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The POMED Wire Archives
Category: Protests
Egypt Update: Transcript of Mubarak’s Speech
February 10th, 2011 by Alec
To see a full transcript of Mubarak’s speech please click here.
Speech Highlights:
“I am telling you that my response to your demands and your messages and your requests is my commitment that I will never go back on to. I am determined to fulfill what I have promised you in all honesty, and I’m determined to execute and carry out what I have promised without going back to the past.”
“I am telling you, as a president of the country, I do not find it — I don’t find it a mistake to listen to you and to respond to your requests and demands. But it is shameful and I will not, nor will ever accept to hear foreign dictations, whatever the source might be or whatever the context it came in.”
“I have told you my determination that I will hold steadfast to continue to take on my responsibility to protect the constitution and the rights of people until power is transferred to whomever the people choose during September, the upcoming September, and free and impartial elections that will be safeguarded by the freedom — the call for freedom.”
“We have started a national dialogue, a constructive one, that included the youth who have called for change and reform, and also with all the factions of opposition and of society. And this dialogue resulted in harmony, and preliminary harmony in opinions that has placed us on the beginning of the road to transfer to a better future that we have agreed on.”
“Based on the powers given to me according to the constitution, I have presented today a request asking the amendment of six constitutional articles, which is 76, 77, 88, 93 and 187, in addition to abolishing article number 79 in the constitution, with the affirmation and conviction that later on we can also amend the other articles that were — that would be suggested by the — by that constitutional committee, according to what it see — according to what it sees right.
Our priority now is to facilitate free election — free presidential elections and to stipulate a number of terms in the constitution and to guarantee a supervision of the upcoming elections to make sure it will be conducted in a free manner.”
“I have delegated to the vice president some of the power — the powers of the president according to the constitution.”
“Let me say again that I have lived for this nation. I have kept my responsibilities. And Egypt will remain, above all, and above any individuals — Egypt will remain until I deliver and surrender its — it to others. This will be the land of my living and my death. “
Posted in Egypt, Protests, Reform | Comment »
Egypt Update: VP Suleiman Speech Transcript
February 10th, 2011 by Alec
The following is a very rough translation of Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman’s speech from Thursday, February 10.
 
“After being delegated by the president to shoulder the responsibility to safeguard the stability and security of Egypt and protect it from perils, to restore peace and security to the public and restore a normal way of life. I request one and all to contribute to achieving this goal. I have no doubt that Egyptian people are capable of safeguarding their own interests…. A roadmap has been laid down to materialize a majority of the demands. The door is still open for further dialogue.  Within this context I reiterate my commitment to carrying out whatever is necessary to ensure a full transition of power in accordance with constitutional principles. I will implement all promises to safeguard the revolution of the youth and its gains. To work toward restoring confidence and respect for the law and to realize the demands of the people through conscious civilized dialogue. I call on all the citizens to look toward the future and make this future bright with freedom and democracy. We cannot be driven to the perils of chaos … Let’s march forward on a path that will realize the aspirations of the youth…I call on the youth and the heroes – Go home. Join hands. Do not listen to the satellite stations whose purpose is to fuel sedition and tarnish the image of people. Listen to your common sense.  We must rely on state institutions namely the intrepid armed forces that safeguarded the revolution of the youth, safeguarded the constitution and preserved the property of the people.  We will work in the spirit of a team and with a resolve that cannot be dented. I will work for the homeland will all the power I have to maintain the security of the nation … May peace be upon you.”
Posted in Egypt, Protests, Reform | Comment »
POMED Event: “After the Uprisings: U.S. Policy in a Changing Middle East”
February 10th, 2011 by Naureen
POMED will be hosting an event today, Thursday, February 10th, at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 419 from 1:00pm-2:30pm to discuss recent and ongoing events in Tunisia and Egypt and how they will influence the state of U.S. relations with the region’s governments and people and what steps the U.S. government can take to support democratic transitions in Egypt and Tunisia. Panelists include: Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow at Hoover Institution at Stanford University and founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy; Tom Malinowski​, Washington Director at Human Rights Watch; and Mona Yacoubian​, Special Adviser at the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, United States Institute of Peace. For more information, please click here.
