15 - 21 June 2000
Issue No. 486
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Egypt Region International Economy Opinion Culture Features Travel Living Sports Profile People Time Out Chronicles Cartoons Letters
A very good timeSir-In "Have a good time" (A Diwan of contemporary life, Al-Ahram Weekly, 8-14 June), Dr Yunan Labib Rizk writes that "the omnipresence of soldiers of the British Empire roaming the streets and harassing the indigenous inhabitants as well as air raids prevented decent folk from leaving their homes at night." This is very interesting.
Can Dr Rizk elaborate upon it?
There were air raids (nocturnal or diurnal) in Egypt during World War I?
Were they carried out by Zeppelins or by whom?
And were they so frequent as to prevent people from leaving their homes at night?
Latter-day converts?Sir- True victory is precious in the Arab world these days. We have not had one since October '73. Sadly, one of the true knights of the Arab nation who defended its causes, its history, and its tradition throughout his life is begrudging us now the happiness of witnessing Israel suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Lebanese Hizbullah. In his last Al-Ahram Weekly article (8-14 June), Edward Said proclaims to us the breaking news that Israel's mercenary South Lebanese Army, described by the media as Christian, is predominantly Shi'ite. He ends his article by a concluding prophecy concerning the on-going conflict between Islamists and secularists in the Arab world, that the "secular opposition will ultimately win over its religious opponents." In these two comments, Said clearly contradicts what he preached more than 20 years ago in his masterpiece Orientalism, when he wrote: "My two fears are distortion and inaccuracy, or rather the kind of inaccuracy produced by too dogmatic a generality and too positivistic a localised focus." Said himself is now falling into the trap of easy generalisation and inaccuracies 22 years after his battle against Orientalists like Bernard Lewis, Gibb, and others. The man who inspired us all in Orientalism and Covering Islam is now throwing a dead rat into our punch of festivities because he dislikes Hizbullah. If the name of Edward Said was not on such a statement as "the backward-looking, absurdly anachronistic visions that aim at establishing Muslim and Jewish theocracies," you would think you were reading the words of the father of modern prejudiced Orientalism, Bernard Lewis in Commentary magazine in 1976. I am greatly disappointed.
Higher Technological Institute
10 Ramadan City