Weekly Roundup – Apr21-25, 2014

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This Week on TIMEP

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Population Growth in Egypt: More People, More Problems? – By: Ahmed Wagih

This piece is the first of two that look at Egypt’s demographic situation and how it affects the country. Here, Dr. Ahmed Wagih discusses the background details and addresses some of the problems already facing the Egyptian government. A future piece will present some potential steps that governments to come could take in response to the challenges presented by Egypt’s growing population.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]


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Legal & Political Institutions

Officially, Abdel Fattah al Sisi and Hamdeen Sabahi are the only candidates running for president. After the nominations deadline passed, the Presidential Elections Committee said that Sisi submitted 188,930 endorsement signatures while Sabahi submitted 31,555. [Reuters, DW, Daily News Egypt, Telegraph, HuffPost, VOA, Ahram, TIME, Independent, Arabist]

Last month, the Minya Criminal Court sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death. On April 24, Al Masry Al Youm reported that Egypt’s official religious institution, Dar al-Ifta, had approved the death sentence–shortly after, Egypt’s Grand Mufti denied condoning the sentence. A spokesperson said, “the opinion of Dar al-Ifta in the case is secret and cannot be disclosed, and everything being reported about accepting or rejecting [the death sentence] for some or all defendants in the case is baseless speculation.” [Mada Masr]

Marginalized Groups

National Council for Childhood and Mothers has asserted to the Presidential Elections Committee that presidential candidates are prohibited from using children in advertising or for propaganda purposes. [Ahram-ar]

Mada Masr talks to schoolchildren about political divisions in Egypt. Despite their inability to vote, many young children are heavily influenced by public discourse, particularly anti-Brotherhood discourse. [Mada Masr

Rights & Freedoms

Egyptian authorities have detained Sama El-Masry, a well-known belly dancer and satirist, popular for her satellite station called ‘Feloul’. El-Masry has been publicly supportive of the military, and this week she attacked a former presidential hopeful who filed a complaint against her–though that person remains unnamed. [Associated Press]

Egyptian activists continue demonstrations calling for revocation of the protest law and release of political prisoners. Activists plan to organize human chains at the Ittihadiya presidential palace, and will culminate in an open-ended sit-in on April 26. [Ahram, Daily News Egypt]

Two people were killed during clashes between security forces and Islamists in Fayoum. One woman was reportedly shot in the stomach during a protest, and several others were reported injured in the clashes. No confirmation of the deaths or injuries has been issued by the authorities as of yet. [Ahram]


Egypt plans to double the price of natural gas piped into some homes and businesses from next month, but the move will trim its huge fuel subsidy bill only slightly because few premises are connected to the gas network. Residential and commercial users will be the ones most affected by the increase. [Reuters]

Energy subsidy reforms will take effect starting in July, reports PM Ibrahim Mehleb. Mehleb noted that electricity and butane gas cylinder prices will not affect low-income segments and that the government has not yet decided if they will increase fuel and diesel prices. [Al Bawaba, Wall Street Journal]

Egypt’s Petroleum Minister spoke about Egypt’s oil allocations, saying that Egypt receives roughly $700million of oil aid monthly from Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait. [Egypt Independent]

The energy crisis in Egypt faces new obstacles on a near daily basis, with daily power cuts and gas shortages looming in front of the summer months. A government official recently disclosed to Reuters that Egypt needs at least $5billion to invest in its power grid, and boost the generation capacity of the system. However, Egypt’s economy is deteriorating due to ongoing violence and a decline of the tourism industry. [Reuters, PressTV]

Foreign Relations

The UK government has allowed for private citizens to submit evidence toward the review of the Muslim Brotherhood. In an official government statement, the UK Prime Minister has commissioned an internal government review into the philosophy, activities, impact and influence on UK national interests, at home and abroad, of the Muslim Brotherhood and of government policy towards the organisation. [UK GOV]

Egypt’s foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, has arrived in the US for a multi-day visit. The goal of the visit is to “hold talks on mutual ties and regional issues” with Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials in the US government. [Ahram]

Gender & Sexuality

The social action group, Shoft Tahrosh [‘I Saw Harassment’] has launched a hotline for women to report incidents of sexual harassment on Egypt’s streets. Also due to the holidays, the group will be patrolling the streets to assist women who are being harassed. [Shorouk-ar]

An Egyptian doctor will stand trial for crimes related to the death of a young girl whose FGM procedure he performed in June 2013. This will be the first ever prosecution for FGM in Egypt. [Al Jazeera America]

Cairo’s Women for Women has launched a campaign in Egypt to empower women and increase their participation in parliamentary and municipal elections. Activist Shahira Mehrez said, to Al Monitor, “We are fighting for the future of Egyptian women. It is shameful that women’s representation in the last parliament was 1.8%, one of the world’s lowest, worse than Congo!” [Al MonitorRead More..

Security Sector

A police officer and conscript were killed after attackers fired live ammunition at their patrol car. The interior ministry has said this attack is the latest in a series of violent attacks on security officials in Egypt, some of which have been claimed as the responsibility of groups such as Ajnad Masr and Ansar Beit al Maqdis. [Al Jazeera, Belfast Telegraph, Ahram, Al Arabiya]

Security forces prepared for demonstrations at Ain Shams University by closed off roads surrounding the defense ministry. Students marched onto campus in protest of Sisi’s candidacy and the ouster of Morsi last year. Demonstrations also took place at Al Azhar University today. [Ahram]

The US has agreed to deliver 10 Apache helicopters that the US has had in custody since last year, relaxing a partial suspension on military aid. “We believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten U.S., Egyptian, and Israeli security,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement, recounting Hagel’s conversation with Egyptian Defense Minister Colonel Sedki Sobhi. [The Guardian, AP, Reuters, NPR, Middle East Eye, Washington Post, Ahram]