Egypt Media Roundup – Jul 29, 2014

07/29/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Gender & Sexuality 

Yesterday, on the celebration of Eid in Egypt, the anti-harassment initiative “I Saw Harassment” documented 13 sexual harassment cases in Cairo–including three mob assaults. The Interior Ministry task force “Police force for Combating Violence Against Women” was also present and intervened in five cases of physical and verbal harassment. I Saw Harassment also noted the low number of women on the streets–possibly reflecting the fear of potential harassment–where they were raising awareness about violence against women and intervening in sexual assault incidents. [Al Masry Al Youm, Shorouk, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr

Rights & Freedoms

Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, is a freelance photojournalist who has been detained without charge in an Egyptian prison since August 2013. Shawkan’s family feel as though he is the “forgotten prisoner.” His brother said, of Shawkan’s lack of institutional support, “For a year, my brother is being held without charges in prison, he was detained during the dispersal of Rabea and his detention has been renewed since then. My brother never held a gun, he was simply doing his job, but unfortunately he was a freelancer, so he had no institution to back him or offer any support. He does not work for Al Jazeera.” [Mada MasrRead More…

Economy

Egypt’s Finance Ministry has allocated funding to the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade for the provision of subsidized goods within the newly adopted subsidy system. The deputy head of the Supply Commodities authority said, “The Finance Ministry will pump around 1.95 billion EGP to the Holding Company for Food Industries, public and wholesale outlets in order to purchase the 20 food commodities which are mentioned in the new subsidy system.” [Cairo PostRead More…

Security Sector

A young girl was killed when a rocket landed outside a house in Sinai, in an apparent attack against Egyptian soldiers. The blast also wounded another young girl in the Sinai town of Sheikh Zuwaid. Egyptian authorities are investigating the attack–which was allegedly targeting a security patrol passing through the area. [AhramRead More…

Foreign Relations

Saudi investors will be investing over 1 billion EGP into Egypt’s health sector over the next 18 months, according to the head of Saudi Egyptian Business Council. The investors have already “injected” 200 million EGP into the 1st phase of the project, which provided 2,500 hospital bed to hospitals in Cairo, Giza, and the Delta and Upper Egypt governorates. [Cairo PostRead More…

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Egypt SIS condemns the use of force by Israel against Gaza civilians 

Egypt SIS: Egypt strongly condemns civilian deaths in Gaza

In this article: The Egypt SIS released a statement condemning the “excessive and unjustifiable use of force by Israel against the civilians in Gaza” and calling for a ceasefire. Egypt SIS made reference to the Geneva Convention, pointing to a need for commitment to “international humanitarian law.” Egypt’s SIS also urged “both sides to reach a permanent ceasefire and stop the civilian bloodshed.”

 On education reform, the attitudes of policymakers remain as a hurdle 

Ahram: On reforming education in Egypt

In this article: Mohammed Rizkallah discusses the problems of Egypt’s basic education system, pointing to the attitude of policymakers as the primary hurdle for reform. Rizkallah quotes a military general saying that “illiterates are the country’s biggest economic asset, and without them Egypt would have fallen another victim of the global economic crisis.” Ultimately in Egypt, as in other nations, “education is political.” According to Rizkallah, only the wealthy and socially privileged receive a “real” education in Egypt, reflecting the societal status quo. Rizkallah believes the main challenges facing Egypt in the education sector are to improve education so as to provide the tools needed for upward mobility, and to “align people’s education with what benefits Egypt,” both economically and socially. In order to overcome these challenges, Rizkallah suggests: “a change in the culture of education in Egypt”; the opportunity for students to “learn various 21st century skills within their formal education”; as well as providing teachers a considerably “higher status in society.”

Rights & Freedoms

 Eid prayers followed by protests by pro-Morsi demonstrators 

Mada Masr: Clashes erupt between Morsi supporters and police following Eid prayers

In this article: Morsi supporters began protesting after Eid prayers in various areas in Alexandria and the area of Abu Zaabal in Qalyubiya. The protests went against the announcement by the Ministry of Awqaf prohibiting protests or political activity in or around the designated prayer sites. Six protesters were arrested in Alexandria for demanding the “return of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.” They were supposedly found to be in possession of “weapons and anti-military flyers.” There are conflicting reports about possible casualties during the protest dispersal by security forces in Abu Zaabal in Qalyubiya.

Economy

 World Bank authorizes $500 million loan to help Egypt develop a national gas grid 

Forbes: Egypt Moves On Energy Reform From The Ground Up

In this article: The World Bank announced its approval of a $500 million loan to Egypt, with the intent to help households to make the switch from propane over to a national gas grid. Propane has been highly subsidized by the Egyptian government in the recent past, and the World Bank loan hopes to provide access to “affordable gas options” for households. According to the World Bank, “the Egypt Household Natural Gas Connection Project is expected to save the government $301.5” million per annum. The World Bank program is expected to help alleviate the current Egyptian energy crisis while providing the opportunity for the government to invest in developing its own national gas production system. The Egyptian government has been taking steps to stabilize Egypt’s energy crisis, particularly under the extra demand brought on by Ramadan.

Security Sector

 7 more militants killed by Egyptian troops in Sinai, 5 arrested 

AP: Egypt military kills 7 militants in Sinai

In this article: Seven purported militants were killed by Egyptian troops “as part of an ongoing offensive” in Sinai. Five militants were also arrested by Egyptian troops during the operation. According to an army spokesman, this operation is a part of the ongoing campaign by the Egyptian military to put down “a spreading insurgency by Islamic militants.”

Foreign Relations

 Egypt continues talks with the Palestinian Authority in the background of the recent Gaza conflict 

Mada Masr:Egypt slams violence in Gaza, takes back seat in cease-fire talks

In this article: Egypt continues its condemnation of the escalating violence in Gaza, describing the killings as directed against innocents and martyrs. According to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry, Egypt condemns Israel’s “unexcused excessive use of violence” in Gaza. Although Egypt may have taken a less visible role in the most recent conflict between Hamas and Israel, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains consultations are” ongoing with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who reportedly sent an envoy to meet with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. The meetings focused on “the Egyptian proposal” for peace, according to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.