Égypt-actus
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revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
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Egypt protests turn weekend into nightmare

Egypt protests turn weekend into nightmare | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Hanan Attia says she can no longer leave her home on Fridays in the Egyptian capital, where bloody weekly protests and insecurity have left many anxious families dreading the weekend.

"It's no longer a day of rest, but one of fear and anxiety," Attia told AFP.

Since November, when President Mohammed Morsi issued a controversial decree that widened his powers and pushed through a contested Islamist-drafted constitution, the country has been deeply divided.

 

On almost every Friday - the first day of the Egyptian weekend - since the decree, opposition groups have called protests against Morsi and his powerful Muslim Brotherhood, which have regularly degenerated into violence.

 

Fridays, traditionally a day of family gatherings and outings, has now become synonymous with violence, blood and even death, many say.

 

In January, the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak and brought Morsi to power, triggered the deadliest confrontations between police and protesters in which more than 60 people were killed.

 

"I'm not able to travel to [the northern city of] Alexandria to see my family because I'm scared of the protests and the road blocks," Attia, the mother of three said. "The day starts off with demonstrations and ends up with shooting, molotov cocktails, violence and blood."

 

Even if the most violent confrontations are confined to specific areas such as near Tahrir Square or the presidential palace, the rise in insecurity across the country including robberies, carjackings and random shootings have created widespread anxiety in a city once known for its safety despite its large size and socio-economic inequalities (...)

 

More on:  http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Egypt-protests-turn-weekend-into-nightmare-20130222

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Do they think we are chickens?

Do they think we are chickens? | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

It is quite interesting when people, whether Egyptian or otherwise, ask the question: “Why are you still taking to the streets in protest?” I then stand speechless and wonder whether they follow the news, all types of news; political, economic or cultural.

A quick skim would explain why there are still protests and even result in another question: “’Why isn’t everyone out on the streets?’

Now, let’s recall again the 25th of January revolution chants– Bread, Freedom, Social Justice and Human Dignity– and study the progress of each demand. Also, let’s keep in mind that at the time those demands were chanted, no one chanted ‘Islamic Shari’a’, or ‘Democracy’ for that matter!


 

Bread

I am not an economist, but those that are seem united in their impression that our economy is free falling towards rock-bottom within six months. Annual inflation rate rose by 6.6%, as compared to January 2012; prices hiked between 5 to 10% depending on the commodity, over 2% for medical services, and transportation rose 5%.  Those are the numbers given by the government’s own Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). Moreover, unemployment increased to 13%, and in a country that used to bring in at least 11 million tourists annually, we now have barely any tourism to speak of.(...)

 

Freedom

A quick look at the new constitution would be a great indicator of how limited our freedoms have become since the revolution that demanded freedom

They have, simply, constitutionalised conformity to tradition. Their constitution states that we are free as long as we adhere to “Egyptian family values”.(...)

 

Social Justice

Not one of the government’s initiatives or programs addressed the issue of social justice. Wages are still very low for employees and workers, and very high for managers. We still see a worker making EGP 700 a month, while in the same organization a manager or consultant would be taking EGP 700,000 a month.(...)

 

Dignity

Egypt is witnessing the worst of times regarding dignity and the value of an Egyptian. The famous stripped man video sums it up. The organized politically-motivated sexual assault on Egyptian women, deemed the female victim’s fault by the Shura Council Human Rights Committee, is enough to lower your gaze when you speak of Egyptian dignity.(...)

 

More on: http://tahrirsquared.com/node/2242

 

 

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Et si Dieu était mort depuis longtemps en Afrique?

Et si Dieu était mort depuis longtemps en Afrique? | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Alors que le pape Benoît XVI vient d'annoncer sa démission, en Afrique et dans les diasporas africaines, athéistes, agnostiques, sceptiques ou même simples «curieux» remettent en question la parole divine.

Faut-il croire les récits qui, depuis les premiers missionnaires blancs jusqu’au pape Benoît XVI, nous présentent l’Afrique comme un puits de spiritualité intarissable? Le continent est-il un réservoir de fidèles, le poumon de l’Eglise, une terre incorrigiblement religieuse…? (....)

Issus de familles croyantes —musulmanes, chrétiennes ou animistes— ils se sont détournés de l’invisible. Eux, ce sont ces hommes et ces femmes qui ne croient pas en Dieu ou doutent de son existence. De plus en plus nombreux, ils prouvent que, non, les Africains ne sont pas tous religieux.(...)


«C’était ma dernière prière»

Pour Amira (le nom a été changé), une Egypto-Américaine se définissant comme libre penseuse, le changement a été plus radical.

Adolescente, la jeune femme ne manquait jamais une seule prière. Mais à l’université, elle se met à enfreindre les lois religieuses du cocon familial.

Amira a 23 ans. Elle consomme de l’alcool, ne porte pas le voile, est découverte par sa sœur sur le point d’embrasser un homme, puis par sa mère, une fois, deux fois, trois fois. Les garçons, les fêtes, le scepticisme religieux qui l’assaille… lorsqu’elle parle de son athéisme, Amira n’arrive pas à le distinguer de son mode de vie «occidental». (...)

