Egypt - A Story of Sadness

جمهوريّة مصر العربيّة

EGYPT - NOVEMBER 2011 - 2013



محمد حسين طنطاوى سليمان‎

Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi Soliman - born October 31, 1935) is an Egyptian Field Marshal and statesman.
He is the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces and since February 11, 2011, he has been simultaneously the Minister of Defense, and Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the de facto head of state of Egypt.
Tantawi has served in the government as Minister of Defense and Military Production since 1991 and was also Deputy Prime Minister in January–February 2011.

Tantawi, who is of Nubian origin, received his commission as a military officer on April 1, 1956 serving in the infantry.
He took part in the Sinai War of 1956, the Six-Day War of 1967, and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, all against Israel.
He held various commands and was assigned as military attaché to Pakistan.
Tantawi has served as Commander of the Presidential Guard and Chief of the Operations Authority of the Armed Forces.
In 1990/1991 he also took part in the U.S.-led Gulf War against Iraq to force it to pull out its troops from Kuwait, which it invaded on 1990 by commanding an Egyptian army unit deployed in the Gulf theater of operations.
On May 20, 1991, following the dismissal of Lt. General Youssef Sabri Abu Taleb, Tantawi was appointed as Minister of Defense and Military Production and commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
He was also appointed as Field Marshal.
It is believed that Tantawi would have succeeded Mubarak as president of Egypt, had the assassination attempt in June 1995 been successful.
Early in 2011, Tantawi was seen as a possible contender for the Egyptian presidency.

THE NEW BOY ON THE BLOCK



 عبد الفتاح سعيد حسين خليل السيسي‎
Colonel General Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi

With Tantawi now retired - is Al-Sisi seen as the new leader of Egypt ?
Already he is edging Morsi out - gradually but effectively - after-all,  while being a supporter of the Moslem Brotherhood (minus the obligatory beard) he, like all previous commanders of the armed forces, looks to the ultimate power for himself.

عبد الفتاح سعيد حسين خليل السيسي (Colonel General Abdul Fatah Saeed Hussein Khalil Al-Sisi) ‎, (born 19 November 1954) is an Egyptian Colonel General.
He is the Commander-In-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces since 12 August 2012.
He also serves in Hesham Kandil's government as Minister of Defense and Military Production since 12 August 2012 and as Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces


Military Career

Al-Sisi was born in Cairo on 19 November 1954.
He attended different courses and a higher military education:
Bachelor in Military Sciences, 1977
General Command and Staff Course, Egyptian Command and Staff College, 1987
General Command and Staff Course, Joint Command and Staff College, United Kingdom, 1992
War Course, Fellowship of the Higher War College, Nasser's Military Sciences Academy, Egypt, 2003
War Course, US Army War College, United States, 2006

Al-Sisi received his commission as a military officer in 1977 serving in the mechanized infantry, specializing in anti-Tank warfare and Mortar warfare.
He became Commander of the Northern Mlitary Region-Alexandria in 2008 and then Director of Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance.
Al-Sisi was the youngest member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt.
On 12 August 2012, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi took a decision to replace Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the Chief-of-Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces, by Al-Sisi. Al-Sisi also took the post of Minister of Defence in the Egyptian Cabinet.




ميدان التحرير‎


Tahrir Square - Cairo - Egypt

Tahrir Square (English: Liberation Square) is a major public town square in Downtown Cairo, Egypt.
The square was originally called Ismailia Square, after the 19th-century ruler Khedive Ismail, who commissioned the new downtown district's 'Paris on the Nile' design.
After the Egyptian Revolution of 1919 the square became widely known as Tahrir (Liberation) Square, but the square was not officially renamed until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, which changed Egypt from a constitutional monarchy into a republic.
The square is a focal point for the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.
At the centre of Tahrir Square is a large and busy traffic circle. On the north-east side is a plaza with a statue of nationalist hero Omar Makram, celebrated for his resistance against Napoleon I's invasion of Egypt, and beyond is the Omar Makram Mosque.
The square is the northern terminus of the historic Qasr al-Ayni Street, the western terminus of Talaat Harb Street, and via Qasr al-Nil Street crossing its southern portion it has direct access to the Qasr al-Nil Bridge crossing the nearby Nile River.
The area around Tahrir Square includes the Egyptian Museum, the National Democratic Party-NDP headquarters building, the Mogamma government building, the Headquarters of the Arab League building, the Nile Hotel, Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church and the original downtown campus of the American University in Cairo.
The Cairo Metro serves Tahrir Square with the Sadat Station, which is the downtown junction of the system's two lines, linking to Giza, Maadi, Helwan, and other districts and suburbs of Greater Cairo. Its underground access viaducts provide the safest routes for pedestrians crossing the broad roads of the heavily trafficked square.



