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A reported blog about all things Middle East and North Africa.

Egypt: Prominent activist detained ahead of strike (UPDATE)

University professor and leading activist, Sameh Naguib, is detained by army ahead of mass strike planned in Egypt.
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Holding up a sign listing the cost of living, thousands of the Egyptians teachers protest during a strike in front of the Prime Minister's office in downtown Cairo in Sep. 2011. Tomorrow, dozens of groups and universities will begin an open strike against the military-run government. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

One of Egypt's leading activists was detained by the army in the seaside city of Alexandria today, fellow activists said. 

Sameh Naguib, a prominent member of the Revolutionary Socialists (RS) group and sociology professor at the American University in Cairo (AUC), was reportedly participating in an anti-government march in Egypt's second-largest city when he was attacked by plainclothes individuals who later turned him over to the army. 

UPDATE: Fellow RS activists say on Twitter he was released from army custody this evening. However, there is no news yet about his condition or why he was detained.


Egypt: Americans could face jail time... for having maps

Egypt's ministry of justice gave a press conference outlining some of the charges against non-profit workers, including 19 Americans. One of the key pieces of evidence? Maps.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) looks at a map of the Israel-Egypt border area during a flight in a military helicopter January 21, 2010 near the Egyptian border, in Israel. Judges investigating non-profits accused of receiving foreign funds in Egypt said one of the key pieces of evidence was the discovery of maps of Egypt inside the NGO offices. (Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

CAIRO, Egypt — Judges leading the high-profile investigation against non-profit workers in Egypt, including 19 Americans, announced today at a press conference some of the evidence they have implicating the organizations they say are guilty of criminal activity here.

One of the key pieces of evidence? Maps. Of Egypt. Scribbled on in English.


Live feed from Syria gives window into crackdown (VIDEO)

A live stream video from Homs, Syria shows images and sounds of shells as government crackdown intensifies.
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An image grab taken from footage filmed in Homs on January 18, 2012 and received by Agence France Presse (AFP) on January 19, shows a Syrian army tank deployed in the Bayada district of the flashpoint central Syrian city. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Yesterday this blog posted an embedded livestream video from the flashpoint Syrian city of Homs, currently under intense bombardment from government forces, according to reports

Later on Tuesday, the livestream was taken down, severing the broadcast and disabling our video and link to the feed. 

The user, a resident of Homs, is broadcasting again from the neighborhood of Baba Amr, which has seen some of the heaviest shelling. 


Egypt: Would moving the interior ministry halt the violence?

A parliamentary commission recommends moving Egypt's interior ministry building following clashes in central Cairo.
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An Egyptian parliamentary committee suggested moving the country's interior ministry to another location to help prevent clashes in downtown Cairo, near Tahrir Square. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

A parliamentary commission established to investigate recent clashes between protestors and police in downtown Cairo suggested today that Egypt's interior ministry building be moved from its location in the center of the capital. 

But would that halt the violence? 


Cairo clashes leave downtown streets in rubble

Cairo's downtown streets now resemble more of a war zone than a dirtied, crumbling testament to the capital's Belle Époque.
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An Egyptian protester walks past flames during clashes with riot police near the interior ministry in the capital Cairo. (AFP/Getty Images)

Entering Tahrir Square, the chest almost immediately constricts.

The severe amount of tear gas fired into the vicinty of the square in the past few days assaults the senses.

Clouds of the potent smoke, fired by police to disperse demonstrators outside Egypt's interior ministry, hang over downtown Cairo's colonial-era plazas. 

It's been five days since demonstrators marched on the ministry of interior to protest police inaction during a football riot that left at least 76 dead last week in the Suez canal town of Port Said.  


Egypt: Trial takes NGO worker by surprise

Forty-three NGO workers are being tried in a Cairo court. One of them speaks to GlobalPost.
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Egyptian soldiers stand guard in front of the US National Democratic Institute, an NGO (non-governmental) rights group in downtown Cairo on December 29, 2011. Egyptian police were searching the Cairo offices of American and Egyptian rights group following orders by the prosecution service which is investigating how the rights groups are financed. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

Forty-three NGO workers, including 19 Americans, are being referred to a Cairo criminal court to stand trial for illegally receiving foreign funds, the ministry of justice announced today.

The move will likely deteriorate further an ongoing row between US and Egyptian officials over foreign aid to organizations involved in political activities here.

A trial date for the accused has not yet been set.

One of those charged, an Egyptian woman who wished to remain anonymous for fear of legal repercussions, spoke to GlobalPost minutes after the names of the accused were announced.


Egypt clashes erupt over need for police reform

Fresh clashes break out in Cairo as soccer fans blame police for Wednesday's riot.
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Egyptian fans of Al-Ahly take part in a demonstration in Cairo on Feb. 2, 2012 against the previous day's clashes after a football match. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
CAIRO — Clashes between police and protesters angry over Wednesday's deadly violence at a soccer game have erupted at the interior ministry near Tahrir Square.

Egypt: Islamists and liberal activists clash outside parliament

The Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's young revolutionaries brawl near parliament building.
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Hundreds of Egyptian protesters demanding the end of military rule were prevented from reaching parliament by backers of the Muslim Brotherhood, which holds the majority in the assembly. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

And so it is. A year after Egyptians rose up in solidarity against their decades-long dictator, the two largest political mobilizing forces are now at each other's throats — quite literally.

At a landmark session of Egypt's new parliament in Cairo today, supporters of the winning party of the Muslim Brotherhood and hundreds of anti-military activists that descended on parliament came to blows on the downtown streets of the capital. 

The activists, many of whom spearheaded the uprising last year, had organized a series of marches to coincide with the speech of the military-appointed prime minister's speech at the session, calling for a more swift transfer of power to civilian authorities. Egypt is now run by a military junta that seized control during the revolt in February 2011.

More from GlobalPost: Jimmy Carter says Egypt's military won't fully submit to civilian rule

But, according to witnesses, they were met with a meters-deep shield of Muslim Brotherhood loyalists, who once formed a protective human chain around Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square but who were now forcibly preventing the revolutionaries from reaching parliament. 


Egypt votes ... again?

Few Egyptians go to polls in yet another round of elections -- this time for a consultative council with unclear powers.

Even Egypt's winning Muslim Brotherhood can't get into this next round of elections here. 

Yes, Egypt is voting again -- this time for a consultative Shura Council with vaguely-defined powers. 


In Egypt, split narrative over state TV protests

Clashes between protestors and unknown assailants took place in front of Cairo's state television building Sunday.
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Thousands of Egyptians protest outside the state television headquarters demanding the 'cleansing' of state media, which they accuse of incitement against the protesters in Cairo. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

It was one of those surreal Cairo moments, where you realize just how completely polarized the narratives of Egypt's post-uprising protests have become. 

Even as my Twitter timeline was moving fast Sunday afternoon with news from local activists of clashes between protestors and unknown assailants outside Maspero, the massive Nasser-era fortress that houses Egypt's state television in central Cairo, the government press center, located on the first floor of the same building, was ringing my phone.