En Egypte, les athéistes ne sont pas inclus dans les statistiques officielles. Ils n’existent pas, ou presque. Se révéler lorsque l’on n’est pas censé exister, c’est prendre le risque d’énerver du monde. Le blogueur athéiste Kareem Amer en sait quelque chose, lui qui avait été condamné en 2007 à trois ans de prison pour insulte à l’islam.

Mais, même au pays de Mohammed Morsi, la question de l’incroyance est de plus en plus présente dans la sphère publique. Comble de l’audace, un film au titre évocateur, L’Athéiste, s’est récemment faufilé entre les mailles de la censure égyptienne. 

 

 

Plus: http://www.slateafrique.com/103275/religions-afrique-tuera-dieu

 

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Deux ans après la chute de Moubarak, les Égyptiens réclament le pain et la justice sociale

Deux ans après la chute de Moubarak, les Égyptiens réclament le pain et la justice sociale | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Un reportage de Sonia Dridi/France 24

 

Depuis la révolution, l’économie égyptienne est dans une situation critique : la livre égyptienne a atteint son plus bas niveau face au dollar, le chômage ne cesse d’augmenter, l’essence manque. La grogne sociale monte. (...)

Les Frères musulmans ont lancé un projet sur la reconstruction de l’Égypte pour marquer les deux ans de la révolution. Ils assurent avoir le soutien d’hommes d’affaires égyptiens et ont promis une série d’actions caritatives. Une stratégie critiquée par de nombreux économistes, à l’instar de Mohsen Salamony, professeur d’économie et directeur financier. "Le gouvernement n’a pas de plan économique, qu’est-ce qu’on va faire ?, s’insurge-t-il. Les Frères musulmans se sont trop concentrés sur la charité. Ils n’ont pas le savoir ou l’expérience pour diriger l’économie d’un pays comme l’Égypte."

Près de la moitié des Égyptiens vivent sous le seuil de pauvreté, et sont directement touchés par l’inflation, qui a augmenté de 30 % avec la chute de la livre égyptienne. Les plus démunis attendent toujours une réévaluation du salaire mensuel minimum, fixé en 2011 à 700 livres égyptiennes, soit 90 euros.

 

Plus : http://www.france24.com/fr/20130211-egypte-economie-pauvrete-penuerie-tension-chomage?ns_campaign=editorial&ns_source=twitter&ns_mchannel=reseaux_sociaux&ns_fee=0&ns_linkname=20130211_egypte_economie_pauvrete_penuerie_tension_chomage

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Egypt Bans licensing for liquor stores in new cities

Egypt Bans licensing for liquor stores in new cities | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Senior Vice President of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), Nabil Abbas,  issued on Sunday a decision to ban new licenses and renewal  for stores that sell alcoholic beverages in new cities.

Abbas said that the NUCA has the right to terminate any activity that disturbs society in new cities.

He compared liquor stores to mechanic and plumbing workshops saying they both represent an annoyance to the public.

Abbas had sent a letter to the new cities heads stating, once the operating licenses of the already existing liquor stores end, they are expected to  change their trade  in accordance with the requirements for developing the city.

 

He stressed that this decision was immediately supported

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Smell of the country ريحة البلد

Egypt-actus's insight:

Smell of The Country
Directed by: Ahmed Hamed
Genre: documentary Visually following the path of distinct, and blended smells in the streets of Cairo.

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Dodging Clashes, Cairo's Deliverymen Take Big Risks

Dodging Clashes, Cairo's Deliverymen Take Big Risks | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

In Cairo you can get most anything — food, medicine, groceries — delivered right to your door, anytime. But civil unrest in the streets of the Egyptian capital has made it a riskier job for deliverymen.

Tabouleh restaurant, an upscale Lebanese joint, is tucked into a quiet neighborhood just south of Tahrir Square, the center of Egypt's revolution.

It's usually packed. But clashes between protesters and police have been ongoing for a week just two blocks away. On a recent night, there's only one table of diners.

"These days, I think 80 percent [of] the business is delivery," Ahmed Said, Tabouleh's manager, says. He says it's been a tough week for the employees.

"Our staff, [they] cannot go home because all the streets [are] closed and we have action here," he says. "We stay here."

But their deliverymen on motorbikes find ways out of the neighborhood despite the clashes. Through the chaos they keep a semblance of normalcy for Egyptians, delivering food to their doors.

"If all of us at any job stopped work and we're afraid from the streets ... we're not going to live," Said explains. "We're going to die."

Downtown Cairo's traffic-jammed streets have never been easy to navigate. But cycles of violence and regular mass protests make it more complicated and dangerous to get around. The police have blocked off many major streets with concrete walls about 12-feet high.

Said says Tabouleh's best and bravest deliveryman is Sayed Masoud Abu Gabal.
"[He's] over 50, and he's more strong than the youth. He's going all [the] time, any order he's going. He's not afraid from anything. 'OK, I'll solve it,' " Said says, describing Abu Gabal's attitude if he finds out a street is shut down. "'l'll go from another way.'"



 

Egypt-actus's insight:

Abu Gabal walks into the restaurant from a delivery run, and his eyes are red from tear gas.

