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An opportunity lost for human rights in the region

The swift execution of Saddam Hussein following a flawed trial was a blunt reminder that the former dictator’s “Republic of Fear gave way, under Anglo-American occupation, to an Iraqi state of revenge. The fate of Saddam, whose atrocious crimes were reminiscent of those of the notorious Umayyad governor Al-Hajjaj bin Yusif, seemed to have been …

Daily News Egypt

How AIDS has become a woman's Plight

CAIRO: Enara, age 11 of Dandara, Zimbabwe, cried in 2002 as she described the difficulties of daily living after being left orphaned by AIDS. More than 20 years after the breakout of the Human-Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the pandemic still shows no sign of receding. The shocking figures all over the world leave many scared of …

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Israel says no progress on Egyptian-sponsored prisoner swap

Associated Press JERUSALEM: Israeli officials on Monday denied claims that they were close to a deal that would secure the release of a captured soldier held by Palestinian militants, citing excessive demands by the Islamic Hamas. Expectations have been building in the media that an announcement could be made at an Israel-Egypt summit on Thursday, …

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Egyptian Youth and Azhar Demos

It is not the proper time to discuss the Al Azhar University incidents. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has already apologized for the students’ parade that was the focus of media attention for a few days and was used as a launching pad to arrest a few of the MB’s top leaders, including Deputy Chairman Khayrat …

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The boomerang effect

The Hussein execution is likely to have serious repercussions for the region I miss the old days of colonialism. You know, the days when the suppression of the natives was done with a little panache. Nowadays, it’s all shoving and a none-too elegant boot up the collective backside. Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was hanged …

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Practical steps for a new Iraq policy

The daily toll of events in Iraq and the intensity of media coverage from Baghdad make it hard to allow ideas on the Iraq crisis to be considered with the sober and somber deliberation they deserve. The pressure to squeeze new policy options into political frames that are instantly interpreted as for or against the …

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What the 'poor sots' of the world know about globalization

In 1919, the world humbly bore the loss of one of its most imaginative diplomats, when 39-year-old Mark Sykes succumbed to the Spanish flu in his well-appointed Paris hotel room. Sykes died a happy man, having created (with his boon buddy Francois Georges-Picot), a “New Middle East, complete with Octavian-era place names: Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia …

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Egypt 2006: age, melancholy and usual vows of better

Cairo: Early in 2006, Transparency International, a Berlin-based assessment bureau, announced that Egypt’s corruption index had improved from “highly acute to “rampant. Economist Ahmed al-Naggar wasn’t the only one to remark that “rampant isn’t good enough. January headlines descried a ruling-party member’s sale of expired dialysis equipment to state hospitals, retirement funds used to cover …

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Police officers in sexual abuse case could face prison sentence

CAIRO: The Southern Cairo Prosecution Court detained on Thursday two police officers, accused of sexually abusing a microbus driver, pending a criminal court session to determine their fate this week. The two officers, Islam Nabeh, assistant investigator, and Reda Fathy, a non-commissioned officer, have been accused of torturing Imad Al-Kabir, an Egyptian microbus driver, in …

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From Peacekeeping to Peace Consolidation in Burundi

At the end of December, the United Nations Mission in Burundi (ONUB) will close, ending a successful two-and-a-half year chapter in peacekeeping history. I had the privilege of working in Burundi from June 2004 to April 2006, and bearing witness to the country s completing the process of transition out of a protracted period of …

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Saddam execution reopens Iraq discussions in Cairo

Some call Bush a terrorist CAIRO: The decision of an Iraqi court to uphold the death sentence given to former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein opened the door to many discussions about Iraq among Cairenes with many expressing concern for the deteriorating situation in the war-ravaged Arab country. Opinions were framed around the dire situation in …

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Is the Nile Egyptian?

Associated Press ENTEBBE: After three years of closed-door talks, nine nations are quietly edging toward a deal to jointly oversee the waters of the Nile, an agreement that has eluded lands along the great river since the days of the pharaohs. An expected meeting of water ministers next month may produce a preliminary accord, officials …

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Women bear the brunt of bird flu

CAIRO: Judging from the gender ratio of infections in Egypt, women are most at risk of avian influenza contagion than men, said Hamdi Abdel Wahed, media official at the health ministry. All of the eight deaths that have occurred in Egypt as a result of avian flu have been among women. The reason for this …

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Israel's December Report: Three Clues for 2007

Israeli government officials in charge of conducting an end-of-year review cannot be happy. While their mid-year review was equally disappointing, with the loss in Lebanon and lack of international support for Israel’s role in Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, the end-of-year review is worse. In December only, Israel lost a major ally at the United Nations with …

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The emergence of cosmopolitan solidarity

As globalization proceeds, with the help of ever-faster communications, faster travel, and more powerful multinational corporations, a new, cosmopolitan social class seems to be emerging. These citizens of the world are developing loyalties to each other that cross national boundaries. I was at a dinner the other night with Yale World Fellows, a carefully selected …

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Kuwait: Is the beginning of real politics taking place?

Kuwaitis describe the country’s current Parliament with an apparent contradiction: “The opposition is the majority. In any parliamentary system this would be impossible; a government cannot serve without majority support. Even in presidential or mixed systems, the parliamentary majority enjoys a share of power through cohabitation or divided government. But while Kuwait displays more democratic …

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American blunders have led to Middle Eastern chaos

The events of 9/11 gave the United States an opportunity to enforce its domination in the Middle East. This is hardly unique in the history of the region, which has witnessed British domination and later American-Soviet competition. The United States’ influence reached its peak in the Kuwait war of 1991 when it was able to …

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For Egypt's women it's more harassment, fewer rights

“The Egyptians’ lack of power over their lives is translating into a pervasive new style of interaction designed to provide some minimal illusion of strength. Shop girls are ruder, bands of school kids more antagonistic, tradesmen craftier, petty theft is on the rise and [sexual harassment] probably is too. I wrote these words in 2002 …

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The Occupied Territories: Israel's moral, political millstone

With one stroke of a pen, Education Minister Yuli Tamir managed recently to restore to the public agenda the basic question that should not have been marginalized in the first place on the validity, significance and legitimacy of the Green Line. The decision is an ideological one, as was the decision to erase the 1949 …

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Lebanon's justice system on trial

During my visit to Lebanon in early December, I was struck by the display of freedom of expression represented by peaceful anti-government demonstrations in Beirut, a rare event in the region. At the same time, the protracted political crisis has justifiably raised fears that the country may descend into political violence leading to human rights …

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Assad will abandon Iran if Israel talks peace with him

The Iraq Study Group report reached a series of obvious conclusions. Everything is linked. The United States cannot remain in the Iraqi swamp much longer nor can it abandon Iraq and leave it in its current chaotic state. In order to leave Iraq gradually there is a need for a pragmatic Arab coalition that assists …

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"Muslims love Jesus" but can they wish Christians Merry Christmas?

Associated Press KUWAIT CITY: Is it religiously acceptable for Muslims to wish their Christian colleagues or acquaintances a Merry Christmas? In Kuwait, it depends on who you ask. Days before the holiday that is not officially celebrated in this small oil-rich state, pundits like Mohammed al-Kandari began urging fellow Muslims not to extend the greeting …

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Michel joins Zamalek race

CAIRO: In what is quickly becoming a parade of potential coaches to lead the Zamalek club, French manager Henri Michel will be in Cairo today to open talks with the beleaguered team. Zamalek general manager Alaa Mekled said on Sunday that the club contacted Michel after ensuring they can afford the signing fees. Michel is …

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The Arab lion bares its head in Darfur's ongoing war

In the final weeks of the Darfur peace talks in Abuja, Mohamed Issa, the chairman of the Rizeigat Advocacy Council and the most prominent independent Arab observer at the talks, grew daily more depressed. Under American pressure, the African Union was forcing the pace of the talks and setting deadlines for an agreement. The leaders …

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What lurks in your kitchen

If you think you are safe eating in your clean kitchen, think again. The kitchen is the dirtiest place in any home, nurturing millions of unseen germs on each object, surface and crevice. Every kitchen surface, from doorknobs, knife handles, surfaces to floors is contaminated with teeming bacteria that may cause food borne illness. With …

Daily News Egypt

If you insist on having shisha, try this at-home method

CAIRO: Tired of loud traffic around downtown ahwas? Or over-the-top trendiness at Sequoia? Well, you can skip those places now. It’s easier than you think to enjoy shisha in your own home. A decent hookah, tobacco and coals can all be purchased for less than LE100. The first step to at-home shisha is, of course, …

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Verses of life

A poetic biography of Nabeel Yassin s life in Baathist Baghdad The wounds we make with words are greater than those made with swords. These are a mother’s prophetic words of warning to her son, an aspiring poet and activist. Nabeel’s Song by Jo Tatchell is the biography of Nabeel Yassin the celebrated Iraqi poet …

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Clip, strip, nip, tuck, pluck, suck

CAIRO: The 30th Cairo International Film Festival ended two weeks ago and fast on its heels was the Marrakech film fest. When that ended, Dubai, the concrete jungle, hosted its own cinematic extravaganza. Film fans and critics were absolutely delighted to catch their favorite stars. Why, JF was absolutely giddy when he managed to interview …

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George W. Bush's Last Chance in Iraq: an Israeli view

Though triggered by the need to devise an exit strategy from the Iraqi quagmire, the Iraq Study Group’s grim report is a devastating indictment of the Bush administration’s entire foreign policy. The report challenges the core principles of a faith-driven administration and of a president whose political gospel led him to a sharp departure from …

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