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Britain condemns attack on Egyptian Imam

LONDON/CAIRO: In a phone conversation with Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit on Thursday, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mark Malloch Brown formally apologized for the assault on Egyptian Imam Mohamed El Salamoni. The attack took place on Friday August 10 just outside the Islamic Cultural Center in London. The Egyptian Sheikh was …

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Gaza suffers more power cuts after EU freezes finance

GAZA CITY: Parts of the Gaza Strip were still suffering power cuts on Sunday after the European Union suspended the financing of fuel deliveries for the impoverished territory s sole power plant. The station shut the last of its four generators on Sunday after it did not receive the necessary fuel from Israel, the chief …

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Two Belgian dredging companies sue Egyptian government for deceit

PARIS/CAIRO: In an international tribunal that has been ongoing since May 2004, two Belgian dredging companies are accusing the Suez Canal Authority and the Egyptian government of deliberately withholding and manipulating information. The two companies, Jan de Nul N.V. and Dredging International N.V., have submitted their plea against the government of Egypt to the International …

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Leaps of imagination

Newly opened publishing house Malamih claims that its mission is to introduce unconventional books, and “Rogers by Ahmed Nagi is certainly that. While Nagi’s strong prose and unusual style, full of wild leaps of imagination and mythical unexplained events sucks the reader into the novel, his lack of plot structure and character development fail to …

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Egypt's Cultural Heritage Roundup

Hollywood’s ceaseless fascination with Ancient Egypt continues unabated with the recent release of IMAX’s latest film “Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs. The film was shot on location in Egypt, Morocco and the United States and is narrated by horror movie legend Christopher Lee and features his previous adversaries the mummified remains of the pharaohs of …

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Hamas and Fatah: an American angle

For those who think that the essence of political analysis is to point the finger of blame, Hamas violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June provides an object lesson in American responsibility for everything that goes wrong. According to this narrative, the United States (abetted by Israel), provided both the remote cause for this …

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An opportunity to experience

In November, 2002, sixteen people, half of them Jewish and half Arab-American, met an hour north of New York City for a weekend dialogue workshop. Most of them had not dared anything like this before. When they gathered Friday evening for introductions, anxiety was visible on all the participants faces. The mistrust was palpable. One …

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Rules for Calamity and Crisis

Several years ago, my daughter lay in a coma after a serious fall. Two nurses came into her hospital room to prepare for a transfusion. One clutched a pouch of blood and the other held my daughter’s medical dossier. The first read aloud from the bag, “Type A blood, and the other read aloud from …

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Kefaya torn between public mobilization and political affiliations

CAIRO: Some members of the Kefaya Egyptian Movement for Change believe the movement’s efficacy has dwindled due to its transformation from a popular movement, to one that has become increasingly politicized. Although the majority of observers agree that the movement has not yet reached its full potential, there are few who would contest its trailblazing …

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WITH A GRAIN OF SAND: Not Even Israel!

It is indeed an honor to see how Egyptian efforts have come together to support the name of Egypt in assuming the helm of the largest cultural arena in the world, the Unesco. It’s an effort that makes one trust the sense of patriotism of our institutions, especially our esteemed media where the national press …

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A knockout success: Trendy boxing gym hits Cairo suburb

Plastered across the walls of the main lobby in Cairo’s newest and hippest workout facility, the Maadi-based Knockout Gym, are a series of pictures and posters dedicated to Muhammad Ali. In each display, the American iconic boxer Ali looks triumphant, his gloves raised high in the air in victory, a visual inspiration for the youthful …

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Villages continue water war

CAIRO: The land of the Nile is seeing a rising tide of protests at a shortage of drinking water amid accusations the government would rather irrigate golf courses than slake the thirst of villages. A wave of demonstrations and ensuing clashes with police in recent weeks has left dozens injured in a country where the …

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A Mediterranean medley in five star comfort

With impressive views of the sea and the sweeping Alexandria coastline, Alexandria s Four Seasons San Stefano Kala restaurant is a full scale immersion into the rich culture and cuisine of the Mediterranean Sea. The restaurant is the principle dining facility in the newly opened hotel and brings together dishes from some of the Mediterranean’s …

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BMW sedan performs worst in side-impact crash test

DETROIT: The 2008 BMW 5 Series was the worst performer in new side-impact crash tests of luxury sedans by the US insurance industry. The Acura RL, Kia Amanti and Volvo S80 all earned the highest safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, according to results released Thursday. The Cadillac STS and Mercedes E-Class …

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Egyptian entrepreneurs struggle against culture, lack of capital