Tahrir Square - Cairo - Egypt - 22 November 2011

REFLECTIONS

The so called Arab Spring seems to be achieving very little.
Tunisia has had its election - but then no one is very interested in what happens in Tunisia.
In Libya the internal 'coup', disguised as a revolution, continues on its way with the announcement of a provisional government.
With the leaders of the Gaddafi tribe either killed, missing, or, in the case of the leader, Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi, brutally tortured and murdered, the Western backed  coup is yet another Arab case of 'moving the deckchairs on the Titanic'.
The foolish Egyptians deluded themselves into believing that the removal of the geriatric Mubarak would suddenly bring with it a torrent of Mercedes, designer jeans and Nokia and Apple i-phones, and maybe some much wanted jobs.
Instead the Army simply ushered Mubarak into the dictator's retirement home, and continued to rule Egypt, with the promise of elections in the near future.
I have watched, first hand, during the rule of Mubarak, as many Egyptians went from mud brick hovels to concrete and brick houses - from black and white televisions to wide screen, colour satellite TVs. From bicycles to motorbikes, and from motorbikes to cars. From no telephone to mobiles, even for the children.
And what thanks did Mubarak get for all that ?
Egypt is one of the most inefficient countries in the world, and the only institution that operates with any degree professionalism is the armed forces, and in particular the Army.
Whilst guaranteeing the security of the country, and guaranteeing law and order, the Army also controls about forty percent of the Egyptian economy.
Undoubtedly many of the officers in the army are corrupt - but then that is the norm in all Arab countries.
Equally, I can say from my own experiences in Egypt, that almost all Egyptians are corrupt, from the lowliest stall-holder to the highest officials in the Azhar.
When the rioters (protesters or freedom-fighters ?) accuse the military of corruption, it is like the 'pot calling the kettle black' - but of course, what the rioters really want is their grab at the power, and their resulting share of the corruption.
When the new round of rioting began, the rioters began by tearing down the election posters - so what hope for a fair and free election in the near future ?
And if Tantawi goes, and the army goes, as the rioters demand, who will hold the state together ?
The parties are ramshackle groups of amateurs, with no real plan for Egypt's future.
These groups are in no way capable of bringing order, stability and prosperity to to country which has, for as long as I have known it, been on the brink of disaster.
Only one group - the sinister Muslim Brotherhood - الإخوان المسلمون/المسلمين - stands quietly in the wings, waiting for disaster.
And them it will probably step in, and impose a theocratic regime, a Sunni version of the Iranian regime - and then we will see how the Egyptian people will like that !

AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAS HAPPENED !



 محمد محمد مرسى عيسى العيا
24 June 2012

محمد محمد مرسى عيسى العياط (Muhammad Morsi Isa' al-Ayyat), is now the President-elect of Egypt.
Since April 30, 2011 he has been Chairman of the 'Freedom and Justice Party' (FJP), a political party that was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood after the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
From 2000 to 2005, he was a Member of Parliament.
He stood as the FJP's candidate for the May–June 2012 presidential election.
On June 24, 2012, Egypt's election commission announced that Morsi has won Egypt's presidential runoff.
Morsi won by a narrow margin over Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak.
The commission said Morsi took 51.7 percent of the vote versus 48.3 for Shafiq.

Morsi was born in the Sharqia Governorate, located in the northern area of Egypt.
He received a Bachelor's and Master's Degree inengineering from Cairo University in 1975 and 1978, respectively.
He received his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Southern California in 1982.
He was an Assistant Professor at California State University, Northridge from 1982 to 1985.
In 1985, he returned to Egypt to teach at Zagazig University.
Two of his five children were born in California and are U.S. citizens (?).

Morsi served as a Member of Parliament from 2000 to 2005; he was elected as an independent candidate because the Brotherhood was technically barred from running candidates for office under President Hosni Mubarak.
He was a member of the 'Guidance Office' of the Muslim Brotherhood until the foundation of the 'Freedom and Justice Party' in 2011, at which point he was elected by the MB's Guidance Office to be the first president of the new party.
After Khairat El-Shater was disqualified from the 2012 presidential election, Morsi, who was initially nominated as a backup candidate, emerged as the new Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

Following the first round of Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential elections where exit polls suggested a 25.5% share of the vote for Morsi, he was officially announced as the president on the 24th of June 2012 following a subsequent run off vote.
Morsi supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square celebrated, and angry outbursts occurred within the Egypt Election Authorities press conference as the result was announced.
He came in slightly ahead of former Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafik and has been noted for the Islamist character of his campaign events.
Since the initial round of voting on May 23–24, 2012, Morsi has attempted to appeal to political liberals and minorities while portraying his rival Ahmed Shafik as a Mubarak-era holdover.
On May 30, 2012, Morsi filed a lawsuit against Egyptian television presenter Tawfiq Okasha, accusing him of "intentional falsehoods and accusations that amount to defamation and slander" of Morsi.
According to on-line newspaper 'Egypt Independent', an English-language subsidiary of Egyptian daily 'Al-Masry Al-Youm', Okasha spent three hours on 27 May criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi on air.
After Okasha aired a video allegedly depicting Muslim extremists executing a Christian whilst asking "how will such people govern ?", some analysts suggested that this was in reference to Morsi's 'Muslim Brotherhood' party.
On 24 June 2012 he was announced as a winner in the election.
جماعة الاخوان المسلمين‎

Is this the future for Egypt ?
جماعة الاخوان المسلمين‎ (the Muslim Brotherhood - gammāʿat al-ʾiḫwān/al-ikhwan/el-ekhwan al-muslimūn) in Egypt is an Islamist religious, political, and social movement.
Following the 2011 Revolution the group was legalized and, with an estimated 600,000 members or supporters, it's considered the largest, best-organized political force in Egypt.
Its credo is, "God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations." Such an attitude means, of course, that the ekhwan is an extremist, terrorist group.

