Djindjic sent Milosevic to the hounds
Sir-- I was pleasantly surprised by your article on Kosovo ('Balkan intrigues', Al-Ahram Weekly 21-27 February). Amid so much drivel, your piece is refreshing because it is so well-informed. The only remark I have concerns what you wrote about Kostunica sending Milosevic to The Hague War Crimes Tribunal. Surely, you meant the late Zoran Djindjic, the then prime minister?
[Ed: Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic overrode the objections of the Yugoslav Supreme Court and Yugoslav Federal President Vojislav Kostunica delivered Slobodan Milosevic to the US-sponsored International Tribunal at The Hague in 2001. Kostunica was opposed but as head of state had to authorise the extradition and thus take ultimate responsibility. Djindjic was later assassinated in 2003].
Right on Afghanistan
Sir-- I think you need to rethink your statement in 'The new Auschwitz' (Al-Ahram Weekly 14-20 February) about Afghanistan being an illegal war. That country's regime allowed Al-Qaeda to attack us and then refused to hand over Bin Laden. Had they done so, I don't think we would be there today (although with Bush I'm not sure I can make that statement). Our NATO partners obviously agreed with our actions since they joined us in the fray. In my view, Iraq was/is an illegal war. Pursuing Bin Laden and company, no matter how poorly executed, was justified. While I totally disagree with how this administration has conducted itself in regards to Iraq, I defend our intent on going into Afghanistan. Had Bush listened to his military advisers and almost everyone in the Middle East and stayed out of Iraq, we could have focussed on the Afghan war and been through with this by now.
Sir-- I felt dismayed and disappointed by the owner of the Sabaya hairdresser, in the suburb of Heliopolis in Cairo, banning moderate unveiled Egyptian women from having their hair done in her salon-cum-café ('Taking beauty personally', Al-Ahram Weekly 21-27 February).
How would Ms Tork and her veiled staff feel if European embassies and the American embassy were to deny veiled Egyptian women visas to Europe and the US? No wonder behaviour like this foments Islamophobia. I hope barbers in Egypt will not follow suit and ban men with no skull caps from having their hair cut.
Piety is in the soul, not the hair.
What no one else sees
Sir-- I cannot pass up telling you how much a reader with "sense and sensibility" feels it her duty to report on the positive impressions she has experienced after reading Mrs Lubna Abdel-Aziz's column 'The way of all flesh' (Al-Ahram Weekly 17-23 January).
Though Mrs Abdel-Aziz's articles are a must when I read the Weekly, I have to say that, at the time of President Bush's visit to our country and the region, her story -- cum colour photo of Clinton in his hey day with an unhealed nick on the chin (not from a razor) -- reached the summit of subtlety. I cannot but say she has surpassed herself in gauging the present head of the US administration's character and behaviour during his visit.