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3. A Middle Class Experience in Ezbet Al-Hagana: The Problem of Social Apartheid in Egypt.

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3. A Middle Class Experience in Ezbet Al-Hagana: The Problem of Social Apartheid in Egypt.
Date of source: 
August 19, 2014
Author: 
Omar Ali
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            A specter is haunting Egypt: the specter of social apartheid. We thought that the revolution had swept away the old barriers between the Egyptian social classes, but my experience in Ezbet Al-Hagana led me to question this assumption.

             In order to examine the validity of such an assumption, one must have an understanding of what social apartheid constitutes. For many, the term describes the geographical segregation of a minority in remote areas. In other words “out of sight, out of mind.” That, however, is not the case in Egypt. The lower layers of the social classes  are by no means out of sight and, especially after the revolution, cannot be said to be out of mind. Second, they are by no means a minority and perhaps, that is what makes geographical segregation hard. In fact, in most Egyptian cities, rich neighborhoods are separated merely by a street or, in some cases, a wall.

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2. Emarat Al Insan Foundation

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2. Emarat Al Insan Foundation
Date of source: 
August 19, 2014
Author: 
Muhammad Shawky
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The Emarat Al-Insan (buildings of people) is a non-governmental Organization (NGO) that was founded in September 2005. The main founders were architect Nagwa Raouf and her daughter Maha, who are deeply motivated to use their skills to help improving the housing of the poor. The Foundation was the fruit of a project called “Blessed home.”

The mission of the project and foundation is to raise the standard of life of individual Egyptians through achieving sustainable development, and unite all people from different classes to implement the desired change.

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1. Iftar at Emarat al-Insan Foundation – Towards a brighter future of Egypt

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1. Iftar at Emarat al-Insan Foundation – Towards a brighter future of Egypt
Date of source: 
August 19, 2014
Author: 
Alastair White
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The Emarat al-Insan Foundation does an extraordinary amount of good work: it helps to buy land and build homes for poor families as well as running courses at its center. We went to its main building in the Cairene district of ‘Ezbet al-Hagana, via metro, taxi and tok-tok, to eat a delicious iftār halfway through the month of Ramadan, before settling on the roof to learn about its activities in the area.

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58. AWR Daily Overview August 5, 2014: Security forces cordon ‘Izbit Yaqūb after Renewed Clashes

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58. AWR Daily Overview August 5, 2014: Security forces cordon ‘Izbit Yaqūb after Renewed Clashes
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August 5, 2014
Author: 
Yosra El Gendi
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Security forces made a security cordon around ‘Izbit Yaqūb in Samalūt, north of Minya governorate after clashes were renewed between the Muslims and Christians due to a circulating rumor that a Copt’s house was transformed to a church. A few of the youth of the village have taken the opportunity of the power- cut and started throwing stones at the house of a few Copts. An eye witness stated that the Molotov cocktails were used in these latest clashes but no injures were reported (Author not mentioned, Copts- United, Aug. 5). 

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50. AWR Daily Overview, August 4, 2014: Britain Begins its War Against the Muslim Brotherhood by Targeting their Intelligence Official in Europe

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50. AWR Daily Overview, August 4, 2014: Britain Begins its War Against the Muslim Brotherhood by Targeting their Intelligence Official in Europe
Date of source: 
August 4, 2014
Author: 
Salma Khamis
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Anas al-Tikrītī’s British bank accounts, alongside those of his family and his famed organization, Qurtubah, have been closed by the British government. Al-Tikrītī is a British citizen with Iraqi origins and is seen to be responsible for Muslim Brotherhood intelligence in London. This action, the first of its kind in Britain, is a sign of increased western pressure being placed on the Muslim Brotherhood’s foreign roots. As stated by al-Tikrītī following the closure of his accounts, we cannot possibly consider this action independent of all the work al-Tikrītī is involved in. Anas al-Tikrītī is the son of Osama al-Tikrītī, head of the Islamic Party of Iraq. The political science and translation graduate is peculiarly worth over $4Billion. GBP, even though his only, open, work involves encouraging Muslims to become involved in European, and in particular, British politics through his organization, Qurtubah. However, al-Tikrītī also personally led a protest in front of the Egyptian embassy on the third anniversary of the January 25th Revolution. Qurtubah is known in Europe for tarnishing Egypt’s image abroad, in favor for the Muslim Brotherhood, and for trying to persuade people to dismiss the legitimacy of the June 30th uprising. Surprisingly, al-Tikrītī also met with American president, Barack Obama, alongside a delegation from the Iraqi parliament. Undoubtedly, al-Tikrītī could not have come close to achieving any of these goals without having the influential Qurtubah organization on his side, which is considered by the British media to be the official spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood in London. (‘Alā’ ‘Azmī, al-Tahrīr, Aug. 4, p. 2).

