Check out my translation of Salaama Ahmed Salaama’s piece “Barren American Policies” on the FPA Egypt blog here.
Here’s an interesting article by Nathan Field discussing what is going on in Gaza right now and its implications for Egypt and the region. I think in regards to Egypt it is especially interesting to note the differences between what the Egyptian government does i.e. Hamas and Israel, how the Egyptian people feel about it, and what the Arab media is saying about it.
Despite what is going on in Israel and Gaza right now, I recently came across this video by an Egyptian graduate of Seeds of Peace, a wonderful and important program of which I had the fortune to be able to be a part. It’s always nice to have a little bit of hope.
This is a little bit of a backtrack, but I had wanted to write about this before and did not have a chance to, and just found this article about it in English.
In a water-shed case an Egyptian man was convicted to three years in jail for sexually harassing a woman on the street, something which happens all of the time but is rarely talked about and for which people are rarely held accountable. This case got significant media attention, and has likely encouraged the government’s beginning to deal with the problem. For a bit more info on this check out this Foreign Policy Blog post here.
Some highlights from the article:
“Lawyer Nabih al-Wahash has issued a lawsuit against Rushdi, calling for her arrest for harming national security and lying about her attacker. He argues that Rushdi is Israeli and is attempting to undermine the sentiments of the country.”
“Nagla’a Imam, a lawyer who initially came out in vocal support of Rushdi, is now saying that the 27-year-old filmmaker is an Israeli who is attempting to tarnish Egypt and is using the case for her own personal gains.”
This is another example of disgusting Egyptian anti-Israel sentiment. Not only that, but these accusers are completely ignoring the essential problem, which is rampant sexual harassment in Egyptian society.
I think I have mentioned before how popular conspiracy theories are in Egypt. Frankly, I am getting a little tired of hearing them. It’s not only that I find most of them offensive on many levels as well as completely unrealistic, but that a lot of people here really truly believe them. They do not question these ideas. There is no academic or rational reflection.
So I try not to get into these conversations these days if I don’t have to, but the guy in the book store down the street said to me today “oh, you are American? Do you think Bin Laden was the one who brought down the towers?” He said that it did not make sense for Bin Laden to do this because he was a wealthy man, so why would he leave his riches and go live in the mountains? In addition, it is not in Bin Laden’s مصلحة, or interest.
And guess who’s interests it is in? America’s, because they do not have an enemy after the fall of the Soviet Union, “so they bring the towers,” and according to him, it’s as simple as that. In addition, surprise surprise, it’s in the Jews interest, because in order for Israel to survive there needs to be conflict in the Middle East. He said that if there is peace in the Middle East, then all the Jews will return to the countries from which they originally came (including Egypt) because they will not need Israel to protect them any longer. I really did not get that one.
I asked this guy where he got all of these ideas from, and he said “I read it in a book!”
I just happened upon this post from a blog called Khaldoun which comments on Middle East politics, culture, and media. It is a letter which was supposedly sent out by Dr. James Zogby, president and founder of the Arab-American Instistute.
From the blog: “It’s a thoughtful article by James Zogby about how the Arab world should interpret Obama’s appointment of Rahm Emanuel.”
I am going to be doing some blogging for the Foreign Policy Association’s Egypt Blog.
This is the url: http://egypt.foreignpolicyblogs.com/. My first post is titled : Egypt’s Exporting of Gas to Israel not Likely to Change.