Posted in Democracy Promotion, Egypt, Events, POMED, Protests, Tunisia, US foreign policy | Comment »
Egypt Update: Mubarak to Step Down
February 10th, 2011 by Naureen
Twitter statements state that Egyptian State TV is reporting that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will hand over power to the Egyptian military tonight. And NBC reports that two sources have informed them that Mubarak will step down and will hand over power to Vice President Omar Suleiman. The Supreme Council of the military led by Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, Defense Minister and Minister of Military Production, is also currently meeting without Mubarak, who is traditionally attends. BBC reports that Hossan Badrawi, secretary general of the National Democratic Party also stated that Mubarak will “most probably” speak to the nation soon. POMED’s contacts on the ground also tell us that the power may be handed to a group of three military officers including Suleiman, Tantawi and either Sami Enan, chief of Egyptian armed forces, or the current Chief of Military Intelligence, the post previously held by Suleiman. Protesters in Tahrir Square are cheering the news.
Update: CIA director Leon Panetta said Thursday that there is a “strong likelihood” that Mubarak will resign Thursday night: “”There’s a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening, which would be significant in terms of where the, hopefully, orderly transition in Egypt takes place,” he said at a congressional hearing.
Update 2: Mubarak, addressing the nation, stated he would delegate some powers to his VP Suleiman and promised amendments to some constitutional provisions, including a promise to lift the emergency law at some future point.  He strongly reaffirmed his plans to remain as President until presidential elections later this year.  He reiterated that he would not seek another term in such elections.  Protesters in Tahrir square reacted with anger and rage, shouting for Mubarak to leave, with many protesters taking their shoes off and waving them in the air.  Showing someone the sole of your shoe is considered a great insult in the Arab world.
Posted in Egypt, Protests | Comment »
POMED Notes: “The Role of Citizen Journalism and Social Media in the Middle East and North Africa”
February 10th, 2011 by Naureen
On Monday, the National Democratic Institute hosted a discussion about the role new and social media has played in the dissemination of information and in supporting offline mobilization across the region. Joelle Jackson, senior program officer at NDI made opening remarks. Chris Spence, chief technology officer at NDI moderated the event and introduced the panelists: Houeida Anouar, a Tunisian digital activist; Golnaz Esfandiari, senior correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and editor of the Persian Letters blog; and Raed Jarrar, Iraqi-American blogger and political advocate based in Washington.
To read full notes continue below or click here for pdf.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Egypt, Event Notes, Freedom, Iran, Iraq, Journalism, Middle Eastern Media, Protests, Reform, Tunisia | Comment »
Video: Clip of Wael Ghonim Interview With CNN
February 9th, 2011 by Alec
Posted in Egypt, Freedom, Human Rights, Protests | Comment »
Tunisia: Interim President Granted Wide Powers, Military Reservists Called Up
February 9th, 2011 by Alec
Interim President Fouad Mebazaa was unanimously granted wide powers by the Tunisian Senate on Wednesday.  The vote reaffirmed an earlier vote in the lower house of parliament that allows Mebazaa to rule by decree.  The new powers will allow Mebazaa to largely sidestep the RCD-dominated parliament on transition and election issues which include: general amnesty, human rights legislation, the organization of political parties and a new electoral code.  Meanwhile, violence has continued in the country since the fall of Zine Ben Ali, with police injuring and killing several people during protests and clashes. In response to the continued unrest, the interim government on Tuesday called military reservists to report for duty to help restore order.  The police are widely distrusted by the majority of Tunisians for their role during the Ben Ali regime.
Posted in Protests, Reform, Tunisia | Comment »
Iraq: Anti-Government Protests
February 9th, 2011 by Alec
Posted in Iraq, Protests | Comment »
Photo: Sign At The Egyptian Parliament
February 9th, 2011 by Alec
“Closed until the regime is toppled.”
Mona Seif, via Yfrog
Posted in Egypt, Protests, Uncategorized | Comment »
Is Caution the Right U.S. Strategy?
