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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Hosni Mubarak’

Orange Telecom’s Troubled Egyptian History

Friday, June 5th, 2015

As CEO of French multinational telecommunications corporation Orange S.A. Stephane Richard was telling journalists in Cairo on Wednesday how happy he would be to cut ties with Israel, few outside Cairo were aware of the painful legacy of the mobile providers in Egypt and Orange in particular.

Back in 2011, when the Egyptian government under President Hosni Mubarak was cracking down on protesters in the big cities, suddenly the most effective means of communication activists had been using to coordinate action across the country—most prominently Facebook and Twitter—were unplugged.

As the Wall Street Journal reported four years ago, attempts to connect to websites belonging to Egyptian ISPs—EgyptWeb, TeData and Purenet—failed.

France Telecom, Orange’s original owner, confirmed that Egyptian authorities had taken “measures to block mobile phone services,” and apologized to the customers of Mobinil, the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services, of which Orange S.A. owns 98.92%.

Considering that Mobinil had an estimated 34 million Egyptian subscribers, it is clear why the name Orange was interchangeable with the idea of mobile phone service in Egypt, and why the betrayal, just when its services were needed the most, has left such deep-seated anger among Egyptians.

According to a Vodafone statement, mobile operators in Egypt were told “to suspend services in parts of Egypt. Under Egyptian legislation, the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it.”

The mobile companies capitulated without even an attempt to stand up to the embattled dictator Mubarak.

Many in Egypt noted that, in 2009, when Iranian youth and intellectuals had taken to the streets, it took forever to get online, due to government trickery, but you eventually got your message through using Google’s DNS and VPNs. In Cairo, it was a complete shutdown.

Renesys, an Internet intelligence company, reported “the virtually simultaneous withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks in the Internet’s global routing table… an action unprecedented in Internet history.”

As luck would have it, eventually the Egyptian authorities ordered Orange’s arch-rival Vodafone to switch its network back on, so the secret service could send out unsolicited text messages.

At that point, Vodafone rediscovered its backbone, and announced that the Egyptian government had forced it to send pro-Hosni Mubarak text messages to their customers. Vodafone said it protested to the authorities that it finds these messages is unacceptable.

Regardless of whether or not that series of events actually caused the shift in that country’s telecom business, the fact is that, as of 2011, Vodafone has become the leader in Egypt’s telecom market, with the largest customer base and revenue share.

Stephane Richard is probably not the completely rabid anti-Semite some have made him up to be. As he himself admitted, for him, the move to unload Israeli customers is just business.

If Orange wants to reinvigorate its Egyptian business, it must first mend the bridges it burned four years ago.

And what better way to become the darling of Egyptian consumers once again than by dumping on Israel and capitalizing on Egyptian anti-Semitism.

Mubarak Sentenced to Three Years

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

In a retrial of his corruption case, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his 2 sons have been sentenced to 3 years with no parole.

There’s a possibility that Mubarak may not have to serve any time, due to the amount of time he already served in jail.

Morsi Sentenced to 20 Years n Jail

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

An Egyptian court Tuesday morning sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in jail for inciting to kill protesters in 2012. He could have been sentenced to death.

Morsi still faces a possible death sentence for other crimes, including espionage, after he won the elections after the Muslim Brotherhood, with the support of President Barack Obama, forced Hosni Mubarak to resign.

Mubarak eventually was tried, convinced and sent to jail for corruption.

If the Muslim Brotherhood has its way, current president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is next in line to go to prison. The terrorist party called for pro-Morsi demonstrations Tuesday and stated, “The coup commander [Al-Sisi] is exploiting the judiciary as a weapon in the battle against popular will and the democratic and revolutionary legitimacy represented by President Mohamed Morsi.”

Morsi will join in jail hundreds of other Muslim Brotherhood members who have been convicted for helping to kill hundreds of people, among those who still were alive after Mubarak’s forces killed nearly 1,000 people and before Al-Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime murdered more than 1,000 protesters since taking power.


Egypt Marks Anti-Mubarak Uprising by Freeing his Sons and Killing 20

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Egypt has freed the sons of Hosni Mubarak from jail while security forces killed around 20 people, mostly Islamists, protesting on the fourth anniversary of the anti-Mubarak uprising that has left the country with the same kind of dictatorship under a different name.

Gamal and Alaa Mubarak had been in jail for nearly four years until a judge last week ordered them to be freed after they were exonerated on charges of embezzlement

Their father Hosni Mubarak had ruled Egypt with an iron fist until the “Arab Spring” swept into Egypt in the middle of the winter four years ago and, with the open support of the Obama administration, forced him to resign.

A temporary military regime replaced him and continued his legacy of murdering opponents. The Muslim Brotherhood, again with the blessings of Washington, took over after “democratic” elections that to this day are questioned concerning the veracity of the results.

Another uprising forced out the Muslim Brotherhood regime, and Egypt now is under the thumb of former general and now President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, whose security forces “celebrated” the uprising for freedom earlier this week by killing 19 or 20 protesters, depending on which report you want to believe. A policeman also was killed.

Sisi last year announced an outline for democratic reforms, which apparently do not allowed for street demonstrations against his regime.

Now that Mubarak’s sons have been cleared of charges of corruption, the most glaring results of the uprising are more than a thousand graves in the cemetery.

