12 May 2011 - 19 Jan 2022
30 May 2012
The Ministry of Health conducts a Demographic and Health Survey every three years. It is the only comprehensive national survey to give a panoramic view of the demographic and health reality in Egypt. The ministry always commissions El-Zanaty and Associates to conduct the survey, which is funded by USAID and supported by UNICEF. Egypt's DHS is part of the MEASURE DHS project, a USAID project which aims at generating information to help guide policies and plans on nutrition, population and various health issues, especially reproductive health, as well as monitoring and evaluating these policies. The project began worldwide in 1984 to provide assistance to developing countries, and has earned a high reputation for the validity and quality of the data it collects. In Egypt, household surveys began in the eighties and the most recent DHS was released in 2008. Data from these surveys provided insights about child mortality, fertility, family planning, HIV and other emerging health issues such as Hepatitis C, or Avian influenza. For the last three decades, such surveys have been an indispensable resource for any researcher in the fields of health, gender, sexuality or nutrition. It...
26 April 2012
Mona Al-Tahawy’s article, Why Do They Hate published in Foreign Policy magazine, caused huge controversy over the past few days. The bottom line of the article is women all over the MENA region are oppressed by every single man in their lives; men in their families, in society at large, male members of the government, MPs from the Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated political parties etc. They all miraculously agree and come together to conspire against us women and the reason is: HATE. They simply hate “us”.Many responses have been issued, most of them attacking Mona personally. A thing I can understand but not find useful. A friend told me we really have to think about what she said not launch personal attacks against her. I stopped for a while to think about what really bothered me with the article and I found that I am not comfortable with neo-orientalist approach she uses, the way she interprets numbers and her terminology. This is what is going to be discussed in this article.Manipulation of numbers and studiesIf you want to look smart and credible just use numbers, cite studies and surveys and then say whatever you want to say. This is the strategy Mona used to unquestionably prove women’s plight...
12 December 2011
Twelve hours into the deadly attack by Central Security Forces on peaceful protesters on 19 November, Major General Mohsen al-Fangary, member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), indirectly implicated Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the current state of unrest. The interview, which was conducted by telephone with Al-Hayat satellite channel, abruptly went from his meeting with families of the revolution martyrs and the wounded to the representatives of CSOs he says were present during the meeting. Besides the fact that such references to civil society was out of context, Fangary urged viewers to reflect on their understanding of the supposed role of civil society. He then blatantly accused civil society of working "for the interest of the people." Guilty as charged, Mr. Major General? The esteemed member of the ruling military council expressed his deep shock at the realization that the concept of civil society as understood by those constituting it, was that they were there to "support the citizen" even if it meant opposing the government. Apparently he was misled, up until that moment, to believe that civil society was the government's unfaltering wingman.
The affinity of officials to blame civil society for all things gone wrong is not new in either pre- or post-revolution Egypt, and for good reason. First, repressive regimes,...
27 November 2011
Statement no. 84 by the Supreme Council of Military Forces on 24 November announced the establishment of a military field hospital in Tahrir Square to provide medical assistance to protesters wounded as a result of state-induced violence. The step, which was both too late and unwelcomed by Tahrir protesters, came five days into the deadly attacks on protestors that left dozens killed and thousands wounded by central security and military forces.Since Saturday, 19 November, more than 12 makeshift hospitals have been established in the square and floods of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals have swarmed in to offer their services. The swiftness and efficiency with which the hospitals are established and managed bears little resemblance to the make-shift hospitals characteristic of the initial uprising in January. Nine months of experience that followed the beginning of the revolution has made hard-core emergency medics out of young doctors. Alongside the field stations of the Arab Medical Union's...
28 October 2011
On 31 October, a group of researchers, activists and civil society organizations will launch the Egyptian Debt Audit and Cancellation Campaign in coordination with international actions in Europe and Latin America. The main goal of the campaign is to audit and cancel Egypt's foreign debt that was accumulated under ousted President Hosni Mubarak. Based on credit that was extended to a dictatorial regime lacking even minimal standards of accountability, transparency and public oversight, this debt is considered "odious".
Egypt's outstanding foreign debt hovers around $35 billion or 15 percent of the GDP. Some may contend that Egypt is not a heavily indebted country. Foreign debt stock (denominated in foreign currencies) is by no means huge as compared to countries with similar income. Foreign debt service has constantly decreased since the early 1990s. According to the Ministry of Finance, the ratio of foreign debt service (interest and installment payments) to exports was around 6 percent in July/August 2011, which is far from alarming.
But foreign debt is only one side of the story. If domestic debt is considered as well, then Egypt is a heavily indebted country. Domestic debt, which refers to credit denominated in Egyptian pounds, stands at a massive 68 percent of the total GDP. This ratio exceeds the "safe limit" set by the...
28 July 2011
Amr Gharbeia: I was kidnapped by unidentified people under the pretext I was a spy, and threatened with a knife as I was taken to different security agencies
On the evening of the 23rd of July, a group of people abducted Amr Gharbeia, Technology and Freedoms Program Officer for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), against the backdrop of the bloody battle of Abbassiya which took place on the evening of the 23rd July. The abductors decided he was a member of the April 6th Movement as well as being a spy, and that they had to take him to the military police.
It all began when Amr and a number of his colleagues were participating in the march heading from Tahrir Square to the Military Council headquarters, which was intercepted violently in Abbassiya Square by people dressed in civilian clothing – most of them reckoned to be hired from outside the area. Security forces fired tear gas canisters, while the army maintained their negative neutrality, according to eyewitness reports.
The smear campaign against Amr reached its nadir in his abduction and subsequent journey, in which he was taken from the headquarters of the military police and military investigations, to the general intelligence agency, to the al-Amiriyah police station, and then to the al-Waely police station in Abbassiya, in a series of ironic...
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights encourages freedom of information.