Syria is a society in the midst of ongoing conflict with no clear political prospect of an end in sight. Heinous crimes have been committed and continue to be committed
In recent years, the Egyptian regime has promoted a new “vision” of Islam, both locally and internationally, to combat terrorism and religious extremism. President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi not only called for the renewal of “religious discourse” to fight terrorism at the beginning of his presidency, but he also has on numerous occasions highlighted the need for correcting the image of Islam by shaking the “dust” off the Islamic heritage in line with the modern age.
A more effective and consistent approach would be if Congress establishes a commission made up of human rights and democracy experts, half chosen by the administration and half chosen by Congress, with the entire group subject to Senate confirmation, to judge whether countries have met the benchmarks.
In 2015, the World Health Organization forewarned that Syrian refugees living in Egypt were at a higher risk of developing mental health disorders than members of the host population due to chronic unemployment, financial hardship, violations of individual rights, as well as the residual effects of trauma they experienced during conflict and as a result of recent displacement. Today, the same risks factors have been met and exacerbated by the lack of social protection mechanisms and legal enforcement in place to prevent and penalize abuse and discrimination towards refugees across Egypt.
Regardless of the political outcome, Kirkukis are demanding their say in the future. Civil society, youth, and intellectuals of the city are and must be further engaged to be represented in determining their future.
The death of President Beji Caid Essebsi in July of this year and the prospect of elections in the fall leave the question open about what, if anything, will be done in the sphere of transitional justice.
The reality is that Egypt’s economy is neither on track to collapse nor is it likely to “boom.” The truth is decidedly less extreme yet remains troubling. Egypt’s economy won’t collapse because its international partners won’t allow it to. Egypt is too big to fail and the government knows it.
After outlawing protests and slowly dominating traditional media, the Egyptian state has embarked upon a multipronged strategy aimed at completely controlling and curtailing digital spaces, including censorship through website blocking, arrests based on social media posts, hacking attempts against activists, and the legalization of these practices through a myriad of new draconian laws.
EDEX was a rare opportunity for the country to showcase its military industry on the international stage. Egypt’s recent grandiose arms procurements from multiple sources, combined with aspirations of indigenous, self-sufficient arms industries, are efforts toward securing strategic and sustainable arms supplies but are likely destined to fall well short of government expectations.
The short term faith that Sisi will deliver stability and reform while stemming the flow of migrants may eventually give way to the long term reality; Egypt’s political system is highly fragile, while its economic program appears unsustainable, delivering pain without viable gain.