Egypt’s New ‘Democracy’


By Nir Boms/ Michael Meunier
Published November 21, 2005

Barely a month following President Hosni Mubarak’s predictable re-election, Egypt finds itself in full campaign mode again. The results of the first round of the parliamentary elections were just published, confirming a considerable gain in power for candidates affiliated with the banned Muslim Brotherhood. 

Still, it is the second round of elections this year in the most significant Arab country in the world — so, something good is probably happening, right? The September elections in Egypt, the first-ever “open” elections, have come and gone in the Middle East news cycle, clearing the way for another round of assassinations in Lebanon; escalations in Gaza; suicide attacks in Iraq and Jordan. The headlines have told us about the “launch” of a “new path of progress for Egypt.” But words and promises are cheap in the Middle East. Reality has its own peace of mind. 

Continue reading “Egypt’s New ‘Democracy’”

Reforms, Freedom in Egypt

By Nir Boms and Michael Meunier
Published November 4, 2004

Egypt has gone through 26 years of single-party rule, during which unemployment has risen to 25 percent. Regime opponents have been jailed, and many promises of political reform have been consistently ignored. Nearly everyone — the United States, Egyptian opposition, even the ruling party of President Hosni Mubarak — agrees that it is time for a change in the Arab world’s largest country. 

Continue reading “Reforms, Freedom in Egypt”

Egypt’s Choice

Article published Aug 27, 2007

By Nir Boms and Michael Meunier


The freedom to believe may be considered a sacred right in some parts of the world – but not in others. Which is why Mohammed Hegazy, 24, and his wife made history in the Arab world when they became the first known Muslims to file a lawsuit against Egypt for refusing to legally recognize their conversion to Christianity. This unusual move quickly sparked a lawsuit by Muslim clerics along with death threats for the young couple. Some of these came during a live TV interview, when Mr. Hegazy was interviewed along with Sheikh Youssef el-Badry, a radical Islamic cleric. According to Mr. Badry, Mr. Hegazy deserves the death sentence for leaving Islam. Souaad Kamel, the outgoing dean of Islamic Study for girls at Al-Azhar University, stated on the air that Mr. Hegazy should be beheaded to fulfill the religious requirements. Continue reading “Egypt’s Choice”