The Big Pharaoh: 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
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Friday, December 31, 2004

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you for making this blog a success

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Got Claws?

Last February, Russia killed Former Chechen President Zelimkhan Yanderbiyev who was residing in Qatar. He was assassinated when his car exploded killing him, his 2 bodyguards, and seriously wounding his son.

Qatar then arrested 2 Russian intelligence agents in Doha and tried them for murder on Qatari soil. The 2 Russians were sentenced to life in prison. Russian denied any involvement in the attack and called for the release of the 2 men.

Just over a week ago, Qatar put the 2 prisoners on a lavish private jet and flew them to their homeland. Imagine that: 2 intelligence agents from a foreign country carried out a sophisticated assassination mission inside Qatar, a rich small island known for its peaceful climate. Qatar's highest courts sentenced the 2 foreigners to life in prison and after 11 months we find them back in Russia again. It is crystal clear that Qatar did succumb to Russian pressures that could have damaged the crucial economic relations between the 2 countries.

It is sad that America cannot until today grow enough claws, like the ones that Russia grew, when dealing with Qatar. The Emir of the island agreed to release two murderers (based upon the Qatari court decision) for the Russians yet the US cannot add enough pressure on the guy to shut down Al Jazeera channel or at least fire its top radical crew and replace them with more moderate ones like what Saudi Arabia did with Al Arabiya.

I have talked before about Al Jazeera, the nature of its top management, and its agenda. I just want to briefly mention something about one of the channel's pillars: Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood cleric who resides in Qatar under the auspices of the Emir. Al Jazeera was his brainchild and he currently has a program he uses to dish out his fatwas to millions across the world. Qaradawi, who is forbidden from entering the United Emirates, called for the murder of US civilians in Iraq and he has provided tacit backing for the terrorists there. Ironically, the multimillionaire Sheikh who is married to a girl at the age of his granddaughters has 2 sons studying in universities INSIDE THE USA. He also did not include British citizens on his death list because the United Kingdom issued him an entry visa so that he can inaugurate an Islamic center in London!

Anyway, why can't the US grow some claws when dealing with Qatar? Because the US has the largest military base there and it uses this base for the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition, the Emir of Qatar managed to convince some people in the US that he is a reformist and that Qatar will be a model for the other Gulf States. This is true. The Emir did undergo some reform and modernization in his island, but I personally do not think that he can be a moderate while funneling millions of dollars to a channel like Al Jazeera. His royal highness has to drop one of the two.

When will the US government grow some Russian claws? When will the US government (be it Republican or Democrat) put the interests of its people and its real allies (the Iraqi policeman who is risking his life with US soldiers) ahead of Saudi Arabia's oil and Qatar's military base? When will Americans help their government in doing so by driving less SUVs?

Thursday, December 30, 2004

On Ramsey Clark

Ask any Arab “intellectual” who appears daily on Arab satellite channels about his views regarding former US attorney general Ramsey Clark, he will tell you things like “he is a great man, he is a supporter of Palestine against Israeli occupation, he is against US foreign policy and the US system in general”. Clark is a hero in the Arab world and he appeared many times on Al Jazeera.

Today those Arab “intellectuals” have another reason to love Ramsey: he will join the team defending Saddam.

Now, as usual, our Arab “intellectuals” never see the full picture. They think that Ramsey is a friend of Muslims/Arabs, yet they never mention that Ramsey Clark defended Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslavian president who slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Mr. Clark is no friend of Arabs or Muslims. He is not even a friend of Iraq’s butcher Saddam Hussein. Clark is just an enemy of the USA and everything it does, whether good or dad. If the US sided with Milosevic back then, rest assured that Clark would have been ranting today about "America’s injustice towards the Bosnians and the Kosovans".

