Sunday,23 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1261, (3 - 9 September 2015)
Sunday,23 September, 2018
Issue 1261, (3 - 9 September 2015)

Ahram Weekly


Compiled by Doaa El-Bey

Al-Ahram Weekly

Ahmed Abu Zeid: Foreign Ministry spokesperson

“#Egypt rejects any foreign criticism of judicial verdicts, considers it unacceptable intrusion in rulings of Egyptian judiciary #AJTrial.”

That was one of this week’s tweets by the newly appointed Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid, outlining Egypt policy on foreign media.

The tweet was posted after the ministry summoned UK ambassador John Casson over his remarks on the Al-Jazeera trial verdict. Abu Zeid also said the latest verdicts were “unrelated to freedom of the press but rather to specific, documented legal violations”.

His remarks reflect Egypt strict policy on foreign media. But this was not the first time that Abu Zeid had to remind the media of the Foreign Ministry’s position. On his Twitter account, Abu Zeid criticised The New York Times’ Egypt correspondent David Kirkpatrick’s recent reporting on formerly imprisoned, and formerly half-Egyptian, US national Mohamed Sultan. Abu Zeid described the report as a “one-sided” story that “raises questions regarding the credibility of The New York Times”. He stated that the report only featured Sultan’s account of the alleged beating and mistreatment he was subject to while imprisoned, before he was deported to the US.

Abu Zeid was appointed the Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson and supervisor of the Public Diplomacy Department in July, succeeding Badr Abdel-Atti, who was recently appointed for the position of Egypt’s Ambassador to Germany.

Abu Zeid served at the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Washington, the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in New York and the Consulate General of the Arab Republic of Egypt in San Francisco. He was also in charge of the African file and relations with the Nile Basin countries, representing Egypt on a number of international committees, including the International Contact Group on Somalia, the International Mediation Support Team for Darfur and the Governmental Action Group on Counter-terrorism and Humanitarian Support in the Horn of Africa at Harvard University.

Abu Zeid is a member of both the national committee following up on the Nile waters issue, and the Tripartite Committee on the Renaissance Dam.

Prior to his becoming a diplomat, Abu Zeid worked as an advisor to the Departments of International Cooperation at both the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) and the Social Fund for Development. Abu Zeid holds a BA in Political Science from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University.

More than 130 artists demonstrated their works in an exhibition entitled Suez Canal: Past, Present and Future at the Palace of Arts in the grounds of the Hamdi Abul-Maati, head of the Cairo Opera House. The Minister of Culture Abdel-Wahed Al-Nabawi presided over the opening ceremony and explained that the exhibition shows a panoramic view of the various perspectives of the different artists on the issue. The zoom in above is part of a painting by the late Egyptian artist Abdel-Hadi Al-Gazzar (1925-65) entitled the Construction of the Suez Canal.

“From the power of the law to the law of power. This is the present dilemma that the state has found itself facing as a result of its leniency in resolving the issues facing it at their root. Instead, it has resorted to mere reaction whenever a crisis faces it. Thus, the state fails to impose law indiscriminately and forces many groups to resort to force to push it to meet their demands. Perhaps the recent police strikes in Sharqiya were the best example of that.”
Suleiman Al-Hakim, Al-Masry Al-Youm

The Singaporean experiment

“President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Singapore is historic not only because it is the first such visit by an Egyptian president but because Singapore managed to become the most developed state in Asia in only 40 years. Their development is not only at the economic and social level but on the human rights level of the Singaporean citizen.”
Mansour Abul-Azm, Al-Ahram

“A few days ago I wrote about the great economic development in Singapore, which President Al-Sisi is visiting. Although it is a small country with a population of five million, it is one of the most developed countries in creativity and scientific research. The question that I asked a number of experts is why this country and others succeed where we fail. The answer that they all agree on is that we have Israel in our region while they do not. While I understand the logic of that matter, I believe that we lack an accurate study of the experience of the developed states. And that is what Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew did.”
Said Al-Shahhat, Al-Youm Al-Sabei

Protecting the Nile

“We should not let the issue of polluting Nile water as a result of an electric generator leak pass unnoticed. Although the state has recently taken various measures to protect the Nile from pollution, the real problem is that the sources of pollution are still there and on the rise. The drowning of a boat carrying phosphate near Qena this year is just one example of the increasing sources of pollution. Thus, we are in need of more effective measures to protect Nile water.”

The fate of eight million

“Disability is not an individual issue, but it is the fate of eight million Egyptians. Their suffering in Egypt is double that of the healthy citizens. We will definitely be taking civilised steps if we provide them with special parking places, special places in cinemas, public buses suitable for their needs and the right to decent housing and employment.”
Wafaa Al-Ghazali, Akhbar Al-Youm

20 October is the start date

“The Football Association has declared that the Egypt 2015-2016 football championship will start on 20 October. That decision put an end to recent speculation about the championship’s start date.”
Mohamed Al-Karanshawi, Al-Shorouk


“Can you remember the Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, who was the cause of disclosing the Watergate scandal and toppling Nixon? Do we have that kind of journalist, who can resolve the mystery of Mariam’s zero? We need him, because Egyptians do not trust government experts.”
Nour Farahat


Kenneth Roth @KenRoth  
Egypt government pretends it didn’t want the Al-Jazeera verdict but then stifles criticism of it.

David D. Kirkpatrick @ddknyt  
Egypt summons British Ambassador after his critique of ruling against journalists.

Wael Eskandar @weskandar  
#Egypt: To appease the critics and justify false incarcerations we have announced sham parliamentary elections.

Koert Debeuf @koertdebeuf  
The gas field discovery is good news for Egypt. Question is if Egypt will use it as Norway does, or rather like Russia, Qatar or Algeria?

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