Egyptian Chronicles: After Morocco and Qatar , The Role is On Egypt

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

After Morocco and Qatar , The Role is On Egypt

Last Ramadan there was a Kuwaiti TV series that managed to create diplomatic crisis between Morocco and Kuwait and between Qatar and Kuwait , that TV series is Bu Qutada and Bu Nabil.
Bu Qutada and Bu Nabil is a 3D Cartoon TV series based on a daily comic strip that is published in Al Watan Newspaper , the TV series was aired for the third year in role in Kuwait on Al Watan TV that owned by the newspaper.
The Strip or the TV series is about three different Kuwaiti families representing the different views and classes in the Kuwaiti society from the secular liberal family to the religious conservative family to the traditional Bedouin family.
The TV series gained infamous regional fame when it portrayed negatively Morocco in three episodes , there was a huge anger in Morocco creating a real diplomatic crisis forcing Al Watan newspaper to issue an official apology.
The apology
 Then it created an uproar between Kuwait and Qatar when it mocked the Qatari minister of foreign affairs.
Then we found out that in episode no.14 “Dumpy Nabila” it portrayed Egypt and Egyptians negatively and disgustingly. You can see the episode below.
Nabila El-Habila-Bu Qutada and Bu Nabil
There is a thin line between mockery , parody , rudeness and racism for sure and I think that series crossed it ; Welcome to the Ugly Egyptian theory.
Some will argue that we make fun from the people in Gulf in our films and some will say that you should watch the Simpsons to know how mockery based on perceptions reaches to but anyone who loves Egypt from his heart will be offended , we are not that poor and the fact that some Gulf men exploited the poverty of poor girls in poor classes is something we are sick from more than they do.
The Egyptian Kuwaiti relations go beyond president Nasser to the days of late King Farouk when there was no oil and Egypt was still regarded the big sister and offered help for no return , it is sad that such stupid work damage these relations so easily by creating inside hatred and anger. If many Kuwaitis believe that Egyptians are poor bastards who exploited them for their money then they must know many Egyptians regard them as arrogant bastards whom are happy with their money and disrespect other ; unfortunately such series enforces these perceptions.
Of course this episode did not catch our attention in Ramadan except when it was published in Youm 7 and I am sure it was published after some Egyptians in Kuwait saw it.
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  1. Sudanese Observer9/14/2010 03:35:00 PM

    Zeinobia,

    You don't understand - it's not racism - they don't mean it that way...
    (I'm being facetious)

    I think you're having a taste of the medicine you dish out to others - the Egyptian media constantly portrays the Sudanese and black Africans and black Africa even in a negative light - and you and others have *defended* this blindly.

    You are extremely selective in your choice of causes - the Syrian bloggers who are detained deserve mention, the Egyptian who gets beaten to death deserves mention but a dozen Sudanese civil society activists from occupied Halayeb don't.

    X files from the 50's are resurrected but this relatively recent incident is not mentioned:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt_vKECbVIc

    Then again the problem exists in your society and will never be addressed if you sweep issues under the table:

    أوراق مصرية | النوبة، الثقافة المطموسة والعنصرية
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=203ztZXGCuU

    FYI - the speaker's knowledge of Nubian history is not up to scratch - he does not geographically and historically define Nubia - the peace treaty he speaks of is called the Baqt and was signed with the Kingdom based in Dongola, North Sudan.

    Disclaimer: although most of Nubia is in North Sudan and these people are our kith and kin - we 'do not' lay claim to anything that is found above the 22nd parallel apart from the Halayeb triangle which is under illegal military annexation since the mid 1990's.
    AbdelNasser's claim that Sudan could take Aswan, after Sudan successfully took its complaints against Egypt for attempting to take Halayeb by force were ... facetious.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=203ztZXGCuU

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why do not you take Cairo also !!??

    Look I am not selective nor you will ever succeed to portray me so
    Seriously I am surprised that you do not give damn for the south of your country while we are exploding from anger
    http://tahyyes.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-post_10.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sudanese Observer9/14/2010 05:15:00 PM

    The evidence is clear and I'm not trying to portray you in any way - I'm stating observational facts.

    You are selective since you write about all kinds of political detainees apart from the Sudanese civil society activists from Halayeb.

