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Egypt begins defense of African Nations Cup

Reuters JOHANNESBURG: Champions Egypt head a list of 44 African countries who start their campaigns this weekend to qualify for the 2008 Nations Cup. Only Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe have the weekend off. The Egyptians should have little to fear against Burundi in Cairo on Saturday on their way to the 16-team final tournament in …

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EU to seek new Mideast talks based on 1967 borders

Reuters BRUSSELS: The European Union is set to launch a drive this week to revive long-stalled Middle East peace negotiations based on the principle of a return to Israel s 1967 borders, EU officials say. At an informal meeting in Finland on Friday and Saturday, foreign ministers of the 25-nation bloc will discuss how to …

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Lebanese musicians honor their nation in a somber but hopeful concert

CAIRO: Last night at the Cairo Opera House Lebanese musicians sang of love, suffering and change at a benefit concert entitled Beirut Won’t Cry. The meaningful performances were meant to signal the Lebanese people’s ability to rebuild their country after the destruction left by the Israeli aggression. Four weeks of air strikes tore apart clinics, …

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The Father of Modern Arabic Literature

I first met Naguib Mahfouz shortly after arriving in Cairo in 1945. Aware that a renaissance of Arabic literature was taking place at the hands of a group of writers, of whom Naguib Mahfouz was one, I made a point of getting to know some of them and of trying to make their work known …

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Internet giant bases Middle East activities in Egypt

CAIRO: Google Inc., the company behind the world’s most popular search engine, continues to build up its presence in the Middle East and, to the surprise of many, has decided to base its activities in the Middle East and North Africa region in Egypt instead of Dubai. Since Dubai is associated with a healthier investment …

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Dubai no longer an employee's paradise

Rising costs of living are forcing many foreigners homeward bound DUBAI: Ali Mahmoud, 42, is a UAE-based Egyptian expatriate. Having worked between Dubai and Sharjah as a translator for the last 15 years, he has decided to put an end to his career away from home. The reason: for him as well as for many …

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Angry Israelis demand regime change

Israel is in trouble. Its president Moshe Katsav is being investigated for allegedly raping one of his own staff members. Ehud Olmert, its Prime Minister, is accused of accepting a whopping $500,000 bribe from a building contractor and of making crony political appointments during his former tenure as Minister of Industry and Trade. Its Chief …

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Immortalizing a folkloric epic

Al-Abnoudi reflects on his travels to record Al-Sirah Al-Hilaliyah CAIRO: In an apartment whose décor reflects a passion for everything folkloric lives Abdul-Rahman Al-Abnoudi, one of Egypt’s famous 1960s generation poets, who, if asked to summarize his life in two words, would definitely answer, Al-Sirah Al-Hilaliyah. Al-Sirah Al-Hilaliyah is based on historic events that took …

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Another rail accident. Now what?

Look, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that if you’re Egyptian, you’re more likely to drop dead of a heart attack than be killed in a transport accident. The bad news is, not much. Figures on those subjects tend to be a little difficult to come by, but it does …

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Building bridges of understanding

Organization works to teach people how to present Islam CAIRO: To prepare its recently hired American employees for their new life in Cairo, the American Embassy in Egypt, in coordination with the Bridges Foundation, has organized a lecture about how to live in an Islamic country. The lecture was given by Fadel Soliman, founder of …

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The anatomy of a downtown demo

“But they are my grandchildren’s age, were reportedly among the last words uttered by 72-year-old Ahmed Mustagir, geneticist, philosopher and poet, and one of Egypt’s greatest contemporary scientists, as he watched the televised coverage of the Israeli devastation of Lebanon from what was to prove to have been his deathbed. Yet again Arab children were …

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The silence and beauty of the Western Desert

Trip to Bahariya Oasis uncovers some of the country s unknown attractions BAHARIYA, Western Desert: The oases of Egypt are like few other places on earth; an awesome range of geographical features, terrain and wildlife are concentrated on the outskirts of the Sahara. Used in ancient times by the Egyptians for agriculture, the beautiful scenery …

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Crisis escalates between NTRA and MobiNil over EDGE technology

Noozz CAIRO: Mobile phone service provider MobiNil announced on Thursday that the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) had officially notified the company that the introduction of the 2.75G, or EDGE, network would require a special license. The industry regulator regards EDGE as similar to 3G technology which requires obtaining a license before installation. MobiNil, meanwhile, …

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Cairo bids joyous farewell to giant Ramses statue

Agence France-Presse CAIRO: Hundreds of thousands of people lined Cairo s streets Friday to bid farewell to one of the metropolis s landmarks as the colossal statue of Ramses II completed its journey from the polluted city to a spot near the Pyramids. Ramses should be happy. He would have cursed us from his tomb …

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Lebanon war tarnishes Egypt diplomatic prowess

