The World Today for March 06, 2024


On All Sides


Germany’s left-wing Rosa Luxemburg Foundation recently described Egypt as a “regional hegemon in decline,” an important, potentially vital actor in the region that has fewer and increasingly worse tools to succeed.

The country is an autocracy whose leader, President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, seized power from a democratically elected Islamist president in 2013. Before the Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas, attacked Israel on Oct.7, el-Sissi was devoting his attention to an internal financial crisis.

Now the devastating war in the Gaza Strip bordering Egypt, and slowdowns in shipping due to Houthi militants in Yemen interrupting global shipping, have worsened the financial crisis and created a new strategic, international challenge for el-Sissi to address.

The Egyptian president’s credibility – and therefore his legitimacy and authority – are at stake. El-Sissi has to take bolder action, argued World Politics Review, or events will take over and dictate his and his country’s futures.

Egyptian leaders have been outspoken in their criticism of Israel. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry implored Israeli forces not to invade the city of Rafah in southern Gaza on the border with Egypt, where 1.4 million Palestinian civilians have fled to escape Israeli attacks in the north.

“The world is witnessing the most heinous crimes and violations against the Palestinian people,” Shoukry said, according to Agence France-Presse.

In anticipation of a massive influx of Palestinians fleeing Rafah, Egyptian officials have erected walls in a cleared, 6-square-mile area of land in the northern Sinai peninsula that could be used as a temporary safe space for Palestinians, added Foreign Policy magazine.

Egypt, joining Qatar, has also pledged to help a new technocratic Palestinian government assume power in the Gaza Strip once a ceasefire with Israel is eventually finalized, the Guardian reported.

These aren’t Egypt’s only challenges. Ethiopia’s influence to the south is growing, wrote the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Ethiopia’s construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, for example, challenges Egyptian power in the region. To the west, Egyptian business leaders are trying to benefit from a more secure climate in war-torn Libya.

El-Sissi has secured some good news in recent days, however, indicating that the hegemon might have some strength left to remain relevant.

The president recently announced a $35 billion deal to develop a “prime stretch” of its Mediterranean coast with an eye to attracting luxury tourists, Reuters noted. Egypt also signed deals to develop $40 billion of green hydrogen and renewable energy near the Suez Canal, added Egypt Today. Construction of a new, $50-billion capital city is also underway.

This funding, say analysts, will go a long way to stabilize the regime, for the moment.

To read the full edition and support independent journalism, join our community of informed readers and subscribe today!

Not already a subscriber?

If you would like to receive DailyChatter directly to your inbox each morning, subscribe below with a free two-week trial.

Subscribe today

Support journalism that’s independent, non-partisan, and fair.

If you are a student or faculty with a valid school email, you can sign up for a FREE student subscription or faculty subscription.

Questions? Write to us at

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.