loader image
Category

Opinions Articles

Observations before the Launch of the National Dialogue

The launch of the National Dialogue –which I consider a democratic event to be celebrated– is approaching and its procedural steps are starting to unfold.  A few days ago, the National Dialogue Administration issued a comprehensive report on the position of parties, political and youth forces, and various institutions and...

New Markets Opening Up to the “Refugees” Commodity

In Europe, no voice rises up above that of empathy and welcome for Ukrainian refugees. The continent opened its doors wide for Ukrainians and provided urgent funding in the first weeks of the crisis, with the number of refugees leaving Ukraine exceeding 4 million people.  For European countries that did...

The Israeli Flag March and an Occupation That Won’t...

I still wonder – in good faith – why the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories persists. Many observers of the cause will see it is naïve to raise this question five decades after the occupation had taken place and many events, on the national, regional, and international levels...

Egypt’s Comprehensive National Dialogue

During the Egyptian Family Iftar banquet in Ramadan, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi announced launching a comprehensive political dialogue that involves the wide spectrum of society, extending his personal support to the dialogue and promising to attend a number of its sessions.  This wasn’t the first time President Al-Sisi touched on this...

What Does Israel Want, Wait for, and Anticipate?

The recent events in Israel and the West Bank that are still unfolding in some cities of the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque pose important questions pertaining to the Israeli position: what does Israel set its sights on? What does it wait for and anticipate? What...

Ukraine Crisis: Deeper Collision Under Murky Water?

Following the meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz there appeared several signs suggesting the crisis may be leveling off after weeks of escalation and tension with so many developments sprouting up to the point that a date was set for an imminent war between...

Saving Libya: The Difficult, Albeit Possible, Task

The Libyan conundrum is one of the most significant crises the Arab region has been experiencing for over a decade and one that carries considerable implications for Egypt’s national security. Frequently, whenever an opportunity arises that can be capitalized on to end the crisis, several obstacles appear on the...

Syria and the Biden Administration: A Midlife Crisis

With Biden halfway through his presidential term and amid the preparations of his administration to back the Democratic Party contesting the Congressional midterm elections, the Biden administration policies on the Middle East don’t seem to be any clearer, offering nothing new under the sun.  There is almost a universal agreement...

Confronting China?

Over the last two weeks, developments in the Pacific and Indian Oceans have topped the agendas of international affairs forums in Cairo. Of particular interest were reports of a new alliance between the US, the UK and Australia following Washington’s cancellation of a submarine purchase from France in favour...

France in the Face of Sahel’s Shifting Sand (1)

France has recently revealed its intention to change its tools for influence in Africa – or so it seems. The declaration was made during President Emmanuel Macron’s virtual summit with Sahel leaders on 9 July.  While Macron tried to tone down the French withdrawal by describing it as being “limited” in...

Camp David Accords: 43 Years Later

The 43rd anniversary of the Camp David Accords signed between Egypt and Israel in 1978 went unnoticed without anyone briefly touching upon it. That’s why I opted to put pen to paper in a modest attempt to highlight the endeavors that Egypt made four decades ago to offer fair...

The World after Afghanistan and the Repercussions of US...

The 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks coincided with the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, in addition to the return of Taliban to take control of the country. This is a new example of repeated failures in strategic planning after similar experiments in Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Libya,...

On the Precipice of the Unknown: The Kabul Exodus

It is going to be very difficult to erase from the memory of the world for the years to come the scene of people scrambling to get out of Afghanistan after the Taliban declared itself the only rightful heir of country that had been under US and international grip...

The Islamic State’s New Emirates in the Heart of...

Think tanks and research centers are closely monitoring reports from Sahel countries following the murder of Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s leader, and the aftermath of the incident, the most significant of which was the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) being behind this transformative event. While Shekau’s death was reported in...

Afghanistan, what next?

It certainly involves more than watching a carefully staged press conference and then struggling to wrap one’s mind around the very far-fetched idea of the Taliban with a new and modern mindset. Nor does the other side of the equation - Washington, which struck the exit agreement with the...

