à toute forme de terrorisme.
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142 rare falcons seized in southern Egypt

142 rare falcons seized in southern Egypt | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
CAIRO: A total of 142 rare falcons poached from Elba Natural Reserve in the Halaib Triangle, in the south-eastern desert, were seized alive in a truck Saturday, Al-Ahram Gate reported.
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Quelques suggestions de lecture : ouvrages récents sur l’Égypte et l’égyptologie

Quelques suggestions de lecture : ouvrages récents sur l’Égypte et l’égyptologie | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


“Meryptah et le mystère de la tombe de Toutânkhamon”, par Aude Gros de Beler

“Le pharaon Toutânkhamon vient de mourir, sa tombe se trouve dans la vallée des Rois ; on raconte qu’elle renferme des richesses encore inégalées. Fils d’artisans chargés de décorer les sépultures royales, Meryptah et Nakht habitent dans un village à Thèbes-Ouest. Un soir qu’ils jouent dans les montagnes, les deux garçons perçoivent des voix : des voleurs sont en train de piller le riche tombeau de Toutânkhamon. Pour les enfants, c’est le début d’une dangereuse aventure au coeur de la vallée interdite, pour tenter de protéger les trésors sacrés du pharaon.”

Aude Gros de Beler est égyptologue et archéologue. Elle est aussi éditrice et chargée de cours en égyptologie à l’université de Nîmes-Vauban. Elle a écrit une dizaine d’ouvrages sur l’Égypte et collabore à de nombreux magazines. Aux éditions Actes Sud Junior, elle est l’auteur de “L’Égypte à petits pas”, “Le Papyrus sacré”.

Dès 8 ans

Actes sud junior, 2014, 80 pages

Critique de l’ouvrage : http://www.onlalu.com/site/ouvrages/meryptah-et-le-mystere-de-la-tombe-de-toutankhamon-aude-de-beler/


“The Visitors: A Novel” by Sally Beauman

“Based on a true story of discovery, “The Visitors” is New York Times bestselling author Sally Beauman’s brilliant recreation of the hunt for Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings - a dazzling blend of fact and fiction that brings to life a lost world of exploration, adventure, and danger, and the audacious men willing to sacrifice everything to find a lost treasure.

In 1922, when eleven year-old Lucy is sent to Egypt to recuperate from typhoid, she meets Frances, the daughter of an American archaeologist. The friendship draws the impressionable young girl into the thrilling world of Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, who are searching for the tomb of boy pharaoh Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings.

A haunting tale of love and loss, “The Visitors” retells the legendary story of Carter and Carnarvon’s hunt and their historical discovery, witnessed through the eyes of a vulnerable child whose fate becomes entangled in their dramatic quest. As events unfold, Lucy will discover the lengths some people will go to fulfill their deepest desires - and the lies that become the foundation of their lives.

Intensely atmospheric, “The Visitors” recalls the decadence of Egypt’s aristocratic colonial society, and illuminates the obsessive, daring men willing to risk everything - even their sanity - to claim a piece of the ancient past. As fascinating today as it was nearly a century ago, the search for King Tut’s tomb is made vivid and immediate in Sally Beauman’s skilled hands. A dazzling feat of imagination, “The Visitors” is a majestic work of historical fiction.” (présentation de l’éditeur)

Harper, 2014, 544 pages


“Middle Egyptian - An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs” - 3rd Edition, by James P. Allen

“Middle Egyptian introduces the reader to the writing system of ancient Egypt and the language of hieroglyphic texts. It contains twenty-six lessons, exercises (with answers), a list of hieroglyphic signs, and a dictionary. It also includes a series of twenty-six essays on the most important aspects of ancient Egyptian history, society, religion, literature, and language. Grammar lessons and cultural essays allows users not only to read hieroglyphic texts but also to understand them, providing the foundation for understanding texts on monuments and reading great works of ancient Egyptian literature. This third edition is revised and reorganized, particularly in its approach to the verbal system, based on recent advances in understanding the language. Illustrations enhance the discussions, and an index of references has been added. These changes and additions provide a complete and up-to-date grammatical description of the classical language of ancient Egypt for specialists in linguistics and other fields.

- Learning Middle Egyptian is grammar based, and in this text grammatical terms are explained with English examples so that there is no need to consult other texts ;

- Egyptian texts are full of terms and concepts specific to the ancient culture, so an extensive essay in each lesson explains basic terms and concepts ;

- Based on recent research, the list of verb forms in this edition has been reduced to thirteen, making it much easier for students to learn and retain information.” (présentation de l’éditeur)

Cambridge University Press, 2014


“Le Savoir de la Tour de Babel - Grande pyramide d’Égypte construite par Khéops”, par Michel Sabater

“L’ouvrage met au jour (après plus de vingt années de recherches) la façon dont les prêtres astronomes et les architectes de Babylone ont défini le temps que parcourt le Soleil du lever au coucher ; ont calculé la distance entre la Terre et le Soleil ; ont interprété les calculs réalisés afin de connaître les dimensions de la Grande Pyramide d'Égypte (nommée la Tour de Babel), mais aussi du pyramidion (disparu), du temple, des chambres, du sarcophage du roi, des fondations, etc.

