Arabian Peninsula الجزيرة العربية

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Egypt Media Roundup (August 7)

[Protesters calling for the immediate release of journalist Mohamed al-Batawy on 21 June, 2015. Photo from the Facebook page of Ghosts Against the Coup.] [Protesters calling for the immediate release of journalist Mohamed al-Batawy on 21 June, 2015. Photo from the Facebook page of Ghosts Against the Coup.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] 

Political Rights

State Council rejects United Group lawsuit contesting state prohibition on work with NGOs A lawsuit submitted by the United Group law firm contesting the Egyptian government’s decision to prevent the firm from working with NGOs was rejected by the State Council on Monday, according to the privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper.

Journalist Mohamed al-Batawy to be released after 2 years in pretrial detention Release orders for journalist Mohamed al-Batawy were issued by the State Security Prosecution on Tuesday, after twenty-five months of pretrial detention pending investigations into charges of belonging to an illegal organization.

Youm7 petitions syndicate to discipline 3 of its journalists for ‘conspiring with Hezbollah-affiliated’ media The privately owned Youm7 newspaper filed a complaint with the Journalists Syndicate to request that three of its journalists be referred to a disciplinary committee for “harming the image of the newspaper” and “conspiring with a media institution affiliated with Hezbollah,” according to a statement Youm7 published on Monday.

Issue of Egypt's blocked websites to be 'resolved' within a week: Press syndicate head The issue of Egyptian news websites blocked by the government will be "resolved" in the coming week, the head of Egypt's journalists' syndicate said on Sunday.

50 policemen sentenced to 3 years for striking South Sinai Criminal Court sentenced fifty policemen on Thursday to three years in prison for charges related to a strike they held last January in protest over changes to their holiday allowances.

40 civilians referred to military trial in Minya Forty people were referred to military court in the southern city of Minya, twenty-five of whom are to be tried in absentia, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm, who cited the defendants’ lawyer Khalid al-Komy.

Court reduces death sentences against 10 defendants in Zawahiri cell case Ten defendants who had been sentenced to death for organizing a terrorist cell had their sentences reduced to life in prison by the Court of Cassation on Monday.

The City Always Wins Omar Robert Hamilton shares an excerpt from his book, The City Always Wins.

Egypt's Sisi says spending on scientific research has risen by 47% over three years Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday that the state has increased its spending on scientific research by forty-seven percent over the past three years.

Egypt's Sisi forms committee to study stalled state projects Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree on Thursday establishing a committee to study state projects that have stalled.

18 Egyptian health officials to stand trial in vaccines storage negligence case Egypt’s administrative prosecution referred Saturday eighteen officials of the health ministry to trial over negligence in 2015 that led to the spoiling of 443,000 USD of children's vaccines stored incorrectly.

Painkiller Tramadol most abused drug among Egyptians looking for treatment on drug hotline The pharmaceutical painkiller Tramadol is the number one drug abused by addicts calling into the Drug Control Fund's hotline since January, Egypt's Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali said on Wednesday.

Egypt's NEC to start preparations for 2018 presidential elections The Egyptian government and the National Electoral Commission are set to begin preparing for Egypt's upcoming presidential elections, which are set for May 2018.

Economy

Egypt intelligence signs $1.2 million deal with US PR company The Egyptian General Intelligence Services signed a new 1.2 million USD deal with US-based public relations firm APCO, days after its counterpart, Weber Shandwick, ended its contract, according to the US magazine PR Week.

Foreign Relations

Tensions with Sudan continue as Egypt’s foreign minister visits Khartoum Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry commenced his official visit to Sudan on Wednesday, following a delay to the trip amid ongoing tensions.

Egypt earmarks LE1 billion for housing in contested Halayeb triangle Amid rising tensions between Egypt and Sudan, the governor of the Egyptian Red Sea governorate announced the allocation of 1.1 billion LE for the construction of housing units in the towns of Halayeb, Shalatin and Abu Ramad, located in the Halayeb triangle, which is administered by Egypt and claimed by Sudan.

Why has Qatar been pushed to the margins of regional relations?  The seemingly disproportionate response points to historical tensions that have pushed Qatar to the margins of regional relations.

