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Aswan & Luxor by plane, motor boat, sailing boat, car, horse, and train!

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The segway between two Monasteries

Next to the Red Sea coast of Egypt, we stayed the night at a motel in the middle of nowhere surrounded by deep brown and blue landscape, windmills on the horizon and truckers stopping for fuel and food. [click on a photo to access the fullscreen carousel view]

Why Egypt’s poorest need environmental rights the most

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Amid the campaigning in the run-up to the referendum, the content of the draft constitution has mostly gone unnoticed. People are caught up in “Sisi mania,” or boycotting the vote because they feel that the draft process was flawed.

The media focus has been on the military’s blanket propaganda, which just says “vote yes.” People campaigning for a “no” vote have been arrested. Meanwhile, the environmental rights the draft constitution enshrines have been overlooked.

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Egypt’s Substantive State Outside the Shell of Politics

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While the rest of the world continues to focus on the Egypt that is bogged down in a quagmire of political disintegration, I choose to focus on the parts of Egypt that remain and continue to function throughout, not in a sedentary fashion, but in a stabilising state-building fashion.

At this point, when the political discourse is so damaged and bruised that optimistic suggestions of reform etc will be blown away on the collective exhale of held breath, we must look to the other side of the equation too: the side that constitutes the State away from politics. This might seem like a foreign concept to many, and certainly in formal terms the definition of a ‘State’ is not settled; but in simple terms, and in Egyptian terms, the State is far more, in fact is spectacularly more, than mere government and its bureaucracy.

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