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With a grain of salt

Blair’s breakfast in bed! When I met Tony Blair on his first visit to Cairo a few months after he became Prime Minister, he paused when I asked him: “As Prime Minister of Great Britain, what do you miss the most? He thought about it for a while, his famous smile slowly fading away, and …

Daily News Egypt

Resolution 194 may cut both ways for refugees

In the course of the 1948-1949 Arab-Israeli war, about 700,000 Arabs were either expelled by the Israelis from territory it held or left their homes at the request of the Arab states. As Khaled al-Azm, then prime minister of Syria, recalled in his 1973 memoirs, “Since 1948 we have been demanding that the refugees return …

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A man who helped push the Middle East into chaos

In May 1997 Tony Blair was swept into power on an enormous wave of optimism. Britain’s youngest prime minister since 1812, his approval ratings were the highest of any postwar British leader. He won three elections, two of which, prior to the Iraq war, were landslides. Yet tomorrow, 10 years on, Blair will leave office, …

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From women's empowerment to peace

JERUSALEM: The academic year of 1995-1996 was most eventful for Israelis. November saw the assassination of our Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and several months later, a spate of bus bombings led to the election of Netanyahu. In November, shortly after the murder, and then again in May, the Ecumenical Institute at Tantur, overlooking Jerusalem on …

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A fading craft finds a new market abroad

CAIRO: The flat across the dusty alley from Ahmed Naguib Ahmed’s appliqué workshop is a makeshift warehouse filled with unsold work from craftsmen throughout the neighborhood of Al-Khayamiyya Street, “Tent Maker’s Alley, beyond Bab Zuweila. The walk-up’s largest room is filled with massive rolls of tent and textile fabric that are the namesake of this …

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Anti-smoking elicits mixed reactions

CAIRO: The new anti-smoking bill passed by parliament last week, though much-awaited by many, was received with disgruntlement by many others. The bill finally banned smoking for minors (citizens under the age of 18), indoor smoking, smoking in health and educational organizations, youth centers, legislative associations and any governmental authorities or clubs. According to a …

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Cairo conference endorses comprehensive Arab regional strategy on violence against children

CAIRO: Firm commitment to further advance efforts to fight violence against children throughout the Arab region and renewed pledges to enhance national infrastructures to eradicate its diverse manifestations was reiterated here, as the 3-day conference on the subject reached its conclusion today. The final declaration, which includes a proposal to develop an Arab strategy to …

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Cairo-Tashkent first direct airline starts Tuesday

CAIRO: The first direct and regular airline linking the Egyptian and Uzbek capitals will start operation next Tuesday, announced Atta Bek Merza Mohamedov, deputy director of the Uzbek national carrier s office in Cairo. The maiden flight run by Uzbekistan Airways is scheduled to land at Cairo International Airport next Tuesday at 21:30 Cairo time, …

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Fatah and Hamas fight it out on the virtual battleground

CAIRO: Away the streets of Gaza, the infighting between Hamas and Fatah has moved to a new battleground – that of the internet. Aside from the conventional electronic warfare on each group s website, on YouTube, the popular video uploading site owned by Google, supporters of each faction engage in yet another type of armed …

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'Unite against Zionist enemy,' Egypt's Bar Association tells Palestinians

CAIRO: Under the slogan Resistance versus Surrender the Egyptian Bar Association hosted a public seminar Wednesday to address the latest escalations in Palestine. The goal of the conference, as Lawyers’ Syndicate member Gamal Tag said is to call upon the Palestinians to unite against the Zionist enemy and stop inner clashes that only serve to …

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Cairo bids farewell to another promising conductor

The frustrations, disappointments and highlights of conductor Steven Lloyd’s time at the Cairo Opera House The Cairo Symphony Orchestra will soon be saying goodbye to Musical Director and Principal Conductor Steven Lloyd, who will leave his post at the Cairo Opera House on Saturday. His departure has compelled the 36-year-old maestro to speak candidly about …

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Big plans for a little publishing house

“It all began in jail, says Mohammed El Sharqawi. “The government had put a lot of bloggers in jail and so we talked together about starting a publishing house to spread our work. “It was supposed to be a kind of collective, but I ended up being the only one who followed through. Scheduled to …

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Iran's and Syria's plan: an interpretation

Many Lebanese, particularly in the majority camp, have been preoccupied with the court being set up to try suspects in the assassination of the late Rafik Hariri. The resignation of Serge Brammertz from the International Criminal Court to devote himself full-time to the upcoming Hariri trial suggests there is something there for them to look …

Daily News Egypt

UN Cairo office marks anti-drug day

CAIRO: As part of the campaign against substance abuse, the United Nations Information Center marked international anti-drug day with a conference at their Cairo office on Tuesday. Maher Nasser, manager of the United Nations Information Center, Mohammed Abd El Aziz, manager of the regional drug office and Dean Medhat Zaky, general manager of the public …

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Mubarak stresses need for Palestinian unity in Sharm summit

Olmert makes goodwill pledges SHARM EL-SHEIKH: The Israeli prime minister announced Monday a package of pledges as a sign of good will to bolster the rule of the Palestinian president in the West Bank after Hamas take over of the Gaza Strip. At the Egypt-hosted four-party peace summit, Ehud Olmert promised to release around 250 …

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Somalia Needs a 'Reconciliation Readiness' Program

Somalia’s decision to delay yet again the National Reconciliation Congress comes as no surprise. The Transitional Federal Government’s (TFG) latest attempt at reconciliation was foiled long before the first session of congress began. While many fingers point to Mogadishu’s boycotting majority, the Hawiye clan, whose demands were not met prior to the start of congress, …

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PLC International, Corinex Communications win broadband over Powerline Smart Village Project with MCIT

PLC International and Corinex Communications announced today that they have won the bid for a Powerline based Smart Village in Cairo. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) chose PLC International Inc. integrating Corinex equipment after two RFP processes and extensive technology evaluation. Phase one comprises of three Buildings interconnected over the Medium Voltage …

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Egyptian delegation to join World Dental Congress

CAIRO: The Annual World Dental Congress to be held in Dubai next October invited members of the Egyptian dental community to attend a press conference on June 24. Egypt is a very important station in the Arab world . this is the first time FDI (Fédération Dentaire Internationale) holds a conference in the Mena region, …

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From radicalism to Sufism, one man's spiritual journey

If you have ever wondered how Western nations such as Great Britain can cultivate home-grown radical Muslims, you should read Ed Husain’s autobiography “The Islamist. Husain comes from a close, middle class, law-abiding Muslim family, but within five years he becomes an angry, detached, “jihadist activist. Husain’s parents are both spiritual and observant but non-politicized. …

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Safwat El-Sherif speaker of the Shoura Council, again

CAIRO: The Shoura Council unanimously re-elected Safwat El-Sherif as the speaker of the council on Tuesday. We chose him because of his accomplishments during the first term as president, said Mohamed Khalil Kwaitah, a ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) MP. When asked why there weren t any rivals for El-Sherif, even from the NDP, Kwaitah …

Daily News Egypt

Contain Hamas by giving Palestinians a better life

A fundamental question faces those seeking to calm the latest round of conflict in the Palestinian territories. How is it possible for Hamas to emerge as a powerful political force at a time when regional states and the international community are opposing the movement? Primary attention focuses on the gruesome daily quality of life plaguing …

Daily News Egypt

Deter a nuclear Iran, but an attack would be disastrous

The Bush administration may live in a bubble of “unreality, regarding its foreign policy in Iraq, but neoconservatives inhabit a parallel universe on Iran. Unbelievably, despite the fact that the American quagmire in Iraq has greatly weakened the United States’ position vis-à-vis Iran, the neocons are pushing for military action against that theocratic regime. According …

Daily News Egypt

Massimo D'Alema, don't betray Lebanon

By a strange twist of fate, the blast that killed Lebanese parliamentarian Walid Eido, his son, and several others last week almost coincided with the visit to Damascus by Oliviero Diliberto, an Italian parliamentarian and leader of the Italian communists, who are in the ruling coalition. The coincidence of a European dignitary’s visit to Damascus …

Daily News Egypt

Southern hemisphere not spotting Atlantis-ISS space tandem

CAIRO: Space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station (ISS) were visible from earth in some cities in the northern hemisphere as Atlantis undocked from the international outpost before its Saturday landing. Astrophysicists from the Egyptian National Research Institute for Astronomy and Geophysics (NIRAG) confirmed that earth observers in the Middle East, Africa, most of …

Daily News Egypt

US donates $24 mln to fight bird flu in Egypt

CAIRO: In the wake of the thirty-seventh bird flu case in humans diagnosed in Egypt, the US government has pledged $24 million to help the country fight the deadly virus, the official spokesperson of the Egyptian Ministry of Health, Dr Abd Al Rahman Shahin told The Daily Star Egypt. The details of the agreement will …

Daily News Egypt

Thanaweya amma saga continues

CAIRO: In a report revealed to the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm dated November 2003, the paper claimed that the high school thanweya amma board has been in violation of standard regulations for years. First and second degree relatives of students are not allowed to take part in the marking or invigilating process, a rule that has …

Daily News Egypt

MP files complaint against democracy advocate Saad Eddin Ibrahim

CAIRO: Shoura Council member Nabil Louqa Bibawi recently filed a complaint to the public prosecutor under penal code 77-D against democracy advocate Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Ibrahim told The Daily Star Egypt. Ibrahim has not been yet been officially charged by the state prosecutor with “harming Egypt’s economic interests and “espionage for a foreign state or …

Daily News Egypt

Congratulations, you won the lottery!

Victims of worldwide Internet scams tell their sorry tales CAIRO: Have you ever been the victim of a cyber-scam? Sayyed Masry has. One day the self-proclaimed netizen won $ 500,000 – at least according to a message in his yahoo inbox. “At last my luck struck, he recalls his feeling at the time. The message …

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No breakthrough in Sharm summit, say observers

SHARM EL-SHEIKH: In the Red Sea Resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, the Egyptian, Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli leaders convened Monday in a show of solidarity with President Mahmoud Abbas as the sole legitimate Palestinian leader. The summit also launched a new phase of Israeli-Palestinian talks following the Hamas takeover of Gaza. The Sharm El-Sheikh talks come …

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An 'incongruous' force enters Darfur

There is, at last, a “breakthrough in the crisis in Darfur. The Sudanese government has given “unconditional acceptance to a 20,000-strong force of United Nations and African Union peacekeepers. Under proposals put forward by UN and AU planners, the force will have a strong mandate and a protection capability. This is the force that Darfurians …

Daily News Egypt