What Egypt talked about this week
By Ahmed Mansour
Presidential elections for Egyptians living abroad began today, May 15 at 141 overseas embassies and diplomatic missions in 124 countries. While expatriates did not need to pre-register as they did for the 2012 elections, they must vote in person at the embassy or consulate and present a valid Egyptian national ID card for identification. Previously, Egyptians abroad could vote by mail or email. Polls for Egyptian national abroad close Sunday May 18.
Protestors set fire to scaffolding near the Rabaa Al-Adaweya Monument on Wednesday May 14, as the Students Against the Coup commemorated the nine-month anniversary of forced evacuation of Nasr City’s Rabaa Square sit-in. Ibrahim Gamal, official spokesmen for the group, told the local media, “This fire comes as a reaction to the killing of innocent students at the sit-in. We need to make the people remember that we will never forget the 210 who died during the evacuation, and all the students that died afterwards, such as Mohamed Ayman.” Ayman died while protesting on Ain Shams University’s campus, allegedly shot in the head by security forces on May 11.
The Minister of Petroleum announced that in August Egypt would start importing 12 shipments of liquefied gas at an average price of $17 per 20m Thermal units. The $1 billion agreement was signed with Russian Gazprom and French EDF, two of the world’s largest natural gas companies. The 12 shipments are expected to cover only 3% of the total supply needed for power plants and factories during the summer.
Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, concluded a five-day visit to the United Arab Emirates to meet with UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and other dignitaries. “The main purpose of my visit was to thank Sheikh Khalifa for his support of Egypt in its difficult times and the care that the country grants to all Egyptians living there, especially the Christian Egyptians.” Pope Tawadros also inaugurated the Mar Mina Church in the UAE city of Jebel Ali.
The trial of the activist Alaa Abdul Fattah and 24 others was adjourned until May 17 while the Cairo Criminal Court examines the defense’s request that the court recuse itself from the case. Alaa and his co-defendants are being held on charges of protesting without a permit in front of the Shura Council on November 26.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab celebrated the 50th anniversary of Aswan’s High Dam this week. During the festivities, held at the Cairo Opera House, Mahlab presented Serge V. Kirpenchenko, Russia’s ambassador to Egypt, with a plate commemoraating the Russian cooperation in building the dam, which relies on 12 Soviet-built turbines to generate 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.