Rania Al Malky

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Latest by Rania Al Malky


Crisis management, Egyptian style

CAIRO: With a renewed wave of sectarian clashes and heightened tension between Egypt and the US over the “NGO hostage crisis”, the new Egypt doesn’t seem so new after all. The Muslim-Christian violence in Amreya, just outside Alexandria, triggered by the all too familiar inter-religious love affairs, or rumors to that effect, saw a deplorable …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: The bare minimum

CAIRO: The Egyptian government has set a new record in its embarrassing list of overdue decisions: seven years to announce a new minimum wage, which as it turns out, is nothing new. On Oct. 28, 2010 the National Wages Council (NWC), which was set up seven years ago in 2003 for the express purpose of …

Rania Al Malky

Egypt’s next challenge

CAIRO: With legislative elections coming up on Nov. 28, as President Mubarak announced earlier this week, it’s no surprise that party politics has become the talk of the town. The seasonal antics of the (eternal) ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), the daily surprises of Al-Wafd, the internal conflicts of the Muslim Brotherhood and the secret …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: That day in history

In October 1981, Egypt’s current President Hosni Mubarak was appointed president of the republic following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat during military celebrations commemorating the October 6 victory over Israel in 1973. Do we mourn that fateful day in the history of the nation, the day Egypt lost its visionary leader at the hands …

Rania Al Malky

EDITORIAL: Media under fire

CAIRO: When the media becomes the news, you know that trouble is brewing. It all began a few weeks ago with Al-Ahram’s doctored photograph showing President Hosni Mubarak leading a pack of heads of state, including US President Barack Obama, prior to the second round of Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. Despite the colossal gaffe that turned …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: Ahramgate: an act of colossal stupidity

Al-Ahram newspaper became the news on Sept. 14, that notorious Tuesday when the illfated second round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were to kick off in Sharm El-Sheikh. It’s no news that Al-Ahram is and probably always will be the unashamed mouthpiece of the ruling regime, posturing as a so-called “national” …

Rania Al Malky

Of scandals, censorship and succession

CAIRO: It’s been a turbulent week in Egypt for ministers, dissidents, presidents and their sons. In fact the turbulence had started last week with the shocking theft of Van Gogh’s “Poppy Flowers” from Cairo’s Mahmoud Khalil Museum. But the spill over from the hassle-free heist where the thief used a simple box-cutter to remove the …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: A Muslim in New York

Ahmed Sharif, 43, a Muslim, an American citizen of Bangladeshi origin, has been driving his cab for the past 15 years, roaming the streets of New York City, streets which by now have become more familiar to him than his own country of birth, which he left 25 years ago, until something changed all that …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: Why are Egyptians Miserable?

  CAIRO: Perhaps the right question to ask, is why wouldn’t Egyptians be miserable?   As Egyptians, we are probably genetically predisposed to melodrama; to extremes of all types. We laugh a lot, we cry a lot, we complain a lot and have an almost debilitating sense of indignation in the face of extreme injustice …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial:Egypt’s real Ramadan drama

The potential for comedy, tragedy, satire, in fact, all possible genres, in Ramadan is limitless. But this year, there’s something special. Besides the over 150 special programs between TV series, sit-coms, variety shows and hard-hitting interviews with movers and shakers who only appear on the small screen in this annual airwave extravaganza, Egyptians are being …

Rania Al Malky

The niqab or an education?

CAIRO: Last October, in an editorial titled “Confronting the Niqab” I supported the decision by now deceased Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Tantawy to ban the full face-veil (niqab) from all-girls classrooms in Azhar institutions. I defended his position on the subject in a rare nod to his otherwise mostly controversial (and often contradictory and provocative) …

Rania Al Malky

We’ve got media, but where are the voters?

CAIRO: Along with a host of respected editors, rights advocates and political analysts and politicians, I was invited by the European Union Commission in Cairo to participate in a seminar to discuss the role and responsibilities of the media in covering elections. Participants spoke of the boom in independent and privately-owned media outlets — whether …

Rania Al Malky

An ‘ordinary’ Egyptian and his automatic weapon

CAIRO: Egypt doesn’t immediately spring to mind when it comes to peacetime random shooting sprees by “ordinary” people. School shootings in the US have that title. The earliest and deadliest was in 1927 with what came to be known as the Bath School Disaster where, according to wikipedia, 45 people were killed (many of them …

Rania Al Malky

Gomaa Market no more

  CAIRO: The scenario is all too familiar: A fire breaks out killing three, or a mountain collapses into an avalanche of deadly boulders killing 300; rescue efforts are slow and ineffective; victims and those left homeless are up in arms demanding a roof over their heads and some form of compensation; the government makes …

Rania Al Malky

Pope Shenouda and the remarriage crisis

CAIRO: Egyptian Pope Shenouda III this week took his most confrontational public stance since his stand-off with former president Anwar Sadat in September 1981 when about one month before his assassination, Sadat signed a decree deposing Pope Shenouda and ordering him into exile at a monastery in the Nirtian Desert in. It was only four …

