amwalalghad :: Blogging

Your English Portal To Arab Economy

GMC GROUP FOR INDUSTRIAL COMME   1.29        Telecom Egypt   11.48        Ismailia Misr Poultry   2.45        El Arabia for Investment & Dev   0.34        Modern Company For Water Proof   1.03        Pioneers Holding   2.84        Ezz Steel   7.86        Egyptian Real Estate Group   6.85        Rakta Paper Manufacturing   4.39        Orascom Telecom Holding (OT)   3.92        Naeem Holding   0.19        Egyptian Iron & Steel   6.87        Universal For Paper and Packag   4.94        Northern Upper Egypt Developme   4.93        Canal Shipping Agencies   7.39        Misr Chemical Industries   5.65        United Arab Shipping   0.43        Egyptians Housing Development    1.94        Egyptian for Tourism Resorts   0.69        Modern Shorouk Printing & Pack   7        Upper Egypt Contracting   0.8        Egyptian Financial Group-Herme   7.42        Orascom Construction Industrie   240.82        Heliopolis Housing   21.65        Raya Holding For Technology An   4.57        United Housing & Development   8.93        International Agricultural Pro   2.1        Gulf Canadian Real Estate Inve   18.08        Alexandria Pharmaceuticals   45.71        Arab Cotton Ginning   2.46        Egyptian Chemical Industries (   7.26        National Real Estate Bank for    11.84        Six of October Development & I   15.03        National Development Bank   6.72        Oriental Weavers   20.66        Arab Gathering Investment   16.29        Egyptians Abroad for Investmen   2.75        Palm Hills Development Company   1.61        Credit Agricole Egypt   9.04        Remco for Touristic Villages C   2.13        Commercial International Bank    29.87        El Ezz Porcelain (Gemma)   1.9        Egyptian Starch & Glucose   5.4        Arab Real Estate Investment (A   0.41        South Valley Cement   3.12        Citadel Capital - Common Share   2.5        Union National Bank - Egypt "    3.25        Ceramic & Porcelain   2.88        Rowad Tourism (Al Rowad)   5.05        El Nasr Transformers (El Maco)   4.78        Egyptian Media Production City   2.31        GB AUTO   27        Egyptian Transport (EGYTRANS)   7.85        Sharkia National Food   3.78        El Kahera Housing   4.97        El Shams Housing & Urbanizatio   2.45        Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding   0.7        ARAB POLVARA SPINNING & WEAVIN   2.11        Cairo Poultry   8.32        Egyptian Financial & Industria   8        T M G Holding   4.03        Asek Company for Mining - Asco   10.66        Misr Hotels   27        Egyptian Electrical Cables   0.56        Medinet Nasr Housing   22.51        Mena Touristic & Real Estate I   1.21        ELSWEDY CABLES   18        Prime Holding   0.91        Al Arafa Investment And Consul   0.17        Alexandria Spinning & Weaving    0.74        Gharbia Islamic Housing Develo   8.41        General Company For Land Recla   16.6        Alexandria Cement   8.9        Arab Valves Company   0.94        Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals   12.4        TransOceans Tours   0.09        Egyptian for Developing Buildi   6.43        Egyptian Gulf Bank   1.24        Kafr El Zayat Pesticides   18.19        Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt -   35.1        National company for maize pro   11.86        Delta Construction & Rebuildin   4.03        Zahraa Maadi Investment & Deve   48.25        Samad Misr -EGYFERT   3.52        Egypt for Poultry   1.41        Cairo Development and Investme   11.7        Cairo Pharmaceuticals   20.1        Maridive & oil services   0.9        Suez Canal Bank   3.75        Nile Pharmaceuticals   15.81        The Arab Dairy Products Co. AR   73.85        National Housing for Professio   14.39        El Ahli Investment and Develop   4.87        Egyptian Saudi Finance Bank   10.79        Ismailia National Food Industr   5.16        National Societe Generale Bank   25.52        Acrow Misr   19.16        Alexandria Mineral Oils Compan   63.63        Paper Middle East (Simo)   5.59        Egypt Aluminum   12.31        Giza General Contracting   13.12        Middle Egypt Flour Mills   5.82        Extracted Oils   0.6        Assiut Islamic Trading   4.56        Engineering Industries (ICON)   3.95        North Cairo Mills   15.3        Arab Pharmaceuticals   11.88        Grand Capital   5.38        El Ahram Co. For Printing And    10.68        Minapharm Pharmaceuticals   25.49        El Arabia Engineering Industri   13.52        El Nasr For Manufacturing Agri   9.71        Naeem portfolio and fund Manag   1.7        Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt -   6.76        Natural Gas & Mining Project (   68.26        Housing & Development Bank   13.95        East Delta Flour Mills   31.5        Orascom Development Holding (A   3.22        Memphis Pharmaceuticals   11.12        Abou Kir Fertilizers   134.23        Delta Insurance   5        Cairo Investment & Real Estate   12.18        Cairo Oils & Soap   12.98        Egyptian Arabian (cmar) Securi   0.36        Egyptian Real Estate Group Bea   15.56        Alexandria Containers and