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memri
March 21, 2018 No.
1382

Presidential Elections In Egypt – Part III: Ahead Of The Elections, Al-Sisi Regime Seizes Control Of The Media

Introduction

In recent months, and especially ahead of Egypt's upcoming presidential elections, set for March 26-28, 2018, the Egyptian media has been experiencing upheavals and pressures that have caused it to significantly decrease its criticism of President 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi and of his regime.[1] The regime achieved control over the media through several measures, including the takeover of major media organs by commercial companies affiliated with it, the dismissal of journalists who express dissenting opinions, and the arrest of journalists who expressed support for presidential candidates other than Al-Sisi or who are connected to the opposition. In addition, Arab media outside Egypt, as well as Egyptian journalists, have reported that the Egyptian security apparatuses are increasingly interfering in the coverage of the media, pressuring it to support Al-Sisi and attack his opponents.


Ahead of elections, Al-Sisi sits besides a sealed ballot box and a sign saying "keep away," protected by his bulldog, the "Egyptian media" (aljazeera.net, January 25, 2018)

This report reviews the methods used by the Egyptian regime to gain control of the media, the repressive measures employed by the security apparatuses, especially the General Intelligence Directorate, against journalists critical of the regime – measures which have nearly silenced all such criticism – and articles by journalists who, despite the pressure, have spoken out against the regime and stressed the importance of a free press.

The Egyptian Regime's Takeover Of The Media

The Egyptian media has undergone many changes in the last few months, mostly involving the takeover of large media outlets and groups. According to reports in the Egyptian press, companies close to the Egyptian Intelligence Directorate (EID) purchased large blocks of shares in these media companies in order to take them over and influence Egypt's media discourse in favor of Al-Sisi. In December 2017, it was reported that the Eagle Capital company had acquired the stakes of businessman Ahmad Abu Hashima in the Egyptian Media Group, which controls numerous media outlets, including the ON TV channels, the dotmsr.com news website, the Voice of the Nation daily and the regime-affiliated daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi'.[2] The chair of Eagle Capital's board is former investment minister Dalia Khorshid, the wife of Central Bank of Egypt  governor Tarek 'Amer. Many believe that Khorshid is an associate of Al-Sisi and that she was placed in her current position, as the board chair of Eagle Capital, by Egyptian intelligence elements.[3] According to Arab and Egyptian media that oppose Al-Sisi, Eagle Capital's takeover of the Egyptian Media Group is actually a takeover by the EID, aimed at tightening the president's control of this media group.[4] The independent news site madamasr.com claims that Eagle Capital, a recently-established private equity fund, is owned by the EID and its function is to manage the IED's investments in the numerous other companies that it partly or fully owns. Journalist Hisham Qassem, a former executive at the Al-Masri Al-Yawm daily, said that the intelligence apparatuses' control of the media came in response to "an explicit demand by the president of the republic to get the media to unanimously rally around the leader, as in the [Gamal 'Abd] Al-Nasser era." He added that other newspaper and television station owners told him that Khorshid had approached them with a proposal to take the EID as a partner in their companies or sell them outright to Eagle Capital.[5]


Dalia Khorshid (image: Al-Shurouq, Egypt)

Many reports also claimed that Eagle Capital's media acquisitions were deliberately carried out ahead of the presidential elections in order to influence the media discourse during the election cycle. The Lebanese daily Al-Mudun, which reported Khorshid's purchase of the Egyptian Media Group, also speculated that Al-Sisi may be trying to reshape the media content ahead of the presidential elections. Egyptian political analyst Sayyid Amin told the website arabi21.com that the takeover of the media was "connected to the upcoming presidential elections" and that "its only goal is to allow Al-Sisi to maintain his grip over the media, in case he runs against a [fellow] military candidate, [who will pose a serious threat to him]."[6]