Du sphinx de Gizeh à l’Atlantide, l’auteur nous invite à la découverte de mondes engloutis…” (présentation de l’éditeur)

Edilivre, août 2014, 186 pages


“Administration, société et pouvoir à Thèbes sous la XXIIᵉ dynastie bubastite”, par Frédéric Payraudeau

“Les études sur l’Égypte de la Troisième Période intermédiaire (c. 1069-664 av. J.-C.) se sont multipliées depuis une quarantaine d’années, s’intéressant tour à tour à l’histoire, la culture matérielle ou la religion, beaucoup plus rarement à l’administration et à la société. Bien que l’apport de la prosopographie à ces recherches ait été important, les liens qu’elle entretient avec l’histoire institutionnelle et l’anthropologie politique et sociale n’ont que rarement été exploités. Cet ouvrage propose donc une histoire sociopolitique de l’Égypte de l’époque libyenne (XXIIe dynastie, c. 943-730 av. J.-C.) à travers le cas de la ville de Thèbes. Il rassemble une analyse chronologique de cette période complexe et une recherche prosopographique des familles de notables régionaux, qui débouche sur une synthèse d’histoire administrative à partir des titulatures des fonctionnaires. Enfin, l’étude des rapports complexes entretenus par le pouvoir royal, moins “libyen” qu’on ne l’a dit, avec la société thébaine, tout comme l’examen des structures de cette société à la lumière de l’anthropologie, permettent de mettre en évidence, à la fois, l’originalité de cette période et la continuité des traditions royale et étatique dans l’histoire égyptienne du premier millénaire avant notre ère.


The studies on Egypt of the Third Intermediate Period (c. 1069-664 BC) multiplied since around forty years, being interested in the History, the material culture or the religion, much more rarely to the administration and to the society. Although the contribution of the prosopography in these researches is important, the links which it maintains with the institutional history and with the political and social anthropology had only rarely exploited. This work thus proposes a socio-political history of Egypt during the Libyan Period (XXIIth Dynasty, c. 943-730 BC) through the case of the city of Thebes. It gathers a chronological analysis of this often disturbed period and a prosopographical research on local families, which results in a synthesis of administrative history from the titles of the state officials. Finally, the study of the complex relationships maintained by the royal power, less “Libyan” than previously said, with the Theban society, and the analyse of the structures of this society in the light of the anthropology, allow to highlight the originality of this period and the continuity of the royal and state tradition in the Egyptian History of the First Millennium BC.” (présentation de l’éditeur)

IFAO, 2014, 2 vol., 752 pages

Sommaire : http://www.ifao.egnet.net/uploads/publications/sommaires/IF1089.pdf


“Reflections on the Revolution in Egypt”, by Samuel Tadros

“The author offers insights on Egypt’s failed revolution: how it happened and why it did not succeed. Samuel Tadros argues that, as Egypt continues on its destructive downward path, it is important to examine the role that its revolutionaries played in that trajectory. Tadros raises long-unanswered questions about those revolutionaries: Who were they and where did they come from? What was their ideological and organizational composition? Why were they angry at the Hosni Mubarak regime? What were their demands and aspirations for a new Egypt? And how did they attempt to achieve them?

Samuel Tadros is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom and a contributor to the Hoover Institution’s Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.”

Hoover Institution Press, 2014, 75 pages


Pour consulter l’ensemble des Unes d’ “Égypte-actualités” : http://egyptophile.blogspot.fr/2014/06/egyptophile-un-recueil-des-unes-degypte.html?view=flipcard

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9 young journalists join hunger strike against 2013 Protest Law

9 young journalists join hunger strike against 2013 Protest Law | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: Six male journalists and nine female journalists announced the beginning of a hunger strike on Saturday, as they plan to stay inside the Press Syndicate until Monday, where their announcement conference was held, according to a statement released Saturday.

The Freedom for the Brave Movement supporting detainees published a copy of the statement titled “Journalists Against the Protest Law” in which it announced a full hunger strike ahead of the next trial session of the Shura Council case, scheduled to take place on Sept. 15. In the case, Alaa Abdel Fatah and 24 others are accused of violating the 2013 Protest Law in November 2013.