good   85.51        Upper Egypt Flour Mills   45.78        Development & Engineering Cons   9.94        Sinai Cement   15.18        Medical Union Pharmaceuticals   28.01        Torah Cement   24.2        Alexandria New Medical Center   46.55        Export Development Bank of Egy   5.04        Egyptian Company for Mobile Se   92.02        Middle & West Delta Flour Mill   32.7        El Kahera El Watania Investmen   4.18        Mansourah Poultry   12.41        Delta Sugar   11.04        Misr Beni Suef Cement   41.21        Egyptian Satellites (NileSat)   6.14        Cairo Educational Services   17.75        Lecico Egypt   7.55        Sharm Dreams Co. for Tourism I   5.3        General Silos & Storage   10.77        Al Moasher for Programming and   0.66        UTOPIA   5.28        Arab Ceramics (Aracemco)   25.4        Barbary Investment Group ( BIG   0.98        

Citizen Journalism - Blogging

Jack Linshi - 2015-02-21 09:38:08
More than 1 billion people regularly use Facebook, but that doesn’t mean they’re all well-acquainted with the social media site. It’s constantly being refreshed, and between profile redesigns, new apps and privacy changes, it’s hard to keep up. Here are five tricks to make sure you’re on top of your Facebook game: Read the first Facebook message you ever sent to a friend Get ready for a trip down memory lane (and for a great #tbt) without endlessly scrolling through conversations. The easiest (but slowest) way to see the first Facebook messages you sent to a friend is to download all your Facebook data, which you can do by going to General Settings and following the bottommost link. This can take hours or days because the function compiles every single message you’ve ever sent, among other data. Here’s a faster way. On Facebook for desktop, go to (This is the mobile site, and its URLs display differently, which you’ll use to your advantage.) Now click on a friend’s chat. Right click on the button See Older Messages… and open the link in a new tab or window. In this new page, you’ll see a long URL with a lot of numbers. Look for the part that says &start=7. The “7” refers to the indexed messages that appear; your messages are indexed from 1, 2, 3 … from most recent to least recent. You’re going to want to set that number as close to the total number of Facebook messages you’ve ever sent to your friend — this will get you straight to the oldest messages.To get this number, open Facebook messages on the desktop link: Click on a friend’s chat, and scroll up — you’ll see something like Load Older Messages (51583), which is approximately how many messages you have with this friend. Swap in that number in the long URL from before, and reload the page. From here, you’ll have to click a few more times on See Older Messages… — and now you’ll be back to the very first message. Disable read receipts Trying to ignore someone? Then you’re probably not a fan of read receipts — that note that says “Seen ” followed by the time or date you opened the message. There’s no way to disable read receipts within Facebook, so you’ll have to turn to third-party applications. These only work for desktop browsers. For Chrome users, there’s the Facebook Unseen App. There’s also Crossrider’s Chat Undetected, which works for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. ABC News warned last year to attempt any of these methods at your own risk, as Facebook’s Terms of Service state, “You will not do anything that could disable, overburden, or impair the proper working or appearance of Facebook.” Remove “Last active” time on Facebook Messenger Here’s another common grievance for those concerned about their activity privacy — that line that says something like “Active 1m ago” on Facebook’s mobile Messenger app. Unfortunately, there’s no dependable in-Facebook solution or third-party app that can get rid of this feature. The only surefire method is to delete Facebook Messenger from your phone, and use Facebook only on desktop, or through your mobile browser. Maximize photo privacy First thing’s first — what can people see on your Facebook profile? To find out, go to your profile, and select View As… from the menu button on the bottom right corner of your cover photo. Now you’ll be able to see what your profile looks like to the public as well as to specific friends. You might’ve noticed if you type “Photos of John Doe” into Facebook, you’ll still see photos of your friend John Doe — even if he’s set his tagged photos on his profile to private. That’s because the friends who uploaded tagged photos of John have set the photos’ settings to Public, Friends or Friends of Friends, and you fall under one of those categories. If offending photos of you uploaded by somebody else are set to Public or Friends of Friends, then it’s possible that people who aren’t even your Facebook friends can see those photos. So how do you know which embarrassing photos might be visible to non-friends or friends? Go to your Activity Log (it’s under the triangle-shaped button in the top-right corner). On the left-hand column, click on Photos, then select Photos of You. On the top banner, choose