6 - 12 July 2000
Issue No. 489
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Egypt Region Focus International Economy Opinion Culture Features Travel Living Sports Profile People Time Out Chronicles Cartoons Letters
Mistaken originsSir- In Al-Ahram Weekly of 29 June -3 July, we can read in the caption of the portrait of the week by Bahgory that "Zinedine Zidan is an Arab player."
Actually, he is of Berber, not Arab, ancestry.
And in "Smoke where there's fire," we read that "Tobacco consumption has a long history, going back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks." Actually, tobacco is a native plant of America and it was not known in Europe before the discovery of this continent.
Don't push itSir-I, like millions of people around the world, have been glued to the TV almost every night for the past couple of weeks, gripped by the delightful and highly entertaining European soccer championship. Rarely, if ever, has this latest edition of the tournament risen to such levels and the event, which is often touted as the globe's second most important football tournament, has in my book, far outclassed what is regarded the best -- the World Cup.
Unfortunately -- and not surprisingly -- British violence has once again been allowed to spoil the party. This time around English hooligans made a mess of what were up until a few days back the tranquil but now disheveled Belgian cities of Brussels and Charleroi.
While British street thuggery is nothing new, the UEFA reply was. In an unprecedented display of spine, the football organisation threatened to kick the English team out of the championship should its supporters go awry again. England was spared the embarrassment; the team was knocked out on the field courtesy of a dramatic game-ending penalty against Romania.
Consequently, the UEFA threat has gone untested. But in future British authorities, and the hooligans they are meant to corral, would do well to keep UEFA from going beyond the experimental stage.
Sumptuary excessesSir-I've been living overseas for 11 years now. I just recently read that there's a new law against taxi and bus drivers wearing a galabiya. The people passing such laws, do they really have nothing else to do in life?
Has Egypt fixed all its problems that they are now after the galabiya? A part of our culture! Are we being Westernised? Or is it a déjà-vu and one day they will say "no molokhiya"?
The UN has ranked Egypt 119th on a list of "best countries to live in" -- after Mongolia. So disappointing.