On January 7, 2018, the Egyptian anti-Al-Sisi website rassd.com published an investigative article titled "The Intelligence [Apparatuses] Coil Their Tentacles around the Egyptian Media." The article claimed that, in addition to Eagle Capital, there is a similar company called Falcon, headed by Khaled Sharif, known to be a security expert and a former military intelligence official, who also served as the head of the security department at the Egyptian Broadcasting Authority. In 2017 Falcon entered the media sphere and purchased several media outlets, including Al-Hayat TV, Al-'Asima TV and Radio DRN, many of whose employees are known to be Al-Sisi supporters, and turned them into regime mouthpieces. The article stated further that, in January 2017, the DMC television network was launched with a budget of over one billion Egyptian pounds, and that its owner, Tareq Isma'il, is an associate of Al-Sisi's who served as his campaign manager during the 2014 elections. The article also noted that DMC is known in media circles as "the intelligence channel." In September 2017, it announced it had merged with Dalia Khorshid's Egyptian Media Group.[7]

Another report on the involvement of the Egyptian intelligence apparatuses in the Egyptian media appeared in the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar. Addressing Al-Sisi's January 2018 dismissal of EID director Khaled Fawzy, the daily stated that one of the reasons for Fawzy's dismissal was his failure in managing the regime's dealings vis-a-vis the media, and that the new director, 'Abbas Kamel, who is also Al-Sisi's chief-of-staff, has been charged with reviewing the EID-owned media outlets in order to assess their usefulness to the regime.[8] 

Persecution Of Journalists Opposed To Al-Sisi

In addition to the commercial takeover of media companies, in the last year the Egyptian security apparatuses have cracked down on journalists who oppose Al-Sisi's policies, in an effort to silence dissenting voices. These journalists have been barred from the establishment media, and many who were already employed in establishment or independent media outlets, and dared to criticize the president, have been fired on various pretexts, such as having ties with the opposition or with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Even journalists who are known as regime loyalists, but occasionally criticized the regime, were not spared. The following are some examples of journalists whose professional activity has been curtailed in the last year.

Ghada Sharif

Ghada Sharif, who has been a prominent columnist with the daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm for a decade, was considered a supporter of Al-Sisi, but over the years became increasingly critical of the president and his policies.[9] On October 24, 2017, she apparently published on the paper's website an especially scathing article titled "Could You Possibly Do More Damage than You Already Have?", in which she accused Al-Sisi of bringing Egypt to the brink of collapse and wrote that even the MB government had been better. The article was accompanied by a video showing several opposition activists and a journalist discussing the formation of an opposition movement and the importance of supporting former Egyptian prime minister Ahmad Shafiq as a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections.[10] It should be noted that, around the same time, Sharif expressed her support for Shafiq's candidacy.[11] After the article appeared, Al-Masri Al-Yawm announced that hackers had broken into its website and planted fake reports on it, referring to the Sharif article, and that as a result of the cyberattack the site had crashed.[12] Many journalists and websites speculated that the daily had removed Sharif's article and that the cyberattack story was merely a cover-up.[13] In response to the uproar caused by the article, Sharif herself claimed in a Facebook post that she had not written it, and added that, although she supported Sharif for president, she was not part of any Egyptian opposition party or front.[14]


Ghada Sharif's article, as posted on Facebook[15]

One week later, Sharif posted on Facebook that she had resigned from Al-Masri Al-Yawm after the daily had rejected another article of hers that was critical of Al-Sisi. She hinted that the cyberattack on the daily's website, and the planting of the fake article by her, was probably an attempt by the regime to threaten the daily and warn it to stop publishing her column. "In the last week," she wrote, "I saw the cyberattack on the daily's website and the planting of the fake article in my name. It is not hard to guess that the figure or body responsible for this attack [meant it as] a stern warning to the paper regarding me... This makes me feel deep concern for the paper and its workers. The regime has clearly lost its mind and is throwing its weight around indiscriminately." She added that, out of her great esteem and affection for the daily and its workers, especially for its owner Salah Diab, she cannot bear to constitute a threat to them, and has therefore chosen to stop writing for the paper "until the nightmare we are living in is over."[16] In November, she wrote that she felt unsafe because the regime was persecuting all of Shafiq's supporters and had crossed every red line. Moreover, although until then she had claimed that the article on the website had indeed been fake, she now indicated that it had been authentic, writing that the daily's owner, Salah Diab, had been "pressured to invent the fake cyberattack on the newspaper's website."[17] It should be noted that all these posts were subsequently deleted from Sharif's Facebook page.