Also, the guy made…….. ops sorry, I don’t want to devote any more of my blog’s precious space on this sorry man.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

While Muqtada Al Sadr is blaming the "evil trinity" (America, Britain, and Israel) for perpetuating the bombings in Karbala, US forces are handing out frozen chickens to poor ladies in SADR city. I recommend freezing a pile of 30 dead rats and sending it to the "holy man" with the dirty teeth.  Posted by Hello

New Blogs

Two new blogs from the Middle East surfaced, one from Egypt and the other from Iraq.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Omar provides us with more information on Haifa street
He then goes on to eloquently describe the situation we're in by saying "Who's going to get killed next? And who's going to cover it live?"

Now I believe we still didn't hear from AP. If you know of any press release or statement, please shout it out. I believe the susopicion will only increase if AP stayed silent and provided no solid answers to the Haifa issue and the video of the executed Italian hostage that it gave to Al Jazeera. If it became clear that the AP photographer knew that something other than a demonstration would take place on Haifa street, I believe some people in the US ought to help the families of the 2 murdered Iraqis sue AP in US courts. As for now, I guess we still have to wait and see. Please keep those emails going and kindly send me any other email you know.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Haifa Street Murder Posted by Hello

Don't Let Them Die in Vain

The blogoshere is currently discussing the issue of how an Associated Press photographer managed to stand in the middle of one of Iraq's (and probably the world's) most dangerous roads and shot a picture after another of a ruthless murder in the middle of the day. As I mentioned in my previous post, AP's execution pictures raise a lot of questions that we bloggers are responsible to find answers for. In the post-Dan Rather world, we should quit giving huge media outlets the chance to monopolize the flow of information around the world.

The case at hand is much more serious than the fake memos about what young George W. Bush did over 30 years ago. The case at hand has to do with the brutal killing of 2 Iraqi heroes whose only mistake was trying to organize an election in their country. This is a moral case and we, the friends of Iraq and of the troops serving there, should not let this incident pass unnoticed. Either AP has to come up with convincing answers to all our questions, or we will continue our crusade to expose AP's alleged "methods of journalism" in Iraq.

I am asking you; no I am begging you, to continue in this endeavor until everything comes out of the closet. You can find additional information regarding this issue here, and here, and here.

Please take a few minutes to email Jack Stokes, AP's director of media relations at , to inform him that we demand full convincing answers to all our questions. Don't let those election workers die in vain please.

Friday, December 24, 2004


Imagine this scenario. You're a journalist. A man phones you on your cellular phone and informs you that he needs you to bring your camera and go to a certain house. The man tells you that he wants to murder a lady there and he wants "his story told".

You pick up your camera and head to this house. You enter it and find the man waiting for you. You start filming or shooting as the man plants a bullet into the poor lady's head. You then switch off your camera and return to your office with "the man's story".

Now, Jack Stokes, director of media relations at the Associated Press, is trying to convince us that AP's hired photographers do not act in the same way as the jounalist in my story above. He and his bosses at AP are trying to tell us that they employ Iraqi photographers who "do not have to swear allegiance or otherwise join up philosophically with them (insurgents "emphasis added by GM") just to take their pictures." They are trying to tell us that their "invisible" photographer knew nothing about the execution of the 2 Iraqi heroes and that he/she was informed that he/she will just cover a "demonstration". Ummmmmm, something doesn't smell nice here. A demonstration in one of Iraq's most dangerous streets! Was the AP photographer expecting just "a demonstration" in Haifa street?? Go to any Iraqi and tell him the word "Haifa street", he will answer back with words such as "bombs, a famous Saddam loyalist street, clashes, etc".

A demonstration in Haifa street! How funny.

The Media War Against Iraq

We all know how millions of Iraqis feel towards the mouth of horror Al Jazeera channel. Iraq's popular satellite channel Al Fayhaa talks continuously about the war that the Arab media (i.e Al Jazeera) is waging against the new Iraq.

It seems that this war is also being waged by huge media outlets such as the Associated Press. AP has a lot of questions to answer regarding how one of its photojournalists stood in front of 30 armed insurgents and shot a sequence of photos showing the day light execution of 2 Iraqis who belong to another group of Iraq's heroes: election workers. How can a photographer, given the fact that anyone can get kidnapped in Iraq, stand in the middle of the street and shots a picture after another. Was he/she invisible?

In addition, AP has a lot of questions to answer regarding how it received a tape showing the execution of an Italian hostage and why it gave it to Al Jazeera and not to the Iraqi government or the Italian embassy. OK, we know Al Jazeera wants Iraq to sink deeper into the mud created by Baathist/Salafist/Wahabi terrorists and this is why the Qatar financed channel acts as a terror mouthpiece. Why would AP act in the same dirty way?

AP has a lot of questions to answer. When will they answer them? I don't know.

Final Results

Whom did you vote for?

George W. Bush ................ 65% (267 votes)

John Kerry .......................14% (57 votes)

Ralph Nader.....................1% (6 votes)

I did not vote....................3% (11 votes)

I am not an American......17% (71 votes)

Total Votes: 412 votes

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Q:What about telling us how Christmas is like in Egypt?

In Egypt we have 2 Christmases! The majority of Egyptians are Eastern Orthodox and so they celebrate Christmas on January 7. Catholics celebrate it on December 25. 2 weeks ago, young men selling Santa hoods and dolls started appearing beside the traffic lights. Several shops sell Christmas trees and decorations. All hotels and businesses put Christmas trees in their lobbies. Of course, Christmas here is not like the one in Times Square, but you can somehow feel it. Two years ago, Mubarak ordered the 7th of January to be a national holiday for both Muslims and Christians. A bit too late, but as they say: better late than never.

Q:I'm curious about whether the Muslim Brotherhood et al. are still actively meddling and plotting to help keep Iraq (and the rest of the region) down. Or have they been pushed into the background again?

Today the Muslim Brotherhood is a nonviolent Islamist organization that seeks to reach power in Arab nations. In the past, the Muslim Brotherhood branches in countries like Egypt and Syria were armed. Also it is well known that all radical terrorist groups are offshoots of the MB ideology. However, today the MBs are nonviolent, they are still dangerous though. It is not just the gun that is dangerous, but the overall ideology. An MB party is now part of the new Iraqi government and parliament. It seems that they decided to join the normal political process in Iraq like their Islamist Shiite counterparts.

Q:I would like to know how the weather is in Egypt today - cold? Warm. Miserable?

Cold at night but OK in the mornings. We don’t have snow and we don’t have continuous heavy rain. We still have to wear heavy clothes though. Our cold weather is considered “warm” by those who like in Canada for example.

Q:After reading about the Israeli/Egypt prisoner swap, I noticed the Israeli was a Druze. I did a little research and it said their religion developed out of Islam but I wasn't sure if they are considered Muslim. I was wondering if there are Druze in Egypt and if so how do they fit into the society there.

Shias are basically divided between Isna Ashari (the ones in Iraq, Iran) and Ismailis (followers of today’s Aga Khan). Druze are a sect that separated from the Ismailis over many years ago. Sunni and Shia Muslims consider them heretics and nonmuslims. There are no Druze in Egypt. There is a small tiny Shia community though.

Q:Your President is getting old and has health problems. IIRC in the beginning of your blog you said that Gamal had said that he had no interest to succeed his father.
Is that true? And if it is true, do you discern already officials as yet in the background but of whom you think thay would strive to become President?

Q:Gamal did in fact say that he will not succeed his father, but he didn’t say that he won’t run for elections if his father died! I think he has the right to run for this election and I feel that he is being polished for that day.

Q:what did you think about the 33,000 year old skeleton that was found in Egypt? Did they make much of it there?

No. I heard about it in the news but didn’t pay much attention.

Q:i was looking at some old maps pre 1967, my question is that on older maps Gaza is part of Egypt and judea and samaria belong to jordan, so why cant the egyptian government take the land back. simple solution then there is no occupation of gaza. just curious on what your take is on it.

Egypt does not want to replace the Israeli occupation. Today all people believe that a Palestinian state is inevitable. Today the world is different than how it was before 1967.