CAIRO: Dr. Khaled Awad is a risk-taker. A doctor by training, he decided at age 26 to give up a secure position in one of the country’s state-run hospitals to do something considered crazy by most of his countrymen: Start his own business. Awad, whose company transmits stock market data directly to mobile phones, is …

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Face to faith

During a recent four-month stay in Morocco, I was faced with the challenge of genuinely adapting to a new and drastically different cultural context. The delicate balance of honesty and selectivity, the issue of disclosure and exposure, was never more in question than during my first encounter with my host brother. After asking my name …

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A reaction to unacceptable provocation

Following the bloody events in Gaza in June many have wondered what next. Hamas position is clear: the government headed by Ismail Haniyeh will keep calling for dialogue. It will work toward this by exhorting Arab, Islamic and other international parties to encourage a Fateh-Hamas dialogue. This dialogue will aim at national reconciliation to end …

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Breaking the democratic taboo

I am often invited by religious authorities in the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia to attend meetings that are held to urge people to follow Islamic faith and law, while avoiding any debate connected to politics or political rights. Political rights, my hosts insist, are maintained by the ruling regimes themselves, and these follow the …

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New committee to enhance women's political participation

CAIRO: We as a country suffer from one major problem, which is alienating women from not only political matters but also everyday ones, said Maged Sorour, the director of One World Foundation for Development and Civil Society Care. Sorour’s comments came at the conclusion of a three-day conference on women’s political participation. Fifteen participants, representing …

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National Housing Project underway

CAIRO: Minister of Housing Ahmed El Maghraby announced that a total of 20,000 units of have been completed under the national housing project. The minister made the announced during a routine visit to the districts involved in the project. El Maghraby visited Sixth of October City and Sheikh Zayed on Aug. 12, where 9,300 and …

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Shoura Council debates thanawiya amma

CAIRO: The Shoura Council’s education and scientific research committee met to discuss the problems of the thanawiya amma (the Egyptian High School certificate) in their first session since the summer parliamentary recess. The meeting discussed grade inflation, the deteriorating standards of the average Egyptian high school student and the different approaches to modernize the educational …

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Elvis fans boost economies of 2 states

JACKSON, Miss.: Even from beyond the grave, Elvis Presley still generates big bucks. That s even more true this week. Fans from Europe, Asia, Australia, South America – and even from exotic locales like Kansas – are spending their hard-earned money for T-shirts, coffee mugs, salt and pepper shakers, refrigerator magnets and other trinkets during …

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Unique book market offers exclusive collection

My grandfather came here in 1918, before the revolution of Saad Zaghloul, and my family has been here ever since, said Ali Eshaar. I myself have only been here for 40 years. Most of the book sellers at the Azbakiya book market told a similar tale. Book selling was what their family did with pride. …

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Ministry of Finance approves exceptional pensions for 1,295 cases

CAIRO: The higher committee of exceptional pensions announced it will grant exceptional pensions to 1,259 needy cases including citizens with critical illnesses and the families of those who suffered fatal accidents. According to a statement by the Ministry of Finance, Rashad Salem – first deputy at the Ministry of Finance and head of the Government …

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Killing of Somali journalists provokes international condemnation

MOGADISHU/CAIRO: As two more journalists were killed in Somalia over the weekend, voices both from within and outside of the war-torn African country called for increased security measures to protect the media against further attacks. On the morning of Saturday, Aug. 11 four unknown men fatally shot Mahad Ahmed Elmi, a manager at the respected …

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International arbiters award Egypt LE 40 million

CAIRO: The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) ruled in favor of the Ministry of Irrigation in its lawsuit against three contractors working on the Naga Dam in Qena on Aug. 8. Uncitral awarded the Egyptian government the entire disputed sum of money, ordering to pay the Ministry of Agriculture LE 40 million. …

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Cairo experiences a welcome invasion

Inspired by a British reality show depicting the transformation of rotund, multiple chinned women into svelte and dynamic go-getters within a mere six weeks, I dug deep into my pockets and headed for the Grand Hyatt Health Club. Getting to the hotel was no mean feat. It seems all the world and its wife are …

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Faith in acting: a review of Eboo Patel's Acts of Faith

NEW YORK CITY: There is a growing phenomenon within the Muslim community in America that will change the history of Islam. Young Muslims, mostly the children of immigrants, are publicly reflecting on their identity. Many are becoming, or have become, Islamic scholars and activists on behalf of a civic Islam. Often, these young men and …

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A pawn in Iran's nuclear ambitions?

The guardians of the Islamic republican system in Iran are continuing their longstanding quest to ensure the existence of Iran s clerical regime. To eliminate potential existential threats, these guardians have gradually entered yet another arena in which to confront their adversaries: Afghanistan. While Iran has played a positive role in increasing Afghanistan s economic …

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