Public, Friends of Friends or Friends after Shared with: to see which photos of you are out there for which groups of people. If a friend uploaded an embarrassing photo of you that’s set to Public or Friends of Friends, your only options are to ask him or her to change the setting to Friends. (You could also ask him or her to set it to Only Me if it’s that bad, or delete it altogether.) Or, you can untag yourself. It’s a slow process to manually check your photos, but it’s a thorough inspection, and it does the trick. Check hidden Inbox messages Here’s a quick and easy trick if you didn’t know about it. Messages you receive from people who aren’t your Facebook friends don’t show up in your Inbox. They’re in a different folder that most people think is reserved for annoying Event messages. So go to Messages and click on Other (99+). Chances are you’ll find a few messages you missed. About the writer: Jack Linshi is TIME reporter, recovering, applied math major, award-winning yelper To contact Jack Linshi : on Twitter @jacklinshi More»
Brett Arends - 2015-02-18 17:33:28
Which are the most dangerous markets to investors around the world? Which countries’ stock markets are most likely to blow up your retirement plan, your kids’ college funds, or your hopes of saving up enough to buy that yacht? If you think it’s markets such as Russia or Greece, or even China, you may want to think again. According to some fascinating research produced by Wellershoff & Partners, an investment firm in Zurich, Switzerland, the real dangers are in very different places. Based on data comparing the current valuations of each stock market to its historic averages, Wellershoff comes up with a list of five markets most at risk of producing miserable returns over the next five years — and fourth on that list is the stock market of the United States. Ireland ranks at the bottom, according to Wellershoff’s calculations. Over the next five years the Irish market is most likely actually to lose investors about 16% of their money, after accounting for inflation. Other markets offering the lowest returns include South Africa, plus the very minor emerging markets of the Philippines and Thailand. Wellershoff’s estimate for the U.S. is for a total stockholder return between now and 2020, measured in constant dollars, of just 8%. Not 8% a year — 8% overall. The historic average would be a gain of about a third, in constant dollars, over five years. Before going any further, I need to point out that the future includes so much that’s random that all forecasts need to be taken with pinches of salt. “Never make predictions, especially about the future,” as Casey Stengel, legendary manager of the New York Yankees, once said, and he had a point. Yet there is a broad gray area between thinking we can predict the future with a lot of accuracy and thinking we are living in a world of total chaos and we can’t predict anything at all. Over the next five years, I’m going to wager that the Februarys will be colder on average than Julys, the sun will rise in the east, and Kim Kardashian won’t be elected Pope. Call me a nut if you will. Wellershoff’s analysis is not based on sticking a wet finger in the air. Instead it’s based on comparing share prices with average per-share earnings over the course of an extended economic cycle. That’s the methodology for “cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings” ratios made famous in the U.S. by Yale University Professor and Nobel laureate Robert Shiller. The rationale for this model is to smooth out booms and busts and look at the underlying earnings power of the stocks. Wellershoff then compared today’s cyclical PE for each market with the average cyclical PE. So, for example, since 1979 Australia’s average cyclical PE is about 18, according to Wellershoff. Today it’s 15. So although the future involves a lot of guesswork, it is reasonable to say that the Australian stock market appears to be cheaper than its average levels over the past 35 years. That may not sound like much, but it’s actually a huge statement. There is an enormous body of research arguing that a key driver of financial returns — and probably the key driver — is the valuation of a stock or a market when you buy it. Buy cheap, sell dear. And one of the key factors in the Wellershoff analysis is that it is based on currently observable facts, not on what somebody says Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel is going to do next month. Right now, Wellershoff says, the U.S. stock market sells for about 24 times its cyclically-adjusted per-share earnings, compared to an historic average of about 16 times. That is very expensive by historic standards. Shiller himself says the market sells for more than 27 times cyclical PE. No, this doesn’t mean we should all rush to sell all our U.S. stock funds today and hide under the bed. But there are real, meaningful conclusions that every ordinary investor should draw. The U.S. market is risky. Investing all or most of your risk capital in U.S. stocks alone, for example through a Standard & Poor’s 500 SPX, -0.20% stock market index fund, is foolish. Those who recommend it are actually recommending that you gamble. