Monday, December 15, 2014

Carnegie Scholar Blocked From Entering Egypt

On Friday (Dec. 12) Michele Dunne, a Senior Associate in the Carnegie Middle East Program, was refused entry into Egypt.  Here is a statement from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP):
Egyptian authorities refused to allow Michele Dunne, senior associate in the Carnegie Middle East Program, to enter Egypt on December 12, 2014. She was held for six hours at Cairo’s airport before being put on a plane to Frankfurt. Dunne was traveling to Cairo to speak at a conference organized by the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs.

Condemning the Egyptian authorities’ decision, Carnegie President Jessica T. Mathews said, “Michele Dunne is a scholar of unimpeachable integrity who has devoted her professional life to analyzing Egyptian politics and improving U.S.-Egyptian relations. She is enormously respected throughout the Middle East, as well as in the United States and Europe, for the rigor and fairness of her work.”

Marwan Muasher, vice president for studies for Carnegie’s Middle East Program, added, “We are deeply disappointed by the Egyptian government’s action, which undermines the important need for open dialogue about the difficult challenges facing Egyptians today and further isolates Egypt from the international community.”

Dunne’s research focuses on political and economic change in Arab countries, particularly Egypt, as well as U.S. policy in the Middle East. She was previously a Middle East specialist at the U.S. Department of State, where she served in assignments that included the National Security Council, the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff, and the U.S. embassy in Cairo.  

It is the first time a Carnegie scholar has been denied entry into Egypt.

The New York Times notes that Ms. Dunne is critical of the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.  Much of her work can be read here.

She was also the Founding Director of Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.