In mid-November Egypt's prosecutor-general ordered to investigate Sharif for "threatening Egypt's national security and public safety" and for spreading rumors against the president and the army in order to undermine the public's confidence in the army and support terrorist elements.[18]


Ghada Sharif (image: Al-Misriyyoun, Egypt)

Suleiman Al-Hakim

Another Al-Masri Al-Yawm columnist, Suleiman Al-Hakim, was arrested in mid-October 2017, and released on bail following several hours of questioning. The Interior Ministry claimed that Al-Hakim had been arrested for resisting the authorities who came to evacuate his home in the city of Fayed, which they claimed had been built illegally.[19] However, Egyptian and Arab media reported that the real reason for his arrest was statements he had made on the MB-affiliated Mekameleen satellite channel, in which he criticized Al-Sisi and claimed that his popularity was waning.[20] Following the interview, MP and media personality Mustafa Bakri said that Al-Hakim's appearance on Mekameleen had been "a blunder from a professional, moral and patriotic point of view," and demanded that he be prosecuted.[21] Al-Hakim's son-in-law, media personality Sami Kamal Al-Din, who works for the Istanbul-based Mekameleen channel, defended him, saying: "One year after Al-Sisi took office, Suleiman Al-Hakim began noticing Egypt's difficult situation... and began commenting on it in his articles in Al-Masri Al-Yawm. But soon he was prevented from writing and from speaking on all the regime's satellite channels, which had [previously] hosted him night and day. Al-Hakim insisted on making up for his mistake of [initially] supporting Al-Sisi. He apologized for what he had said, adding, 'I will not keep silent about what I believe.' [At that point] all the doors were closed to him. The last article [he published] in Egypt was titled 'The Lie of Morsi's Ouster'... He appeared on the Al-Sharq and Mekameleen channels in Turkey, and attacked the Al-Sisi regime like no [former] supporter of Al-Sisi had ever done."[22]


Suleiman Al-Hakim (image: Rassd.com)

Ahmad Al-Sayyid Al-Naggar

Ahmad Al-Sayyid Al-Naggar served until May 2017 as the board chairman of the venerable media establishment Al-Ahram, which is a regime mouthpiece. On May 1, 2017, in an interview with fellow media personality Wael Al-Abrashi, he revealed that he had resigned from Al-Ahram because Egypt's National Press Organization was preventing the directors of Egypt's newspapers from making their own decisions. He added that, one year previously, the authorities had forbidden him to publish an article opposing the Egyptian government's deal ceding the islands Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.[23] Al-Ahram sued Al-Naggar for his statements in this interview.[24]


Ahmad Al-Sayyid Al-Naggar (image: albedaiah.com)

Journalists Fired From Regime-Affiliated Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' Daily

In August 2017, it was reported that the editor-in-chief of the Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' daily, Khaled Saleh, who is close to the regime, had summoned four of his journalists – Samar Salama, 'Abd Al-Rahman Mukallad, Maher 'Abd Al-Wahid, and Madhat Safwat – and informed them they were being suspended without pay for a year for criticizing Al-Sisi on their Facebook pages and for signing petitions against the government's policies and against the Tiran-Sanafir deal. In response, nine Egyptian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the journalists' suspension, describing it as "a blatant violation of freedom of speech." They also called out the daily for violating the journalists' privacy by "monitoring their personal [social media] accounts and the opinions they express there, which is a threat to the freedom of the press... [a principle] anchored in the Egyptian constitution."[25] 

