Egypt and NGO prosecution - HistorySmith
 
Read the article below and write a thoughtful response to it.   You might address whether you agree or disagree with the government's decision or whether there is a need to keep the support of NGOs and foreign money in Egypt at this time.  There is no right or wrong answer, but be sure to take a stand one way and justify your answer.  Response is due by the beginning of class on Monday, February 13.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-egypt-ngo-crackdown-and-draft-law-have-chilling-effect/2012/02/11/gIQANO9b6Q_story.html?tid=pm_world_pop


Sarah
2/12/2012 01:26:53

I think that there is a need to keep the support of NGOs and foreign money in Egypt at this time because by the minute, Egypt is running low on foreign reserves and in the tourism industry, which is an important factor in contributing to Egypt's economy. American NGOs are accused of paying Egyptians to go on strike, when the main objective of these very NGOs is simply to teach Egyptians what "democracy" is, as well as a various number of other subjects. The United States has even threatened to withhold its 1.5 billion dollar aid to Egypt if the country's military chiefs continue to place the blame of the uprisings on Americans and American NGOs. The draft law that was proposed to parliament, placing tighter restrictions on foreign NGOs to prevent them from, according to Egypt's military chiefs, encouraging activism in Egypt. Members of foreign NGOs are also being tried in court, Egypt's government wanting to know where the money is coming from, how it's spent, and such. I agree with this idea of knowing exactly where the money is coming from, how it is being spent, and so on, but these investigations should not lead to a banning of all foreign NGOs in Egypt. Kareem Elbayar, an Egypt expert at the Washington-based International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, stated that the draft law and the criminal case may be a starting point to a "crackdown on civil society." The Muslim Brotherhood is also shown to support Egypt's military chiefs who think that American NGOs are paying Egyptians to revolt. I do not agree with the accusation that NGOs are responsible for Egypt's uprisings because in Egypt, the revolt was lead by people that desired a democracy, perhaps being influenced by learning what "democracy" meant from NGOs, however, NGOs are not responsible for paying all these Egyptian people to revolt. A number of people revolted for a democracy without being paid by anyone, just protesting to win freedom from government oppression and police brutality. In conclusion, Egypt's military chiefs are just looking for scapegoats to blame for the revolution, in my opinion, and considering the near economic crisis Egypt is in, foreign money should continue to support Egypt or it may very well collapse. With the support of NGOs as well, the people will learn of things, such as democracy, and become better educated in ideologies (different government systems, etc) around the world. Learning about democracy may lead to protesting from Egyptians, but that is each Egyptian's choice whether to revolt or not, without the temptation of receiving money from foreign NGOs to revolt.

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Abdelrahman Zwein
2/12/2012 01:39:35

I personally disagree with the government's decision, i believe they are simply trying to deflect the attention off themselves and trying to hide the fact that their military ruling is not helping the people nor the country, by accusing a third party of a crime, which causes them to be more popular and leads to them getting more support and appearing patriotic. Charging crimes against these NGO's would be a very big mistake, but the consequences are fare more severe than to be dealt with at times like this. A time where the country need all the money i can obtain. This deed will force the american government to cut off its financial aid from Egypt, causing our country to fall further into ruins and poverty.

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Hania
2/12/2012 02:14:11

I am completely against the way the Egyptian government is dealing with this situation. They are reuing the relationship between Egypt and the US, and frankly Egypt can't handle that right now, if this nonsense continues to go on Egypt will lose the 1.5 billion dollar Aid that America gives Egypt, and an another very important issue that will affect Egypt's relationship worldwide because of this issue is tourism, and tourism is one of the major pillars in Egypt's Economy. If the charge against the NGOs would go on it would be yet another mistake to the Egyptian government, they shouldn't be forcing them to say in the country. Some of the NGOs are currently staying at the embassy from fear of the Egyptian government. The Egyptian government is accusing the NGOs for the revolt that is happening in Egypt. I am against that statement, because in what way would an NGO benefit from the uprising events that are occurring in Egypt. I truly hope they stop these accusations immediately.

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Nehal
2/12/2012 02:24:49

Throughout Mubarak's era of rule, American NGOs roamed around freely without a license. After the revolution, however, most of the Egyptian population started to blame American NGOs for all the actions happening that are preventing Egypt from progressing economically. The Egyptians might just be looking for a scapegoat just like the people blamed the Jews for the Black Death.
There is also the possibility though, that the foreign-funded organizations ARE meddling into the country's business. They might be the ones urging the people to keep revolting. After all, it is well-known that a strong, unified Middle East would be a threat to the United States.
I believe that NGOs presence in Egypt is not necessary at the moment. They should "back-off" and let Egypt rise again on its own. Even if the possibility of that happening is doubtful, the NGOs should still leave. At least to left the could of suspicions that rise around them. If they leave and the protests still occur, they are away from the circle of suspicion. The Egyptians will also realize that the NGOs were unrelated to the actions taking place and invite them back.

