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The Arab world's love-hate relationship with St. Valentine

CAIRO: Whether you’ve chosen to run through the streets professing your joy, or lock yourself in a closet, Valentine’s Day is once again upon us. Viewed by many as a “Hallmark Holiday, as it is called in the United States, named after the country’s largest greeting card maker, cupid has made his mark on lovebirds …

Vivian Salama

Students at Al-Azhar University protest cartoons lampooning prophet

CAIRO: Thousands of Al-Azhar University students demonstrated Monday at their campuses in Cairo and the southern city of Assiut, denouncing the caricatures of Islam s prophet and warning that those who published the drawings have opened the gates of hell on themselves. The protests at Al-Azhar University, the oldest and most important seat of Sunni …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Egypt frees last remaining Sudanese protestors

CAIRO: Egypt said Sunday it had freed the last 156 Sudanese who had been detained and threatened with expulsion after police brutally broke up a Cairo sit-in demanding resettlement. The foreign ministry said in a statement that the Sudanese in the last batch to be released were not entitled to refugee status and were technically …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Rights groups slam interior ministers' call to close websites

CAIRO: Human rights groups have condemned a recent proposal by the Council of Arab Interior Ministers aimed at giving member governments wide scope to ban websites suspected of supporting terrorism . Activists say legislation permitting such bans will be used as an excuse to clamp down on websites not favored by authorities. This development is …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

In the event of an emergency

CAIRO: If there is one thing critics say was revealed following last week’s tragic Red Sea ferry accident that left as many as 1,000 people dead, it is the lack of a concrete emergency plans from the government as well as the Al-Salam Company. One week later, conflicting remarks and accusations between the government, the …

Vivian Salama

Human rights groups investigate shipping disaster

CAIRO: Alongside an official government investigation, local human rights groups have launched a parallel inquiry into the circumstances under which a ferry sank in the Red Sea on Feb. 3. We ve sent a delegation to the ports of Safaga and Hurghada to investigate the incident and question those responsible, said Tarek Zaghloul of the …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Nour's wife denied visitation rights

CAIRO: Ayman Nour’s wife and El-Ghad party spokesman, Gamilla Ismail, was prevented from visiting her husband, who is currently in the midst of his sentence in Tora Mazraa Prison; Ismail claims the bar was meant to prevent Nour from submitting articles he had written for the El-Ghad newspaper. Ismail said she had a written permit …

Pakinam Amer

Captain refused to help sinking Red Sea ferry

CAIRO: The captain of a Red Sea ferry has admitted that he steered clear of a doomed ship that sank between Saudi Arabia and Egypt last week, leaving at least 1,000 people feared dead, rather than help rescue survivors so as not to endanger his own passengers. I took the decision not to turn around …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Survivors' stories of crew bungling fuel anger, calls for investigation

SAFAGA, Egypt: First came the frantic banging on Sayed Abdul Hakim s cabin door. Fire! Fire! he heard people yelling. Then smoke boiled through the corridors as terrified passengers scrambled to reach the ferry deck. Everything is under control, crew members told passengers, according to survivors like Abdul Hakim. Abdul Muhsin Rayan, a 35-year-old Egyptian …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Press Round-up

CAIRO: With follow-up stories regarding Al-Wafd’s continuing ban gradually shifting out of the public eye, Egypt’s tragic ferry accident, where more than 1,000 are feared to have perished, has dominated the headlines. The Red Sea ferry, returning from Saudi Arabia, sunk early Friday, killing most of its passengers. The ferry had been carrying around 1,400 …

Pakinam Amer

Rights groups question handling of ship disaster

CAIRO: Indignation is growing over the circumstances under which a passenger ship sank in the Red Sea last week. Critics of the government have questioned the ship’s seaworthiness, the slow pace of rescue efforts and the lack of information provided to victims’ families. The Al-Salam Bocaccio 89 was carrying 1,414 passengers, mostly Egyptian workers, from …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Mohammed cartoon reactions reflect core value conflict: Danish PM

COPENHAGEN: Irate Muslim reactions to the publication of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed reflect a global conflict between core values, Denmark s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday. We are now witnessing a heated public debate here in Denmark and Europe as well as in Muslim countries. It is evident that we are dealing …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Promoting regional cooperation

CAIRO: In a bid to provide assistance to countries in need, the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs has stepped up efforts to support and aid the growth of neighboring third-world countries. Egypt’s latest stab at support has led the country in extending a helping hand to Afghanistan as part of international efforts to reconstruct the …

