Posts Tagged ‘Sudan’

Disputed Abyei region taken in Sudan

May 23rd, 2011 Comments off

Sudan’s northern army now has control of the disputed Abyei region.
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Sudan []

January 6th, 2011 Comments off

Carnegie's special site on the future of Sudan.
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Sudan leader vows to bolster Islamic law in north []

December 21st, 2010 Comments off

Bashir boosts Sharia – because that's worked so well for Sudan.
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Categories: Arab Blogs Tags: , , , ,

U.S. wants investigation into Sudan jailbreak

June 15th, 2010 Comments off

United States calls on Sudan to conduct full investigation into escape from jail of four Islamists.
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Sudan MPs reject list on south referendum

June 15th, 2010 Comments off

Sudanese MPs reject list of candidates for commission to oversee planned referendum on south.
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Categories: Arab News Tags: , , , ,

Four African nations sign new Nile treaty

May 14th, 2010 Comments off

UPDATE 2: Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania sign treaty amid strong protest from Egypt and Sudan.
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Egypt peacekeepers killed in Darfur

May 8th, 2010 Comments off

Two Egyptian peacekeepers have been killed by gunmen in Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region, officials say.
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How Egypt sees Sudan’s coming partition

May 6th, 2010 Comments off

From a new ICG report on Sudan and its neighbors:

Sudan is of utmost strategic importance for Egypt, which maintains a large presence in Khartoum, including a sizeable and active embassy that is often better informed about the host country’s dynamics than any other foreign presence. Cairo’s foreign ministry operates a department dedicated specifically to Sudan policy. It is one of only two such separate departments in the ministry and is reportedly a gateway to career advancement and prominent positions within the government. The intelligence bureau also plays a prominent role on Sudan policy and has the ear of the president.

. . .


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Two heads, one land

May 1st, 2010 Comments off

It might be spring equinox but it’s a new political era for Sudan, declaims Gamal Nkrumah
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Dar al-Hilal and ElBaradei’s shoes

April 14th, 2010 Comments off

Today I went to Dar al-Hilal, in the Mounira district of central Cairo. It’s a rather grand building that houses the publishing houses that puts out, among other things, al-Mussawar magazine. The picture above shows a stained glass window at the end of a long corridor where the fairly drab and depressing offices of the magazine are.

Al-Mussawar was once a great publication in the monarchy and Nasser eras, featuring fantastic photography, cartoons and articles. I have a small collection of old issues of al-Mussawar, some of which I found in Morocco. For instance, the one below dates from a few months before the October 1956 Suez Crisis and talks about war preparedness along the Suez Canal. 

 I can’t judge its editorial quality today — I almost never read it. But I did pick up the last issue, part of new wave of attacks on ElBaradei, which had the cover below, with the headline: “ElBaradei Pasha: Enemy of the Workers and Peasants.” I spoke to Hamdi Rizk, al-Mussawar’s editor about it. Rizk is an old-school populist-nationalist, critical of ElBaradei for essentially being a “khawaga” and a “pacha” with no knowledge of “people on the street.” It’s a critique I’ve heard from ordinary people and has much more resonance than the previous attacks focusing on ElBaradei’s alleged dual nationality. Rizk pointed to ElBaradei’s shoes on the cover, saying they are Clark’s, worth more than the monthly salary of an average Egyptian. Of course, I’m sure Mubarak and Gamal wear similarly expensive footwear, not shib-shib they picked up up in Sayyeda. I guess this is the equivalent of the perennial American debate about presidential candidates’ expensive haircuts.

Rizk was affable enough — not the terrible monster I’d imagined reading his violent attacks on the Muslim Brothers (his primary field of expertise alongside Sudan) over the years in al-Masri al-Youm, where he pens a column. What struck me is that, as much as he might be accused of engaging in ElBaradei-bashing on behalf of the Mubarak regime, he also represents something real.

Call it the populist false consciousness of a media that engages in relentless nationalist manipulation with occasional bouts of paranoid schizophrenia about the foreign conspiracy against the pure white hearts of the Egyptian people.

Or call it self-interest of the administrative class that has underpinned the regime for decades, the kind that obsesses with salary scales, bonuses, club memberships and safeguarding idea of state control over society and economy in an age of globalization.  

Or perhaps even call it a truly representative sample of a part of public opinion that resents (as Rizk does) Gamal’s team of economic reformists as much as it resents ElBaradei — these “khawagized” Egyptians who “think Egypt can be run from laptops” (Rizk’s phrase). Maybe Rizk is earnest about his opinions, and thinks he’s doing a public good by attacking ElBaradei. He makes no secret of his love for Mubarak and hope he will run again next year. He wants the next president to be like Nasser and Mubarak, to “come from the streets.”

Maybe we need to start thinking about this phenomenon as Egypt’s equivalent to the Tea Party movement, the manifestation of resentment against sinking purchasing power, culture wars with the elites, and a widening chasm of inequality.

P.S. I forgot to mention that the new issue of al-Mussawar’s editorial is by Mr. Egypt himself, Zahi Hawass. He also attacks ElBaradei, with the headline: “I am the most famous person in Egypt” in answer to ElBaradei’s similar recent statement to Austrian media. 

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