Egypt

President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is not a man familiar with the concept of shame. Perhaps that is why Donald Trump recently referred to him as his “favourite dictator”. Or perhaps the US commander-in-chief was just trying to make him feel better as the last of his authority in the eyes of the Egyptian people was ebbing away. Sitting calmly with a microphone in hand at the impromptu youth forum hastily arranged at his behest, Sisi did what his closest advisors had begged him to refrain from doing. He addressed the nation.

On Monday 17 June, the former President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, collapsed and died in court while on trial for espionage against the Egyptian state. Morsi, who suffered from diabetes and chronic kidney and liver conditions, had been imprisoned since 2013, when his presidency was overthrown by one of the largest mass movements in human history.

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There is a crisis flowing downstream towards the mouth of arguably the world’s longest river. The Nile has been the source of Egypt’s water supply – and therefore the basis of agriculture in the country – for many thousands of years.

Presidential elections were held in Egypt last week, in accordance with a formal concession to the Egyptian Revolution in the 2014 Constitution. This was the first electoral test of President Sisi’s authority since he was officially inaugurated back in 2014. Despite the risible contempt for democracy demonstrated by Sisi and his regime at every stage of the electoral process, early estimates of the results indicate this is a test he has comprehensively failed.

On 24 November, around 30 Islamic State militants from the Sinai Province arrived in large, all-terrain vehicles outside the el-Rawda mosque in Bir el-Abed, Northern Sinai, during Friday prayers. They detonated two bombs inside and then sprayed the fleeing crowds with machine-gun fire. The attack left over 300 people dead and 130 wounded: the largest death toll recorded for such an event in Egypt’s modern history.

“The lot of young Arabs is worsening: it has become harder to find a job and easier to end up in a cell. Their options are typically poverty, emigration or, for a minority, jihad. Astonishingly, in Egypt’s broken system university graduates are more likely to be jobless than the country’s near-illiterate.” (The Economist, August 2016)

These words are now a year old and the situation for young Arabs in general – and young Egyptians in particular – has only gotten worse. In its lead article of an issue entitled ‘The Ruining of Egypt’, The Economistshowed a graph placing Egypt’s youth employment rate consistently between 40% and 46% over the previous six years. The

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Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has ratified a deal to sell off the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. The two islands – particularly Tiran Island – had historically played a pivotal role in conflicts between Egypt and Israel. Tiran was occupied by Israel between 1967 and 1982, at which point it was returned to Egypt and has since hosted military bases of the Egyptian army and the Multinational Forces and Observers tasked with monitoring the adjacent sea passage.

There were violent scenes on Al-Warraq Island in the suburbs of Cairo last Sunday as police attempts to evict residents inevitably resulted in brutal clashes. At least one local man was killed and fifty-six injured. The move to force the island's inhabitants onto the streets comes after President Sisi said in a June speech, “There are islands in the Nile... according to the law no one should be present on these islands.” This statement bears no regard for the thirty years that this community had inhabited the island or for the failure of any government during that period to provide them with an alternative.

Israeli tanks advancing on the Golan Heights. June 1967

On 5th June 1967 the Israeli Air Force launched a surprise attack on Egyptian air bases in the Sinai province, beginning what came to be known as the Six-Day War and ending with Israel occupying the West Bank, Gaza, the whole Sinai Peninsula and shortly afterwards also the Golan Heights. To this day the Palestinians have had to live with the consequences.

Egypt was rocked yesterday by suicide bombings in major cities which resulted in at least 45 dead and over 100 injured. In the second city Alexandria an attack was carried out at the entrance to St Mark’s Cathedral resulting in the death of 16 people. Two hours earlier in Tanta, a city in the Nile Delta, a bomb attack at a church killed 29. There are unconfirmed reports of further attacks on churches around the country.

Den 9 april skakades flera storstäder i Egypten av självmordsattentat. Attackerna skördade minst 45 människoliv, och över 100 skadades. I den näst största staden Alexandria utfördes en attack vid ingången till St Mark's katedral där 16 dog. Två timmar tidigare hade 29 människor mist livet i ett liknande bombdåd vid en kyrka i staden Tanta, belägen vid Nildeltat. Dessutom finns obekräftade rapporter om ett flertal andra attacker mot kyrkor runt om i landet.

Yet another crisis has been haunting Egypt’s 3 July military regime in the past three days. Hundreds of Egyptians in different cities have come out to protest cuts to subsidised good - mainly bread - in a militant and angry reaction to the Al-Sisi’s onslaught against the workers and the poor.

The economic crisis in Egypt is affecting all parts of society. The directors of the American University of Cairo and many other private universities have raised tuition fees to “cope” with the inflation. AUC fees have been raised by 40%. However, reflecting the general turbulence in society, the students have not accepted this.

Once more Egypt is on the brink of a major turning point.  Three years after Abdel Fatah al-Sisi came to power, his regime is being engulfed by crisis at every level.

On Friday February 5th, the Italian left-wing journal Il Manifestopublished a report on a meeting of Egyptian independent trade unionists posthumously credited to one of its contributors in Cairo. Giulio Regeni was a 28-year-old Italian student of the University of Cambridge writing his doctoral thesis in Egypt. His body had been found on a roadside two days earlier, covered head-to-toe in bruises, knife wounds and cigarette burns. His finger and toenails had been yanked out – clear signs that he was tortured before his death.

The whole of the Egyptian establishment, from statesmen, to businessmen and TV presenters, are falling over each other as they praise the ‘landslide victory’ of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in the Egyptian presidential elections. However the stability that the bourgeois are craving for is further away than they think.

The class struggle is once more heating up in Egypt. Al-Sisi’s “popular” image is starting to fade as five union leaders are arrested after 50,000 post office workers came out on strike.

The die is cast. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the commander-in-chief of the army and Egypt's Minister of Defence, has resigned from his ministerial post and announced yesterday that he will be standing as a candidate in the presidential elections which he is likely to win.

The Egyptian Revolution has captured the attention of the masses all over the world. In Indonesia, activists are energetically discussing the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the revolution, the intervention of the military, the nature of the revolution, and the future prospect of the revolution. Below, in a reply to Muhammad Ridha, an activist from the Working People’s Party (Partai Rakyat Pekerja, PRP) in Indonesia, Ted Sprague outlines the dialectical process of the Egyptian revolution.

The Egyptian security forces have bloodily crushed and dismantled the protest camps of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) supporters, set up in Al-Nahda Square and Raba'a al-Adawiyya in Cairo as focal points to regroup and mobilise their forces after the overthrow of Morsi. This marks yet another dramatic change in the situation facing the Egyptian revolution.