Sham Jaff presents Your Middle East’s weekly news check up, summarizing key events from the past seven days.
The Egyptian government resigned on Monday. While elections in Egypt are expected to be held by mid-April this year, Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi fears a return to autocratic rule. He told AFP that the army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a likely election frontrunner, has failed to dispel these concerns. On Tuesday, Egypt’s military-installed authorities named Ibrahim Mahlab, a former member of ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party, as prime minister.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian army doctor’s recent announcement that the country’s military has developed devices that could detect HIV and cure AIDS and hepatitis C has caused a furor of disbelief rather than praise.
This week was also one for sensitive religious debates. Four cyberactivists in Bahrain have been arrested for posting insults about companions of Prophet Mohammed on Instagram and an online petition organized by Muslims against the “Dark Horse” video by Katy Perry over its use of imagery containing the word “Allah” has led to the editing of the video on YouTube. Despite Perry’s controversy, an op-ed hosted by Your Middle East remained highly skeptical of the nature of the petition.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed “grave concern” over Israel’s continued settlement building on occupied Palestinian territory, as she and her cabinet visited Jerusalem to meet their counterparts. Merkel is not alone: Amnesty International accuses Israel of willfully committing war crimes against the Palestinians.
There were good news too: Iraq exported 2.8 million barrels of oil per day in February, a top minister said Saturday, a sharp month-on-month gain and the highest such figure in at least a quarter-century.