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The purpose of production

CAIRO: At a protest in Tahrir recently, there were about 50 people chanting slogans about freedom, God and justice. Although the number of protesters eventually grew, there were initially more spectators than protestors. A handful of important-looking officers oversaw as their many subordinates loitered. Journalists scribbled notes and cameramen recorded videos. About 100 meters down …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

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 With so many of the country s architectural gems having been replaced by ugly high-rises, the …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

Viagra for the young

CAIRO: Initially advertised by pharmaceutical companies as the drug to rev-up the love life of mature adults, Viagra has recently become the drug of choice for youth, who buy it over the counter. “(This is) definitely a phenomenon. The problem is that drugs like Viagra have become recreational drugs, says Dr. Kamal Shorobime, consultant of …

Najla Moussa

Egypt close to eradicating curse of elephantiasis

LONDON: Egypt is close to eliminating elephantiasis. This is one of the world s most disfiguring diseases and has plagued the country since the time of the pharaohs, scientists said on Friday. The condition, known officially as lymphatic filariasis (LF), is caused by a microscopic parasitic worm spread by mosquitoes. It can cause devastating symptoms …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

National Book Program brings libraries to Egyptian public schools

CAIRO: The statistics are harrowing. In Egypt, some 35 percent of the population cannot read and write, placing Egypt among the top 10 countries worldwide with the highest illiteracy rates, according to the United Nations. For most of the programs developed to combat this crisis, children have been at the core. Most recently, more than …

Vivian Salama

Shares up as investors bargain hunt OCI, OT

CAIRO: Egypt s benchmark Hermes index ticked up on Thursday as foreign institutional investors bought big-cap stocks that have fallen in previous sessions to levels considered cheap, traders said. The benchmark Hermes index gained 137.91 points, or 0.2 percent, to end at 57,520.09 points but the broader CIBC index ended down 0.39 points, or 0.2 …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Xceed receives call center performance certification

CAIRO: Xceed, a call center owned by Telecom Egypt, celebrated the achievement of a performance certification from the leading authority on call center operations this week, while a company official tells The Daily Star Egypt that the government will subsidize similar certification for other call centers. The Customer Operations Performance Center (COPC) is based in …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

Egypt to lift 25-year-old emergency laws

CAIRO: Egypt plans to lift 25-year-old emergency laws granting security forces sweeping powers of arrest and detention that critics have long claimed are used against opponents of the government. Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif announced the move in a speech to parliament late Wednesday, saying the laws would be replaced by new anti-terror legislation in Egypt, …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

President in bid to ease Syrian-Lebanese tensions

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: President Hosni Mubarak held talks with leaders from Syria and Lebanon on Thursday in what a presidential source said was an effort to repair strained relations between the two neighbors. Mubarak, who has long played a mediating role in the Middle East conflict, met separately in the Red Sea resort of Sharm …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Breathing space

CAIRO: With freedom of speech more an idea floated around rather than a reality in Egypt, with journalists sentenced to prison and fined for writing, some of Egypt’s journalists have resorted to the Internet to publish their controversial opinions, including commentaries on news, politics and the government. Sowtona.com is a Cairo-based Web site offering a …

Pakinam Amer

Muslim scholars gather to defend Prophet after cartoon row

MANAMA: Some 300 Muslim religious figures opened a two-day conference in Bahrain Wednesday in support of the Prophet Mohammed following the row over his depiction in cartoons in European papers. The scholars, preachers, heads of Islamic associations as well as Arab and Muslim community leaders from Europe will explore a strategy aimed at preventing a …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Bird flu, talks regarding corruption take the lead

CAIRO: With bird flu making continuous headlines due to the four cases detected in humans, one being fatal, talks concerned with “government-protected corruption and Prince Charles’ visit to the country has added some diversity to the headlines. On Thursday morning, both national and independent newspapers confirmed that four people have been diagnosed with the deadly …

