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updated May 4, 2003


Reactions to "the view from cairo"

The UN, my friend, is very important, more so than you realize. (see "A new type of UN report", April 2003) If the UN closes its doors on Monday, China will attack Taiwan on Tuesday, Pakistan will attack India on Wednesday, North Korea will attack South Korea and Japan on Thursday, Russia will point its weapons at the USA on Friday, and Germany and France will take Britain on Saturday. Then they'll all wish they had kept the UN.
Tony Whiteside

The article about the mood in Cairo after the war is great (see "The scenarios are already blooming", April 2003), but we need more news about people's moods and what intellectuals are saying about the happiness in the streets of Iraq which we see so much of in the US media. Is it true? Or are these just a bunch of stray people in the streets? Do these people think they will really be better off after what happened? 


Threatening Syria

While I supported the right of the United States to retaliate against the Taleban and Al Qaeda for the murder of 3,000 American citizens, I in no way supported the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.  And yes, despite the denials coming from the mouths of the liars in Washington lately, I fully expect Syria to be the next "target" (see "Shock and Awe becomes Disbelief and Wonder", April 2003) on the list of nations drawn up by the neo-con "Israel Firsters" who are behind this madness.
However, I would like to point out one thing that nobody seems to be talking about: It now looks to me like the real reason the United States withdrew from the international criminal court was because these atrocities against sovereign nations were planned from the beginning, and if the court had jurisdiction, then all these American war criminals would face prosecution.  Now, unfortunately they will answer to no one.
I am a 46 year old American, and I love my country, but I'm repulsed by what is being done by my government, and in my name.
Mike Bryant

I am an American who while wandering through newspapers around the world, came upon your column "the view from cairo".  You look and sound like a nice, well educated young man.  What amazes me is the difference in the way we perceive the same events.  You wonder how we are so quick to threaten Syria, a country, by the way, known to harbor terrorists. I, on the other hand, see absolutely nothing wrong with putting Syria on notice that we will not tolerate their harboring Iraqi leaders or their having weapons of mass destruction.  When the opportunity to prevent potential problems presents itself, you seize it if you are in a position to do so.  We call that "common sense", by the way, not imperialism. 
You imply that the United States seeks to be the world's policeman, but cannot be trusted because it selectively chooses whose crimes will be punished or ignored.  You may as well have said that we choose not to punish Israel for anything, and that they have weapons of mass destruction.  It may surprise you, but I and most Americans would love to see the Palestinians have their own country and for Israel to have theirs.  We would like to see everyone in the world have the same freedom and prosperity we enjoy, and for all people to live in peace. 

America isn't going to attack Syria.  We just want them to realize that they can't continue down a path that leads to a regime like Saddam's without possibly someday suffering the same fate.
Americans and the American government are not hawks.  We love peace for ourselves and for all mankind.  That said, we have fought and died for peace in our country and we have fought and died for peace beside our friends and allies in their countries.  We love our freedom, and we are quick to defend it. You consider that imperialistic, I consider it smart. 
Yes, war does cause people pain.  Innocent Iraqis died -- innocent Americans died.  Families on both sides will suffer those losses. How many Iraqis will no longer suffer at Saddam and his sons' hands. Is that not "something better".
May God bless you and every man, woman and child.  May he remind us all that we are brothers and sisters, and should love one another and live in peace together. 
Duane Moreland


American empire

Way to go Tarek! (see "Saddam's new tape, and America's old  imperialism", April, 2003) We've been in the midst of American empire even before the physical occupation of our brothers and sisters in Iraq, in more dubious cultural forms! But, now that the Arabs are playing the American media/cultural game, they might just undermine America's political hegemony one day using the same tricks of the trade.
By the way, I disagree with the factuality of the statement about the propensity of blondes on Al-Jazeera; still, they are following the tried and tested American model of employing young, thin and gorgeous made-up women as newscasters, so your point is taken!

I read your new article, and it is really a powerful and truthful statement about the current situation where the illegal occupation is being justified as the best thing that happened and no one is able to object.