حسن أحمد عبد الرحمن محمد البنا‎
Hassan al Banna
Founded in Egypt by حسن أحمد عبد الرحمن محمد البنا‎ (Hassan al-Banna) in March 1928, the group spread to other Muslim countries, but has its largest, or one of its largest, organizations in Egypt despite a succession of government crackdowns in 1948, 1954, 1965 after plots, or alleged plots, of assassination and overthrow were uncovered.
Banna was born in 1906 in Mahmoudiyah, Egypt (north-west of Cairo in the Nile delta).
His father, Sheikh Ahmad 'Abd al-Rahman al-Banna al-Sa'ati, was a local imam (prayer leader) and masjid teacher of the Hanbali rite.
His brother is Gamal al-Banna.
He was educated at Dar Al-Uloum school in Cairo.
He wrote and collaborated on books on Muslim traditions, and also had a shop where he repaired watches and sold gramophones.
Though Sheikh (?) Ahmad al-Banna and his wife owned some property, they were not wealthy and struggled to make ends meet, particularly after they moved to Cairo in 1924.
Like many others, they found that Islamic learning and piety were no longer as highly valued in the capital, and that craftsmanship could not compete with large-scale industry.
When Hasan al-Banna was twelve years old, he became involved in a Sufi order, and became a fully initiated member in 1922.
At the age of thirteen, he participated in demonstrations during the revolution of 1919 against British rule.


It was to spread this message that Al-Banna launched the society of the 'Muslim Brothers' in March 1928.
At first, the society was only one of the numerous small Islamic associations that existed at the time.
Similar to those that Al-Banna himself had joined since he was 12, these associations aimed to promote personal piety and engaged in charitable activities.
By the late 1930s, it had established branches in every Egyptian province.
A decade later, it had 500,000 active members and as many sympathizers in Egypt alone, while its appeal was now felt in several other countries as well.

Unrest in Egypt -1930s
The society's growth was particularly pronounced after Al-Banna relocated its headquarters to Cairo in 1932.
The single most important factor that made this dramatic expansion possible was the organizational and ideological leadership provided by Al-Banna.
In Ismaïlia, he preached in the mosque, and even in coffee houses, which were then a novelty and were generally viewed as morally suspect.
At first, some of his views on relatively minor points of Islamic practice led to strong disagreements with the local religious élite, and he adopted the policy of avoiding religious controversies.
Being essentially provincial and xenophobic, he was appalled by the many conspicuous signs of foreign military and economic domination in Isma'iliyya: the British military camps, the public utilities owned by foreign interests, and the luxurious residences of the foreign employees of the Suez Canal Company, next to the squalid dwellings of the Egyptian workers.


He endeavoured to bring about the changes he hoped for through institution-building, relentless activism at the grass-roots level, and a reliance on mass communication.
He proceeded to build a complex mass movement that featured sophisticated governance structures; sections in charge of furthering the society's values among peasants, workers, and professionals; units entrusted with key functions, including propagation of the message, liaison with the Islamic world, and press and translation; and specialized committees for finances and legal affairs.
In anchoring this organization into Egyptian society, Al-Banna relied on pre-existing social networks, in particular those built around mosques, Islamic welfare associations, and neighbourhood groups.
This weaving of traditional ties into a distinctively modern structure was at the root of his success.
Directly attached to the brotherhood, and feeding its expansion, were numerous businesses, clinics, and schools.
In addition, members were affiliated to the movement through a series of cells, revealingly called usar (families. singular: usrah).
The material, social and psychological support thus provided were instrumental to the movement's ability to generate enormous loyalty among its members and to attract new recruits.
The services and organizational structure around which the society was built were intended to enable individuals to reintegrate into a distinctly Islamic setting, shaped by the society's own principles.
Rooted in Islam, Al-Banna's message tackled issues including colonialism, public health, educational policy, natural resources management, Marxism, social inequalities, Arab nationalism, the weakness of the Islamic world on the international scene, and the growing conflict in Palestine.
Symbol of British Rule in
Egypt - Sheperd's Hotel
By emphasizing concerns that appealed to a variety of constituencies, Al-Banna was able to recruit from among a cross-section of Egyptian society — though modern-educated civil servants, office employees, and professionals remained dominant among the organization's activists and decision-makers.
Al-Banna was also active in resisting British rule in Egypt.

Mahmoud
an-Nukrashi
Pasha
 
Between 1948 and 1949, shortly after the society sent volunteers to fight against Israel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the conflict between the monarchy and the society reached its climax.
Concerned with the increasing assertiveness and popularity of the brotherhood, as well as with rumours that it was plotting a coup, Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha disbanded it in December 1948.
The organization's assets were impounded and scores of its members sent to jail.
Following Pasha's assassination, Al-Banna promptly released a statement condemning the assassination, stating that terror is not an acceptable way in Islam (?).
This in turn prompted the assassination of Al-Banna.
On February 12, 1949 in Cairo, Al-Banna was at the Jamiyyah al-Shubban al-Muslimeen headquarters with his brother in-law Abdul Karim Mansur to negotiate with Minister Zaki Ali Basha who represented the government side.
Minister Zaki Ali Basha never arrived.
By 5 p.m., Al-Banna and his brother-in-law decided to leave.
As they stood waiting for a taxi, they were shot by two men. He eventually died from his wounds.
In honour of his death in 1949, he was often referred to as "As-Shaheed Imam Hassan Al-Banna" (Martyr Imam Hassan Al-Banna).

THE DECLINE OF THE EGYPTIAN STATE

It should be remembered that the eventual inheritors of the effects of the Ottoman Tanzimat were the Ottoman military, and this inheritance was passed on to all the military successors to the Ottomans in the various territories ruled by the Turks.
It is for this reason that most of the regimes that followed the demise of the Ottoman Empire were controlled by a modernising, westernised and secularised military.

