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1. AWR Daily Overviews, Week 42, 2014

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1. AWR Daily Overviews, Week 42, 2014
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October 15-21
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Translator: Aaron Kunze
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Press Summaries from Egyptian and Arabic language media from Week 42, 2014 (October 15-21).

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AWR Daily Overviews, Week 42, 2014

2. The Maspero Youth Union: still going strong?

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2. The Maspero Youth Union: still going strong?
Date of source: 
October 30, 2014
Author: 
René Witteveen (ed. RA Forster)
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Since its inception on the tarmac facing the Maspero State Television building in Downtown Cairo, the Maspero Youth Union (MYU) has been a driving movement, organizing protests that at times have included thousands of Coptic Christians. Before its establishment three and a half years ago, there were few means for Egypt’s Copt to voice their demands, and never before had they shown strength in such large numbers. This has not been without incident – a march on October 9th, 2011 was met with violent repression by security and during the incident more than 20 Copts lost their lives in what is known as the ‘Maspero Massacre’. Nowadays, large marches and their revolutionary spirit are a thing of the past, and many have settled for a new period of hoped-for stability.

But what does this mean for an activist group born of the revolution? Is the MYU still going strong, or have things changed? CAWU Intern, René Witteveen sat down with Mina Magdy, the MYU’s General Coordinator, and Beshoy Tamri, head of Political Communications, to talk about the Maspero Youth Union anno 2014.

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The Maspero Youth Union: still going strong?

4. The Story of a Village Church

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4. The Story of a Village Church
Date of source: 
October 21, 2014
Author: 
Jayson Casper
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A man named ‘lantern’ finds a buried treasure, and with the money builds a church and extends a priesthood. If only all tales of Coptic Orthodox churches were so adventurous. (Some are.)

The village of Qufādah, home of the Virgin Mary and St. Abaskhiroun Church, is about a 30-45 minute drive from Maghāghah, 160 kilometers south of Cairo, in the governorate of Minya.

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4. The Story of a Village Church

3. Beacons of hope light up Cairo slum: What the bloody incidents of 1981 taught Al Zawya Al Hamra

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3. Beacons of hope light up Cairo slum: What the bloody incidents of 1981 taught Al Zawya Al Hamra
Date of source: 
October 23, 2014
Author: 
Jonthan Vink
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The narrow streets in Al Zawya Al Hamra are quiet. A donkey pulls a cart, a woman carries fresh bread on her head and some boys are repairing their TukTuk. On such mornings, it is hard to imagine that these same streets once were the stage of tragic fights between Muslim and Christian residents. In june 1981, a conflict escalated dramtically causing a number of deaths and more injuries. Today the people in this poor area live in harmony, but what are the chances of a conflict like this to happen again?

Kased (b. 1931 - ) was with the first groups who came from the North to settle in Al Zawya Al Hamra. Back then the area consisted mainly of agricultural land and the buildings these people built were illegal. The rapidly growing number of inhabitants resulted in densely populated and poor area. Living here for almost sixty years, Kased says the area was always a peaceful place – “The relations between Muslim and Christian people were good, we always lived in good harmony.”

 Relief work

Jaqueline is one of the three stewards in charge of the St. Verina project in Zawya Al Hamra. She explains how this project is of great value for the area. “Because of the basic health class”, she told me, “we could help people treat problems they cannot locate themselves. These are often easy to cure, but the psychological relief is great.” The help for the needy is thoroughly undertaken. “First,” she explains, “we do research on the people in the area and look for the most urgent cases. Sometimes we try to find a new apartment, sometimes we fix walls and floors and sometimes we help [them] financially. Whether muslim or Christian, we’re here for the poor.”

 When you ask the local priest, Abouna Youssef, if he thinks such incidents could ever happen again he is firm in his answer. “No, not possible. The reason for this,” he continues, “is that we take care of our people. Back in 1981 the area was very poor, health conditions were bad and education was low. All of these factors add up to a higher risk of violent incidents.”

 Abouna Youssef, himself has good relations with local Muslim leaders. “We often visit each other, and when there is a problem concerning our people we talk about this [and try to] find a fitting solution. Of course, there are still some Brotherhood supporters in this area, but not enough to stir up violent incidents like those in the past. I’m sure Muslims will prevent this too.”

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2. Ten Years Roses for Children; a call for help to establish a monument for children in Egypt

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Date of source: 
October 21, 2014
Author: 
Cornelis Hulsman
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“Respect for children starts with respect among children for each other,” said Herman Kaiser, Mayor of Arnhem during the 10th anniversary of the International Monument for the Unknown Child in the Netherlands on September 28, 2014. 

Dr. Farouk Hosni, Minister of Culture of Egypt from 1987 to 2011, donated a 3000 kg granite stone from an ancient quarry near Aswan [Assūan] that had been used by the pharaohs thousands of years before. It couldn’t be more characteristic of Egypt. 

