Wednesday’s papers: Al-Watan goes Islamist

Privately owned Al-Watan newspaper attempts a new approach Wednesday in its criticism of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

The paper announces that the issue is a parody to show the reader a sample of the Brotherhood's vision for the media.

It signals the start of its parody section with a picture of its Editor-in-Chief Magdy al-Galad and other members of its team with photoshopped beards, standing behind Mohamed Badie, the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood. Above the picture is a reassurance to the reader: “Don’t be fooled, we are not like this and we will never be.”

The issue is a series of typical and exaggerated Muslim Brotherhood stories warning of conspiracies by opposition figures, accusing the church of training armed militias and hailing a Brotherhood-led Egypt as “a pious version of the non-believing Western democracies.”

The issue is complete with fake columns where the female writers have their hair covered and the male writers have beards photoshopped to their pictures.

In other more serious news, Wednesday’s papers announce that aid from Qatar promises to boost the struggling economy.

According to privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper, Qatar has increased its aid to Egypt by US$2.5 billion, up to a total of $5 billion. The paper quotes anonymous sources informed about the negotiations as saying that the much-needed aid comes with strings attached.

According to the sources, Qatar will seek in return approval for investments in Egypt, support for the Gulf country's positions on a number of regional and international issues and Egypt's endorsement for a stronger Qatari presence in international politics.

Al-Shorouk also publishes an interview with opposition figure and Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei in which he criticizes President Mohamed Morsy's administration and presents his vision for the future.

In the interview, ElBaradei criticizes Morsy’s overly optimistic statements on the economy, saying that if the president doesn’t recognize the threat of bankruptcy, he will be the one responsible for taking the country there.

ElBaradei also said he was saddened and angered at the state that the revolution had reached and said that it is being hijacked by groups who don’t share its core beliefs of equality and coexistence.

The Muslim Brotherhood made a deal with the formerly ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to keep him out of the government, ElBaradei claimed. He alleged that trusted sources said Morsy himself had told the military council last year that the Brotherhood would burn the country down if ElBaradei was appointed prime minister.

He continued to call for a real dialogue that gives equal weight to all factions and discussions to amend the flaws of the Constitution.

State-run Al-Ahram newspaper reports that the Shura Council's Legislative Committee has approved the debated amendments to the parliamentary elections law. If the council approves it by vote, the legislation will be sent to the Supreme Constitutional Court for review.

In the midst of continued negotiations between political parties ahead of the parliamentary elections, state-run Al-Gomhurriya newspaper lays out an initial map of the parliamentary race.

According to the paper, the National Salvation Front, the main opposition coalition, has decided to run two separate lists because of the reluctance of some of its revolutionary and leftist members to run with parties connected to Mubarak-era politicians, such as the Wafd Party and Amr Moussa’s Conference Party. The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party will run one list, according to the paper.

The paper says that the Strong Egypt Party, led by former Muslim Brotherhood member-turned-revolutionary Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and the Brotherhood offshoot Wasat Party have not yet decided their positions.

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

Al-Sabah: 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

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