Egypt, a civic moment of silence

Cairo has had an unusual response to efforts to mend Muslim-Copt relations.

In Cairo, crowds filled the streets for the third time two weeks ago to mark Egypt’s unprecedented three consecutive victories in the Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament. Soccer is big in Egypt and proud Egyptians know how to party.

But not all Egyptians celebrated in the streets. One activist here told me that he doesn’t like soccer. He has nothing against the game itself, but he believes it distracts people from many other important issues. A convenient opium for the masses, he noted. But others stayed at home because their wounds are still too fresh. View full post…

Read More 2 Comments

Mubarak’s Double Game

19 December 2004

Nir Boms and Aaron Mannes 

In the struggle to build a democratic Middle East, Egypt is a crucial front and the upcoming October 2005 presidential elections present a unique opportunity for reform.  Prominent Egyptian reformers have expressed interest in running against President for life Hosni Mubarak, including Professor Saad al-Din Ibrahim – one of the Arab world’s leading voices for democracy and human rights. 

View full post…

Read More Leave comment

Gaza’s New Residents

by Nir Boms
02/20/2008 12:00:00 AM

EGYPTIAN TROOPS RECENTLY sealed the border with the Gaza Strip, ending 12 days of freedom of movement for Palestinians. The Egyptian troops are still allowing Palestinians and Egyptians to return home, but have stopped–according to recent reports–the free flow of cross-border movement.

View full post…

Read More 1 Comment

Intolerance in Egypt

By Nir Boms
Published July 5, 2006


Last week, Egypt’s minister of culture, Farouk Hosni, announced the latest measure in the war against intolerance in Egypt: a total ban on “The Da Vinci Code” — both the best-selling book and the hit film currently showing in theaters worldwide. 

In a speech to the Egyptian parliament that drew applause from both Islamic Brotherhood and Coptic Christian representatives, Mr. Hosni passionately defended his decision to “ban any book that insults any religion” — and ordered police to confiscate all copies of “The Da Vinci Code,” which has been on Egypt’s top-selling lists since 2003. 

View full post…

Read More Leave comment