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Al-Qaeda invites journalists to send questions to Al-Zawahri

CAIRO: Al-Qaeda has invited journalists to send questions to its No. 2 figure, Ayman Al-Zawahri, in the first such offer by the increasingly media-savvy terror network to interview one of its leaders since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The invitation is a new twist in Al-Qaeda s campaign to reach a broader audience, and represents …

Daily News Egypt

'Tis the season to be jolly

In a packed house at the Opera House last Sunday, acclaimed Egyptian mezzo-soprano Gala El Hadidi gave a show-stopping performance at the Opera’s Main Hall, her third and final Christmas concert of the year. For seven years, the Opera House has been holding Christmas concerts for the public and El Hadidi has been participating for …

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Americans glimpse the "real" Iran

In October 2007, we were part of a Muslim American delegation of peace and conflict resolution experts who went on a one-week trip to Iran to discuss ways in which various Iranian groups approach conflict prevention, resolution and dialogue. Our delegation met with peace-practitioners, lawyers, human rights experts, NGOs, scholars, religious leaders and students. There …

Daily News Egypt

Showdown in Bali

This month’s international meeting in Bali will set a framework that will attempt to prevent the impending disaster of global warming/climate change. There is now little doubt that greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are leading to significant changes in climate. Nor is there doubt that these changes will impose huge costs. The question is …

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The banality of monarchic nostalgia

Televised historical dramas are often successful, yet critics are almost always astounded by their success. The public discussions around last Ramadan’s King Farouk television series are still alive. In the past decade, two movies about former Presidents Nasser and Sadat, and a television series about the legendary Um Kulthoum sparked very similar reactions. Typically some …

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Eid for the less fortunate is still full of smiles

ALEXANDRIA:: Fatheya Mahmoud makes a living by cooking and cleaning people’s homes. She lives in a small room with her two children and two grandchildren. The room is part of a garage in a building where her husband is the doorman. Their monthly income does not exceed LE 1,000, yet the night before Eid Al …

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WHO to investigate Pakistan human-to-human bird flu outbreak

ISLAMABAD: International health experts have been dispatched to Pakistan to help investigate the cause of South Asia s first human bird flu cases and determine if the virus could have been transmitted from person to person, a World Health Organization official said Sunday. Four brothers – two of whom died – and two cousins from …

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A KHAWAGA'S TALE: Christmas in Istanbul

If you are desperate and dateless, get yourself to Istanbul, it is just waiting to have its wrapping ripped off this Christmas. Wine bars and cocktail lounges proliferate, and with names such as “Alcoholico, they are clear about their mission. Istanbul is a city break for Cairenes. A two hour flight and the same time …

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From Madrid to Annapolis: peace conferences are not enough

As Palestinian and Israeli leaders were meeting at the Annapolis Naval Base last week for yet another attempt at peacemaking, I remembered how my journalistic career led me to cover the Madrid peace conference in 1991. I vividly remember how then-US Secretary of State James Baker had kept everyone in the dark about the location …

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Academic freedom and the battle for university independence

Discussions about university independence have recently gained new momentum. The agenda of the 1986 general conference for Egyptian university faculty members stressed the issues of university independence and freedom of opinion and expression for both faculty and students. In that same year, judges also invoked basic demands for judicial independence. Two decades later, talk of …

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Views: How Egypt celebrates international human rights day

December 10 was the anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights. But while the whole world kicked off celebrations marking 60 years since the declaration was made in 1948, Egypt has begun its own ingenious festivities before everyone else, making the event unforgettable for both Egyptians and the rest of the world. For the …

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Twenty-four homeless families protest outside governor's office

CAIRO: Twenty-four homeless families protested outside the Cairo governor’s office Sunday, against the demolition of their homes, while government officials denied they had any right to the disputed land. The two-month ordeal of the residents of Al-Elew village in Helwan dates back to October when the authorities claim to have given them eviction notices. The …

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Angry Muslims attack shops owned by Christians

CAIRO: Angry Muslims attacked and destroyed shops owned by Coptic Christians on Sunday in a town in southern Egypt that has been witnessing sectarian tensions, a police official said. The attackers hurled stones and set fire to several shops, smashed the windows of a church and damaged two cars in the early morning hours before …

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Alexandria Library participates in 'G8 of culture'

AVILES, Spain: The heads of seven leading cultural institutions, including the Sydney Opera House and London s Barbican Centre, gathered Friday in Spain to look for new ways to work together. The two-day meeting is in the northwestern city of Aviles, which will be home to a space-age cultural centre designed by award-winning Brazilian architect …

