Sir-- Your article about South Africa and the AWB of Eugene Terre'Blanche fail to mention one very important fact: the majority of white South Africans and Afrikaners did not support Terre'Blanche, his party or his views ('Cry the accursed country' 8-14 April, Al-Ahram Weekly ). The AWB was a fringe movement with very little support. However, like any good juicy news story, it is 10,000 AWB people that make news. Not the good 3.4 million "boring" whites.
I might add that whites make up only eight per cent of the South African population and is a minority. More than 3,000 of the white farmers have been murdered and mostly tortured by their black fellow citizens with not a word from the government or international media.
What makes Terre'Blanche's murder so significant is that what the media doesn't tell you is that he was not a rich man. He had to borrow money for an operation. On the day of his death he was taking an afternoon nap when he was overpowered and hacked to death. The perpetrators left their weapons, conveniently at his body, pulled down his pants to show "power" over him, then called the police to come pick them up! Now if that doesn't sound like a planned or coached operation then we have a lot of naive people in this world.
The white minority is fed up with all the murders and the silence of the politically correct media. I call them the 'copy and paste' media as one newspaper copies from another, and people form poor opinions on what they read.
Obama's glass house
Sir-- James Zogby in 'Before it's too late' (8-14 April, Al-Ahram Weekly ) calls for calm from the right-wing in the US before it spills over into violence. I agree that everyone should pull back from the edge before it is too late.
However, this is not going to happen, simply because Obama himself is driving this move towards violence with his open demonstration of appeasement of dictators and enemies of America, while simultaneously downgrading ties with traditional US allies. Nowhere is this more plainly seen than in his open hatred towards Israel and refusal to speak up in any form against Palestinian incitement.
Until the world sees him publicly speak out against this sort of thing by the Palestinians, in the same way that he castigates and humiliates Israelis, then these right-wing extremists have a very fertile ground from which to recruit new members.
Obama himself is driving the world to war with his naive approach to the Middle East.
Sir-- Zahi Hawass's 'Once again: camels and horses at the Pyramids' (1-7 April, Al-Ahram Weekly ) is timely. I met Hawass in 1977 when he was a young inspector at the Giza Plateau and already he had a vision of the Pyramids free of buses, vendors, horses and camels. Over the years he has achieved part of his goal and I fully support the implementation of this next phase to clean up the area. The desert around the Pyramids affords tourists to take horses and camels to spots where the view is a photographer's dream. Perhaps the Supreme Council of Antiquities can help channel camel and horse rides into the desert by providing a tourist police presence at these distant desert spots where tourists are most vulnerable to threats and blackmail and hand over extra money to unscrupulous camel and horse drivers.
As long as Hawass leaves a window for these families to make a decent living, he will live up to his reputation as a fair and wise guardian of Egypt's national treasures.
If Hawass says so
Sir-- I read with interest 'Once again: camels and horses at the Pyramids' (1-7 April, Al-Ahram Weekly ). My only comment is that I consider Zahi Hawass the guardian of the Pyramids and if he says this is best, then I would agree. His passion about his work and the antiquities shows in everything he does. To trade a quick buck for the ruin and polluting of history is unacceptable. Thank you Dr Hawass for being ever vigilant in your concern for preserving history for the world.