"I was delivering food nearby and I was caught in the clashes and went into a building to hide. On my way out, riot police were arresting people and I had to show them the delivery receipt to prove I was not with the protesters," he says.

He says his job has become more dangerous in the last two years.

"Sometimes you find demonstrations erupting out of nowhere. You don't have any guarantees. You can get shot. But God protects us and we get by as well as we can."

Abu Gabal doesn't have much time to rest before another order comes in. Said says the rest of the staff helps their deliverymen find safe routes by checking for the latest on violence erupting downtown.

This time, they're packing up lamb sandwiches and sweets for a delivery just across the bridge, but because of the clashes, Abu Gabal is going to make a wide loop around the area, quadrupling the distance.

With the smell of tear gas is in the air, he revs up his motorbike and takes off, once again.

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Égypte• Un pays au bord de la rupture

Égypte• Un pays au bord de la rupture | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Les violences se poursuivent dans les grandes villes d'Egypte, où les affrontements entre manifestants et forces de l'ordre ont fait près de 50 morts en trois jours. La plupart des victimes sont tombées à Port-Saïd. Le lundi 28 janvier, le président Morsi a décrété l'état d'urgence dans les provinces de Port-Saïd, Ismaïlia et Suez. 

L'opposition refuse le "dialogue national" proposé par Mohamed Morsi, qu'elle considère comme responsable des divisions du pays et de la répression sanglante de ces derniers jours. Le Front de salut national (FSN), principale coalition laïque de l'opposition, appelle à la démission du président et dénonce l'état d'urgence ainsi que le couvre-feu décrétés dans ces trois provinces.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Dans ce dossier de "Courrier international" :

Les affrontements continuent, Morsi affiche sa fermetéPort-Saïd se transforme en cimetièreManifestations contre le pouvoir à l'occasion des deux ans de la révolutionHosni Moubarak sera rejugéLe remaniement ministériel renforce les Frères musulmansSouhaiter ou non un joyeux Noël à ses voisins coptesAliaa Magda Elmahdy à nouveau nue contre le régime de MorsiNouveau bras de fer entre les juges et Morsi

etc.

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Egypt chaos points to longer, riskier transition

Egypt chaos points to longer, riskier transition | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:

(Reuters Breakingviews, via Aswat) - The deadly chaos in Egypt marking the second anniversary of the uprising shows that the transition in the Arab world's most populous country will be long and painful. The anti-government violence in several cities along the Suez Canal, which has left 49 people dead and parts of the country in a state of emergency, is rooted in a deep distrust of the country's basic institutions. That's a problem the Muslim Brotherhood government cannot afford to ignore any longer. (...)


The difficulty of overcoming Egypt's political divisions has been widely underestimated. Though the country's long-term growth story remains intact, a recovery will take longer than many expected, and it will be riskier too as each month of instability brings fresh economic losses and deters investment.

The violence is weighing on the Egyptian pound which has already lost 8 percent of its value this year. Amid rising prices, the government has little room to maneuver. And the fact that violent riots are happening along the Suez Canal will reinforce worries about the security of that strategic route, and the precious foreign currency it generates for Cairo.

Egypt's disparate political factions blame each other for the disorder but none alone look able to generate enough popular support to launch the necessary deep reforms the country badly needs. To restore meaningful stability, it looks increasingly urgent for the Muslim Brotherhood to try to find a compromise with its political adversaries, and build a consensus on how best to modernise the country.

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Society : Today, Egypt celebrates the Mouled (Prophet's birthday)

Society : Today, Egypt celebrates the Mouled (Prophet's birthday) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:

"Mouled", meaning birthday in Arabic, is a celebration of a holy person. It is celebrated by Muslims and Christians in Egypt to honor their Saints. Although most Mouleds are Muslim, some Coptic Saints are also honored in similar celebrations. From May till October, Coptic Mouleds take place from the Nile Delta to Assyut.

 

Islamic Mouleds are regulated by the Lunar Islamic Calendar. The Mouled is not considered to be a proper custom by many Muslims as it is not part of the religion, but rather a popular tradition of the Muslim life.

The commemoration of the Prophet Mohammed's birthday is one of the biggest events of the year and a public holiday.

In popular districts, streets are lit with colored lights and the scent of food fills the festive air. It is a local tradition inEgypt to buy children a mouled candy doll for the occasion (for girls) and a mouled candy horse (for boys).  The sweets are made from sugar or from plastic and then decorated by colured papers.

 

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‘No Glimmers of Hope’: Two Years After Egypt’s Revolution, an Economic Crisis Looms

‘No Glimmers of Hope’: Two Years After Egypt’s Revolution, an Economic Crisis Looms | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Ramadan Khalaf Amin, 24, a microbus driver who earns the equivalent of $4.50 a day, is one of the myriad faces of the Egyptian revolution the world does not know.
Egypt-actus's insight:

With the two-year anniversary of the revolt approaching, Egypt’s economy is struggling and the new Muslim Brotherhood-backed government is far from resolving the manifold problems of poverty and urban deprivation that bubbled beneath the 2011 revolt. If anything, a rapidly dropping currency combined with austerity measures mandated by international lenders mean that life is only going to get harder for the middle class and for the poor in the coming months.

