Egypt Today rounds up this week’s news and milestones
By Ahmed Mansour & Kaylan Geiger
Week in Quotes
El-Sisi Visits the United Nations
After recently passing the 100-day mark as president, President Abdul Fattah El-Sisi addressed the United Nations General Assembly’s 69th Session on September 24.
During his speech, El-Sisi stressed that Egypt should work to respect people’s freedoms while enforcing the rule of law, and placed a special emphasis on the topics of climate change and terrorism.
El-Sisi’s address to the U.N. General Assembly came alongside several visits with U.S. politicians and leaders, including former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, Hilary Clinton and former U.S. President Bill Clinton. El-Sisi also met with U.S. President Barack Obama to address several important issues, including counter-terrorism operations and political repression in Egypt.
Sparking controversy, Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan criticized El-Sisi’s presidency during his address at the U.N. General Assembly by referring to the “murder of democracy in Egypt,” which received a backlash of criticism from Egyptian diplomats who dismissed the comment. Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been tense since the ouster of Former President Mohamed Morsi.
“A state that respects the rights and freedoms, honors its duties, and ensures the co-existence of its citizens without exclusion or discrimination. A state that respects and enforces the rule of law, guarantees freedom of opinion for all and ensures freedom of belief and worship to its people. A state that is determined to achieve growth, prosperity, and a promising future that meets the aspirations of its people.”
— President Abdul Fattah El-Sisi in his address to the U.N. General Assembly.
"The United Nations as well as the democratic countries have done nothing but watch the events such as overthrowing the elected president in Egypt and the killings of thousands of innocent people who want to defend their choice. And the person who carried out this coup is being legitimized."
— Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan in his address to the U.N. General Assembly.
"There is no doubt that the fabrication of such lies and fabrications are not something strange that comes from the Turkish President, who is keen to provoke chaos to sow divisions in the Middle East region through its support for groups and terrorist organizations."
— Statement from Egypt's Foreign Ministry
“El-Sisi always makes us proud to be Egyptians and he reminds me a lot of Anwar Al-Sadat, with his charisma and well organized speeches. As for the speech, it was simply marvelous; Sisi tackled issues that are extremely essential, him stressing on the terrorist actions taking place, QSIS and their inhuman actions reveals to the whole world how we as Arabs think about the matter.” — Fareed Gergious, a member of the Strong Egypt Party, to Egypt Today
“I think that El-Sisi is on the right track, he is trying as much as possible to convince the world that Egypt is and always will be moving forward and evolving.” — Dr. Mortada Heykal, a professor of political affairs at MUST University, to Egypt Today
Mubarak Retrial Verdict Postponed
The retrial verdict of former President Hosni Mubarak was postponed to November 29. Mubarak, along with former Interior Minister Habib Al-Adly and six others, has been accused of the killing of protesters during the January 25 Revolution.
Mubarak was found guilty in the previous court case and sentenced to life in prison in 2012, but the verdict was overturned for technical reasons.
In addition to postponing the verdict, an Egyptian court also ordered that Al-Adly be detained while the evidence against him is examined.
"I spent my whole life defending Egypt and its sons. I say before God, you and the people that I have spent my life fighting the enemies of the country.”
— Former President Hosni Mubarak to the court in August.
“Postponement of the verdict in the trials of deposed President Hosni Mubarak and his aides, for the killing of protesters during the January 25 (2011) Revolution, proved that the judiciary is still an instrument of the military coup, and that all its actions and decisions are closer to military dictates than to judicial judgments.”
— the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, in an official statement.
“It is very expected for the trial to be postponed, it’s not the first time and certainly it won’t be the last. A case with this magnitude is very hard for the judge to decide on so soon. I applaud the judicial system handling this case on their time so that they would be able to come up with a just ruling.” —Mohamed Hafeez, a lawyer at the Misdemeanor Court, to Egypt Today
“What the government is doing is studying the general atmosphere of the people, why are they doing that? It’s because they know the ruling of the case will not meet the satisfaction of most people, so will they issue out the ruling before Eid vacation? When everyone has nothing to do or work to go to? Of course not, they will wait until people are swamped with their work and then announce the verdict.” —Beshoy Andrew, a member of Strong Egypt Party, to Egypt Today
Eid Al-Adha Begins October 4
Eid Al-Adha, the second of two religious holidays celebrated in Islam every year, will begin on October 4. Egypt will combine the holidays of Eid Al-Adha and the anniversary of the 1973 October War this year, and government staff will be given October 3-October 8 as holiday, whereas most public sector employees will resume work on October 7. Egypt Today
spoke with some Egyptians about their observance of the religious holiday.
“My family and I we never go out in Eid because it’s dangerous and we can’t really get anywhere because of the traffic jams that are almost everywhere. We try as much as we can to stay put at home and enjoy it.” — Dr. Mohamed Refaat, 55, who works at Al-Sherouk Hospital, to Egypt Today
“I am originally from Assuit and that is where my whole family is. So every Eid, as a tradition, I have to go back home and spend some time with the family. But this year, just like the year before, I am having a hard time going back home not empty-handed; everything is very expensive and with the money I make I cannot keep up.” — Hassanein Mabrook, 34, a waiter at a restaurant in Zamalek, 34, to Egypt Today
“Of course I will be spending it at home. It’s extremely dangerous for a woman to celebrate Eid in Egypt with all the sexual harassment and kidnapping cases that take place in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria.” — Radwa Khafaga, 21, a student in the MIU University Faculty of Dentistry, to Egypt Today
Crowned, Egypt’s new beauty queens Miss Egypt 2014 Lara Debbane, Miss Egypt World 2014 Amina Ashraf and Miss Egypt Earth 2014 Nancy Magdy. Debbane competed against 17 other finalists for the crown and will represent Egypt at Miss Universe 2014.
, director Mohamed Khan’s “Factory Girl” by the Egypt Cinema Syndicate to be Egypt’s official entry for the Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film 2015. Nine films will be selected from the nominees by the Oscar’s Foreign Language Film Award Committee to compete in the 87th Academy Awards.
, the life expectancy of an Egyptian by three years compared to 2006. According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAMPAS), the survival ratio for males increased from 66.5 to 69.7 and increased for females from 69.1 to 72.5.
, Egyptian squash player Mohamed Elshorbagy the World No. 2 in the October PSA World Tour Rankings. Elshorbagy has already claimed a hat-trick this year by claiming the Hong Kong Squash Open, CIMB Malaysian Open and Abierto Mexicano de Racquets titles.