Al-Ahram Weekly Online   7 - 13 August 2008
Issue No. 909
Reader's corner
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Readers' corner

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Identical measures

Sir-- For two weeks now, many articles have been applauding the inauguration of Al-Muizz Street as a pedestrian-only zone. Transforming this millennium-old "living city" into an open museum/pedestrian zone under the pretext of "protecting neglected monuments" is a questionable approach.

I would have expected a more analytical coverage of the pros and cons of this project. Are these not in fact measures identical to those of the Mamelukes and other rulers who "destroyed the constructions of their predecessors" as clearly noted in 'In the shadow of the Mamluks' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 17-23 July)? We are not protecting neglected monuments; we are transforming an entire city into another Disney Land.

I am certain the monuments could have been protected by simply organising traffic in the area, enforcing garbage collection and upgrading the infrastructure.

Hoda Abdel-Hamid

AU on the move?

Sir-- Instead of waiting for the political elite to get around to turning in their leaders to the ICC when it suits them, it's about time the AU started to represent the interests of its long-suffering people and try greedy, brutal leaders such as Al-Bashir and Mugabe in their own courts. It's useless to blame the West for setting the agenda when the AU continues to turn a blind eye to oppression, torture and genocide -- acts that would not be tolerated in Europe.

For my part, I would like to see Bush and Blair tried for their illegal invasion of Iraq.

Sam L J Page

Not hoping for much

Sir-- I just read the article about Obama and Brzezinski (Al-Ahram Weekly, 'The power behind the throne-to-be'). Watching the primaries on MSNBC recently, I was reminded of just how extreme you need to be in order to exist in the American mainstream -- pro guns, pro death penalty and pro Israel.

Still, Obama represents a huge progress in almost every direction, and it will seem like a miracle if he becomes president after George Bush. But he will be the president of the US -- you can only hope for so much.

James Mason

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