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Bush's Iraq troop surge a doomed gamble, says Al-Zawahri

Reuters DUBAI: Al-Qaeda s second-in-command Ayman Al-Zawahri said US President George W. Bush s troop build-up in Iraq was a gamble bound to fail and criticized his Democrat rivals for not bringing any change in Washington s policy. [Bush s] addiction to gambling … motivates him to continue to place losing bets until he goes …

Daily News Egypt

A Middle Eastern Tour of Paris

With the recent riots in Arab-French suburbs and heated debates over the hijab (head scarf), France may not seem like the place to find Middle Eastern cultural activities. Not true. And my recent trip to Paris proves it. Whether you’re interested in studying the history of intellectual and cultural connections between Europe and the Arab …

Daily News Egypt

Hamas and Fatah face many daunting challenges ahead

The reconciliation between the leaders of the two major Palestinian groups, Hamas and Fatah, which was negotiated in Saudi Arabia last week, is being hailed as a major political breakthrough. But the national unity government created as a result of this agreement faces many daunting challenges. The agreement needs to be followed by an effort …

Daily News Egypt

Love squares off against hatred on St. Valentine's

St. Valentine, a martyred Christian saint in ancient Rome, could have never imagined how love would evolve into a force in international politics. He probably only knew love for God and for his fellow human beings. The notion of love for a nation, or love for the leader of a nation, would have been peculiar …

Daily News Egypt

Syria pressures the Saudis, with a bang

Two years after the assassination of Lebanon’s former prime minister, Rafik Hariri and 22 others, including the former minister Basil Fuleihan, on Tuesday Lebanon was subjected to another terrorist attack in Ain Alaq, near Bikfaya, home of the Gemayel family. The bombings represented, most probably, another escalation by the Syrian regime. In assessing the possible …

Daily News Egypt

Students discover the opposing dynamics of Palestine occupation

CAIRO: Running from sound grenades and tear gas at protests in the West Bank, working for a grassroots Palestinian organization opposing Israel’s separation wall, and staying on a settlement in the Jordan Valley – for a few American students in Cairo, the opposing dynamics of occupation defined a month-long stay in the area through the …

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Workers in Shibin Al-Kom still worry about wages, factory sale

SHIBIN AL-KOM: Although strikes ended last week at the textile factory in Shibin Al-Kom, workers there on Tuesday continued to express concern over their working conditions and looming changes as a private, foreign-financed company is set to take over today. The new owner, Andorama, which runs factories in India, bought a majority stake in the …

Daily News Egypt

Imam wants to sue Berlusconi over CIA "kidnap"

Reuters CAIRO/ROME: A Muslim cleric freed from a prison in Egypt four years after being grabbed in Milan in a suspected CIA kidnapping wants to sue former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi for damages, his lawyer said on Monday. Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, has alleged that Egyptian guards tortured him with …

Daily News Egypt

The outlines of a new policy in declining Afghanistan

There is growing concern among the Western coalition forces about the worsening situation in Afghanistan. The insurgency has recently shown its bloodiest face since the Taliban’s ouster in 2001 and represents a ticking time bomb for the collapse of US policies in the country. The fallout of American policies in Iraq has been felt across …

Daily News Egypt

Feeding Chaos: A New Middle East Cold War

Bush administration efforts to forge a US-Arab alliance against Iran are threatening to produce a new Middle East Cold War, with dangerous implications for regional stability, US interests and American lives. When Condoleezza Rice was in the region to lay the foundations for a united front with key Arab states based on the perception of …

Daily News Egypt

Lebanese leaders need to shore up their increasingly fragile state

Officials from Riyadh to Khartoum have been working overtime to find a solution to Lebanon s latest political crisis. This week, Speaker Nabih Berri became the most recent leader to enter the fray with a plan of his own. The speaker has proposed an initiative aimed at resolving two of the more contentious issues that …

Daily News Egypt

February, voila Valentine's Day, oh la la

Here comes another February with a new Valentine s Day on the horizon, bringing to the fore fantasies and memories with scented candles and red flowers. When it comes to Valentine s it s all about expressing love and affection to our husbands or wives and fiancées. Early preparations for surprising gifts, romantic candlelight dinners …

Daily News Egypt

Al-Jazeera producer: Alleged abuse documentary to be aired soon

CAIRO: On Jan. 8, Cairo International Airport security prevented Doha-based documentary film producer Howayda Taha from boarding a plane for Qatar and confiscated 50 videotapes in her possession, her laptop and some books. After two days of questioning by state security the reported mock torture footage and re-enactments of alleged police abuse in her possession, …

Daily News Egypt

Iraqi refugees still await UNHCR assistance

CAIRO: Iraqi refugees in Cairo continue to wait outside the United Nations High Commission for Refugees’ (UNHCR) office in Mohandiseen to register their refugee status. Among them is Salwan Jumeil Awda. He moved to Cairo four months ago after a series of attacks on his communications company in Baghdad. In May 2006 we were attacked …

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Egypt and Hamas between uneasiness and 'red lines'

Egypt confronts a double problem on its northeastern borders – both Palestinian and Israeli. The two problems are intertwined and have interacted over the past six decades or so. However, they are also different, or at least require different sets of policies. While the Israeli question is geopolitical in nature and is defined most of …

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In America, the hijab is not an obstacle for Muslim girls

WASHINGTON: For many Muslim girls in the United States, the hijab is not an obstacle, but rather a source of strength, pride and a tool to spread correct information about much-stereotyped Islam. I’ve been wearing my hijab for more than five years; since I was a fifth grader, and I believe nothing has changed between …

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UN says bird flu can infect cats

UNITED NATIONS: Cats can become infected with the highly lethal H5N1 bird flu virus but there is no scientific evidence at present to suggest that there has been sustained transmission in cats or from cats to humans, and they should not be killed as a control option, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) …

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Abbas in Cairo says Mideast summit to set stage for final status talks

Agence France-Presse CAIRO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would set the stage for final status talks in the long-stagnant Middle East peace process. The three-way meeting with Rice and Olmert on Feb. 19 will pave the way …

Daily News Egypt

The unseen rewards of informal US-Arab dialogues

Relations between the Middle East and the United States are undeniably strained. Evidence of this comes to us every day through the news, in movies and television, and in academic writings. What, though, is driving this hostility and what can be done to end it? A survey conducted by Zogby International examining how Arabs view …

Daily News Egypt

Might George W Bush's 'surge' work?

Whatever critics at home and abroad may think, the “surge that President George W. Bush is planning for Iraq is more than a troop increase; it is a new and high-risk regional strategy. True, Bush’s plan will prove far too little and comes far too late to stabilize Iraq. But it does offer the United …

Daily News Egypt

UN announces $85 mln for under-funded emergencies

NAIROBI: A United Nations fund, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has allocated about $85 million for under-funded emergencies in 15 countries in Africa and Asia. This funding is part of CERF s two-part annual allocation for life-saving programmes around the world, according …

Daily News Egypt

Egyptian named to senior UN post

Associated Pres UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed officials from Egypt, the United States, China, and Japan to top UN posts Friday and accepted the resignation of 17 senior staff members as part of a long-awaited overhaul to start shaping his new administration. The secretary-general, who took office on Jan. 1, decided to leave …

Daily News Egypt

The domino art effect has spread: could it now be the Arab's turn?

Egyptian art fetches record auction price at Christie s For a while it looked as if the Middle East had found a place on the international art map as a venue for the sale and production of works of aesthetic importance. Admittedly, the purchasing took place in the Gulf while the creative process took place …

Daily News Egypt

'Green militancy' hinders better ways to do the planet good

You would have had to be stuck in deepest Mongolia to avoid hearing that the United Nations climate panel, the IPCC, issued a new report last week. Perhaps even in the depths of Mongolia, you would have heard the dire warnings emitted by journalists. You would have distilled from these agonized noises that the report …

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Arab women entrepreneurs and SMEs: challenges and realities

Towards the end of 2006, the Euro-Mediterranean Ministers in their meeting at Turkey, stressed the need for strengthening the role of women in their societies. A framework and action plan was agreed upon for the next five years. It was agreed that the Euro-Mediterranean partners would embrace a holistic approach based on three interdependent and …

Daily News Egypt

Truck loaded with gas explodes south of Giza, no casualties

GIZA: The village of Temoua was rocked early Saturday morning when a truck loaded with gas tanks belonging to the Misr Petroleum Company unexpectedly exploded. The blast occurred, according to local witnesses, after one of the small tanks, intended for residential use in the poor southern Giza neighborhood, ignited and set off the hundreds of …

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Bush the most disliked leader in Egypt, Nasrhallah admired

Reuters WASHINGTON: Egyptians and most Arabs have a very unfavorable opinion of US President George W. Bush, a new poll has revealed. A new poll on Thursday underscored deep Arab unhappiness with the United States but said the negative image could be repaired if Washington brokered a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace agreement. The survey of 3,850 …

Daily News Egypt

Going Nuts is Good for You

A handful of nuts a day might keep the doctor away. Recent nutritional studies released in the Journal the American Medical Association and other reputed publications, found that eating nuts regularly has a multitude of beneficial effects on health including lowering the risk of developing heart disease (1), type 2 diabetes, dementia, stroke, and gallstones. …

Daily News Egypt