Monday,16 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1296, (19 - 25 May 2016)
Monday,16 July, 2018
Issue 1296, (19 - 25 May 2016)

Ahram Weekly


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Al-Ahram Weekly
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Clovis Maksoud: Nine decades of struggle  

Arab-American scholar Clovis Maksoud was a veteran diplomat, writer, scholar and a strong advocate of the Palestinian cause and Arab unity. Throughout his career, he always warned against extremism and sectarianism.

Maksoud died in Washington this week at the age of 90 of a severe cerebral haemorrhage. Needless to say the Palestinian cause is far from being resolved and Arab unity a far-fetched target. The world Maksoud has left behind is full of extremism and sectarianism.

Maksoud was born in Oklahoma in 1926 to Lebanese parents who had immigrated to the United States but moved back to Lebanon, where he grew up. He studied political science at the American University in Beirut and graduated in 1948, before moving back to the US to study law at George Washington University, where he received his law degree.

Maksoud returned to Lebanon in the mid-1950s, when he became actively involved in democratic and social reforms. The aftermath of 1956 Suez War greatly marked him. It anchored his political commitment and made him an enthusiastic advocate of Arab unity and a vigorous defender of Palestinian rights.

Maksoud held several diplomatic positions with the Arab League. He was the chief representative of the League of Arab States in India from 1961 to 1966.

In 1966, he became senior editor of Al-Ahram newspaper.

In 1973, the October War broke out between Israel and its neighbours and Saudi Arabia joined the Arab war effort by cutting oil exports to the West. In response to the American public’s outcry the Arab League dispatched Maksoud as the League’s Special Envoy to the United States to explain the Arab viewpoint to Americans.

As the League’s representative he embarked on innumerable journeys across the US. Everywhere he went, he articulated Arab grievances in a manner that American audiences could understand. To Arabs everywhere, he was the sincere and passionate spokesperson of pan-Arab aspirations and Palestinian rights.

In 1979, Maksoud became the League of Arab States’ chief representative to the United Nations. He resigned from his post in 1990 in the aftermath of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

Maksoud wrote numerous books on Arab politics and identity including The Meaning of Non-Alignment, The Crisis of the Arab Left, Reflections on Afro-Asianism and The Arab Image.

His death is widely regarded a great loss.

“I believe that when people saw thousands of policemen deployed in the streets of Cairo and other governorates on 25 April to stop the protests against the agreement on Tiran and Sanafir islands, they wondered why half or even a quarter of that number were not deployed everyday to ensure public security and fight crime. One of the main ways to regain the lost trust between the police and the people is to make people feel that the police is present everywhere to defend their peace and security and not only in Tahrir Square to preserve the political status quo. ”
Emadeddin Hussein, Al-Shorouk

Haphazardness and corruption

“The Al-Rewayei and the Al-Hamzawi fires showed nothing that we had not known beforehand. But they cast light on facts that we choose to ignore: disorder and haphazardness in the commercial areas in downtown Cairo are the phenomena that strike the visitor. They are the main features in the way of life of Egyptians and they are the main cause of the last fires and possible future fires.”
Gamal Abdel-Gawad, Al-Watan

Why Khan won

“Sadiq Khan managed to win the election and become the Mayor of London because the British voter is not directed by parochial ideologies, dishonest media or tabloid journalism. The voter cannot be bribed either in a direct or indirect way. Khan won because the voter wants the most suitable person even if he belongs to a different religion, sect or origin. His success is a lesson to all the silly Arab states that are threatened by ethnic and sectarian wars. The identity of the ruler is not important, but how he rules is the core. Will he apply justice and equality or injustice, torture, sectarianism?”
Nageh Ibrahim, Al-Shorouk

The press crisis

“The most dangerous thing emerging from the crisis between the press and the Interior Ministry is the power of the camp that is inimical to democracy and freedom of the press. Besides, the leaders of the campaign against the press chose to ignore the fact that squandering freedom of expression, thinking, etc does not conform to the 2014 constitution which is the basis of the legitimacy of the post-30 June regime.”
Taha Abdel-Alim, Al-Ahram

“The press crisis should have been contained on the following day with a little rational thinking rather than leaving it to the political opportunism of a handful of persons or groups who are in favour of disorder and who harbour belligerent feelings for the powers that be. The same can be said of other crises including the doctors’ crisis. However, there is a tendency to deal with crises according to [Mubarak’s] old theory of ‘let [the opposition] amuse themselves’. And that creates a tense political atmosphere.”
Adel Al-Sanhouri, Al-Youm Al-Sabei

Egyptian Essence: 10 to 30% rise in prices

“The last few days saw a noticeable increase in the prices of staple goods that ranges from 10 to 30 per cent. CAPMAS registered a 3.1 increase in the price of vegetables, 3.5 per cent in grain and rice, three per cent in poultry, 4.5 per cent in fruit and a 2.5 per cent in beans which rose to LE10,000 per tonne in comparison to LE7,500 two weeks ago. These price hikes require a quick move on the part official bodies to control the market, especially since another rise is expected before the start of Ramadan.”


“Today, Arab students from Tel Aviv University protested and marked the Nakba, or the anniversary of the establishment of Israel. The protests were protected by the Israeli police. The Zionists allow you to protest against the establishment of their state, carry pictures of the Nakba’s martyrs and call for the return of your usurped lands. But that only is allowed by the Zionists.”
Ahmed Mahmoud Melad

“A black day: All protesters in Dokki and Agouza were sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of LE100,000. The Kasr Al-Nil protesters were sentenced to two years in prison. More charges have been levelled at Amr Badr and Mahmoud Al-Sakka, who are still detained. Sanaa Seif turned herself in to police to serve a six-month sentence passed in absentia. There is news that Malek Adli is in solitary confinement and is deprived of food and visits.”
Tarek Al-Awadi


Gregg Carlstrom @glcarlstrom  
Italy wants justice for Giulio Regeni, but it also needs Egypt’s support for ongoing peace talks in Libya.

Sharif Kouddous @sharifkouddous
Our courts are so remarkably efficient when trying dissenters: Egypt Sentences 152 to Prison for Island Protests.

Mada Masr @MadaMasr 
State agency says unemployment in Egypt down to 12.7%, though PMI has reported job shedding for past 10 months!

Nervana Mahmoud @Nervana_1  
One fire? Accident Two fires? Negligence But endless number of fires?

Marlyn @virtualactivism  
Cairo governor says that after Ataba fire, he’s now planning to ‘move’ areas like Khan Al Khalil, Al Ghoreya and Al Kheyamiya !!!

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