The Middle East on a Hot Tin Roof

The Middle East is mired in conflicts and tensions that are driving the region to the precipice of an abyss. I believe these tensions will remain in the region that will suffer from additional problems in the future, not only because the Middle East is a strategic are where...

War Drums beating in the Arabian Sea

It might be a “limited” war, or understandably, it may be conducted as a blitzkrieg, but whatever the strategy, it must be influential and thunderous for its parties to achieve their goals of waging it, an unlikely scenario given the inability to control the adverse consequences of this imminent...

The Eastern chapter of water wars

In the middle of sweltering summer months, Iraqi Minister of Water Resources Mahdi Al-Hamadani abruptly announced last Sunday that the water flow from Iran had completely stopped, or more precisely, the water flow to Iraq reached “zero.”  For the first time in the history of the bilateral relations between Iran...

GERD: The role of Egyptian public opinion

Any close observer of the relationship between President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and the Egyptian citizen will reach a single conclusion: It is a relationship that has developed and cemented gradually, albeit quickly and solidly. President Al-Sisi came to power in response to a popular demand to save the country, meaning...

Lessons from the Gaza War (2)

In the second instalment of the series on the research published by the Begin-Sadat Center with the title “Lessons from the Gaza War”, written by Major General Res. Gershon Hacohen who served for 42 years in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), we delve deeper into the details of the...

Lessons from the Gaza War (1)

This was the title of a research paper published by the Begin-Sadat Center, a leading think tank in Israel affiliated with the Department of Political Science at Bar-Ilan University. The research of strategic intellectuals and academic and ex-military experts is directed towards Israeli decision-makers in military and civilian circles,...

Inferences from the visit of the Chief of Egypt’s...

Before tackling the different dimensions of the highly significant visit of Major General Abbas Kamel, the chief of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service, to Israel and Palestine on 30-31 May, it is necessary to refer to the fact that the Palestinian cause has been a top priority for Egypt during...

Egypt’s Policy Done Delayed Justice

Since 2013, Egypt has been facing fierce campaigns from global and regional actors that have been long considered central strategic partners. The United States is an example of this and its positions have been a perfect embodiment of much that have worried and disturbed Egypt for very long. This...

Egypt’s means to tackle critical issues

Egypt’s political leadership is seriously handling the regional files at this critical juncture in history. It is imperative to point out that Egypt’s domestic power is one of the keys for its ability to handle the foreign issues. If anything, this is proof that Egypt’s successes in foreign files...

The path of US sanctions on Iran

Last month, Iran celebrated the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision to hear the sanctions dispute it filed against the US, considering the ruling a new window of opportunity to view sanctions from a different seat than that it had long taken during Trump’s administration. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad...

Gaza ceasefire: The day after, what comes next?

Please allow me to begin my article with asking a general question. A question aimed at the international community with all its different institutions and its big powers that have interests in the Middle East region. My question is as follows: Are the problems, disputes and conflicts witnessed among...

A message to Advisor Yasin Aktay

Yasin Aktay, Advisor to the Turkish President and the designated spokesperson of the Justice and Development Party, or otherwise the “Turkish intellectual and politician” as he identifies himself on his Arabic Facebook page, seems to have fallen for an unexpected understeer trap when he took up his pen to...

Islamic State advances on African Coast

The Islamic State (IS) announced on 29 March that it has seized the coastal town of Palma in northern Mozambique following five days of armed conflicts that began Wednesday, rendering dozens killed or wounded. The second day of the attack was horrifying as thousands of residents of Palma and...

The US role in the GERD crisis

The recent visit of Jeffrey Feltman, the US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, to Egypt on 5 May acquired a considerable significance which can be assessed in light of the following four factors: Factor one: Feltman's meeting with President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi reflects the importance the political leadership attaches...

European Union: Primacy of Interests over Respect of Human...

The high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell’s visit to Russia raised a barrage of European criticisms after he was outplayed by Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, who described the bloc as an “unreliable partner”. Criticisms of Borrell went too far...

