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Egypt, today

This week, we are devoting this week’s entire broadcast to a story that has huge implications for the United States and Israel. We’re talking about the continuing fallout from the revolution in the Arab world’s most populous country: Egypt. For decades now, the United States has sent more than $1 billion a year to Egypt.

But now that Hosni Mubarak is gone, relations between the two countries are fraught. Consider that Egypt is planning to prosecute 16 Americans on what some say are trumped-up charges to intimidate them and Egyptian pro-democracy advocates.

What’s happening in Egypt a year after Mubarak was swept from power and a military regime took control? Need to Know’s Mona Iskander was born in Egypt and still has family there. Last month, on the anniversary of the uprising, she returned to that country of more than 80 million people. Many have been profoundly changed by the continuing political upheaval.


  • Howard

    Great show! Prizewinning stuff.

  • Ms. Winokur

    I was disappointed by Mona Iskander’s report. First the constant use of the term “the revolution”–an unquestioning acceptance of a term that seems highly inaccurate for what has occurred. It was a popular mass protest that led to the downfall of a governing elite, but not a change in the political system. Thus, it was/is not a revolution in the sense that we have always used it (as in the Russian revolution, or the French and American revolutions). Second, her assertion that most Egyptians are “devoutly religious” Muslims has no basis in fact. Has there been any reliable massive census-like research to substantiate that? NO! Furthermore, how would one know if someone is “devout”–certainly not by the clothing they wear!  Like most alleged Muslims, Christians and Jews around the world, the vast majority are ignorant of the actual tenets of these religions–they believe what self-serving clerics tell them instead of studying on their own.  Hijabs, burkas and any other face-and-body coverings have nothing to do with being a faithful Muslim. They are not even mentioned in the Qur’an. The sects that promote them are using old, pre-Islamic cultural traditions that, unfortunately, were never eradicated among the people in villages and towns far from the urban centers of the Islamic empire and the modern nation-states of the Middle East. The prophet Muhammad would be appalled to see what has come of the religious ideas he espoused–especially the subjugation and oppression of women. If Ms. Iskander doesn’t know this, she ought to study Islamic history, the Qur’an, and the Sunni doctrines before she undertakes further journalistic adventures in the Arab world. And that goes for your editors and anyone other staff who have the chutzpah to report on a religious culture of which they are so obviously ignorant.

  • Dr. S. Nabbimba

    Thanks Mona & Thanks Pbs for this Egypt highlight. I believe you brought out the realities on the ground in Egypt. Western nations did great to advise Mubarak to step aside b,se there was less choice to them. But soon or later the Egyptian people would know how terrible the mistake that would have been. Egypt was a free secular state enjoying liberty &  tourism income. With the rise of the Moslem brotherhood a relatively extreme intolerant sect, all that is gone and may be history. Sometimes people that advocate for such uprisings like in Egypt need to know what goes on in other nations then will they appreciate what they have.  I agree its wrong to have dictatorial leadership but its a lie for Egyptians to think that they can achieve the Western type of democracy overnight. Before, everyone; Moslems, atheists, Christians, all lived in harmony. Now they have driven the minority Christians to the margin & reduced tourism hence foreign currency. The next mistake would be to try to get rid of the military leadership to quickly which to my view is likely to produce militias as we see in Libya. They should give the military  more time and stabilize the country before they agitate for so-called democracy. They sh’d learn from  Pakistan who are crying foul after the overthrow of Paves Musharaf. Learn from Somalia. All  people or leaders are evil but it depends on the degree of evil they have. Egyptians sh’d choose the lesser evil than the extreme fundamentalism that is gona take away every  liberty and the rights of women. Egypt was far greater than the lands of Tehran. Change is good but it has to be “compatible with  the global dynamics of the society today. Thanks.

  • Ashraf Ezzat

    This is really a concise coverage of one year of post-Mubarak Egypt. I live in Egypt, and I watched the whole video .. Thank you Mona. Let’s hope for a better tomorrow for Egypt. We certainly deserve better than this mayhem. 

  • Bebarsoum

    Great piece on Egypt in flux.
    Let’s go back a bit, to the Camp David “Peace” accords.I know I  was excited, but Peace was not what happened. Large US aid packages to Egypt and Israel bribed one to sit on sidelines as the other invaded and Occupied Lebanon in the eighties.Israel’s brutal 18 year occupation of S.Lebanon would kill over 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians and radicalize the once docile south Lebanese Shia and would give us mideast suicide bombing and Hizbollah. Mubarak would run his country as a police state with US blessing and largesse as long as he did not protest any Israeli policies. His blockade of Gaza from Egypt was the epitome of his losing touch with the essence of Egyptian culture.
    Population explosion in Egypt with little job potential for youth is a recipe for trouble.
    How many hotel/tourism jobs can you have?
    What Egypt needs is business,and the job creators who fled and suceeded abroad.

  • Caroline Shaheed

    It is not up to Mona Iskander to tell the people of Egypt what the definition of a revolution is. What is happening in Egypt is a revolution in progress, nothing happens immediately and it takes time. You cannot compare the situation of France, America and Russia to Egypt.

    As well, if you will notice when Ms. Iskander interviewed the gentleman who was driver, also when the reference to “devout Muslims was made, he had a bruise on the top of his forehead. Generally, only devout Muslims have this bruise, it comes from continuos prayer when your forehead hits the ground repeatedly. She never made reference to clothing of Muslims and their devotion, so I don’t know where you got that idea. Ms. Iskander is quite well versed in Egyptian history and politics, and  has spent quite a bit of time in the country and reported from and on Egypt numerous times, she is far from ignorant as you claim.She is certainly not the first to state many in Egypt are devoutly religious and if you visit the country you will see it for yourself. I feel you are being nitt-picky for no reason. If you need more proof on the fact that the majority of Egyptians are devoutly religious, have a look at a few resources including this one: wouldn’t hurt you to do a bit of research before you take to bashing the work of an informed journalist. 

  • Maryse Allen

    I found this to be very informative and interesting.  Thanks PBS and Mona Iskander for bringing us more news on Egypt’s revolution and how it is progressing.  Looks like there is still a long way to go before peace and prosperity return to this ancient land.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you!it helped me a lot on my history essay about Egypt! Keep up the good work!