“The next step will seek escalation against the Protest Law, which could possibly include an extension of the hunger strike or the joining of new members,” read the statement, as the group called on other journalists’ participation and launched a campaign in journalistic institutions to collect the highest number of signatures on a petition demanding the annulment of the law.

Their campaign follows in the footsteps of several leading political activists and parties, including strikes taken by April 6 Youth Movement and the Popular Current political party, human rights groups like Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims and new movements like  “Gebna Akherna” (We’ve Had Enough).

On Friday, seven new political parties joined the campaign of “The Empty Stomach Battle” against the Protest Law.

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Zaazou: Giza Pyramids to host Aida opera in December

Zaazou: Giza Pyramids to host Aida opera in December | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
CAIRO: Aida, Giuseppe Verdi’s 1871 opera masterpiece, will be performed Dec. 16 in its original setting, the foot of the Giza Pyramids, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou announced in a press conference Wednesday.
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Cabinet to consider revision to 2013 Protest Law

Cabinet to consider revision to 2013 Protest Law | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO:  Detention penalties under Egypt’s most debated law could soon be a thing of the past, as the Cabinet is scheduled to discuss amendments to the 2013 Protest Law on Thursday following the completion of new suggestions drafted by the legislative committee based on recommendations by the Ministry of Transitional Justice, Youm7 reported.

The Cabinet’s decision remains unpredictable, but a series of legal initiatives and political campaigns have pressured the government and demanded the annulment or amendment of the law.

On Saturday, human rights lawyers from the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) filed a lawsuit to the High Constitutional Court, seeking the repeal of two articles of the law on grounds that they violate or contradict principles guaranteed by the Constitution.

Lawyer Tarek al-Awady told Al-Masry Al-Youm that articles 8 and 10 of the Protest Law violate at least 13 constitutional articles that guaranteed the principles of democracy, sovereignty, political diversity, respect of human rights and freedoms, the right to peaceful protests, and equal rights regardless of political orientation, in addition to a number of articles organizing legislative bodies.

Legal and political controversy over Protest Law

The two major contested Protest Law articles are the procedures required to notify authorities of a protest organization, which should be stated in a written form three days before the event is to occur. The information must include details on the location and movement plan, time of beginning and ending, the subject of the protest or public assembly, its demands and slogans that would be raised by protesters.

The other controversial article enables the Ministry of Interior and security bodies to ban a protest or assembly from taking place, if “evidence, or serious information reveal that the event could be a threat to national security and order” without further specifications on what actions are considered a threat.

Combining the above mentioned articles and examining the current court cases over the Protest Law, in comparison to constitutional articles guaranteeing freedom of opinion through any means of expression, and the right to peaceful protests to be regulated by law, political forces and human rights advocates have concluded that the law does not “regulate” but rather “oppresses” freedom of opinion.

The law sparked controversy even before it was issued, and had been awaiting the State’s final approval even during the Muslim Brotherhood regime. Tagammu Party Secretary-General Sayed Abdul Al stated in comments to Youm7 in February 2013 that the government would be in an embarrassing situation regarding human rights if the law was passed.

Lawyers have also demanded that a judge other than former interim President Adly Mansour, now president of the Constitutional Court, look into the case, as the law was approved and issued by Mansour’s presidential decree in November 2013.

Under the current law, organizing protests without prior approval from authorities is only punishable by a fine, whereas engaging in violent acts during public assemblies or carrying weapons is punishable by a minimum of seven years in prison, in addition to other possible jail punishments in case public institutions are attacked.

A rights’ lawyer explained to The Cairo Post in statements last July how police and prosecution authorities could manipulate the law to ensure the detention of suspects, and said they had invented charges in order to fit acts punishable by law.

Indeed, several political activists and students were charged with breaking the Protest Law after being accused of carrying weapons during protests or attacking public institutions.

In the meantime, political and social forces have joined efforts in a hunger strike campaign that escalated last week in support of political detainees. They will hold a rally at the Press Syndicate on Wednesday afternoon after launching a new group called “Against the Protest Law” alongside recently released activists Alaa Abdel Fattah, Mohamed Nouby and Khaled Ali, one of ECESR’s human rights lawyers behind the anti-Protest Law complaint.

The 2013 Protest Law consists of 25 articles, eight of which regulate the organization of protests and public assemblies, in addition to seven on penalties. Four of the latter include jail sentences.

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La Russie et l'Egypte paraphent des contrats d'armes pour 3,5 mds USD

La Russie et l'Egypte paraphent des contrats d'armes pour 3,5 mds USD | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
La Russie et l'Egypte ont paraphé des contrats sur la livraison d'armes pour 3,5 milliards de dollars, a annoncé à Pretoria le directeur du Service fédéral russe pour la coopération militaire et technique (FSVTS) Alexandre Fomine.
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Le Drian: France still provides Egypt with military armored vehicles

Le Drian: France still provides Egypt with military armored vehicles | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian left Egypt Tuesday after paying a one-day visit to discuss bilateral military cooperation and the threats posed by the Islamic State (IS), as well as other regional issues of Syria and Libya, MENA reported.

