Tag Archive for Egypt

The usual western media priorities

We wondered for a minute why mainstream western media hadn’t yet expressed concern for animal shelters in Egypt as it did during the occupation of Iraq and the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon.

Then we realized that would’ve been too good to be true. As people get slaughtered and wounded, this is what the Discovery channel has to say. Notice that 120 human deaths are just a footnote in the story, and even then no mention is made that the US and Israel are behind repressing the protesters.

Now, as many tourists and Egyptians attempt to flee the African country, cats and dogs are being abandoned, with some winding up on the streets as strays.

That, the conflicts, and associated problems have led to at least 120 human deaths so far in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez.

ADC’s Warm and Friendly Relations with Mubarak’s Egypt

How many representatives of the Mubarak government can you count in this announcement? Just like Mubarak’s government can’t claim to represent the Egyptian people, ADC can’t claim to represent Arab-Americans.

Clifton, NJ | March, 10, 2008 | The Executive board of the New Jersey Chapter of the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC-NJ) wishes to thank all of its members and supporters for making the 12th Annual Banquet a magnificent event and a great success….We wish to thank the following officials and dignitaries for joining us at the Banquet and for their continued support:

His Excellency Ambassador Maged Abdell Fatah Abdel Aziz -Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations

His Excellency Ambassador Sherif El Kholy – Consul General of Egypt to New York

Mr. Mohamed Edrees – Deputy Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations

Mr. Ismail Khairat – Head of Press Office of the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the UN

The ADC and Mubarak’s Ambassadors

Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa proved his mettle as a diplomat March 19 as he adroitly responded to difficult and even hostile questions during an open discussion sponsored by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel.

On hand with Foreign Minister Moussa was Egyptian Ambassador Nabil Fahmy and Egypt’s Consul in San Francisco Hagar Islambouli.

ATFP and Mubarak’s Ambassador

THE AMERICAN TASK Force on Palestine (ATFP) held a June 11 briefing…The panel was moderated by ATFP president Dr.Ziad Asali, and included…Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt Nabil Fahmy

Egyptian Ambassador on James Zogby’s Show: Video & Analysis

Less than one year ago James Zogby hosted the Egyptian Ambassador to Washington on his weekly talk show carried by “Abu-Dobby” TV compliments of “Shake” Khalifa Bin Zayed.

Zogby started out by congratulating Sameh Shoukry (Jim pronounces the name Sameh as “Samy”) on Egypt’s win of the African Cup. Jim then went on to present a series of very soft questions. For example, referring to the Egyptian regime’s complicity in the siege of Gaza, Zogby tells the Ambassador “you’ve taking some heat”, and then allows Mubarak’s mouthpiece in Washington to go on without any challenge. Instead of questioning the Ambassador about Egypt’s alliance with Israel and the PA in the war on the Palestinian people in Gaza, he invites him to explain Egypt’s role in Palestinian reconciliation talks as Zogby listens closely with that familiar look on his face he gives when he wants to appear to be paying close attention to something very important. To view Zogby’s stupid, attentive look pause the video at the 8:14 mark. At one point Zogby refers to the Palestinian Newspaper Al-Ayyam which he pronounces as “L I M.” You can hear him say that at the 6:48 point.

The only challenging questions presented to the Egyptian Ambassador came from the show’s three viewers that called in. At 11:20 and 11:30 two callers questioned the Ambassador about the wall Egypt was building along the Gaza border. At 13:15 a caller pressed Shoukry on his previously unconvincing answers, describing the Egyptian position as “strange” and calling the Ambassador and his government “shameless.” For a moment it looked like the flustered Zogby was going to apologize to his guest, and instead of letting him respond, he offered him a different question.

At no point during the show were the issues of poverty, unemployment, and corruption discussed. Zogby also chose to not mention the lack of freedom, and democracy in Egypt, or the existence of torture chambers, and rape rooms in the dungeons of the Egyptian Mukhabarat. He also decided to not bring up the corruption, repression, and human rights violations of the regime his guest represents.

Zogby lives for these friendly chats with Arab Ambassadors. In the unlikely event Mubarak survives the current uprising, and the Ambassador remains at his post, you can bet Zogby will invite him back to explain the political, and economic reforms the regime has promised to implement, and the marked improvement that can already be seen since the last time he was on “the show.”