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t. Damagingly, they are not selling this gamble as a gamble, but as a “safe” and lower-risk strategy. Financial intermediaries who are recommending this are doing so, in part, because the practice is so widespread that you won’t be able to sue them if it goes wrong. Most ordinary people want to improve their chances of earning a good return while minimizing their risks of getting hosed. Wellershoff finds that many or even most overseas markets are either reasonable or a good value by historic standards. Apparent bargains can be found across a broad mix of developed and developing countries, and across multiple continents, from Mexico to France, and from Poland to Hong Kong. You can include those in your portfolio by investing in “international” (i.e. developed) and “emerging markets” funds alongside your U.S. small-cap and large-cap funds. Or you can just gamble on one market that looks really expensive, and hope for the best. About the Writer: Brett Arends is an award-winning financial columnist with many years experience writing about markets, economics and personal finance. He has received an individual award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for his financial writing, and was part of the Boston Herald team that won two others. He has worked as an analyst at McKinsey & Co., and is a Chartered Financial Consultant. His latest book, "Storm Proof Your Money", was published by John Wiley & Co. More»
Sharif Paget - 2015-02-18 14:37:00
If you’re ever in New York City and happen to be in midtown, you should head over to 53rd  Street and 6th Avenue. You will be absolutely astonished at the sight of a massive queue – a mass congregation of some sort – but for what? Some famous person signing autographs, or free stuff being given out? What could possibly be responsible for making people wait in line for up to 2 hours? Enter “The Halal Guys”. More»
Arie W. Kruglanski - 2015-02-16 12:42:15
The grisly killing of Jordanian pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh by burning him alive sent shock waves across the globe and brought heaps of condemnation from political and religious leaders of all stripes against the new heights of macabre of which Islamic State proved capable. Horror and sickening disgust may represent enlightened persons’ natural reaction to this barbarity, but beyond the condemnation, it is important to understand its reasons and likely consequences in the tumultuous context in which the Islamic State phenomenon has been playing out. Several questions arise in this regard. The first is whether Islamic State brutality represents the frenzied unleashing of sadism on the part of psychopathic leaders, or a deliberate strategy intended to boost its “larger than life” image and cast a terrifying shadow that makes adversaries tremble and its followers cheer. The consistent manner in which Islamic State has been executing its “reign of terror” suggests the latter. The organization issues pamphlets in which the rape of female captives is justified, routinely strews the heads of victims throughout the city of Raqqa, its “capital,” and engages in other activities attesting that for Islamic State, brutality is not a whim but a matter of core policy. More»
Anna Borshchevskaya - 2015-02-14 09:47:53
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi signed a preliminary agreement to jointly build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, after the two leaders met in Cairo on February 9-10. This announcement comes after multiple reports last November about Russia’s state nuclear power company Rosatom’s agreement to help Iran build several nuclear reactors, including reactors at Iran’s Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant. Putin had travelled to Cairo this week upon Sisi’s invitation. Russian-Egyptian relations began improving after the July 2013 military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, when U.S.-Egyptian relations began to decline.  Cairo grew increasingly concerned with what it perceived to be U.S. engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, and felt abandoned in its fight against terrorists, particularly in the restless Sinai—a hotbed of radicalism and instability going back to President Hosni Mubarak’s time. Washington also delayed weapons deliveries to Egypt, withheld military aid, and later halted the nascent bilateral strategic dialogue. The decline of U.S.