Bridges of misdeed between the left and the Muslim...

Since the transitional period that followed the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, numerous alliances have been widely observed between the Muslim Brotherhood and various left-wing movements. These alliances stepped to the fore during elections and other political processes and evolved later to become mostly integral. In hindsight,...

The Ethiopian Dam: A game changer?

It has become fairly obvious that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations don’t seem to move forward. The latest outcomes of the long-running negotiations have made every close observer come to one inevitable conclusion: there hasn’t appeared any game changer that would lead to a definitive resolution of...

How Will the World React to Ethiopia? (1)

It is already past warnings issued by observers in Ethiopia and abroad about an imminent disintegration of Ethiopia. Recent events confirm Ethiopia is going downhill, leading those concerned with Ethiopian affairs to prepare post-fall scenarios in an attempt to avoid the harrowing consequences of disintegration, the signs and indications...

Egyptian Compass in the Right Direction

First of all, I disagree with the people who occasionally, and with good intentions, say “Egypt will not fall.” The word “fall” doesn’t even exist in the dictionary that I use when dealing with the great Egyptian state. In this sense, I always wonder, how can a country that...

Israeli and Palestinian elections: What’s new?

The US presidential elections, which brought about a new Democratic administration headed by Joe Biden, seems to have cast its shadows over the region. The change of administration will affect various issues in the Middle East, including the planned Israeli elections in March 2021 and the Palestinian elections, the...

What is happening in the Middle East?

The Middle East is a region of particular significance, being mired in endless conflicts and challenging dilemmas. These regional conflicts may take decades before a political solution looms on the horizon, which indicates it is difficult for the region to experience stability and security in the next stage. The region...

The EU’s Black Book of rights’ violations

The European Parliament issued a resolution on the situation of human rights in Egypt on 18 December 2020, which is the International Migrants Day. Ironically, the resolution coincided with the presentation of “The Black Book of Pushbacks”, compiled by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), which includes dozens of...

President Al-Sisi’s visit to France: A different perspective

President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi's visit to France, which took place from 6 to 9 December, bore a host of momentous results. In my opinion, it was a significant visit in the history of Egyptian-French relations and proof of the development of bilateral relations that can be built on to open...

Obama and the US Dilemma

I hope Arab readers of former president Barack Obama’s recently published memoirs were not too hasty to jump ahead to his sections on the Middle East and events of the Arab Spring. The subject is extremely important, of course, and we should continue to study it through the memoirs...

Ethiopia: Beyond the civil war

The ongoing conflict in Ethiopia, and its repercussions, cast doubt on Addis Ababa’s announcement that the intensity of fighting had decreased and that the entry of its forces to Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray Region, spells the end of war between the federal government and the Tigray People’s...

Is there a Future for Palestinian Peace with Israel?

Throughout my follow-up on the developments of the Palestinian cause, I have had a mixed bag of sentiments about the issue, ranging between optimism, hope, pessimism, and frustration.  In spite of the countless positive and negative variables that took place in the region over the 50 years of the Palestinian...

A review of the US administration’s position on regional...

In a few weeks, Democratic President Joe Biden will occupy the Oval Office, in spite of the strenuous attempts of Republican President Donald Trump to flip the election results. Trump’s attempts to influence the electoral results are unprecedented and inconsistent with the Democratic process in the US. However, such...

Ethiopia at war

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) held in power in Ethiopia for nearly 30 years since it led the overthrow of the military dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991. After TPLF leader Meles Zenawi assumed the premiership, he and his fellow TPLF leaders ousted all political, military and...

Trumpism without Trump

Voting the 45th US president out of power was never going to be quiet or easy. Media outbursts over alleged electoral fraud and miscounts have never been more strident and frequent in US history. Facilitating mail-in ballots and other means of early voting caused an unprecedented rush of nearly...

A Panoramic View of Egypt’s Political Scene

As a loyal Egyptian citizen, it is difficult not to be deeply biased when discussing Egyptian affairs. However, in this article, I will give an objective panoramic view of the Egyptian political scene on the regional and international levels in a values-versus-interests world.   First, the determinants of the current political...

