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Zamalek seek more African glory for Egypt

CAIRO: Just one week after conquering Africa at national-team level Egypt launch a challenge for continental club glory. The annual African Champions League kicks off this weekend with 24 first round, first leg fixtures and among six former holders in action are Zamalek from Cairo. Known as the White Knights, the club supplied a key …

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US elections through Arab American eyes

There are about 3.5 million Arab Americans. According to a 2007 Zogby poll, 61 percent of Arab American voters mention Iraq as the leading issue in the election, and 66 percent also rank Palestine as very high on their list of concerns. In the past, Arab Americans – especially the more affluent – voted Republican. …

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Where freedom is relative

As she opened the door and welcomed me into her home on a snowy morning in Tehran, K. (her name is withheld to protect her anonymity) – a 33-year-old mother – appeared to me as an unexpected epiphany. A brunette, speaking fluent English in a surprising American accent, she was wearing only skimpy shorts and …

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A Vote against Voting in Pakistan

As Pakistan gears up for its parliamentary election on Feb. 18, many observers hope that the vote will usher in a period of stability and calm by lending popular legitimacy to the government. But sometimes democracy is best served by refusing to participate. The upcoming election, to be held under the illegal Provisional Constitutional Order …

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Film, pop stars headline UN anti-human trafficking campaign

VIENNA: British actress Emma Thompson, Latino pop star Ricky Martin and Egypt’s First Lady Suzanne Mubarak lent their names to an international campaign against human trafficking Wednesday. The stars were guest speakers at the UN’s first-ever forum to raise public awareness about the multi-billion-dollar trafficking industry. And they insisted that it was not only up …

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Alexandria conference challenges honor crimes

ALEXANDRIA: Providing counseling, effective protection and shelter are effective means of combating honor crimes, the participants of an Alexandria conference concluded yesterday. The Swedish Institute in Alexandria organized a seminar titled “Challenging Honor-related Violence against Women: Legal Rights and State Responsibilities from Feb. 11 to 13. Several women and human rights activists, feminists and lawyers …

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Goals, fix claims, and a bride – only in Ghana

ACCRA: It was sometimes hard to know where to focus at the 2008 African Nations Cup with a feast of drama both on and off the pitch. The battle for the African crown has been generally acclaimed as the best yet, a view supported by a record number of goals and worthy champions in Egypt, …

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A monumental challenge to America

The collapse of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the last decade of the twentieth century, leaving the United States as the sole superpower, led to the century being dubbed, The American Century. The world looked forward to enlightened leadership, visionary policies, and a multilateral approach in the conduct of American diplomacy. President Clinton …

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The debt delusion

A second big American interest-rate cut in a fortnight, alongside an economic stimulus plan that united Republicans and Democrats, demonstrates that US policymakers are keen to head off a recession that looks like the consequence of rising mortgage defaults and falling home prices. But there is a deeper problem that has been overlooked: the US …

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Europe's power to lead

At this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, the buzz was about Asia’s growing power. One Asian analyst argued that by 2050, there will be three world powers: the United States, China, and India. He did not mention Europe, but underestimating Europe’s power is a mistake. Yes, Europe currently punches below its weight. It is …

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Boxer Mohamed Heikal vows to strike a medal in Beijing

CAIRO: He’s among Egypt’s most prominent boxers in the last decade. His extraordinary talent empowered by his tenacious determination and perseverance have earned him almost every title in the boxing world. At the age of 29, he’s enormously eager to conclude his career with an Olympic medal in Beijing this summer. He’s Mohamed Heikal, and …

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Berlin film fest brings fringe Muslims into focus

BERLIN: People living on the margins of Muslim society, from a heavy metal band in Iraq to transsexual Iranians and a gay Kurdish man in Turkey, managed to get their voices heard at this year s Berlin Film Festival. A clutch of documentaries examining subjects considered taboo in Muslim countries have played to packed audiences …

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Mad Song challenges perception of reality

Much like the poem that inspired the dance, “Mad Song is an anti-performance, challenging audiences’ perceptions of dance and stage performing. “Mad Girl’s Love Song is a landmark of confessional poetry by late great American writer Sylvia Plath. The poem questions our perceptions of the world, whether we are truly aware of what we can …

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New approach to media content regulation

Last week, the Egyptian Shoura Coucil (The Upper House of Parliament) demanded a review of the media code of ethics to examine the codes that control the content of the video clips shown on the specialized music satellite channels. The question is: do we need to review the codes and articles to decide which videos, …

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Working against the problem, not each other

In the years since 9/11, war and terrorism have led to much discussion over whether a clash of civilizations is occurring between the United States and the Muslim world. This turmoil, however, has inspired many others to work even harder to promote dialogue and understanding between our cultures. Ordinary Americans and people of the Muslim …

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The fate of two-state solution hangs on Jerusalem

Immediately after last November s Annapolis conference, Israel declared its intention to construct 307 new housing units in the Har Homa settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, in addition to building new settlements in the Almatar and Sheikh Jarrah areas of the city. Thus, Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert – who announced before the conference that he …

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INTERVIEW: Zidan revels in right decision, Abou Trika looks back

ACCRA: In 2006 Mohamed Zidan chose club over country and missed out on Egypt’s African Nations Cup win in Cairo. Fast forward two years to Accra on Sunday and the Hamburg striker was right in the thick of the Pharoahs’ successful title defence. Zidan set up Mohamed Abou Trika for the decisive 77th-minute goal in …

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Abou Trika lifts champions Egypt to record sixth African crown

ACCRA: Egypt retained their African Nations Cup crown Sunday when Mohamed Abou Trika scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Cameroon which also delivered a record sixth title. The defending champions ensured they held on to the trophy when, after a slick passing movement, Abou Trika struck in the 77th minute for a …

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Peace through Superior Football

When it comes to wishing for peace in the Middle East – virtually a New Year’s tradition ¬- one needs to be careful. So many hopes have vanished in the bitter failure of so many negotiations. But we have a wish for the Middle East – one that, while perhaps not bringing peace, can create …

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Cross-cultural conversations through theatre

I recently became the education coordinator for The Culture Project, a non-profit theatre company in Manhattan, whose mission is to bear witness to injustice by maximizing artistic resources to stimulate challenging conversation about the most profound and urgent matters of our time. Some of these issues include exposing innocent people wrongfully imprisoned on death row, …

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Healing Separation

In October 2006, a group of women from the Holy Land gathered in Colorado to co-create a Middle Eastern village experience-living, eating, and learning together. The women came from a wide variety of backgrounds: Jewish (several were religious,others secular and some pagan), Arab (Druze, Muslim, Christian and pagan), as well as women from the US …

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One Internet cut explained, but four others still a mystery

CAIRO: A ship s anchor severed one undersea Internet cable damaged last week, it was revealed on Thursday amid ongoing outages in the Middle East and South Asia, but mystery shrouds what caused another four reported cuts. There has been speculation that five cables being cut in almost as many days was too much of …

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Adorn yourself

Hana Elawadi didn’t plan on being a jewelry designer; she studied International Business. This whole enterprise was somewhat of an accident, albeit a very happy one. Elawadi used to take apart cheap jewelry so that she could tie and glue it back together in a way she found more pleasing to wear herself. She never …

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Shoppers' alert: Sadness impairs ability to spend wisely

If you re sad and shopping, watch your wallet; a new study shows people s spending judgment goes out the window when they re down, especially if they re a bit self-absorbed. Study participants who watched a sadness-inducing video clip offered to pay nearly four times as much money to buy a water bottle than …

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SCA accidentally gets back stolen antiquities

CAIRO: January is normally a quiet month in the news world, with most of us bedded down waiting for the first signs of spring to appear, but in the world of cultural heritage, events have been taking place at a staggering pace. Mummies have been discovered, museums have opened, plans announced, stolen objects returned and …

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An alliance of civilizations?

The first International Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, conceived as an antidote to the idea that the world is doomed to a “clash of civilizations, recently met in Madrid and revealed that there is more than a grain of truth in Robert Kagan’s idea that Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus. Ever …

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Religion and art, outrage or opportunity

In 1989, a photograph called Piss Christ by Andres Serrano, which depicted a crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist’s urine, was on show at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The exhibition received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NEA has yet to recover from …

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With a Grain of Salt: Confiscated Books at the Fair

The best way to promote any book is to confiscate it. It’s a rule of thumb for writers whose books were banned and hence made huge sales unofficially because, according to another universal principal, forbidden fruit tastes sweetest. In the 1980s it was rumored in our literary circles that there was this one author who …

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Egypt dump Ivory Coast and eye sixth title

KUMASI, Ghana: Defending champions Egypt took aim at a sixth African Nations Cup title on Thursday when they defeated Ivory Coast 4-1 in the semi-finals to set-up a final showdown on Sunday against Cameroon. Cameroon, the four-time champions, earlier edged hosts Ghana 1-0 in the other semi-final in Accra. Sunday s final will be a …

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