|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
25 - 31 January 2001
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
Common heritagesSir- I don't remember how I came across your site yesterday, just surfing around, but it has certainly changed the way I look at this part of the political scene -- and I'm not a political person, just voicing an opinion to you for any interest you may have.
At first I was reading a fun little story by Fayza Hassan about a little cat she'd adopted. I really enjoyed that, so I looked some more and found an article by Injy El-Kashef about a new Big Boy restaurant, which I thought funny (apparently American food is not well liked there!).
But then I came across the oh-so-disturbing pictures of the Palestinian man who had violated curfew and had been brutally shot and denied care (Al-Ahram Weekly, 4-10 January). We do not print pictures like that here (at least I had never seen any) and at first the sight of that, alone, took my breath away (so to speak) and then I started reading about what had happened. I felt as though the world had started spinning in the other direction! To say I was shocked doesn't even come close to how I felt.
I had always thought Israel were the good guys! Like I said, I am not a political person. I don't pay attention to a lot of what goes on. But I certainly had no idea that this was happening! No wonder there are claims of extreme actions. This is not the exact term I am looking for but I think you will understand what I am saying. My husband and I discussed this today and I found out that he has felt the same way. He doesn't hold anything against Jews as such, but he cannot stand Israel. (You must remember how "Jew" fits into the basic religion here in the US and the feelings we have about how the Jewish people were treated by Hitler.)
Anyway, I have read other articles in your papers over the last 12 hours and have found them very informative about what is going on in your part of the world (it reminds me to be thankful to live here in the United States). I also enjoy reading your not-so-head-twisting stories getting the "gist" of your people and seeing that, as I have always believed, people should somehow try to unify and treat everyone as they would be treated. I doubt seriously this will ever happen. There is too much evil and greed in the world and I believe that the word "religion" has done as much as anything to cause this pain and bloodshed. It seems, looking at history, that if not for religion there would hardly be any dissatisfaction among the different heritages and far fewer problems in creating a peaceful existence -- a much easier "live and let live" attitude...
So, I thank you for the chance to read about your country, to see the injustice being done to your people, and to bring your country closer to my "little neck of the woods."
Developing compassionSir- I was thrilled to read Fayza Hassan's special (Al-Ahram Weekly, 18-24 January) about the redevelopment of Old Cairo, and especially the fine leadership and commitment of Mona Zakaria.
Egypt needs a whole army of Mona Zakarias, compassionate developers who see the value in the people, their skills and their place, developers who look beyond the first opportunity to make a profit. Her view of the meaning of sustainable development is excellent.
Also, kudos to Mr Beltagui, who has the foresight to support Ms Zakaria and such a marvelous project.
And thank you very much to Al-Ahram Weekly, for your weekly English-language website. I enjoy it very much.
Mary Kay Radnich
Tour Egypt Monthly
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