Amr Emam is a Cairo-based journalist. He has contributed to the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and the UN news site IRIN.

  • Egyptian opposition expresses fears over state of emergency renewal , On: Sun, 22 Oct 2017

  • Egypt’s human rights battle with Qatar, On: Sun, 15 Oct 2017

  • Economic realities see southern Egyptian workers return home, On: Sun, 15 Oct 2017

  • Era of political Islam is over, say ex-Brotherhood figures, On: Sun, 08 Oct 2017

  • Sisi visit highlights strong ties between Egypt and UAE , On: Sun, 01 Oct 2017

  • Hamas-Fatah reconciliation process shows growing Egyptian influence in region, On: Sun, 24 Sep 2017

  • Amr Moussa’s memoirs make waves across the Middle East, On: Sun, 24 Sep 2017

  • Egypt’s commodity price rise overshadows start of academic year, On: Sun, 24 Sep 2017

  • Egypt carpet-making village is an unusual tourist attraction, On: Sun, 24 Sep 2017

  • Hamas’s shift to Tehran rings alarms in Cairo , On: Sun, 10 Sep 2017

  • Proposal to extend Egyptian presidential term raises questions , On: Sun, 27 Aug 2017

  • In African tour, Sisi seeks to rebuild ties, address security and water concerns , On: Sun, 20 Aug 2017

  • In Egypt, Syrian refugees recreate Syria , On: Sun, 20 Aug 2017

  • After Alexandria crash, Egypt’s railways badly in need of repairs, On: Sun, 20 Aug 2017

  • Wary Egyptians start preparing for 2018 presidential elections, On: Sun, 13 Aug 2017

  • Egypt struggles to curb rampant population growth, On: Sun, 13 Aug 2017

  • Egypt opens new military base with many objectives in mind, On: Sun, 06 Aug 2017

  • Libya agreement welcomed in Cairo but bumpy road expected , On: Sun, 30 Jul 2017

  • Egypt’s Nile island plan runs into disgruntled residents , On: Sun, 30 Jul 2017

  • Egypt’s al-Gama’a al Islamiya facing uncertain future , On: Sun, 23 Jul 2017

  • Egypt wary as ISIS shows battle for Sinai not over, On: Sun, 16 Jul 2017

  • Boycotting countries pledge continued anti-Qatar stance, On: Sun, 09 Jul 2017

  • Sisi’s popularity shrinks as Egypt’s reform drive picks up, On: Sun, 09 Jul 2017

  • Four years after losing Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood in tatters, On: Sun, 02 Jul 2017

  • Cairo’s pressures on Hamas paying off but sceptics wary, On: Sun, 25 Jun 2017

  • Cairo’s Islamic quarter provides glimpse into Fatimid Egypt, On: Sun, 25 Jun 2017

  • Despite parliamentary vote, Red Sea islands saga set to continue, On: Sun, 18 Jun 2017

  • For Egypt, isolating Qatar has political, security advantages, On: Sun, 11 Jun 2017

  • Cairo’s Al-Muizz Street showcases ancient glory, modern culture, On: Sun, 11 Jun 2017

  • Cairo targets illegal land-grabbers amid economic unrest, On: Sun, 04 Jun 2017

  • For Egypt, no easy solution to high inflation, On: Sun, 21 May 2017

  • Egypt wary as Ethiopia prepares to fill dam reservoir, On: Sun, 07 May 2017

  • Egyptian children dropping out of school because of poverty, On: Sun, 16 Apr 2017

  • Egypt’s subsidy system badly needs reform, On: Sun, 26 Mar 2017

  • Egypt moves from electricity deficit to sufficiency, On: Sun, 19 Mar 2017

  • Prospect of Russian tourist return brings hope to Egypt’s resorts, On: Sun, 19 Feb 2017

  • Egypt boosts navy as part of Red Sea strategy , On: Sun, 29 Jan 2017

  • Anger in Egypt as Red Sea islands’ handover looms, On: Sun, 15 Jan 2017

  • Middle East Christians remain hopeful for the future despite ISIS violence in 2016, On: Sun, 15 Jan 2017

  • Egyptian opposition expresses fears over state of emergency renewal

    Looming threats. A member of Egyptian security forces stands guard near the Maadi military hospital in Cairo. (AFP)

    2017/10/22 Issue: 128 Page: 10

    Cairo- Egypt’s political opposition expressed concern over the government’s deci­sion to extend the state of emergency for three months.