 

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43. AWR Daily Overview, August 3, 2014: Banī Hilāl Presents a Shroud to al- Dābūdiyyah

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43. AWR Daily Overview, August 3, 2014: Banī Hilāl Presents a Shroud to al- Dābūdiyyah
Date of source: 
August 3, 2014
Author: 
Salma Khamis
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Tensions eased between the al-dābūdiyyah and Banī Hilāl tribes of Aswan, following a reconciliatory session held in the presence of Dr. ‘Abās Shūmān, Azhar representative on behalf of Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyib; Mustafá Yusrī, Governor of Aswan; Muhamad ‘Abd al-‘Āl, Aswan security head; and Dr. Mansūr Kabāsh, President of Aswan University. This reconciliation has brought an end to the murderous events that occurred between the two tribes forty days ago. Clashes began with the accidental murder of a al-Dābūdiyyah tribe member thought by Banī Hilāl to be of the al-Dābūdiyyah family. Once the mistake was realized, Banī Hilāl immediately issued an official apology to the al-dābūdiyyah tribe. The reconciliatory session began with members of the Banī Hilāl tribe presenting an honorary shroud to the father of the victim, Sāmī ‘Abd al-‘Azīz. Dr. Shūmān affirmed that reconciliation occurred with the complete willingness and cooperation of both parties, especially since Banī Hilāl immediately admitted to their mistake and apologized. (Mustafá Wahīsh and Amīrah Sha’bān, al-Akhbār, Aug. 3, p. 3). Read original text in Arabic.

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35. AWR Daily Overview, August 2, 2014: The Ministry of Endowments: ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood are “Killers by Proxy”

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35. AWR Daily Overview, August 2, 2014: The Ministry of Endowments: ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood are “Killers by Proxy”
Date of source: 
August 2, 2014
Author: 
Salma Khamis
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The Ministry of Endowments released a strong statement yesterday regarding the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist organizations both within and beyond Egypt. The statement read, “there are several ties between ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood that come in the form of the Brotherhood’s similar war on the state, engagement in widespread destruction, and murder by proxy all for the interest of its funders who are clear enemies of the state.” The statement cited three links between the two organizations, the first of which was their obsession with gaining positions of leadership and authority and using them for personal gains. A second of such links is ISIS’s request to the people of Mosul to present their daughters to members of the organization under the name of jīhād al-nikāh (sex jihad). The statement clarified that ISIS’s actions are completely foreign to the notion of jīhād and Islam in general. The third and final link has to do with both organizations’ engagement in the lying and fooling of people under the name of religion. Both groups play with the general public’s minds and push unqualified people into positions of leadership. (Salāh Laban, al-Tahrīr, Aug. 2, p. 1). Read original text in Arabic.

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25. AWR Daily Overview, August 1st, 2014: ISIS Declares War on Christians in Mosul

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25. AWR Daily Overview, August 1, 2014: ISIS Declares War on Christians in Mosul
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August 1, 2014
Author: 
Salma Khamis
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There is an ongoing crisis for Christians in Mosul, the second largest Iraqi city, forcing them to leave their homes and cities. The fundamentalist Islamist organization, ISIS, issued a statement broadcast in mosques and through varied media outlets and presented Christians in the area three options: convert to Islam, pay an unidentified jizyah, or leave their homes and villages with only the clothes on their backs with no belongings or money. The rest of the world has remained silent as thousands of families rented cars to take them to nearby autonomous Kurdish cities. By Saturday July 18th, Mosul was devoid of any Christians. Some churches were transformed into ISIS operating headquarters, whilst others were completely destroyed alongside Christian homes and businesses. ISIS also ordered Muslims in the city not to pay Christians for any services or goods and not to interact with them in any way. Before the 2003 American invasion, there were approximately one million Christians in Iraq. Having suffered the increased discrimination brought upon by rising extremist groups, this number has almost decreased by half over the previous 11 years. Before ISIS took over Mosul on the 10th of June 2014, Cardinal Patriarch Louis Sako announced that the Iraqi Church is in crisis given rising religious extremism and the seizing of Christian property. After the recent events, the Cardinal Patriarch said, “this is the first time in Iraq’s history for Mosul to be completely devoid of Christians.” Sako also stated that members of ISIS wrote the Arabic letter n on Christian houses, for nassārá (Christians), and the letter r on Shī’a houses, for rawāfid (rejectionists). Despite the fact that there were approximately 130,000 Christians in Mosul alone, the international community has failed to react in any way shape or form, either through the United Nations Security Council, the Arab League, or the media. (Mustafá Bakrī, al-Watan, Aug. 1, p. 10). Read original text in Arabic.

