Aug 08, 2014
Who is winning the war in Gaza? Aaron David Miller writes that while it's still too early to say, for now, here's how he would score the performance of the five major parties to this crisis: Israel, Hamas, the PA, Egypt, and the United States. more
Jul 11, 2014
Egypt's civil liberties have been called into question several times since the January 25 Revolution. Most recently, Egypt issued a law limiting preaching at mosques to graduates of Al-Azhar University. While this has come under heavy criticism both nationally and internationally, this decision is an attempt by Egypt to regulate, not restrict, religious freedoms, and in so doing puts Egypt back on the road to recovery from years of religious misinterpretation. more
Who is winning the war in Gaza? Aaron David Miller writes that while it's still too early to say, for now, here's how he would score the performance of the five major parties to this crisis: Israel, Hamas, the PA, Egypt, and the United States.
Egypt's civil liberties have been called into question several times since the January 25 Revolution. Most recently, Egypt issued a law limiting preaching at mosques to graduates of Al-Azhar University. While this has come under heavy criticism both nationally and internationally, this decision is an attempt by Egypt to regulate, not restrict, religious freedoms, and in so doing puts Egypt back on the road to recovery from years of religious misinterpretation.
“Showing utter disregard for basic rights is no way for Cairo to prove its claim of transitioning back to democratic rule—or convincing the outside world that Egypt is a safe place to travel or to invest,” writes Robin Wright.
Mainstream Islamist movements across the Arab world have struggled to close the gap — or, really, even define the gap — between religious ideals and the mundane realities of everyday politics.
June 16, 2014 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in on June 8. In his inauguration speech, al-Sisi spoke of his intent to lead Egypt in an inclusive manner. Khattab, who lives in Egypt, Ottaway, who recently returned from Egypt, and Shahin share their opinions of what the future of Egypt will hold.
May 29, 2014 // 9:00am — 10:00am
Presidential elections in Egypt mark yet another milestone in the country’s turbulent political journey of the past three years. Will the election of a new president usher in a period of greater security, prosperity and good governance or a continuation of uncertainty and volatility in Egyptian politics and economic life? And what will a new President mean for the US-Egyptian relationship? Four veteran analysts of Egypt and its politics offer their observations on these critical matters in this Ground Truth Briefing.
April 14, 2014 // 4:00pm — 5:00pm
The current instability in Egypt is having its toll on its cultural heritage that is being lost and desecrated. Different archaeological sites commissioned by antiquities dealers leaving are being vandalized. The local communities are also involved due to economic hardship. Both objects and archaeological records are being lost for good. This very fast and speedy loss is the worst Egypt has ever faced.
The election of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the presidency brings Egypt one step closer to the full implementation of the transitional road map. The last step, the holding of parliamentary elections, is also on schedule. Yet Egypt is not getting closer to democracy. The lopsided result of the presidential elections, with 96.91 of the votes going to al-Sisi, is not a sign of healthy pluralism. The draft of the new parliamentary election law will further hamper pluralism and it will promote fragmentation by reserving about 70 percent of parliamentary seats for independent candidates.
Ottaway writes that three years after the beginning of the Arab uprisings, Tunisia and Egypt are moving in different directions. Tunisia is moving in a democratic direction because well-established political and civil society organizations counterbalance each other, forcing compromise. In Egypt, politics pitted the Muslim Brotherhood against the military and other state institution, inevitably leading to the triumph of the state. A new process of democratization is unlikely to start without other uprisings.
The Egyptian referendum was not about the content of the constitution, but about the popularity of the military. Thus, it is not the first step toward democracy in Egypt. The United States has nothing to gain by embracing this regime. It should not condemn it, preach to it, or try to change it, because it would not work. But it should not go to the opposite extreme of praising it for leading the country to democracy. Rather, it should keep its neutrality and its distance.
We convene our Middle East Roundtable to discuss the latest from Egypt with Haleh Esfandiari, Joshua Stacher, and Marina Ottaway.
A decade after the 9/11 attacks, this groundbreaking book takes readers deep into rebellions against both autocrats and extremists that are redefining politics, culture, and security threats across the Islamic world. Dialogue interviewed journalist, author, and foreign policy analyst Robin Wright on her book, "Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World."
Former Member, Egyptian People’s Assembly
Middle East Specialist and Former Washington Post Correspondent
David B. Ottaway received a BA from Harvard, magna cum laude, in 1962 and a PhD from Columbia University in 1972. He worked 35 years for The Washington Post as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Africa and Southern Europe and later as a national security and investigative reporter in Washin...
Professor of Public Policy and Administration, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo