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My first year as Secretary-General

I have not sat still this year. From the very first day that I took office, I have been on the go – engaging leaders in their capitals and across the UN community to push progress on four main fronts: UN Reform. We need to change the UN culture and re-engineer the United Nations for …

Daily News Egypt

Ghettoizing Identity

Once, as I picked up the Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen at his hotel, the receptionist asked me if I was his driver. After hesitating, I nodded yes. Among my various identities that day, that of driver was the most obvious to her. This sense of multiple identities is something that Sen himself highlighted mischievously …

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The making of a murder in Pakistan

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the first Muslim woman to lead a Muslim country, is a serious blow to Pakistan’s prospects for democracy and, indeed, its viability as a state. As chaos and confusion set in, we should not lose sight of President Pervez Musharraf’s partial responsibility for this turn of events. At the very …

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Jerusalem above all? Not at all

Hanukkah and the Annapolis conference apparently caused some hysteria among the self-appointed guardians of Jerusalem. In recent weeks, it has been almost impossible to tune in to any of the stations of Israel Radio without hearing one of two commercials, both of which seek to strengthen the ties between the (Jewish) people living in Zion …

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Workers do not eat fruits

The year 2007 witnessed heightened activism among the Egyptian workers and a record in the number of sit-ins, strikes and peaceful demonstrations. The common denominator is definitely an increasingly deteriorating situation of those workers who suffer from poverty, low wages, bad work conditions, the lack of safety measures, an ineffective insurance system, and a growing …

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Prerequisites for peace

As one who for decades has supported a two-state solution and the non-violent struggle for Palestinian rights, I view the recent conference in Annapolis with a great deal of skepticism-and a glimmer of hope. Seven years with no negotiations – and increasing numbers of Israeli settlers, an economic blockade in Gaza and an intricate network …

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With a Grain of Salt : Incomplete Joy

I rarely find any coverage in the US media of one recurring crisis in Palestine. Whenever the Israeli occupation forces evict Palestinians from their homes for one of two reasons, either to annex their land which will become part of the state of Israel, as is the case in Jerusalem, thus the notable shrinking of …

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Entrepreneurial initiatives that made a difference

In the middle of breaking business news – mergers, acquisitions, IPOs and expansions – smaller entrepreneurial initiatives often pass unnoticed. Many of these innovative projects, however, do have an impact, whether by combating information monopoly, providing alternatives for entertainment activities or getting high quality food delivered right to our doors. Introducing leisure games to the …

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Advertising in 2007: PR campaigns win first place

With all the new satellite channels, radio stations, print magazines and newspapers coming out every day, in addition to the emergence of new media and technologies for advertising, it’s becoming difficult to follow and analyze all the messages sent out to the public. It is becoming equally challenging for a particular campaign to stand out …

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Pakistan after Bhutto

The assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has brought Pakistan’s state of turmoil to new heights. As head of the nation’s most popular political party, Bhutto largely transcended Pakistan’s ethnic and sectarian divides. Her return from exile in October was seen as a step toward curbing the country’s dangerous fragmentation; her murder shatters those …

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Nuclear Targets

Nuclear facilities as military targets? The drumbeat appears to be growing louder. Western leaders repeatedly declare that no option is off the table to stem Iran’s nuclear ambitions. And, in mid-November, London’s Sunday Times reported that Israel put defenses around its Dimona nuclear reactor on “red alert 30 times, as worries grew that Syria would …

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The Case for Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Last fall, the United Kingdom issued a major government report on global climate change directed by Sir Nicholas Stern, a top-flight economist. The Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change amounts to a call to action: it argues that huge future costs of global warming can be avoided by incurring relatively modest cost …

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Avoiding responsibility

The Israeli demand to be recognized as a Jewish state was not only one of the main reasons for the failure of the Annapolis conference, it was one of the most controversial issues of the negotiations. This demand is rejected by Palestinians and all Arab governments. Hence, the support for the Israeli position on this …

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Death toll in Alex building rises to 19

ALEXANDRIA: Rescuers pulled seven more bodies early on Wednesday out of the rubble of a 12-storey building which collapsed in Alexandria, bringing the death toll to 19, a senior police official said. A couple in their 40s were the latest to be extracted from the debris, said Major General Kamal El-Dali, the head of the …

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Government compensates Copts for damaged property

CAIRO: The government has compensated 17 Copts whose property was damaged by angry Muslims last week in Isna, a local official said Tuesday. Authorities distributed LE 1,265,000 to 17 owners of cars and shops that were damaged in the town of Isna following reports that two Copts pulled down the veil of a Muslim woman …