Egyptian armed forces chief holds talks with Libyan delegations in Cairo Egypt’s army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy, held meetings with rival Libyan delegations in Cairo this week to discuss reconciliation, the official military spokesman announced on Thursday.

Egypt, Kuwait air forces conduct joint drill in Egyptian airspace Egyptian air forces began on Sunday joint military exercises with their Kuwaiti counterparts in Egyptian airspace, Egypt's army said on Sunday.

UN Security Council adopts resolution to prevent terrorists' access to weapons The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Wednesday aimed at curbing the supply of weapons to terrorists by urging countries to take legal action against suppliers and to trace small and light arms.

Egypt and Russia broker truce between Syrian regime and opposition in northern Homs Egypt and Russia have managed to broker a truce between Syrian regime forces and moderate opposition forces in the northern part of Homs province in Syria, starting from Thursday.

Egypt denounces terrorist attack in eastern Saudi Arabia, offers support for anti-terror efforts Egypt has condemned a terrorist attack on Sunday that killed a policeman and injured six others in Saudi Arabia's governorate of Qatif, which has a large Shia population.

Domestic Security

Militant group Lewaa al-Thawra: We don’t belong to the Brotherhood Islamist militant group Lewaa al-Thawra announced that is it not affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and has no intentions of pursuing a power takeover, in an interview published on Monday.

Egypt's military destroys smuggling tunnel on North Sinai border: Army spokesman Egypt's army has destroyed a major illegal tunnel crossing the Egyptian border in North Sinai, a military spokesman said in a statement on Sunday.

From Jadaliyya Egypt

تجديد الخطاب الديني كمناسبة أخرى لاستدعاء الوطني وصعود الشعبوي  Nouran Ahmed examines the renewal of religious discourse in light of the conflict between the state and Al-Azhar about the role of religion and religious institutions in Egypt's governance agenda.

Arabic

«الأمور المستعجلة» تقضي بعدم جواز الفصل في الاستئناف على حكم استمرار «تيران وصنافير»  Cairo Court for Urgent Matters dismissed a lawsuit against the ruling on the transfer of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. 

حيثيات الحكم على الروائي أحمد ناجي بالحبس عامين في اتهامه بخدش الحياء العام  Egypt Court of Cassation rejected Ahmed Naji’s appeal against the two-year prison sentence for violating public modesty and ordered his retrial.

الدعم في مصر.. القصة كما لم تسمعها من قبل على الأرجح Egypt’s state-subsidized system has not only led to a significant waste of financial resources over the past years but perpetuated social injustice by providing support to ineligible persons.

تريليون جنيه ديون.. ومخاوف من الخضوع لشروط الدائنين 4.3  Egypt’s domestic debt reached 3.07 trillion Egyptian pounds at the end of March 2017 compared to 3.05 trillion Egyptian pounds in December 2016, according to the Central Bank’s monthly bulletin of statistics.

المصالح على حساب الوطن.. أحزاب تتهافت على تأييد السيسي لولاية جديدة  Political parties are scrambling to support Sisi for a second presidential term, prioritizing parochial over national interests.

 مصر | «الدستورية العليا» تؤجل النظر في «مصرية» تيران وصنافير  The Supreme Constitutional Court adjourned consideration of Tiran and Sanafir case amid unprecedented security alert following Hasm ‘threatening’ statement. 

الحكومة ترفع أسعار مياه الشرب والصرف الصحي بدءً من أغسطس  The Ministers Council issued a decree to increase drinking water and sanitation tariffs beginning August. 

وهــج الصـلـب  Bel Ahmar sheds lights on the steel workers sit-in in 1989 and the major transformations that followed in the structures of the economy, the Egyptian political system and the working class.

الأحزاب الدينية في مصر.. «الحظر» لا يزال يلاحق أصحاب اللحى  Despite being banned, Islamist parties continue to pose challenges to the political scene.

بعد شكوى قطر ضد مصر في مجلس الأمن.. خبراء: تصعيد يوقف كل سبل المصالحة   Qatar’s accusation that Egypt took advantage of presiding the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee for the purpose of achieving political aims is likely to escalate tension between both countries, analysts say.