Le Drian met Monday with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his Egyptian counterpart Sedki Sobhi to discuss political and military cooperation. The French Minister confirmed that his country keeps providing Egypt the military shipments especially armored vehicles.

“Cairo and Paris share a close relationship in all fields, especially the military field, which reflects the desire of both parties to promote security cooperation to face the risks of globalization of terrorism in the Middle East,” he said in an interview with MENA published Tuesday.

Regarding surveillance flights that France had sent to Iraq, Le Drian said the operation aims to ascertain how big the growing danger of the Al-Qaeda inspired militants of Islamic State is, noting the operation aims also to contain the threat of terrorism through deploying 3,000 troops to enhance military capability in the Sahel region of Africa.

Le Drian arrived Monday in Cairo after a visit to the United Arab Emirates, where he visited Al-Dhafra Airbase to discuss international efforts to combat IS.

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CBE closes Suez Canal certificates subscription after raising 61B EGP

CBE closes Suez Canal certificates subscription after raising 61B EGP | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
CAIRO: Egyptian banks have sold over 61 billion EGP ($8.53 billion) worth of Suez Canal investment certificates as of the Monday 8 p.m. close of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Monday.
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New Suez Canal stamp free of Panama Canal image to be released Tuesday

New Suez Canal stamp free of Panama Canal image to be released Tuesday | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
CAIRO: The Postal Authority announced Monday they are almost finished with a new postage stamp design depicting the Suez Canal that will be released Tuesday following the embarrassing issue of a previous stamp widely disseminated and mocked on...
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Marcelle Baud, une copiste très originale

Marcelle Baud, une copiste très originale | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Marcelle Baud est une "auvergnate" née à Paris le 28 novembre 1890. Elle évolue dans un univers artistique, avec un grand-père dessinateur et un père "peintre de lettres". Elle l'aide d'ailleurs souvent à terminer les commandes urgentes. Elle excelle à l'École de dessin (Académie Julian) et, à 18 ans, entre aux Beaux-Arts.

En 1911, elle s'inscrit en égyptologie à l'École du Louvre où elle a comme camarade Etienne Drioton … "Pendant ses études au Louvre, elle suivait pour son plaisir les cours de Benedite, professeur helléniste. Elle s'aperçut que la documentation en images de ce professeur était pauvre ; elle se mit donc à lui dessiner tous les costumes et monuments grecs dont il avait besoin. Inutile de dire dans quelle estime son professeur la tenait ; il l'appréciait énormément et s'intéressa à elle en lui faisant obtenir son premier voyage en Égypte ce qui fit qu'elle fut la première femme à faire l'École du Caire, dix sept ans avant Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt".

En 1921, commence sa longue et fructueuse carrière d'égyptologue, de dessinatrice et de copiste. Sur différents sites, dans les temples et les tombes, elle libère son talent et une maîtrise de plus en plus affirmée.

Elle côtoie le microcosme de l'égyptologie. En 1922, elle est présente lors de la grande découverte qui secoue la Vallée des Rois : celle de la tombe de Toutankhamon par Lord Carnarvon et Howard Carter.

Elle est proche des équipes belges, notamment de Marcelle Werbrouck et de Jean Capart qui la sollicitent pour faire des relevés de tombes. Son excellent travail est couronné par des expositions au Louvre, à Bruxelles et à Brooklyn, qui rencontrent un énorme succès. À l'heure où la présence féminine sur les champs de fouilles est extrêmement rare, voire quasi nulle, c'est un véritable "adoubement", une reconnaissance totale de son art et de ses compétences.

En 1926, un article lui est consacré dans la revue féministe "L'Égyptienne" fondée par Mme Hoda Charaoui : "À Paris, la curieuse exposition de dessins de tombeaux thébains de Mlle Marcelle Baud, jeune archéologue qui a passé deux ans dans la Vallée des Rois, a obtenu le plus vif succès. Mlle Marcelle Baud a recueilli ses documents dans la nécropole de Gournah, cimetière des grands dignitaires royaux au temps du nouvel Empire, de la 18e à la 26e dynastie. Avec une science profonde des lignes et un réel talent particulier, Mlle Marcelle Baud a évoqué dans tout leur réalisme ces scènes de la vie égyptienne d'autrefois."