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Gaafar wants out of Zamalek contract

CAIRO: Mostafa Gaafar is set to end his contract with Zamalek in January, the frozen striker said Tuesday. Gaafar told FilGoal.com that he is ready to pay Zamalek LE 3 million and turn into a free agent. He signed a two-year extension last summer to stay with the Whites until 2011. The 26-year-old forward has …

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Mido boost for Egypt

CAIRO: Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has revealed striker Ahmed Mido Hossam could make his return ahead of schedule and participate in Egypt’s squad in the African Nations Cup. The former England defender said that Mido has resumed trainings after being out for 10 weeks. Mido, who had an excellent start with Boro, has been ruled …

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Al-Saied pens new Ismaili deal

CAIRO: Ismaili winger Abdullah Al-Saied has signed a five-year contract with the club. The 23-year-old is expected to get LE 450,000 in his first season, and an additional LE 50,000 will be added each year, according to an anonymous source from the club. Al-Saied has been linked with a move to Feyenoord last season, but …

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Egypt to copyright pyramids

CAIRO: In a potential blow to themed resorts from Vegas to Tokyo, Egypt is to pass a law requiring payment of royalties whenever its ancient monuments, from the pyramids to the sphinx, are reproduced. Zahi Hawass, the charismatic and controversial head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told AFP that the move was necessary to …

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Sarkozy visits Valley of the Kings

LUXOR: Dressed in casual clothes and riding in a 26-car motorcade, French President Nicolas Sarkozy toured the archeological sites of Luxor with his new girlfriend ex-supermodel Carla Bruni. Hordes of photographers and cameramen followed the motorcade at a distance as it wended its way from the historic Winter Palace Hotel through the town before arriving …

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Time to save the music

This month’s SOS (Save Our Soul) Festival seemed to go off without a hitch, but what else is new? In its seventh installment in just over a year (including a smaller-scale festival that promoted the Stand Against Hunger campaign), SOS has developed quickly. The man behind the idea, musician and founder Mohamed “Ousso Lotfy, said, …

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Sarkozy, girlfriend arrive at Luxor hotel holding hands

LUXOR: Sporting dark sunglasses and holding hands, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his topmodel-turned-singer girlfriend Carla Bruni, arrived in Luxor Tuesday, kicking off a private visit to Egypt. As the couple touched down in Luxor, heavy security prevented media from approaching Sarkozy’s entourage. Sameer Farag, head of Luxor’s Supreme Local Council of antiquities, greeted them …

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Phase 2 of Saudi's Hajj Terminal expansion starts in Jan

JEDDAH: The second phase of the expansion of the Hajj Terminal at King Abdul Aziz International Airport will begin next month after the departure of all pilgrims, reported the Saudi Gazette. Abdullah Raheemy, president of the Civil Aviation Authority, said the expansion would increase the Hajj terminal capacity, the paper reported. In the second phase, …

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From Beatles to Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson, Christmas tunes pay

At the height of their career, the Beatles were not above cashing in on Christmas tunes at the end of the year, a formula that 40 years later still serves well for musical groups from Venezuela to Australia. The seven Christmas albums the Fab Four put out between 1963 and 1969 were condensed into a …

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Will Ex-Mexicans Choose America's Next President?

Among the many surprises during the Republican Party presidential candidates’ debates a couple of weeks ago was the rekindled importance of immigration. After the failure of President George W. Bush’s and Senator Edward Kennedy’s comprehensive immigration reform effort last spring, most observers thought the matter would remain dormant until 2009, since even touching it was …

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The "Browning" of African Technology

Forget MIT. Hello, Tsing Hua University. For Clothilde Tingiri, a hot young programmer at Rwanda’s top software company, dreams of Beijing, not Cambridge, animate her ambitions. Desperate for more education, this fall she plans to attend graduate school for computer science – in China, not America. The Chinese are no strangers to Rwanda. Near Tingiri’s …

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Would that the Walls were Holy

The Jewish, Christian, and Muslim spiritual imaginations vortex around Jerusalem, the holy city. Yet realpolitik and real estate claims converge with equal force and passion on the city. Day-to-day terrestrial life still affords occasional glimpses of heaven here, but the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians over Jerusalem so dominates the landscape that it nearly blinds …

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Basri promises Ittihad survival

ALEXANDRIA: Ittihad new boss Taha Basri has promised to keep the team among the elites despite being second from the bottom at the end of the Egyptian League’s first round. Ittihad have many good players and I m sure they can take the club away from the danger zone, the former Enppi and Ismaili coach …

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