-Egyptian relations created an opportunity for Putin to step in and assert his national interests in Egypt. Putin and Sisi see eye to eye on a number of issues. Putin would certainly prefer to see a secular government in Egypt. Unlike President Obama, Putin enthusiastically endorsed Sisi’s bid for Egyptian presidency. Russia’s Supreme Court has designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in February 2003. Russia continues to battle an increasingly-radicalized insurgency in the Caucasus and the Kremlin has long believed the Brotherhood helped arm radical Islamists in Russia. Putin certainly won’t criticize Sisi on his democratic backslide. Economic relations have significantly improved between Egypt and Russia in recent years. In 2014, out of Russia’s 10 million tourists, over three million have visited Egypt, primarily the Sinai resort of Sharm al-Sheikh. According to Putin, approximately half as few Russian tourists visited Egypt in 2013. Trade between the two countries also grew by approximately 50 percent since 2013 according to Putin, to over $4.5 billion in 2014. Russia provides approximately 40 percent of Egypt’s grain. Putin’s trip to Cairo created a political opportunity for him to show to the West, in light of his aggression in Ukraine, that he is not isolated, no matter what the West says.  His announcement of a number of agreements reached in Cairo helps bolster this claim, even if at this point they are still preliminary. Both Russia’s and Egypt’s economies are stagnating. Russia has entered a deep recession in the context of declining oil prices and Western sanctions in response to his annexation of Crimea in March 2014. Egypt, for its part, is also struggling with violent domestic opposition, terrorist threats, poverty and unemployment.  Putin is unlikely to provide anything to Sisi for free. Indeed, a major $3.5 billion Russian-Egyptian arms deal, reached last year, has not yet moved forward, most likely because the Egyptians could not finance it. Yet by pushing Cairo away as an ally, and continuing to ignore its real security and energy needs, Washington is increasing Egypt’s necessity to build a nuclear power plant in the first place. Cairo used to be Washington’s partner on energy cooperation. This is no longer the case. In February 2006, the George W. Bush administration announced the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). It aimed to create an international partnership, which would advance safe and extensive global expansion of nuclear power through so-called “cradle-to-grave fuel services” within a regulated market for enriched uranium, where several large countries would provide enriched uranium to smaller countries. This plan aimed to address crucial concerns about nuclear weapons proliferation and waste management, and to eliminate the need for smaller countries to build facilities for uranium processing and disposal in the first place, saving them billions. Egypt was among participant countries in GNEP. President Obama, however, effectively scrapped parts of GNEP and now shows little interest in expanding the strategic energy partnership with Egypt. Putin is only too happy to fill the gap, and is not concerned with the safeguards inherent to GNEP. The Obama Administration is correct to criticize Sisi on his democratic backslide. Yet ignoring Egypt’s concerns only hurts U.S. interests, including those of providing security and advancing human rights. The instability in the Sinai Peninsula presents a real threat to U.S. security, and withdrawing support for Sisi only pushes him closer to Putin and other anti-Western players. The preliminary agreement on the nuclear deal is a case in point. Anna Borshchevskaya is a fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy. Her previous experience includes positions in D.C. think-tanks: Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Atlantic Council. She also worked as an analyst for U.S. military contractor in Afghanistan and as communications director at the American Islamic Congress. She has published widely in journals such as The New Criterion, Turkish Policy Quarterly, and the Middle East Quarterly. I also conduct translation and analysis for the U.S. Army's Foreign Military Studies Office and its flagship publication, Operational Environment Watch. She holds an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where I studied the Middle East, International Law and International Economics. Originally from Moscow, Russia, she came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1993. You follow her on twitter @annaborsh More»
Peter Thal Larsen - 2015-02-05 09:32:22
So much for deleveraging. Despite near-universal promises to reduce borrowing, global debt has escalated since the financial crisis. Governments, households, companies and banks owe $53 trillion more than they did at the end of 2007, according to a new report by the McKinsey Global Institute. The swelling demands more radical surgery. It’s no secret that wider government deficits and low interest rates have led to extra borrowing in a sluggish global economy. Even so, the rate of expansion is startling. Total debt was 286 percent of global output by mid-2014, up 17 percentage points from the end of 2007. Over that period, government liabilities increased at a compound annual rate of 9.3 percent, far exceeding economic growth. Corporate debt rose by 5.9 percent a year. In China, total borrowing quadrupled to $28.2 trillion. More»
Mahmoud Kobessy - 2015-01-28 15:07:14
