The Big Pharaoh
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Thursday, June 03, 2004

Here are the answers to the new questions I got.

Who is paying the funds for the american university in Cairo?

Revenues come from 3 main sources: tuition fees, private donations, and US aid. The AUC is the most expensive college in Egypt and one of the most expensive in the Middle East.

I know that there is a lot of anger about Israeli and American actions among average Egyptians, has there ever been anything similar over the much worse treatment of the Christians in southern Sudan by the Arab Muslim government in Khartoum?

That’s the irony. Very few words are spoken here about the much bloodier atrocities committed by the Sudanese government against the Christians in southern Sudan or the African black people in Darfur who happen to be Muslim. It seems that we keep our mouth shut when “one of us” is doing the killing.

Can Egyptians distinguish between the kinds of elections they have, with the ruler getting 90%+ of the votes, and the kind Israel has, where governments don't even get majorities and have to make coalitions, etc.? Do they want or fear Israeli-type elections?

Actually no one believes that Israel is a democracy here. People believe that by occupying Palestinian lands, Israel has lost any praise for its democracy. I think there is some truth in that even though I am quite fond of Israel’s political system.

is there much in the way of dialogue between Iraqis and Egyptians that doesn't come filtered through the Arab media channels?


Is there any sort of Egyptian awareness of Iraqi blogs for instance?

Even if there is, they’ll prefer to read the anti-US Iraqi blogs and send hate mails to those blogs that appear friendly to the coalition.

I'm just curious if there are any alternatives to the mainstream media for collecting information about Iraq for the Egyptian people at large.


How easy is it for the children and grand-children of the 1948 Falastin Arab refugees to become citizens of Egypt?

Egypt has very few Palestinian refugees compared to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The few that are here cannot obtain the Egyptian citizenry that easily. In fact, only Jordan gave Palestinian refugees the right to become citizens of Jordan.
How are relationships between Copts and Muslims in Egypt?

An unexploded volcano. In urban cities such as Cairo and Alex, the relationship is quite good. We live together and deal with each other everyday. However, the situation differs in rural areas where there is considerable tension between the two. Christians never forget that Egypt was their land and Muslims took it from them, and Muslims never forget that they ought to be superior.

To what extent do Nasserite (socialist) ideas mingle with Islamist ideas, aside from a simple alliance between groups?

I don’t think their ideas mingle except the notion of anti-Westernization. Islamism flourished when Nasserite socialism failed after the 1967 defeat. Today, Islamists are the main opposition, the socialist remnants tend to cling to them in anti-America demonstrations and stuff. However, both do have a completely different local agenda. Look at tomorrow’s anti-Bush demonstrations in Rome, you’ll see communists and socialists joining hands with Islamic radicals. Now those 2 cannot live together if they both governed a country.

Did the earlier Nasserite philosophy in any way lay the groundwork for Islamism, by creating a pre-existing bias against America an the West, which might then have enabled Islamism to grow more easily?

You need a sociologist to answer that question. I personally think that those 2 ideologies have similarities and differences. A major difference is that socialism tends to be secular. A major similarity is that both are radical fascists. I don’t think one laid the groundwork for the other.

Given your response on how Palestinians are generally viewed in Egypt, do they have any rights?

I personally do not know any Palestinians in Egypt. I am not familiar with the rules of their stay here.

If a Palestinian is born in Eqypt, is he considered Eqyptian or still a Palestinian refugee?

Again, I don’t know any Palestinian refugee in Egypt. I have to ask. But as I said before, Egypt did not grant citizenry to the few Palestinian refugees here.

What did you study at University?

Business Administration and Economics.

What was the most important subject for your? Math, Literature, etc.


In the American University, is the literature you are taught more eclectic (from many countries) or does it focus on Eqyptian or other cultural literature? Or, do you have choices to do one or both kinds of reading?

Both. We read Western and Eastern literature. There is a course I took where I had to read books by Shakespeare and Naguib Mahfouz (Egyptian literature Nobel prize winner)

Is there much/any Internet censorship by the Egyptian State?

No. Only Saudi Arabia bans porn and political sites. They’re failing, these sites mushroom every second.

Do the Egyptian people understand the level of tyranny under which the Iraqi people lived?

They do especially after it became all clear when Saddam’s regime fell. However, they consider the US to be worse than Saddam. Another rationale goes on like this: it’s better for Arabs to be slaughtered by another Arab than to have a Western occupying power in an Arab/Muslim country.

What did Egyptians know about Iraqi's level of suffering under Saddam? Have they heard the stories of the various methods of brutality used against the Iraqi people, e.g., used as prey for wild animals for the amusement of SH sons, gassings, killing children in front of the parents. Do they believe or disbelieve these stories?

Yes, but remember, the US is considered the Big Big Satan here. No atrocity, no slaughter, nothing can be more than what the US is doing. This is how they view things here. Quite stupid I know but that this how the majority thinks here.

Is Abu Ghraib considered more egregious than that of the brutality of Saddam Hussein?

Very few is said about the brutality of Saddam. Some justify this brutality by saying that this was what Iraq needed to keep it together. Hatred of the US runs very high; no evil can overshadow this hatred. It takes lonely independent minds like me to admit the difference between Abu Ghraib and what Saddam used to do or in fact what Arab governments do in their own prisons on a daily basis.

Would the Egyptian people prefer that Saddam Hussein was back in power?

Yes, not because they like him but because they hate the US. Again, I want to stress on the fact that most Egyptians have nothing against Americans as people and American culture is wide spread here.

What system of government does Egypt have?

One man show. The President is God on earth. There is a prime minister and ministries. Also, there is a parliament. However, the president has the final say on everything.

Why do you say the US is a small devil? What are Britain, France, Germany and Russia on the devil scale?

I didn’t say that. Read my post well. A moderate Iranian cleric said these words to indicate that the great satan is the current Iranian religious establishment and not the US.


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