7 - 13 September 2000
Issue No. 498
|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
Royal visitSHEIKH Hamad bin Eissa Al-Khalifa, the emir of Bahrain, visited Egypt on Tuesday to convey his condolences to President Hosni Mubarak on the death of 65 Egyptians in the 23 August crash of a Gulf Air Airbus A320.
Sheikh Hamad's visit was also an opportunity to discuss bilateral relations, particularly economic cooperation, and political developments in the region.
Demarcation line made clearGAMAL Mubarak, chairman of the Future Society, announced on Monday that his organisation had no intention of becoming a political party. Mubarak's statements were made at a news conference following the graduation of 600 professionals who took a training course given by the society.
The three-month basic skills course was the culmination of efforts by 40 establishments, including private sector companies and banks. Some 100 graduates have already been appointed as instructors at the computer department of the Ministry of Transport.
Mubarak said the society is currently studying two projects: a re-training programme for young people who graduated several years ago and a high management development training course, in cooperation with a top-level American university.
As for the basic skills course, its second phase has already begun, benefiting 300 students.
Rulings against violenceTHE SOHAG Criminal Court handed down sentences on Tuesday following violent incidents which took place at the beginning of the year in the Upper Egyptian village of Dar Al-Salam. The violence was a spill over from sectarian clashes in the neighbouring village of Al-Kosheh.
Thirty-eight defendants were put on trial on charges of burning and vandalising 156 shops owned by Christians and wounding five people. Four received 10 years imprisonment, four others got two years with hard labour, 11 were given one-year terms and 19 were acquitted.
BBC and Planetarabia onlinePLANETARABIA.COM and BBCarabic.com announced on Tuesday a new online partnership, reports Amira Howeidy. The joint venture, a first for the BBC in the Arab world, will facilitate the use of BBCarabic.com text and audio online news coverage on the Arabic version of Planetarabia.com. "BBCarabic.com welcomes this new venture with Planetarabia.com," said Hossam El-Sokkari, head of BBCarabic.com. "We are delighted that our up-to-the minute news headlines and in-depth analysis of the stories behind those headlines will now be instantly available to the fast-growing community of Arabic Internet users across the world."
"Listeners in the Middle East already rely on BBC Arabic to provide them with extensive coverage of world news," said Bijan Dastmalchi, chief operating officer of Planetarabia.com. "We are now bringing that well-known service to our online audience in their native language, Arabic."
Under the agreement, the BBC will grant Planetarabia.com a licence to provide its users with a co-branded page containing BBCarabic.com's news headlines and summaries as text, updated 24 hours a day. The BBC will also grant Planetarabia.com a licence to broadcast audio content from BBCarabic.com's web site on the Arabic version of Planetarabia.com. Audio content will include over 18 hours of BBC Arabic's live audio stream of news and current affairs programming, as well as audio news bulletins, updated hourly, upon demand.
"Providing up-to-date news coverage in Arabic to our users adds a lot of value to their online experience," said Ahmed Mahmoud, director of business development and marketing of Planetarabia.com. "We work hard towards building solid relationships with global content providers and news organisations. Teaming with BBCarabic.com is a great milestone for our global business development efforts."
Million dollar garbageGARBAGE is a chronic problem in large population centres and the city of Alexandria is no exception. At their wits end, the government decided to take novel action in addressing the offending refuse, namely calling in foreign expertise. Last Sunday, Onyx, an offshoot of French conglomerate Vivendi, was awarded a contract worth $450 million to keep the Mediterranean city clean for the next 15 years.
The signing of the contract was a grandiose affair attended by Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and the Minister of State for Environmental Affairs Nadia Makram Ebeid. Onyx will be responsible for handling one million tons of garbage, produced by the city's 3.5 million inhabitants annually. The company will collect household, medical and non-toxic industrial waste, clear urban areas and beaches, operate three sorting and disposal plants and build and operate an incinerator.
Pilots take a standTHE EGYPTIAN Pilots Association has filed a lawsuit against US President Bill Clinton in connection with the 31 October crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 off the eastern coast of the United States. The Association said US investigators ignored a number of possible reasons for the crash, such as a surface-to-air missile hitting the Boeing 767.
The US Embassy in Cairo was notified of the lawsuit, filed in Egyptian courts, which requests the American president to order a fresh investigation into the crash.
The case is a reflection of Egyptian anger over leaks by US investigators which suggested that a suicidal co-pilot, Gamil El-Batouti, downed the plane deliberately into the Atlantic, killing all 217 people on board. El-Batouti's family has also filed lawsuits against the US press and media, including CNN and Newsweek, for allegedly defaming him.
Visions of the MadonnaTHE COUNCIL of the Assiut Clergy has recorded recurring appearances of the Virgin Mary over the domes of St Mark Church in the Upper Egyptian governorate. "She appears in a spiritual atmosphere of bright light, very quietly and without making a sound," Father Mina Hanna, a local Coptic priest, said of the appearances, adding that since 17 August she had been appearing "on an irregular basis."
The clergy's statement said residents near the church first sighted the vision almost a month ago at night accompanied by "hovering flocks of large white pigeons."
People have been flocking from outside the governorate, waiting on rooftops and in streets and alleys around the church, to receive the Virgin Mary's blessing.
False prophetess condemnedTHE MISDEMEANOURS State Security Court found Manal Wahid guilty of defaming religion for claiming she was a prophetess and sentenced her to five years in jail with hard labour. Also convicted were a host of her followers: two were sentenced to three years with hard labour, six to one year, and two women got six months each. Two others were fined LE1,000 each.
State Security Court rulings cannot be appealed.
ObituaryHussein Abdel-Nasser (1938-2000), the younger brother of the former President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, died last week following a long struggle with lung cancer. He was chairman of EgyptAir's Japan and Far East division. Unlike his older brother, Hussein never became involved in politics. He was an air force pilot before joining EgyptAir.
He is survived by a daughter, Manal, a son, Abdel-Hakim, and his wife, Amal, daughter of Abdel-Hakim Amer, deputy supreme commander of the Egyptian armed forces until the June 1967 defeat.
compiled by Fatemah Farag