This applied particularly to Egypt.
The Egyptian Armed Forces, and particularly the Egyptian Army was secularised and Westernised to a far greater extent that any of the other other significant elements in Egyptian society.
The Egyptian monarchy, which was essentially Albanian and Turkish, was westernised and essentially secular, but it was eventually overthrown by the even more westernised and secularised army.


جمال عبد الناصر حسين‎
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein
 محمد نجيب‎
Muhammad Naguib
The Egyptian Coup d'etat of 1952 (Arabic: ثورة 23 يوليو 1952‎), also known as the '23 July Revolution', began on 23 July 1952, with a military coup d'état by the' Free Officers Movement', a group of army officers led by محمد نجيب‎ (Muhammad Naguib) - (19 February 1901 – 28 August 1984) who was the first President of Egypt, serving from the declaration of the Republic on June 18, 1953 to November 14, 1954.


 محمد أنور السادات‎
Anwar El Sadat
Along with Gamal Abdel Nasser, he was the primary leader of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, which ended the rule of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty in Egypt and Sudan.
Disagreements with Nasser led to his forced removal from office, and subsequent 18 year house arrest until his release by President Anwar El-Sadat in 1972.

On 24 June 2012 the secularised and westernised Army was, to a large extent, removed from power, and Egypt entered a new era - in which the country is becoming basically a state in which all that has transpired since the time of Muhammad Ali Pasha has been swept away.
So, while much of the rest of the world moves forwards, Egypt, along with some other Middle Eastern states, sinks back into a world of superstition, violence and tribalism !

_________________________________________



DECEMBER 2012


So the so-called 'Arab Spring' trundled on, and to those who understood  it was clear that it was shaping up into a four-cornered conflict between fundamentalists (Islamists) and progressives, and Shia (including Alawi) and Sunnis.
As far as the ordinary people in the Middle East were concerned, however, despite the claims for the establishment of democracy and freedom, their everyday standards of living either stood still, or declined, as investments haemorrhaged from the area.
The Arab Spring turned into an 'Arab Winter' as the whole area lurched uncontrollably into an era of instability and uncertainty.

 جمال عبد الناصر
جماعة الاخوان المسلمين
The most worrying aspect of the 'so-called' Arab Spring was the take-over of Egypt by the جماعة الاخوان المسلمين (el-ikhwan al-muslimūn - Muslim Brotherhood).
Ask any Egyptian who they think was the greatest leader of Egypt, and nine out of ten will tell you جمال عبد الناصر (Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein).
But he persecuted the Muslim Brotherhood, rightly imprisoned and executed  سيد قطب‎ (Sayyid Qutb), and led a secularist socialist government.

Sayyid Qutb
Sayyid Qutb (Arabic: سيد قطب‎; October 9, 1906 – August 29, 1966) was an Egyptian,writer, teacher, vicious misogynist, and the leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and '60s.
Author of 24 books, including novels, literary arts’ critique and works on education, he is best known in the Muslim world for his work on what he believed to be the social and political role of Islam, particularly in his books 'Social Justice' and the infamous 'Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq' (Milestones).
His supposed magnum opus, 'Fi Zilal al-Qur'an' (In the shade of the Qur'an), is a 30-volume commentary on the Qur'an.
We have Qutb to thank for Oama bin Ladin and all the other crazy Islamist fanatics who have been responsible for the endless number of deaths all over the world.

So, we are left with the question, did the Egyptians really vote for 'el-ikhwan', an ignorant, reactionary, Islamist party, intent on viciously curtailing what little freedoms the Egyptian people already have, and propelling them back to an era before the great  محمد علي باشا (Mehmet Ali Pasha) ?

Mehmet Ali Pasha
Mehmet Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha (Ottoman Turkish: محمد علی پاشا المسعود بن آغا; Arabic: محمد علي باشا‎  4 March 1769 – 2 August 1849) was an Albanian commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive (Turkish Viceroy) of Egypt and Sudan. He is regarded as the founder of modern Egypt because of the dramatic reforms in the military, economic and cultural spheres that he instituted. He also ruled Levantine territories outside Egypt. The dynasty that he established would rule Egypt and Sudan until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.


Port Said Stadium Riot
And just to emphasise the breakdown of law and order in the area, in February at least 79 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured after a football match in Port Said, Egypt.

النادى الأهلى للرياضة البدنية‎
Al Ahly Logo
The Port Said Stadium Riot was a mass attack that occurred on 1 February 2012 in Port Said Stadium in Port Said, Egypt, following an Egyptian premier league football match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly clubs.
At least 79 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured after thousands of Al-Masry spectators stormed the stadium stands and the pitch, following a 3–1 victory by Al-Masry. Al-Masry fans violently attacked Al-Ahly fans, and also the club's fleeing players, using knives, swords, clubs, stones, bottles, and fireworks as weapons.


January 2013

A court in Egypt sentenced 21 men to death
A court in Egypt sentenced 21 men to death for taking part in violence at a football match that killed 74 people.
As the verdict was read out in court, families of those who were killed who were in the public gallery wailed in disbelief and relief and shouted 'الله أكبر' ("God is great!"),
The judge said in his statement, read live on state TV, that he would announce the verdict for the remaining 52 defendants on March 9.
Interestingly, the second that the judge completed his statement he rushed out of the courtroom, accompanied by a few expensively suited, burly young men, as if he was in fear of his life - which he probably was.
Protesters gathered at the prison where many of the defendants in the case were being held and shortly after the verdict was announced, two policemen were shot dead outside the jail.