مصر العربية» تنشر مقترحات الحكومة لمراقبة الهواتف ومواقع التواصل الاجتماعي« The article reviews the government proposal to control phones and social media communications to prevent terror attacks.

في 7 سنوات.. تعرف على حصيلة منح واستثمارات السعودية لمصر  The article examines the development of Egyptian-Saudi relations over the past seven years.

)النشرة نصف السنوية لبرنامج حرية الصحافة والإعلام ( يناير – يوليو 2017  The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression issued its semi-annual report on press freedom in the period from January until June 2017.

أهالي العريش يعانون: الاتصالات مقطوعة 12 ساعة و المياه تأتي كل 10 أيام  Al-Arish residents spent twelve hours in a complete isolation without correspondence with their relatives outside the area, posing a serious problem that has been recurring over times.

منظومة الخبز الجديدة.. أوجاع تقهر المواطنين وأصحاب المخابز  Bakers and citizens are outraged by the decision of the Ministry of Supply to maintain public expenditures through the implementation of the new subsidized bread system.

مصر: اليوم..أولى جلسات هيئة المفوضين لنظر الطعن ضد قانون التجمهر  The Administrative Judiciary Court Commissioners held Thursday the first session at the state council on the appeal to annul the public assembly law filed by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and civil society activists.

إجراءات عقابية للمواطنين.. أجهزة الدولة تنتفض لدعم تصريحات السيسي عن السكان  As Sisi warns about the issue of population growth in Egypt during his speech at the Youth Conference, state institutions take steps to campaign for the government’s measures, overlooking the essential determinants of economic growth and social stability.

من إسلاميين إلى علمانيين... شهادات عن تحوّلات فكرية لشباب مصريين  The article interviews Egyptian youth who embraced secularism after being pro Islamists. 

About the Arabian Peninsula Page

Despite its regional and global significance, the Arabian Peninsula has played a tangential role in the study of the modern Middle East. Jadaliyya’s Arabian Peninsula Page seeks to further the debates on the region and its eighty million inhabitants from a myopic focus on statistics, conjecture, and religious violence to one on people and communities, everyday hardships and popular struggles, culture and politics. It will bring together scholars, writers, artists, bloggers, journalists, activists, and photographers who work on or live in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The goal is to provide an open and collaborative space for the production of knowledge on a region that has largely escaped critical engagement.

 

Arabian Peninsula Map and Stats

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BAHRAIN 

Population (2016):                                         1,378,904
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                     66.37
GDP Per Capita ($US billions; 2016):                50,300 
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                      5
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2016):                4.59
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2016):                   95.7
Internet Users (/million; 2015):               1.259 (93.5%)

KUWAIT

Population (2016):                                        2,832,776     
GDP ($ US billions; 2016):                                    301.1
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions; 2016):                71,300
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                   3.0
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                3.65
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  96.3
Internet Users (/million; 2015):               2.289 (82.1%)

OMAN

Population (2016):                                        3,355,262 
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                    173.1      
GDP Per Capita ($US billions 2016):                 43,700
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                   3.6
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2016):             12.75
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  91.1
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              2.438 (74.2%)

QATAR

Population (2016):                                        2,258,283
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                    156.6
GDP Per Capita ($US billions; 2016):              129,700
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2015):                   2.2
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2008):                  2.3
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  97.3
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              2.039 (92.9%)

SAUDI ARABIA

Population (2016):                                       28,160,273
GDP ($US trillions 2016):                                      1.731
GDP Per Capita ($US billions 2016):                  54,100
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                   4.7
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2015):                13.5
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  94.7
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              19.32 (69.6%)

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Population (2016):                                       5,927,482
GDP ($US billions 2016):                                     667.2
GDP Per Capita ($US billions 2016):                67,700
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2015):                 3.6
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):              5.66
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                93.8
Internet Users (/million; 2015)              5.274 (91.2%)

YEMEN

Population (2016):                                     27,392,779
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                    73.45
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions; 2016):                2,500
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                  5.6
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):               3.97
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  70.1
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              6.711 (25.1%)