Egypt Independent

Monday’s papers: Strikes hit the front pages



After several days of protests over a film about Prophet Mohamed deemed insulting, Monday’s newspapers moved to social and economic protests after the Tahrir Square and US Embassy areas were cleared and several strikes started.

Al-Watan newspaper allocated its front page completely to the strikes in government organizations, under the headline, “The strikes break through … and the Muslim Brotherhood looks for a third party.” The privately-owned newspaper highlighted the teachers’ strike, and reported that the formal Teachers Syndicate accused communists and outsiders of being behind the protests. Strike organizers promised to launch a full strike next week.

On the same page, Al-Watan highlighted the 3,000 temporary employees who broke into the Agriculture Ministry and demanded permanent contracts.

Public transport workers also went on strike, demanding the halt of paying money to garage organizers, in order to reduce ticket prices for riders. Al-Watan reported that clashes between police and protesters at the Imbaba garage broke out while police tried to arrest one of the protest organizers.

Youm7 also highlighted the protests story and tied it to President Mohamed Morsy’s 100-day plan — which includes pledges to address various problems in the country during his first days in office — saying that protests come just before the end of this time period. In its inside pages, the independent newspaper allocates a full page to the protests under the headline, “Egypt at the gate of civil disobedience before the end of the 100 days.”

Reporting on the same story, state-run newspaper Al-Akhbar announces what it calls the failure of the public transportation strike in a red, extra-large headline. Al-Ahram, also a state newspaper, describes drivers’ reaction to the calls for a strike as weak.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood party newspaper, Freedom and Justice, highlights a counter headline to confirm that teachers and drivers didn’t respond to calls for the strike, saying, “Teachers and students are one hand … and the drivers preferred the national interest.” The paper adds that only seven percent of drivers responded to strike calls, while the Education Ministry confirmed a regular school day despite the teachers’ strike.

In a surprise, Freedom and Justice announces that Morsy’s visit to the US would be on time, without postponement or cancellation. This comes amid some calls for the government to more aggressively respond to the controversial film about Prophet Mohamed, which was independently produced in the US.

The newspaper published full articles of the basic elements of the proposed constitution, with suggested alternative wordings for controversial articles. A constitution-writing assembly is expected to finish a constitution next month.

On the other hand, independent daily Al-Tahrir focuses on clashes in Sinai, saying that terrorists were attacking a security directorate with rocks and that military operations in the peninsula — launched after a 5 August attack at the Israel border — had “failed.”

Egypt’s papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party