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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 …

Daily News Egypt

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 …

Daily News Egypt

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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Arafat's widow stripped of Tunisian citizenship

TUNIS: Tunisia has stripped the widow of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat of Tunisian citizenship, officials said Tuesday. A formal decree published Aug. 2 in Tunisia s official register indicated that 44-year-old Suha Arafat, who was born in Jerusalem and became a naturalized Tunisian last year, had lost her citizenship. No explanation was provided, nor …

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Concerts in US, Morocco to connect cultures and religions through music

WASHINGTON: An ensemble of musicians separated by oceans and thousands of kilometers will perform together later this month for the first time, having composed music layer-by-layer with sound files exchanged over the internet. Their goal: Show how the arts can bridge diverse cultures – even among people who have never met before coming together on …

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Military should attain power, says El Sadat

CAIRO: On Oct. 3, 2006 opposition MP Talaat El Sadat appeared on Orbit’s “Al Qahira Al Youm talk show and said that not a single bullet was fired by former president Anwar Sadat’s bodyguards during his assassination to protect him. Less than a month later, El Sadat was imprisoned when a military tribunal found him …

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African Union chairman claims UN force will be all-African

CAIRO/KHARTOUM: On Sunday African Union Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare said that there would be no need for non-African troops in the new UN peacekeeping force that is set to be deployed in the Darfur region of Sudan. He said that the African Union had secured enough pledges from African states to fully staff the 26,000-strong …

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Talking tough: How Obama can fight extremism in Pakistan

For those of us who believe in diplomacy, Senator Barack Obama’s recent pledge to dialogue with Cuba, North Korea and Iran offered a much-needed ray of hope. Amidst the security tough-talk by Democratic presidential hopefuls, at least one leading candidate was committed to a conversation. Ironically, undermining her own campaign slogan (“Let the Conversation Begin …

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A time for reflection, a call for action

On the first anniversary commemorating the end of the July 2006 Israeli-Lebanese war, Geir O. Pedersen, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, wrote an Op-Ed article entitled A time for reflection, a call for action , praising Lebanese resilience in overcoming crises and stressing the need for Lebanese decision-makers to reach an agreement that would be …

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Smuggled crocodiles overwhelm Cairo zoo

CAIRO: A sudden influx of hundreds of baby crocodiles seized while being smuggled out of Cairo airport has left a zoo in the Egyptian capital struggling to deal with the tiny but rapidly growing reptiles. We ve never seen anything like this before, says Ragy Toma, who heads the government department in charge of dealing …

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Record year for Al Islami Foods

Al Islami Foods, a leading halal food producer in the Middle East, announced its growth figures in a press released with a two-point increase in market share and net sales growth of 59 percent until the end of July 2007. “The main engine of solid growth is our commitment of offering real halal [food] to …

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Bahraini Shia MP Wages Takfiri War against Sunni Figures

Sheikh Hamza Al-Diri, the Bahraini Shia Islamic National Accord Association MP, recently launched an attack against the Sunni independent salafist MP Sheikh Gassem Al-Saidi. In his attack, Sheikh Al-Diri claimed Sheikh Al-Saidi was generating hatred towards the Shia and Prophet Muhammad’s immediate family members (known as ahl al bayt). When asked by members of parliament …

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The changing face of energy security

For three decades, the rich world has talked about curbing its addiction to imported oil. But, despite the anxious rhetoric, the oil-supply problem has become worse and energy security more complex. Notwithstanding politicians’ repeated calls for energy independence, over the past 30 years the United States, for example, has doubled its dependence on imported oil, …

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India's democracy at 60

At midnight on August 15, 1947, a new nation was born on a subcontinent ripped apart by a bloody partition. Independent India came into being as flames blazed across the land, corpse-laden trains crossed the new frontier with Pakistan, and weary refugees abandoned everything to seek a new life. A less propitious start for a …

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Health Ministry requests revoking doctor's license over FGM victim

CAIRO: The Ministry of Health has requested revoking the license of Mahmoud Habib, the retired doctor responsible for the death of the 13-year-old Karima, but the Doctor’s Syndicate says circumcision is not yet illegal. Karima Rahim Massoud is the second victim of female genital mutilation (FGM) surgery, who died after she received an overdose of …

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Fatima and The Freedom Fries launch Citadel Music Festival

Austrian band Fatima and The Freedom Fries delivered a rousing performance at the Sariyat El Gabal stage in the Salah Eddin Citadel on the opening day of the 17th Music and Singing Festival. The Citadel s beauty really comes out at night and the long walk from the Citadel entrance to the stage allows one …

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Taliban frees two South Korean hostages

GHAZNI: Afghanistan s Taliban freed two South Korean hostages Monday in what they called a gesture of goodwill towards talks to free the remaining 19 captured nearly a month ago. Wearing Muslim headscarves and crying as they were bundled into a waiting vehicle, the pair were the first hostages freed since the militants captured 23 …

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Brilliant Perseids meteor shower makes comeback

CAIRO: Beachgoers are in for an extra treat this week as the Perseids meteor shower makes its annual August comeback. A spectacular celestial show of hundreds of meteors will be visible with the naked eye across the night sky. Perseids meteor shower occurs when the Earth s orbit intercepts the orbit of comet Swift-Tuttle, which …

Daily News Egypt

Al Wafd party prepares parallel anti- terrorism law

CAIRO: The liberal Al Wafd opposition party has announced plans to draft a parallel anti- terrorism law. The draft is a response to government legislation currently being drafted by a special committee led by Mufid Shehab, the state minister for legislative affairs. The law is slated for review and discussion during the next parliamentary session. …

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No laughing matter

CHICAGO: In the post Sept. 11th world, I learned several things. It is easier to hate a stranger than to hate someone you know. And, anger often appears as hate when coupled with excessive fear and lack of knowledge. There is a rising sense of hatred, of anger gone wild in America against Arabs and …

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Back to the Brink in Ukraine

The campaign for Ukraine’s parliamentary election of September 30th is scarcely underway and yet Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich is already trying to steal it. Yanukovich was the man who sought to falsify the result of the presidential election of 2004, inciting the Orange Revolution. Back then, a peaceful and honest result was reached in the …

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Somalia, it is time to open your doors

Prominent Somali intellectuals and parliamentarians from sub-clans once constituting the core of the defeated Islamic Courts Union claim that old rivals are dominating the government and unwilling to share power. Oddly, the international community tolerates this refusal and as a result, the Transitional Federal Government’s (TFG) clan-catering continues unabated. Perpetual exclusion, however, is indefensible and …

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'New media' fatwas rankle traditional Islamic sources

CAIRO: The Internet, satellite television and even the telephone are increasingly being used in the Muslim world to issue fatwas – religious decrees – on issues as varied as whether women can pluck their eyebrows or good Muslims should read Harry Potter. A fatwa is a ruling by a recognized Islamic scholar, often on a …

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