Najla Moussa

Mubarak warns of terrorist threat over prophet cartoons

CAIRO: President Hosni Mubarak warned Thursday that the reprinting by several European newspapers of cartoons deemed offensive to Islam risked provoking a terrorist backlash. The president warned of the near and long term repercussions (of the) campaign of insults against the noble Prophet, Mubarak s spokesman said in a statement in English. Irresponsible management of …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

WHO declares country polio free

CAIRO: Egypt has been declared polio-free for the first time ever by the World Health Organization (WHO). Over a year has passed since the last sample of polio was found here, says Faten Kamel, a medical officer with the WHO polio program in Cairo. We can safely say that we have successfully eradicated polio in …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Press Syndicate discusses press freedom, honors three journalists

CAIRO: Following several incidents regarding Egyptian journalists, the press syndicate put together a closed discussion on the status of press freedom and its future in Egypt, honoring three “courageous journalists. Over the past few months, harassment of reporters and press personnel has contradicted all expectations of a free press. The ruling party assured the public …

Pakinam Amer

Bani Mazar killings provoke nationwide speculation

CAIRO: In yet a new twist in the case of the killing spree that took place in Shams El Din Bani Mazar in El Menia that rocked the country, the accused murderer’s family has finally spoken out, confirming popular belief that the man standing trial is not the same person that killed 10 people. According …

Najla Moussa

Fourteen Hong Kong tourists killed in Egypt bus crash

CAIRO: Fourteen tourists from Hong Kong were killed and 30 others wounded in a bus accident Tuesday in southeastern Egypt, the official MENA news agency reported. The bus, carrying the tourists from the Red Sea resort of Hurghada to the southern Nile city of Luxor, was going at high speed when it spun off the …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Giving kids something to smile about

CAIRO: For the 3,000 Egyptian children born annually with a cleft lip or a cleft palate, life is fraught with hardship. They are unable to nurse and their speech is impaired. Sinus and ear infections are a regular occurrence. Ingestion becomes complicated as those suffering from this birth defect have trouble keeping food in their …

Vivian Salama

Fighting dirty money

CAIRO: Since the introduction of the money laundering law of 2002 in Egypt, about 12 perpetrators have been caught, according to sources at the Ministry of Interior. The country has also become an international partner in cooperative efforts aimed at money laundry, with last week marking its most recent participation in financial corruption talks. Representatives …

Sarah El Sirgany

To look or not to look

CAIRO: Heated debates between Islamic scholars have been running rampant after a religious decree was issued by an Egyptian cleric claiming that nudity during sexual intercourse invalidates a marriage. According to the controversial fatwa by Rashad Hassan Khalil, a former dean of Al-Azhar University s faculty of Shar’ia (Islamic law), being completely naked during the …

Najla Moussa

Criticism leveled at NGOs unjustified

CAIRO: Egyptian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) conducting human rights work are in a bind these days. With local sources of funding almost non-existent, they are being forced to turn to foreign organizations for the funds to pay their expenses. But foreign money has some inherent complications; it opens them up to accusations of being unpatriotic and …

Daily News Egypt

Refugee study programs seek to build awareness

CAIRO: “You are governor of a refugee hosting province. The province has received refugees from different neighboring countries for a long time. About 10 years ago there was a large scale influx that coincided with an economic crisis in your country and a drought further inland, read the first paragraph of an assignment given to …

Sarah El Sirgany

Middle East, North Africa risk HIV/AIDS epidemic

CAIRO: It was 1986 when the first case of HIV was reported in Egypt. The patient, a man in his 20s, was quarantined against his will at one of Egypt’s local fever hospitals. Reluctant to stay, the infected patient attempted to escape. A hospital security guard shot him down in cold blood. Another case surfaced …

Vivian Salama

Airport detentions source of humiliation

NEWARK, New Jersey: For years, Egyptian native Mohamed Younes protested the questioning and detention of Muslim and Arab-American air travelers when they were stopped at airports on security grounds. Now, it has happened to him. An elder in Paterson’s Muslim community – and a close friend of top FBI officials in New Jersey – Younes …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

AUC names scholarship in honor of first lady

CAIRO: The American University in Cairo (AUC) announced that it is establishing a scholarship for public school students in honor of First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, an alumna of AUC.The scholarship, which was announced by AUC President David D.Arnold at the university’s annual Alumni Gala, is a tribute to Mrs. Mubarak’s accomplishments as a leader for …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

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