February 8th, 2011 by Naureen
The New York Times asked various experts what the risks of Obama Administrations’s cautious “go-slower in Egypt” approach and support for Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman and what policy approach the administration should take. Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, states that the situation in Egypt is not analogous to the Iranian Revolution and that “so long as Mubarak remains in power, the most radical elements will use his presence as irritant against which to rally.” David Makovsky, Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy project on the Middle East Peace Process, counters by citing examples from Lebanon and Iran. Those who argue that the Muslim Brotherhood lacks mass support miss a crucial point, Makovsky says, “The Islamists have demonstrated that they are potent not because they are a majority, but because they are a determined and disciplined minority.”
Marwan Muasher, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Jordanian foreign minister, calls on the administration to be cautious in their support for Suleiman’s reforms as “it looks like the regime is trying to do just enough to buy more time” by failing to take “the steps necessary to fundamentally alter the structure of the political system.” Clark Lomabardi​, associate professor of law at the University of Washington, states that the U.S. is “right to favor a negotiated ‘legal’ transition, but must use all its leverage to ensure that the regime does not abuse the inordinate power granted under the current constitution.” Shadi Hamid, POMED board member and director of research at the Brookings Doha Center, argues that there is a gap between U.S. priorities for an orderly transition and the protesters’ priority to remove Mubarak from office.  Lydia Khalil, POMED board member and non-resident fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, argues that the United States’ Middle East policy has a short-term focus and that by fixating on Mubarak’s departure, the administration is failing to address “the fundamental concerns of the Egyptian opposition and risks alienating its future partners.” The administration, she says, needs to concentrate on the demands of the people, bolster secular opposition, and assist in initiating institutional and constitutional reform.
Posted in Egypt, Protests, Reform, US foreign policy | Comment »
Egypt: Mubarak’s Regime Could Have Created an Opposition Leader
February 8th, 2011 by Kyle
Writing at Foreign Policy, Blake Hounshell discusses the emergence of Wael Ghonim as a potential leader of the protest movement in Egypt.  Ghonim is believed to be one creators of the Facebook page “We Are All Khaled Said” which was made to commemorate Khaled Said, who was killed by police in June 2010. The initial January 25th protests were organized on the page. Ghonim, who was imprisoned for 12 days before his release on Monday, gave an impassioned interview on Egypt’s DreamTV stating: “This was a revolution of the youth of all of Egypt. I’m not a hero.” Hounshell believes that Ghonim’s release comes at a critical time: “Ironically, by kidnapping, detaining, and then releasing Ghonim — instantly turning him into a nationwide celebrity — the regime may have just created an undisputed leader for a movement that in recent days has struggled to find its footing.”
Posted in Egypt, Protests | Comment »
Egypt: Footage of Massive Protests in Tahrir Square on Tuesday
February 8th, 2011 by Kyle
Posted in Egypt, Protests | Comment »
Egypt: Footage of Violent Clashes Between Protesters Emerges
February 8th, 2011 by Kyle
These images were gathered during the clashes between pro and anti-Mubarak protesters last week.
Posted in Egypt, Protests | Comment »
Egypt: “Mubarak’s Interests Are Not America’s”
February 8th, 2011 by Kyle
Saad Eddin Ibrahim, writing in The Wall Street Journal, believes that the United States and other Western leaders have been “duped” by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and must seek an immediate democratic transition. Saad discusses how Mubarak has misled his people and the international community into believing that he is the only answer for stability in Egypt and the region. Saad states that: “He has accomplished this feat by systematically eliminating—through intimidation, torture and imprisonment—all potential alternatives to his leadership.” Saad argues that Mubarak’s economic policies and his work with the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict has not brought greater prosperity to the people of the Middle East, but instead has only served the interests of those close to his regime. Saad states that the West must, “continue to make it clear that they will not be deceived any longer by Mr. Mubarak” and that Western Governments “must lean on the Egyptian military and support the rapid emergence of a transitional government that will pave the way to free and fair elections fully supervised by the judiciary.”
Posted in Egypt, Mideast Peace Plan, Protests, Reform, US foreign policy | Comment »
Egypt: Wael Ghonim Gains Supporters on Facebook
February 8th, 2011 by Naureen
On Monday, a Facebook group entitled “I Authorize Wael Ghonim to Speak On Behalf of the Egyptian Revolution” was formed. The group has accumulated over 144,000 supporters since formation, 19 hours ago, and is growing by the minute.