For using WhatsApp on PC, you will need first to have WhatsApp Messenger installed and verified with SMS and phone number into your mobile phone first, so if you are thinking that you will directly be able to login into WhatsApp Desktop then its not the case, rest assured just follow the steps which I have given below. 1- First of all upgrade your WhatsApp Messenger in your smartphone, its necessary step. Note: You need to have WhatsApp v2.11.498 or above, download the latest .APK file from here. 2- Now open Google Chrome browser and go to and you will see QR code Note: WhatsApp Web works only on Google Chrome and not on Mozilla, IE, etc. 3- Open WhatsApp Messenger in your Smartphone, go to Menu and then select “WhatsApp Web” 4- Now scan the QR code which is on from WhatsApp Web option. 5- Now click on “OK, GOT IT” and let the scanning of your QR code starts. 6- Within few seconds you will see that you can use WhatsApp Web on Google Chrome browser. 7- It’s just the mirror image of your WhatsApp Mobile. More»
Shannon Tiezzi - 2014-12-24 10:54:15
In what Chinese President Xi Jinping called “an important milestone,” China and Egypt have upgraded their relationship to a “comprehensive strategic partnership.” The agreement came as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is in Beijing for an official visit. The two leaders further agreed to increase China-Egypt “political, economic, military, cultural and technological cooperation” as well as coordination at the regional and international level. The visit of President Sisi to China caps a year in which China has taken small but meaningful steps to increase its role in the Middle East. At this year’s China-Arab Cooperation Forum, Beijing promised to seek more engagement in this region, an increasingly important hot spot for energy-hungry China. Xi Jinping declared 2014 and 2015 “years of China-Arab friendship,” with increased exchanges and visits.  Sure enough, China has been busy fostering deeper ties with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Lebanon. Egypt is a particularly interesting case, as the country long enjoyed a close partnership with the United States. However, U.S.-Egypt relations have faltered a bit in the wake of political turmoil in Egypt, beginning with the ouster of long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The new Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, made a point of reaching out to China to reduce his country’s reliance on the U.S.; Morsi’s first official trip abroad was to Beijing. However, Morsi himself was soon toppled by the Egyptian military – sparking a dilemma within the U.S. between practicality and principles. In response to the military coup and crackdown on dissenters, Washington temporarily halted military aid to Egypt. Some aid has since resumed, beginning with a shipment of Apache helicopters in 2014, but human rights concerns continue to dog U.S.-Egypt relations. “Failing to make significant cuts to the [U.S. military aid] program later this year, when the Obama administration will confront tough choices regarding Egypt’s future, would be indefensible,” the New York Times editorial board argued in October, citing “Egypt’s crushing authoritarianism.” Those tensions between military cooperation and human rights concerns were on full display in President Barack Obama’s December 18 phone conversation with President Sisi. China, meanwhile, has no qualms about dealing with the new Egyptian government, and in fact pointedly emphasized that fact in talks with Sisi. Xi said that China “firmly supports the Egyptians’ pursuit for a development path suitable for their own national condition.” The joint statement signed by the two leaders had China reiterate “its position of respecting the Egyptian people’s rights to choose their political system and development policy on their own as well as opposing external forces’ attempt to interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs.” In turn, Sisi thanked Xi “for understanding the Egyptian people’s request for change in recent years,” presumably a reference to the political turmoil in Egypt. Despite current U.S.-Egypt tensions, there were few signs that China was seeking to supplant the U.S. as Egypt’s major military partner. Instead, Beijing’s focus, as it often is, was on the economic. Egypt and China agreed to work together on the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road project. Sisi also promised Egypt would actively court Chinese investment for its New Suez Canal project, a $4 billion project that will parallel the existing canal in linking the Mediterranean and Red Seas. The new canal is a natural fit for China’s Maritime Silk Road vision, with the planned route already moving through the Suez Canal to reach Europe. About the Writer: Shannon Tiezzi is an Associate Editor at The Diplomat, her main focus is on China, and she writes on China’s foreign relations, domestic politics, and economy. Shannon previously served as a research associate at the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, where she hosted the weekly television show China Forum. She received her A.M. from Harvard University and her B.A. from The College of William and Mary. Shannon has also studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing. More»
