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Monday, 19 June 2017

Roadside bomb explosion tops coverage of Egypt

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning are pickups of wire copy on aroadside bomb attack that killed a police officer near Maadi on Sunday morning. The explosion was claimed by the Hasm terrorist organization. Reuters and other newswires are tracing the growth of Hasm and noting that the attack came following Parliament’s approval of the Tiran and Sanafir handover agreement.

The media area also exploring a reported warming of ties between Cairo and Hamas. Leading coverage is wire copy on statement through Hamas’ deputy leader in Gaza Khalil Al Hayya saying that relations with Egypt have been improving. "Securing borders is a joint interest. We are keen and we have the determination and the ability to prevent any harm to reach out for Egypt from Gaza," Hayya said. He also added that war with Israel over the Gaza power crisis was unlikely. Meanwhile, Haaretz’s Zvi Bar’el writes that Cairo has agreed with Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah rival Mohammed Dahlan on a new arrangement on ruling Gaza. A spokesman for Ittihadiya denied the report, according to Daily News Egypt. A delegation from Hamas was in Egypt earlier this month to meet with security officials in Egypt. Bar’el writes that the alleged agreement could lead to the opening of Rafah crossing and increasing Egypt’s electricity supply to Gaza.

Al Azhar Law highlights division of opinions over the institution: The proposed draft Al Azhar Act would curtail its authority significantly, writes Sonia Farid for Al Arabiya. In an analytical piece, Farid looks at the most controversial elements of the law (introduced by MP Mohamed Abu Hamid), which would restrict the Grand Imam’s tenure to two six-year terms, have the position be elected by two councils from Al Azhar, and split its non-religious teachings to be under the jurisdiction of the Higher Education Ministry. Opponents of the act believe the legislation violates statutes that guarantee Al Azhar’s independence, while supporters laud making its non-theological curriculum secular and under government control. The divisions reflect debate over the old institutions, between those who feel it is already moderate, and those that believe it can stand some reform.

64% of men admitted to harassing women on the street in Egypt, according to a study by Promundo and UN Women last month picked up by NPR. The study, considered one of the first to look into the issue by asking men, came up with other disturbing findings. It was more likely for younger, more educated males to engage in harassment than older, less educated ones. The study also showed that many of the perpetrators said they did it out of boredom or for entertainment, with researchers suggesting that their metaphorical impotence (lack of jobs) was driving them to lash out and bully women.

Other international headlines worth noting in brief:

  • Dalal Abdel-Qader, a 43-year-old mother from Cairo, is breaking gender taboos by becoming Egypt’s first female mesaharaty, according to the Associated Press.
  • Egypt’s sunken antiquities, including the Pharos Lighthouse (one of the seven ancient wonders of the world), are at risk of harm by waste and oil spills from Alexandria’s ships, TRT World reports.

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