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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

El Sisi prioritizing stability over democracy, Hendawi writes for the AP

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi insisted that “stability must take priority over freedoms,” Hamza Hendawi writes for the Associated Press. Hendawi suggests that El Sisi “seems convinced that a genuinely contested election could destabilize the country, allow his Islamist foes a backdoor into politics or interfere with his high-octane, single-handed drive to revive the battered economy.” Reuters also notes that El Sisi has promised to “safeguard Egypt’s security.”

…Speaking of the elections, El Sisi’s rival Moussa Moustafa Moussa says he is “no puppet” and tells the Guardian’s Ruth Michaelson he is cautiously optimistic about his chances. Michaelson says the impression that Moussa does not intend to challenge El Sisi on the campaign trail “is buoyed by his bland policy platform, which carefully avoids anything that could be interpreted as a criticism of the president’s previous term.” Reuters has a similar story.

Meanwhile, The Week says Egypt is preparing for “Putinesque” elections, while RFI offers a guide to “understanding Egypt’s presidential election.”

Egyptian Cotton is the most recognized cotton brand in the US, according to a recent consumer research by marketing agency PBM, Fibre2Fashion reports. Egyptian Cotton “was also the name most people associated with quality and were prepared to pay a premium for, ahead of Pima cotton, Turkish cotton, and Supima.” Chairman of Cotton Egypt Association Wael Olama says “this survey underlines the strength of the Egyptian Cotton brand in the mind of the consumer.” The Association’s executive director noted that they are “extremely proud of the thorough accreditation programme we have created in association with Bureau Veritas. The success of this is mirrored in the increase in retailer confidence we have experienced in the UK.”

Worth a quick skim this morning:

  • State censors have allowed the performance of “Before the Revolution,” a socially critical play they had prohibited on the day of its Cairo premiere, the Associated Press reports.
  • Egyptian sisters Mariam and Yasmine Yeya are blending the aesthetics of their respective fashion design brands, Maison Yeya and Mrs Keepa, “to create a capsule collection which Yasmine describes as ‘schizophrenically beautiful,’” according to Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.
  • China’s Global Times reviews the Pharaonic Village park in Cairo, where actors simulate daily activities and arts of the ancient Egyptians.

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