Israel-US Attitudes toward Normalization with Arab States

In light of the complex regional and international developments, each country has the right to achieve its goals and adopt the policies that suit its interests. There is no place for criticizing the recent Israeli-Arab normalization agreements in a world in which each country seeks to achieve its interests....

A Quiet Message to the Palestinians

Amid the ongoing regional and international developments, the Palestinian cause remains a central issue in the Arab world. As Arabs, it is our national duty to give it a priority and examine the extent to which it is affected by the current normalization agreements, the most recent of which...

Overview: Egyptian Policies at Home and Abroad

It is crucial to periodically review Egypt’s policies at home and abroad to evaluate the achievements, challenges, and threats and assess how to deal with them at a time of fast-pace developments and conflicts of interests. Egypt is adopting a two-pronged approach. At home, the country is focused on reform,...

Three Historical Moments

A historical moment is a turning point between two different eras. The world finds itself between different outlooks and trends, a world that has passed and one that yet to come. It is a time when numerous variables interweave to create the “perfect storm” that precipitates sweeping change. As dialecticians...

Palestinians’ Fair Peace vs Netanyahu’s Peace

In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly on 29 September, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained Israel’s real vision of peace in six points:  Point 1: The circle of peace is widening; which promotes achieving peace between Israel and Palestine. Point 2: Based on Trump’s peace plan to end...

End of Hope in the Middle East?

There are times when the US and the West in general throw up their hands over the Middle East, by which they mean, when we take a closer look, the “Arab world”. Such fits of despair have their origins in the proscriptions of the historian Bernard Lewis in the...

Trump tell-alls

I hope I’m not exaggerating when I say that Donald Trump is the most written about first term US president. Generally, you have to wait until after a president has left office for the flood of books to come out, chronicling and analysing the events of his era. Sometimes, the...

The Status Quo and Necessary Arab Action

When will Arab countries stop denouncing, condemning, criticizing and accusing, and instead deal with the fail accompli based on a comprehensive vision that boosts their strength on the domestic and foreign fronts? This is a question that frequently comes to mind and to which I can’t find a convincing answer. As...

New tech horizons

Last week, world media drew attention to a huge glass globe bedecked with the familiar Apple logo and colours perched on top of the water in Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands. It is Apple’s first floating flagship, its fourth international headquarters. By pure coincidence, the same day that breath-taking...

Will there be a “Palestinian deal of the century”?

In this article, I intended to focus on the importance of supporting and defending the Palestinian cause; but then I did not go with this intent because I am sure that millions of Palestinian people in Palestine or in the diaspora are able to defend themselves, and that the...

Libya: The fog after the Statements

The two statements issued last Friday by the Presidential Council and the Libyan Parliament announcing the cessation of military operations in all Libyan territories were widely welcomed by all concerned parties. Perhaps, this is the first time that the reaction towards a step related to the Libyan crisis was...

The Arab map after the tripartite agreement between the...

The UAE, the United States and Israel surprised us by announcing a tripartite agreement that included, in short, two main points; the first is postponing the annexation of the settlements, a project that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was adopting and is rushing to implement, and the second is...

Six years of wise diplomacy

The current Egyptian political order began in 2014, a year after the 30 June Revolution that overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime. The new order rectified and supported the process of transition and change that was launched by the January 2011 Revolution. As it struggled to overcome enormous challenges at...

Egypt and Africa 2019

Time: Early sixties of the past century. Place: 5 Ahmed Heshmat St., Zamalek, Cairo. Issue: Liberation movement and self-determination in the African continent. What was happening at that time and place was an unprecedented historical process for Africa, regaining its independence since European states started colonizing African countries. Sometimes...

Hatred in French politics

I am currently reading French authors Gerard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme’s book Hatred: the Sarkozy Years. It is not as impressive as a previous book, A President Should Not Say This, which relied on extensive weekly conversations with former French president François Hollande. However, it is both entertaining and...