Q:Does Egypt have plans for an independent space-launch capability? I'm also curious about Egyptian biotech or nanotech.

Egypt does have 2 satellites in space (I guess they are 2). I am not sure about any future space adventures!

Q:Could you tell us more about trade agreements between Egypt and other countries? Including Arab or European?

Egypt does have a trade agreement with African and a number of Arab countries. However, Egypt is eying the golden Free Trade Agreement with the US. Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and Bahrain have FTA with the US. It decided to enter the QIZ agreement because a FTA will not come in the near future.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Your Turn

I really don't have anything on my mind today. So I'll do what I've done before, I'll answer your questions. Send me any question you have on mind via email or the comments column. I'll try my best to answer as many as possible.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Will Iraq Work?

The situation in Iraq is very serious and getting worse day by day. The Salafi/Wahabi/Baathist animals in Iraq are doing anything to stop any progress even if this progress is coming from a power station in Baghdad. I admit that I have never seen such nihilism and brutality like what I’m seeing in Iraq. It is just like the Lebanon war. The facts are confusing and all what you see is people who constitute a vast minority are killing people who constitute the vast majority.

Just yesterday the animals killed the daughter of Iraq’s former president Abdul Salam Aref. Why would anyone kill a daughter of a president who was dead over 40 years ago? They not only killed her, they killed her husband and kidnapped her 22 years old son. Imagine what this young man is feeling now? He was just kidnapped by people who killed his parents right in front of his very eyes. God, I’m feeling sick.

The question still remains: why didn’t the US foresee all this? I have the feeling that the US started the invasion with hopes that turned out to be true and hopes that turned out to be false. The majority of Iraqis did welcome US as liberators (that was only in April 2003, forget that now), the majority of Iraqis wanted Saddam out and they were willing to accept US help, the majority of Iraqis want democracy and want to live in peace like everyone else on the face of this planet.

However, the US also hoped that Syria will behave and not harbor Baathist leaders nor allow terrorists to infiltrate inside Iraq, that Iran will behave and not interfere in Iraq’s internal affairs, that those who benefited from Saddam’s rule will suddenly accept Sistani’s rule with open arms. Those hopes turned out to be false and we are paying the price now.

The very sad part of the story is America’s habit of missing several “signals” that could have saved her a lot of trouble. Clinton missed the “signal” of catching Bin Laden when he was in Sudan and allowed him to flee from right under his finger nails. Clinton and Bush missed the “signal” that suddenly out of the blue several Middle Eastern men decided to learn how to fly at the same time and so couldn’t stop 911. The Bush Defense Department missed the “signal” coming from a reputed general of said that at least half a million US troops were needed in Iraq and so the US failed to stop the looting, failed to close the borders, and failed to fully occupy the Sunni triangle. The Bush administration failed to read former CIA agent Robert Baer’s book “See No Evil” before the Iraq war to discover that Iran too wanted Saddam gone and so failed to ask the question of how will Iran react after regime change in Iraq and why did Iran want Saddam gone in the first place.

I am not putting all Iraq’s problems on US shoulders, but I am just disappointed that the strongest country on earth didn’t see the whole picture, it namely saw no evil.

Will Iraq work? It has to. Failure is not an option.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

To QIZ or not to QIZ

Egypt, Israel, and the US signed an unprecedented trade agreement that entails the US to remove all custom duties on Egyptian imports of ready made garments. A clause in the agreement states that 12% of the Egyptian products should come from Israel. This agreement is called Qualified Industrial Zones or QIZ (pronounced as Quiz).

QIZ was initiated by President Bill Clinton at the height of the Middle East peace talks. Clinton thought that countries that traded together do not usually go to war. Egypt was very reluctant to forge such a huge trade agreement with Israel especially since the relation between the 2 countries was very cold because of the intifada.