Thanks for the excellent article about American cultural imperialism. I think the French -- even before the Arabs -- recognized that effect in their culture. But in spite of some resistance by some French cultural leaders here and there, the influence is still great.
BO Jack


Praise -- general and specific

I follow your site every day. I particularly enjoyed the article on Arabiya TV and the pictures of the demonstrations. I also like the Arabic news on zahma.com which I am able to access now at work by installing Explorer. I wonder when Arabiya will consider doing a news feed in English via the internet like al-Jazeera?
Dr Umar

I love Cairo Live.. wi ya3ni if I loved it anymore I would be wearing I love torshi 3ala 2afaya wi mashya beeha fil shari3.. Its funny cus i was just at el fishawi like on the first of this month.. so lucky timing.. I hope all is well.. the pics ur posting are awesome and generally keep up ur distinguished efforts representing for us Egyptian Americans! 


General war talk

in English and Arabic

As a proud American I have a question regarding the Middle East. When Saddam is toppled, will all other non-democratic countries in the Middle-East want their absolute freedom as well? And will they want the U.S to help?

Today I saw Mr. C.I.A. Woosley's emotional comments on TV about all the wonderful changes coming the Arabs way, no matter who they might be, and I also heard about another checkpoint misfortune, with the lives of three Iraqis, including that of a two year old girl, taken away by well meaning US Marines.
And I would just like to ask my Arabs brethren: Why is it that many of us are so unwilling to forgive Iraq for its miscalculations and yet be so forgiving, so patient, so polite, to Israel's and the US's many adventures in our physical realm?
Have we no pride left to defend ourselves? Do we really disdain ourselves this much? Aren't we all Arabs first?
Despite my seeming pessimism I have the feeling that at long last everything is in place for Arabs to see our way out of all the nonsense that has been visited upon us by the most recent faces of Western interference in our beloved lands, that of the US and Israel.
The old and tired UK cavalry should be our least concern.
For it has been those two countries that have actually created a model of the Middle East they are now so willing to implement no matter what the material, mental and spiritual cost to us will be.
Israel and the US have now set sail together in search of a brand new continent they can shape and use to their delight.
We have no time to waste. The Arab world in its entirety has no choice but to let those two satellite dreamers see that this is our turf and anyone invited into it will sit where they are told to sit and eat what we have to offer to eat.
There can be no bigger betrayal to our future generations than to delay ourselves in this most important task.
E.A.S. Saleh

I am an anti-war protester on Iraq. It is a great tragedy to declare war on any country, whose sanctions have been violated by the very organization that is meant to prevent war. The UN was not heard, and the voices of innocent men, women and children were heard instead, in cries of agony from the warfare. 
The Egyptian government has been a motivating force, in establishing peace
talks with the U.S., and Egypt is moving forward and making progress.
Let us learn from Egypt about the harmony between Government and
Islam. Unity is the key, and Egypt has the foresight of God in power.
Piro Csiszar

Just to let you know that we feel the pain from every shot that is fired and every bomb that is dropped and every drop of blood that is lost because we are able to see the hidden agenda without blinkers. The Western world is oblivious to the scars of war and the pain and the injustice, and most of all, to the culture and dignity of the Arab people. Very often these nights I look at my children sleeping peacefully and think how horrifying it must be for the children of Iraq and wonder what did children of Jenin experienced?

If the Palestinian people had embraced the teachings and actions of Mahatma Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ten years ago, there would be a Palestinian state today. Never has there been a better example of how to achieve freedom without acrimony. Why won't Palestinian leaders and people simply do what is right? Why do Arab people support violence for Palestinians yet denounce it when an oppressed people is being liberated in Iraq?
John Bobek

Regarding the article in the "Dutch?" newspaper with the photo of Iraqi men being paraded naked through a park by US soldiers, this is just another example of how people throughout the world are doing everything they can to make us look like horrible people when we aren't. If you will look at that photo very carefully, as I have, you will notice that the soldiers' shadows are coming toward you, as are the shadows of the structures, but the shadows of the Iraqi men are going the other way! This means this is a doctored photo. I'm not surprised that it is, but you should be and you should all consider that everything you read over there is not necessarily true, in fact it probably isn't since there is so much hatred. Just like you, we are individuals. I just hope all of you are smart enough to try to find out the truth (like I did with the photo) instead of just listening to people who have another agenda. Please look at that picture again. Thank you and God bless you all.

There is a lot of brainwashing these days. I live in New Jersey,  USA. I have noticed that even though George Bush is a smart man, I think he sometimes forgets that there others can also use their minds and analyze. First it was the idea of removing weapons of mass destruction. Then they changed it to the liberation of the Iraqi people once they found no such weapons!  Why can't more people see that what's going on is a new cold war against Muslims?

How do I begin? What a mess it has been in the Middle East. With the invention of the internet you would think that someone could come up with some sort of translated chat room so ordinary citizens of any country could have a dialog. We all know that war is always a last resort and at all means should be avoided. But we should always remember what absolute horrific crimes were committed by previous dictators while the world stood by and watched. As a superpower the United States is responsible to make sure these crimes are not allowed to occur again. As an ordinary American citizen I am aware of only some of the mistakes the United States government has made, as I am sure other citizens from other countries are aware of only limited mistakes their government has made. I can assure the world that the majority of people in the United States believe in peace and goodwill for all mankind. I know many that are actively deployed to fight this war. They all are goodhearted human beings wishing well for all the world. War is ugly. I am sure that some incidents will occur that we wish could be taken back. But in the end I strongly believe that the Middle Eastern nations will become more secure and Iraq can show the world the way of peace. You cannot always believe everything you see on television. Remember, there are always two sides to every story. As to the American Oil connection, I know that we will be spending a great deal of money to finance this war and the clean up afterwards. Don't you think that the country that benefits from the growth afterwards should help in these efforts? I strongly believe the American people will not remain in Iraq in the long term, only to help the nation get back on their feet again. Please, let us all communicate more. Let's get a translated forum between ordinary citizens going so we can all discuss our problems and resolve them. I have the ability in my country to select who I want running it. I understand many don't. But we can all discuss different solutions and help each other.

I'm an Egyptian American living in the United States and I'd like to express my dismay and disappointment towards this unjust war. I say this as an American Muslim whose beliefs go against killing innocent civilians because their leader is crazy. I know the media and specifically President Bush claim this is all for the sake of Iraq's "Freedom" -- however I find it very difficult to buy this. Why would the US spend billions of dollars on this war? For the Iraqi people? Then why didn't the US ever think about "saving and freeing" the Palestinians from living under Israel's oppressive government, that has openly violated human rights and that claims to be a democracy yet has killed up to 1000 Palestinians who defend their nation weaponless? Why hasn't the US called Sharon a crazy leader and a mass murderer? Don't get me wrong, Saddam is an awful man who has killed many, but US policy seems very biased. Israel has all the weapons of mass destruction it desires (with the help of American taxes) yet Iraq is the threat right now and its weapons (sold to them by the US during the Iraq-Iran war) are the cause behind 9/11. 
I would support this "freedom" tactic 100% if only I could believe  there was a valid reason. My heart aches when I hear of Iraqi children dying of starvation but solving a problem with another one (like bombing their homes) is not the solution. Arab nations cannot help Iraq in anyway. Unfortunately, they're in need of the US's aid, and realistically, they're not going to beat the most powerful nation in the world. I am counting the days and praying this will end soon for the sake of the children of Iraq.

Having been born in Cairo, but raised in North America, from a very young age, my heart goes out to all those who suffer at the hands of those who want to control the Middle East for their own gain. The Middle East is the heart of the world and should always be that way.

in English and Arabic


Clean Alex

I was in Alex in 1993 eating on the wharf and spent the night there. It was clean then as well -- it's a beautiful place in general.
Denise Davis





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