Amin’s parents migrated to Cairo from the Upper Egypt town of Asyut years ago in search of work. He was born in Cairo and lived his whole life in Manshiet Nasser, dropping out of school after the fourth grade. Amin is actually faring better than many in his neighborhood. The family moved into recently built subsidized housing. He earns more than the quarter of Egypt’s 80 million people surviving on just a dollar and a half a day, according to government figures released in 2012.

He despairs at lacking government services in his neighborhood and the slow pace of change since the revolt. “I don’t think this area will ever change,” he says, referring to Manshiet Nasser. “People are not only poor but also uneducated.”

Poverty alone does not cause revolutions. Many other countries are poorer and more socially stratified than Egypt. People of a broad swath social classes participated in the uprising that toppled the Mubarak regime. Their grievances with the autocratic regime were many, including corruption, a lack of freedom of expression and an often terrifying police state. But a widening gap between rich and poor, eroding infrastructure, and government neglect of the shantytowns were also parts of the long, complex backstory of the popular uprising that toppled Mubarak.



Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/01/23/no-glimmers-of-hope-two-years-after-egypts-revolution-an-economic-crisis-looms/#ixzz2ImBUfkcf

 

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Egyptian bank grants loans to young farmers to marry more than one wife

Egyptian bank grants loans to young farmers to marry more than one wife | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

In an attempt to fight “spinsterhood,” the Egyptian Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit decided to grant loans to new farmers to encourage polygamy.

In an attempt to fight “spinsterhood,” the Egyptian Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit decided to grant loans to new farmers to encourage polygamy.

The Bank’s chairman, Mohsen Batran, announced in a press conference held with the Minister of Agriculture on Tuesday, that the bank will be granting loans to young farmers, to help them with the cost of marriage, according to “al-Ahram” newspaper.

His initiative includes encouraging polygamy, provided that they will just wed two wives. The bank’s chairman said that the loan’s interest on the first marriage is three percent while for the second marriage is six percent.

Men seeking a third wife will have to pay a loan’s interest of more than 15 percent.

According to Al-Ahram newspaper, there are nine million unmarried women in Egypt.

Batran, meanwhile, criticized those who are skeptical about the bank’s support to the farmers, adding that the bank had helped 37 thousand farmers with their debts.

 

 

 

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Égypte : les logiques sociales du chaos politique, par Jacques Chastaing

Egypt-actus's insight:

Presque deux ans après le surgissement de la révolution en janvier 2011, les derniers événements de cette fin de mois de novembre et de début décembre 2012 montrent un pouvoir de Morsi et des Frères Musulmans fortement contesté par la rue et par une large fraction de l'appareil judiciaire, laissant place au sommet à un chaos politique manifeste. Ces événements entrent en résonance au même moment avec ceux de Tunisie, où les manifestants réclamant des emplois à Siliana exigent pour cela la démission du gouverneur d'Ennahda, après la chute récente de celui de Sidi Bouzid pour les mêmes raisons. Cette contestation des pouvoirs islamistes sur fond d'effervescence sociale peut surprendre, tant les médias, en nous accoutumant ici à l'idée que la révolution était, sinon morte, du moins mourante sous l'étouffoir d'un hiver islamiste, ont occulté les très nombreuses luttes sociales qui n'ont quasiment pas cessé dans ces deux pays depuis les chutes de Moubarak et Ben Ali.

Il faut dire que la grille de lecture de bien des commentateurs se limite le plus souvent à l'opposition islam-laïcité ou démocratie/dictature pour le monde arabe, en ajoutant pour l’Égypte celle qui oppose les Frères Musulmans à l'armée. Ce qui occulte la lutte de classe. Or cette dernière, par son importance et sa constance, pèse considérablement au quotidien sur la vie politique, modifie les relations de l'islam à la laïcité, de la démocratie à la dictature et les alliances au sommet, qu'elles se nouent entre l'armée et les Frères Musulmans en Egypte, ou au sein de la Troïka en Tunisie.

Mais plus que cela, au fur et à mesure que les illusions sur les promesses de l'islam politique ou de la démocratie représentative s'usent, ces luttes sociales – qui ne portent pas seulement sur des questions économiques mais posent aussi depuis longtemps des questions politiques – menacent les autorités du spectre d'une deuxième révolution, clairement sociale celle-là. Et c'est cette menace qui est la cause de cette fébrilité au sommet depuis des mois avec ses très nombreux retournements de situation et du chaos politique tout particulièrement en Égypte. C'est ce que nous essaierons de décrypter spécifiquement pour ce dernier pays dans cet article autour des événements récents de novembre et décembre 2012.

 

Lire l'article : http://www.contretemps.eu/interventions/%C3%A9gypte-logiques-sociales-chaos-politique


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Egypt Youth Group Enters Mursi in Competition to Go to Moon

Egypt Youth Group Enters Mursi in Competition to Go to Moon | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Mohamed Mursi, Islamist president of the moon?

That’s what the April 6 youth activist group, which ranks among the Egyptian leader’s fiercest critics, is hoping. The group said it had signed Mursi up to the AXE Apollo Space Academy’s website, giving the U.S.-trained engineer a chance to win a trip to space.