Egypt had no choice but to join this agreement for 2 main reasons. First, quotas that protected small developing producers (such as Egypt) from large ones (such as China) will be removed next month. Egypt must have unprecedented access to the lucrative US market in order to compete worldwide. If Egypt failed to do so, we can kiss the country's most important manufacturing sector goodbye. Second, the QIZ will employ 250,000 Egyptians and boost this vital sector. Manufacturers were already laying off people and closing down their factories as a result of the coming onslaught next year.

Jordan, that has many QIZs with Israel, saw its economy skyrocket because of such agreements. The small kingdom's exports of clothes and garments went from $100 million in 1998 to $400 million in 2004.

Now, reaction to this treaty varied across the Egyptian society. A small group of the American University in Cairo students (clad in Armani shirts and Levis jeans) held a small sit-in to protest this agreement. Intellectuals ranging from hardcore Arab nationalists to Islamists also voiced their protests on Arab satellite channels. The vast majority of Egyptians were busy putting food on the table and so they didn't pay much attention.

What was really amazing was how the government announced this agreement. The treaty made headlines in all government owned papers. I mean the government literally was saying "hey I signed it and I am not embarrassed." Watching journalists as they tried to explain the benefits of this agreement was so fun to watch.

If this agreement showed anything it showed the level of control that the government has over the country's main media. If the government can compel all major media outlets to report an agreement with such a hated country in such positive tones, it surely can make its journalists use words such as "horror", "massacre", "crime against humanity" when reporting the news of the mass murderer Salafi/Wahabi who plants a car full of explosives into a queue of poor Iraqi policemen waiting to receive their monthly salaries.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

What’s tearing my country?

I usually take the underground metro to go to work. At 8 am, the subway is usually packed with people and so I just have to squeeze myself inside if I wanted to arrive on time. I lately discovered that if I heard a Christian name being uttered inside the metro, the gang of friends around the owner of this name will likely turn out to be Christians as well.

I know this is perfectly normal especially with countries with significant minorities. Black churches in America are usually dominated by black worshipers and Muslim blocks in Paris are usually dominated by Muslim immigrants. People tend to flock to their flocks. However, I always tended to believe that Muslims and Christians in Egypt somehow “grew out” of this flocking habit due to their long history together. It appears that life is not as rosy as I want it to be and I am beginning to feel concerned about this. I am concerned because I can feel (I hope I am mistaken) something tearing my beloved country apart while I, along with millions of Egyptians, are happily cocooned within the country’s upper and upper middle class thinking that all is well “down there”. I am equally concerned because my grandfather and father told me that it wasn’t like that during their days.

Christians, especially those in the middle and lower class of our society, are beginning to feel marginalized and threatened. They are becoming increasingly aware of their rights as equal citizens and they are feeling threatened from the rising level of Islamic fundamentalism in the country. Muslims on the other hand are puzzled by this sudden surge of Christian activism and they ask themselves “what’s wrong with these people? don’t they know that Islam guarantees their safety? They have been protected for over 1,400 years?”. A Muslim friend once told me “homa ayzeen eih tani?” or “what more do they want?”

I cannot predict what the future is holding regarding this issue. However, I want to say something that might upset many of my Christian friends: I feel sorry for Mubarak. If he exceeded in granting Christians their rights as citizens, he might agitate many who belong to the fundamentalist ilk. I am not defending him nor trying to offer a justification for the lack of Christians rights, but I am just saying what I think might happen. It is a dilemma.

Monday, December 13, 2004

What will save Egypt?

The story of Wafaa Costantine is getting a little bit clearer. Several respected newspapers mentioned that the woman did in fact willingly convert to Islam (or expressed her desire to do so) and she decided to leave her sick husband on November 27. As far as I know, the lady is now with members of the clergy who are trying to convince her to rethink her decision. Again, I am just stating what the press mentioned here.

It appears that Wafaa was tired of living with her gravely ill husband. Just like the catholic church, divorce is forbidden in the Egyptian orthodox church. I personally believe that not only Islam needs a huge dose of reform, Eastern churches need some as well.

