Al Shaab (newspaper)

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Al Shaab
Type Daily
Founded 1979; 38 years ago (1979)
Language Arabic
Headquarters Cairo

Al Shaab (in Arabic الشعب meaning The People) is the official newspaper of the Egyptian Islamic Labour Party (formerly known as the Socialist Labour Party).

History and profile[edit]

Al Shaab was started in May 1979,[1] and initially advocated a mix of socialism and nationalism similar to that advocated by Nasser.[2] From 1985 to 1993, the paper was edited by Adel Hussein, a Marxist turned political Islamist.[3] In May 1993 Adel Hussein resigned from the editorship to become general secretary of the Socialist Labour Party, and was succeeded as editor by his nephew Magdi Hussein.[4]

The newspaper's oppositional Islamism has repeatedly brought it into confrontation with government authorities in Egypt. In 1993 Abd Al-Munim Gamal Al-Din Abd Al-Munim from Al Shaab was jailed for several years under indefinite detention for "insulting religion" and "publishing indecent photographs".[5] Shortly afterwards the newspaper's military correspondent Abdel-Sattar Abu Hussein was held in a military prison for allegedly publishing "top secret information", Hilmi Hurad was held overnight in a police station for criticising a cabinet minister, and Adel Hussein spent 25 days in police custody after anti-government literature was supposed to have been found on his plane seat.[2] On 24 February 1998, the editor-in-chief of the paper was sentenced to one year in prison at hard labor due to libeling the sons of a former interior minister.[6]

In 2000 Al Shaab printed a hostile review of Haidar Haidar's book A Banquet for Seaweed, which had been reissued by the Ministry of Culture as part of its Modern Arab Classics series. Criticising the government for thereby promoting "rank atheism and blasphemy", the review helped spark a riot at Al-Azhar University, and the newspaper kept up pressure by denouncing secular literary figures including Tayeb Salih. The government responded by arresting some junior Ministry of Culture figures for "assaulting revealed religion", shutting down Al Shaab, and banning Haidar's book.[7] On 29 May 2000 the paper was again closed down following the freezing of the activities of the Socialist Labour Party.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron (1999). "Freedom of the press in Egypt: Checks and Balances". Law Journal Library. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Amira Howeidy, Opposition blaster, Al-Ahram Weekly, (244), 26 October-1 November 1995.
  3. ^ Andrew Hammond (2005). Pop Culture Arab World!: Media, Arts, and Lifestyle. ABC-CLIO. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-85109-449-3. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  4. ^ François Burgat (8 February 2003). Face to Face With Political Islam. I.B.Tauris. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-86064-213-5. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  5. ^ David P. Forsythe (11 August 2009). Encyclopedia of Human Rights. Oxford University Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-19-533402-9. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "English-language newspaper banned in Egypt". Associated Press. 22 March 1998. Retrieved 17 January 2014.  – via Questia (subscription required)
  7. ^ Scott W. Hibbard (3 September 2010). Religious Politics and Secular States: Egypt, India, and the United States. JHU Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-8018-9669-9. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron (1999). "Freedom of the press in Egypt: Checks and Balances". Law Journal Library. Retrieved 23 October 2014.