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18. AWR Daily Overview, July 31, 2014: The Azhar Warns of Legal Action Over Ibrāhīm ‘Aīsá’s Denial of the torment of the tomb (‘Adhāb al-Qabr)

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18. AWR Daily Overview, July 31, 2014: The Azhar Warns of Legal Action Over Ibrāhīm ‘Aīsá’s Denial of the torment of the tomb (‘Adhāb al-Qabr)
Date of source: 
July 31, 2014
Author: 
Alastair White
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Grand Imām of the Azhar Doctor Ahmad al-Tayyib has commissioned the gathering of recordings and episodes disseminated recently regarding the denial or claim of lack of proof of ‘adhāb al-qabr (torment inflicted by God on unbelievers in their tombs from death until the Day of Judgment), to be studied by the Islamic Research Academy, which may take legal action should any violations be proved. The Azhar received a number of complaints about contempt of Islam and defamation of the companions of the Prophet. The video recordings also provoked considerable controversy on social media. Dār al-Iftā’ said that it was not possible for a believer to deny the truth of ‘adhāb al-qabr. However, Doctor Ahmad Karīmah, Professor of the sharī‘ah at Azhar University, said such incitement was intended as a distraction for society from its fundamental issues (Wā’il Fāyiz, al-Watan, Jul. 31, p. 4). Read original text in Arabic here

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14. AWR Daily Overview, July 30, 2014: Al-Azhar Representative: We are Not a Political Institution… Nor do we want to Become Caught Up in Politics

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14. AWR Daily Overview, July 30, 2014: Al-Azhar Representative: We are Not a Political Institution… Nor do we want to Become Caught Up in Politics
Date of source: 
July 30, 2014
Author: 
Salma Khamis
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In an interview conducted by al-Tahrīr newspaper and Azhar representative, Dr. ‘Abbās Shūmān, revealed several interesting details regarding the institution’s role in society, as well as its opinion on the current state of affairs. Firstly, Dr. Shūmān stressed that, “people’s behavior and morals have unfortunately worsened this Ramadan as a result of the terrorist acts that have occurred throughout the month… as has the phenomenon of intentional non-fasting.” Dr. Shūmān continued to add that al-Azhar is of the opinion that security solutions will not solve the current terrorist phenomenon, and that swift and decisive judicial action is needed to enact strong punishments on perpetrators. Moreover, Dr. Shūmān stated that al-Azhar was one of the institutions most affected by the events of the past year, highlighting that, under the Muslim Brotherhood, members of the organization were trying to infiltrate the Azhar institution to enforce their doctrine and politicize the institution – something completely rejected by al-Azhar. Dr. Shūmān underlined, “al-Azhar is not a political institution, it does not want a hand in politics, nor does it get involved in politics beyond that which is dictated to it by its patriotic and jurisprudential responsibilities.” Dr. Shūmān also addressed the topic of the Palestinian cause, affirming that the institution does not support a particular organization, but rather clearly opposes the Israeli offensive on the Palestinian population – irrespective of their political whims. Regarding the topic of interreligious dialogue, Dr. Shūmān mourned the loss of Dr. Mahmūd ‘Azāb but guaranteed that the Committee of Interreligious Dialogue will continue its work, but al-Azhar has yet to pick who will take the late Dr. ‘Azāb’s place. In addition, Dr. Shūmān attested to the success of Bayt al-‘Aila in working to eradicate sectarian violence. With respect to ISIS, and other organizations that carry out terrorist acts in the name of religion, Dr. Shūmān emphasized that Islam is the religion of peace and compassion, towards Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and that such acts have nothing to do with religion. However, in terms of the censorship of films and al-Azhar’s cultural role in society, Dr. Shūmān stated, “al-Azhar issues its opinions on films that it sees propagating un-Islamic ideas such as nudity and profanity, but cannot possibly dedicate itself to this cause due to its other responsibilities.” In terms of the ongoing debate between the Ministry of Culture and al-Azhar regarding the personification of prophets in films, Dr. Shūmān stressed that intellectuals should not get involved in the jurisprudential work of al-Azhar, much like how al-Azhar does not get involved in their work. On a final note regarding this issue, Dr. Shūmān affirmed, “ we are not a censoring authority, nor do we wish to be, we only have a jurisprudential responsibility that we wish to uphold. Once we issue an opinion, it is a person’s choice whether or not to take it.” (Al-Shaymā’ ‘Abd al-Latīf, al-Tahrīr, Jul. 30, p. 4). 

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