    You are selective since you complain about the way Egyptians are portrayed in the Kuwaiti media and by the Algerian media - whilst not only *not acknowledging* the existence of the same problem vis-a-vis the Sudanese, black Africans and black Africa in the Egyptian media - but adding insult to injury by *defending it*.

    I'm going to ignore your statement on 'taking Cairo'.

    Why do we not give a damn for the South whilst you are exploding from anger?

    What do you know about Sudan?

    What do you know about the peoples of Sudan?

    What do you know about our *history*?

    You should know something about all the above before taking an informed position on what goes on in Sudan.

    The link you gave me is very poor - the author writes in very bad Arabic and has extremely superficial information on Sudan.

    'We' the Sudanese had civil wars for most of our history, 'our' finest youth lost their lives in those wars whilst 'you' were watching from the sidelines - oh no - and you chose to military occupy our territory in Halayeb at that time...

    'You' (collectively) know nothing about Sudan beyond hyperbolic statements buttressing a moth-eaten ideal a united Sudan being 'your' breadbasket.

    You are boiling with anger because you are unwilling to accept reality:

    Egypt's use of the Nile's water is inequitable,

    The Upstream Nile Riparians (including South Sudan) will not tolerate or accept the 'fahlawa' of Egyptian historical policy,

    Official Egypt thinks that any party apart from an independent South Sudan will complete the construction the Jonglei Canal which will increase the amount of water available to Egypt,

    The Southern Sudanese have made a decision 'not' to construct the canal.

    'We' the Sudanese have agreed on the historical and brave decision to either live in peace - or separate in peace.

    'You' explode with anger because you live in a parallel reality (no disrespect intended).

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  4. My dear if you have such grudge , why you do not protest in front of our embassy in Khartom especially you are speaking as if there are many people who share with you the same views.Go to our embassy and present petitions and express your anger this is how it is done in the world , not through blogs
    My dear I live in reality more than you are.

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  5. Sudanese Observer9/14/2010 06:33:00 PM

    Once more you misdiagnose both the intention and the problem - it's not an issue of petitions expressing anger - it's an issue of information vs. misinformation and education vs. ignorance.

    The axe 'we' have to grind is with our government and its weak stances and the exploitative and non-beneficial agreements it enters into with Egypt - including the 4 Freedoms - and not with Egyptian diplomats who are posted to Khartoum.

    'We' are tired of hyperbolic, public statements which do not reflect 'reality'.

    The problem that 'we' have identified is multi-faceted and does not only involve 'the government level' - it seems that this type of discourse is a bit too sophisticated for some.

    We bear a grudge against the Egyptian 'nukhba / elite' and their ignorance of Sudan and their passivity in reacting to Sudanese affairs at a grassroots level - and their tolerance of racism against our people.

    Negating the problem of racism in the Egyptian media is negating reality.

    Negating the fact that mentioning all types of political detainees apart from the Sudanese civil society activists from ilegally occupied Halayeb *is being selective* is negating reality.

    Stubbornness and denial will not get anyone anywhere.

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  6. @Sudanese Observer: Im just wondering what makes you think you have the right to tell a person what to cover and care for in her own blog?!! How rude!!! Go and have your own blog, stop coming here and telling Z what and who to care for and stop bothering us with repeated stories.

    An an Egyptian, I dnt give a dam how a show or even some like Sudanese Observer& his/her twin, portray/view us. Bottom line is that humans disagreed and had varied views about every thing including God, I dnt expect them all to like us or our country and how a person feels about or views my country wont take or add any thing to me or to my country.

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  7. Sudanese Observer9/14/2010 09:51:00 PM

    Anonymous I'm really starting to wonder...

    Bottom line is that humans disagreed and had varied views about every thing including God, I dnt expect them all to like us or our country and how a person feels about or views my country wont take or add any thing to me or to my country.

    When the root of disagreement are: historical grievances that are not addressed and continuing provocation the 'dislike' people have towards countries can be objectively dealt with...
    It's not random.

    We live in an era of 'soft power' - which has nothing to do with military might but with ideas and perceptions.

    If you're saying Egypt isn't the 'regional powerhouse' that exists in the fantasies of some - maybe you could do without caring what other people thought of you - *however* the *reality* is that are the only 'downstream' State on the Nile - you 'should' care about how you are perceived by all countries that are upstream of you - and what their views are based on...

    Double standards can 'never' be justified - either condemn racism in the media wherever it happens (even in Egypt) or not at all.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Zeinobia, I understood none of that video. The sight gag of the woman's hair being so big that it required three framed photographs on the wall was amusing. In what way were Egyptians depicted negatively?

    @Sudanese Observer, I always enjoy your comments. But you need to learn HTML links. Angry Israeli learned and so can you.

    @Anonymous, I don't think Sudanese Observer was telling Z what to do. He was expressing his opinions in well-thought-out and substantive comments. Most bloggers appreciate high-quality comments on their blogs even if they are argumentative; and if they don't, they can moderate them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sudanese Observer9/15/2010 03:50:00 PM

    Jason Ill try to figure them out.
    Yes most bloggers appreciate intelligent commentary but it seems that the other Sudanese commentators & I aren't dealing with a group of people that's like most.
    We're dealing with people who believe they're special and have delusions of grandeur that are based on history, they think they're so special they can't be bothered to read and educate themselves on 'the other'.
    Every problem is a conspiracy, every objective criticism jealousy, every thesis that does not conform to their ideals...hatred.
    Blackface is racist all over the world...except in their country.
    The propogation of negative stereotypes in the Arabian Gulf is racist when they are the butt of the jokes - but is funny when Egyptian produced and targeted towards the Sudanese and black Africans...
    They make strange statements that they and my country's people are 'one' when the purported unity is based on illegal military occupation that was countered militarily and through civil means successfully.
    They have an eye on the West and its advancements in everything but how to deal with the other...
    And instead of engaging, they don't want to hear it.
    No, doesn't sound like most to me!

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  10. I think I gave more space to you to express yourself and your views which surprisingly other Sudanese I know do not share with you due to my respect to the Sudanese people and due to my belief that were once one thing "regardless of what you think"
    I think I have been very polite in front of your insistence on provoking me and my Egyptian readers. For 1001 We do not invade our own territories , if you have a complain go to the the Hague , believe me I do not have a problem in this except that I hate our relations reach to this level and I will not deny that I fear that our regime would lose our rights as it always does
    What engagement you are speaking about when you insist on hating us , you hate us and Egypt
    They have got a name and they are called Egyptians
    Again and again I hope that you pay attention to what is happening in your country which is in more trouble than ours.
    I know that for you We are the worst people in the whole world and all the problems of Sudan whether in Darfor , South Sudan , East Sudan will be solved once your northern neighbors disappear from the face of this universe
    it is easy to put your head in the sands but it is impossible to breathe in it

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  11. Am quite amazed at this blog which I found by accident while looking for something else.

    "Allow myself to introduce... myself" - Austin Powers.

    I'm Abdallah, 39, Egyptian and married to an African American Muslim. I lived a good part of my life in the United States. But the majority of my was in Egypt.

    That said, I'm afraid I have to agree with Sudanese observer on what he is saying about racism in Egypt against sub-Saharan Africans.

    I've experienced this personally as people stopped in the street as I walked with my wife not only asking me if she was my wife, but WHY did I marry her?

    My answers changed over the years from being shy and not knowing what to say to being extremely aggressive in how I respond.

    One of my favorite movies ever since I was a kid was "Elfanoos Else7ry"; Ismail Yaseen's famous movie.

    I've never been able to show it to her because of the blackface scene at the end of the movie.

    I have no respect for anyone who does this, or thinks its funny. It's not. It's racist.

    I even sent a message to Ahmed Ahmed, the Egyptian/American comedian telling him that his "joke" saying that he went to Sudan at night and "couldn't seen anyone" wasn't funny and that it was racist and in front of God he will answer for it.

    For some dumb reason Egyptians are under the impression that they are white. They're not! They're olive skinned. Europeans don't consider us white. As a matter of fact, in America racists call us "sand niggers".

    I have no regret for ever marrying my wife. I think black women are hot. That said, I doubt I would have ever married a Nubian or Sudanese woman due to the fact of "female circumcision". Which is a practice we, unfortunately, got from the Sudanese through the Nubians who passed it on to the Ancient Egyptians. Of course I won't forget to mention that the Sudanese got it from the Ethiopians.

    If I'm wrong, Sudanese Observer, please do correct me. I'm quite interested to hear what you have to say.

    As per the Halayeb issue, I was taught that Halayeb was Egyptian land, just as you were taught that it was Sudanese. I was also told by a Sudanese friend that you are also taught that it was Mohamed Ali who invaded Sudan and stole all your wealth.

    You say it we invaded it using the military, right? Forgive me. I don't know when this happened exactly. Please clarify.

    Zeinobia, I apologize if I'm treading on an area that isn't mine.

    I hope this isn't beyond a point where you decided you don't want to have Sudanese Observer comment on what you're saying.

    Of course, if you'd like to comment on what I've said, please do :)

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  12. Sudanese Optimist9/15/2010 08:26:00 PM

    Once more she skirts the substantive points, falls back on emotional allegations makes unrealistic hyotheses (the northern neighbours disappearing from the face of this universe)...

    We've already figured out that your knowledge of Sudan is minimal.

    I don't hate Egypt or Egyptians - I strongly dislike the chauvenistic, superficial attitude 'some' Egyptians have towards everything that is Sudanese.

    What makes it worse is that these people are more often than not fairly well educated - and should know better.

    You hate the fact that our relations reached this level?

    Do you therefore support the submission of the dispute over illegally occupied Halayeb to the International Court of Justice???

    What exactly are the problems in South Sudan?
    I'm sure my Southern Sudanese friends would be very interested in your views...

    And when you refer to the problem in East Sudan if you refer to the illegal military occupation of Halayeb in East Sudan, the detention of its Sudanese civil society activists without trial and the status of Halayeb as an open prison - then we are agreed - the occupation must go.

    It is crystal clear that you have a double-standard:

    You condemn racism against Egyptians, but not racism 'by' Egyptians against the Sudanese and black Africans and black Africa.

    You support Egypt's arbitration with Israel over Taba but refuse the same arbitration with Sudan over occupied Halayeb.

    You condemn the occupation of the Golan but support the occupation of Halayeb.

    You support the cause of illegal detainees from Palestine, Syria and Egypt - but not those Sudanese civil society activists who languish in Egyptian prisons.

    You disrespect Sudan and the Sudanese through your statement that Egypt 'lost' Sudan - when Egypt wasn't supposed to be 'in Sudan' in the first place - so please educate us and explain precisely how we were 'one thing' and when?

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Abdallah: What Sudanese Observer kept on claiming is that there is a public systematic racism towards Sudanese and Africans in Egypt. None of us denied there are some bad taste incidents but what we argued about is whether this is part of a general public plan, which is not in the opinion of most of us who did live in Egypt.
    Now, About Halayieb, your point is correct, each one of us sees the issue based on what we were taught, what we read ect. What Sudanese Observer doesnt get is that just because we feel differently and discuss that w him, that doesnt make us wrong just like his own position isnt 100 percent correct. This is a legal matter, a controversial one, there are several sides to the story and several ways to interpret incidents including historical ones. Once we reply, he resorts to accusing us of feeling grand and all that silliness. Egypt always had and will always have a role in the region, sometimes strong, some other times weak, Sudanese Observer sounds as if we should offer our appologies for that, why I have no idea. Also, we both live in Countries were the majority of us have no saying on how things are decided and yet we are blamed for the actions of the officials while he has nothing to do with the fact that his current president is a criminal who didnt only kill his own but also tried to kill our president, regardless of how I feel towards him. What is this twisted logic? And how come we are the ones who do not appreciate the other and differing opinions when we accepted that he sees things differently while he still insists on repeating hateful words. Arguing for the sake of it leads to nothing. Demanding a blogger to write according to a readers way of viewing the World is insulting and rude. Last but not least, this person who claims we have feelings of feeling grand and above other just proved he is the one w that problem just read his reply to Jason.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sudanese Observer9/15/2010 09:21:00 PM

    Finally, someone with sense who wants to 'engage'.
    This is the kind of Egyptian I can get on with just fine.

    You've said it all re: the racism of Egyptians against dark-skinned people.

    Here you have it Zeinobia and others - from the proverbial horse's mouth.

    AbdAllah maybe back in the day it was less contentious but blackface STILL exists in Egyptian films courtesy of Hineidy and Hilmy.

    Myself and other Sudanese commentators have been trying to highlight this problem - but we were told that Egyptians don't know what blackface means and that it's not racism!
    Ironically when Kuwaiti media makes fun of Egyptians - it's racist!

    أوراق مصرية | قصة النوبة،
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcCwvo-aUr8

    I don't know 'how funny' peoples' skin tones can be!
    The Egyptian head of Islamic Relief said in a tv interview when commenting on Sudan that 'everyone was chocolate coloured'!!!
    I didn't know Ahmad Ahmad made those kinds of jokes - I met him and he seemed like a nice guy - I'm disappointed.
    Anyway I think it's high time Egyptian society 'learned' what was acceptable and what was unacceptable with regards to their view of people with dark skin.

    What adds insult to injury is the delusion many Egyptians are breastfed that Sudan and Egypt are one and the same in terms of destiny and population!

    How could that be true when Sudan was only incorporated into Egypt by force in 1820 courtesy of Muhammad Ali Pasha's Sudan expedition whose aims were:

    Getting gold from Sudanese mines to line Egypt's coffers (thankfully his troops marched past the gold mines and didn't manage to locate them)

    Recruiting Negroid soldiers by force to augment the army (they were captured from the Nuba Mountains - not to be confused with Nubia and formed the Jihadiya battalion) and,

    Securing the sources of the Nile - to this end territory in modern day Uganda was occupied...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sudanese Observer9/15/2010 09:21:00 PM

    On female genital mutilation what's certain is that it's an ancient African rite of passage.

    International archaeologists who come to 'our side' of the border (notwithstanding illegally occupied Halayeb) have evidence that the 'oldest' civilisation in the River Nile basin is in the Northern part of Sudan.

    If you're saying the Nubians gave FGM to the Egyptians you're saying that the Nubian civilisation pre-dated the Egyptian one and Dr Hawass and others wouldn't be too happy with that hypothesis as it doesn't conform to the supremacist delusions of grandeur...

    There's type 1 and type 2 FGM - type two involves the cutting of the clitoris and is the type prevalent in Ethiopia.
    Type 1 which is brutal is the type that was practiced in Sudan.
    Funnily enough it's referred to as al6ahoor alfar3oni in Sudan - Pharaonic circumcision.

    To me it represents the highest form of misogyny.
    Many educated Sudanese have abandoned it and Type 2 is illegal.
    Needless to say most young, educated people in Sudan don't want it done on them or their partners or their daughters - but there are differences between those in urban areas and those in rural areas etc...
    Some Salafi nuts campaigned against the criminalisation of Type 1 FGM - and were unfortunately successful - the battle to educate continues...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sudanese Observer9/15/2010 09:21:00 PM

    Regarding Halayeb the dominion and title to territory that Egypt claims is based on Muhammad Ali's occupation.

    The peoples of Halayeb - the Beja, Abaabda, Bishariyeen and Rashayda consider themselves to be Sudanese.

    The dispute runs back to the 50's when AbdelNasser attempted to take Halayeb over by force and the Sudanese government complained to the Security Council.

    The way in which Egyptian forces annexed Halayeb by force was insulting - this took place during the North-South civil war.

    The Sudanese want to take the dispute to international arbitration just like how the Egyptians took their dispute over Taba to international arbitration.

    The Egyptians refuse.

    Don't you think arbitration would be a good way to address the dispute?

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  17. Sudanese Observer9/15/2010 09:23:00 PM

    It's OK for history to be contentious.

    It's natural for disagreements to occur.

    What's not normal is the offensive-defensive trance that 'some' Egyptians go into whilst refusing to acknowledge or address 'existing' issues...

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  18. Dear Abdallah2319 ,nice knowing you , of course you know that we have been ruled by two black presidents and those two were popular than Mubarak has ever been ,one of them ruled us when the States was still apply the segregation policies
    Racism does exist in Egypt , I do not deny it ,nobody does and nobody likes it too from the people I know but please do not forget it is a global issue as well.
    you can check in the archives or labels anything related to Sudan and you will find Sudanese Observer expressing his views if you are interested in knowing them but plz let's stick with the topic of the post here

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sudanese Observer9/15/2010 09:44:00 PM

    This is a first - they're both admitting that racism exists in Egypt - well and good - it exists in most countries including in Sudan - but we - and other countries don't tolerate it in our media - the President's uncle's newspaper (Al-Intibaha) was shut down precisely on those grounds...

    Abdallah if you hadn't appeared they probably wouldn't have aknowledged the existence of racism in Egypt - you can read the typical responses Zeinobia makes above...

