Since launching as an independent English media organization, Egyptian Streets has been accused of being Qatari-funded, Israeli-run, Muslim Brotherhood-supporting and even Sisi-loving.
“Egyptian Streets is funded by Qatar and supports the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“You guys are Israeli spies and hate this country.”
“You are Sisi lovers and are paid by the government.”
Comments have even gone as far as threatening Egyptian Streets’ staff. In one incident, one staff member received a threat from an extremist ISIS supporter. In another, the media organization was told it would be “shut down by Facebook” and “raided by the government.”
The truth is, Egyptian Streets is not funded by Qatar. Egyptian Streets does not support the Muslim Brotherhood, is not run by Israelis and does not “love” Sisi.
What Egyptian Streets does, however, support is facilitating discussion and debate on various social, cultural, political and economic topics that impact everyday Egyptians and Middle-Easterners.
The news organization has worked with numerous non-governmental and charity organizations, student bodies, academics and even government-related bodies to build a platform that belongs not to us but to the community. We’ve had articles that have directly helped children in need, raised awareness about serious social issues and facilitated action to address a social wrong.
Egyptian Streets’ editorial policy is such that anyone, regardless of race, religion, sex, or political belief is able to share their views and their stories. We’ve had opinion pieces published by different authors expressing completely opposite points of views. As long as these pieces are researched and not filled with profanity or completely baseless accusations, then it is not our place to tell a contributor “you are wrong” simply because we disagree with that opinion.
Perhaps this is why Egyptian Streets has been accused of being both pro- and anti-government. However, it is our belief that an independent media source that truly reflects the community’s views on various issues is essential to the role of the media in society.
More importantly, there is no news that is ever made up just to “hate” on Egypt. For example, the recent article on an American being arrested in Egypt for speaking English on charges of inciting protests was written about in almost all pro-government media organizations, including state-owned newspapers. Egyptian Streets does not actively search for “embarrassing” stories that may harm Egypt’s image: These stories are openly reported by the government’s own newspapers.
In addition to this, it would be appalling if Egyptian Streets were forced to stop reporting about certain social and political issues. Just because writing about a women’s rights issue, poverty, or even abuse of prisoners may reflect poorly does not mean that it cannot also result in positive change. By simply ignoring the everyday harsh realities that exist around us, the voiceless and weak will remain voiceless and weak, and the brighter future every Egyptian hopes to achieve will be more of a struggle.
At the same time, we recognize the importance of highlighting positive news. Egyptian Streets is among the few news organizations who actively report about young Egyptians’ achievements whether it’s in sport, technology or science. We also actively write about other positive news, ranging from government projects to economic progress. Importantly for the tourism industry, which millions of Egyptians rely on to make a living, Egyptian Streets actively publishes new articles about the many beautiful, safe and accessible treasures Egypt has to offer.
In the end, Egyptian Streets would not exist without its community. We thank everyone for your support so far but would also like to remind others that we are not against you or the country. We’re here for you and the rest of the people.