A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Egypt Restores Information Minister Job, and He's a General

UPDATE: Some are denying or questioning the report I linked to. It may be a false alarm, or a trial balloon that didn't take off. Let's see what happens.

UPDATE II: It sounds as if at best this may be a rumor or a trial balloon. (Link is in Arabic.) Or, once again, there are factional maneuvers behind the scenes. I'll leave my original comments intact in the event it proves to be real, but I'd approach the story with caution.
 In  the wake of the Revolution, Egypt announced it was abolishing the Ministry of Information in order not to regulate the media. Well, now it's reported that they've named a new Minister of Information, and he's a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces: Maj. Gen. Tareq al-Mahdi.  (Link is in Arabic.)

This, along with recent Military Council questioning of journalists and others critical of the Army, has led to considerable concern about the Army's intentions, to say the least. As I've noted before, the Council issues very mixed signals, when it says anything at all. Last Friday's demonstration included much open criticism of the Army. But a military man in charge of Information (a Ministry supposedly "abolished")? There doesn't seem to be much ambiguity in that message, I'm afraid.

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