Dans un ouvrage de synthèse intitulé "Les dessins ébauchés de la nécropole thébaine" paru en 1935, elle a dégagé "les directives de l'art du dessin en Égypte. La décoration murale des tombeaux est une écriture développée, car le dessin égyptien est avant tout descriptif. Les personnages ont la valeur d'un symbole : leur pose, leurs attributs, leurs dimensions permettent de lire comme un texte les scènes représentées en différents registres. Par raison religieuse, les thèmes décoratifs des tombes thébaines imposés par les prêtres sont presque immuables : scènes d'adoration, présentations d'offrandes aux divinités, objets utiles à la vie d'outre tombe…"

En 1938, Marcelle Werbrouck la sollicite afin d'illustrer son ouvrage sur "Les Pleureuses" ; puis, la Seconde Guerre mondiale marque son retour en France, en Auvergne plus précisément.

En 1950, elle est contactée par les éditions Hachette afin de revoir le Guide Bleu sur l’Égypte. Elle le refond totalement en 1956.

En 1978 - elle a alors 88 ans -, elle sort un nouveau livre sur "Le caractère du dessin en Égypte ancienne". Dans son introduction elle livre, en des phrases choisies et sincères, toute l'admiration et la passion qu'elle éprouve pour l'art auquel elle a consacré sa vie : "L'art égyptien, un art "descriptif par excellence", "la réflexion mentale de l'artiste est primordiale." "Cet ouvrage est une remarquable étude du dessin et des bas-reliefs tels qu'ils furent pratiqués en Égypte ancienne. On y apprend ainsi comment les éléments du décor étaient représentés par rapport à un spectateur mobile."

Marcelle Baud a rejoint le royaume d'Osiris qu'elle a si souvent dessiné le 10 (13?) février 1987. Elle repose dans le cimetière d’Issoire. Elle a légué une partie de ses archives et dessins préparatoires au musée Bargoin de Clermont-Ferrand. Marcelle Baud est très certainement une artiste à redécouvrir…

Marie Grillot




Illustration : scène de pleureuses - tombe thébaine (Menkheperreseneb TT 100 ? ou Kinebou TT113?)


Pour consulter l’ensemble des Unes d’ “Égypte-actualités” : http://egyptophile.blogspot.fr/2014/06/egyptophile-un-recueil-des-unes-degypte.html?view=flipcard

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Homophobie en Egypte : HRW appelle aux libérations - Seronet

Homophobie en Egypte : HRW appelle aux libérations - Seronet | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Homophobie en Egypte : HRW appelle aux libérations
Human Rights Watch (HRW) a appelé (9 septembre) l'Egypte à libérer les sept hommes accusés de "débauche" pour être apparu dans la vidéo d'un "mariage gay".
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Jean Leclant, l'excellence au service de l'égyptologie

Jean Leclant, l'excellence au service de l'égyptologie | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

"Enfant, j’ai rêvé de l’Égypte" confie Jean Leclant lors d'une interview réalisée en 1997.

Né à Paris, le 8 août 1920, il met tout en œuvre pour satisfaire sa passion et fréquente très tôt les salles du Louvre…  Ses études seront exceptionnelles, son parcours professionnel exemplaire et ses rencontres d'une richesse inouïe.

Il entre à Normale Supérieure en 1940 et, chaque mercredi, il suit les cours de Jean Sainte Fare Garnot. Il obtient l'agrégation de géographie en 1945. Après la guerre, il rejoint le CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) et, parallèlement, suit les cours de Pierre Lacau et Pierre Montet.

En mission au Louvre, il rencontre Jacques Vandier et Christiane Desroche Noblecourt.

En 1948, il intègre l'IFAO au Caire et consacre ses recherches à la XXVe dynastie éthiopienne. "C’est ainsi, se souvient-il, que je suis devenu l’homme des Éthiopiens. Et là, par un jeu de mots comme les bureaux en connaissent, j’ai été envoyé en Éthiopie pour créer un service d’antiquités chez l’Empereur !"

Infatigable, d'une érudition remarquable, il est doté de compétences qui ne cessent d'être reconnues et recherchées. Il enseigne à l'université de Strasbourg, puis à la Sorbonne et au Collège de France.

Il entreprend des fouilles à Karnak, puis à Soleb en Nubie. Il rejoint Saqqarah où il travaille aux côtés de Jean-Philippe Lauer et d'Audran Labrousse.

Parmi ses nombreuses responsabilités, il a notamment été directeur de la Mission des experts archéologues en Éthiopie (1952-1956), de la Mission archéologique française de Saqqarah (1963) et de la Mission archéologique française au Soudan (Soleb, Sedeinga).

Spécialiste incontournable de l'histoire et la civilisation pharaoniques, il excelle aussi dans la connaissance de la civilisation méroïtique, de l'histoire religieuse, de l'histoire de l’art en iconographie et en ethnographie.