Brian Dooley - 2014-12-16 16:35:46
New U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Stephen Beecroft is expected to arrive in Cairo in the coming weeks to start work. Although he doesn't decide U.S. policy on Egypt, he will be the U.S. official who gets to explain it to Egypt's government and people, setting the tone for how the U.S. embassy in Cairo operates and influencing U.S. credibility in Egypt and the region. As he takes his post, Egypt's authoritarian government under President Sisi is poised to slip further into political crisis. In the face of Sisi's repression, the U.S. government is largely silent, prioritizing its military relationship with Egypt over human rights concerns. Although legislation passed last week lists conditions on human rights progress being met before further American military aid can be delivered, it also included provisions allowing the U.S. Secretary of State to waive those conditions. Here are five helpful things Ambassador Beecroft can do when he arrives in Egypt: 1. Meet Civil Society Activists Human rights activists told me in Cairo last month they're expecting their organizations to be raided soon and shut down in a new government attack aimed at NGOs. Some staff have already fled the country, and others jailed. Ambassador Beecroft should offer to visit NGO offices under threat in a show of support for their work. 2. See the Injustice The ambassador should direct his staff to be available to observe trials if human rights activists being prosecuted want them to. Officials from the EU and other countries often send observers to trials of dissidents. Attending trials would give the ambassador a firsthand account of the injustice of Egypt's judicial system, and he should consider attending himself if the activist(s) on trial think it would help their situations. 3. Don't Go it Alone Ambassador Beecroft should encourage his staff to meet Egyptian government officials and civil society leaders along with diplomats from other countries, to show a common front against repression. Being part of a team with EU officials in meetings, for example, sends an important signal about multilateral concerns about the direction Egypt is going. The ambassador could lead by example, meeting activists under threat with ambassadors from other countries. 4. Show Egypt's Not Being Singled Out Part of the Egyptian government's sensitivity to criticism from the United States is the impression that it's being picked on for political reasons. The U.S. embassy in Cairo has done a poor job of countering these allegations and the new ambassador can do some simple things to show that U.S. rhetoric on human rights is not confined to Egypt. These include having the March 2013 document on Supporting Human Rights Defenders, issued by the State Department, translated into Arabic and posted on the embassy website to show that supporting activists is something American embassies are supposed to do worldwide, not just in Egypt. He can also have translated and posted on the embassy website the September 2014 president directive on supporting civil society, which instructs all U.S. agencies engaged abroad everywhere to promote and protect civil society. 5. Don't be cowed by media attacks The new ambassador can expect some vilification form the Egyptian media - his predecessor Anne Patterson was regularly attacked. He should resist the temptation to be quiet and retreat from public appearances on human rights issues or to mute criticism of the Egyptian authorities. He should regularly hold briefings with local and international media based in Egypt, outlining U.S. policy on civil society to explain the reasoning when the U.S. comments - or doesn't - on human rights issues. About the Writer: Brian Dooley is the Director at Human Rights First's Human Rights Defenders Program. More»
David Schenker & Eric Trager - 2014-11-20 13:01:54
Late last month the Egyptian military razed 800 houses in Rafah, a city situated on the border with Gaza. Cairo claims the heavy-handed action, which followed an Oct. 24 attack that killed 31 soldiers in northern Sinai, was necessary to stop the flow of weapons and militants from Gaza into the peninsula. But the "scorched earth" tactics drew immediate condemnation from the United Nations and bolstered calls for Washington to rethink its support for the generals. Rafah further complicates the delivery of U.S. military aid to Egypt. Before the U.S. can dispense the final $575.5 million of its $1.3 billion in annual aid, Secretary of State John Kerry must certify that Egypt is taking steps toward democracy. The swift displacement of over 1100 families makes meeting that standard even harder. But Washington should be more interested in helping Egypt defeat jihadis than in punishing Cairo for its repressive approach in Sinai. After all, Sinai-based terrorists have killed over 500 Egyptian security personnel in the past three years, staged cross-border attacks against Israel and, in some cases, mimicked ISIS’s beheading tactics. The recent announcement that Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, Sinai's most lethal jihadi