Posts Tagged ‘ Egypt ’

The Foreign Exchange Business


The Forex market is a global and open market that is used to trade foreign exchange currencies.  Currency exchange operations in the Forex market take place on a 24 hour basis with the exception of the weekends.

In international business, currency conversion is required on a daily basis.   Global Financial Centres such as London, New York, Hong Kong act as hubs for buyers and sellers to trade in financial instruments.  Typically, the income for such FX trades comes from the largest players in the financial market like  BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs and Citi.    Traders deal Dollars, Euros, Yen etc. on behalf of investors (the investor profile typically being large institutions). Continue reading

Ten Crucial Moments In European World Cup Qualifiers


With the nine automatic 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualification spots sealed in Europe, plus the eight contenders in the upcoming play-offs known, for many it is hard not to think how different it all could have been.

The final matchday of the European qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup saw group winners Bosnia-Herzegovina,England,Russia and Spain join already qualified Belgium,Italy,Germany,Netherlands and Switzerland on the plane to Brazil. Continue reading

Obama’s Dilemma And World Hesitation


Over a year ago I contributed a piece to this website which mentioned the use of torture by Syrian government forces in an organised fashion. It should be no surprise to us that the Assad regime has gone ahead and used gas on its own people. The Assad regime is without a doubt an evil regime hell-bent on maintaining power in any way possible. It is disheartening and tragic that this can continue in the twenty first century. We are essentially sitting watching another Rwanda happen, albeit over a longer period of time.

Living in the large shadow of the Gulf War II it is to be expected that western powers are going to be hesitant to intervene in another Middle East conflict. Assad’s regime is reportedly preparing for a U.S. strike, with reports coming through of troops, ordinance and sensitive documents being moved to civilian buildings and discreet locations. Obama’s decision to delay any possible action seems to be allowing time for Assad to prepare for this possibility. However the decision is hugely complex and Obama will have a number of motivations for his decision.

Following on Britain’s example, Obama is seeking Congressional approval for his action. One can easily see the allure of having a strong consensus built behind military action, given the disaster that was Iraq. Domestic factors may be present in the president’s mind. Intervening without Congressional approval (as in Libya) would leave Obama and the Democrats open to criticism from Rand Paul et al, hailing the UK as an example of how a democracy should decide on entering into a war. This would be an easy card to play to an American public which may balk at the prospect of another drawn out war. They have seen enough American boys come home in body bags.

Syria is also stocked full of new Russian anti-aircraft technology, and the supply chain will not halt any time soon. The UN is also unlikely to reach a strong consensus due to Russia and China’s position on the Security Council. This is an issue which needs to be changed as the current setup of the security council prevents it functioning to its full and proper potential.

There are numerous other complications so boggling that nobody can say with any certainty what will happen. The Islamic fundamentalist elements among the Syrian rebels are a mysterious threat. During this week, Iran threatened retaliation against Israel if Syria were struck. The war has already spilled over into Lebanon. Egypt, once reliable as a bastion of stability, is now more chaotic than any other point in recent years. One cannot blame America for being apprehensive about beginning to bomb a region that could inflame the whole region.

The great tragedy of these complications is that the carnage continues. This was the second gas attack by Syrian government forces, twice crossing Obama’s ‘Red Line’. The UK’s rash decision to avoid war, and America’s hesitation will send out the wrong message worldwide. This message is clear when we hear reports of the Syrian government taunting America’s aversion to war and loss of superpower status. To prevent mass war crimes against whole peoples in the future, perpetrators must understand they will be brought to justice. John Kerry has a reputation as a dull operator, but he has been an ardent supporter of intervention. He is one of a few prominent politicians with the conviction to call the Syrian government for what it is.

The firm line taken by France is hardly surprising given their willingness to become involved in former colonies like Chad and Mali.

Obama had missed the opportunity to be decisive and take a firm line on Syria. The UK has essentially forfeited its chance to help. The memories of Iraq, and the continuing deadlock of the U.N. Security Council means we are facing into more misery and more dead civilians with no end in sight.

Sky News Cameraman Shot Dead In Egypt


Sky News cameraman Mick Deane has been shot and killed in Egypt this morning.

Mick had worked for Sky for 15 years, based in Washington and then Jerusalem.

He was part of the team covering the violence in Cairo. Dozens of people have been confirmed killed after Egyptian security forces tried to clear two protest camps loyal to deposed president Mohamed Morsi. Continue reading

Obama and the Drone Wars

If Star Wars had the ‘Clone Wars’, in the 21st Century we have the ‘Drone Wars’.

While drones themselves are nothing new, their place in warfare is. Even at the beginning of the Afghanistan conflict, the US possessed merely a handful of unarmed drones. Today the US operates huge purpose built strike drones across the world. Although most drone attacks occur in lawless provinces of Pakistan, they have also taken place in Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines. It was President Bush who began the drone attacks, but the Nobel-prize winning President Obama has stepped them up considerably, with attacks occurring almost weekly. As reported in the New York Times, Obama insists on Presidential authorisation for drone strikes outside of Afghanistan. This means that he is presented with the best available intelligence and must decide whether the risk of civilian casualties is worth the potential death of a Taliban leader.

