Stories written by Emad Mekay

Women in the forefront of protests in Tahrir Square. Credit: Mohammed Omer

Arab Women Lead the Charge

Asmaa Mahfouz, a 26-year-old Egyptian woman who two weeks ago had only one name, now boasts at least three. These include "A woman worth 100 men", "The girl who crushed Mubarak" and "The leader of the Egyptian revolution".

EGYPT: An Air of Dangerous Freedom

Imam Mohammed Al-Saba of the Eisa mosque here in the centre of the rural town Kirdasa takes the pulpit to tell his congregation he can smell "the air of freedom for the first time in 30 years."

EGYPT: Mubarak Switches On Smear Campaign

The regime of embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has unleashed a media campaign to discredit pro-democracy protestors. That comes on the back of a violent crackdown by his supporters.

Protesters were met with U.S.-made tear gas by Egypt's security forces. Credit: monasosh/creative commons license

EGYPT: Mubarak to Dissolve Govt in Wake of Mass Protests

After a day in which thousands of protesters called for his ouster and clashed with security forces, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced on state television after midnight Friday that he was dismantling the current government immediately and will announce a replacement cabinet on Saturday.

Police clash with protestors in Cairo. Credit: Mohammed Omer

EGYPT: Public Noose Tightens Around Mubarak

Demonstrations calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt continued for the second day in several Egyptian cities with police cracking down violently, a development that many analysts here say reflects the nervousness of the regime.

EGYPT: Mubarak Faces Historic Challenge

Egyptians have demonstrated in protests rare in size and ferocity against the three-decade rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Middle East Fast Bleeding Money

Middle East countries have seen the largest increase of illicit outflows of funds to richer nations, depriving the developing nations of much needed development money, a new international report shows.

More Arabs Protest Rulers With Self-Immolations

Mohammed Bouazizi, the 26-year old Tunisian whose act of self-immolation led to an unprecedented popular revolution in Tunisia, is quickly turning into a symbol for disgruntled Arab youths angry at their autocratic rulers and poor economic conditions - a development that Arab leaders in the region are clearly taking note of.

Egypt Is Not Tunisia, But…

"Where can I find a Tunisian flag?" The question flooded Egyptian blogs, tweeter and Facebook pages minutes after news that popular protests had forced out long-time Tunisian dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

TUNISIA: People Power Succeeds Without Western Backing

These are scenes Western powers would have loved to see in Iran - thousands of young people braving live bullets and forcing an autocratic ruler out of the country. But it is in the North African nation Tunisia where an uprising forced the Western-backed autocratic President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country.

Unrest Spreads to Algeria

At least three Algerians have died and hundreds have been injured in four days of protests over housing shortages, rising food prices and failing economic policies that only three months ago won praise by the International Monetary Fund and other Western financial institutions.

Tunisian Unrest Stirs Arab World

As Western countries were busy celebrating Christmas and dealing with air traffic holiday delays because of snow blizzards, the tranquil North African country of Tunisia was going through events that would have been thought unthinkable just three weeks ago - public unrest that saw thousands demonstrate against the regime of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

EGYPT: New Money Boosts Puppy Mill Industry

A few years ago, dog markets were dull places with pooch purveyors keeping an eye open for more lucrative business.

FINANCE-US: More Debt Relief in Sight for Poorest Nations

Anti-debt campaigners say legislation passed by a U.S. Congressional committee this week that would expand debt cancellations to an additional 25 poor nations could prove effective in fighting poverty, stopping environmental degradation and easing the traditional strict economic conditions that accompanied loans and often led to economic chaos.

FINANCE: U.S. Preaches What It Practices Not

The United States has for years promoted its own business interests abroad through public funds and lobbying to open up the economies of developing countries, but as foreign government-controlled sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) increasingly acquire or invest in U.S. assets, Washington is scrambling to change the rules of the game.

FINANCE: IMF “Cure” for Food Crisis Also a Cause

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is responding to the global food crisis by doling out new emergency loans to 15 of the world's poorest nations, mostly in Africa.

DEVELOPMENT: Sweden, Ireland, Britain Lead in Aiding Africa

Sweden, Ireland and Britain top an index of 21 rich countries that ranks their commitment to help develop African nations. The United States, the world's largest economy, was a distant thirteenth, while Japan remains the least committed to the continent among rich nations.

POLITICS-EGYPT: Al Qaeda Faction Alters Course

The ideology al Qaeda rests on to justify its activities suffered a major blow this week.

EGYPT: Torture Ruling Boosts Rights

Anti-torture activists in Egypt scored a rare win Monday when an Egyptian judge handed down three-year prison sentences in a high-profile case to two police officers filmed last year abusing and sodomising a man in custody with a broomstick.

EGYPT: U.S. Funnels Aid to Coptic Christians, Documents Show

The United States has quietly funnelled millions of dollars of its annual aid to Egypt to groups among the country's increasingly restless Christian Coptic community and to areas with large Christian populations as part of an effort to "empower" the religious minority in a little-noticed multi-year aid programme, according to a review of several recent congressional documents.

FINANCE-US: OPIC Extension Tied to Terror and Environment

The U.S. House of Representatives extended funding until 2011 for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a government agency that backs U.S. corporations in developing nations, in an act that prohibits investment in "terrorist nations" and requires more rigorous human rights and environmental standards.

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