Ed Husain

The Arab Street

Husain examines politics, society, and radicalism in the greater Middle East.

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Showing posts for "Egypt"

After the Arab Spring, the Junta’s Summer

by Ed Husain
Protesters chant slogans in front of policemen standing guard at the parliament building in Cairo (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters). Protesters chant slogans in front of policemen standing guard at the parliament building in Cairo (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).

The following article was published today in the Times, and can be read on their site here.

In Egypt, there is no Aung San Suu Kyi. The liberal youth who won our hearts with their mass demonstrations for freedom in Tahrir Square have, for the time being, at least, lost. In February 2011, they overthrew the Mubarak regime. The old pharaoh himself might be near death, but his successors are anything but. Nearly 18 months later the exhausted and leaderless revolutionary youth seem powerless to stop the old regime from reasserting itself. Read more »

Where Are We Heading in Egypt?

by Ed Husain
A soldier talks to a woman outside a polling station in Cairo (Mohammed Salem/Courtesy Reuters). A soldier talks to a woman outside a polling station in Cairo (Mohammed Salem/Courtesy Reuters).

A good friend of mine is a prominent Egyptian business man. As the board member of a national charity, he travels frequently to what he calls “real Egypt.” Last week in rural Asyut, his NGO distributed three hundred cows. Each time the head of a local family walked away with a cow, the women burst into howls of ululation. Their joy, he said, was visibly equal to that of guests at an Arab wedding. Read more »

Will Egypt Make History Again?

by Ed Husain
A man walks past campaign posters of presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh in Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). A man walks past campaign posters of presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh in Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

Egypt is set to broadcast a televised debate between two top presidential candidates, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Amr Moussa. One was once an inmate in Mubarak’s prisons, and the other Mubarak’s foreign minister.

I have met both men, and they are equally adept at the art of deflecting questions. The next president of Egypt will serve his term competing with the Egyptian military for influence—both men know this, and have bent over backward to be seen as cooperative. Neither candidate clearly represents the generation or ideas that gave birth to the Tahrir Square protests last year, but just as rumors were spreading that the elections would be cancelled and further doom was capturing the new Egyptian political space, the idea of monazarat, debates, has helped lift spirits. Read more »

Where Next for Egypt’s Salafis?

by Ed Husain
Supporters of Egyptian Salafi Hazem Abu Ismail, whose eligibility to run for president is being debated in Egyptian courts, display a banner of him during a gathering in Tahrir Square in Cairo (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters). Supporters of Egyptian Salafi Hazem Abu Ismail, whose eligibility to run for president is being debated in Egyptian courts, display a banner of him during a gathering in Tahrir Square in Cairo (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

Egypt’s Salafi Islamists are a parting gift from the U.S.-backed Mubarak regime. He had bred Salafis as a counterweight to the more politically minded Muslim Brotherhood, but also as a means of fostering better relations with Saudi Arabia. Little wonder, then, that in the initial days of the Egyptian uprising against Mubarak the Salafi leaders followed the quintessential Saudi Wahhabi line that popular protests were “un-Islamic” and helped spread fitnah or dissension. Read more »

Washington’s Love Affair With Islamists

by Ed Husain
Mohamed Mursi, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, talks during a news conference in Cairo in April 2011 (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters). Mohamed Mursi, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, talks during a news conference in Cairo in April 2011 (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists from Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, and Libya are in Washington, DC, this week. Having advocated for over a year for issues-based engagement with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, I was delighted to host a delegation from their Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) for meetings at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and Washington. Read more »

The Week Ahead: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Annan on Syria, Afghan Foreign Minister in Qatar

by Ed Husain
Kofi Annan, joint special envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League, gestures during a news conference in Russia on March 26, 2012 (Denis Sinyakov/Courtesy Reuters). Kofi Annan, joint special envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League, gestures during a news conference in Russia on March 26, 2012 (Denis Sinyakov/Courtesy Reuters).

Egypt. A delegation of representatives from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) will visit the United States this week. In media appearances and meetings with civil society organizations, Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, Hussain el-Kazaz, Khaled Qazzaz, and Sondos Asem will explain the FJP’s vision for Egypt and this weekend’s announcement that leading Muslim Brotherhood member Khairat al-Shater will run for president. A spokesperson for the delegation has said they do not plan to meet with U.S. government officials on this trip. Read more »

The Week Ahead: Iraq Summit, Friends of Syria, Egypt’s Constitution

by Ed Husain
Iraqi foreign minister Hoshiyar Zebari talks to a group of local and Western journalists during a tour of the Republican Palace in Baghdad ahead of this week's Arab League summit (Mohammed Ameen/Courtesy Reuters).. Iraqi foreign minister Hoshiyar Zebari talks to a group of local and Western journalists during a tour of the Republican Palace in Baghdad ahead of this week's Arab League summit (Mohammed Ameen/Courtesy Reuters).

Events of note this week in the Middle East:

Iraq. Baghdad will host the Arab League summit, the first major diplomatic event to be held in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew. Security challenges surrounding the summit are real, with attacks just last week in four Iraqi cities killing twenty-seven and injuring 161, but extensive preparations have been made—from cement barriers and checkpoints to the redeployment of thousands of guards—to ensure the events proceed without incident. Central to the summit’s agenda will be the crisis in Syria. Palestine, Somalia, and Yemen will likely also be discussed. Syria, suspended from the Arab League, will not be present at the talks. Read more »

Guest Post: Election Fatigue in Egypt

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Egyptians stand in line at a polling station as they wait to cast their votes during the November 2011 elections in Cairo (Ahmed Jadallah/Courtesy Reuters). Egyptians stand in line at a polling station as they wait to cast their votes during the November 2011 elections in Cairo (Ahmed Jadallah/Courtesy Reuters).

This post is written by Allison Blough, a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations.

These days in Egypt, liberal youth groups are doing their best to renew protests to speed up the transition to civilian rule, the ruling military council is breathing a post-January 25 sigh of relief, and average Egyptians are lining up at gas stations due to a fuel shortage that is only getting worse. Read more »