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Recovering America's "Smart Power"

The United States needs to rediscover how to be a “smart power. That was the conclusion of a bipartisan commission that I recently co-chaired with Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state in the Bush administration. The Smart Power Commission, convened by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, comprised Republican and …

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Peace is not about justice

Justice is the glue that holds society together. Without an agreed system of law, people have no recourse when they have been wronged but revenge, blood-feuding, and conflict. But here is an irony: The price of conjuring peace out of conflict is that justice is not done; most crimes go unpunished. As participants in the …

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US has months to show progress on Mideast peace, says Egypt ambassador

WASHINGTON: Nabil Fahmy, Egypt’s ambassador to Washington, said the Bush administration has only months to show real progress toward Mideast peace and will be judged harshly if peace talks fall apart again. “You’re the arbiter now, Fahmy said Thursday. “If it fails, it’s your failure. Fahmy said last month’s US-hosted peace conference at Annapolis, Maryland, …

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Sculptures in space

When she moved to Cairo with her family in 1989, the plan was to stay for three years. Eighteen years later Maja Soric is still here. While life does not always go according to plan, things can work out for the best and this artist’s journey proves just that. “In one moment I was doubtful …

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Who will play on all these golf courses?

Last month we talked about the golf courses as part of the development strategies of housing developments. Today, we will answer the question I get asked most often: Who is going to play on all the new golf courses in Egypt? The easy answer is: golfers who live in Egypt and tourists. First, let’s look …

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WITH A GRAIN OF SALT: Two-faced Politics

One of the most significant outcomes of Colonel Qaddafi’s recent visit to Paris is that it revealed the double standard practiced in French politics, a quality that is ingrained in all its consecutive governments. I must admit that I’m a great admirer of the French school which believes that politics is never unilateral; it always …

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We must all reach out: Queen Rania on Oprah

As a Muslim who loves Islam, I certainly feel sad knowing that my religion is misunderstood, feared and even hated by many in the West. I feel the frustration of a child who sees his or her parent falsely charged as an adulterer or a thief. While he or she knows the labels are not …

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Art Dubai unveils collectors' circle program

In order to further contribute to the cultural development of the Middle East’s arts community, Art Dubai (formerly the DIFC Gulf Art Fair) announced the creation of the Collectors’ Circle at a press briefing in Cairo earlier this week. The Art Dubai Collectors’ Circle is aimed at both seasoned and new collectors of contemporary art …

Daily News Egypt

Diwan opens its doors in Heliopolis

Diwan Bookstore opened its Heliopolis branch to the public on Dec. 8, with a day-long celebration. Diwan’s doors kept swinging from 9 am until well past 10 pm. The morning started with children’s activities and a photo exhibition. Diwan collaborated with the local independent non-profit art space Contemporary Image Collective (CIC), displaying and selling the …

Daily News Egypt

Pakistan democracy: forget the uniform, it's about the robe

President Musharraf finally took off his uniform last week, handing over command of the armed forces to General Ashfaq Kiyani – a well-respected general in Western circles. The following day, he took the Presidential oath as a civilian president for the next five years. Though the emergency rule he imposed on 3 November remains intact, …

Daily News Egypt

How to Worry

Since time immemorial, people have worried about the earth’s future. We once believed that the sky would fall. More recently we worried that the planet might freeze, and then that technology would grind to a halt because of a computer bug that was supposed to be unleashed at the turn of the millennium. Those fears …

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Iodized salt reaches 70 percent of world households

UNITED NATIONS: Iodized salt now reaches 70 percent of world households – up from less than 20 percent in the early 1990s – helping prevent iodine deficiencies that lead to fetal brain damage, experts said Wednesday. The Network for Sustained Elimination of Iodine Deficiency, with members such as the UN World Health Organization and Unicef, …

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Muslim commerce is ages old

It has become ever so fashionable to talk about Islam and commerce. Yet a cursory look at the references to Islam and economics, business, banking, finance and made-for Muslims products and services on offer on the internet would point to the fact that Muslim commerce is booming, and what s more, has been doing so …

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Telecom Egypt partners with Alcatel-Lucent

CAIRO: Telecom Egypt (TE) awarded Alcatel-Lucent a contract for the assessment, reengineering, and modernization of its operations and maintenance processes – the deal is the first of its kind in the Middle East. Alcatel-Lucent will help TE enhance the overall efficiency of its operations and maintenance organization. The companies will work together to improve TE …

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