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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Egypt in the News on 30 August 2018

The death of two UK tourists in a Hurghada hotel nearly a week ago continues to be the top story on Egypt in the international press, particularly in Britain. The Guardian is noting that tour operator Thomas Cook has previously been forced to pay GBP 26k to tourists who fell ill in the past at the same property, while the tabloids are blaring that an ambulance chaser is handling “16 claims relating to the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel.”

Would-be foreign policy wonk made uncomfortable by Egypt running a multipolar approach to international relations: Egypt has been reaching into China’s “deep pockets” in search of fresh investment part of its “balancing act” between Western and Eastern allies, David Wood writes in a hatchet job for the tabloid Foreign Policy. Recent tensions between Cairo and Washington, particularly under the administration of former US President Barack Obama, pushed Egypt to turn to Russia and China for military and infrastructure investment agreements, respectively. Despite Russia’s significance to Egypt, China is becoming more economically influential because it has the funds that Moscow lacks. “In 2016, Egyptian state figures ranked China as only the country’s 23rd most significant source of foreign direct investment since 1970. This trend has changed abruptly, with Chinese money now fueling a broad range of state-led mega-projects in Egypt.” Wood draws a parallel between these contemporary policies and those under Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s, which capitalized on the US-Soviet rift post-Cold War to further Egypt’s military and economic interests.

Rising sea levels are forcing many people near Alexandria’s lowlands, including El Max canal, out of their homes, the Guardian reports. Some residents of these areas have been suffering frequent flooding, but maintain that Alexandrian authorities have been relocating El Max’s residents into nearby subsidized housing units to clear out the city’s slums and claim the land for reconstruction, using the environmental conditions as an excuse. Climate expert Mohamed El Raey estimates that the government will be forced to move residents of all of Alexandria’s vulnerable areas within the next 10 years.

Other headlines worth noting in brief:

  • Egypt’s culture of failure? Mohamed Salah’s dispute with the EFA gives Egyptians chance to express disappointment over their “culture of failure” that true success can only be achieved abroad, Tamer El-Ghobashy writes in an analysis piece for the Washington Post. The NY Times’ has a similar story saying that Salah is "humbling his own bosses."
  • Home for a spell: Egyptian basketballer Anas Mohamed is returning home to start his professional career with Zamalek after failing to secure an NBA contract while studying in the US, says the Courier Journal.

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