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Monday, 4 March 2019

Egypt in the News on 4 March 2019

Al Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Al Tayeb’s statement on polygamy being “an injustice for women and children” is making headlines in the international press this morning. Speaking during his weekly TV program, Al Tayeb said that the widespread acceptance and legality of the practice in the Arab world is based on a “lack of understand of the Quran.” His comments stirred heated local and international debate, with some arguing that polygamy is good for women and Al Azhar issuing a separate statement clarifying that Al Tayeb wasn’t suggesting banning it. The Associated Press, BBC and WaPo all picked up the story.

Other headlines worth noting in brief:

  • Egypt has allowed a group of 800 Palestinians from Gaza to travel to Saudi Arabia for the umrah pilgrimage for the first time in five years, reports the Associated Press.
  • El Sisi’s government is unlikely to tolerate threats to its rule, Zvi Bar'el writes for Haaretz, pointing to a recent tweet by actor Amr Waked which criticized the death penalty.
  • Nobel laureate and former Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei has criticized the government for refusing prison visits to ex-president Mohamed Morsi, Anadolu Agency reports.
  • Egypt has completed the restoration of the Kom El-Shuqafa catacombs in Alexandria at a total cost of USD 5.7 mn, reports Reuters. The project aims to protect the ancient site from groundwater leaks.

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