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Raya
2/12/2012 03:04:45

Egypt is going through economic crisis now, so foreign funding would help them sought out this crisis. As far as concerned about the about the NGOs, they are certainly not responsible of the revolution and upheavals. The people of the country want democracy after being under the rule of a leader for a long time. They are fighting for their own rights. They are doing what they think are right and are not under any kind of influence of the NGOs. I agree that the NGOs are the scapegoats of the government as they are being accused of starting the revolution. They have also been accused of bribing the people to call strikes and other kinds of upheaval. In fact, the people are doing what they think is right and they have their own conscience and are not forced to do anything by the NGOs. The government is using the relation between Egypt and America to blame the NGOs and to cover themselves. The NGOs are spreading the idea of democracy and working for human rights, and that is not a crime. Therefore, the members of NGOs should not be prosecuted on the basis of spreading democratic ideas. So, I think that NGOs do not play a major role in sparking the revolution.

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Ranna
2/12/2012 03:22:19

I agree with the government’s decision and think that there is no need at the time to keep the support of NGOs and foreign money in Egypt. It is not certain, but American and other Foreign NGOs might be causing great revolts in Egypt and encouraging people to protest, leading to more trouble in the country. The United States has threatened to stop giving financial aid to Egypt if the military chiefs continue to accuse American NGOs for the continuous upheaval in Egypt. Although Egypt could benefit from the aid of 1.5 billion dollars, the NGOs should leave the country as it would then be clear if they are causing the revolts or not. I believe it is a great idea that there is investigation in order to find out where the money is coming from and in what way it is being spent in order to make sure what really is causing all the problems. It could very well be that the American NGOs are innocent and they did not bribe people to strike but only wanted to spread democracy throughout Egypt. But on the other hand, they may not be innocent and would therefore have to be dealt with. The Muslim Brotherhood is currently working to solve this dispute and some leaders in this group agree with the government that foreign NGOs are trying to destabilize Egypt.

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Youssef
2/12/2012 04:30:09

Egypt today is facing a period of economic decline and a massive financial crisis. The country’s uprisings and protests led to instability in the nation. Since the January 25 revolution, clashes between protesters and the military have increased, national monuments have been destroyed, the crime rate has increased, and the number of deaths has increased due to continuous deadly clashes. All of these problems caused the level of tourism to decrease, a huge cutback in the Egyptian stock market, and international business relations are starting to diminish. Therefore, I am with the existence of NGOs in Egypt and to continue the financial aid from the USA. The country needs money right now, and it can’t get the needed amount by itself. Egypt is in a transitional period where it’s slowly changing into a democratic country. Although the SCAF visions that the NGOs are persuading the people to strike and raising the level of activism, the occurrence of NGOs is a must. NGOs are teaching Egyptians what democracy is. The military doesn’t what the protests to continue in order for them to continue ruling the country the same way the old regime did. The youth should continue protesting in order to preserve the nation’s rights until the regime gets 100% destroyed, otherwise we will be tricked by the SCAF and won’t move forward into democracy. Money and democracy are two factors that Egypt really needs, and the USA and NGOs are sources of aid.

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Hussein
2/12/2012 04:53:17

The aids from NGO’s and from foreign countries has both a positive and negative impact on Egypt’s economy, government, and society today. Economically, it is definitely a positive impact as it is helping Egypt’s economy grow and sustain its businesses. Towards the society it is forging a negative impact, as many people believe that the uprises are caused by the United States and western organizations. They believe that the West is trying to break apart on of the worlds very important countries, geographically and economically, to many small, manageable, states. If Egypt gets the power and personality it deserves, it will rise to become a more prominent country. Governmentally, foreign aid is both needed and unwanted. It is needed because it gives more money to the government, giving it more work force. The government also tries to avoid it, to have people stop thinking in a medieval way of foreign aid means the buying of the country. I believe that NGO’s and foreign countries should not help Egypt monetarily but by sending over people and troopers to help regulate the country’s happenings.

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Ashley
2/12/2012 05:51:15

Egypt is currently facing major political and economical problems and has thought of radical ways to come through with the situation. I strongly disagree with their statement that, the NGO's are to blame for the revolt in Egypt. I think that this is just their way to show that the military rule at the moment is being very assertive about their country's future and that it is actually working. Charging such vile crimes on famous NGO's from across the world could prove deadly in such vital time. Egypt gets about 1.5 billion dollars form America and that could well be stopped if such harsh trails are going to take place on the American NGO's. After the Mubarak fall, Egypt haven't being doing a whole lot better economically. Tourism, as you well know, is one of the core parts to Egypt's economy and it has certainly taken a downfall after the revolution. I'm sure things only look worse in the future, if such things keep happening. Also the Republican based NGO's are also providing valuable lessons on how to live a democracy based world, which is desperately needed right now.

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Hasnae
2/12/2012 06:16:13

This is a very difficult situation happening at the wrong time. Right now Egypt should be focusing more about improving problems that it is facing, rather than including new issues to solve at the same time. I am against the government. I personally think it is making a wrong decision. Many years ago America, Egypt and Israel had signed a treaty in which no problems would be caused among them. Therefore if the Egyptian government decides to get rid of NGO's, more serious issues would happen for sure, and most probably America and Egypt won't stay in a good relationship as they are now. If that occurs, then Egypt's largest business, tourism, would die slowly and followed by the country itself. I do not think the best reason to keep NGO's is so that America keeps giving money to Egypt, even though it would make a difference, but it would not be the best answer to why keeping NGO's. At this very moment Egypt is going through a huge crisis, and needs to focus and make wise decisions before taking steps.

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Baheya Mansi
2/12/2012 15:56:15

The current situations in Egypt are way nigger than accusing the NGOs of paying Egyptians to protest. I totally disagree with the government's actions because they need to concentrate more about larger issues that our country is facing. In addition to that, I do not think that Egyptians await money from the United States to protest, they do it because this is what they want to do and they have all their rights to do this. If the Egyptian government continues to accuse the States of these crimes, they will suspend $1.5 billion in aid they are expected to give Egypt this year, unless they stop to put the blame on USA. As a result of these accusations, Egypt's relationship with the united states is not on good terms and this will affect Egyptian tourism, which is not what our country needs right now, contrary, we need tourism to grow because it is a major part of our income. The government should stop blaming others and they should start to fix whatever they did wrong and create a better Egypt.

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Farah
2/12/2012 16:02:48

Ever since the United States of America became a very productive and successful country, every bad thing is being blamed on it. The exodus of tourists has caused the deterioration of the Egyptian economy. This is due to many things that are not even mentioned in the article. The uprising protests and demonstrations have been blamed on the egyptian rulers. In order to prevent being blamed, the Egyptian rulers have to pass the blame to someone else. Who is more successful and could be greatly affected by a rumor like that? AMERICAN NGOs! Because the USA aids Egypt financially, it threatened Egypt to terminate this financial aid. Many NGOs are being tried in Egypt and their jobs questioned. I do not agree with this because the Americans have nothing to do with what the protesters are saying/doing. Egyptians have been holding back their rage for so long and it's about time they release their anger and revolt against the government and the president.

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Adam Abou-Gad
2/12/2012 17:24:54

The current situation that Egypt faces is putting it in a position that only increases the risks it's already facing. NGOs can act as very beneficial tools when it comes to the finances that Egypt receives for its political and economic purposes. Now, with the restrictions of these organizations being in existence, Egypt is practically making its own statement that it's taking its matters into its own hands. I think that the NGOs should stay in Egypt at this time, as the revolution has triggered an economic downfall and the political situation is only expanding on other issues instead of the more specific issues to solve, like restoring stability in the system of the economy and fixing the government system itself. The fact that the military is not stepping down at this time and that they are very bound on going on a crackdown of the NGOs in the country is creating more problems than solutions. I think in all cases the Egyptian government should not crackdown on the NGOs, and instead make use of the aid the NGOs are providing to help solve the current problems Egypt is facing. By keeping track on those problems, that would lead into the restabilizing of the economy and political systems, and in that case may very well help put Egypt back on track.

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Nadim
2/12/2012 17:37:38

I personally disagree with the Egyptian government. Egypt is going through a rough transition period. Therefore, the country needs all the aid from foreign nations and guidance into being a democratic nation. The existence of NGOs acts as a key player in the country’s growth in turning into a democratic country. Many people think that NGOs tend to cause tensions between the people and the military and increase the uprising in Egypt. The foreign aid that Egypt receives from the USA is very important to both the military and economy. Since Egypt is suffering many disasters and ruins in important monuments and places, the level of tourism have decreased and international business deals have lessened due to the fact that foreigners are afraid to visit the country. The country needs money in order for it to rise one more time, which will happen if the foreign aid continues. Also, Egypt is trying to become a democratic nation, and the existence of NGOs could help the country with that.

