The death of at least 40 militant, highly politicized, and street battle-hardened Egyptian soccer fans in clashes with security forces raises the stakes for general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi's efforts to suppress political dissent.
Egyptian-general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi's efforts to lend legitimacy to parliamentary elections scheduled for this spring have gotten off to a murky start with the appointment of a controversial, reportedly United Arab Emirates-backed human rights NGO as one of five foreign election monitors.
When Sarah Samir stepped this week on to an Egyptian soccer pitch to referee a men's match, she joined a small band of Arab women referees staking out their right to be involved in the sport on par with men.
Mr. Fahmy has been imprisoned for over a year in a case that shocks the conscience of many observers in Egypt and abroad. We look forward to working constructively with the Egyptian and Canadian authorities in the coming days to reach an agreement for his release as soon as possible.
The Mubarak verdict puts a spanner in the works in the onward march of the Arab Spring. The question probably on the lips of some Egyptians and foreigners as well, is whether Sisi's rule represents a facsimile of the despised Mubarak era?
In Turkey, the government has sought to drive a wedge between militant fans and other supporters by arguing that e-ticketing was a way to combat illegal ticket scalping, increase tax revenues and ensure that stadia are safe for families.
Militant, street battle-hardened soccer fans stormed a Cairo stadium in advance of the second leg of crowned Cairo Al Ahli SC's African Confederation Cup final against Ivory Coast's Sewe Sport in a reassertion of the fans' key role in protest against the regime of toppled president Hosni Mubarak.
The Egyptian judiciary has been more interested in "punishing dissent than establishing justice," Diana el-Tahawy wrote in her Guardian piece. But the judiciary is not alone in its foray against pro-democracy activists.
The so-called Arab Spring has proved that the fall of a Mubarak-like presidency does not mean the immediate rise of democracy. In spite of this, I am confident that Egypt will not return to an authoritarian governing system again, and that with some time, it will achieve its democratic goals.
With Mr. Al Sisi employing brute force by security forces, a private security firm reportedly owned by generals and regime-friendly businessmen, and Mubarak-era thugs, and a crackdown on academic freedom to impose his will, flashpoints loom beyond campuses on the horizon.
A successful soccer player near the peak of his career, 22-year Nidhal Selmi died last week a foreign fighter for the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq.
An expected decision by Egyptian soccer authorities to ban as terrorist organizations groups of militant soccer fans builds on the definition by Arab autocrats of legitimate, democratic opposition forces as violent threats to their grip on power.
Pricing by Qatari entities holding World Cup rights for the Middle East and North Africa, including Al Jazeera's belN Sports channel, puts broadcasts beyond the reach of many football fans in the region.
Over the past hundred years, the process of polarized dehumanization, distrust, and betrayal has resulted in a spiraling deprecation of cultural and social values in Muslim countries.
Egyptian soccer is adding salt to the run-up to presidential elections that are certain to be won by the country's strongman, newly retired general Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, with the announcement of the controversial chairman of one of Egypt's foremost clubs that he too was a presidential candidate.
There is a crisis unfolding in Egypt: some of the world's most precious archaeological sites and artifacts are being senselessly looted.