25 February - 3 March 1999
Issue No. 418
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Words to the wise
Egypt Region International Economy Opinion Culture Features Travel Living Sports People Time Out Chronicles Cartoons Letters
Sir-Shortsightedness has never failed some politicians who are supposedly leading their countries into the 21st century.
While history has repeatedly proved the proverb "catch not the shadow and lose the substance", some "top" politicians still think that tracking down some of their enemies would end their troubles, ignoring the fact that man dies but principles do not.
The problems and despair of the crucified Kurdish people, I believe, were never on the minds of those who made it their life's mission to hunt down Abdallah Ocalan.
The United States has reduced its enemies -- once symbolised by the now defunct Soviet Union -- to Bin Laden, a fugitive Saudi billionaire holed up in the mountains of impoverished Afghanistan. What a pity!
They have never tried to touch the core of the problem or admitted that their system does not function.
The stories of Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, Kim Dae Jung of South Korea, Mohamed Farah Aidid of Somalia, and many others are lessons for any politician who is willing to learn.
Sir-I much enjoyed Tarek Atia's profile of Ibrahim Nasr (Al-Ahram Weekly, 14-20 January). I, as well as thousands of Minya dwellers, am a long-time viewer of Nasr's Candid Camera. There are three things I especially like about the programme: first of all, I'm fond of the way Nasr acts, which never lets his heroes think that they are on a TV show or that they are face to face with a disguised TV actor. Second, the newness of the ideas: every night during Ramadan, Nasr strikes us with a new character. Finally, and especially, Nasr's insistence on having his guests' permission before broadcasting the episode.
As for Nasr's wish to make a children's TV show, I say, why not? Why don't we give him the opportunity? Why don't we make use of his ability to convince others?
I think that Nasr's ambition and determination, and above all his simple manners, are guarantees of his success.
Nader Fayez Fouad
Not that World War
Sir-In the Diwan of 18-24 February, there is some confusion between World War I and World War II.
Against the Allied forces in WWI were the Central Powers, not the Axis ones (this was in WWII), and there was no Siegfried (not Seigfried) line in WWI (having been built in the '30s, this was in WWII).
All readers' contributions and comments should be addressed to The Editor. Fax: +202 578 6089
E-mail correspondents are asked to give postal address. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.