Riots in Port Said - Egypt - January 2013
But some residents in Port Said were angry that people from their city were being held responsible for the disaster, and many rampaged through the streets and attempted to storm a police station.
Some relatives of those sentenced also tried to storm the prison leading to fierce clashes with security forces which have left eight people dead including the two policemen killed.
Automatic weapons were used against police who responded with tear gas, according to witnesses and troops are being sent to Port Said, a senior army officer said.
"It has been decided to deploy some units to work for calm and stability and the protection of public establishments," General Ahmed Wasfi said in a statement.
Shops closed and armoured personnel vehicles were deployed as fighting raged in some streets around the prison.
Riots in Cairo - Egypt - January 2013
In Cairo, both inside and outside court, there were explosions of joy (?).
Relatives hugged and shouted "God is great".
One man who lost his son in the Port Said clashes wept outside the court and said he was satisfied with the verdict.
Another, Hassan Mustafa, had pinned a picture of his dead friend to his chest and said he was pleased with the verdict, but wanted "justice served for those who planned the killing."
In February 2012 more than 70 people were killed in Port Said during clashes between fans of home side Al Masry and die-hard supporters of Cairo's Al Ahly, known as 'Ultras'.
Doctors treating the victims said some had been stabbed to death.
One player caught up in the rioting described it as "a war".
Witnesses said most of the deaths involved people who had been trampled in the crush of panicked crowds, or who fell from terraces.
After the violence, deputy health minister Hesham Sheiha told state television: "This is unfortunate and deeply saddening. It is the biggest disaster in Egypt's soccer history."
Among those on trial are nine security officials.
The riot was the world's deadliest soccer violence in 15 years.
As is customary in Egypt, the death sentences will be sent to religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for approval.

Second Anniversary Riots


Rioting - Tahrir Square - Cairo
Seven people were shot dead in Suez during nationwide protests against Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi the day after the court judgements, underlining the country's deep divisions on the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
One of the dead was a policeman, medics said.
Another 456 people were injured across Egypt, officials said, in unrest fuelled by anger at Morsi and his Islamist allies over what the protesters see as their betrayal of the revolution.
Morsi said the state would not hesitate in "pursuing the criminals and delivering them to justice".
In a statement, he also called on Egyptians to respect the principles of the revolution by expressing their views peacefully.
The January 25th anniversary laid bare the divide between the Islamists and their progressive, secularist rivals.
The schism is hindering the efforts of Morsi, elected in June on a tiny majority, to revive an economy in crisis and reverse a plunge in Egypt's currency by enticing back investors and tourists.
Inspired by the popular uprising in Tunisia, Egypt's revolution spurred further revolts across the Arab world. But the sense of common purpose that united Egyptians two years ago has given way to internal strife that already triggered bloody street battles last month.
Thousands of opponents of Morsi massed in Cairo's Tahrir Square - the cradle of the revolt against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak - to rekindle the demands of a revolution they say has been hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi emerged.
In Suez, the military were ordered to deployed armoured vehicles to guard state buildings, witnesses and security sources said, as symbols of government were targeted across the country.
Street battles erupted in cities including Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Port Said.
Arsonists attacked at least two state-owned buildings. An office used by the Muslim Brotherhood's political party was also torched.
"Our revolution is continuing. We reject the domination of any party over this state. We say no to the Brotherhood state," Hamdeen Sabahy, a popular leftist leader, told Reuters.
The Brotherhood decided against mobilising for the anniversary, wary of the scope for more conflict after December's violence, stoked by  Morsi's decision to fast-track an extreme Islamist constitution rejected by his progressive, secularist opponents.
News of the deaths in Suez capped a day of violence that started in the early hours.
Before dawn in Cairo, police battled protesters who threw petrol bombs and firecrackers as they approached a wall blocking access to government buildings near Tahrir Square.
Clouds of tear-gas filled the air.
At one point, riot police used one of the incendiaries thrown at them to set ablaze at least two tents erected by youths, a Reuters witness said.
Skirmishes between stone-throwing youths and the police continued in streets around the square into the day. Ambulances ferried away a steady stream of casualties.
Protesters echoed the chants of 2011's historic 18-day uprising. "The people want to bring down the regime," they chanted. "Leave! Leave! Leave!" chanted others as they marched towards the square.
"We are not here to celebrate but to force those in power to submit to the will of the people," said Mohamed Fahmy, an activist.
Riots in Alexandria - Egypt - January 2013
There were similar scenes in Suez and Alexandria, where protesters and riot police clashed near local government offices. Black smoke billowed from tyres set ablaze by youths.
In Cairo, police fired tear-gas to disperse a few dozen protesters trying to remove barbed-wire barriers protecting the presidential palace, witnesses said.
A few masked men got as far as the gates before they were beaten back.
Tear-gas was also fired at protesters who tried to remove metal barriers outside the state television building.
Outside Cairo, protesters broke into the offices of provincial governors in Ismailia and Kafr el-Sheikh in the Nile Delta.
A local government building was torched in the Nile Delta city of al-Mahalla al-Kubra.
With an eye on parliamentary elections likely to begin in April, the Brotherhood marked the anniversary with a charity drive across the nation. It plans to deliver medical aid to one million people and distribute affordable basic foodstuffs.

 الأهرام‎ - 'Al-Ahram'
Writing in الأهرام‎ ('Al-Ahram'), Egypt's flagship state-run daily, 'Muslim Brotherhood' leader Mohamed Badie said the country was in need of "practical, serious competition" (?) to reform the corrupt state left by the Mubarak era.
Of course, nobody would seriously deny that Egypt was a corrupt state - but it was no more corrupt than all the other Middle Eastern and African states. Corruption is a cultural tradition in the area, just like Islam.
But what is meant by "practical, serious competition" - no one in the Brotherhood is prepared to explain that anodyne 'cure all'.
Morsi's opponents say he and his group are seeking to dominate the post-Mubarak order.
They accuse him of showing some of the autocratic impulses of other Middle eastern leaders by, for example, driving through the new constitution last month.




 عبد الفتاح سعيد حسين خليل السيسي‎
Colonel General Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi


The new rulers of Egypt now are the members of  the 'National Defence Council', headed by President Mohamed Mursi.
They condemned street violence and called for national dialogue to resolve political differences, the information minister said after a council meeting.
There is some confusion, however, between the 'National Defence Council'and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces

The المجلس الأعلى للقوات المسلحة‎ (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) consists of

Mohamed Morsi - Supreme Commander of Egyptian Armed Forces - President
Colonel General Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi (Chairman) – Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces and Minister of Defense and Military Production
Lieutenant General Sedki Sobhi (Deputy Chairman) – Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces
Rear Admiral Osama El-Gendi – Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Navy
Air Vice-Marshal Younes Hamed– Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Air Force
Major General Abd Al-Moniem Al-Terras – Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Air Defense Forces
Major General Ismail Atman/ Ahmed Abou El Dahab – Director of the Morale Affairs Department
Major General Mohsen al-Fanagry – Assistant Defense Minister and Head of the Organization and Administration Authority
Major General Ahmed Youssef Abdel Nabi – Commander of the Border Guard Force
Major General Mohamed Saber Attia – Chief of Operations for the Armed Forces
Major General Mohamed Hegazy – Commander of the Second Field Army
Major General Hassan al-Roueini – Commander of the Central Military Zone
Major General Nabil Mohamed Fahmy – Commander of the Northern Military Zone
Major General Mohsen El-Shazly – Commander of the Southern Military Zone
Major General Medhat El Nahas – Commander of the Western Military Zone
Major General Mamdouh Shaheen – Assistant Defense Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs
Major General Taher Abdallah – Chief of the Armed Forces Engineering Department
Major General Mohamed El Assar – Assistant Defense Minister for Armament Affairs
Major General Mokhtar El Molla – Assistant Defense Minister
Major General Adel Emara – Assistant Defense Minister

Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has formed a National Defence Council, as announced on Thursday, 14 June, in the official state gazette, which publishes any new constitutional or legislative documents when they are issued.
The formation of the council was not publicised by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces however, has yet to provide a description of the tasks that are or shall be assigned to the newly-constructed body, which does not have a precedent in recent Egyptian political history.
The announcement of the National Defence Council came two days before the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces abruptly introduced an addendum to the military-authored March 2011 Constitutional Declaration, which, critics say, gives the military council unfettered powers and diminishes the role of the  president.

The 'National Defence Council' will include the following people:

The President of Egypt (Head of the National Defence Council) Mohamed Morsi - Supreme Commander of Egyptian Armed Forces

The Parliamentary Speaker
The Head of the Cabinet of Ministers
The Foreign Minister
The Defence Minister
The Military Production Minister
The Interior Minister
The Finance Minister
The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces
The Director of Egyptian General Intelligence
The Chief Naval Commander
The Air Force Commander
The Commander of Air Defence Forces
The Assistant Defence Minister
The Chief of the Operations Authority of the Armed Forces
The Chief of the Military Judiciary
The Director of Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance

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Colonel General Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi 
Colonel General Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi spoke at the end of January 2013 about the threat of the collapse of the state of Egypt.

This possibility is discussed below.

'If you think about the slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood, you realise the fallacy of it being a peaceful organisation.
Out of the Quran, the group chose “And prepare” as their slogan, which is the first two words in the following verse: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemies, and others besides them whom you do not know” ( سورة الأنفال‎ - 60).
This means to prepare for a war on infidels who are Allah’s enemies.

 سورة الأنفال‎ (Sūratu al-Anfāl, - "The Spoils of War") is the eighth chapter of the Qur'an, with 75 verses. It is a Medinan sura, completed after the Battle of Badr.

