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Latest in Politics


Remarkable films, no awards

CAIRO: Two films featuring Baghdad as their main topic of choice received no awards during the Cairo International Film Festival: The Night Baghdad Felland Ahlam.The first is a black comedy fantasy, while the latter is a stark look at life in the Iraqi capital. Not to be outdone, India presented a controversial independent production, In …

Sarah El Sirgany

Many honored at film festival

CAIRO: While at work in London, Finnish producer Ilkaa Y. L. Matila received a call from the Cairo International Film Festival saying “he wouldn’t be disappointed if he attended the closing ceremony. Since his film, Mother of Mine,was competing with 14 other movies in the festival, he boarded the first plane to Cairo. He wasn’t …

Sarah El Sirgany

Coptic language's last survivors

CAIRO: Considered an extinct language, the Coptic language is believed to exist only in the liturgical language of the Coptic Church in Egypt. The ancient language that lost in prominence thanks largely to the Arab incursion into Egypt over 1300 years ago remains the spoken language of the church and only two families in Egypt. …

Joseph Mayton

'Twas the night before Christmas

CAIRO: One of the great things about living in Egypt is that, if you want to, you can celebrate Christmas twice: twice the presents,twice the calories,twice the number of in-laws (or the same number of in-laws twice over), twice the number of family feuds-basically twice the fun. It’s the early Christmas, however, the December 25th …

Daily News Egypt

Opposition cries foul in final voting day

CAIRO: In a highly charged conclusion to an already dramatic month of parliamentary elections, the run-offs for the third and final round of voting were marked by violent clashes between voters and security forces, charges of widespread election fraud and the arrest of an opposition party chief. “The actions of all those who partook in …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Web editor's arrest raises concern for civil liberties

CAIRO: The arrest of the editor of a local news website this week has raised fresh concerns among defenders of freedom of expression. “Such practices reflect the government’s lack of tolerance for freedom of expression and opinion, said Mahmoud Aly of the Egyptian Association for the Support of Democracy. Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud, the editor of …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Bloodshed casts doubt on government

  CAIRO: The violence that marred Egypt’s parliamentary election has called into question the sincerity of President Hosni Mubarak’s vow, under U.S. pressure, to open up the country’s political system. Police crackdowns on voters not only brought sharp criticism from Washington, they also failed to blunt gains by the banned Muslim Brotherhood, which won at …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Authorities release 40 suspects in deadly bombings against Sinai tourist resorts

EL-ARISH, Egypt: Security authoritieson Thursday released40 Egyptians who had been detainedseveral months ago inthe investigation into deadlybombings at tourist resorts inthe Sinai Peninsula. Hundreds of cheering family members greeted the freed detainees, while others stood by disappointed that their sons were not among those freed. The detainees were brought from prison to the State Security …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Squashing the enemy

In the World Open in Hong Kong, the 26-year-old from Cairo was in devastating form this week in the final against David Palmer, brushing the Australian aside 11-6, 11-7, 11-8. Shabana had might as well been using a fly swatter instead of a squash racquet, so imperious was he in dispatching Palmer, the 2002 champion, …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Bread and knives

My wife has just bought me two suits, three ties, one shirt and a brand new bread knife. It was Xmas and Eid all thrown in together. I dressed from head to toe in new clothes. The last time I looked that good was right before the 1967 war,when schools issued us military fatigues and …

Nabil Shawkat

Expert says new check law has benefits despite flaws

CAIRO: Speaking at the second of a series of bank-related meetings this week organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, Cairo University Professor and former Dean of its Faculty of Law, Samir El Sharkawy, said that the new check law will have benefits for banks and businesses despite a critical flaw in the …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

Oracle Global Support Center in Egypt now open for business

CAIRO: Oracle, the world’s largest enterprise software company, has officially opened its Global Product Support center based within Egypt’s Xceed contact center, the largest of its kind in the southern Mediterranean region. The facility, one of only eight Global Product Support centers across the world, will provide support services to Oracle customers around the globe …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Islamists draw strength from Egyptian elections

CAIRO: Islamists across the Arab world have taken heart from the Muslim Brotherhood’s strongest ever showing in the Egyptian elections, saying this could weaken the appeal of violent ideologies. Islamists from Tunisia to Syria see the gains in the elections as a victory for the Brotherhood’s strategy of gradual and peaceful steps toward their view …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Prominent engineer accused of murder plot

CAIRO: An Egyptian engineer on trial in London was brought to court again on allegations of plotting to kill a minister in the current cabinet, as well as top political leaders in Egypt in a bid to rebuild his career at home. Mamdouh Hamza, 58, a renowned Egyptian engineer and the man behind important national …

Daily News Egypt

Brotherhood agenda remains a mystery

CAIRO: It was one of the most detailed pieces of legislation ever proposed by the Muslim Brotherhood: A ban on alcohol in Egypt, setting down a punishment of 30 lashes and tough fines for importers or producers and 20 lashes for those who operate drinking establishments. The bill, put forward by Brotherhood lawmaker Hussein Mohammed …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Ayman Nour trial continues

CAIRO: The decision by the presiding judge to jail the Egyptian opposition party leader Ayman Nour and other defendants during their trial on Monday underscores the highly politicized conduct of the case, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday. Nour, a member of parliament who ran against President Hosni Mubarak in September’s presidential election, faces criminal charges …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Cinema bridging cultural divide

CAIRO: During his first visit to Egypt,Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman addressed journalists during a press conference organized by the Cairo International Film Festival on Wednesday, in what turned out to be one of the best organized events of the festival. Although this is Freeman’s first visit to Egypt, it is not his first to …

Sarah El Sirgany

Talk turns to election evaluation and reform

CAIRO: Preliminary results from Wednesday’s third-round run-off election for the People’s Assembly will bring the banned Muslim Brotherhood an additional 12 seats, according to estimates released by the group, earning them a total 88 places in the 454-member parliament. President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) walked away with a total 333 seats, or 73 …

Vivian Salama

Winners and losers in Egypt's elections

The 2005 Egyptian parliamentary elections have been remarkable primarily because of the Muslim Brotherhood’s performance. The banned-but-tolerated group, which held only 17 seats in the last parliament, has already secured 76 slots, with results from the run-offs in the final round of voting yet to be determined. Regardless of how many more seats the Brotherhood …

Daily News Egypt

Shining the spotlight on the film festival

CAIRO: Whether your tastes run to the life story of a real-life artist and national hero,a man’s journey of spiritual revelations or a group of European 20- somethings discovering love and life, the Cairo International Film Festival is serving up an artistic meal fit for all tastes. Over the past eight days, the festival has …

Sarah El Sirgany

A tale of some Egyptians

CAIRO: With a smile on his face, his lab coat buttoned to the top, dentist and award-winning novelist Alaa Al-Aswany describes a scenario he envisions for Egypt some 50 years from now. “After living away, I go back to Egypt . after praying at the mosque, people spill out onto the streets to protest. I …

Daily News Egypt

CIB and NBD executives discuss merger experience

CAIRO: With Commercial International Bank’s (CIB) due diligence period for its acquisition of National Bank for Development (NBD) under way, executives from both banks discussed success factors and pitfalls related to bank mergers and acquisitions. CIB Chairman and Managing Director Hisham Ezz El Arab and NBD Chairman and Managing Director Aly Shaker shared their views …

Waleed Khalil Rasromani

New El Gouna marina set to attract visitors

CAIRO: El Gouna,commonly referred to as the Red Sea’s premier leisure destination,is home to the new Abu Tig marina, one of the premier marina locations in Egypt. Located in the Northern Red Sea of Egypt, 200 NM south of Suez,the marina is designed by Italian architect Alfredo Freda. Facilities include a number of hotels, restaurants, …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Deaths and violence overshadow third round run-offs

BADAWAY, Egypt: Tear gas filled the air and the sound of gun shots echoed throughout a number of normally subdued Delta villages as the third round run-offs for the people’s assembly took place, concluding a month of parliamentary elections. Riot police formed human barricades outside polling stations and angry would-be voters, many of them Muslim …

Vivian Salama

World of controversy

CAIRO: Three years ago, Lebanese director Jocelyne Saab submitted a script to Egyptian censorship. After an initial ban, constant struggle and a great deal of perseverance, Saab was able to turn her dream of creating a film in Egypt into a reality, and “Donia’ was released. The all-star cast includes Mohamed Mounir and Hanan Turk. …

Sarah El Sirgany

Islamic group says 1,250 supporters detained during elections; press watchdog criticizes police attacks on TV crews

CAIRO: Egypt’s leading opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, accused the government Monday of detaining more than 1,250 supporters during ongoing legislative elections, while a press watchdog claimed police stopped film crews – including a U.S.-funded TV station – covering the polls. The criticisms are the latest in a series of complaints against Egypt’s government for …

Daily Star Egypt Staff

Group calls for government resignations

CAIRO: With the outcry resulting from the extent of violence and violations taking place during the parliamentary elections, and the inability to secure a free and fair atmosphere, a civil society and elections monitor group has called for the Egyptian government to resign The National Campaign for Monitoring the Elections, a coalition of four civil …

Daily News Egypt

Nation prepares for final day of voting

CAIRO: Voters in eight Egyptian governorates are set to head back to the polls one final time for run-offs in the third round of the People’s Assembly elections. Those candidates elected today will finalize the remaining 136 of the parliament’s 444 elected seats. The National Democratic Party has secured 222 seats and analysts say the …

Vivian Salama

Visitors to Egypt down after July bombings

CAIRO: Egypt said the number of visitors to the country fell 15 percent in August compared to the same time last year, a drop analysts said was short-term following bombings at the resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in July. The central bank said 743,000 people visited Egypt in August 2005, compared to 877,000 in August 2004.The …

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