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Harried liberals face an uncertain future in Egypt

The parliamentary elections of late 2005 realigned the Egyptian political landscape into a virtual two-party system: the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) and an emergent Muslim Brotherhood. Although they have little hope of scuttling bills, Muslim Brothers in the People’s Assembly (who won 88 out of 454 seats) are making good use of their parliamentary …

Daily News Egypt

The Day The World Changed

The incredibly detailed timeline and graphic photographs of the 9/11 attacks are likely to evoke strong feelings. And perhaps conflicting feelings: Horror at the attacks, but maybe also resentment about the anti-Arab and anti-Islam backlash that followed. Some of the images have become permanently seared into our memories: American Airlines flight 11 crashing into the …

Daily News Egypt

Heritage dumped in favor of the fat cats

A Supreme Council Court decision taken in January has thrust greedy developers into a fever. Without notice, the country s beautiful historic buildings, as well as turn-of-the century villas and apartment blocks, have become fair game for demolition squads. With so many of the country s architectural gems having been replaced by ugly high-rises, the …

Daily News Egypt

Cairo's Baby Fair: Highlighting the sorry state of child-raising in Egypt

CAIRO: Many mothers in Cairo were delighted to learn about the Baby Fair at the Intercontinental Semiramis Hotel, which ran for three consecutive days (March 19-21). The first of its kind promised an endless variety of products and activities for children; finally, some recognition that the baby industry was a potential gold mine. Especially with …

Daily News Egypt

A mountain of a movie

CAIRO: Brokeback Mountain is an emotional, heartbreaking movie about two men who fall deeply in love with each other. Heath Ledger stars as Ennis Del Mar, a young cowboy, whose parents passed when he was a child. He ended up being raised by his siblings. The movie begins in Wyoming in 1963, when Ennis finds …

Daily News Egypt

Brains or brawn for men in fitness

CAIRO: Typically, it has always been women that have a preoccupation with staying in shape and getting fit. Traditionally, men have gone to the gym to “get a six-pack, “get big, and “bulk up. However, the world is changing, and fast. Trends such as getting personal trainers and joining group exercises are making their way …

Daily News Egypt

Word on the Street

CAIRO: Economic reform seems to be of late the number one priority of the government, which is natural considering the majority of the new government come from a business background. Economic decisions taken or not will have a profound effect on the average citizen. The Daily Star Egypt was curious to see how economic reform …

Daily News Egypt

Taking it to the streets

CAIRO: On Thursday, March 2, the Movement of Writers and Artists for Change (MWAC) held a street performance in Talaat Harb Square that included the recital of lyrics by famous poet Ahmed Foad Negm and Sayyed Higab, as well as songs by young artists in the movement. This was the movement’s first appearance since the …

Daily News Egypt

Playing the waiting game at the Rafah border

RAFAH: It is hard to imagine that a gravel road is all that leads to one of the most difficult border crossings on the planet, but that is the reality of the Gaza-Egypt crossing at Rafah. Although construction is underway to pave the road, gravel is all that stands between hundreds of Palestinians and home. …

Daily News Egypt

Word on the Street

CAIRO: Although the parliamentary elections concluded months ago, their effect is still being felt today. The Supreme Judiciary Council has withdrawn the immunity of four senior judges: Mahmoud El-Khodeiri, Hesham Bastawisi, Mahmoud Mekki and Ahmed Mekki. The four now face charges of damaging the image of the judiciary by accusing fellow judges of involvement in …

Daily News Egypt

Career

CAIRO: In the midst of the current sad state the local music scene seems to be mired in, due to new, unskilled singers and composers – there are few that can be labeled as true artists. Wagih Aziz, a 44-year-old singer and musician, is one of those few who prioritize music over fame. Aziz, whose …

Daily News Egypt

Word on the Street

CAIRO: Taxis are a way of life in Egypt. From the quick hop down the street to the longer drives across town. They are readily available . Should they agree to drive you. There are more than 50,000 taxis on Cairo’s streets, and the number seems to be growing daily, with the majority of them …

Daily News Egypt

U.S. Middle East policy: Between Iraq and the hard guys

This week’s visit to the region by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice brings with it another reminder that U.S. Middle East policy is firmly wedged between Iraq and the hard guys. There were never any easy answers to the Middle East morass. Washington’s drunken lurching in search of exactly that has only made matters worse. …

Daily News Egypt

One to remember

CAIRO: The 25th African Cup of Nations produced many memorable moments throughout three weeks of highly-competitive football, with Egypt winning the prestigious title for the fifth time and setting a new record of winning the title. Backed by an eager crowd of 74,100 at Cairo International Stadium, the pharaohs faced Ivory Coast; a young vigorous …

Daily News Egypt

Block, kick and strike

CAIRO: Martial arts date back more than 2000 years; pictures were painted on tombs, showing people fighting. Today, the different types of martial arts have evolved and developed into a form of fitness that is accessible for everyone and not only to hardcore enthusiasts. Egypt has always promoted participation in the martial arts, including Karate, …