Sarah El Sirgany

Oldest wooden statues found in Egypt

CAIRO: Archeologists in Egypt have unearthed two 5,000-year-old wooden statues, complete with gold wrapping paper, believed to be the oldest such artifacts ever found, the team said Wednesday. The statues, which depict two nude men with precious stones around their eyes, were found by a Polish team in the northern Nile Delta region of Daqahliya, …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Egypt sends food to Gaza via Israeli crossing

GAZA: Egypt sent food shipments to Gaza on Wednesday to help alleviate a shortage of flour and other basic goods suffered by Palestinians due to Israel s frequent closure of the main commercial crossing into the strip. Palestinian security officials and witnesses said an Egyptian army truck laden with flour rolled into the Israeli side …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Banks short-listed for Eastern Tobacco privatization

CAIRO: Rumors of the sale of Egypt s sole tobacco producer have been rampant for months. Citing unnamed sources, Britain s Sunday Times reported last December that several multinational cigarette makers were considering a bid for the government s 53 percent stake in Eastern Tobacco. The newspaper stated that British American Tobacco, Altria Group, which …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

The sunny side of life

CAIRO: The sun has always figured prominently in life in Egypt. Its scorching rays beat down on the country during the summer months, and history is full of examples of the significant role it has played. In ancient Egypt, it was first worshipped as Horus, then Ra and later as Amun-Ra. Artist Laila Izzat has …

Farah El Alfy

Orchestrating a brilliant performance

CAIRO: When Gilbert Kaplan first heard Gustav Mahler’s second symphony “Resurrection he fell in love with the music. “It wrapped its arms around me, he says. This captivation turned into “a love affair, to which he remains faithful to this day. “I thought the best way to try and understand [the feeling of connection to …

Sarah El Sirgany

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

Breaking the ice

SALUM: The journey to reclaim peace in the Middle East found a rejuvenated spirit late Tuesday night at the Libyan border, despite their biggest setback to date. As the participants in the Breaking the Ice (BTI) campaign to promote peace in the Middle East returned to the Egyptian side of the border, tensions were high, …

Joseph Mayton

Cairo Zoo declares war on bird flu

CAIRO: Masked men shrouded in white protective clothing spray rhinos, ibises and peacocks with disinfectant in a mad dash to stop the bird flu virus from turning Cairo Zoo into an animal graveyard. The paunchy men, clad in white, carry a hose that shoots out the watery Virkon disinfectant meant to save the menagerie from …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Seeking a dangerous high

CAIRO: Six Egyptian teenagers have died while playing a dangerous game dubbed by teenagers as “the choking game. The victims were found dead, hanging from a rope. While initially termed suicide, after intensive investigation, it was determined that the victims died while playing the choking game. Using everything from shoelaces to belts and bike chains, …

Najla Moussa

Sunni authority objects to Jesus film in Egypt

CAIRO: A film due to be shot in Egypt on the life of Jesus Christ has stirred protests from the highest authority in Sunni Islam, the Al-Azhar institution in Cairo. Abdel Mooti Bayumi, an Al-Azhar professor, noted Monday that the institution had issued fatwas, or religious edicts, against any depiction of the prophets, which is …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Centurion Energy signs deal with Shell Egypt

LONDON: Canada-based oil and gas explorer Centurion Energy International Inc said on Monday Shell was to take a 50 percent interest in two Centurion-operated exploration concessions in the Nile Delta. Centurion, which is listed in Toronto and on London s junior Alternative Investment Market (AIM), said Shell would make an initial payment of $15 million …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Egypt reports fourth human bird flu case

CAIRO: Egypt reported a fourth suspected case of bird flu in humans on Tuesday, in a 17-year-old boy whose father had an outbreak of the disease on his chicken farm in the Nile Delta on Saturday and Sunday. Health Minister Hatem el-Gabali, quoted by the state news agency MENA, said the boy was taken to …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Charles blasts cartoon violence in appeal for tolerance

CAIRO: Britain s Prince Charles on Tuesday condemned the violence sparked by the Prophet Mohammed cartoons and appealed to religious leaders to foster common values in a speech at a renowned Cairo university. Highest among those values of our common inheritance, and born of our love of God, must always come respect for each other, …

Daily Star Egypt Staff