“Certainly, there’s no one in the universe who would put up with the lies that are evident and the broken promises other than the dear youths of the moon,” the group said on its Facebook page, while calling on its supporters to cast their votes for Mursi.

April 6, along with secular parties and other youth activist movements, contends Mursi has steamrolled over rights, focusing on cementing the Muslim Brotherhood’s strength in government at the expense of broader national interests and reviving the economy.

There was no immediate response from Mursi’s office to an e-mail seeking comment.

 

Link to Mohamed Morsi page on Space Academy: https://www2.axeapollo.com/en_AE/244825/mohammed-morsi?image=0 

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Egypt's political elites and their estrangement from the poor

Egypt's political elites and their estrangement from the poor | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Evidence abounds that Egypt's political elite, both within and outside of its ruling Muslim Brotherhood, aren't engaged with the issue that brought them to power.

Egypt's political elite continue to fail their people. They are failing to empathize, they are failing to speak to the public in a way that makes them feel they're being listened to, and they're failing to craft approaches to turn around a dangerously listing economy.

Egypt's current economic and social problems have no easy fixes, and would confound an all-star team of political leaders. But compounding those problems is the fact that President Mohamed Morsi, his Muslim Brotherhood, and the security forces – who are seen by the public as dangers to be avoided rather than keepers of the peace – are out of touch with the struggles of the nation's poor.

Their attitude veers between amusement, disgust, and contempt, and all of them were on display when, while answering questions in parliament earlier this month,Prime Minister Hisham Qandil was asked about Hamada Saber, a middle-aged laborer who was caught on film being stripped naked, beaten, and dragged through the street by police in front of the presidential palace on Feb. 1. Mr. Qandil managed, in very few words, to unintentionally outline how estranged Egypt's leadership is from the working classes when he launched into a set of unfocused comments that seemed to place responsibility for poverty squarely on the backs of the poor while sidestepping the issue of police mistreatment of Mr. Saber.

The poor, who may not be well-educated but aren't stupid, are well-aware of this contempt among the political elite – one reason so many average Egyptians say that what they wanted out of the uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak was more "dignity." So far they're not getting it. (Dan Murphy/The Christian Science Monitor)

 

More : http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2013/0219/Egypt-s-political-elites-and-their-estrangement-from-the-poor?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co


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Valentine Day: Where (Does Egypt) Stand in the Global Love Ranking?

Valentine Day: Where (Does Egypt) Stand in the Global Love Ranking? | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Paris and Rome may be famous for romance, but it’s Filipinos who get the most love. That, at least, is a conclusion that can be drawn from a global love survey conducted by the Gallup Organization.

(...) A survey, conducted in 136 countries, posed the question: “Did you experience love for a lot of the day yesterday?”

 

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought readers might be interested in seeing the full ranking. (..). The first number after each country name is the percentage of respondents who said they had experienced love the previous day. The second (in parentheses) is the sample size for the country.

 

65. Egypt 72% (1024)

 

More on:  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-14/where-do-you-stand-in-the-global-love-ranking-.html

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Imbaba, du marché aux chameaux au bidonville

Imbaba, du marché aux chameaux au bidonville | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Le quartier d’Imbaba est situé dans le nord-ouest du Caire, faisant face à l’île de Zamalek, et bordé au sud par le quartier d’Agouza. Midan Kit Kat, du nom d’un ancien cabaret flottant sur le Nil, est la place emblématique du quartier et sert à la fois de rond-point et de station de microbus. Historiquement, le quartier abritait un marché aux chameaux , dernière étape pour les marchands qui vendaient leurs chameaux au Caire, après une long périple initié au Soudan. Certains pensent d’ailleurs qu’ « Imbaba » tire son origine de la langue tigrinya, dans laquelle « Embaba » veut dire fleur, à laquelle les marchands pouvaient faire allusion pour décrire l’endroit du bord du Nil.

Peuplé par un million d’habitants, Imbaba est un quartier populaire du Caire qui échappe aux stéréotypes et aux classifications habituels. Dès que l’on entre dans le quartier, on s’étonne des tuk-tuks, indispensables pour se déplacer dans les ruelles sans goudron, qui sillonnent la rue du Soudan, longue de plusieurs kilomètres, à la recherche de clients. Il n’est pas rare d’y croiser certains expatriés, venus regarder un match ou participer à une soirée fondue au Club suisse, situé au bout d’une ruelle d’Imbaba, ou à la recherche d’Al Prince, restaurant égyptien connu dans toute la ville.(...)

 

Imbaba abrite également une importante communauté copte et une dizaine d’églises, et est parfois le lieu de tensions entre les deux communautés : en 2011, les deux s’affrontent violemment, suite à la conversion d’une femme copte à l’islam et les rumeurs liées à cette conversion.

 

Plus: http://terangaweb.com/imbaba-du-marche-aux-chameaux-au-bidonville/

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Cairo's Musical Heart, Mohammed Ali Street, Fades

Cairo's Musical Heart, Mohammed Ali Street, Fades | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

During its heyday, it was famed as the lively and romantic heart of Arabic music — a Cairo street modeled after Paris' boulevards, home to musicians, belly-dancers and instrument makers.