Author A'laa Al-Aswany

Renowned Egyptian author A'laa Al-Aswany, who is also critical of Al-Sisi and his policies, has complained that he is barred from publishing his views in the Egyptian press, compelling him to publish on the Arabic website of the German Deutsche Welle network. In an October 17, 2017 article, he wrote that no Egyptian citizen is permitted to publically oppose President Al-Sisi or to condemn the regime's oppression and its arbitrary arrests. "In Al-Sisi's Egypt," he said, "there is only one valid opinion on every issue, from the economy to football. Anyone who dares to think differently is bound to pay a heavy price, ranging from slander to arrest, for the media immediately regards him as a traitor and as an agent of American, Israeli, Turkish, or Qatari intelligence. Since Al-Sisi took office I have been barred from writing in the Egyptian press or appearing on [Egyptian] television. After the security [apparatuses] tightened [their surveillance on me,] I stopped the weekly culture symposium I had been holding for 20 years. Recently I finished my latest novel, The So-Called Republic. When I  submitted it to the publisher, the man in charge [there] told me: 'This is your best novel yet, but we cannot publish it, because it will place us in confrontation with the regime, with consequences we will not be able to withstand.'

"I submitted the novel to another publisher; the publisher was very happy about it and reiterated the praise for the novel, and afterwards signed an acting agreement with my agent. [But] a few days later, I was surprised by a phone call from the publisher apologizing for not publishing the novel, and saying that he feared the regime's ire. After that? I counted dozens more television programs in which attempts at character assassination were made, reviling and directing invective [at me] and false, completely baseless accusations against me. I filed slander lawsuits against them but the prosecutor-general archived them all."

He continued: "There is now no place in Egypt for any opposition voice, and this is because the security apparatuses have invested billions of Egyptian pounds in achieving full control of all the media, by which they control the minds of a wide sector of Egyptians."[26]

Because of Al-Aswani's anti-regime articles, the Egyptian government daily Al-Yawm Al-Saba' published smears and condemnation of him and of Deutsche Welle. For example, in a January 9, 2018 article, acting editor-in-chief Dandrawi Al-Harawi ridiculed Israelis' enthusiasm for translating and reading Al-Aswani's books, calling him a "low-level writer" and adding that the Egyptians boycotted them.[27]

Al-Aswani also said that the Egyptian security apparatuses were restricting his movements. In one article, he recounted how in the last year, while en route to New York, he was arrested and interrogated at the Cairo airport, on orders of state security.[28]

This harassment by security elements is ongoing; for example, in early January 2018 he was arrested again at the airport, this time while en route to Amman, because he was on a watch list of people whose movements in and out of the country were being monitored. He was told to report to security, and 30 minutes later he was confirmed for departure.[29]

Further, after the January 23 publication of an article in Deutsche Welle expressing support for the presidential candidacy of former Egyptian chief-of-staff Sami 'Anan and calling on Egyptians to take to the streets to protest against the political oppression in the country and to support democracy, attorney Samir Sabri, known for filing frequent lawsuits against opponents of the regime, filed one against him for inciting to rebellion and destabilizing the country, and called his article "criminal incitement."[30]


Al-Aswani (Source: Dw.com, October 17, 2017)

Muhammad Al-Ghiti

On his February 18, 2018, television program on the Egyptian LTC TV,[31] Egyptian media figure Muhammad Al-Ghiti said in reference to the elections that he was ashamed that the Al-Ghad party chairman Moussa Mustafa Moussa, considered a puppet candidate, was running, and that he had hoped that serious candidates would be running against Al-Sisi. He also mocked Moussa for claiming to have studied at the Sorbonne, saying that his alleged fellow students said he had not studied there, even though it appeared on his resume.[32] In response, the Supreme Council for Regulation of the Media in Egypt decided to stop the broadcast of Al-Ghiti's program because of "harm to the standing of presidential candidate Moussa Mustafa Moussa" and even imposed a monetary fine on the television channel. Al-Ghiti responded that he was prepared to defend his actions in court.[33]


Muhammad Al-Ghiti (Source: Masrawy.com, February 23, 2018)

Media In The Service Of The President: Directed By His Associates, Stigmatizes His Opponents

Following the persecution of journalists who express opinions against the regime and the tightening of the regime's hold on the media in the country, over the past year media criticism of the regime and the president has conspicuously declined. This is especially noticeable in the independent daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm, which, up until a year ago had published articles critical of the president almost on a daily basis.[34] Moreover, as mentioned above, many journalists who worked for the daily have been fired.