Anyway, the problem is not just about a Christian woman who willingly or forcefully decided to become a Muslim. The issue has to do with how religion, whether Muslim or Christian, is viewed in the Middle East and how the rules are not equal between the region’s two main faiths. Here, religion is crucial. Shame would be brought to any family if a member decided to convert to another religion. It’s like your son waking up one day and telling you “hey mom/dad, I’m gay”

Converting people became a “game” or a “match” played by the 2 camps. Muslims take enormous pride when a Christian (especially a priest or his wife!) becomes a Muslim. Christians act in exactly the same way. Every camp is trying to score points by snatching a member from the other camp. However, I feel obliged to say that I feel sorry for the Christian team in Egypt. The Muslims have a huge competitive edge over their fellow Christians and it is as if Christians are being asked to play basketball by their foot.

The media is literally controlled by Muslim Egyptians. Stories of Westerns who converted to Islam are easily printed while a story of a Muslim who decided to become Christian can never get published. Books that criticize the Christian faith and attack the authenticity of the Bible are found in any newsstand around Cairo. Books taking a critical look at Islam and the Quran are banned from the Egyptian market. Keeping and distributing them can get you in jail.

In addition, a Christian can become a Muslim anytime and change his ID whenever he wants. On the other hand, a Muslim is not allowed to become a Christian and he cannot change his ID. If a Muslim converted to Christianity, he will be arrested, may be tortured, and asked who “influenced” him. He’ll become toast if he was living in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, or any other place where a strict implementation of Islamic law is applied. In Egypt, Muslims who converted to Christianity keep a very low profile, others seek asylum in Europe or America.

Besides this game, I feel something is tearing the social fabric of my country and I am starting to feel worried. That’s for another post.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A story with many stories!

The story of the Christian woman Wafaa Costantine ended with the Christian clergy holding a press conference to thank President Mubarak (who else?!) for his help and to reassure the demonstrators that the woman is now with members of the clergy. They provided no clue as to what really happened but they did mention that Wafaa did not marry her Muslim boss and she is still a Christian.

Now, what really happened? Was Wafaa kidnapped and "forced to convert"? Was she blackmailed to convert to Islam? or Did she willingly want to convert? I'll say something that very few Egyptians like to say: I Don't Know.

Like everything in Egypt, rumors are all what I got to tell you. Every "camp" has a different story to tell:

The Christians insist that Wafaa was kidnapped, like other Christian girls/women, and forced to convert. Others claim that she was blackmailed/threatened by her Muslim boss. A Christian friend told me that Wafaa spoke a lot, as a wife of a priest, against the issue of luring/kidnapping/blackmailing young Christian girls into marrying Muslim men. He added that they (i.e Muslims) wanted to take revenge from her.

The Muslim camp has a completely different story. "See how this infidel government handed a Muslim woman to the Christians. They will torture her in their monastery" someone told me. "She chose the right path. They are angry" another one added. Some even think that Wafaa was videotaped while having sex with her Muslim lover and that tape was used to blackmail her. Her husband, a priest, had his two legs amputated because of diabetes and so his wife went shopping for another guy.

The third camp, composed of both Muslims and Christians, simply do not know what happened and want to live in peace and harmony.

I'm sure we will never hear from Wafaa. The government will force her to keep an extremely low profile lest she speaks out and her story, whatever it may turn out to be, will only add fuel to the fire.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

A spy was nabbed

Egypt’s attorney general announced that an Egyptian and an Iranian diplomat were indicted for spying and attempting to carry out terrorist activities in Egypt and abroad. The Egyptian was arrested but the Iranian diplomat remains at large outside Egypt. The diplomat is a member of Iran’s notorious revolutionary guards and he managed to entice the Egyptian to work for him. This incident sheds light on the following:

There are literally 3 groups within Iran. The radical mullahs who are the true rulers of Iran. The so called reformists who are powerless and act as Iran’s pretty face in front of the world. The democratic secular masses who represent the entire population especially the angry youth. Catching the Egyptian agent proves that the government in Tehran is so powerless and knows nothing about what the radical clerics, who control the revolutionary guards, are doing. Iran’s government represented by Khatami wanted to improve relations with Egypt and invited Egypt’s minister of interior to attend the conference on Iraq’s security that was held in Tehran. The ruling mullahs on the other hand will never abandon terrorism nor their oppression of the Iranian people.

