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Friday
Feb042011

Egypt Special Analysis: Can a Day of Departure Avoid a Day of Bloodshed?

For all the significance of the Battle of Tahrir Square and the continuing protests across Egypt, the breaking story last night was this US proposal:

Officials from both governments are continuing talks about a plan in which Mr. Suleiman, backed by Lt. Gen. Sami Enan, chief of the Egyptian armed forces, and Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the defense minister, would immediately begin a process of constitutional reform.

The proposal also calls for the transitional government to invite members from a broad range of opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, to begin work to open up the country’s electoral system in an effort to bring about free and fair elections in September, the officials said.

This was the proposition put to Mubarak by President Obama's envoy Frank Wisner when he arrived in Cairo on Sunday. And it was the plan that Mubarak rudely kicked away with his speech on Tuesday night, symbolically torched when his supporters laid siege to the opposition on Wednesday, and ground into the dust with the pursuit of journalists on Thursday.

So does the President now accept a fate which is not in power --- even until September --- but in an immediate departure, leaving perhaps a shred of the pride that he has bee citing all week?

Or, with the anti-regime protesters facing the prospect of either breaking out or suffering another day of siege in Tahrir Square, do they march? And does that march bring the last line of protection of Mubarak: a wielding of violence by the groups that appeared on Wednesday and --- much more importantly --- the military?

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Thursday
Feb032011

Israel Document: Netanyahu on the Dangers of Change

"One possible scenario, which undoubtedly unites us all, is that these hopes for democracy and a gradual, stable reform process are realized in Egypt. 

However, this is not the only possible scenario.  Because far away from Washington, Paris, London --- and not so far from Jerusalem --- is another capital in which there are hopes.

In this capital, there are leaders who can also see the opportunities that change in Egypt could bring.  They also support the millions who took to the streets.  They too speak about the promise of a new day.  But for the people in this capital, the promise of a new day is not in its dawn but in the darkness it can bring.

That capital is Tehran, and I assure you, that the leaders in Iran are not interested in the genuine desires of Egyptians for freedom, liberalization or reform, any more than they were interested in answering similar calls for freedom by the Iranian people, their own people, only 18 months ago."

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Thursday
Feb032011

Egypt in Pictures: Thursday's Scenes of Defiance

Also See --- Egypt in Pictures: The Battle of Tahrir Square
Also See --- Egypt in Pictures: The Women of the Protests 

A Message to US President Barack Obama

Wednesday: Christians Protect Praying Muslims

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Thursday
Feb032011

The Latest from Iran (3 February): Glancing at Cairo

2120 GMT: The "Right" Egyptian Revolution. How much is Tehran playing up Egypt? To the point where almost all the story on Press TV's "Iran" section after actually about Cairo....

The military advisor to the Supreme Leader, Brigadier General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, suggests that some of the opposition figures are not "right" for Iran: “By introducing several people as [protest] leaders, the US is seeking to pave the way for creating rifts amidst the Egyptian nation and to use the outcome to its own advantage.”

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri-Hamedani is also setting out Good and Bad for the demonstrators, warning anti-regime protesters in Egypt over the dangers of a “secular revolution".

So what is the right path? MP Gholam-Reza Mesbahi-Moghaddam helps out, “Thanks to the Islamic Revolution, Islam and Shiism is cultivating in the world and this revolutionary culture is Islamic.”

The Foreign Ministry says it is monitoring the "wave of Islamic awakening".

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Thursday
Feb032011

Palestine Snapshot: Will Egypt and Tunisia Examples Bring Change? 

UPDATE 1000 GMT: On Wednesday, officials in Ramallah initiated pro-Mubarak demonstrations as people condemned Mohamed ElBaradei as a “CIA agent”. Fatah-controlled media outlets called him a“war criminal”, blaming responsibility for the Iraq war.   

Haaretz's Amira Haaas asks: "Why isn't the PA supporting Egypt uprising?"

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Thursday
Feb032011

Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Battle of Tahrir Square

0200 GMT: With relative quiet in Egypt, we're going to take a break until Scott Lucas resumes in a few hours with the Friday LiveBlog.

0118 GMT: Al Jazeera TV just announced that Reuters quoting the New York Times reports that the US is discussing a proposal with Egyptian proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and for a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman to take power. We cannot confirm this as of yet. 

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Wednesday
Feb022011

Latest Egypt Video: The Battle of Tahrir Square in Cairo

Anti-Mubarak protester gives graphic early-morning account of the battle: "Why do we have to lose people? Nobody's stopping it"

Pro-Mubarak horseriders attack

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Wednesday
Feb022011

Egypt in Pictures: Wednesday's Protests

A Wounded Anti-Mubarak Protester Prays

A Doctor Treats a Crying Soldier

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Wednesday
Feb022011

Turkey's Message for Egypt: "Democracy Shall Win"

On Tuesday, as hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to "listen to people's outcries and extremely humanistic demands" and continued his advice:

Meet the freedom demands of people without a doubt. In today’s world, freedoms cannot be postponed or overlooked.

We are mortal. We will all die and be judged by those who remain. As Muslims, our final address is a two-cubic-meter hole. What matters is to be remembered with respect. We should listen to the voice of our conscience and the voice of our people and be ready either for their good prayers or curses. We are for the people; we are in the service of the people.

Turkey will continue to stand side-by-side with both the Tunisian and Egyptian people and continue to share their hope and happiness.

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Wednesday
Feb022011

Egypt in Pictures: The Women of the Protests

On Facebook, Leil-Zahra Morada has been asking for images of Egyptian women in the current demonstrations. She now has an album of 125 photographs. Just a few of the striking images:

Victoria Hazou (AP/SIPA Press)

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