• Magdi Abdelhadi

    Since I wrote this, anti-Americanism has grown tenfold, with state media accusing Washington of plotting to break Egypt into 4 statelets. Americans working for the NDI and IRI have been accused of violating Egyptian sovereignty and banned from leaving the country. They are now being taken to court. The court case centres around allegations that these NGO’s have been interfering in Egypt’s internal affairs. Who is behind this campaign exactly, it is not entirely clear. Many observers point the finger at a powerful government minister in charge of international cooperation. Her name is Fayza Abul Naga, an Egyptian “iron lady” who had to outdo the demagoguery and populism of her male colleagues to rise to the top. Others suspect that she couldn’t have adopted her hardline stances against America without a nod and wink from the country’s military rulers who get some 1.3 billion dollars a year in military assistance from the US. They military have come under a lot of criticism here for killing protesters and dragging their feet over handing power to civilian administrations, so some people suspect that the generals are trying to divert attention from their domestic ordeals by deflecting the anger on to an external enemy. Anyway, I can imagine it must feel very unpleasant to be American in Egypt right now.