Vivian Salama

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Latest by Vivian Salama


WEF highlights regional image problem

CAIRO: Some 1,200 leaders from the Arab world and beyond are due in Sharm El-Sheikh this morning to kick off the World Economic Forum. Under the theme “The Promise of a New Generation, President Hosni Mubarak is due to inaugurate the summit, the first “Davos to be held in Egypt. As with previous WEF conferences, …

Vivian Salama

Judicial committee makes ruling in judges' disciplinary hearing

CAIRO: Journalist and human rights activist Saed Ragab walks swiftly through the streets of downtown Cairo. We have to keep walking or they ll see me, he says. He turns left, then right, then left again when suddenly he ducks into a small café. While scouting the restaurant as though looking for someone, he makes …

Vivian Salama

Ayman Nour heading back to court

CAIRO: As citizens of Cairo brace themselves for what is likely to be yet another round of solidarity protests for judges Mahmoud Mekki and Hesham El-Bastawisy tomorrow, another familiar face of the opposition heads back to court. Nearly five months after the Cairo’s Court of Cassation handed down his sentence, El-Ghad party leader and presidential …

Vivian Salama

Report cites concerns surrounding U.S. military aid to Egypt

CAIRO: As Egypt s western allies begin to express displeasure over hindrances toward democratic advancements, the effectiveness of U.S. military aid to Egypt has been questioned in a congressional report released last week The Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress s watchdog agency, cited the challenges of monitoring precisely how the military aid is being used. …

Vivian Salama

Police turn to violence during solidarity protests for judges

CAIRO: Violence broke out at a number of locations across the city as police attempted to disperse solidarity protests for two judges facing disciplinary hearings for exposing incidents of electoral fraud. Activists were dragged and beaten by plain-clothed police clutching batons, and several were forcibly escorted into nearby buildings. Protests mobilized in at least three …

Vivian Salama

Judges due back in court on fraud claims

CAIRO: Two judges accused of exposing alleged occurrences of vote rigging by other magistrates during last year’s parliamentary elections are due back in court today. A disciplinary hearing will be held for Hisham Al-Bastawisy and Mahmoud Mekki, both of whom were stripped of their judicial immunity after sounding the whistle on elections they say were …

Vivian Salama

Desert village Pushes to become lush farmland

ALI MUBARAK, Egypt: It’s 11 am and Omayna Yousseff Abdel Aziz has already had a full days work. The bananas have been picked and left to soak up water from a running hose. The grapes are purple, not green and have been washed. She has visited the nearby supermarket which her friend Samia owns and …

Vivian Salama

Opposition says reform moving in the wrong direction

CAIRO: In this era of Middle Eastern politics, the Egyptian populace has responded in a flurry to last week’s decision to extend the Emergency Law, now in effect for a quarter-century. The move, which comes some eight months after Egypt’s first ever open elections since the dethroning of the monarchy in 1952, has threatened to …

Vivian Salama

Egyptian program "anti-America," says Israel media watch group

CAIRO: An Israeli media watch group is accusing Egyptian television of promoting anti-American messages on its airwaves. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a right wing organization based in Jerusalem, is reporting that the Egyptian Channel 1 program Man in the Era of Globalization, starring Egyptian actor Salah El-Saadani, carries anti-American hate propaganda. In its advisory, PMW …

Vivian Salama

Opposition voices anger over renewal of Emergency Laws

CAIRO: With only days to go until the expiration of Egypt’s highly controversial Emergency Law, the Parliament Sunday passed a measure to extend the legislation for another two years. Condemned for its authorization of sweeping arrests and detentions by Egyptian national security, the Emergency Law is viewed by critics as a tool to stifle any …

Vivian Salama

Police questions 30 in connection with bombings

DAHAB, Egypt: Police were questioning some 30 people yesterday in connection with the attacks. Security officials say three of those being detained, three computer engineers. They are identified as Moumen Farouk Mohammed, Ali Karim Ashraf Abdallah and Maged Ali Mahmoud, and arrived at the resort on Sunday and left an hour after the attacks. The …

Vivian Salama

Ten people arrested following bombings

DAHAB, Egypt: Ten people have been arrested in connection with three powerful explosions that rocked the Red Sea resort town of Dahab as vacationers wrapped up a long holiday break. The consecutive blasts were all within 200 feet of one another and left some 24 people dead and at least 150 injured, according to the …

Vivian Salama

Women's activists petition for abandoned women

CAIRO: For Mervet Mahmoud Awees, her unwavering commitment to family provided little in return. Married some 20 years ago, Awees’s husband would abandon her and her five children, often for days at a time. When he did return, he would frequently beat her, occasionally in public. He’d even go so far as to sometimes stab …

Vivian Salama

Christians voice concerns following Church stabbing

CAIRO: On this the fourth day of Pascha, the holiest week in Christian Orthodoxy, spirituality for some has taken a back seat to civil unrest. Hurling rocks and bottles at security forces, Copts in Alexandria took to the streets for a fourth consecutive day claiming they are the victims of discrimination and inequality by the …