The crystal clear connection between the radical ruling clerics and Sunni terrorists. Don’t buy the idea that says that radical Shias will never cooperate with radical Sunnis who consider Shias infidels. In the Middle East, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The Egyptian was paid to go to Saudi Arabia and collect information about various establishments there. One of them was a petrochemical company in the city of Yanbu. This company was attacked last May and several people including American and British citizens were killed.

It is also well known that Iran was involved in the Khober bombings that killed Americans back in the 90s. In addition, the 911 commission mentioned that a number of the hijackers passed through Iran. Well, the connection is becoming very clear.

Back in the 90s when terrorists turned Egypt into a hell zone, I remember President Mubarak looking in a camera and telling Iran to “stop terrorism”.

So when you look at President Khatami’s face, always remember that this man is just a puppet, he holds no power at all. The real rulers are the backdoor devils who recruit spies in Egypt and Saudi Arabia without telling the puppet government. They are the same people who are messing with Iraq today. Let us put our hands under our chins and wait until the Iranian masses rise up and overthrow the devil and his pretty face.

*** If you didn't vote in the elections poll, please do so now. Please vote ONLY once. Ignore this message if you already voted.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Yesterday I passed by the Coptic Cathederal. I looked at its gates and I saw the throngs of demonstrators were still there!!! They placed banners over the gate but I couldn't get close enough to read them. Besides I was in a car and so I just drove by. About 20 massive police trucks were parked outside and security policemen carrying sticks and shields were cordoning the area lest the protestors leak outside the gate.

The situation appears to be very grave and serious. I am not sure about what the government and the Coptic clergy are doing to solve this issue.

It's strange however that when Christians want to complain they go to their catherdral and their pope. And when Muslims want to complain, they go to the mosque. I totally understand the reason for this. There is no government. There is no government to listen to its people. We don't have a congress. The parliament is stuffed by a group of corrupt politicians and filthy rich multimillionaires who disappear from the public'c face once they bribe their way towards the parliament seat. In addition, the government is the sole owner of this country. The parliament is useless.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Christian Demonstrations

The funeral of a prominent Christian journalist turned into a massive demonstration by thousands of Copts who stormed Egypt’s main cathedral (Egypt’s vatican) carrying banners and crosses. The demonstrators were demonstrating against the alleged kidnapping of the wife of a Christian priest in southern Egypt and her forced conversion to Islam. They claimed that a number of prominent Muslim officials in their city were involved in this incident. This was not the first time I heard about “forced conversions”, Christians especially those living in the poor areas of southern Egypt said before that Christians girls were blackmailed/kidnapped/coerced to convert to Islam.

I passed by the cathedral at 2 am in the morning and I could still see hundreds of security police sealing off the building.

Regardless of if this story was true or not, the “Coptic problem” in Egypt is very serious. Some call it the ticking bomb of Egypt. Christians, especially those in the south, are increasingly feeling marginalized in the country and threatened from the rising fundamentalism of some Muslims. Numerous religious inspired violence erupted in Egypt especially in the 70s when the late president Sadat became extremely lax with Muslim extremists to fight his Communist and Nasserite (radical Arab nationalists from the Nasser era) opponents.

Tensions between Muslims and Christians is very minimum within the upper and middle class societies. They both live in relative harmony in Egypt’s major cities, however, the situation is not so in the poorer rural areas.

The funeral of a prominent Christian journalist turned into a massive demonstration by thousands of Copts who stormed Egypt’s main cathedral (Egypt’s vatican) carrying banners and crosses. The demonstrators were demonstrating against the alleged kidnapping of the wife of a Christian priest in southern Egypt and her forced conversion to Islam. They claimed that a number of prominent Muslim officials in their city were involved in this incident. This was not the first time I heard about “forced conversions”, Christians especially those living in the poor areas of southern Egypt said before that Christians girls were blackmailed/kidnapped/coerced to convert to Islam.

