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Egypt's Alaa El-Aswany to discontinue writing weekly column
The prominent author and columnist says 'only praise is allowed nowadays' in Egypt
Ahram Online, Tuesday 24 Jun 2014
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Alaa al-Aswany
Alaa al-Aswany (Photo: Reuters)

Prominent Egyptian columnist and author Alaa El-Aswany said late on Monday he would be refraining from publishing his weekly column since "only one particular opinion is allowed nowadays."

"Dear readers, I have stopped writing in Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper. Thank you for having read my weekly articles and, God willing, we will meet elsewhere," El-Aswany declared on his official Twitter account.

"Criticism and difference of opinion are no longer allowed," he added in another tweet, "Only praise, at the expense of the truth."

El-Aswany's decision perpetuates a discernible trend witnessing a number of dissenting voices falling into silence.

In February, established critical writer and novelist Belal Fadl discontinued his regular column in Al-Shorouk, accusing the newspaper of having censored his article.

Fadl wrote on Twitter at the time that no article of his had ever been banned under the rule of ousted long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak, former military chief Hussein Tantawi or deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Al-Shorouk's editor-in-chief, Emad El-Din Hussein, denied however that any censorship had been exercised on Fadl or any other writer, claiming the article had been withdrawn from print for containing a factual error. 

Earlier in June, Egypt's top satirist Bassem Youssef also said the "enormous pressure" being placed on him and his crew compelled him to bring his show, El-Bernameg, to a halt.

Youssef stated that he realised the current environment "is not suitable for the show."

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Werner Gessner
25-06-2014 05:43am
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Criticism and difference of opinion are no longer allowed,why !?
I read all your books and hope you keep writing, maybe for a different newspaper or magazine so keep us posted...
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9



Mona Abdel Aziz, Alex
24-06-2014 09:10pm
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21+
Mass Education
the media (TV, newspapers, books, articles, etc.) has the duty to educated masses about our problems and our true merciful Islam. The majority of Egyptians lack basic information about what is going around.
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8



Aladdin, Egypt
24-06-2014 09:07pm
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14+
Lack of Serious Opposition
The situation in Egypt is polarized: with me or against me. Lack of serious, constructive opposition has lead to this dichotomy. I disagree about coal burning, family planning strategy, waste of our natural resources, crushing Hamas and disarming Gaza, non-Islamic treatment of women, and the lest goes on. I still like our national hero and what he is doing.
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7



Democracia
24-06-2014 06:42pm
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Please!
Dear Dr. Alaa! I am a veeeeeeery big admirer of your work, but now you disappoint me a little bit. It is now or never that you HAVE to go on with your critical articles. Why you stop just now? You have never been afraid, why now? How you fight for freedom of speech if you close your mouth now? Do you really think, Sisi will be that stupid, to attack somebody like you? I cannot believe this... I am not a friend of ANY dictatorship, but in the moment, and please let us be fair, the opposition missed the chance and did not do its homework, it is the best for the country that a man like Sisi takes over - not for ever of course, not for the next 20 years, but for the next legislative period - and then see what will happen. Give him a chance as you gave chance to Morsi, I still remember your words from that time.
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6



Khofoo, Giza
24-06-2014 05:59pm
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15+
Thanks
I appreciate different opinions to reach a correct conclusion. Is it time to argue now while we struggling to survive? I really do NOT know.
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5



Aladdin, Menya, Malawee
24-06-2014 05:56pm
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42+
Goodbye
Revolutions means Fast Forward my friend. Differences in opinion do not matter as long as progress is done. Allah Akber.
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4



Mona
24-06-2014 04:26pm
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"Only Alaa EL Aswany's particular opinion is allowed nowadays"
In Alaa El Aswany's last column in Al Masry Al Youm on Tue 17/6, he attacked once again the new Protest Law, arguing it was unique as no other law on earth would punish a protester who did not submit notice by jail. he heas repeated that in all his articles and speeches lately. This is not true: punishment in the Egyptian Law for protest without prior notice is a fine ranging from 10000 to 30000 EGP, whereas French similar Law punishes that by 6 months imprisonment plus 7500 Euros. It seems it is Mr. Alaa EL Aswany himself who does not accept to be criticised. "Only Alaa EL Aswany's particular opinion is allowed nowadays."
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3



leila fawzi
24-06-2014 01:56pm
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Regretable Development
What a sad state of affairs!!!!
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2



Ruth
24-06-2014 12:57pm
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Black Era
Egypt is passing through the darkest ear of its history.Regime understand that revolutions and uprisings only become imminent when repression is on rampant.The regime will not have to wait too long when people once again at Tahrir Square and regime at run.
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1



Karim
24-06-2014 12:42pm
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67+
There is no choice
It is not time for criticism when the nation on the edge! First of all we have to unite on face of many challenges. The columnist and talk show only making things more difficult. It is easy to speak, but it is hard to work and build.
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