ADC and AAI “Briefing” The Tyrant’s Ambassador

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) held a briefing on Friday in Washington with ambassadors from Arab States…ADC addressed the concerns of the attendees in a question and answer session with the participation of representative from the Arab American Institute….The meeting’s chair, Egyptian ambassador Nabil Fahmy said he will be calling for a follow-up meeting…ADC President Ziad J. Asali said the ADC “is committed to working with the Arab Ambassadors…”

The ADC and the Tyrant’s Ambassador

Cosponsored by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)…On Sunday, March 8, 1998, the Cathedral held a reception to commemorate the opening of this unique exhibit. The event, which lasted for two hours was attended by about 100 guests from the Washington area, New Jersey and New York, including…the Egyptian ambassador

When Mubarak Came To Washington

This morning President Mubarak is scheduled to meet with US senators and members of the house of representatives interested in ME politics, followed by meetings with American Arab organisations, including the ADC (American Arab Anti-discrimination Committee), Council on American Arab Relations, Arab American Institute, American Muslim Council, American Egyptian Cultural Association, and Egyptian American Council.

Tell James Zogby To Inkitim!

James Zogby, who describes his recent book “Arab Voices” as an effort to explain the Arab world to the American public, and policy makers continues to demonstrate his appalling ignorance of Arab people and politics.  Speaking about the reaction of Arab-Americans to the uprising in Egypt he said the following:

Many in the Arab emigre community “just don’t know enough” about the protesters, said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, a Washington-based group that often polls Arab public opinion.

“They know the people in leadership roles in Lebanon … and they know the government party in Egypt, and they have dealt with the embassies here,” Mr. Zogby said. “But they don’t know the groups who are in opposition, and they don’t know what direction they want to move in.”

Zogby is just plain wrong, and not only is he uninformed about Egypt, and the rest of the Arab world, he also knows very little about Arab immigrants in the United States who live outside of Washinton DC.  It’s not surprising that Zogby wouldn’t know anything about Egypt, which segments of society, movements, and groups, are involved in the current uprising, or the organized political opposition he is alluding to which, incidentally, is NOT behind the current Intifada.

Zogby is an American-born descendant of an earlier wave of Arab immigrants from what later came to be known as Lebanon.  He grew up in New York, and has been cocooned up in Washington DC since the 70s.  He also does not speak or understand the Arabic language, and his trips to the Arab world consist of visits to staffers at American embassies or the children and servants of oil-“Shakes” in the Gulf.

Ironically, Zogby’s statement is a precise description of his own elite, sub-set of Arab-Americans with very limited knowledge of one small region of the Arab world, and has spent more time in Washington’s Arab embassies than it has in Arab countries.  Zogby’s Arab-America is made up of others who share his background and experiences like John Sununu, Jean Abinader, Donna Shalala, Darrel Issa, Ray Lahood, Spencer Abraham, and others who don’t know anything about the Arab world, but often present themselves as experts on their ancestors homeland because they remember eating tabouleh (or as Jim says “taawbooleee”) at their late, great grandmother’s house in North America.

Zogby is right, his Arab-America doesn’t know much about Egyptian political life.  He’s also correct in saying they couldn’t identify anyone in the Arab world other than a few thugs and warlords posing as Lebanese politicians.  That does not mean, however, that Egyptian-Americans “don’t know enough” about what’s happening in Egypt, what’s driving the uprising, or what the Egyptian people hope to achieve.  Many Egyptian-Americans are recent immigrants with family members and friends still in Egypt, and they have an intimate knowledge of their country.  Many other Arab-Americans and non-Arab-Americans are also well aware of what is happening in Egypt. 

Zogby may enjoy touring the US explaining “Arab voices” to America, but despite his recurring references to a Levantine salad dish and Gibran Khalil Gibran,  his recent comments on Tunisia and Egypt have served as an embarassing reminder he is no expert on “Arab voices.”  Since he’s now chiming in on Egypt we think its time for him to learn the disctinctly Egyptian word for Ikhras:  Inkitim ya Jim!

US Officials Should Ikhras: Egyptians Aren’t Listening To You

US officials, whether it’s a White House Spokesperson or the Secretary of State don’t seem to realize that what they say about the unfolding events in Egypt is irrelevant as far as the Egyptian people are concerned.  The influence of the US in Egypt is directly proportionate to the power of the US-backed dictator, and his ability to oppress the Egyptian people and maintain control of the country.  As the power of the dictator begins to dwindle, and as his grip on power is loosened, as it has been the past few days, the influence of the US also begins to wane.  The weakening of Mubarak also weakens the ability of those Western governments who backed him to exercise any influence on a post-Mubarak Egypt.   It’s clearly understood that the eventual overthrow of this key, US-client regime will be a strategic defeat for American foreign policy which will accelerate the already diminishing influence of the US in the region.

The US officials can blather on about freedom, human rights, and democracy, but in Egypt as is the case in Tunisia, true democracy will result in a government that rejects the same political, and economic policies the US urged its client regime to pursue, and on which all of the empire’s support for the dictator was conditioned.

The days of the American-backed tyrant in Cairo are numbered.   His end may come in the next few hours, days, months, or years, but his demise is now clearly within sight and with it the end of US influence in Egypt.  In the meantime, the Egyptians aren’t even listening to what US officials are saying.  They’re busy with an uprising.