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Latest in Opinion


The biography that Trump could not stop

New York, NY—Rarely was there so much expectation for the appearance of a book as is the case of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House of the North American journalist Michael Wolff. And never before were so many copies sold so quickly. Before its appearance, the book and its e-book version had reached …

Cesar Chelala

A war of succession

On 12 October, the two warring Palestinian organisations, Fatah and Hamas, signed an agreement, under the auspices of the Egyptian Intelligence Service, to carry out a major national reconciliation. According to this agreement, Hamas was supposed to hand over local governance in the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian government headed by Rami Hamdallah. The Cairo …

Hussein Haridi

A risky venture in the Middle East

According to a New York Times article, published on Monday 12 March, the White House is expected to wrap up its much-awaited peace plan for the Middle East. The plan would deal with the major questions of borders, security, refugees, and the status of Jerusalem. According to three senior officials in the United States government, …

Hussein Haridi

A strengthened alliance

Leaving behind his mounting legal problems, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Washington last Saturday to attend the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful pro-Israeli lobby in the United States. On his five-day visit, Netanyahu met with President Donald Trump and congressional leaders. The White House meeting …

Hussein Haridi

The wisdom of idiots: a brief morality tale

Idries Shah was a teacher in the Sufi tradition whose seminal work was The Sufis. He presented Sufism as a universal form of wisdom that predated Islam. In his writings, he frequently used teaching stories and humour to transmit this philosophy. His stories contained multiple layers of meaning and were written with the idea that …

Cesar Chelala

Reconciliation efforts resumed

An Egyptian delegation arrived on Sunday 25 February to Gaza, in an effort to bring closer together Fatah and Hamas. Through an Egyptian mediation effort, the two Palestinian factions had signed an agreement on 12 October 2017 in Cairo, committing themselves to carrying out, in letter and spirit, a previous reconciliation accord reached back in …

Hussein Haridi

A word I shouldn’t use

New York—Growing up in Argentina, I had an English teacher named Sarah, a kind and knowledgeable woman. Reading one of my papers, in which I called a character in the story “a despicable man,” she admonished me: “you shouldn’t use that word, César, it is too strong.” Now, decades later, I find that perhaps that …

Cesar Chelala

Egypt: A term of spending despite austerity

Life in Egypt did not, before 25 January, and still does not, after 30 June, live up to the aspirations of many of its inhabitants. Social welfare has been sacrificed on the altar of economic “reform”, as if that was the only hurdle impeding the government’s effectiveness to provide a decent life for all. For …

Islam M. Elwany

Middle East on edge

The 54th edition of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) of 2018 convened in Germany from 16 February to 18 February. The MSC brought together more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the world, including heads of state, ministers, leading personalities of international and non-governmental organisations, as well as high-ranking representatives of industry, media, academia, and …

Hussein Haridi

Tillerson in town

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson paid an official visit to Cairo, his first since he became America’s top diplomat a year ago, on Monday 12 February. The visit came as a part of a Middle Eastern tour for Tillerson that will also take him to Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and, finally, Turkey. In Kuwait, …

Hussein Haridi

An oft-neglected Russian connection

One of the least-talked about questions is the coordination and cooperation between Israel and Russia in dealing with regional developments in the Middle East and how far this cooperation has gone in defending Israel’s security interests, particularly, against an expansionist Iran. With the Syrian government winning the war against terrorism and the armed groups which …

Hussein Haridi

The Arabs between Davos and Afrin

On January 20 2018, Turkish forces invaded Syrian territories in a military operation dubbed Olive Branch. The aim has been to clear Afrin from Kurdish “terrorists”—and Ankara vowed to continue its drive inside Syria to the Iraqi-Syrian borders to the east, to drive out all the Kurds from this vast stretch of territory. In so …

Hussein Haridi

Whither international banking?

