Steven A. Cook

From the Potomac to the Euphrates

Cook examines developments in the Middle East and their resonance in Washington.

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Showing posts for "Egypt"

Weekend Reading: Fighting in Mosul, Innovative Booksellers, and Algeria’s Jewish Heritage

by Steven A. Cook
Residents shop for books at Mutanabi Street in Baghdad (Ahmed Saad/Reuters).

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad recounts the Iraqi military’s effort to retake control of Mosul’s Baghdad Circle, the gateway to the western part of the city, from the self-styled Islamic State. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egyptian Copts, Libyan Political Culture, and Syria’s Pain

by Steven A. Cook
A relative of one of the victims reacts after a church explosion killed at least 21 in Tanta, Egypt (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters).

Maged Atiya critiques how observers discuss the Copts of Egypt, who are in the process of acquiring new identities, at a time of increased violence against them.

Patrick Haimzadeh argues that a failure to incorporate local political culture is why a viable political settlement for Libya has not yet been achieved. Read more »

Egypt Goes From Bad to Worse: Under President Sisi, the Nation Longs for the Good Old Days of Mubarak

by Steven A. Cook
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak speaks during opening session of annual conference of National Democratic Party in Cairo on October 31, 2009 (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters).

This article was originally published here on Salon.com on Sunday, April 2, 2017.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is visiting Washington. Since being elected in 2014 after orchestrating a coup d’état in the summer of 2013, the Egyptian leader has sought a White House meeting. President Barack Obama resisted, given the iron fist Sisi has employed to establish control over Egyptian society. The country is now among the top jailers of journalists in the world, thousands of others have been arrested for their opposition to the government, and Egyptian security forces killed about 800 people on a single day in August 2013. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Iraq’s Jews, Polarization in Lebanon, and Jihadis From Fayoum

by Steven A. Cook
A man sits near the waterfall at Wadi El-Rayan in the Al Fayoum Governorate, southwest of Cairo, Egypt (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters).

Jacky Hugi reports on Oded Amit’s efforts to preserve the cultural heritage of the Jewish Iraqi language.

Aya Fatima Chamseddine contends that the legacy of sectarianism and factionalism will limit the ability of Lebanon’s youth to break free of a pattern of political polarization. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s Colonial Laws, Building a New Cairo, and Erdogan’s Early Life

by Steven A. Cook
Buildings and houses are seen through the window of an airplane above Cairo (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters).

The Project on Middle East Democracy interviews Mohamed El Ansary on the use of a colonial-era law by the Egyptian state to contain unrest and crush demonstrations. Read more »

Weekend Reading: The Taxi Drivers of Damascus, Women’s Prisons in Egypt, and Morocco’s Meteorite Trade

by Steven A. Cook
A vendor sells books at Mutanabi Street in Baghdad (Mohammed Ameen/Reuters).

Mohamed Ozon explores life in Damascus today through the lens of the city’s taxi drivers.

Ravy Shaker, in a photo essay, takes a look at life inside women’s prisons in Egypt. Read more »

The Deep State Comes to America

by Steven A. Cook
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his new National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster (L) and that acting adviser Keith Kellogg (R) will become the chief of staff of the National Security Council at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters).

This article was originally published here on ForeignPolicy.com on Friday, February 24, 2017.

In the months and weeks leading up to the summer 2013 coup d’état in Egypt that brought Mohamed Morsi’s presidency to an end, Egyptians encountered one economic challenge after another. Blackouts had become commonplace, the tourism industry was dead, foreign investment was nonexistent, and the government was flirting with a solvency crisis. All of this meant severe hardship for the millions of Egyptians who had hoped that the end of former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime would bring them the “bread, freedom, and social justice” so many had demanded in Tahrir Square a few years earlier. Read more »