Il est, d'une certaine manière, un "citoyen du monde", ou peut-être plus exactement, de l'Europe intellectuelle et culturelle, tant il est présent dans un nombre impressionnant de sociétés savantes. Il est impossible de les citer toutes, mais en voici quelques-unes : Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (Berlin), Österreichische Gesellschaft für Archäologie (Vienne), Association internationale pour l'Histoire des Religions, Académie royale des Lettres, Histoire et Antiquités (Stockholm), Académie royale danoise des Sciences et Lettres (Copenhague), Académie Roumaine (Bucarest), Académie des Sciences de Russie (Moscou) et Academia Europaea (Londres)…

C'est ainsi qu'il s'est vu décerner le très renommé Prix Balzan de l'art, l'une des récompenses les plus prisées dans ce domaine.

En 1983, il a été élu à l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres, ce qui lui faisait dire avec un bel humour : "Entre-temps, j’avais été élu secrétaire perpétuel à l’Académie. Depuis, je suis un 'apparatchik'. C’est-à-dire que le plus clair de mon temps est consacré à la représentation, si bien que je ne peux faire de l’égyptologie que le samedi et le dimanche, pendant les fêtes et pendant l’été. C’est pour ça que vous pouvez toujours me trouver ici l’été, à l’Institut, à 'boulonner'."

Il s'attache aussi aux "actions de l'Observatoire du patrimoine religieux (OPR), une association multiconfessionnelle qui œuvre à la préservation et au rayonnement du patrimoine cultuel français".

Il est l'auteur d'un nombre important de publications et d'un nombre encore plus important d'articles et notes, mais il ne pourra malheureusement tenir entre ses mains le “Dictionnaire de l'Antiquité” dont il dirige la parution.

Le 16 septembre 2011, jour de sa disparition, le monde de l'égyptologie est en deuil. Et la France perd un immense égyptologue doublé d'un grand orientaliste, qu'elle avait su distinguer en l'honorant de la Légion d'honneur, de l'Ordre national du mérite, de l'Ordre des palmes académiques, et de l'Ordre des arts et lettres.

Marie  Grillot

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Pour consulter l’ensemble des Unes d’ “Égypte-actualités” : http://egyptophile.blogspot.fr/2014/06/egyptophile-un-recueil-des-unes-degypte.html?view=flipcard

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Egypt redirects US military relationships

Egypt redirects US military relationships | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Unlike Egypt’s previous active involvement in US-led military campaigns in the Arab region, the current Egyptian stance on terrorism involves obtaining strategic solutions.

During a meeting Saturday, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi told visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry that any international coalition confronting terrorism should battle all militant groups, including the Islamic State, Reuters reported.

Al-Sisi stressed that any coalition to combat terrorism should comprehensively cover the Middle East and Africa, rather than exclusively target a specific organisation.

At an earlier press conference on the same day with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Kerry stated that Egypt could exert enormous influence in countering ISIS. He added that this influence would be particularly forceful given Islamic institutions such as Al-Azhar, which continue to wield significant power.

During a Thursday meeting in Jeddah, Shoukry expressed Egypt’s willingness to cooperate with other countries to confront “radical Islam” regionally rather than specifically in Iraq.

Shoukry’s statement comes not only as part of the Egyptian state’s decisive position to counter terrorism, but also marks a precedent of refraining from directly joining US-led coalitions in confronting extremists in Iraq.

He said that it would not be logical for Egypt to mobilise resources to defeat ISIS while these resources are currently being used in the country in its own counter-terrorism fight. Shoukry asserted that any intervention should consider the international principles of “nation state” and “state sovereignty”.

“Those statements are nothing but ‘media consumption’,” said US-Egypt relations professor at the British University in Egypt (BUE), Sherin Fahmy. “They’re very far from the fact that Egypt has ongoing strong strategic ties with the United States.”

Fahmy said that during the confrontation in Gaza in August, Egypt refused to open its borders at Rafah, a clear indicator of supporting US policies. Its official condemnation of Hamas’ acts also illustrates its rejection of any expansion of such militants inside its borders.

There has been disagreement among Arab countries with regards to Western interference in their internal affairs. Obama announced in a speech at the White House last August the authorisation of two air strikes in Iraq. These airstrikes were ostensibly to protect American military personnel and provide a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi Yezidi civilians trapped on a mountain.

Speaking in Ankara on Friday, Reuters reported Kerry as saying the US is seeking a broad-based coalition combining Arab states, the EU, the US and others to fight the Islamic State in Iraq.

“The US is currently striving to distract the Arab countries from its core Arab Spring demands through intimidating them with such ‘terroristic’ troops,” Fahmy said.