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2. Ten Years Roses for Children; a call for help to establish a monument for children in Egypt

01. Starting a Business in Egypt - Mission Impossible?

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01. Starting a Business in Egypt - Mission Impossible?
Date of source: 
October 13, 2014
Author: 
Mary Lai
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Starting a business in the Arab world is already a difficult task; but if you are a woman, operating a business in the Arab world is even more challenging!

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61. AWR Daily Overview, July 1, 2014: Bombing Using the Science of Premeditation

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61. AWR Daily Overview, July 1, 2014: Bombing Using the Science of Premeditation
Date of source: 
July 1, 2014
Author: 
Salma Khamis
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72 hours after the terrorist organization Ajnād Masr (Egypt’s Servicemen) announced planting explosive devices near Itihadiyyah Palace, three bombs went off killing two officers and injuring six in the process. The bombings adhered to the exact specifications detailed in Ajnād Masr’s statement. Security footage from the palace shows six terrorists posing as cleaning staff and planting 3-8 explosive devices in the sidewalk between al-Ahrām Street and al-Marghanī street. The bombs went off at 10AM and 12PM respectively, as the officers were trying to diffuse them – owing to their unfortunate deaths. This incident comes one day after the ‘Third Rafah Massacre.’ (Ahmad ‘Abd el-Latīf, al-Watan, Jul. 1, p. 1). Read original text in Arabic.

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49. AWR Daily Overview, June 30th, 2014: al-Watan Issues Details of the ‘Third Rafah Massacre’

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49. AWR Daily Overview, June 30th, 2014: al-Watan Issues Details of the ‘Third Rafah Massacre’
Date of source: 
June 30th, 2014
Author: 
Salma Khamis
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Last night, army forces conducted a sweeping campaign throughout 20 areas in Rafah and Sheikh Zuyūd to find the perpetrators of the ‘Third Rafah Massacre.’ Four security forces were shot dead by rogue terrorist groups. Sources within the Central Security Forces Organization stressed that there is a cohesive plan between them and the Armed forces to catch the killers, including continuous patrols and sweeping search campaigns in all the internal streets, the likes of which local eyewitnesses claim to have never seen before. In terms of the attack itself, terrorist groups ambushed incoming cars at Bāb Sidūt, closing off the road and forcing them to stop so as to check their personal identification cards. When the four soldiers were identified, they were lined up on the side of the road and shot. All 21 years old, their names are: Muhamad Nasr Isma’īl, Yūsif Ahmad Abū al-Fūa, Muhamad Jamāl Rātib, and Karīm ‘Alī Muhamad Mahmūd. Since the crime, police forces have arrested 29 convicts and two citizens as potential suspects. The citizens’ names are: Sa’īd A. Gh. (42), and Hassan H. A. (39). (Muhamad Maqlad, Khālid al-Amīr, and ‘Abd al-Qādir Mubārak, al-Watan, Jun. 30, p. 6). Read original text in Arabic.

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39. AWR Daily Overview, June 29th, 2014: 6th of October Telecommunications Center Split in Half with 200 Kilograms of Explosives

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39. AWR Daily Overview, June 29th, 2014: 6th of October Telecommunications Center Split in Half with 200 Kilograms of Explosives
Date of source: 
June 29th, 2014
Author: 
Salma Khamis
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Two anonymous men bombed the telecommunications center of 6th of October yesterday, killing its security guard’s daughter and wife, as well as injuring his son. Further investigation led to the identification that 200 kilograms of explosives were used in the attack, splitting the entire three story, 3500m2, building in half. The security guard said that the two men entered the building pretending to be employees there. ‘Atif Hilmī, Minister of Technology and Telecommunications, issued his condolences to the security guard for the loss of his wife and daughter. (Ahmad ‘Abd al-Latīf, Mahmūd al-Jārhī, Jīhān ‘Abd al-‘Azīz, Muhamad al-Abnūdī, and Hassan Uthmān, al-Watan, Jun. 29, p. 1). Read original text in Arabic.

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30. AWR Daily Overview, June 27 and 28, 2014: Twelve Members of Muslim Brotherhood Arrested Over Attack on Church

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30. AWR Daily Overview, June 27 and 28, 2014: Twelve Members of Muslim Brotherhood Arrested Over Attack on Church
Date of source: 
June 27 and 28, 2014
Author: 
Alastair White
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Twelve members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested by security services over the burning down of a BaptistChurch in Binī Mazār, in Minya. The men were also accused of assaulting public and police buildings in Minya. Two men were also arrested on charges of breaking the law of demonstrations and inciting violence. The events in connection to the arrests took place in August 2013 (‘Alī Husayn, al-Dustūr, Jun. 28, p. 24). Read original text in Arabic here

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