Egypt’s red lines triggered strikes and talk of cancellations – but also some pardons. Protests against a controversial judicial reform in Israel culminated in a “day of disruption”. And regional leaders have been busy flitting about the globe, signing deals and holding talks. Here’s the Middle East this week:
Discontent swirls in Egypt, as the state cracked the whip on a number of different fronts, from academic to cultural. However, it reversed course with the sentencing of Patrick Zaki, a rights researcher who had been studying in Italy. A day after he was sentenced to three years in prison, accused of spreading false news, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pardoned him alongside prominent lawyer Mohamed el-Baqer.
Concurrently, it was reported US rapper Travis Scott has been banned from holding a concert at the foothills of the Giza pyramids. The Egyptian Musicians Syndicate allows many international artists to perform there, but said Scott’s music would “contradict the identity of the Egyptian people”. Concert producer Live Nation Middle East, however, disputes the cancellation, saying the show is going ahead as planned.
Still, Scott has upset some Egyptians too: social media users launched a campaign to cancel his concert, saying he holds an ‘anti-Egyptian Afrocentrism agenda’. Many Egyptians view the theory that the ancient Egyptians were Black as rewriting history.
And against the backdrop of Egypt’s economic crisis, BBC workers in Cairo are striking, saying they are underpaid compared to BBC staff in other countries. The journalists claim they face “deteriorating living conditions”, as the country reels from the ongoing economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Source : aljazeera