Tuesday,12 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1132, 24 - 30 January 2013
Tuesday,12 December, 2017
Issue 1132, 24 - 30 January 2013

Ahram Weekly

Briefs

Al-Ahram Weekly

Road tragedy

AT LEAST 14 people were killed on Monday when a microbus collided with a truck on the Red Sea-Assiut road. Thirteen others were reported injured in the accident and were transferred to Assiut University Hospital.

According to statistics, road accidents claim thousands of lives in Egypt. In addition to car accidents, dozens of lives have been lost in the past few months in train accidents.

 

Angry Nubians

DOZENS of Nubians gathered in front of the Shura Council on Saturday to protest against what they described as the “deliberate and continued marginalisation” of their issue.

Around 60 Nubian associations participated in the protest. Several political parties were present at the demonstration, including the centrist Strong Egypt Party and the liberal Free Egyptians party.

The main demand by the Nubians was a resettlement law that would relocate the 44 Nubian villages on the banks of Lake Nasser. The protesters said they want their lands and homes back. They also demanded the establishment of a high commission that would carry out development projects in Nubia. Dismissing Aswan Governor Mustafa Al-Sayed topped the demands of the protesters.

In the early 1960s, a large number of Nubians were forced to leave their lands, south of Aswan governorate, when Egypt started building the Aswan High Dam under Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s presidency. Currently, Nubian villages lie on less than a half of what originally used to be their land.

 

Civil coalition

LED by Ayman Nour, chairman of the liberal party Ghad Al-Thawra, or Revolution Tomorrow, 10 civil political parties held a closed meeting at one of Cairo’s biggest hotels on Monday to discuss preparations for the parliamentary elections and the possibility of forming an electoral coalition. The parties expressed their preliminary agreement on inviting all political forces and parties willing to form a wide-ranging civil coalition that would guarantee a fair representation of the civil bloc in the upcoming parliament. Nour recently announced his withdrawal from the national dialogue which the presidency has been holding with the aim of reaching a consensus over a number of disputed issues. Nour said on his Twitter account that he took the step after suggestions put forward by the political forces which took part in the dialogue were “totally ignored while the new election law was endorsed”.

 

Sit-in against France

FOLLOWING Friday prayers, dozens of representatives of Islamist forces held a sit-in outside the French embassy in Giza to protest what they described as French colonialism in Mali and called for the support of the Malian people.

With Al-Qaeda posters all around, a number of speakers criticised France for its recent military intervention in the West African country and threatened to shed French blood in the desert. Mohamed Al-Zawahri, the brother of Al-Qaeda’s Ayman Al-Zawahri, was at the protest.

Many posters in the crowd mocked the fact that while no one was ready to go to the aid of the Syrian people, France was rushing into Mali. Egyptian police stood by, just in case.

 

Egyptians deported

THE EGYPTIAN embassy in Yemen has finished the deportation orders of four Egyptians who entered Yemen illegally through Saudi Arabia, said a statement issued by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Sunday. Egypt’s Ambassador to Sanaa Ashraf Akl and embassy staff negotiated with the Yemeni authorities to deport the four without prosecution after paying a fine. Had they been prosecuted, they could have faced one to three years in prison according to Yemeni law. They arrived in Egypt on Sunday using temporary travel documents issued by the embassy.

 

Zoo on fire

FIRE broke out at Giza Zoo on Sunday afternoon in a forested area near the reptile section. The reasons behind the blaze and an estimate of the damage are unknown as an investigation begins. The fire started in an isolated part of the zoo and was quickly brought under control by fire engines, said official statements. There were no casualties and no animals were harmed. The brainchild of Khedive Ismail, Giza Zoo opened in 1891. It is the oldest and largest zoo in Africa.

 

Village clashes end

SECTARIAN clashes which erupted in Al-Marashda village last week have been put down by security forces, reports Reem Leila.

Security forces arrested at least 10 people from the village in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena on 18 January for starting the clashes which began last week when a 55-year-old Christian shop owner sexually assaulted a six-year-old Muslim girl. Angry residents burnt down the shop as well as three more shops in the neighbourhood.

The assailant was arrested and has been detained for four days pending an investigation. The Al-Marashda church priest turned the shop owner in, fearing he would be killed by villagers.

Angry villagers raided the church and stoned it as Christian residents hid inside. Accordingly, dozens of central security vehicles deployed around the church to prevent any further attacks from Muslim villagers. Police forces used tear gas to disperse crowds which surrounded the church.

Sheikh Ahmed Raslan, an imam of one of the village’s mosques, gathered families of Al-Marashda Friday night to try to put an end to the ongoing violence. “Families will leave matters to the judiciary. At the same time, as soon as the shop owner is released he will be banished from the village forever because he is known for his bad reputation,” said Raslan.

 

IMF is watching

AN IMF mission will visit Cairo after the government updates economic measures intended to reflect changes in the economy, Masood Ahmed, IMF’s director of the Middle East and Central Asia department said this week, according to Reuters. The mission is expected in Cairo to complete negotiations over a $4.8 billion loan. An agreement on the loan was postponed in November due to political unrest following President Mohamed Morsi’s constitutional declaration that was later retracted.

“Part of it is to make sure that the measures... will deliver the outcomes and are politically feasible,” Reuters reported Ahmed as saying. “The work we’ve done provides a very good basis now for us to finalise our discussions.”

Head of the IMF Christine Lagarde announced last week Thursday that talks with Egypt were near completion and that a budget assessment was the final step before granting Egypt the loan.

 

OCI moves shop

ORASCOM Construction Industries (OCI), the construction and fertiliser company and Egypt’s largest listed firm, is relocating from Cairo to Amsterdam as part of a new entity called OCI NV which will acquire OCI Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) in London in exchange for ordinary shares in OCI NV. Seventy-five per cent of OCI shares are in the form of GDRs, with the Egypt listing representing 25 per cent. The transaction is yet to be approved by the Egyptian regulator.

A group of US investors, led by the Bill Gates-owned Cascade Investment LLC, has committed approximately $1 billion for a stake in OCI NV. The Sawiris family is the holder of around 55 per cent of OCI while around six per cent is owned by a fund managed by Abraaj Capital.

The new entity’s shares will be listed in the NYSE Euronext exchange. A listing on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam will allow OCI “deeper access to capital markets such as the Eurobond market”, a company statement said. “In addition, the company expects to attain higher credit ratings from global rating agencies facilitating its debt financing.”

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