Tuesday,24 April, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1349, (15 - 21 June 2017)
Tuesday,24 April, 2018
Issue 1349, (15 - 21 June 2017)

Ahram Weekly


This week saw more Ramadan nights organised by the Cairo Opera House. On Saturday, an Indonesian night was held. It started with reciting verses from the Quran followed by a documentary about Indonesian habits. It concluded with folk shows from various parts of the country. The Tunisian night, held on Monday and starring the Tunisian chanter Sheikh Al-Mazri Belhaj, reflected the Tunisian traditions of inshad.

“It is clear that Egyptian-German relations are witnessing a noticeable détente with increased coordination between Cairo and Berlin in the fields of trade, investment, combating terrorism and facing extremism and illegal migration. This week’s meeting is a chance to exchange viewpoints regarding the latest crisis in Qatar. Egypt can present a detailed explanation of Qatar’s involvement in backing terrorism and the importance of stopping this dangerous practice.”


Mahmoud Al-Tohami: The sheikh of inshad

Sheikh Mahmoud Al-Tohami is one of the stars of inshad, or religious chanting. A son of the famous religious chanter Yassin Al-Tohami, he practises chanting as one of the more serious forms of art capable of presenting Egyptian identity and culture.

With his pristine voice, Sheikh Mahmoud starred in one of the Ramadan nights organised by the Cairo Opera House this week in which he chanted praises of the Prophet Mohamed and Sufi verses.

Al-Tohami, the founding head of the Egyptian Association of Religious Hymns and Litanies, was born in Assiut in 1979. He memorised the Quran at an Al-Azhar institute, graduating from the Arabic Department of Al-Azhar University in 2000. He also obtained a postgraduate degree from Assiut University in 2003. Al-Tohami studied music at the Higher Institute for Music and the Cairo Conservatoire and worked with the most popular composers like Ammar Al-Sherei. He founded both the association in 2013 and a school of hymns and litanies in 2014.

Thanaweya Amma students

Prayers are not enough

“I noticed that the preacher started praying to God at the end of Friday sermon to grant the Thanaweya Amma students the strength to face the exams. I also noticed that he prayed for the questions to be easy and the student to decipher them. However, the exams are not going to be easier with prayers, but with studying properly. Prayers are not enough. Those who descended on the surface of the moon did not know any prayers at all.”
Mohamed Amin, Al-Masry Al-Youm

corruption in local councils

The mafia of towers

“The leaning of the Azaritta tower last week has opened a dangerous and urgent file: corruption in local councils that allowed opportunists to build hundreds of towers and skyscrapers after the 25 January Revolution. Perhaps Alexandria is suffering from that matter the most given that more than 80,000 towers were built without permits or proper supervision.”
Hussein Hamza, Al-Akhbar

Egyptian labour in Qatar

Anwar, Al-Masry Al-Youm

Boycott Qatar

Down to size 

“The Qatari regime adopted policies that interfere in the affairs of regional powers [Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE] and regional states (Egypt, Libya and Syria). It made full use of Obama’s period in the White House to take part in generating the ‘creative chaos’ that was later called the Arab Spring. As a result, it gave vast support to the MB and other extremist groups and to Hillary Clinton during the last presidential campaign. But Trump’s win started off a new US policy that aims to ally with the regional powers as the Riyadh summits showed. The partial outcome of these summits is bringing Qatar down to size.”
Emad Gad, Al-Watan

“These who are close to decision-makers in the states that declared war against terrorism expect Erdogan to be next. They based their assumptions on two matters: first, Turkey did not take part in the Islamic summit held in Riyadh on 21 May; secondly, which President Al-Sisi pointed out in the course of it, some states buy oil and monuments from extremist groups, which only applies to Turkey. Information and expectations emphasise that Turkey is the next to be punished for its support of extremist groups.”
Dandarawi Al-Hawari, Al-Youm Al-Sabei

“The decision to boycott Qatar may be regarded as too harsh. But we know what it has done to Egypt ever since the 25 January Revolution, to Saudi Arabia in the last two decades, to Bahrain for a long time and to the UAE in Libya and Yemen. The reasons for the decision are numerous. However, the crisis is about to end especially after the US president’s stand which supports Egypt and the other Gulf states. The end is imminent. It is the inevitable departure of Tamim.”
Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, Al-Akhbar

Mohamed Abdel-Ati

Egyptian Essence: 54 billion cubic metres deficiency of water

“The Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Ati stated this week that given the continuous increase in population and fixed water quota, Egypt is facing a genuine problem of water shortage. Egypt, he explained, consumes some 114 billion cubic metres of water per year while its quota is 60 billion only, leaving us with a deficiency of 54 billion cubic metres. This deficiency, he added, will increase in the future when the population reaches 160 million in 2050 and 300 million in 2100.”


“Dialogue with opponents is more important than with friends. It is high time that Egypt should take the lead in opening a strong and frank dialogue with Iran, a dialogue that puts the interests of the Arab nation, the security of the region and containing the present strife in mind.”
Walid Auf

“But is Iran ready for a dialogue that maintains the interest of the Arab nation and the security of the region, or are its present policies just an extension of the Arab-Persian conflict to control the region and protect its economic interests? The answer to this question determines the next step.”
Ahmed Ragheb

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