Strong regional and global integration have been central to countries’ rapid growth and reduced poverty. Few economic sectors can better illustrate integration’s potential benefits—and its significant risks—than the banking sector. The period prior to the 2008 global financial crisis was characterised by a significant increase in financial globalisation, which coincided with dramatic increases in bank …

Mahmoud Mohieldin

Fact or Fiction

United States Vice President Mike Pence made his first official tour of the Middle East from January 20-22, during which he visited Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. This tour came exactly on the first year anniversary of the administration of President Donald Trump. During the past year, the American president visited the Middle East last May …

Hussein Haridi

Relevance as political power

Since the beginning of time, the idea of revolting against rulers has been studied and scrutinised, yet many people are still conflated about what makes ordinary citizens take to the streets and protest. A lot of people would not have imagined that protests would break out in Iran’s eastern city of Mashhad, initially against price …

Sherif Rizq

Changing regional landscape

The White House announced on 8 January that United States Vice President Mike Pence would be in the Middle East on behalf of President Donald Trump, from 19 to 23 January. Pence will arrive in Egypt on 20 January where he will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Al Fattah Al-Sisi. He will then travel to …

Hussein Haridi

Catastrophe of the century

We are in a time of no rules and no politics. The whole world is like a cat that fell into a basket full of strings. The more it tries to get out of it, the more complicated it becomes. We have small and medium international interest groups in the Arab region, which increases the …

Abdallah Al-Moghazy

Rania Al-Mashat, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE Public domain

Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashat: a very old, very new idea

Many were taken by surprise when news leaked that locally and internationally acclaimed economist Rania Al-Mashat was appointed to become Egypt’s minister of tourism, followingsucceeding Yehia Rashed, who was known for his quite impressive record of experience in the field and for the pivotal roles he played therein for many years. Mostly, comments on the …

Mohamed Shirin El Hawary

A Wise Decision

Last Wednesday, I wrote an opinion piece entitled “A Crucial Year” that dealt, primarily, with the next presidential elections in Egypt in the first half of this year. In the coming weeks, when the official presidential campaign begins officially, once the list of the presidential candidates is announced in its final form by the newly-formed …

Hussein Haridi

Presidential election 2018

The political and media scene in Egypt is witnessing a state of great anticipation following the announcement by the National Electoral Commission of the presidential elections in Egypt, which would be the third presidential elections after the January 25 revolution. Elections are sought to be held between 8 February 2018 and April 2018 if there …

Abdallah Al-Moghazy

Human development is the basis of any progress

Any leader with a vision to achieve certain objectives should have a strict, clear plan, to be applied firmly, for a better future. He should also avoid the extreme centralisation of decision-making that hinders even simple decisions from going into effect, because everyone waits for the leader to make the decision, even if it was …

Abdallah Al-Moghazy

A crucial year

The first four-year term of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will come to an end in the first half of 2018. According to the 2014 Constitution, he is entitled to a second and last term. So far, he has not announced, officially, whether he would run for a second term, but the odds are that …

Hussein Haridi

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Is the collapse of the Iranian regime better for us?

To start with, it should not be understood from this analysis that the Iranian regime is crumbling and about to collapse. The truth is that the regime in Tehran is strong in its structures and apparatus, and it represents a strong sector that cannot be easily removed by demonstrations. However, the importance of the current …

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

An inadequate order of alliances

Next January, seven years will have passed since the old order in the Middle East crumbled. Egypt had been at the forefront of this political order with a pattern of alliances that had shielded it, for better or worse, from threats to its political stability and national security interests. This order had been aligned with …

Hussein Haridi

Iran, Turkey, and the interests game

It seems that Iran and Turkey agreed to share the legacy of the old, sick Arab man, although they disagreed on the master whose instructions they should follow in the region to help them to achieve their interests and plans. Iran is a Shiite Muslim country, and the majority of Turkey’s population is Sunni Muslim. …

Abdallah Al-Moghazy

New Horizon

It seems to be quite obvious that the regional and international alliances currently in place are, in essence, a blunt expression of the anti-globalisation trend that can by now be seen very clearly, even if we were to disregard very apparent examples like Britain’s exit from the European Union and the isolationist policy of the …

Mohamed Shirin El Hawary

Op-ed review: national development projects, Palestine & opposition to US, sectarianism & citizenship

Saturday kicked the week off with the inauguration and launch of developmental projects by the armed forces in the Suez Canal, including tunnels and bridges to facilitate access to Sinai. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi attended a ceremony Saturday for the occasion. In the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm, several pieces reflected on the event. Newspaper Chairperson Mohamed …

Amira El-Fekki