Stories about Egypt

Remembering Ibne Insha: The man who wanted ordinary people to bring a revolution

The great poet, humourist and travel-writer Ibne Insha passed into literary immortality 41 years ago. While writing in this space on the occasion of his 90th birthday, I had noted that he was not only a literary craftsman who had imbibed the art of creating natural, effortless humour out of the ordinary, but that his travelling had also exposed him to the Cold War machinations of the newly departed colonial powers, especially in the Middle East. Even before Insha was struck by the disastrous Arab defeat to Israel in 1967, he travelled the Middle East. Whatever tragedy he saw unfolding ...

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Beware, champions! It is the year of the underdogs!

Whether it is fiction or real life, generally people find it easier to get behind the underdogs because of the more appealing nature. Harvard Business Review (HBR) once stated its viewpoint on underdog brands which is quite similar to what happens in football. “The biographies of underdog brands share two important narrative components: a disadvantaged position (they highlight a company’s humble beginnings and portray it as being ‘outgunned’ by bigger, better-resourced competitors) and a passion and determination to triumph against the odds,” an extract from the HBR report said. FIFA World Cup comes every four years but it gives the game ...

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Mohamed Salah: The Egyptian King and Liverpool’s mind-boggling, record-breaking miracle

While it may seem extremely ridiculous now, but last summer when Mohamed Salah was bought in, for what now seems like a measly £36.9 million, Liverpool owner John W Henry was found grumbling to his AS Roma counterpart James Pallotta, that the English club had overspent on the Egyptian. Pallota, clearly feeling smug that he had gotten the better end of the deal, jokingly offered to buy Henry a free lunch. Ever since the day he got his new paymaster free food, the 25-year-old has proven to be an absolute treat for every Liverpool supporter in the world. Salah’s first spell in ...

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If US foreign policy were consistent, America would be bombing Israel right now

The Syrian civil war, we have been told, began as part of the Arab Spring and really took hold when Syrian government forces allegedly opened fire on protesters across the country in early 2011. This pattern of indiscriminate violent behaviour against civilians has been a talking point in the western media’s regime-change narrative. The media often goes so far as to claim that the government led by Bashar al Assad has lost all legitimacy. What, then, should we make of Israel’s decision to open fire on protesters in the Gaza Strip this past week, killing over 60 protesters and wounding 2,700 more in the process? According ...

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Touching the ocean floor and feeling my heart beat in the clear blue Red Sea at Hurghada, Egypt

There is a phrase I often use to describe my very first scuba diving experience in Antalya, Turkey years ago, “Diving made me believe there is a God!” It was a surreal feeling, to connect with the majestic creatures at the depths of the ocean, with a feeling of absolute peace overtaking my relatively complex existence in the moments I spent underwater. The symbolism behind it alone is much deeper that we can ever imagine. Touching the ocean floor symbolises respect for nature, and thereby leads to a miraculous harmony with the oceanic life as they accept you in their space. ...

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Why in the world is Donald Trump undoing decades of US policy on Jerusalem?

It is almost impossible to see the logic behind Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and possibly moving the US embassy to Israel there – before it even unveils what’s certain to be a controversial plan for Middle East peace, which will be tough enough to sell. The White House is probably betting that, despite the noises in the Arab world against such a move, their key allies in Saudi Arabia and Egypt will limit their opposition – already publicly voiced – to lip service, as they are all interested in protecting relations with Trump over more urgent issues, such as fighting militancy ...

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No, my ripped jeans do not allow you to believe that it is your right to harass and rape me

They are just clothes, I tell my father, when he passes a comment about my ripped jeans. He doesn’t understand – perhaps he never will. I run my hands along the tiny rips, feeling bits of skin and wondering if the freedom I feel is the oppression they want me to see. I see my legs in a pair of jeans, they see skin that is fighting the patriarchy. I see my choice, they see my rebellion. On November 3, 2017, Egyptian lawyer, Nabih al-Wahsh, stated that any woman wearing ripped jeans deserves to be harassed and raped. He ...

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no longer the main game in the Middle East; it is now merely an irritant in the Arab backyard

The recently announced deal between Hamas and Al Fatah, the two main Palestinian factions, is being lauded as a historic move for the future of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Through this political reconciliation, Hamas would cede control of Gaza’s borders and allow the rival Palestinian authority to take over the day-to-day running of the territory. A broad Arab coalition is backing the deal, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with Hamas expecting substantial help from the Emirati and the Saudis and also getting a green light from America. One positive aspect of the deal is that it will ease ...

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If no major non-Arab nation has supported the Saudi bloc, so why pressure Pakistan, Saudi Arabia?

As is often the case in regional conflicts, outside players may feel compelled to toe the line of one of the parties. Thus, in the latest conflict between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt (also known as the Saudi bloc), Pakistan finds itself walking a diplomatic and economic tightrope. That is, until the last few days, when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told King Salman of Saudi Arabia that Pakistan will not be taking sides in the conflict. As this commentary will illustrate, I believe that this is the commendable choice as it is in Pakistan’s interest to remain neutral, if not lean, towards Qatar based ...

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Trump may be doing the right thing siding by Saudi instead of Iran

Political pundits around the world are trying to analyse the impact of President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and his speech to the leaders of some 50 Muslim countries in Riyadh. Some are saying that it is full of contradictions as compared to his pre-election rhetoric against Muslims. Others say that his clear tilt towards Sunni’s and his siding with the Saudis on their stand vis à vis Iran is illogical and counter-productive to the USA’s fight against ISIS. On one hand, the fountainhead of the theological underpinnings of ISIS is the Saudi Arabian sponsored Wahabi/Takfiri ideology and its main support comes from ...

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