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Mounzer
2/13/2012 03:51:29

I agree with the Egyptian Armed Forces Council that the existence of NGOs could cause trouble and conflicts in the country. We have suffered a lot during the past 12 months, and now is the time where we should rise and act as one. NGOs are encouraging the youth to protest that is causing problems between the military and the people. We need to cooperate and act as one during this period of time, so there is no need for any interruption. We can find democracy by ourselves, not by foreign NGOs telling us what the term means. Also, the aid our country has received from the US was important and vital in the past, but we need to stop the increase in the debt in order to become a powerful force and have a strong voice above other countries. Although we need financial aid, we could use the support of each other to find solutions in making money. We have factors such as the Suez Canal, tourism, and business that could assist the country in increasing the money income. It’s a real chance for us to work as one and gain the real patriotic feeling for Egypt.

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Alaa
2/13/2012 15:43:07

I agree with that they should keep funding the NGO because they are spreading their democracy ideas, they think that the problem is that when countries like America give them money, it makes them revolt with more violence, but I think that they should keep giving them money because they are nt doing something bad, and they want to choose the own president..

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alaa
2/13/2012 15:46:05

And I think if the generals choose a president for their own choice, and the people don't like him, there will be alot more violence and the revelotion will be useless and a waste of time, because they will start revolting from the beginning

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Faisal
2/13/2012 17:04:45

I agree with the government's decision because the companies or the organisations, also knows as NGOs. If they are bringing money into the country from forge in sources or countries then they should report it and pay their taxes legally like all the other companies. Just because they are American companies, and the good. Company of america

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Faisal (continuation)
2/13/2012 17:07:13

And the good country of America pays Egypt annual financial aid does not simply give them the right todo what ever they want. They are not buying their way out of common law which apply to everyone, no exceptions.

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Autumn
2/14/2012 04:05:52

Human rights and political freedom has long been a problem and major issue facing the Middle East, and in particular, Egypt. Egypt has recently experience a revolution in January of 2011, where ex-president, Hosni Mubarak was toppled off of his nearly forty-year regime. That is why it comes as no surprise to me too see these NGO's experiencing trouble within the country. Political freedom is still not a granted right, and these companies who stay in Egypt to support such ideas, are accused of starting propagandas to create stir. This, as we all know, is completely false. These organizations merely search for the right way to support freedom, the one thing that Egyptian citizens need the most. After these NGO companies were raided and stripped of all important/private information, they were told that they must leave the country, as their services are no longer allowed. They are currently under a legal case, being accused of conspiracy to affect the voting results for the next president. The companies have also lost all of their money that had been stored, and have still not been given any of their belongings back. The United States has already declared that Egypt is making it extremely difficult for them to keep a steady and positive relationship. Egypt, being one of the US's major foreign affairs partner, has threatened to change the support and aid that is currently entering its walls. The United Nations council has also stated that the Egyptian government has crossed many boundaries regarding these groups. Already in an unable state of government, losing more help, such as the US, would mean devastating results for Egypt. This is also creating a doubt within the citizens themselves. Citizens jump right to the governments side as they are suspicious that these groups are indeed fueling a greater purpose other than to help, but perhaps to create a larger group of citizens that will vote for where they push them too. These NGO's have simple purposes, which is too help the Egyptian government reach fair and stable state, so that they can be independent once again. There are no hidden motives , and there is definitely no profit being made to support the US. Whatever hoax they are trying to pull over the Egyptian citizens, is working, as more and more people are afraid to come to egypt because of their suspicion with foreign citizens. Already, the economic situation of tourism in Egypt has defended at an alarmingly fast rate, making the country forced to use up the last of it's economic reserves. I believe that Egypt is making an extremely big mistake by creating an issue between it's government and the United States' government. The best thing right now would be to accept the assistance and let these organizations encourage freedom, because that is what Egypt has been searching for since the very beginning.

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Priyanka
3/27/2012 15:55:19

I agree with the government’s decision that the NGOs should leave because they might be causing unrest in Egypt. They might be encouraging people to go out and protest. But before accusing them for being responsible they should investigate what they are doing and how its affecting Egypt. The US said that they would not give financial aid to Egypt if they accuse the NGOs. I think that they should leave and not add more problems in Egypt.

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