The Media Is Directed By The President's Associates

The absence of criticism may also be related to the heavy involvement of the Egyptian security apparatuses in the daily running of the media, as well as of the president's associates, in an attempt to influence the coverage of current events. In recent months foreign and Arab media have reported this involvement, and  Egyptian journalists and writers have also testified to its existence. For example, in early January 2018, The New York Times published excerpts from transcripts of recordings in which an EID officer, Ashraf Al-Kholi, directed Egyptian media figures to advance the idea of Ramallah as the capital of a Palestinian state, instead of Jerusalem, which is part of the peace plan promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump. This report was vehemently denied by Egypt's State Information Service.[35] According to the London-based daily Al-Arabi Al-Jadid, which is owned by Qatar, Al-Kholi also directed the Egyptian media to slander the potential presidential candidate, former prime minister Ahmad Shafiq.[36] Media figures told the daily that they had even been instructed to advance discourse blaming the Egyptian opposition for the lack of genuine political activity in Egypt.[37]

It was also reported that, as part of the efforts to unify the media discourse about the regime, EID director Abbas Kamel summoned officers from the general and military intelligence services in charge of press relations, and stressed that they should act to prevent any indiscrepancies between the official discourse and the coverage of the establishment media.[38]

On January 2, 2018, Al-Arabi Al-Jadid reported that Khaled Saleh, the editor-in-chief of the Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' daily, which is close to the regime, had threated to resign several times because of the increasing interference of the intelligence and military apparatuses in what was published in the press, which, he said, was incompatible with journalistic ethics. According to sources that spoke with the paper, Saleh attempted to warn the president and his chief-of-staff about directing the media in this way.[39]


Khaled Saleh (Image: Al-Yawm Al-Sabi', Egypt, January 31, 2018)

Additional evidence that the media are receiving instructions from the president's associates can be found in an article published by the editor of Al-Masri Al-Yawm, Muhammad Al-Sayyid Saleh, in which he attested to a direct connection between the president and his associates and the daily's reporters. He wrote: "... I hereby attest that most of the state institutions, [including even] the president himself and senior officials in his office, relate to what we write and contact our writers. Further, most [of the president's associates] are friends of our writers and invite them to gatherings and general meetings. The same applies to the prime minister and his government and the rest of the state institutions. People unfamiliar with the communications professions do not understand [the implications of] these contacts and the character of our jobs, and don't understand how we support the regime and its stability through our independent and sometimes opposing  positions..."[40]

Slandering Presidential Candidates And Suppressing Journalists Who Supported Them

In light of  the above, and with the increasing political and media interest in the presidential elections and the appearance of figures who considered running against Al-Sisi, the Egyptian pro-regime media embarked on a smear campaign against all candidates and potential candidates. Dozens of articles and reports appeared against them in the press, mostly accusing them of having contacts with the MB. For example, the editor of Al-Yawm Al-Sabi', Dandrawi Al-Harawi, came out against former military chief-of-staff Sami 'Anan, who considered running for president, calling him "the MB candidate" and accusing him of causing the ouster of Mubarak.[41] ('Anan has since withdrawn his candidacy).[42] Similar articles were published against members of the opposition who criticized the Al-Sisi regime or called to boycott the presidential elections, such as oppositionist Hamdeen Sabahi, who ran for president  in 2012 and 2014, and the chairman of the Strong Egypt party, 'Abd Al-Mon'eim Al-Fotouh.[43]