Security expert and former general brigadier Khaled Okasha said Egypt’s stance on confronting terrorism is “obvious”.


“Many countries in the Arab region are suffering from radical Islamism,” Okasha said.


He added that the Shoukry’s statements should not be interpreted as focusing only on “internal terrorism”, saying: “Nevertheless, the Egyptian stance asserted that terrorism should be fought as a whole entity and not separately in a specific geographical area.”


Egypt’s statement is an indication of the government’s support of international sovereignty, ensuring that military intervention may violate the sovereignty of any country, said Okasha.

Okasha denied that the latest position was not to pressure the American government to supply Egypt militarily or diplomatically.

During the Saturday meeting, Kerry promised his country’s commitment, delivering 10 Apache helicopters to the Egyptian military.

Major General Mohamed Belal, who led the Egyptian military forces in Kuwait, said Egypt’s rejection to take part in the Iraq coalition against ISIS is a rational decision.

Belal said both Iraq and Syria are currently being fought over by militants, which does not require any soldiers’ interference. He also added that unlike the US, which has a base at Erbil, Egypt’s military does not have an air base inside Iraq, making Egyptian military interference impossible.

“Egypt can still participate logistically, because it is against any form of terrorism anywhere in the world, but the ways of participating need to be addressed thoroughly.” Belal said.

Lately, the Egyptian government has been a vocal opponent of Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria.

Egypt’s Ministry of Endowments condemned the actions of ISIS, accusing the group of being “disinterested in humanity”. The ministry also accused the group of tampering with dead bodies, “torture, which is forbidden in Islam” and “cutting necks and throwing bodies to the side of heads, or no heads at all”.

The Egyptian foreign ministry said in August that the advance of ISIS threatens the whole region.

At the beginning of the month, Egypt’s Dar Al-Ifta condemned the murder of American journalist Steven Sotloff. The institution described his death as a “horrendous act by Al-Qaeda separatists to distort the image of Islam and Muslims worldwide”.

An international social media campaign was launched by Dar Al-Ifta to “clarify the image of Islam across the globe due to the terrorist group’s violence acts”. The campaign is also to ensure that “all Muslims reject these practices that are contrary to the principles of tolerant Islam, which calls for coexistence”.

Last July the Coptic Orthodox Church condemned the targeting of Iraqi Christians in the militant-held city of Mosul, which caused the displacement of thousands into the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan.

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Activist Mohamed Sultan sent to intensive care after 200–day hunger strike

Activist Mohamed Sultan sent to intensive care after 200–day hunger strike | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: Mohamed Sultan has been transferred to an intensive care unit in Tora prison after 230 days on a hunger strike.

According to statement released by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) Saturday, Sultan had lost consciousness due to low blood sugar and pressure.

Sultan and a number of other political activists started a hunger strike demanding their release. According to an infographic published on the Freedom for the Brave and “Gebna Akherna” (We’ve Had Enough) activist Facebook pages, 92 activists both in and out of jail are on hunger strike, 16 of whom are women.

Other activists from the Popular Current announced Saturday that they would join a strike to show their solidarity with detained activists in jail, and also demanded the amendment of the protesting law.

Other journalists that started a group titled “Journalists against the Protest Law” held a strike in the Press Syndicate , demanding it to issue an official statement against the law, which prohibits any protest held without official permission from security forces.

ANHRI stated the “intentional ignoring” by the government to the striking movements of the activists was not a “wise step.”

“It’s a strong indicator that the old policy of ignoring all of the opponents is going to be back again” the statement said.

ANHRI demanded in its statement the government to respond quickly to the activists’ demands, calling them to release all the political and opinion prisoners, as it hold the government the responsibility of Sultan and other activist’s health.

Sultan was moved again to his cell in the prison after spending short time in the intensive care, despite his poor condition according to the statement.

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New website for hep C patients to receive Solvadi treatment

New website for hep C patients to receive Solvadi treatment | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: The Ministry of Health has launched a website for hepatitis C patients to register to receive Solvadi, a new imported American treatment, said Health Minister Adel el-Adawy in a Saturday conference, Youm7 reported.

Scheduled to be activated Sep. 18, the website is meant to ease patient registration procedures and avoid long queues at hospitals and treatment centers, Adawy added.

Patients between 18- to 70-years-old will have to enter their national ID number online, and within 24 hours they will get an appointment at one of the medical centers across the country according to their location.

Already 60,000 patients are scheduled to be treated with the new treatment, Youm7 reported.

The National Committee to Combat Hepatitis Viruses (NCCHV) announced during the conference that more than 700 doctors and administrative members of treatment units at the committee were trained to administer the new medicine.

Egypt was one of the countries that received the new treatment from American medical firm Gilead at a decreased price, as Adawy previously stated in July that “Egypt bought the treatment for 1 percent of its original international price.”