Rania Al Malky

In defense of Facebook…and yes, I am a Muslim

  CAIRO: In Pakistan, people are furious, and fury is contagious. A Facebook group aiming to mark May 20 as “Draw Mohammed Day” was created to elicit caricatures of the Muslim Prophet and has attracted over 81,000 fans.  According to reports, in Pakistan, a court ordered authorities to block Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia after a …

Rania Al Malky

Two more years of emergency

CAIRO: Blatant discrepancies between appearance and reality are the stuff of tragedy. And what happened at the Egyptian People’s Assembly last week is nothing short of tragic. Last Tuesday, the renewal of the state of emergency for another two years until May 31, 2012 did not come about without introductions. The unusual Labor Day speech …

Rania Al Malky

Burying our heads in the sand

  CAIRO: What do Elton John, “Arabian Nights” and Youssef Ziedan have in common?   Until earlier this week, nothing, really. But today in Egypt, the British pop singer, the centuries old medieval collection of folk tales that has become an integral part of our collective human heritage, and the award-winning author of “Azazeel”, who …

Rania Al Malky

The story of DNE's first cartoon strip

I first met Tarek Shahin through his compelling cartoon blog cairofreeze.com. The creative mind behind Daily News Egypt’s first daily cartoon strip Al Khan, Shahin was one of the subjects I interviewed for my MA online project at Westminster University, which focused on Egypt’s nascent, and increasingly active political blogosphere. Shahin’s cartoons were a delicate …

Rania Al Malky

By the people, for the people

CAIRO: With his characteristic biting wit, the brilliant Oscar Wilde once described democracy as “simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.” (For those who aren’t familiar with the word, a “bludgeon” is “a short, heavy club with one end weighted, or thicker and heavier than the other.”) Until last week, …

Rania Al Malky

In Egypt, a fair minimum wage is inevitable

CAIRO: In May 2008 I interviewed Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid for a special supplement we were preparing for the World Economic Forum in the Middle East in Sharm El Sheikh. The interview covered a wide range of topics, and inevitably touched upon the rising dissatisfaction of blue and white collar …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: In Egypt, a fair minimum wage is inevitable

CAIRO: In May 2008 I interviewed Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid for a special supplement we were preparing for the World Economic Forum in the Middle East in Sharm El Sheikh. The interview covered a wide range of topics, and inevitably touched upon the rising dissatisfaction of blue and white collar …

Rania Al Malky

Unjustified violence on April 6

CAIRO: “April is the cruelest month.” With those words, T.S. Eliot famously began “The Wasteland,” a poem about universal despair and futility dubbed one of the most important in the 20th century. And for the few Egyptians who had decided to break the silence, even risk their lives in the struggle to restore their dignity …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: Unjustified violence on April 6

CAIRO: “April is the cruelest month. With those words, T.S. Eliot famously began “The Wasteland, a poem about universal despair and futility dubbed one of the most important in the 20th century. And for the few Egyptians who had decided to break the silence, even risk their lives in the struggle to restore their dignity …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: Another Arab summit

CAIRO: As Arab leaders bask in the Mediterranean coastal city of Sirte in Libya today in yet another summit to “rescue Jerusalem , Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu returns victorious from a trip to Washington, basking in his own glory of reasserting Israel’s rights to continue occupying the Holy Land. Two weeks of (theatrical) crisis between …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: On the line: The crisis at Islam Online

CAIRO: The eternal struggle between moderation and extremism is at the heart of the current impasse that has cast its shadow over the Sixth of October headquarters of Islam Online (IOL) over the past week. Bibi-Aisha Wadvalla who heads the internet radio station for IOL’s website, wrote in a commentary published on The Guardian’s website …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: Ten steps back

CAIRO: Egyptian society is in the grip of a moral crisis and nothing proves it more than the situation of women. It’s always one step forward and ten steps back. As the world celebrated International Women’s Day this week, a battle has been raging within Egypt’s judicial circles and spilling into the wider society over …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: Israel does not seek peace

CAIRO: First it was the hummus, kibbeh and tabouleh, but now Israel’s insidious endeavor to usurp Arab culture and traditions, just as it has been usurping Arab land for the past 60 years, has set its fangs on Islamic holy sites, single-handedly transforming the Arab-Israeli conflict into a religious feud. Israel’s “ultranationalist and fascistic fantasies …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: ElBaradei and the intoxication of hope

Hans Christian Andersen was a genius. Two centuries on and the vast oeuvre of children’s stories left behind by the Danish author lives on. More than simple flights of fancy, his cautionary tales inspire both young and old, taking on new life and meaning at different times and diverse places. “The Emperor’s New Clothes is …

Rania Al Malky

Editorial: ElBaradei and Egypt's Quixotic quest

CAIRO: What is it about Mohamed ElBaradei that has captured the imagination of Egyptians, young and old, from all walks of life? What has triggered the formation of a group supporting his candidacy for the 2011 presidential elections on Facebook and led members of the April 6 Youth Movement to risk arrest simply to spray …

Rania Al Malky