But Mohammed Ali Street is fading. It had already been in decline for years as a music center. Now the crunch of post-revolution Egypt may finish it off, between economic crisis, uncontrolled urban sprawl and the rising influence of Muslim conservatives, its patrons fear.

The street in downtown Cairo, parts of it lined by French-style arched arcades, is now dominated by mobile phone and electronics stores, donkey carts and heavy traffic. The shops making, repairing and selling musical instruments that once packed the street are disappearing, along with their window displays of lute-like, stringed ouds, qanouns — a sort of dulcimer — and tablas — a drum made equally for the rapid-fire handbeats of belly-dance tunes or for the languid rhythms of a love ballad by Umm Kalthoum, the most famed singer of classical Arabic music.

"The instrument shops are closing down and people are renting them out to mobile phone vendors and furniture stores," said Ezzat el-Fayoumi, a 65-year-old drum player who is one of a few remaining musicians on the street.

"The street is extinct," he said, sitting at a coffee shop that now serves as his office. "When I die, there will be no more music. No one is learning it."

The street, named after the founder of modern Egypt, was built in the 1860s as part of a new downtown that was to modernize Cairo. Inspired by French architect Baron Haussmann, the designer of Paris' grand boulevards, Egypt's then-ruler Khedive Ismail sought to "make Egypt a piece of Europe." The result was downtown of avenues and city squares lined with arches and European architecture, between the Nile and the old medieval city of Cairo, with its Islamic architecture and maze of narrow alleys.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Mohammed Ali Street was the connector between old and new Cairo, modeled after Paris' famous Rivoli street. Over the next century, it became entertainment central, home to the musicians, dancers and workers of Cairo's cabaret nightlife. El-Fayyoumi recalls how he once lived in the same building as Lucy, one of Egypt's most famed belly dancers who rose to become a movie star as well. The street was also the destination for anyone looking to buy the best Oriental music instruments, arriving from around the region, Europe and the U.S.

El-Fayoumi, who is a member of one of Egypt's oldest and best known percussion music bands, called Hassaballah, has worked in this trade for over 45 years. None of his children wanted to follow his footsteps.

Now he's feeling the country's economic woes. Lack of security and tightening budgets have made big events scarcer. Parties and events are getting fewer and further between. Instead of three or four events a week, he said, now the band can wait up to 10 days before they get a gig. His band has to settle for far less money for each gig as well.

And newly emboldened Islamists, who disapprove of music and the perceived "decadence" of the nightlife, are also squeezing people in his trade. He said a group of young zealous Islamists have tried to convince him to quit and be a "good Muslim." He has rebuffed them, suggesting he doesn't need anyone to teach him religion.

"I am a regular at the mosque. That is the only other place I go besides the coffee shop."

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Decoding facial hair in the Arab world

Decoding facial hair in the Arab world | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

During the Mubarak-era, beards were a no-no in Egypt - but now they're back in fashion with a vengeance. In the Arab and Muslim world, facial hair signifies a lot more than personal style, writes Cairo-based journalist Ashraf Khalil.

Egypt-actus's insight:

In a post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt, beards have made a big comeback. For years, beards were frowned upon as symbolic of the Islamist movements that Mubarak considered a threat to his reign. Government employees, ranging from police officers to EgyptAir pilots, were forbidden from growing a beard.

 

But now, civil servants across the country are are calling for the ban to be lifted. Suddenly wearing a beard in Egypt has become an issue of civil rights and freedom of expression.

The beard has even become a political reference point as well. The last few months have seen mounting protests against President Mohammed Morsi - a long-time Muslim Brotherhood official. One of the common protest chants translates as, "Shave off Morsi's beard/and you'll find Mubarak underneath!"

It's not just a Muslim thing either. Most Coptic Christian priests and monks wear long beards as well.

In fact when the new Coptic Pope Tawadros ll was chosen this year, it spawned a beard-related internet joke. Tawadros' beard looks EXACTLY like the beard of Emad Abdel-Ghafour - former head of the largest Salafist party.

 

More : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20877090

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Article en français:

Savoir décrypter les barbes dans le monde arabe
source: http://fr.news.yahoo.com/savoir-décrypter-barbes-monde-arabe-144017531.html

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Deux ans après la révolution, l’Egypte en quelques chiffres

Deux ans après la révolution, l’Egypte en quelques chiffres | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
L'Egypte, considérée comme un pays émergent, est la quatrième puissance économique d'Afrique. Mais c'est un colosse économique aux pieds d'argile.
Egypt-actus's insight:

En Egypte, la population augmente...
La misère sociale fut le ferment de la révolte populaire qui a éclaté il y a tout juste deux ans. Le salaire moyen hebdomadaire atteignait 252 livres égyptiennes (31 euros) en 2007, selon les derniers chiffres dont dispose le Bureau international du travail (OIT). Plus de 18% des quelque 80 millions d'Egyptiens vivent avec moins de deux dollars par jour selon les chiffres de la Banque mondiale.

Le pays avait connu une période de forte croissance depuis 2008 mais la révolution qui a chassé Moubarak du pouvoir a laissé des traces. Fuite des investisseurs étrangers et des touristes, grèves et mouvements sociaux à quoi il faut ajouter le retour au pays des Egyptiens travaillant en Libye, la machine économique est en panne. La croissance économique, la lutte contre la pauvreté et les inégalités sociales restent le premier défi du pays.

Le chômage des jeunes aussi.
La population égyptienne est en plein boom, plus 1,3 million d'habitants chaque année. Un Egyptien sur trois a moins de 15 ans, près de deux sur trois ont moins de 30 ans. On estime que 700.000 jeunes arrivent chaque année sur un marché du travail déprimé. Officiellement, chez les 15-24 ans, ils sont presque un sur quatre à être sans emploi, soit 24,8%. Les filles sont deux fois plus nombreuses que les garçons à chercher du travail.

"Le chômage des jeunes a été une des causes fondamentales des changements révolutionnaires du printemps arabe dans les pays d'Afrique du nord et du Moyen Orient. L'OIT compte fournir une aide spécifique au niveau national pour amener les jeunes du travail", souligne le Directeur de cette organisation internationale.

Les richesses de l'Egypte
Le Canal de Suez et le Nil sont les artères économiques du pays, tant pour le commerce intérieur que pour son ouverture sur le Proche-Orient. Le Canal de Suez et les droits de passage sont l'une des principales sources de devises pour le pays : 5 milliards de dollars par an

L'activité économique se déploie principalement le long du fleuve. Le Nil nourricier car les eaux du fleuve, notamment depuis la création du barrage d'Assouan, permettent l'irrigation des terres dévolues à l'agriculture, un secteur qui emploie un tiers des Egyptiens.

Le tourisme, l'autre manne de l'Egypte
Le tourisme constitue la principale ressource du pays, il représente ¼ de ses revenus en devises. Le tourisme fournit un emploi sur huit, il pèse 12 % du PIB national. Mais voilà, le secteur a connu beaucoup d'aléas ces dernières années. Les attentats, l'instabilité politique puis bien sûr, la révolution ont dissuadé les touristes d'aller visiter les trésors des pharaons et de l'Egypte ancienne. Rien qu'en 2011, le tourisme a diminué d'un tiers. Depuis 2012, on note une timide reprise mais on est encore loin des niveaux d'avant la révolution. 14,5 millions de touristes avaient alors visité l'Egypte.

Méline Freda / Sources, OIT, Banque Mondiale et Perspectives économiques en Afrique, via Arte.fr
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The surprising priorities of Egypt’s public

The surprising priorities of Egypt’s public | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:

In a Pew survey  of Egyptian attitudes, about 81 percent considered it very important to live in a country with a judicial system that treats everyone the same way, while roughly six in 10 said it is very important to have a free press and free speech. The survey is from last year, but Pew brought it up  again this week as a reflection on the ongoing protests there.

Meanwhile, fewer than half said freedom for religious minorities or an uncensored Internet were very important.

It’s a fascinating survey for several reasons. First, it differs so starkly from the priorities we might see in many Western countries. Civil liberties, including equal rights for women, ranked near the bottom, while a fair judiciary and improved economic conditions ranked first. But it also reflects the main conflicts that have been underpinning Egypt’s two-year transition to a democratic nation.

 

The economic aspect doesn’t get a lot of attention amid all of Egypt’s colorful protests, but it’s arguably one of the country’s biggest challenges. As the Post’s Abigail Hauslohner reported, about 40 percent of Egypt’s population lives on less than $2 a day, and the country is struggling with a massive budget deficit as it attempts to meet requirements for an IMF loan .

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'Getting worse': Egypt's gays fear government crackdown

'Getting worse': Egypt's gays fear government crackdown | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Maha remembers going toTahrir Squareon Jan. 25, 2011. The 27-year-old office worker only wanted to look around theCairointersection filled with thousands of protesters. But seeingEgypt's revolution unfold before her, she left to get friends and quickly returned. Without planning to, Maha became one of the highly visible gay men and women who took to the streets shouting for change.(...)

 

Nearly two years after the ouster of former leader Hosni Mubarak, Maha sits smoking a shisha with her friend Noor at a back-street cafe in downtownCairo. Together, the women have made this location a "safe place" for gays, somewhere they can come and be themselves.

 

Unlike in other major cities around the world, there is no flag or signage to indicate this is a "gay" cafe. People know about it through word-of-mouth and the online forum, "Bedayaa." They talk about the time since the revolution with a weariness that contrasts with the excitement they initially felt.

Many ofEgypt's gays and lesbians thought sexual freedom was on the horizon. "There was a moment of hope but the last few years has killed it," Maha says, adding: "Nothing much has changed, it is very hard." She is interrupted by Noor: "I think it is getting worse," she says.

The women remember sitting with gay male friends at another cafe three months after the revolution, when locals complained about it and called nearby military police, who then found make-up in the bag of one of the boys. They were all taken away for questioning for "making a mess" in the area.