The price of one Sovaldi pack (28 pills) in the United States is $28,000, according to NCCHV chief Waheed Dous in comments to Veto Gate on Aug. 18.

It was declared that the first shipment for Egypt will include 225,000 packs of Sovaldi for 450 million EGP ($63 million), and the price of one pack of Sovaldi in Egypt will be 2,200 EGP ($307).

Egypt has the highest Hepatitis C prevalence in the world, according to the United Nations Population Fund website. Of the total population, 14.7 percent of people between ages 15-49 have tested positive for the virus.

Additional Reporting by Dana el-Hadidi and Randa el-Banna

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NGO records 647 Egypt protests in August

NGO records 647 Egypt protests in August | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: At least 647 protests have taken place across Egypt in the month of August, with an average of 22 protests per day, and Aug. 14—the first anniversary of the dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins—was the largest protest day of the month, the Cairo-based International Development Center (IDC) stated in a report issued Saturday.

IDC, an NGO established by activists after the 2011 January 25 Revolution that toppled former PresidentHosni Mubarak, has been using a “Democracy Index” (DI) and counting and categorizing local protests according to different protest groups, geographic locations and demands.

The Muslim Brotherhood recorded the highest number of protests for August 2014, as with 414 protests, they accounted for almost 64 percent of the total number, reaching their peak on Aug. 14.

Other protests erupted demanding labor and economic rights, as 83 demonstrations took place seeking reforms in employment rules, such as forced transfer, the need for long-term contracts and against arbitrary firing, IDC said.

Decisions by the government to cut fuel subsidies and the relocation of street vendors into the Torgoman parking garage, as well as the electricity crisis and blackouts, were also widely protested.

On Aug. 24, the government started moving street vendors and their tents to Torgoman, to ostensibly clear Downtown Cairo of the congestion they created. This resulted in protests and a number of objections, as vendors feared a loss of customers at the new location.

The government also increased fuel prices last July, leaving drivers in crisis over tariff prices. The move was called “the worst decision” ever by some pundits.

Moreover, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi had to face public anger by addressing the nation and calling for “patience” in a speech on Sept. 6 after the country was hit by wide-reaching power outage two days prior.

IDC also reported other kinds of politically-driven protests, which included demands for the release of prisoners of conscience and the end of police brutality, as well as a series of protests against Israeli aggression in Gaza.

As for the means of protests, IDC stated that the most violent form was the obstruction of roads, of which it recorded 94 cases, in addition to 12 hunger strike cases, and 10 assaults on public institutions, mainly electricity towers.

Hunger strikes have become a means of pressure by activists and human rights’ advocates in support of detainees. Last week, a short while before the trial session of activist Alaa Abdel Fatah and 24 other defendants in prison on charges of violating the 2013 Protest Law, a growing hunger strike movement emerged among prisoners and their relatives, activists and political forces.

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New mosque awareness campaign to confront ‘Violence Against Women’

New mosque awareness campaign to confront ‘Violence Against Women’ | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it


CAIRO: The Ministry of Endowment has announced the launch of an awareness campaign at mosques called “Violence Against Women,” to preach against improper contemporary practices regarding women, according to a Thursday statement by the ministry.

The campaign aims to discourage acts like wealth deprivation, forced marriage and sexual harassment.

Ministry Undersecretary Sabri Ebada told the “Haza el-Sabah” (This Morning) television show on CBC Extra Friday that there are “some mistaken tribal habits regarding women occurring now,” which contribute to creating a macho society.

“The hard-line Islamists portray women as having no value other than [serving] men’s physical and sexual comfort,” said Ebada, “and this is far away from Islamic law that enhanced the value of women in society.”

A controversial fatwa by Muslim Brotherhood leader Safwat Hegazy in 2006 brought him under scrutiny for allegedly insulting women who do not wear niqab, which is a full face cover for Muslim women. The case was then dropped.

Hegazy is now standing trial in different cases related to inciting violence and torturing police officers during the MB’s sit-in at Rabaa al-Adaweya.

Hard line preachers were believed to have had the chance to preach more radical ideas in mosques under former President Mohamed Morsi’s reign. During this time, they violently criticized actors, singers and issued more disputable fatwas regarding women.

Ebada also said part of the problem is created by the West, which he said “confines the freedom of women to the freedom of clothing,” and exports images of women in improper and revealing clothes to the Middle East.

Furthermore, Ebada talked about some preachers at mosques who preach incorrect beliefs about women. “Now there are laws restricting any preaching violations,” he said.

He also referred to preacher laws issued recently to limit Friday sermon delivery to appointed preachers who have permits, adding, “The word is capable of wiping out an entire nation.”

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