Deposed Former Egyptian President Mubarak Acquitted of Murder

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Three years after Egypt’s January 25 Revolution removed him from power, former President Hosni Mubarak has been acquitted of murder. The nationwide riots began in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square as part of the Arab Spring movement that swept numerous Arab leaders from their posts throughout the Middle East.

The former Egyptian leader who ruled his nation with an iron hand for decades was summarily deposed in early February 2011. Within weeks he was charged with the murders of hundreds of anti-government protesters by security forces and thrown into prison, where he remained for the past three years.

Following Saturday’s acquittal, Egyptian police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse more than a thousand protesters.

At least two demonstrators were killed and nine others were wounded in the melee that followed the 1,430-page decision handed down by Judge Mohamed Rashidi.

Although Mubarak was acquitted on the charges of murder — as well as charges of corruption that he faced with sons Ala’a and Gamal — he continues to serve a three-year sentence on a separate embezzlement charge.

Mubarak, age 86, was returned by stretcher to the military hospital where he currently is serving his term on house arrest.

What Egypt’s President Sisi Really Thinks

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

{Originally posted at Middle East Forum website}

Former air marshal Husni Mubarak, now 86, had ruled Egypt for thirty years when his military colleagues forced him from office in 2011. Three years and many upheavals later, those same colleagues replaced his successor with retired field marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, 59. The country, in short, made a grand round-trip, going from military ruler to military ruler, simply dropping down a generation.

This return raises basic questions: After all the hubbub, how much has actually changed? Does Sisi differ from Mubarak, for example, in such crucial matters as attitudes toward democracy and Islam, or is he but a younger clone?

Sisi remains something of a mystery. He plays his cards close to the vest; one observer who watched his presidential inaugural speech on television on June 8 described it as “loaded with platitudes and very long.”[1] He left few traces as he zoomed through the ranks in three years, going from director of Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance to become the youngest member of the ruling military council and, then, rapidly ascending to chief of staff, defense minister, and president.

Sisi makes two main arguments: Democracy is good for the Middle East; and for it to succeed, many conditions must first be achieved.

Fortunately, a document exists that reveals Sisi’s views from well before his presidency: An essay dated March 2006, when he attended the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. His 5,000-word English-language term paper, “Democracy in the Middle East,”[2] has minimal intrinsic value but holds enormous interest by providing the candid views of an obscure brigadier general soon and unexpectedly to be elected pharaoh of Egypt.

While one cannot discount careerism in a term paper, Sisi’s generally assertive and opinionated tone—as well as his negative comments about the United States and the Mubarak regime—suggest that he expressed himself freely.

In the paper, Sisi makes two main arguments: Democracy is good for the Middle East; and for it to succeed, many conditions must first be achieved. Sisi discusses other topics as well, which offer valuable insights into his thinking.

Democracy Is Good for the Middle East

Sisi endorses democracy for practical, rather than philosophical, reasons: It just works better than a dictatorship. “Many in the Middle East feel that current and previous autocratic governments have not produced the expected progress.”[3] Democracy has other benefits, as well: It reduces unhappiness with government and narrows the vast gap between ruler and ruled, both of which he sees contributing to the region’s backwardness. In all, democracy can ac- complish much for the region and those who promote it “do have an opportunity now in the Middle East.”

In parallel, Sisi accepts the free market because it works better than socialism: “[M]any Middle East countries attempted to sustain government-controlled markets instead of free markets and as a result no incentive developed to drive the economy.”

It is reasonable, even predictable that Gen. Sisi would view democracy and free markets in terms of their efficacy. But without a genuine commitment to these systems, will President Sisi carry through with them, even at the expense of his own power and the profits from the socialized military industries run by his former colleagues?[4] His 2006 paper implies only a superficial devotion to democracy; and some of his actions since assuming power (such as returning to appointed rather than elected university deans and chairmen[5]) do not auger well for democracy.

Conditions for Democracy to Succeed in the Middle East

Sisi lays down three requirements for democracy to succeed in the Middle East:

Egyptians Choose a President (Again)

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Egyptians are going to the polls today (Monday) and tomorrow to elect a president in what many see as a foregone conclusion. But the issue is not whether former Field Marshal and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will be elected president – the issue is how many of Egypt’s 80 million citizens will actually turn out to vote.

El-Sisi, whose opponent was socialist activist Hamdeen Sabahi, was responsible for the June 30, 2013 removal of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president.

Former President Mohammed Morsi was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and elected by a popular vote that many Egyptians said was rigged. The election followed the “January 25 Revolution” that toppled the decades-old regime of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

The “intervention” – as the subsequent military government called it – came in response to months of protests against the increasingly restrictive Islamist regime.

By June, millions of Egyptians had signed a petition asking the president to resign, and were flooding the streets in major cities around the country. But the streets ran with blood as the protesters clashed with their Muslim Brotherhood counterparts, who supported Morsi and claimed the entire scene was a setup by the military.

Now new elections have arrived and the question is whether the country will turn out to support el-Sisi — the military chief who seized the initiative to remove Morsi from office, attempted to restore order to Egypt and has since cooperated with Israel in trying to eliminate terrorist camps in Sinai.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egyptians-choose-a-president-again/2014/05/26/

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