Posted in Egypt, Protests, Public Opinion, Reform | Comment »
Working Group on Egypt Sends Letter to Administration Expressing Concern
February 8th, 2011 by Naureen
On Monday, the Working Group on Egypt sent letters to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing fears that the administration may “acquiesce to an inadequate and possibly fraudulent transition process in Egypt” as the current process undertaken by Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman is deemed to have “many attributes of a smoke screen.” They caution that supporting Mubarak and Suleiman’s proposals rather than the legitimate demands of the opposition would be a serious error if we seek “a true transition to democracy and an open political system that protects civil rights and liberties.” They go on to say that the “need for constitutional changes is not a justification for the continuation in power of Hosni Mubarak” and provide a list of elements necessary for transition.
Click here to read the Working Group’s letter to Obama.
Posted in Democracy Promotion, Egypt, Protests, Reform, US foreign policy | Comment »
Egypt: Protests Reinvigorated by Wael Ghonim Interview
February 8th, 2011 by Kyle
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Cairo, Tuesday, showing that protests would indeed continue. Tuesday’s protests mark the 15th day of protests in Tahrir Square and show a renewed spirit that many have reported is due to the impassioned interview of Google executive and youth activist, Wael Ghonim. Al Jazeera reports that this new wave of optimism has been felt throughout the country and amidst the protesters, many who have joined the protests in Tahrir for the first time.
Posted in Egypt, Protests, Public Opinion, Reform, Uncategorized | Comment »
Egypt: Must-See Interview with Wael Ghonim
February 8th, 2011 by Kyle
On Monday, young Egyptian executive for Google Wael Ghonim was released from prison after being detained for helping to organize the January 25th demonstrations that kicked off Egypt’s current unrest. His interview on Thursday evening on Egypt’s DreamTV channel has been lauded across Egypt and has served as inspiration for many protesters on Tuesday, who say that Ghonim captures the true spirit of those protesting in Tahrir Square and across Egypt. Below are the videos with closed captioning of English subtitles available.
Posted in Egypt, Protests, Reform | Comment »
Clinton and Kerry Call for Reform and Concrete Steps Towards Transition
February 7th, 2011 by Naureen
On Sunday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to address his nation and clarify what the timetable and process for transition will be.  ”The most important thing now,” Kerry said, “is to guarantee the process is in place where there are free and fair elections.”  Speaking on NPR on Sunday, U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that she had spoken to Egyptian Vice President Omar​Suleiman and pressed him to issue timelines and ensure that the dialogue process is transparent and meaningful and leads to concrete steps towards transition.  Clinton also called on other Arab leaders to implement economic and political reform.  Speaking to Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik on Saturday, Clinton also emphasized the need to ensure that the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people are met and that a broad cross-section of civil society and political actors are involved in the transition process.
Posted in Democracy Promotion, Egypt, Elections, Protests, Reform | Comment »
House Democrats Call For Action on Egypt
February 7th, 2011 by Alec
Democratic House Reps. Jim Moran - VA, John Conyers - MI, Raul Grijalva - AZ, Michael Honda - CA, Jim McDermott - WA, and Keith Ellison - MI, sent House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) a letter calling for the House to take up an emergency resolution to express support for the Egyptian people and their “struggle for freedom and democracy as soon as possible upon returning to session.”  The letter stressed the importance of sending a “strong message” to the Egyptian government and military to respect the people’s right to assemble, protect unarmed citizens, and immediately halt any use of aggression against demonstrators.  The House members also said that the Egyptian people had the right to determine the future of their government and that Congress should help, “amplify President Obama’s message calling on President Mubarak to respond to the urgent and legitimate demands of the Egyptian people.”
Posted in Democracy Promotion, Egypt, Protests, US foreign policy | Comment »
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Egypt Update: Transcript of Mubarak’s Speech
Egypt Update: VP Suleiman Speech Transcript
POMED Event: “After the Uprisings: U.S. Policy in a Changing Middle East”
Egypt Update: Mubarak to Step Down
POMED Notes: “The Role of Citizen Journalism and Social Media in the Middle East and North Africa”
POMED Notes: “Recent Developments in Egypt and Lebanon:Implications for U.S. Policy and Allies in the Broader Middle East, Part 1″
Video: Clip of Wael Ghonim Interview With CNN
Jordan: King Swears In New Government Amid Criticism
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