Women and Quotas in Egypt’s Parliament
Erin Fracolli

Maya Morsi, the head of Egypt’s state-affiliated National Council for Women (NCW), announced last week that the NCW had completed the first phase of a program to increase women’s participation in local council elections, reaching over 12,500 prospective candidates. Although the law governing local council elections and any decision on quotas are still in discussion in parliamentary committees, Morsi stated that she expected women to make up 35

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SPECIAL BRIEFING: Bombing at Chapel near St. Mark’s Cathedral

A deadly blast ripped through the women’s section of the St. Peter and St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church on Sunday, December 11, almost instantly killing 25 people and wounding nearly 50 others. Specifically aimed at Egypt’s minority Christian population, the attack was later claimed by the Islamic State, which stated its intent to target “unbelievers in Egypt, wherever they are.” While Egypt is no stranger to sectarian and extremist violence,

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Quarterly Report: 2016 Q3

The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy’s Egypt Security Watch explores the nature of the security threat that Egypt faces, providing insight and analysis on the state’s response to this threat. Last week's attack at St. Mark's Cathedral and the continued bombings in Cairo tragically demonstrate the need for evidenced-based analysis to better understand the nuances of an evolving, and enduring security threat, in order to stop such destructive

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Haftar’s Heft: The LNA’s Consolidated Influence in Libya
Jake Greene

Almost a year after the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement, Libya looks no closer to cohesion than it was in 2015. The past weeks and months in particular have seen a flurry of developments, including several local political shakeups, the seizure of Libya’s largest crude export facilities, and a second failed vote of confidence in the unity government, all further empowering eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar. Through a mix of political and

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If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going: A Guide to Egypt’s Free Float
Mohamed El Dahshan & Allison McManus

The wait is over. After months of hints, predictions, and speculation, Egypt’s pound was floated on the market Thursday. Trading that morning at around 8.88 Egyptian pounds (LE) to the dollar, Egypt’s Commercial International Bank (CIB) closed the day at 16. Upon announcing the float, the Egyptian Central Bank set a target price ranging around LE 13 to the dollar, plus or minus 10, and though the rates at banks closed well outside this range

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On Rashid, Egypt’s Latest Mediterranean Tragedy
Tom Rollins

September 21, 2016: A boat has sunk off the coast of Rashid in northern Egypt. Hundreds of people—grieving friends and family, concerned local residents—stand by the water, looking out to sea, waiting for a boat to return with news, or worse. Hundreds are feared dead. Rarely are migrant tragedies so visible, so documented, so human. *** This week marks one month since the Rashid migrant tragedy off Egypt's Mediterranean coast left hundreds dead

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A Breakthrough for Russia and the Regime in Syria
Hassan Hassan

More than a year into the Russian intervention in Syria, the long-term impact of the involvement has remained constant since the first two months of the campaign: the removal of Bashar al-Assad’s government has become untenable. The Russian campaign has been more successful than many observers anticipated in ensuring the regime does not lose. It has also been too limited to turn the tables and enable a regime victory, an outcome defined as the

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Sink or Swim: Egypt’s Anticipated Currency Float
Timothy E. Kaldas

Tarek Amer, the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), announced in July that Egypt’s longstanding policy of defending the Egyptian pound (LE) against devaluation had been a “grave error.” The strategy had slowly whittled away Egypt’s foreign reserves to no discernible benefit to the economy, causing shortages of dollars in the formal economy and a host of related problems. Some form of devaluation was among the reforms demanded in

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Standing in Agreement: Egypt’s Parliament Risks Becoming Rubber Stamp
Brad Youngblood

A lack of quorum had already forced Egypt’s parliament to recess for 30 minutes when Speaker Ali Abdel ‘Al decided to call for two successive votes by show of hands and two more votes via standing in agreement. The absence of a live feed of the session hid the absurdity of Abdel ‘Al and his lieutenants determining the outcome of votes in a sea of hands, sometimes two to an MP. The entire process was reported to have taken 15 minutes in total.

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The Great Game in Northern Syria
Hassan Hassan

Almost exactly a year after Russia intervened militarily to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Turkish tanks rolled into the Syrian border city of Jarablus on Tuesday to help anti-government rebels expel the Islamic State from one of its most strategic strongholds. The operation, which drove out the militants eight hours after the battle began, is part of a new Turkish policy in northern Syria, the most complex military and political terrain

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