Reuters CAIRO: Egypt s flagging prestige as a key broker in the Middle East has taken a further blow after its slow and indecisive response to the war between Hezbollah and Israel, analysts and political commentators said. At the start of the conflict last month, President Hosni Mubarak indirectly blamed Hezbollah for starting the war …

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Diwan goes digital as owner announces new bookshop services

Diwan bookstore is taking its customer service to another level – home deliveries and a fully searchable Web site, replete with online book clubs and interactive discussion circles. Diwan owner Nadia Wassef said the Web site will be ready for customer use by the end of this year. In the meantime, Diwan will actually start …

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Protest figure on campaign against Israel

Agence France-Presse DAMIETTE: A leader of the protest movement Kefaya (enough) is campaigning to gather a million signatures in 100 days in favor of rescinding the country s peace treaty with Israel. I ask you to applaud the master Hassan Nasrallah, called out George Ishaq, 67, during a rally in Darmiette, an industrial port in …

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Reporting Lebanon: Look who's fair and balanced

The summer of 2006 marked an important milestone for Arab media. Israel and Hezbollah were locked in a bitter conflict that would claim the lives of more than 150 Israelis and an estimated 1,000 Lebanese, a third of them children. Each day brought brutal new images of civilian casualties. On American television, leading journalists, such …

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Muslim authorities disown fatwas on killing Jews

Agence France-Presse CAIRO: Muslim authorities have stepped in to keep a wave of anti-Semitic sentiment from getting out of control, disowning an edict by a firebrand cleric calling for Israeli Jews to be killed. On the eve of last week s truce in the month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah, cleric Safwat Al-Higazi issued an …

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Syria committed "massacres" in Lebanon, says state-owned press

Head: Syria committed “massacres in Lebanon, says state-owned press By Joelle BassoulAgence France-Presse CAIRO: The state media on Wednesday accused Syria of committing massacres in Lebanon, lashing out at Damascus in response to President Bashar Al-Assad s recent criticism of Egypt. In an editorial addressed to the Syrian ambassador in Cairo, the Egyptian government daily …

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Eleven killed in wedding convoy crash

Egypt to invest $1.5 billion in rail network, Egyptian transport slammed by train and road crashes Agence France-Presse CAIRO: Eleven Egyptians died Wednesday when their minibus, part of a wedding convoy, overturned near the southern city of Aswan, police said. Eleven Egyptians, including three children and two women, were killed in the accident which occurred …

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Artists do their part for Lebanon

Li-Beirut campaign launches visual art exhibition showcasing local talent CAIRO: Showcasing local talent while expressing support for Lebanon, Li-Beirut launched their visual art exhibition Monday night at the Ebdaa Gallery in Mohandiseen. The three-week-old Cairo-based campaign to express solidarity with Lebanon has gathered together an impressively diverse array of artistic works, which have all been …

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Puppet play dramatizes life on the street

“El-Masoura El-Kabeera focuses on society’s reaction to street children CAIRO: Seven little children, who consider the street their home, are the lead characters in “El-Masoura El-Kabeera, a puppet play produced by Mohamed Abd El-Moniem El-Sawy. In the play, society never serves as either a support or a guide to change their immoral thoughts. Concentrating on …

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The boomerang effect

The Bush Administration’s policies in the Middle East were originally sold as a means of encouraging democracy. What they’re actually doing is fostering a growing pan-Islamicism The Bush administration calls it the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a frighteningly deceptive misnomer for a policy that does little to foster real partnership, substantially more to alienate. …

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Hundreds of Palestinians wait to cross into Gaza as border passage opens

Associated Press RAFAH: The Egypt-Gaza border crossing opened Saturday, giving hundreds of stranded Palestinians the chance to return to the Gaza Strip for the first time in a month. Egyptian tourism police Capt. Amr Osama said the crossing will be open for two days in both directions. Several hundred Palestinians gathered in front of the …

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An evening at the theater

CAIRO: This week, the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo will host the 5th annual “Independent Theatre Festival, featuring works by theatrical and musical troupes from August 20 to August 24. The troupes are among the 60 members of The Association of the Studies and Training of the Free Theater Troupes. Mohammed Abdul Khaliq, arts office Ddrector …

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Ceasefire but no resolution for Lebanon

Hezbollah claims victory, but UN Resolution 1701 is a defeat for Lebanon’s sovereignty CAIRO: The cease-fire that began at 8 a.m. local time last Monday between Hezbollah and Israel was founded on UN Resolution 1701, which provides Israel with an international force to protect its borders and removes Lebanon’s right to defend itself from an …

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Life in Egypt without a visa

Filipino domestic workers still come to Egypt to work, despite warnings from the Philippine government CAIRO: There are thought to be 4,178 Filipinos currently living in Egypt, of which 2,300 are said to have complete travel papers; the other 1,878 are thought to be illegal immigrants. The risks of working in Egypt are high and …

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