Vivian Salama

Violence and confusion take over Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA: In the Cidi Bishr section of the city, parishioners at the Saints Church pushed through wooden barriers and security guards to receive a Palm Sunday blessing. As Egypt s Coptic Christians commemorated the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem just days before his execution, it was the death of an elderly parishioner Thursday night …

Vivian Salama

Changing futures one song at a time

CAIRO: Politicians, humanitarians, celebrities and students gathered in Cairo’s grand Opera House Thursday night to celebrate local and international efforts for building bridges of peace and understanding. First Lady Suzanne Mubarak was on hand to debut a new national initiative for peace, called “Together Toward a Peaceful and Safe Society. The program, set to officially …

Vivian Salama

Cornerstone laid for education campus in El-Marg

EL MARG, Egypt: In this shanty northern Cairo town, children can be seen at all hours of the day running barefoot through the dusty streets playing football. Alongside one match, a narrow branch of the Nile is overflowing with garbage. Some 350,000 people call El-Marg home and, of those, a great majority are children. Due …

Vivian Salama

Better sanitation for Upper Egypt schools

CAIRO: “I am a toothbrush! yells a 10-year old girl role-playing before her classmates in the Upper Egypt village of Farshout. “I protect my teeth from cavities and I keep my breath smelling fresh! “I wash my hands, I wash my face, I wash my head and I wash my body, yells another girl, the …

Vivian Salama

Latest attempt to license Al-Wassat fails

CAIRO: The latest attempt by moderate Islamist group Al-Wassat to obtain an official license for their party has fallen short. This is the fourth failed attempt by the group in 10 years to acquire a license, despite optimism from its founder that the group would succeed in their bid. The Political Parties Court, a semi-governmental …

Vivian Salama

Court gives the right for legal recognitions of Baha'I religion

CAIRO: Egyptians affiliated with the Baha i Faith are celebrating a legal victory after the country s Administrative Court ruled their religion can legally be recognized in official documents. The ruling stems from a 2004 lawsuit filed by an Egyptian Baha i couple after their children s documents were seized, allegedly by the Civil Status …

Vivian Salama

Representing Egypt

CAIRO: As part of the ongoing effort to lure a record 16 million tourists by 2014, the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) has paired up with private advertising companies to launch an aggressive domestic and international campaign showcasing Egypt as a leading destination. Under the auspices of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, Minister of Tourism Zoheir Garranah …

Vivian Salama

Demining for development

Since the end of World War II, some 8,000 people have died as a result of active landmines in Egypt s North Coast and Western Desert. Over the past 60 years, ordnance in both Sinai and the Western Desert have served as an impediment to developmental projects that might otherwise function as alleviation to Egypt …

Vivian Salama

Egyptian media and the road to democracy

CAIRO: Since the dawn of satellite television across the Arab world, the media has taken on a more combative role in its review of government, once the absolute force behind what was reported. Arab governments in recent years have been forced to take a hard look at their tactics for dealing with the media, as …

Vivian Salama

Looks, not sexual preference

CAIRO: Once upon a time, men were expected to appear rugged, even when looking their best. It was acceptable and almost anticipated for anyone with a Y-chromosome to remain stubble-faced, with dirty fingernails and monotonous attire. That was until the advent of what New Yorkers like to call the metrosexual. Metrosexuality is often confused with …

Vivian Salama

The dangers of digging for the truth

CAIRO: It was hard not to feel giddy Thursday afternoon when the breaking news bulletin crossed that American journalist Jill Carroll had been released. Even though she was at one time based in Cairo, I don t know her, I ve never met her and there s a good chance I never will. For many …

Vivian Salama

UN Resident Coordinator reflects on five year's of service in Egypt

CAIRO: Sometimes, there just are not enough hours in a day, especially when your life s work is dedicated to tackling the social and developmental problems in Egypt. For the past 25 years, that s exactly what Antonio Vigilante has done across the globe. As the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to …

Vivian Salama

UN launches program seeking to aid human development

CAIRO: In keeping with this year s United Nations Human Development Report and the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations network launched the UN Development Assistant Framework (UNDAF) in partnership with the Egyptian government. A memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday between UN Resident Coordinator Antonio Vigilante and Egypt s Minister of International Cooperation, Fayza …

Vivian Salama

Development using faith

CAIRO: The face of Islam has evolved over the past few years to keep up with growing antagonism and rapid globalization. With a presence in all four hemispheres, and a target audience of the fastest growing religion in the world with some 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide, preachers are struggling to find their niche in this …

Vivian Salama

Concerns over the looming expiration of the Emergency Law

CAIRO: Egypt’s opposition groups are responding skeptically to an announcement made by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif this week that the government will lift the 25-year-old Emergency Law. Highly condemned for its authorization of sweeping arrests and detentions by Egyptian national security, the legislation came in force following the assassination of President Anwar El-Sadat. Nazif says …

Vivian Salama

National Book Program brings libraries to Egyptian public schools

CAIRO: The statistics are harrowing. In Egypt, some 35 percent of the population cannot read and write, placing Egypt among the top 10 countries worldwide with the highest illiteracy rates, according to the United Nations. For most of the programs developed to combat this crisis, children have been at the core. Most recently, more than …

Vivian Salama