Driving the conversation on 05 September 2016
Driving the conversation about Egypt in the international press this morning… The Associated Press’ wonderful Hamza Hendawi wins the day: His “New Billboards Across Egypt’s Capital Extol Austerity” from the weekend continues to get pickup, and to that he’s added “Sculpture honoring fallen soldiers scandalizes Egyptians.” There’s little better than when someone with chops as an investigative journalist and a sense of humor turns his hand to do mundane.
MP’s crass joke on FGM reported on globally: MP Elhamy Agina — yes, that is his actual name — insulted the country and its men by joking that women should submit to FGM because Egypt’s “men suffer from [redacted] weakness, which is evident because Egypt is among the biggest consumers of [redacted] stimulants that only the weak will consume,” Parlmany reported Agina as saying, as noted by RT and the Times (paywall). Agina is no stranger to controversy, having previously said female MPs should wear more modest clothing, and having previously insulted House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal.
Worth reading this morning: Rod Nordland’s New York Times piece on Muslim-Christian relations in Minya, where one Mahmoud Gomaa, the Muslim cleric tasked by the state with mending fences with Christians, says “Everything is good.” Hours later, the local bishop tells Nordland, “I have nothing to do with Mahmoud Gomaa.” It’s the kind of well-reported piece that sticks in the minds of Washington types.