...but isn't it ironic that I found them sitting next to each other in the news stand?
but because of bad management of the team. Players seem to be chosen by the managers according to their popularity and their connections (as the rest of the corruption in our country goes), and not as they properly should be - by professional scouts who should sweep the entire country in search for the most fit and skillful players who are worthy to represent our national team.
The result is that every time we play against the violent SOBs of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), their players usually go straight for our players to knock them out, instead of for the football in the field. Although I haven't performed this sweeping scout of the Egyptian lands myself, I have while following the news found the perfect solution to this problem:
The news of his death was naturally accompanied by the picture of the man in the picture above, the late emir's cousin and heir to the throne, Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah.
Then it was only a day or two afterwards that this man, Prime Minister Sabah al-Sabah, popped in the news as having been chosen the new emir of Kuwait, by a "secret" meeting of the Kuwaiti royal family, citing reasons of poor health of the 76 year old Saad al-Sabah, who is suffering from colon troubles among other ailments.
While such a story of a smooth transition of power by the Kuwaiti heir-apparents would be regarded as logically pragmatic and admirably magnanimous on the part of Crown Prince Saad, its happening in this closed manner in our part of the world, where Kings/Presidents/and Brother Leaders usually don't voluntarily part with their seat of power until they meet their Maker, looked awfully fishy to me...
Years ago, an Egyptian friend who lived in Kuwait for a good part of his life informed me that Sheikh Saad, whom I hadn't known until this succession story, was hated in Kuwait because of the dark colour of his skin. Have I mentioned that the Arabs are racist? Well, they are. My friend told me that there are seven degrees of Kuwaiti nationality (or was it Saudi, I'm not sure). Imagine that, seven official degrees of nationality, like passing through the Seven Heavens, to become a pure Bedouin in a turban. Their oil must have really gotten to their heads. Egyptian and Indian labourers are practically treated there like slaves.
My suspicions of the transfer of power came true today, when I read that crown prince Sheikh Saad, pulled off a surprise in an official speech calling on parliament to swear him in as the new emir of Kuwait, breaking a story of a rift between two parties in the royal family, one supporting the succession of Saad and other supporting Sabah.
Not surprisingly, our national institution of editorial whoring, otherwise known as Al Ahram, appeared today to be taking the side of Sabah al-Ahmad in the center of the same page where it was reporting the story of this struggle for power between the two groups. Not least, I am sure, because the Kharafi family, which owns...practically everything...is taking the side of Sabah. This little editorial square is a praising account of the "illustrious" career of Prime Minister Sabah, who is no young man himself, born in 1929.
In concluding words, I fully support Sheikh Saad's rightful claim to his throne.
And finally, I would like to hear the opinions of anyone who is knowledgeable of Kuwaiti affairs about whether they think there is any truth to these allegations of racism behind the scenes, as they are in the end, just speculation...
I kid you not. This is not some fictional parody of black comedy. This is our government and this is our press. All what's left is for them is to issue an official apology to the Palestinian brothers for standing in the way of their fraternal bullets.
Regardless of Al Ahram's whoring, it's the victims' stories which in the end really count:
"Inside Rafah's central hospital Al Ahram met the injured Egyptian recruits who are still undergoing treatment. On one of the white beds sat private Abdelatif Abdelrehim who has different injuries all over his body and who told us the details of the incident from the beginning, when an Egyptian police force was standing at the border and the Palestinians made their way through the breach in the wall. He said 'It was dark and we couldn't see them, while on the other hand the infiltrating Palestinians had flash lights and opened fire in the direction of the Egyptian police personnel, except the officers ordered us not to return fire in the direction of the infiltrators. In less than a moment I saw my colleague Arafa who fell victim to this incident become a martyr for doing his duty. He was standing behind me, a bullet pierced his chest and another the lower part of his body and he fell on the ground, drowned in his blood. At the same time I was injured by some shrapnel, and despite that I immediately carried my colleague before he breathed his last breaths to one of the police cars to transfer him to the hospital. I put my hand on the wound piercing his chest in my attempt to stop the bleeding, but he passed away before he reached the hospital and at this moment I fell unconscious and was transferred to the operating room while my friend Arafa's body was transferred to the morgue.'