Daily News Egypt

Despair for most

SAFAGA, Egypt: It was a long, unhappy weekend in Safaga. Ben Wederman was at breakfast. In person, he looks like Van Morrison. The rest of the media was there as well, TV cameras stuffed under tables. The morning news spread out between plates of scrambled eggs and weak coffee. Fixers scanning and reading the headlines. …

Daily News Egypt

The semi's await

CAIRO: After 90 minutes of strenuous football, followed by injury time and two periods of extra time, the penalty shootout becomes the only way of deciding a winner. Such was the case in Saturday s two quarter-finals at the 25th African Cup of Nations, as the indomitable lions of Cameroon lost to the Ivory Coast …

Daily News Egypt

Gamal's promotion refuels speculation

CAIRO: The recent promotion of 42-year-old Gamal Mubarak to Assistant Secretary-General of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) has once again triggered questions concerning his ultimate political ambitions. Has Hosni Mubarak s youngest son been secretly anointed to run as the NDP s favored candidate for President in the 2011 elections and, if so, how …

Daily News Egypt

One-on-one with Nejtab Geremi

CAIRO: Cameroon s right back Nejtab Geremi has vowed that the Lions of Cameroon are determined to go as far as it takes to win the 25th African Cup of Nations. We are set to give all that it takes to become champions of Africa once again, regardless of the opponents we will be facing …

Daily News Egypt

And now for the quarter-finals.

CAIRO: Over the span of 11 days, 16 nations at the 25th African Cup of Nations fought to cement their place in the quarter-finals. After injuries, extra-time and plenty of heart-stopping moments, only eight can continue the race toward the prestigious title. Twenty-four games have been played thus far, and football analysts, viewers and players …

Daily News Egypt

A night to remember

CAIRO: With a splendid – if somewhat unexpected – 3-1 victory against the Ivory Coast, Egypt has made its way into the quarter-finals atop of Group A. The win, while a boon for Egyptian fans, sends Morocco, runners-up two years ago, packing, without having netted a single goal through their matches. Egypt added three valuable …

Daily News Egypt

Criticism leveled at NGOs unjustified

CAIRO: Egyptian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) conducting human rights work are in a bind these days. With local sources of funding almost non-existent, they are being forced to turn to foreign organizations for the funds to pay their expenses. But foreign money has some inherent complications; it opens them up to accusations of being unpatriotic and …

Daily News Egypt

Broken promises

CAIRO: Reporters Without Borders Tuesday issued an inflammatory statement slamming the continued hounding of journalists in Egypt and called on President Hosni Mubarak to keep his pledge, made to parliament on Decembe19, to allow press freedom. “Each year, President [Hosni] Mubarak announces that the authorities will stop their harassment of journalists, the worldwide press freedom …

Daily News Egypt

Arab world's first parliament meets in Cairo

CAIRO: President Hosni Mubarak, speaking to the firstever gathering of the Arab Parliament, assured its members Tuesday that solidarity would enable the Arab world to successfully confront the challenges it faces. “Our great Arab world, through the unity of its sons, has the means to restore its vitality, to face current challenges and to assume …

Daily News Egypt

Derailing AIDS

CAIRO: To mark World AIDS Awareness Month, December 2005, the Ministry of Health and Population, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project Communication for Healthy Living, decided to get on track to increase HIV/AIDS awareness. In an innovative attempt to gain attention, the ministry engaged a six-car train to make …

Daily News Egypt

Flaring defiance

The richness of the original Arabic text hampers this superb attempt at translation Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad By Alia Mamdouh American University in Cairo Press; Paperback 198 pages; LE 70 CAIRO: The title of the book “Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad is an illuminating description of what is kept between its covers. A potent …

Daily News Egypt

Order in court?

CAIRO: Ayman Nour’s trial was a circus, complete with baying audiences, strongmen keeping ravenous hordes at bay and cages being rattled in a desperate attempt at freedom. The problem is, the trial’s entertainment value was as dubious as its outcome, or credibility. Apart from a very few exceptions, no one will ever really know if …

Daily News Egypt

Britain holds hearing on Sharm El-Sheikh attack

CAIRO: A British coroner began hearing evidence Monday about the deaths of 11 Britons who died last summer in terrorist bombings in Sharm El-Sheikh. The two-day hearing was being held in Chelmsford, north of London, the BBC reported. As the hearing began, Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray acknowledged how “dreadful it must be for the families of …

Daily News Egypt

Childhood revisited

There are different ways to read Sayyid Qutb’s autobiography A Child from the Village. One can simply view it as an intimate document of rural life at the turn of the 20th century or as data providing clues to the understanding of Qutb’s eventual adoption of the radical Islamic activism that he later became famous …

Daily News Egypt

Egypt's forgotten inhabitants

CAIRO: Even with all of the talk regarding reforms – both political and business related – the majority of Egypt’s population remains poor.The total number of informal housing quarters,including shantytowns and slums, range from 1,150 (according to government statistics) to 1,430 (according to local NGO statistics) with a combined total of over 15 million inhabitants …

Daily News Egypt