Regardless of if this story was true or not, the “Coptic problem” in Egypt is very serious. Some call it the ticking bomb of Egypt. Christians, especially those in the south, are increasingly feeling marginalized in the country and threatened from the rising fundamentalism of some Muslims. Numerous religious inspired violence erupted in Egypt especially in the 70s when the late president Sadat became extremely lax with Muslim extremists to fight his Communist and Nasserite (radical Arab nationalists from the Nasser era) opponents.

Tensions between Muslims and Christians is very minimum within the upper and middle class societies. They both live in relative harmony in Egypt’s major cities, however, the situation is not so in the poorer rural areas.

Ismak Eih?

If an Egyptian wants to know if someone is a Christian or Muslim, he usually asks for the name. Most of our names indicate whether we’re Muslim or Christian. Some names however are common and so you have to ask about the father’s name. If that too did not tell the faith, the grandpa’s name usually gives the answer! Ismak Eih? is the arabic for what's your name?

Monday, December 06, 2004

The even kill barbers!!!

I apologize for the pause. I was in alex on a business trip and just came back yesterday at night. I'm currently too tired to post something sensible but I just can't help but comment on this

I remember not so long ago some commentators compared the situation in Iraq with the big V, Vietnam. I'll never forget an article I read by Thomas Friedman where he refused to equate Iraq with Vietnam. He said that in Vietnam the US was fighting the Viet Gong. The US and its Iraqi allies are not fighting the Viet Gong in Iraq, they are fighting the Pol Pot, the Khemer Roge. They are fighting people who have no agenda except to terrorize and pull Iraq backwards. For heaven's sake, I can understand why they want to kill Iraqi police and those who work with US companies working on reconstructing Iraq, but here they are killing barbers!!! barbers, barbers, barbers..keep repeating this word a zillion trillion times until the barbaric animalistic devilish nature of our enemy in Iraq sinks in.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

What people say on Fayhaa?

Many people asked me to write some of the things I hear on Fayhaa. I can’t write exact words now but I’ll tell you an overall summary of the past 3 or 4 days.

A call-in talk show that discussed the issue of postponing the elections had been aired repetitively. The channel called a huge number of political parties to listen to their views. Viewers also called the channel to literally scream out their opinion. The vast majority did not want the elections postponed. Many said that terrorists will win if elections were postponed. Others insisted that Iraq’s transitional law sets the date for elections and nobody has the right to change it.

The channel interviewed a government official who worked in the communication institute, Iraq’s FCC. He said that the ministry of communication had been abolished because all civilized nations have media that is free from government control. He also added that Al Jazeerah promotes terrorism against Iraqi civilians and mentioned an incident where the channel reported something before it happened!! This showed the degree of communication between Al Jazeerah and terrorists in Iraq.

Another program outlined articles from several publications around the world including American ones. The channel then called analysts to comment upon the OP-EDs. All the articles presented were anti-terrorists.

Fayhaa has a program called “Behind Bars”. They interview victims of Saddam’s era. They later advertised an interview with a man who had his hands chopped off. They still didn’t air it though. I think this man was among the group that had surgery in the US.

Between its programs, Fayhaa airs ads about the future of Iraq and it also broadcasts a telephone call from someone living in Latifiya. This city belongs to the “triangle of death” located south of Baghdad. Many Iraqi police, coalition troops, and Shias were killed there. He said that the government is busy dealing with other trouble hotspots except this region.

It is clear that this channel is a “Shia” channel. They put up a sign that read “Allah, Muhammed, Ali”. Sunnis do not include Ali, Muhammed’s cousin and son in law. Shias revere Ali and believe that he and his decendents were the only ones eligible to succeed the prophet. However, I’m sure Fayhaa has a large audience among the Kurds, educated/secular Sunnis, Christians, etc.

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