Showing posts from 2014

The Epidemic We Call Sexual Harassment

It happened again, and it will keep happening. It happens every day to almost every lady. It keeps getting worse, it keeps spreading. Sexual harassment has changed in the past 20 years from an individual act to a social phenomenon to a social epidemic.
There is no one reason why sexual harassment is very widespread in Egypt, but no one can claim it's merely sexual. It's not just sexual because it's practiced by people of all ages from young children to old men, married and unmarried, rich and poor, those who have a normal sexual life and those who don't. It's more of a violent act from those who think themselves strong to those whom they feel are weaker.
A few days ago, ex-president Adly Mansour issued a pack of laws that punishes sexual harassers. The laws that were one of the strongest in the country's history punishes those who plead guilty with a fine or imprisonment between 1000 to 50,000 pounds and 6 months to 5 years in prison. Back then I could not hel…

Egypt Presidential Election, 2014: Opinion Polls

In the 2012 presidential election the opinion polls made by different media have proven to be utterly wrong. Most of the of these polls gave Amr Moussa and Abo El Fotooh the highest number of votes, which was one of the reasons they were chosen to debate together. It has also been said that these polls have resulted in Abo El Fotooh and Moussa falling fourth and fifth respectively in the election, because of counter voting. In 2014 different opinion polls were made in different media and the results varied according to the target audience.
El Masry El Yom

This poll is still open on El Masry El Yom's website until the time of writing this post. It shows that 346,144 have voted in this poll, giving a result of 67.22% to Sabahy and 32.78% to Sisi. El Masry El Yom is a private newspaper owned by businessmen, it is known to be a moderate and somewhat objective newspaper that gives space for writers from both sides to speak their minds. It is also known to be a newspaper of great reach, w…

Egypt Presidential Election, 2014: the Campaigns - Abd El Fattah El Sisi


"Long live Egypt!"

Egypt is eternal, it shall live for as long as the world exists, it shall live whether Sisi is president or not. These three words are in the heart of every Egyptian, they've been said in the hardest of times and the happiest of times. The question here is what do these words have to do with Sisi being president, what do they say about him, or about the campaign? The truth is that they say nothing! The campaigners have chosen a phrase that when heard would strengthen the sense of belonging for Egyptians, a way to confuse the sense of belonging to Egypt with one for the man of the military, "the June 30 Revolution leader". I have to say though that the campaigners are not the ones to be blamed; they're working with no presidential program, or even real headlines how can they come up with a slogan for something that is simply nonexistent?

This campaign has many posters, this one is the most popular and the one found on billboards…

Egypt Presidential Election, 2014: the Campaigns - Hamdeen Sabahy


"One of Us.... We will Complete Our Dream"

It rhymes in Arabic. This slogan acts as a reminder that Sabahy is building on his 2012 campaign. In 2012 Sabahy's slogan was "One of Us!" 2014's slogan is building on it by saying that even if Sabahy didn't win last time, they will continue to try to achieve their dream. As I said back then, "One of Us!" is not the perfect choice,that is if you don't want the man living next door to be your president. Yet it does give a feeling of intimacy that would make you think that if this man is elected he will be able to know about your pains and problems, and this goes well with Sabahy being the leftist he says he is. 
The new part is actually good. If this were a normal election in a real democratic atmosphere this slogan would have been slightly dreamy; some might have felt that they don't want a president of who dreams, but rather someone who has realistic plans and works hard to put these pla…

Egypt Presidential Election, 2014: The Deal is Sealed

On Sunday April 20, 2014 the Presidential Electoral Commission closed its doors. The only presidential hopefuls who succeeded to get the number of endorsement forms needed for candidacy were of course Abd El Fattah El Sisi and Hamdeen Sabahy. Both hopefuls needed at least 25,000 endorsements to be accepted for candidacy. While Sisi collected  almost 189,000 endorsements, his sole rival Sabahy collected 31,555 endorsements. If someone needed more proof that Sisi will be Egypt's next president this was it. On May 2nd, both were officially announced as the only presidential candidates of Egypt's 2014 presidential elections. And the game begins....

The one question that remains unanswered is why did Sabahy choose to run for president when it's already known that Sisi is the winner? It's not like Sisi is going to be the next president just because he has a greater number of supporters, but also because he is the man of the old regime that is although not in power anymore i…

Egypt Presidential Election, 2014: The One

Abd El Fattah Al Sisi

He went from head of the Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance to Minister of Defense to the real ruler to a presidential candidate, who will soon be Post-Revolution-Egypt's next president. From a General to a Colonel General to a Field Marshal, to a civilian, all in three years.

He was the youngest member of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces in 2011 during the first military rule after the revolution. 59 year old Abd El Fattah El Sisi first made it to the headlines in June 2011 when he spoke to Amnesty International about the "virginity tests", stating that "the army will no longer carry out these tests", he defended the tests saying that they had been carried out on female detainees in March to "protect the army against possible allegations of rape". This was the first time an army official declared that the tests have happened. 

It was not until August 2012 that Sisi made it to the headlines again, when ousted president Moh…

Egypt Presidential Election, 2014: Where Have the Candidates Gone?

From Thirteen to One
As mentioned in the previous post, in the 2012 election we had 13 qualified candidates, six of whom are popular political faces. This year only one of them is among the presidential hopefuls. What happened to the rest? Why did they choose not to take part this time?
Hamdeen Sabahy
The only 2012 candidate who decided to run for presidency in 2014, Sabahy was given around 5 million votes in 2012 making him the third highest candidate in terms of number of votes after the ousted president Mohamed Morsi, and the Mubarak-era prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq.
Sabahy decided to take a chance in 2014 even though the results are already known. He has stated in a press conference last month that his personal decision is to take part in "the election war", believing that he is doing that for the revolution and the martyrs. 

Reactions to this presidential bid varied; some believed that by taking this decision he's legitimizing the election, others called him a traitor …

Egyptian Presidential Election, 2014: One More Time

Two Years Have Passed

For the tenth time after January 25 Revolution Egyptians are asked to visit the ballot stations. Around this time two years ago Egypt saw its first real presidential election with 13 qualified candidates and five fairly big campaigns. This year the election seems to be quite different with only two candidates that are expected to qualify, a law that seems to be made to end the election as fast as possible without taking anything else into consideration, a government that supports one of the candidates, a very short campaigning period, and a result that is already known.

The one question is will we see a real election, or at least one that was as real as last time? The answer is probably not, yet in this series of posts I'm going to analyze these campaigns as small as they might be. But before I do this, here's some background information.

The Law

A new presidential elections law has been drafted and accepted in the past few days, yet this acceptance seemed to…