Egypthas no specific laws banning homosexuality although there are plenty of ways to charge someone suspected of engaging in homosexual acts. Police will often charge gay people with "debauchery" or breaking the country's law of public morals. The election of an Islamist president in Egypt, and the passing last month of a new constitution, has also increased fears among the country's gay men and women that anti-gay legislation could soon be introduced. "We think in two or three months they will put a law to discriminate," Maha says.

 

Many others fear a government crackdown is only a matter of time. The most notorious pre-revolution attack on gay men took place in 2001, whenCairopolice raided aNileboat, arresting dozens of gay men. Along with others taken from the streets, they became known as the "Cairo52." But now, the Muslim Brotherhood is not just a power to be appeased - it is the dominant power inEgypt's new government.

Egypt-actus's insight:

The natural instinct for most gay Egyptians is to try not to draw attention to themselves but taking part in the revolution has brought greater visibility -- at a cost. Alongside other minorities the gay community has been criticized for its role in the uprising.

Adel Ramadan, a legal officer at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, describes the derogatory language used to attack the groups that took to the streets. "After  the fall of Mubarak, the criticism of those groups has always contained a sexual element. Whether it's the women who are participating are called prostitutes or 'loose' women, or men are called homosexuals."

Maha believes this kind of rhetoric has led to an increase in verbal abuse. She thinks some people feel emboldened to shout and call names, knowing the authorities will be on their side. A popular term with some members of the Muslim Brotherhood is "shewaz," a derogatory term for homosexuals that loosely translates as "perverts."

While gay advocacy organizations are active in other predominantly Muslim countries such asLebanon,Egypt's support groups are not well organized and struggle to be heard. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights is a human rights group that will talk about gays but this cause is not a priority for them. Another group that works with them asked that it not be named for fear of reprisals.

Despite their fears, gay life continues inCairo. Men still meet on one of the city's bridges, and the Internet and social media help bring people together. Kholoud Bidak is an activist who is thinking of setting up an online forum. She was also inTahrir Squarein January 2011 and was stunned at the number of gay men and women at the heart of the protests. She has been disappointed in the two years that followed, but believes the gay community has at least gained recognition from human rights groups, which were previously uninterested. "They are finally starting to acknowledge LGBTs, 'oh, they were in the revolution since day one very, very effectively.' I thought that is very positive."

She remains scared by the anti-gay rhetoric from some politicians and clerics but tries to stay upbeat. "There is some hope," she says. "How? I don't know."

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Two years after the revolution: how our families changed, by Sarah El Masry

Two years after the revolution: how our families changed, by Sarah El Masry | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Many are hesitant about terming what happened in Egypt on 25 January 2011 a “revolution”. Their justification is that a revolution must break away from the past socially, politically and economically to create a new status quo.
Egypt-actus's insight:

And this is not the case in Egypt. Yet. Egypt is undergoing political and economic change, but many people claim that socially nothing changed, at least positively. While it might take years to fully examine the changes in socal and familial attitudes and behaviours, it is hard to turn a blind eye to the changes that have already occurred two years after 25 January 2011. Daily News Egypt speaks Egyptians and their families who have experienced changes that would not have occurred without the “revolution”.

There is no doubt that the revolution has created political dynamism that did not exist before it. It has caused the Egyptians to become more politicised than at any time before with indicators of political participation in elections and referenda attesting to that.

Differences in ideologies and political views we never knew existed floated to the surface when the revolution hit us after living under an authoritarian regime for 30 years.

Two currents are in competition; a hope for extending the revolution’s principles (bread, freedom, social justice and human dignity) and values to the marrow of our society and a desperate attempt to crush the revolution, rebuild the old regime and maintain its corrupt institutions.

Political affiliation and ideology have become important. Egyptians have been categorised and labelled. There is the “sofa party” (those who watch TV and don’t participate in politics), leftists, revolutionary socialists, liberals, secularists, Islamists, Salafis, Muslim Brotherhood, Hazemoon (supporter of Hazem Salah Abou Ismail), 6 of April, feloul (remnants of the old regime) and revolutionaries.

The categories may overlap and in one family you might have shades of all these labels. A father could be feloul while the children are revolutionary and the mother is apathetic.

Despite claims that Egyptian society has not changed, the witnesses of the last two years would disagree. Change in households seems to happen gradually. Individuals and families have experienced a lot, ranging from stress to financial crises to thoughts about leaving the country. Some, however, have capitalised on the chaotic reality and turned risks to opportunities.

 

More : http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/01/22/two-years-after-the-revolution-how-our-families-changed/


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Cabinet targets growth for social justice - minister

Cabinet targets growth for social justice - minister | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:

Egypt's cabinet targets growth rates that achieve social justice and help with developing the country in a way that ensures benefiting the biggest number of citizens, Minister of Investment Osama Saleh said on Thursday.

The investment and employment initiative aims at developing the environment for investment and attracting Egyptian, Arab, and foreign capital as well as working on creating a fair distribution of investments in all governorates, Saleh said in a statement the Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.

The initiative also targets pumping new investments into infrastructure and labour-intensive projects to help raise the quality of services provided to all citizens.

Around 40 percent of Egyptians live below poverty line with an income averaging two dollars a day per person. (Aswat Masriya)

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