US Spring, Summer and Fall

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, which brought the end of the Cold War and the downfall of the Soviet Union, the US’s claim to the title of “the world’s sole superpower” and the American pursuit of a liberal, democratic and capitalist globalisation, the US...

Enduring Stereotypes?

Those who regularly read my column will know that I have spent the last 15 days with a marvellous book, the US academic Martin Malia’s “Russia under Western Eyes”. Malia discusses the evolution of Western discourses on Russia since the rule of Peter the Great. This evolution changed over time...

Misusing the Nile

Despite how Covid-19 news has overwhelmed the media and the world, international geopolitical problems have lost none of their momentum. The Syrian, Yemeni, Iraqi, Iranian, Libyan and Palestinian crises continue to whirl in their eddies of complexity as they had before the pandemic struck. Our concern, here, is the...

Meeting the president

Some days ago, I received a call from the Presidential Office inviting me to join a meeting chaired by the president of Egypt on the occasion of Egyptian Women’s Day.  It took me a moment to comprehend the invitation. Meeting the president would be an honour, of course, but I...

Looming Tower

Laurence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (2006) opens with the arrival of the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayed Qotb to the US and culminates with the 11 September 2001 attacks, after which the world was “no longer the same as before”, as was widely...

Turkey’s Russian roulette in Syria

Idlib province in Syria has a population of about four million. Around half of them are native to the province. The majority of the other half are displaced persons who ended up there, voluntarily or not, and who enjoy relative safety as a result of the de-escalation zones agreement...

New Normal in the Middle East

One of the most commonly encountered terms in the coronavirus literature these days is “the new normal”. It refers to the norms that societies will adopt as they gradually resume “normal” life. The concept draws on the notion that societies like to live in accordance with a kind of...

Opening new horizons for Libya

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry recently launched a political initiative for Libya that aims to open new horizons for dismantling the structures of strife and conflict in order to steer the country to stability and peace. In so doing, Egypt proceeded from the premise that the situation in Libya has reached...

In a Troubled World

When armed gunmen storm the Michigan state legislature, you know many things are very wrong in the US politically, and above all ideologically. With respect to the world at large, it is a sign of a state of confusion of a magnitude unseen in any contemporary crisis before the...

Saudi Multilateral Diplomacy

These are by all means strenuous times amid intractable problems. The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown down the gauntlet to globalisation in two ways: through the rapidity of its transmission and drastic infection toll across the planet thanks to modern transportation and, secondly, through lockdowns, halts in production, economic turndowns...

Egypt’s vision for combating terrorism

Egypt’s vision for combating terrorism is rooted in the state’s firm view that terrorist groups, despite their differences, are of equal threat and that their ideas are based in the same ideology that incites violence, killing and terrorising people. Egypt believes extremism in all its forms is the ideological umbrella...

Global Distancing

Concern for the post-Covid era now seems to overshadow concern for the crisis itself. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that those having to cope with the pandemic and its immediate consequences have enough on their plate without having to speak about the aftermath, leaving the...

Reshaping the World?

There is a new trend in theorising about the impact of Covid-19 on the contemporary world. It addresses the question as to whether the pandemic will turn the world upside down and usher in a “new world” or whether, like other major violent shocks and crises, it will merely...

What’s the Rush?

It looks like observers and analysts of international affairs are in a hurry to proclaim the birth of a new world. Yet again. At no time in history has the world changed as radically or has a new world been born as frequently as in the 20th century and...

Equations of Bab Al-Mandeb strait

In the Arab coalition’s operation to gain control over the port of Hodeida, elite forces from the UAE assumed the brunt of the offensive on the ground, alongside some Yemeni army forces that Abu Dhabi had trained and equipped for such missions in the coalition’s war to reinstate the...

Global Intelligence Failure

It must be five decades now since I began to research why US intelligence agencies had failed to predict the two-pronged Egyptian-Syrian attack against Israel in 1973. The October 1973 War was the subject of my PhD thesis and this aspect of my research naturally led me to study...

Latest posts