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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Egyptian wrestlers giving us our version of WWE

It can only be called a “weird” day for Egypt in the international press, with our homegrown answer to WWE going viral a few weeks after it first made headlines and a passel of stories tackling the nation’s human rights record.

Fighters with eccentric costumes, masks, and face paint are giving us our own version of WWE right here in Omm El Donia. A wrestling arena in Ismailia that draws inspiration from the WWE has hosted 22 events since Egyptian Professional Wrestling Federation (EWF) founder Ashraf Mahrous set it up in 2012. France’s AFP first reported the story, which has spread to outlets including Al Bawaba, Saudi Gazette, Africanews (who’s put together an interesting video report), and Arab News.

Other headlines worth noting in brief:

  • Austerity measures are not enough to resolve Egypt’s “debt crisis,” Maged Mandour writes for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, saying that the issue is rooted in the military’s role in the economy.
  • The abuse of homegrown psychedelic “strox” is alarming officials, Reuters reports.
  • Release Shawkan: Reporters Without Borders is calling for the release of Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid “Shawkan,” who is still in prison despite completing his term, the IFEX network notes.
  • Disregard for child rights: Egypt has disregarded basic children’s rights for subjecting six children “to horrific violations including torture, prolonged solitary confinement and enforced disappearance,” according to findings published by Amnesty International.
  • Abuse of red notices: Egypt is among countries who persecute foreign-based critics using Interpol’s red notices, including China, Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, the Financial Times notes.
  • Politics in the Coptic Church undermine efforts for religious reform as Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria faces backlash from conservative Coptic bishops on church-state relations, Dr. Georges Fahmi writes for Chatham House.
  • 166th birthday of the Egyptian Museum: Egypt celebrated yesterday the 166th anniversary of the Egyptian museum asserting the establishment will not become out-of-date when the Grand Egyptian Museum launches, Reuters reports.

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