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The People's Voice: Freedom of Speech in Egypt (part 2)

In a special two-part series, Egyptian international student Amr Moufid looks at the state of his home country and the ways that freedom of speech is being challenged. In the first part, he focussed on the supression of TV host Bassem Youssef's satirical news programme ‘El Bernameg'.

Egypt has some advantages which can never be taken away from it by anyone- its History, Culture, Civilization- but at the same time it has some issues which no one can deny or ignore.

Before the revolutions, Egypt was a developing country, afterward, it is still developing. However, the two most important achievements to have come out of the previous few years- with their death tolls, terrorist attacks and overall suffering- are firstly, the placement of some top crooks to where they belong, in jail. Secondly, and possibly more importantly, owing to the nature of the very hard past years, the people were finally able to retrieve their voice, their right to speak, their capacity to complain, their freedom of expression.

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Freedom of Speech in Egypt (part 1)

In a special two-part series, Egyptian international student Amr Moufid looks at the state of his home country and the ways that freedom of speech is being challenged.

Opinions may differ, points of view might well clash, but facts remain facts regardless of anyone's personal feelings. Egypt is presently, as far as I'm aware, the only country to keep two of its Presidents (out of a total of five, not counting Acting Presidents) behind bars.

It is helpful to bear in mind however that, neither of these two Presidents ever dared to use the army against the people so as to keep in power, something which cannot be said of presidents of some other countries. But still, an unusual situation exists and deserves some reflection; all living Egyptian Presidents are, in accordance to the wishes of the people, locked-up.

Political Satire Gagged

To add to their already towering heap of trouble, the Egyptian people's newly rediscovered voice is under threat yet again. An Egyptian television host of a satirical news program was suppressed for making some mild, watered-down, soft jokes, aimed at some members of the government, during the previous week's show.

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Egypt: The Country That Cannot Find Peace

After the first anniversary of Morsi's presidency, the protest movement Tamarod collected millions of signatures demanding the ousting of the president, accused of doing very little to help the stagnant economy, and criticized for his attempts to introduce a Muslim-orientated constitution in a secular country.

Since the army ousted Mr Morsi on 3rd July 2013, Egypt has been in turmoil as the pro Morsi protesters condemn the military coup d'état, and demand the reinstatement of the Muslim Brotherhood leader.

Wednesday 14th August was the most violent day since the protests started: violence erupted throughout the nation and caused the death of hundreds, including women and children.

Morsi supporters attacked and set ablaze tens of Christian properties including churches and schools; they set fire to a military buildings; they took over a police station and committed acts of violence against policemen and journalists.

Following the attacks, a state of emergency has been declared till the end of the month. Egyptians are also subjected to a curfew, with the risk of imprisonment for those who will not abide by it.

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Culture Shock: England vs Egypt

Amr K. Moufid is an Egyptian student currently studying music in London. Here he looks at the main differences he has noticed between Britain and Egypt:

When I first came to England, it seemed to me that the only thing it had in common with my home country, Egypt, was that they both start with the letter "E". Let me put it this way, moving from Egypt to England might probably be the best way to explain and demonstrate the meaning of ‘culture shock'.

How so? This is what I mean:

Rules & Organization

To start with, Egypt is not big on rules and organization. For example, we don't do traffic lights in Egypt; we keep that to a minimum! Anyone who has ever been to Cairo will tell you that it's an adventure just driving through the streets, never mind trying to cross the street on foot! By the way, we also drive on the opposite side of the road and we have a little thing called lane separators in two way streets.

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