It did not instead choose, for example: “Invite to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and good instruction” (Al-Nahl 125).
To further confirm the combative character of the Brotherhood, the group added two crossed swords as its motif, a symbol of being at war, and the emblem of آل سعود‎ (the Al Saud) family since it began supporting the Wahhabi movement that was created in Najd in the mid-18th century by the sword.
Besides, the group is built on blind loyalty to its leader who is deceptively called the 'supreme guide'.
Members must pledge absolute allegiance to the 'supreme guide' while placing one hand on the Quran.
The group does not hesitate to expel a member - even leading figures - if they disobey.
This means losing the privileges of affiliation, which are immense at the leadership level.
This type of military hierarchy of the group entirely contradicts democratic concepts and practices.
Thus, this is a combative - not democratic group - that is closed and opaque, which views anyone outside it as an apostate, waging war on them and relying on "terrorism" as a way to achieve its objectives.
The history of the group is proof of its slogan.
The inevitable result of this mentality is partitioning society into two camps: Muslims and infidels - who must be fought until they convert to Islam or submit to God’s laws as defined by the group.
Meanwhile, the framework of reference for the political Islamic current is the 'nation of Islam', not the smaller or regional state, or even the Arab nation.
And thus, the smaller homelands are expendable, and therefore it would be no surprise once this current reaches power it would rupture society, at least along the lines of Muslims (in power) and infidels, and whoever is in between.
This rupture could culminate in geographic divisions and secession, as we saw in Sudan under a regime that claims to be applying God’s laws.
None of this is important from the viewpoint of political Islam since the ultimate goal is to establish an Islamic Caliphate.
If this is the state of the Muslim Brotherhood, which can be described as moderate Salafist; fanatic and jihadist Salafism is a poisoned offshoot of the Brotherhood that was born in protest at the Brotherhood’s occasional truces with foes.
It is more radical and closer to extremist Wahhabi ideology.
Anyone who tracks their history will find that the strategy of this Salafist faction in the course of political Islam dates back to its founder Mohamed Bin Abdel-Wahhab, excessive militancy and making a tolerant religion more difficult and restricting freedoms.

Wahhabi Conquest of Arabia
Al-Saud Banner
محمد بن عبد الوهاب (Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab 1703 – 22 June 1792) was an Arabian Islamic Salafi theologian and the founder of Wahhabi movement. His pact with Muhammad bin Saud helped to establish the first Saudi state and began a dynastic alliance and power-sharing arrangement between their families which continues to the present day. The descendants of Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab, the Al ash-Sheikh, have historically led the ulama in the Saudi state, dominating the state's clerical institutions.

Also, the subjugation of women, whose repression blends with the desire to enjoy them — even if they are children — to the point of manic obsession.
Heavy-handedness and crudity becomes the way of preaching this tough and extremist version of Islam, and if this is not enough they resort to physical violence and history is riddled with examples.
The Wahhabi movement was founded by Mohamed Bin Abdel-Wahhab in Dariya in the wilderness of Najd in the centre of the desolate Arab Peninsula in the middle of the 18th century.
Its leader was a follower of the more radical Hanbali School of jurisprudence, and does not incorporate the licenses that God permitted.
The Wahhabi movement grew with the support of Al-Saud family princes and by harassing tribes that were not loyal to them.

Khedive Ismail Pasha
 Tousson Pasha
Its violent proselytisation even included robbing the Prophet’s grave and then invading Karbala in 1801 in a heinous massacre, tearing down and robbing Imam Hussein Mosque there.
The movement was quelled only when Egypt’s then ruler Mohamed Ali Pasha - with encouragement from Turkey - launched a massive military campaign against them for eight years, known as the Wahhabi War.
It was subsequently led by his sons, Tousson Pasha and Ibrahim Pasha, until it surrendered its last stronghold in 1818 and its leaders were killed.
He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.
This is the ruling coalition in Egypt today. What a tragedy!
Nearly three centuries after rapid human progress, Egypt must now deal with the followers of a backward fanatic religious movement that adopts the same brazen Wahhabi attitudes in this era of email and travel into space.
It is no surprise that some senior extremist Salafists appear like cavemen, in both form and speech.
Unfortunately, the political Islam current was strongly supported by the ruling military after the revolution, and then when the Brotherhood came to power.
Later, it was discovered this was a premeditated plan by domestic, and even foreign, parties which included the immediate release of prisoners, including those serving life sentences and waiting on death row.
Also, allowing several notorious extremists to return from exile in Pakistan and Afghanistan, giving them air time and promoting them as the face of society, even as representatives of power on some domestic matters.
It is true that some of this was due justice that was denied for many years, and the natural result of liberating citizens from the injustice the people’s revolution sought to correct.
There is suspicion now, however, about the surge and carelessness about the effects of these decisions on the security of the country and its political future.
And so, this is how Egypt has been split into rival factions under the rule of political Islam.
Every step taken by political Islam edges towards dividing Egyptian society into those who support these groups - and therefore are worthy in God’s eyes - and those who oppose them and will be condemned by God.
This was the case regarding the referendum on the constitutional amendments under the supervision of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in March 2011, then parliamentary elections, then presidential elections, right until the Constituent Assembly that wrote the constitution, and the presidential diktats on 22 November.
Even more disconcerting is that competition between the factions of political Islam over control of the country has an ominous dimension, namely contesting Muslim Brotherhood control over Sinai by carrying out armed terrorist attacks there.
This raises fears about the possibility of establishing a fanatic Islamic emirate in the peninsula that could be the prelude for its secession, and the possibility of it becoming part of suspicious regional arrangements to resolve Israel’s Gaza Strip problem at the expense of Egypt.
In short, we could be threatened with geographic partition.'


