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Will Olmert Rise of Fade Away

However damning Judge Eliyaho Winograd’s report may be regarding the Prime Minister’s conduct of the second war in Lebanon, it would be far more damning and destructive for Israel if the political leaders seeking to replace Mr. Olmert lose sight of Israel’s ultimate national interests. The situation in the Middle East is deteriorating to a …

Daily News Egypt

We devote too much attention to a mostly stagnant Middle East

Why are Middle East experts so unfailingly wrong? The lesson of history is that men never learn from history, but Middle East experts, like the rest of us, should at least learn from their past mistakes. Instead, they just keep repeating them. The first mistake is “five minutes to midnight catastrophism. The late King Hussein …

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Resolving the leadership-public paradox: a consultative approach

JERUSALEM: The exploration of possibilities for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has highlighted a familiar paradox: the uneasy relationship between respective leaders and their publics in the delicate context of peace talks. Today, the limited legitimacy accorded Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas compounds the conundrum. Weak leaders do not have the popular support necessary to …

Daily News Egypt

The vexing paradoxes of China's evolving economy

It is generally agreed that China’s impressive economic achievements during the last three decades are largely the result of the radical reform of its economic system. While private ownership of firms hardly existed when these reforms started, private firms today account for about 60 percent of total production. Ownership, however, is only one dimension of …

Daily News Egypt

A gateway to freedom of which we can do more

More and more young Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa are turning to cyber activism to fight for human rights and intellectual freedom in the region. The Web, the Internet, cyber space, whatever you want to call it, is a hugely powerful tool for the powerless and voiceless in our societies. Thus, while …

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Jerusalem as it should be

JERUSALEM: The Jerusalem issue has long been the centre of the Palestinian-Israeli struggle, and a source of conflict and hostile feelings between the Arab/Muslim world and Israel, and sometimes the whole western world. The symbolic significance of Jerusalem, whether religious, national or political, is often exploited to varyingdegrees by the opposing sides. On the one …

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Egypt lauded, Iraq faulted in child deaths report

Reuters WASHINGTON: Egypt made the most progress among developing countries in cutting deaths of children under age 5 from 1990 to 2005 while Iraq deteriorated the most, a US-based charity said in a report on Tuesday. The humanitarian group Save the Children tracked child mortality trends in 60 developing countries during this period. Twenty either …

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Journalists divided on court decision against Al-Jazeera producer

CAIRO: As the court finally decided on a six-month prison penalty with labor and a fine of LE 20,000 to Al-Jazeera producer Howayda Taha because of her documentary on police brutality “Wara El Shams, journalists and media experts have expressed distinct reactions on the case. Yehia Kallash, the secretary general of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate …

Daily News Egypt

Building collapses, 3 dead, neighboring residents evacuated

CAIRO: Residents from 13 Hart El-Gamal St. of Sayyeda Zeinab are now homeless after their building collapsed early Sunday morning. “The collapse occurred when workers were trying to find out where the cracking noise was coming from, said Kalaat El-Kabsh resident Mohammed Tawfeet, 19. Kalaat El-Kabsh residents of Cairo’s poor suburb, Sayyeda Zeinab were still …

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Women's groups call for greater representation in upcoming Shura elections

CAIRO: The Egyptian Center for Women s Rights (ECWR) will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday on women s participation in the political process. The event aims to shed light on concerns by law and opinion makers in Egypt over the inadequate representation of women in legislative and executive state bodies. Marwa Mokhtar, spokesperson for …

Daily News Egypt

Nine peacekeeping soldiers killed in Sinai plane crash

Associated Press CAIRO: Nine foreign peacekeepers, including French and Canadian soldiers, were killed Sunday when a French plane attached to the Sinai s multinational peacekeeping force crashed in a remote, mountainous area of the desert, the force s spokesman and police said. Force spokesman Normand St. Pierre said as many as eight of the dead …

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New country estimates show heavy toll caused by indoor air pollution

GENEVA: In the 21 worst-affected countries, close to 5 percent of death and disease is caused by indoor air pollution, according to new estimates published by the World Health Organization (WHO). The first-ever country-by-country estimates of the burden of disease due to indoor air pollution highlight the heavy toll solid fuel use takes on the …

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Vladimir Putin has thrived on luck, not on reform

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertive foreign policy stance of recent years reflects the confidence that comes with a booming economy. In 1999, the year before Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin as president, Russia’s GDP was a paltry $200 billion. By last year, it had reached $1 trillion. Real growth has averaged 7 percent for eight years, …

Daily News Egypt

World Bank provides support to reducing industrial pollution

The World Bank last Thursday approved a $20 million loan to finance the second phase of the Second Pollution Abatement Project (SPAP) for the Republic of Egypt. One of the main objectives of SPAP is to demonstrate applicability of market-based instrument for promoting industrial pollution abatement in hotspots located in the areas of Alexandria and …

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A paradigm shift

WASHINGTON: A recurrent excuse that has acted as an obstacle to the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations over the years is that of either the political weakness of the Israeli leader or the political irrelevance of the Palestinian leader, whomever they may be. The underlying assumption of these excuses is that the Israeli and Palestinian publics …

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Sharing Jerusalem: the condominium solution

JEDDAH & PARIS: There will never be a durable peace in the Middle East without a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict acceptable both to most Israelis and to most Palestinians. That is a fact. There will also never be a lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without a solution to the status of Jerusalem acceptable …

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Let's not forget the local concern

JERUSALEM: One of the sad scenarios for Jerusalem s future is its transformation into an undivided, special status city, belonging to neither Israel nor Palestine. The significance of such an outcome, often suggested by those who seek solutions for our region, became clear to me while living in Washington, DC. Washington, created on lands taken …

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America held hostage

Many Americans are unaware that declassified information reveals the CIA helped overthrow an Iranian Prime Minister in 1953 and thwart 1980 hostage negotiations to defeat US President Jimmy Carter. During 1979-1981 the American people were routinely told the reason for the Iran hostage crisis was that President Carter allowed the Shah to visit the US …

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WORD ON THE STREET: What is Egypt's role in Iraq?

The Daily Star Egypt asked citizens about Egypt s role in Iraq. Is the country simply hosting the Iraq conference or is it a regional force to be reckoned with? Egypt hosting of the conference is a strong message to the world that Iraq is an inseparable part of the Arab region and that the …

Daily News Egypt

Sole remaining wonder at the mercy of a click

CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Culture has sent an urgent letter to Koïchiro Matsuura, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) to protest an internet-based voting campaign to select the world’s seven wonders that excluded the Great Pyramids of Giza. Egypt’s Culture Minister, Farouk Hosni dismissed the voting process as “primarily …

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Muslim-chic takes Europe by storm

Reuters Clad in skinny jeans, wrap dresses and carefully sculpted headscarves, a generation of young Muslim women is making its mark on Europe s urban street culture, and influencing mainstream fashion. The daughters of migrants to Europe from Turkey or the Maghreb, these girls say they are as conscious of style as of Islamic dress …

Daily News Egypt

Al Islami Foods enters Egypt

Consolidating its presence in the Middle East, Al Islami Foods, a leading provider of quality halal products, today announced a strategic expansion into Egypt s huge processed food market by launching “The Cart, a unique franchise model for the young entrepreneurs of the region, at the 5th Middle East and North Africa Franchising and Licensing …

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Experiments in electronica

Last Friday night the Goethe Institute and 100Copies Records invited music lovers to sample the best of Cairo’s electronic and experimental music scene. The heavy beats and unnatural sounds of this music were somewhat out of place in the Institute’s quiet Dokki garden, set back from the insanity of city traffic. But attendees seemed to …

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What is it about Western secularism?

Some years ago, the Tunisian Islamist leader-in-exile, Rashid Ghannoushi, wrote a book on public rights in Islam. He pointed out that there were particular historical reasons why Europe had separated religion and state. The church had misused its powers, had stood in the way of scientific progress, and the state had made religion a tool …

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The perils of sectarianism in opposing Iran

Saudi Arabia has undergone a remarkable political rebirth in the past few months, emerging as the Middle East’s most assertive Arab power. Until recently, various internal and international pressures constrained the kingdom’s ability to pursue its interests effectively. Deadly Al-Qaeda-inspired violence, an emboldened domestic reform lobby and the ratcheting up of post-9/11 anti-Saudi hysteria in …

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After the Winograd report, can Olmert survive?

After Israel’s inability last summer to achieve a conclusive victory over Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, public pressure forced Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government to appoint a commission to examine the causes of this surprising failure. How could a small militia, numbering less than a few thousand combatants, survive the onslaught of the Middle East’s most …

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What can be done at Sharm El-Sheikh

No one fears instability and violence in Iraq more than the Iraqis and their neighbors. But mutual suspicions and rivalries, and a lack of US commitment to regional diplomacy, have prevented Iraq and its neighbors from turning common anxieties into a common agenda. However, an emerging regional diplomatic initiative – the focus of this week’s …

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