On November 20, a car bomb attack by the Salafi jihadist group Ansar Bayt al Maqdis targeted a convoy of buses transporting Egyptian security personnel in North Sinai. The attack, one of the bloodiest since the overthrow of the Morsi regime in early July, killed 11 Egyptian security personnel and wounded more than 35. In response, Egypt’s army spokesman Ahmed Ali declared that the attack “strengthens our resolve to cleanse Egypt and shield its sons from violence and treacherous terrorism."
December 10 marks Human Rights Day, the 65th anniversary of the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), signed by 48 nations — with just eight abstentions.
Egypt's post-revolutionary instability has contributed to the demolition of Alexandria's historic districts.
The penthouse of a multi-story, brick high-rise erected close to the city center yields up sweeping views across Alexandria’s historic bay and old town. The apartment on Sultan Husayn Street — a leafy boulevard studded with graceful early 20th century apartment buildings — is guarded 24 hours a day by watchmen. Being the tallest in the area, its balcony affords uninterrupted views across Alexandria’s historic downtown: from the eastern harbor’s Ottoman-era fort to the glitzy hotels and patisseries where the city’s multicultural bourgeoisie once frolicked.
The persecution of Christians is a significant hurdle to peace and prosperity, in the world.
There was a debate in the Commons last week about the persecution and killing of Christians in countries where they are a minority – often a long-established minority. Jim Shannon of the (UK) Democratic Unionist Party, founded by the Rev Ian Paisley, declared that “one hundred thousand Christians will be massacred this year because of their beliefs”.
In December 1933, an air race from Cairo to Alexandria was held. The first plane to cross the finish line was piloted by a 26-year-old woman named Lotfia El Nadi, Egypt’s first female aviator.
To have a flying career was not easy for Lotfia. Her father had rejected the idea, but she did not despair. She persuaded the director of the Institute of Aviation to let her work, free of charge, as his secretary — in exchange for flying lessons. As she later explained, “I learned to fly because I love to be free.”
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