Egypt Region International Economy Opinion Culture Profile Features Books Travel Living Sports People Time Out Chronicles Cartoons Letters
Sir-Substitute "Palestine" for "Kosovo" and you have a clear picture of happenings in 1948. Israel could not have become a state without "cleansing" large areas of Palestinians whose ancestors had lived on the land since Biblical times. This cleansing was necessary before Jewish immigrants could move in to replace them. Palestinians were forced to leave homes, farms and businesses after the massacre at Deir Yassin. Many of them were killed or died under the harsh conditions of flight with no rescue missions available to aid the survivors. Later on, refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Gaza Strip were provided with limited sustenance. Today, we still see the fallout from the lack of justice in 1948.
Refuse to deal with it
Sir- Thank you very much for a very enjoyable newspaper. I like most of the articles, but my favourite is Fayza Hassan, who is a wonderful writer, whether in her articles about Islamic architecture or in her own column.
Every day on my way to work I pass through Soliman Abaza Street in Dokki. It is a nice tree-lined street with quite expensive shops. At one end a minister lives, and at the other is the biggest radiology centre in Cairo.
On one of the corners of this street, there is always an enormous heap of garbage thrown on the footpath and spilling over into the street. It has been like this for years. Once I had the opportunity to talk to the governor's secretary and he promised to do something. I am just amazed that none of those important people living on the street has done something radical about it.
Water is the future
Sir- Mohamed Sid-Ahmed's article entitled "Egypt 2020" was interesting to say the least. The Cairo Bureau of the Third World Forum should be congratulated on its work and on contemplating the future. The central focus of their work was a "visioning process" whereby one projects possible realities.
It is helpful to look into the future so policy-makers can have a chance to see what it may look like -- even if it is only an informed vision. From such projections, rethinking can take place to try and create a future we want.
Sid-Ahmed raised the issue of water as one area that was missing in the report. He hit the nail on the head. The water issue should have been central to the piece. I suggest that the UN, through one of its environmental programmes, take a serious look at this issue, especially as it relates to taking more water from the Nile. They should conduct a comprehensive study of the Nile River watershed and come up with a solid plan. Such a plan could form the basis for negotiating a peaceful settlement for the Nile Basin region. A fair and honest resolution must be found before it is too late.
To a great extent, this IS the future of Egypt. You might say so goes the Nile, so goes Egypt. Leaders in Egypt should begin this process now so the future direction of a modern Egypt can be maintained. Without such an agreement, the future will be problematic.
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.