And so far, the offensive has been effective. The top brass of the Pakistan Taliban has been decimated, all with no risk to American lives or the cost of troops on the ground. Some see it as a sort of ‘silver bullet’ from the sky. The recent death of Al-Qaeda number two in a typical drone strike was hailed as huge blow to the terrorist network. Abu Yahya al-Libi was considered a major unifying force between Egyptian and North African factions within the movement, and his death is predicted to have a destablising effect.

However the mounting civilian casualties has drawn official condemnation from the Pakistan government and Foreign Ministry. Tensions remain high even after Pakistan has this week reopened road supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan. These were closed after the death of 24 government soldiers in a US strike last November. Drone attacks were temporarily suspended, and American personnel were evacuated from the air base they secretly operated from. However with no resolution in sight attacks were stepped up two months later.

Despite the fact that the Pakistan government secretly harboured the drone strikes for years, it seems they have finally turned due to mounting collateral damage. Numbers of civilians killed are disputed, but the foreign ministry claims they reach into the hundreds. The usefulness of this type of offensive must now be called into question. How far can the CIA move down the totem pole of an already decimated Al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership?
Will the mounting civilian casualties and accusations of extrajudicial killings deter Obama, or will he proceed with an effective anti-Taleban tool that presents minimal risk to US lives? For now the attacks continue at the same rate as ever.

Drones have now had a lasting impact on modern warfare. Even in the 60’s it was predicted the majority of military aircraft would eventually be unmanned, and this will likely come true in the next few years. While the US can seemingly hunt its enemies anywhere in the world from the comfort of control rooms in the states, their enemies will not be left behind forever. In 2007 Israeli fighter jets shot down a Hezbollah reconnaissance drone, a surprising step forward for the supposedly primitive group. In another famous incident, Iraqi insurgents hacked into live video feed from a US drone over Baghdad.

Egyptians Flock to Their First Free Election in Eight Decades

Voters queue at a polling station in the wealthy Cairo suburb of Zamalak

Egyptians flocked to the polls in their droves yesterday as Cairo played host to the country’s first free parliamentary election in over 80 years. A tentative sense of hope is evident in a nation who hopes the ballot will enable them to finally move forward following the collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade-long dictatorship in February of this year.

Despite predictions to the contrary, the election was a largely peaceful event. This was in stark contrast to the violent protests which took place in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in the ten days preceding the vote. Many of the demonstrators had urged a boycott of the vote as they felt it was a stunt aimed at merely appeasing the electorate. These calls were largely ignored.

Journalist and public speaker, Mona Eltahawy – who was arrested and beaten by Egyptian security forces during last week’s protests – voted in Zamalek. She said, “For 30 years my parents’ generation said they were denied a voice. So I’ve come here on behalf of my family. If we don’t vote we lose.” Ms Eltahawy has been extremely outspoken regarding her dissatisfaction with the current political and social situation in her country, particularly via her Twitter account.

The social media website has provided a platform for protesters during the recent uprising. However, in a case of poor timing in the extreme, the company that provided free mobile phone encryption to dissidents in Egypt, Whisper Systems, suddenly suspended its services on Monday so that Twitter could update some of its privacy enabling technology. As a result of this, many protestors who relied on the service to encrypt phone calls abruptly lost the ability to protect their identity from government-controlled eavesdroppers.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest political group, is expected to poll well when the election’s preliminary results are announced later this week. However, a number of rival liberal candidates including Amr Hamzawy, founder of the liberal Egypt Freedom party, alleged several irregularities were evident at voting booths, which they fear will boost votes for the religious organisation.

Two further rounds of voting will take place in other areas of Egypt, the last on 3 January, before a 498-member lower house of parliament is elected. Their main order of business will be to form a committee and draft Egypt’s new constitution. The country is currently being governed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Mubarak Ends 30 Year Reign

Hosni Mubarak has stepped down as president of Egypt and handed power to the army, ending weeks of anti-government protests and prompting scenes of elation across the country.

Roars of joy erupted from hundreds of thousands of people in the capital and across the country as the announcement was made on state TV by the leader’s deputy, Omar Suleiman.

Mr Mubarak has handed over control to army chiefs, vice-president Suleiman said in a brief speech.

The embattled leader’s 30-year reign came to an abrupt end following waves of angry demonstrations and sometimes violent clashes involving anti-government protesters, riot police and Mubarak supporters.

Mubarak admitted only yesterday that he would not be resigning and that he would be contesting the elections later this year. However the power of the people has caused him to reverse his decision. 

Key Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei said: “This is the greatest day of my life.

“The country has been liberated after decades of repression.”

It will be a major re-building job to fully repair the Middle East nation, however for now the future seems bright in the land of the Pharaohs.