The Collapse of the State

Egypt's army chief has warned (at the end of January 2013) of "the collapse of the state" if the political crisis roiling the nation for nearly a week continues.
The warning by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, also the Defense Minister, comes as the country sinks deeper into chaos and lawlessness.
Attempts by Morsi - the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood president - to stem a wave of political violence appear to have made no headway.
He had previously asked other political groups to meet with him for a dialogue - but the groups were understandably wary of having any involvement with the extremist Brotherhood.
Some 60 people have been killed in the unrest that began last  at the end of January.
El-Sissi's warning came in an address to military academy cadets.
His comments were posted on the armed forces' official Facebook page.
"The continuation of the conflict between the different political forces and their differences over how the country should be run could lead to the collapse of the state and threaten future generations," he said.
The Egyptian Economy
Suez Canal
El-Sissi also stated that the Army was concerned about the security of the Suez Canal (?).
The result of such a warning will undoubtedly be the the draining of foreign investment from Egypt, the reduction of usage of the Canal, and the continued decline of the Egyptian tourist industry.
All these events will, as El-Sissi rightly suggests, exacerbate the decline of the already seriously damaged Egyptian economy in general and the Egyptian currency.
Such a decline will then feed into the growing unrest of the Egyptian people.
What is of note in El-Sissi's unprecedented warning is its implied criticism of the Moslem Brotherhood, which may be seen as the first step to an Army coup from an armed forces which has finally realised the the brotherhood is not only incapable of running Egypt effectively, but is also a malign influence on the country - a view which was previously held by Gamal Abdel Nasser.


The Economy

While the Brotherhood says 'Islam is the answer' and move to a Sharia State - the real problem is the economy.
If the truth be told the Egyptian people do not want more religion - they want more money - because money means bread !

After a slim majority of Egyptians approved a new constitution in December 2012, Egypt's Central Bank announced that its foreign reserves had reached critically low levels, and that it could no longer afford doing business as usual.
Since the January 2011 uprising, the bank has spent 60 percent of its US dollar reserves on paying debt and defending the value of the pound, and now has to resort to new measures to defend its remaining reserves.
These include selling dollars to local banks through auctions, imposing a cap on daily withdrawals by corporations and individuals, imposing a one-two percent fee on individuals buying dollars, and reducing local banks' dollar reserves.
Since the central bank's announcement, the pound has shed about three percent of its value, and now trades at 6.43 pounds to 1 US dollar, a record low.
This has sent shock-waves through the economy.
"Pressure on the pound is normal," Hazem el-Beblawi, a former Egyptian finance minister, told Al Jazeera. "But at this moment there is fear and concern, which complicates the problem."
He warned that "the big fear is that the pound could lose more than needed because a state of pessimism is dominant".

Egyptians waiting for Bread
Egypt's long-standing economic problems are seen by many as a major cause of the country's January 2011 uprising.
According to the government's latest economic plan published in November, in the last fiscal year (ending in June 2012) 80 percent of Egypt's spending went to fixed items, such as interest on loans (22 percent), public salaries (26 percent), and food and fuel subsidies (32 percent).
The remaining 20 percent hardly covers the country's needs to spend on new programmes and investment projects.
Only seven percent of last year's budget went to new investment projects.
The same budget suffered a deficit of 167.7bn Egyptian pounds ($26bn).
Egypt's current cabinet, led by Prime Minister Hisham Kandeel, ambitiously planned to cut the budget deficit by 15bn Egyptian pounds ($2.3bn), achieve a growth rate of 3.5 percent, while boosting spending on public salaries, food subsidies, and investments.
Slum Housing in Cairo - Egypt
"Everyone agrees we have an economic problem, and the solution is a political one. It requires sacrifice and consensus. But people are divided."
These increases were a direct response to growing public demand for spending on projects that help the poor.
To achieve these goals, the government wanted to cut fuel subsidies, some of which go to rich corporations and individuals, by 25bn Egyptian pounds ($3.9bn).
It also wanted to raise an additional 44bn Egyptian pounds ($6.9bn) in revenue by hiking taxes and projecting higher revenue from oil exports, the Suez Canal, and government-owned companies.
Finally, the government aimed to double foreign direct investment to $4bn, increase exports by 18 percent, create 700,000 new jobs, and attract 12.5 million tourists.

But things have not been going according to plan.
Political tension spoiled the end-of-the-year tourism season.
And in December, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi rescinded a decree he had issued earlier that same day that would have raised taxes.


Egyptian Currency
The Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing, the 'Freedom and Justice Party', objected to the planned tax hikes, fearing it would anger voters before the constitutional referendum.
The failure to raise taxes meant delaying agreement over a much-needed $4.8bn International Monetary Fund loan to Egypt, which suffers from staggering budget deficits.
On New Year's Eve, Egypt's planning minister, Ashraf el-Arabi, warned that the "budget deficit is expected to rise to £200bn ($31.3bn) in the current fiscal year unless strict economic policies are put in place to confront it".

Economic growth has slowed significantly since the revolution: an anaemic 1.8 percent from June 2010 to June 2011, compared with 5.1 percent the previous fiscal year.
Spending on salaries and government programmes has risen, and foreign investment has fled.
Equally the cabinet has not acted fast enough to devalue the Egyptian pound.
If the cabinet had acted sooner, Egypt's foreign reserves would not be in such a dire condition, and the currency's devaluation would have been more gradual.
It is Morsi's decisions that have hurt the economy, such as his November 22 declaration that prevented his decrees from being reviewed by the judiciary, a decision that sparked huge protests.
Among solutions to the economic problems would be an increase in income tax rates on the rich to 40 percent, an imposition of across-the-board caps on public salaries, and an expansion in the role of government-owned companies.
In addition there should be reforms such as lifting fuel subsidies and increasing taxes, which should be implemented "gradually through a well-known and agreed-upon plan".
However it is obvious that the government has not taken any serious steps to control the budget deficit because it fears the political effects this would have.
Everyone agrees that Egypt has an economic problem, and that the solution is a political one. It requires sacrifice and consensus. But people are divided.





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