Tuesday,17 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1265, (8 - 14 October 2015)
Tuesday,17 July, 2018
Issue 1265, (8 - 14 October 2015)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Beji Caid Essebsi: The quest for consensus

When he was sworn into office, Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi, president of Tunisia since December 2014, stressed the importance of consensus among all parties and social movements within the country and vowed to be president of all Tunisian men and women without exclusion.

He also tried to establish positive, balanced relations with the rest of the world.

On his two-day visit to Egypt this week, Essebsi called for an increase in bilateral cooperation and stated that Tunisia does not believe in intervening in the affairs of other nations in order to avoid problems and differences.

It was the first visit by Essebsi to Egypt since he came to office in Tunisia.

Essebsi served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1981 to 1986 and as Prime Minister from February 2011 to December 2011.

He is the founder of the Nidaa Tounes political party, which won in the 2014 parliamentary elections. In December 2014, he won the first regular presidential election after the Tunisian Revolution, becoming Tunisia’s first freely elected, non-transitional president.

Essebsi’s involvement in politics started as early as1941, when he joined the Neo Destour youth organisation. He studied law in Paris and became a lawyer in 1952 having passed the Tunis bar, where he began his career with the defence of Neo Destour activists.

He was a follower of Tunisia’s post-independence leader Habib Bourguiba. He then joined Bourguiba as an adviser following the country’s independence from France in 1956. He subsequently performed various functions such as director of the country’s regional administration body, interior minister from 1965 to 1969, defence minister from 1969 to 1970, and Ambassador in Paris. In 1981, he became minister of foreign affairs. He was appointed the country’s ambassador to Germany during president Zein Al-Abidine Ben Ali’s rule.

In the aftermath of the Tunisian Revolution, acting president Fouad Mebazaa appointed Essebsi prime minister. He left office a few months later to found the secular Nidaa Tounes party, which won a plurality of the seats in the October 2014 parliamentary election.

Essebsi was born in 1926 to a family from the Tunisian landed elite. He has two sons and two daughters.

“‘Terrorism’ was the most frequently used word in the opening speeches of the 70th UN General Assembly. Whether they agreed or differed with each other, all the parties emphasised the need to combat terrorism. We heard it from Putin and Obama, from Al-Sisi and Tamim Bin Hamad,
Rohani and Hadi and others. Even Netanyahu repeated the word 11 times in his theatrical speech.”
Ayman Al-Sayyad, Al-Shorouk

The bad and the worse

“Bashar Al-Assad’s war on his own people deprived him of all moral standing and weakened his situation. IS’s appearance has helped Al-Assad retrieve some moral balance for his regime given that he is more humane and more moral than IS. The choice in Syria is not between a regime that has no morals or principles and another that is democratic and respects human rights. It is between bad and worse, between a regime that suppresses its enemies and a force that crushes everybody, that has no friends or allies.”
Gamal Abdel-Gawad, Al-Watan

“Any future for Syria should not include Al-Assad or his regime. However, we should not substitute Al-Assad’s regime with Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s. The question is: how can we topple Al-Assad without helping to bring Al-Baghdadi to power? How can we avoid the Libyan scenario in which, once Gaddafi was toppled, hundreds of Gaddafis emerged?”
Emadeddin Hussein, Al-Shorouk

October Victory

“We achieved a major victory in October 1973 that helped us to resume development and overcome the 1967 defeat, and opened the door for us to lead the Arab region to a genuine cooperation that replicates the October victory in all fields. How did all these achievements dissipate? Why do we now leave 99 per cent of the cards in the hands of the US? There are a lot of questions. Perhaps the attempt to answer some of them would be the best things to do on the anniversary of that great victory.”
Galal Aref, Al-Akhbar

To blame

“I strongly support the decision of Cairo University to stop lecturers who wear the face veil from keeping it on during lecture times. This is not against personal freedom because, since the university does not stop anyone from wearing the veil outside the lecture hall. Nor is it against Islam, since the issue is controversial among religious scholars.”
Osama Al-Ghazali Harb, Al-Ahram

Egyptian Essence: 40% of food supplements not for human consumption

“40 per cent of food supplements available in the market are not suitable for human consumption, according to Ali Ouf, head of the drugs department at the Chambers of Commerce. Some of these supplements are contaminated with rodents dropping, dust or cement, he added.”


“The Russian reaction was no mere words, but real troops that entered Syria to support the Syrian regime and protect the country against division. The reaction was also shown in Putin’s strong speech before world leaders at the UNGA. We saw a clear declaration of confrontation with strong Chinese support.”
Nour Darwish

“In her famous song ‘I am confused who to support, Ahly or Zamalek’, Sabah was talking about Egypt’s foreign policy after the Russian intervention in Syria.”
Hani Shukrallah


Nervana Mahmoud @Nervana_1
40 years ago, Sadat kicked the Soviet advisers, and realigned Egypt toward the West. Doubt he would have done it, if Obama was in power!

Ibrahem El-Nasser @Ibrahem  
The Hajj tragedy sparks a firestorm for the Saudi crown prince.

Press TV @PressTV  
Saudi must be stripped of Hajj management: Iran cleric.

Ahmed Al OmranVerified account @ahmed  
Public prosecutors interrogate 9 engineers and officials from Saudi Binladin Group on the Mecca crane crash.

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