group, has sworn allegiance to ISIS makes it incumbent on Washington to start working more closely with Egypt on counterterrorism. To be sure, criticism of the Egyptian military’s action is warranted. The mass-razing of homes in Rafah was strategically misguided. While Cairo has blamed Hamas’ control of Gaza for the upsurge in violence, Sinai-based jihadism is, in fact, indigenous — and a consequence of a decades-long Egyptian policy of developmental neglect and repressive governance in the peninsula. Cairo, with its latest actions, risks further alienating a population that already regards the state with severe distrust, possibly encouraging more Sinai citizens to support the jihadis. But these criticisms are rarely heard in Egypt, because the Egyptian public broadly views a strong — even repressive — state as necessary for addressing a wide variety of threats. Domestically, Egyptians face a significant upsurge in terrorism in multiple directions: from Sinai-based jihadis in the east and Libya-based militants in the west. They also fear the resurgence of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose cadres have reportedly shut down roads, attacked police stations and sabotaged electricity towers since the military responded to mass protests by ousting former Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi from the presidential palace last July. And regionally, Egyptians see an environment in which disorder has become the norm, with states collapsing in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. These fears should mean that security — not democracy — is the top priority for a critical mass of Egyptians, who view their military’s Sinai campaign as vital for defeating domestic terrorism and avoiding the chaotic regional trend. Given the deadly nature of the threats Egyptians face, Western condemnation of the military’s tactics in Sinai will invariably be interpreted as hostile. For this reason, if the U.S. wants Egypt to fight terrorists in Sinai with greater consideration for human rights — and, more importantly, with greater effectiveness — Washington should act as a partner, rather than a sideline player. At a minimum, a real partnership would necessitate the administration taking steps to ensure that counterterrorism-related military materiel is provided to Egypt without undue delay. The interminable postponement this year of the delivery of 10 Apache helicopters not only frustrated Cairo and stressed the bilateral relationship — it undermined the Sinai counterterrorism campaign. Withholding this type of critical equipment serves neither Egyptian nor Israeli nor U.S. regional interests. Beyond the timely supply of weapons systems and ammunition, the U.S. could provide the Egyptian military with technical assistance — and perhaps disclose operational intelligence for targeting — to help minimize collateral damage in the Sinai. Perhaps more importantly, to help Egypt secure the Sinai, Washington should assist Cairo in stemming the flow of weapons and personnel from Libya, which has become a failed state since the fall of Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011. Specifically, Washington should expand its technical and material assistance directed at this problematic border, including the U.S.-funded training program on maritime interdiction. At the same time, Washington should be more cautious in its attempts to limit Egyptian preventive kinetic action in Libya. Following a joint UAE-Egypt airstrike in August targeting terrorists across the border, the administration complained that “outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya's democratic transition.” Notwithstanding the administration's characterization, what is occurring now in Libya more closely resembles a civil war than a “democratic transition.” Instead of trying to restrain Egypt, Washington should quietly praise Cairo for its proactivity, a tack that might provide an opportunity to shape — rather than be surprised by — future such actions. Finally, in addition to providing Egypt with the necessary tools to achieve a military solution, Washington should partner with Cairo to help establish an economic plan to make Sinai and the Western Desert less hospitable environments for terrorists. While economic development alone will not defeat Islamist militancy, over time it just might diminish some of the hostility toward the state among these disaffected Egyptians. Today, it’s not clear whether Egypt is winning its war against terrorism. Given the importance of their longstanding strategic relationship — and that fact that the U.S. and Egypt are now both fighting ISIS jihadis — it’s time for Washington to lean in. The current Egyptian regime has demonstrated a unique commitment to fighting terrorists. Washington should assist Cairo in waging that war more effectively, as well as humanely. About the Writers: David Schenker is director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Eric Trager, the Esther K. Wagner Fellow at The Washington Institute, is an expert on Egyptian politics and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. More»