In a nearby room sat private Abdelsamie' Fouad who is suffering from asphixiation from the tear gas that was fired. He insisted in a low voice that at about 9 o'clock in the evening he was taken by surprise by hundreds of Palestinians crossing from the breach, and his commanding officers ordered him and the rest of his colleagues to go to the separating border to try and prevent the infiltration of the Palestinians to Egyptian territory. Clashes occurred between both sides and the Palestinians opened fire, which led the police forces to use tear gas. He fell unconcsious and was transfered to the hospital. He said that he cannot forget that scene in which he saw his colleagues falling around him in the extreme violence and bloody events."
In case you hadn't noticed, our border police guards who risked their lives to protect our borders, were neither provided with flashlights to see in the dark nor given permission to use their weapons to defend themselves and the country's borders.
I don't know why this reminds me of the 1956 and 1967 wars when the Egyptian army was sent to Sinai barefoot and unequiped, on orders from Nasser's play-war over the airwaives...but when the wars turned real, the army was ordered to immediately withdraw in both cases without being allowed the chance to defend themselves. A brilliant Egyptian saying comes to mind: Assad 'alaya we fil heroub na'ama. It means: "You are a lion on me, but in wars an ostrich."
The names of the fallen soldiers:
Arafa Ibrahim El-Sayed, 21 years old.
El-Sayed Salim El-Sa'dawi, 21 years old.
Names of the injured:
Said Salama Sabet, Sidky Deif Inawy, Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel Hafiz, Emad Abdel Mongy, Mohamed Abdallah Mustafa, Mohamed Radwan Abdel Aziz, Amr Fathy Abdel Min'im, Abdel Fattah Izzat Mohamed Mahmoud, Abdel Nasser Abdel Atti Mohamed, Mohamed Ibrahim Tammam, Isaac Adly Shinouda, Mina Zakaria Atta, Ahmed Said Ahmed Ibrahim, Mahmoud Gamal Mohamed Abdel Gawwad, Rida Mohamed Ismail, Ahmed Gamil Hassan, Talaat Badr El Dimirdashi, Abdel Latif Abdel Rahman, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Ahmed, Ibrahim Fathy Mohamed, Mustafa Ramadan Abdel Nabi, Abdel Samie' Fouad Nasr, Sami Mohamed El Sayyed, Hossam Mohamed El Sayyed, Ibrahim Moussa Ahmed, Zein Mohamed El Sayyed, Ahmed Mohamed Badr, Khalifa Ali Khalifa, Atef Zaki Soleiman.
- Abu Mazen declares in the front page of Al Ahram that the two fallen soldiers will be considered martyrs among the martyrs of the Palestinian people. Lucky Arafa and Sayed.
As for the latest news from Saturday's edition of Al Ahram:
The Egyptian government declares that it will issue compensations of 100 Egyptian pounds to each of the injured soldiers, and 1000 pounds to each family of the deceased. This amount equals roughly 15 US dollars for the injured, and about 150$ for the families of the deceased.
Another brilliant goon from the "expedition" of Salah Salem to the Sudan. The caption below the picture reads: "Egyptian Tarzan in the Sudan!...He is not "Tarzan", he is Colonel Gamal Thabet, one of the companions of the North's expedition to the South. He was inspired by the beauty of nature in the South, so he climbed trees and screamed in the way of "Tarzan"!
The RCC's ploys against Naguib would fail, and the Sudanese leaders would stick to their demand that Naguib remain president of the republic for the Egyptian-Sudanese federation to work. Their logic, which they said to Nasser, was understandable: if the RCC had committed this treachery against the beloved Naguib, then why should they feel safe about themselves? Nasser would respond harshly, and the Sudanese press and people would label his regime for the fascist dictatorship that it is. Relations between the two countries would deteriorate as never before, and the federation would forever be lost.
Of course, Egypt's loss of the Sudan was a major political catastrophe of public opinion back then, as the future of the Sudan had been the main stumbling block which prevented the successive Egyptian parliamentary govenments from reaching a deal with Great Britain on the evacuation the rest of its forces from the Suez Canal. So Nasser, whose favourite book growing up was "The Prince" by Machiavelli (really!...and no wonder!), would turn againt none other the swinging man in the picture above, offering him as the sacrificial lamb for the special occasion, and Salah Salem would soon submit his resignation.
What a colourful history, but the question now is...why is this man's name still on our street?
*All photos taken from Masr El Mahroussa magazine, October 2002 edition. Original pictures from the archives of Al Mossawer photo journalistic magazine.