He knows what he's doing
Sir-- Re 'Ducking the issue' (1-7 July Al-Ahram Weekly ) I suspect McChrystal is not such a fool. He sees the writing on the wall in Afghanistan and used the chance to tell a few officials what he thinks of them (his calls from Holbrooke as the work of a canine was my favourite) and get the heck out of a losing war. Obama just as cynically used the opportunity to shaft his future rival for the presidency. Petraeus will now have to own up to what was his baby all along. The horrifying toll in just the past week in Afghanistan and Pakistan shows the new general's time bomb is already ticking.
Sir-- Re 'The future of Islam in Europe' (17-23 June, Al-Ahram Weekly ), I see the niqab as an absolute insult to my mother, my sister and Western values. It is the act of covering the face and the implied inferiority of women that is the issue here. It isn't a threat but it is a sign of disrespect, akin to a woman parading through Riyadh in a bikini or me marching through a Cairo mosque in my shoes.
At a frog's pace
Sir-- The Russians remember very well how their diplomacy efforts failed with Hitler ('Cowards and thieves' 10-16 June, Al-Ahram Weekly ). A similar failure with Israel-America, who are very similar to Nazi Germany in mentality, would be far more disastrous. Ever hear of the story about how a frog in a pot of water will not jump out as it's slowly heated to boiling because it apparently doesn't notice the slow temperature change? Well that is how Israel-America will have to be neutralised. The fanatics will have to be slowly eased out of power at a pace they won't notice.
Sir-- The news about AUC's undergraduate commencement, that John Baboukis and Amr Shaarawi received the "excellence in research and creative endeavour award" is incorrect (Pack of cards, 1-7 July, Al-Ahram Weekly ). Both Baboukis and Shaarawi received the "excellence in academic service award" which is a totally different award. The "excellence in research and creative endeavour award", on the other hand, was awarded to me, associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering.