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Sunday, 10 February 2019

Egypt in the News on 10 February 2019: gov’t population target, other headlines

The government’s “Two is Enough” population control program is the focal point of an in-depth piece by the Financial Times’ Heba Saleh. The program essentially aims to reduce the fertility rate from 3.5 children per woman to 2.4 by 2030 — meaning eight mn fewer births — as Egypt’s population is due to surge past a whopping 100 mn by 2020. The family planning program, supported by the US and other international donors, comes as experts warn of the strain that limited water availability and reduced food security will put on our economy and infrastructure, especially within the context of climate change.

Other headlines worth noting in brief:

  • Preserving the traces of Egypt’s lost Jews is the headline running atop an ideas essay in the Wall Street Journal that focuses on Magda Haroun, who “likes to say she will be the last Jew left in Egypt,” as she tries to preserve the remnants of Egyptian Jewish culture.
  • The Museum of Scotland maintains that a pyramid stone in their possession was not taken illegally after the Egyptian government demanded to see documentation for proof, according to the Guardian.
  • A gathering of Egyptologists and other experts celebrated the successful campaign to save the Abu Simbel Temple and other Egyptian artifacts that were at risk of submersion during construction of the High Aswan Dam, reports The Associated Press.
  • Turkey is investigating the deportation of an Egyptian back to Cairo — where he may face the death penalty. Several outlets have picked up the story, including the Stockholm Center for Freedom, Middle East Monitor, and the Miami Herald.
  • Egypt’s execution of three members of the Ikhwan has prompted condemnation from Human Rights Watch. The Associated Press reports that the three were convicted last year for the killing of a judge’s son in Mansoura in 2014.
  • Organ trafficking in Egypt is a bigger problem than the numbers suggest, and is a regular form of payment for migrants looking for illegal passage to Europe, per a piece from The Guardian.
  • Art cafes are flourishing in Cairo as traditional cafes take a backseat due torestrictive measures meant to curb shisha smoking, reports The Arab Weekly.
  • The Arab Weekly raises questions about the incentives for Egypt’s security institutions to build mosques.
  • The work of Egyptian artist Fathi Hassan, currently on display at Lawrie Shabibi in Dubai, is compelling and deserves more attention, argues a review in The National.
  • And a rare feel-good snippet from the UNHCR shows the Somali man who sought refuge in Cairo and has developed a passion for running.

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