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s citing of “threats” to na­tional security as the reason for the extension was questioned by oppo­nents, who fear it could signal a rep­etition of the days of former Presi­dent Hosni Mubarak, who used an ongoing state of emergency to keep his grip on power over 30 years.

    “You do not need to impose the state of emergency to fight ter­rorism,” said Gamal Eid, a human rights advocate and critic of the government. “This is why there is belief that this state is imposed only to be used against those who do not agree with those in power.”

    Egyptian officials declared a state of emergency on April 10 following attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS) on two churches that killed 49 people. Egyptian law grants the executive branch sweeping powers to close companies, shutter media outlets, halt protests and monitor personal communications.

    The country’s post-revolutionary constitution stipulates that the state of emergency should not ex­ceed three months and can only be extended once for three months. The current state of emergency was extended for three months in July and critics said an extension in Oc­tober is unconstitutional.

    “There is blatant insistence on the part of the government to dem­onstrate contempt of the constitu­tion with every decision it makes,” said Tarek al-Awadi, a lawyer and another critic of Sisi’s government. “The government has legal advisers who should have told it that it has no right to renew the state of emer­gency for the second time.”

    The Sisi administration appears to have used a technical loophole in the constitution to renew the cur­rent state of emergency.

    Egyptians who lived under the constant state of emergency for 30 years under Mubarak said they are wary of seeing the same practice re­born under Sisi.

    Mubarak’s security apparatus used the emergency law to raid homes without judicial oversight, ban protests and demonstrations, arrest and imprison suspects with­out trial and suspend the publica­tion of media outlets.

    Opponents of the state of emer­gency claim that it has little effect on confronting terrorism and stop­ping attacks and that it is being used by the government to stifle dissent.

    “Imposing the state of emergen­cy over the past six months did not prevent terrorist attacks, either on policemen and army personnel or on churches,” he said.

    However Egyptian officials said that they foiled several attacks be­cause of the expanded powers al­lowed by the state of emergency.

    On the day the government re­newed the state of emergency, a priest from the central province of Beni Suef was stabbed to death outside a church by a man whom authorities described as “mentally disturbed.”

    Five days later, dozens of Islamic State (ISIS) members carried out coordinated attacks against two se­curity check points in the northern Sinai city of al-Arish, killing six sol­diers.

    Security experts warned that ISIS could escalate its attacks in Egypt to mitigate the group’s defeat in Syria and Iraq. There are fears that Egyptian members of ISIS could re­turn home to carry out attacks.

    Special security arrangements are being made across Egypt in prepa­ration for Christmas, which is cel­ebrated by Egypt’s Orthodox Chris­tians on January 7. Egypt’s Coptic Church has called for increased se­curity as the country heads towards the holiday season.

    Last December, an ISIS attacker entered a Cairo chapel and set off a bomb, killing 25 Christian worship­pers and injuring dozens of others.

    Faced with various threats, ad­vocates of the state of emergency renewal said authorities must do everything in their power to ensure national security.

    “This has nothing to do with sup­pressing freedoms or silencing the opposition as some people say,” said Egyptian MP Kamal Amer, head of the Defence and National Security Committee in parliament. “The terrorist threat still looms large and those who cannot see this need to reconsider the way they think.”

    Editors' Picks

    The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

    From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

    Published by Al Arab Publishing House

    Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

    Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

    Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

    Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

    Senior Editor: John Hendel

    Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

    Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

    Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

    East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

    Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

    Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

    Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

    Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

    Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

    Regular Columnists

    Claude Salhani

    Yavuz Baydar


    Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

    Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

    Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

    Thomas Seibert (Washington)

    Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi


    Ibrahim Ben Bechir

    Hanen Jebali

    Published by Al Arab Publishing House

    Contact editor

    Subscription & Advertising:

    Tel 020 3667 7249

    Mohamed Al Mufti

    Marketing & Advertising Manager

    Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

    Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

    Al Arab Publishing House

    Kensington Centre

    177-179 Hammersmith Road

    London W6 8BS , UK

    Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

    Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

    Follow Us
    © The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved