The Big Pharaoh
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Saturday, August 07, 2004

Two Very Different Borders

Citing security reasons, the Israeli government closed the borders between Egypt and the Gaza strip. A few hundred Palestinians who wanted to enter Gaza from Egypt were trapped on Egypt's side of the border. The Rafah gate was opened yesterday.

The Egyptian government called upon Koffi Anan to interfere and ask Israel to open the border. The Arab media was busy telling us the stories of those Palestinians who were left to suffer at the hands of the Israeli "barbarians". Even Western media had daily updated reports about the status of the Palestinians who were waiting to enter Gaza.

Now let's turn to a very different border, the Sudan-Chad border. Over 1 MILLION black Darfurians escaped the government-sanctioned ethnic cleansing in Darfur and fled to the borders. Every one of them has his/her story about the horrors of the Janjaweed militia that was backed by the Arab central government in Khartoum. Children who appear as mere black skeletons die everyday from malaria and malnutrition. A trip to the refugee camps can surely depress you for the rest of your life.

Did the Egyptian government call Kofie Anan to intervene? No. Did the government controlled media publish pictures of dead black skeletons on a daily basis? No. Did the media interview some refugees to hear their horror stories? No. To make matters worse, was the western media interested a bit in how many refugees died from malaria in a single day? No. Why the double standard then? Is covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more "juicy" than the blood of the thousands upon thousands of black Darfurians? Why isn't the Arab media interested a bit in the number of Darfurians dead? Aren't those Muslims as well? Why do they focus instead on the MUCH INSIGNIFICANT Palestinian issue (if we're measuring significance by the number of deaths)?

Do you know how Egypt's "enlightened pundits" and newspaper journalists reacted towards the recent attention given to the Darfur issue? Some said that President Bush was seeking to garner the African-American vote by helping their fellow blacks in Darfur! Others pointed to the US' intention to control Sudan's recently discovered oil fields. A number indicated that it is now Sudan's turn after Iraq and the upcoming campaign against another "fellow Arab" country. No one and I mean no one, nil, zut mentioned the suffering of the Darfurians simply because no one gave a damn. Ohhhhhh, I hate hypocrisy, I hate hypocrisy!


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