It should be noted that Al-Fotouh, who was recently arrested on charges of having connections with the MB and intending to harm the Egyptian regime, and was even included in Egypt's list of terrorists, claimed in an interview with Al-Jazeera that he is barred from appearing on Egyptian channels because of his dissenting views, and described the pressure that the security apparatus brings to bear on the opposition in Egypt. He added that "the media in Egypt are insane and blacken the image of every politician in the opposition, vilify them and come at them like dogs looking for a fight."[44]

For a MEMRI TV clip of excerpts from this interview, click the player below:

Another example is the arrest of Hisham Geneina, an associate of chief-of-staff Sami 'Anan, who was named by 'Anan as one of  his deputies, should he win the presidency. In an interview he gave in February 2018, following 'Anan's arrest, on the Arabic website of the Qatar-owned Huffington Post, Geneina said that 'Anan had documents that could incriminate the Egyptian leadership.[45] A few days after the interview Geneina was also arrested,[46] and later the journalist who interviewed him, Mu'taz Wadnan, was arrested as well.[47]

 

Egyptian Writers Condemn The Security Apparatuses' Control Of The Media

Despite the repressive measures, some Egyptian writers published articles attacking the involvement of the president and his security apparatuses in the media and stressing the importance of a free media.

Senior Egyptian Writer: The Security Apparatuses Are Running The Egyptian Media

In a February 8, 2018 article, Muhammad Amin, chairman of the board of trustees of the Al-Masri Al-Yawm daily, denounced the security apparatuses' interference in the media and called to leave journalism to the journalists: "[The work of the] media cannot be performed on order, unanimously, although there can [certainly] be an editing policy and defined goals... [But] the important thing is to leave [the work of the media] to the professionals. This is a major point that must be stressed, for, in the absence of a media ministry, the media has become corrupted. When we demanded to abolish the [media] ministry and the post of [media] minister, I don't think we meant for them to be replaced by the security apparatuses. These apparatuses should suffice with managing the state television channel, which has always been controlled by them. So why are they purchasing satellite channels from their owners and buying shares in daily newspapers?... We must recognize that expanding [the security apparatuses'] patronage over some of the television [figures] has created a state of media chaos, because journalists are now more committed to heeding [the security apparatuses'] directives than to the ethics of the profession..."[48]

In an article published two weeks later, Amin wrote that Egyptian journalists now check Al-Sisi's stance on every issue before expressing an opinion, and that even pro-regime journalists are afraid to voice any criticism, in light of the regime's oppressive measures: "Today, we do not write [anything] before checking the president's stance [on the matter], for the president is the axis around which everything revolves. Even sitting in a café or on a condolence call, we talk of nothing but the president... A university dean [told me] she was afraid. I asked her why, and she replied: 'because the scope of freedom has been curtailed and [our] engine is going backwards.' Writers and media figures whisper that the scope of freedom has been severely limited! There is a real [climate] of fear, and fear is not fertile ground for construction and investment..." [49]

Egyptian Columnist: We Need Real Media, Free From Security Apparatus Control

Columnist 'Abd Al-Nasser Salama wrote about the curtailing of the Egyptian media: "In general, all we need to revitalize party and political life is free will. First and foremost, we need to provide security for those engaging in politics – no hunting them down in the streets, no making [people] disappear, and no middle-of-the-night visits. We need real media – press, television, news websites – and real, professional media figures; we need national press and media councils to implement this; we need the security [apparatuses] to take their hands off the news websites that have been blocked; we need permission to hold political conferences in hotels, squares, libraries, and halls; we need a change in the media perception of those in charge of government media..."[50]

Egyptian Columnist: The Regime Employs Methods Of Fascism, Nazism And McCarthyism

