Category Archives: Egypt


On Egypt and the Rhetoric of Freedom

By Nir Boms | August 13, 2003

Reforms are a complicated business. Last year, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, in his capacity as the chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP) announced his plan for reform in party and country. “It is a time to move forward,” he said. He moved to appoint his own son, Gamal Mubarak, to oversee this new trend toward democracy. Continue reading


Egypt’s Empty Promise


EGYPT, the world’s largest Arab country, is now having its second round of elections this year. Sadly, that news isn’t as good as it looks.

Just last month, President Hosni Mubarak Egypt’s leader for 24 years, won re-election – on a far-from-level playing field. Parliamentary elections are now under way – and the first round saw considerable gains by candidates affiliated with the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The Mubarak regime had billed the September presidential vote as the “launch” of a “new path of progress” for Egypt. But words and promises are cheap in the Middle East.

Continue reading


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


Democracy, Egyptian-style



Mar. 4, 2007


Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Egypt’s leading democracy activist, hangs two photographs in his modest office at the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies in Cairo. One shows him with US Vice President Dick Cheney at the White House; the other is a portrait of Hizbullah’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. Continue reading