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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Full lineup of talking heads are back

After a monthlong break, the full lineup of well-rested talking heads are back in their regular slots. We can’t believe we’re saying this, but we actually missed Amr Adib’s antics, and Lamees El Hadidy adds a soupçon of intelligence to discussion of business and the economy on the airwaves. Last night, Qatar and a decision by a US Senate committee to hold back aid to Egypt dominated the chatter. .

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi was clearly refreshed, starting her episode with a rundown of the positive economic indicators and achievements of late. She paid particular attention to the Egypt’s reserves reaching a record high of USD 36.1 bn. She noted that Egypt’s external debt recorded 41% of GDP by the end of March, which she said was way over the safety line. She also gave props to a marginal drop in unemployment to 11.9%, which she claims was the first decrease since 2011 (watch, runtime: 29:14).

She then spoke on Qatar, the topic de jour of her lesser half. Kuwaiti writer Fouad El Hashem phoned in to say that Qatar is unwilling to make compromises with the “Arab Quartet.” When analyzing the US’ role as mediator, he astutely suggests that there is a jockeying of interests on the issue in DC, centered around differences between the US Congress and the White House. We ask that you ignore his asinine and frequently repeated conspiracy theories that Qatar and Israel are allies (watch, runtime: 13:25).

The Qatar hatefest continued with Kol Youm’s Amr Adib, who added nothing to the conversation beyond his standard refrain that “the Qatari government is a bunch of liars” (watch, runtime: 2:53)

Adib also called on the Ismail government to take a sterner approach with the US when it comes to aid, asking, “Why do we accept being treated that way?” Adib implied that the US aid was not substantial, stopping just short of calling USD 1.5 bn a pittance. “If I am a decision-maker, I’ll tell them thank you, we are a big country,” Adib said. Leave diplomacy on the economic front to your wife, Amr (watch, runtime: 4:20).

Over on Masaa DMC, Eman El Hosary focused on the discovery of an 18th Dynasty tomb of god Amun-Re’s goldsmith in Luxor. She chatter with Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Anany, who took pains to emphasize that no foreign team was part of the dig (watch, runtime: 7:54). The focus then shifted to the ministry’s “crippling budget deficit,” which had reached EGP 25 bn due to low tourist arrivals, (watch, runtime: 4:52).

90 Minutes’ Moataz El Demerdash looked at the positive implications the discovery will have on tourism. The increased rates of archeological discoveries have contributed to a 20% y-o-y rise in tourism in 1Q2017, said Luxor-based tourism expert Mahmoud Edris (watch, runtime: 14:09). That, ladies and gentlemen, is (very charitably) known as a “W.A.G.”

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