Tuesday,21 May, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1285, (3 - 9 March 2016)
Tuesday,21 May, 2019
Issue 1285, (3 - 9 March 2016)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Nabil Al-Arabi: decades of diplomacy 

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Arabi this week stated that he will not be seeking to renew his term in office, which ends in July. Succeeding Amr Moussa, he was appointed to the post on 15 May 2011 officially taking office on 1 July 2011. During his five years in office, the Arab League had to face crises in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria and the rise of Daesh in the region.

Al-Arabi had been the Foreign Minister of Egypt in Essam Sharaf's post-revolution cabinet. During his short term as minister, he took revolutionary decisions like opening the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, brokering the reconciliation of Hamas with Fatah and taking serious steps towards improving Egypt’s relations with Iran. However, he was not given enough time to implement these decisions. Two months later, he was transferred to the Arab League.

Al-Arabi was born in 1935. He graduated from the Faculty of Law, Cairo University in 1955. He started his career in the Foreign Ministry as Legal Adviser and Director in the Legal and Treaties Department from 1976 to 1978, becoming ambassador to India from 1981 to 1983. He was Legal Adviser to the Egyptian delegation to the Camp David Middle East peace conference in 1978, head of the Egyptian delegation to the Taba negotiations from 1985 to 1989 and agent of the Egyptian Government to the Egyptian-Israeli arbitration tribunal (Taba dispute) from 1986 to 1988.

In the course of his career he also filled important posts in the UN: he was Egypt's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in New York from 1978 to 1981, permanent representative to the UN Office at Geneva from 1987 to 1991, permanent representative to the UN in New York from 1991 to 1999, member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations from 1994 to 2004, president of the Security Council in 1996, and vice-president of the General Assembly in 1993, 1994 and 1997.


“By heading east, the president’s tour has three targets: first, boosting cooperation in the field of education as education is the key to development and stability; secondly, enhancing economic cooperation in the field of technology with Japan and Korea and in the field of agriculture and tourism with Kazakhstan; and, thirdly, achieving stability in the Middle East. The eastern countries have expressed a strong wish to contribute to restoring stability to the region.”



Broad differences in parliament

"What is all this noise? Play nicely together children!!"

Abdallah, Al-Masry Al-Youm




Say 'good morning' to Egypt

“We all welcomed the president's initative, ‘say good morning to Egypt and pay one pound’. However, we wished if in the meantime the president had taken decisions to force state institutions to adopt austere measures like hiring foreign training coaches for Al-Ahly and Zamalek. Only then would the people be willing to help Egypt as they did during digging the New Suez Canal.”

Mustafa Abdallah, Al-Masry Al-Youm


“People love the president. That is why they responded to his call to 'say good morning to Egypt'. I wonder why some took that initiative lightly at a time when there are SMS messages that cost millions sent to silly programmes like Star Academy and others.”

Ahmed Galal, Al-Akhbar



“When the president delivers a speech we listen attentively. But he never has a chance to listen to us. His speeches are a monologue. While I do not call on the president to talk to the people in general, I expect him to talk to men of thought, political parties, syndicates and main societies. Besides, the president calls on us to support his vision. But the only possible support is based on interaction, dialogue and conviction. It cannot be based on listening and submission.”

Gamal Abdel-Gawwad, Al-Watan


The last chance

“It is clear from the recent Russian communications with the Saudi monarch and the Syrian and Iranian presidents that Moscow has the will to make the two-week truce a success in the hope of restarting the Geneva negotiations in the first week of March. The negotiations aim to reach a political settlement of the Syrian crisis by starting an 18-month transitional period run by both the government and the opposition and ending with parliamentary and presidential elections.”

Makram Mohamed Ahmed, Al-Ahram


Top of form

“Four Coptic students were detained because they presented a farce about Daesh. A writer was jailed for using obscene words. Islam Al-Beheiri is in jail because he criticised the heritage. Fatma Naout may face jail. The question is: would the situation have been different if the MB had still been in office? Did we really get rid of religious fascism? Would things have looked different, had Hazem Abu Ismail been the president, Yasser Borhami the speaker and Mamdouh Ismail – who chanted the Azan in parliament – the chief judge?”

Nour Farahat


“Hitting Tawfik Okasha with a shoe in parliament and the landslide reaction in support of the act, rejecting normalisation with Israel, shows that the compass of the people has not moved despite all the calamities that surround us everywhere.”

Hani Raslan


Karina Loren @miskelayla

"#Egypt wants 100,000 of its students to study in #Japan" says #Sisi - because "Tokyo's educational system "stresses discipline." Yep :)


Eric Trager @EricTrager13

Report: #Japan to offer #Egypt $18 billion economic aid/investment package. Sisi inTokyo, addressed Japanese parliament.


Negar @NegarMortazavi

All 30 Candidates of the Reformist coalition in Tehran won 100% of the seats in Parliament. Hardliners got zero.


Mohammad Gharebag@Gharebag

Officials announced turn out in Iran parliamentary election; 62% countrywide. In Tehran 50%. #Iran #election


Egyptian Essence

500,000 messages in 5 days

“In a quick and massive response to the ‘say good morning to Egypt’ initiative, some 500,000 SMS messages were sent to 37037 from last Wednesday till Sunday. The total value of the messages is 2.5 million pounds.”

Al-Youm Al-Sabei

Two members of the board of Egypt’s Press Syndicate began on Monday an open-ended strike inside the Press Syndicate to protest the mistreatment of their imprisoned colleagues.
But hours after elected board members Khaled Al-Balshi and board member Mahmoud Kamel began their strike, they were informed by the Interior Ministry that imprisoned journalists will receive all needed medical treatment. Al-Balshi later said on his Facebook page that jailed journalists Youssef Shaaban and Hani Salaheddin were taken to public hospitals to receive treatment, and that the Interior Ministry allowed the families of another two, Hisham Gaafar and Hossam Al-Sayed, to visit them. At least 30 journalists are currently imprisoned or detained pending trial on various criminal and misdemeanour charges. One of the imprisoned journalists, needs an urgent heart surgery while another, Youssef Shaaban, has Hepatitis C.



add comment

  • follow us on