Al-Masri Al-Yawm columnist Karima Kamal also addressed the topic, writing in a February 8, 2018 article: "We  have seen civil society restricted, and [its members] demonized, investigated and prosecuted. We have also seen the complete takeover of the media, so that [its outlets] have begun speaking with one voice, without any differences or disagreements between them, or the slightest attempt to challenge [the dominant view]..." Kamal also criticized the regime's hobbling of the opposition, and added: "All these phenomena demonstrate only one thing: an attempt to assume total patronage over society and to force it into a single mold, so that it has one discourse, one mentality, and even one heart, without a single dissenting voice or differing opinion. And if a different [voice] emerges, it is held to account, and the lawsuits for treason, conspiracy, and the destruction and toppling of the state are [always] at hand, ready to use against any individual or group. All this is nothing but fascism, Nazism or McCarthyism, which [always try to] justify such autocratic measures with the excuse of [protecting] national unity and state security, and the need to defend the state against threats and foreign conspiracies. The strange thing is... that some writers and journalists support all these phenomena of patronage and the curtailing of rights and freedoms."[51]

 

* C. Meital is a research fellow at MEMRI; H. Varulkar is Director of Research at MEMRI.

 

[2] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), December 18, 2017; Al-Ahram (Egypt), December 20, 2017; Alarabiya.net, December 19, 2017.

[3] Arabi 21.com, December 19, 2017; Al-Mudun (Lebanon), December 21, 2017.

[4] Arabi 21.com, December 19, 2017; Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), January 2, 2018.

[5] Madamasr.com/ar, December 20, 2017.

[6] Al-Mudun (Lebanon), December 21, 2017; arabi21.com, December 19, 2017.

[7] Rassd.com, January 7, 2018.

[8] Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), January 17, 2017.

[9] For example, Sharif  harshly criticized the difficult economic situation in Egypt, as well as the deal ceding the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to the Saudis. See Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 23, 2017, June 16, 2017.

[10] Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), Facebook.com/Mohamedelgarhey, October 24, 2017; arabi21.com, October 25, 2017.

[11] Huffpostarabi.com, November 2, 2017.

[12]  Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), October 24, 2017.

[13] Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), zahma.cairolive.com, October 24, 2017; arabi21.com, October 25, 2017.

[14] Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), October 24, 2017; Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), October 25, 2017.

[15] Facebook.com/Elkoddosy, October 24, 2017.

[16] Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), October 31, 2017.

[17] Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), November 12, 2017.

[18] Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), November 14, 2017.

[19] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), October 12, 2017.

[20] Raialyoum.com, October 12, 2017; Youtube.com/watch?v=tNPiEJM0-UA; youtube.com/watch?v=-FMSX3FnU1I,  October 6, 2017.

[21] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), October 6, 2017.

[22] Raialyoum.com, Facebook.com/Samy.Kamal.Eldeen, October 12, 2017.

[23] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), May 2, 2017.

[24] Rassd.com, May 2, 2017.

[25] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (Egypt), August 18, 2017.

[26] Dw.com/ar, October 17, 2017.

[27] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), March 21 and 22, 2017; May 28, 2017; January 8 and 9, 2018.

[28] DW.com/ar, January 9, 2018.

[29] Al-Sourouq (Egypt), January 6, 2018

[30] Dw.com/ar, January 23, 2018; Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), January 31, 2018.

[31] LTC is a private pro-Al-Sisi channel.

[32] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 19, 2018.

[33] Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), February 21, 2018. For examples see MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6549, Three Years Later: Egyptian President Al-Sisi's Supporters Express Disappointment, Call His Regime Tyrannical, July 28, 2016.

[35] Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), January 6, 2018; Al-Ahram (Egypt), January 8, 2018; Egypt's State Information Service is subordinate to the presidency and is in charge of explaining Egypt's policies and positions. Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), January 6, 2018; Al-Ahram (London), January 8, 2018.

[36] Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), January 9, 2018.

[37] Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), February 5, 2018.

[38] Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), February 2, 2018.

[39] Al-Arabi Al-Jadid (London), January 2, 2018.

[40] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), January 6, 2017.

[42] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), January 24, 2018.

[43] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), February 1 and 14, 2018.

[44] rassd.com, February 11, 2018.

[45] Huffpostarabi.com, February 11, 2018.

[46] Al-Ahram (Egypt), February 14, 2018.

[47] Rassd.com, February 16, 2018.

[48] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 8, 2018.

[49] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 22, 2018.

[50] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 5, 2018.

[51] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 22, 2017.