In recent Egyptian news, Dr. Raslan Fadl is being held on trial for administering female genital mutilation to a 13 year old girl, Sohair al-Bata. Solhair died as a result of the procedure and the National Population Council and Egypt’s chief prosecutor have decided to seek justice for Solhair’s death. Although female genital mutilation was outlawed in 2008, the procedure is still administered across the country. Roughly 91% of women ages 15-19 have been circumcized. As I see it, the law was put in to place for a multitude of reasons but first and foremost it is a health and sanitary concern for women. The fact that it is outlawed means that these doctors are administering care and procedure that has no standards or restrictions. These girls are becoming sick, deformed, or even dying as in Solhair’s case. The purpose of the NPC’s “witch hunt” in this case is to make an example out of this doctor in order to prevent further health issues and deaths related to this type of procedure. Even though I have a difficult time empathizing with this custom (because of my Western perspective) I think if this is a cultural tradition the country either needs to regulate the procedure or do exactly what they are trying to accomplish with this prosecution. Protect young girls lives.
Article Author: Nicci Mende
Mohamed Sheta, the editor and publisher of Auto Arabia and a road safety activist shares his thoughts with Egypt Today on road safety in Egypt and the best vehicles for the job. In the article, he informs Egyptian buyers (specifically Egyptian buyers) what to look for in a reliable and safe automobile to be driven in Egypt. He provides resources on where to locate vital information. He also sheds light on some standards that are not regulated by the Egyptian government but should be considered when buying a car. I think the article is extremely informative, as Sheta goes into great lengths on educating Egyptians about the vehicles they are buying. Also, I think it is a good platform for Egyptians to evaluate the current safety standards and practices elsewhere in the world and how it can aim to benefit them as well.
Article Author: Ibrahim El-Shakankiry of Egypt Today
Article Link: http://egypttoday.com/blog/2014/03/06/keep-it-stable/
In a previous post I mentioned a slight increase in 2014 for tourism in Egypt. A recent exciting addition has been made to encourage travelers to journey to El Gouna and explore “Sliders”, one of the largest cable parks in the world and the only one in North Africa. What is a cable park you ask? I asked the same question…A cable park is intended for waterskiing and wake boarding. The benefit: no need for an extended stretch of water to accommodate several boats at once. Riders connect to cables, allowing them to roam freely while enjoying obstacles specifically designed for them. I think this is an exciting new addition to the tourism industry and can only encourage more people to visit Egypt. This is a great move in the right direction to shed more positive light on all that Egypt has to offer. More people means more income, more income builds a stronger economy.
Article Author: Jenny Cooper of Daily News Egypt
Tourism in Egypt has begun rise…slightly in 2014. Despite the hectic governmental upheaval, the Oxford Business Group has reported that the travel market in Egypt is showing “some signs of life again”. Given what’s gone on with the rebellion and the removal of dictator Hosni Mubarak, travelers have been discouraged from visiting any part of Egypt for “non-essential travel”. As of late, the traveling restrictions have changed from warnings to less threatening “advisories” which has excited some tourists to visit. I myself, would LOVE to visit Egypt and seeing these advisories gives hope that eventually Egypt will return to its once prosperous tourism industry. I think the progression will be a steady pace, but ideally moving in a forward direction.
Article Author: Nicci Mende of Liberty Voice
Creative Studies Foundation introduced in Luxor, Egypt
I recently read an article on Egypttoday.com describing model and actress, Elisa Sednaoui’s new foundation that focuses on the creative encouragement of children in Egypt. The foundation is called the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation; the goal is to build a locally run community cultural center in Luxor, Egypt. The purpose of the center is to expose children to different cultures all the while helping them develop their own national identity. The foundation wants to provide children with the tools to create something they can sell while also teaching them about the world outside of Egypt.
I think the idea is noble and aims to help the local children understand that they are not limited to tradition. I understand tradition is heavily emphasized in this part of the world and it is nice to see a healthy compromise being encouraged. I do also believe that having researched much of what is going on in Egypt currently, this particular publication is intent on emphasizing the good over the bad. In my opinion, I think it’s refreshing to hear some good news coming out of that area. News that is positive as opposed to fixated on the civil unrest that these children are facing on a daily basis.
Article Author: by Dominika Maslikowski
Article Link: http://egypttoday.com/blog/2014/01/27/a-model-project/
El Mashrou3 will debut as the first reality tv show featuring young entrepreneurs on Egyptian television. The show features 14 contestants from many different backgrounds, all aspiring to create a truly successful business. This program not only has the potential to entertain the African community, but also serves as an educational experience. Based off what I’ve read of the premise of the show, there is a well connected community of sponsors eager to inspire and motivate the people of Egypt. There are HUGE corporations involved like Google Egypt, Volkswagen, Samsung, and Microsoft just to name a few. It would seem, given the current economic conditions in Egypt and the indefinable fate of the government, people need to know that they have tools available to them the affect the world around them. Although reality tv usually has a negative stigma to it, I think in this case the show can serve to excite many young Egyptian entrepreneurs and encourage them.
Article Author: Daily News Egypt
This story is inspiring. Bashayer Cooperative Workshop located in Helway, Egypt, has been operating since 2004. Their aim is to increase “female representation in local society”. They hold workshops geared towards training local females from low-income, informal neighborhoods and teach them how to design items such as table cloths, home and kitchen accessories, and women’s and children’s clothing. Bayshayer’s goals have impacted the local communities and empowered the local women. Right now their biggest struggle is marketing. Aside from that, there is no shortage of volunteers for the group. I think it is inspiring to see the women of the community create, design, and consider their own futures. Considering all that has gone on with the economy in Egypt as of late, I would imagine it is motivating for these women to realize they can take their fate into their own hands.
Article Author: Omar El Adi of Daily News Egypt
I wanted to start my first post, not with a current affairs story, but with an explanation. I chose Egypt as my focus of interest for this blog. The main reason behind this choice is that in terms of a discussion of Africa, I ALWAYS forget that Egypt is a part of Africa. Some how in my head is disassociated with the continent of Africa. Stereotypes and media portrayal of what Africa “looks like” and what the people look and dress like may have jaded my perspective. There is really no good explanation for why I immediately assume that.
When I asked friends and family where they though Egypt was on a map, I got about a 70/30 percent answer in agreement with my same sentiment. So, when given this assignment, I decided to focus my energy on exploring this country and finding out all of the good things that are happening there. There is no shortage of bad news in Africa, that’s why I am pleased that we were encouraged to find positive, uplifting stories.