    When we kept complaining about racism in Egypt's media - anonymous said 'they want us to change our sense of humour!'

    They refuse to acknowledge the fact that the Egyptian media portrays black Africans in a negative light.

    I never said it was public plan - we said it was shameful for educated Egyptians to remain silent - and at the same time accuse black African countries of conspiring against them in the Nile basin etc...

    Also blackface in the Egyptian media is doubly insulting to the Sudanese who are told by Egyptians that they were one country (by force of course) and then at the same time made fun of!

    Regarding Halayeb our issue is 'why' they do not support international aribitration over the dispute in the 'same way' that Egypt took her dispute over Taba with Israel???

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  20. I think I have been clear on my position from racism in the media since day one , it is not the first time
    regarding Halayeb , why you do not do it yourself !!?? Why we go to the Hague if it is already ours

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  21. Sudanese Observer9/15/2010 10:10:00 PM

    Zeinobia your question is nonsensical.
    One of the basics of arbitration is that both sides have to agree to submit the dispute to international arbitration.

    This is what Egypt did with Israel.

    So 'why' won't it do the same with Sudan???

    That is the question that needs to be answered.

    Both parties (Egypt and Israel) were mature enough to realise that having a deadlock was not beneficial to their relations.

    Halayeb is yours 'by force' just as the Golan is Israel's by force - and its civil society activists languish in Egyptian prisons - two of them have died under torture and you have 'refused' to give them any mention in the same way you mention Palestinian, Syrian and Egyptian illegal detainees...

    Taking the dispute over allocation of the Nile to international arbitration has been a demand of Upstream States - yet Egypt has refused.

    Now - facts on the ground are changing the reality - in spite of Egypt's insistence on the doctrine of historical rights which has been discredited internationally in favour of reasonable and equitable utilisation - all the States upstream of Egypt including Sudan are increasing their consumptive uses.

    Today Halayeb is an open-air prison.
    And Halayeb's civil society demands restitution of Halayeb to Sudanese sovereignty.

    Refusing to go to arbitration is not helpful in the long-run.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Abdallah - thanks for showing up and for being a voice of reason.

    Have you seen this documentary on the rights of Egyptian Nubians in Egypt?

    أوراق مصرية | قصة النوبة، حتى لا تكون دارفور اخرى
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcCwvo-aUr8

    ReplyDelete
  23. Listen you guys,

    I don't know how someone stating facts and personal experience is being a source of reason.

    I was taught to believe that "Kolina welad tis3a". "La fadl li3arabi 3ala a3jami wala li abyad 3ala aswad illa biltaqwa."

    I believe this with all my heart.

    As far as I'm concerned Egypt owes the people of Nuba a lot!!!

    They were forced to leave their entire civilization and history. I'm not blind not to understand that it was for a greater good.

    In addition, Sadat used Nubian language communicators to protect communication during the October War...

    The situation is more complicated than what the program makes it seem. With all due respect, we're flat ass broke!!! I believe the Nubians deserve the compensation that they are asking for. The question is how much money is needed for this? Where will the government get the money from...

    I'm sorry all I can offer is recognition.

    Zeinobia, I never liked the concept of working at the Gulf countries. When I was younger I always used to hear of feeling 3'orba while Egyptians are away. You know what? I lived in America for 10.5 years and I never felt 3'orba. Sure I missed my extended family, but it was nothing a month visiting Egypt couldn't cure.

    As I grew I realized that it was Egyptians who worked in the Gulf countries who felt 3'orba. It was because they were treated like shit. I'm a firm believer in "men 5arag min daruh it2al mi2daruh" unless you're going to invest your money there and you're the boss.

    If you work for people they control you. If you and kin start fighting and kissing ass in competition the second you hear one of you is going home, then they have the right to say whatever they want about you.

    By the way, why "Zeinobia"?

    Sudanese Observer, I'd like to know why, to your knowledge, Nasser took Halayeb in the first place? I mean Nasser was trying to be the Arab hero sending Egyptian soldiers to Algeria and sending more soldiers to Yemen to support the republicans. I'm not disagreeing with you, but I'd like to hear your side.

    As per the racism, I know black face and jokes haven't stopped and probably won't for a good while, but I can tell you this, the view towards blacks in general is changing. Today I'm actually surprised that some Egyptians are actually recognizing handsome men and beautiful women who are black.

    In 94 I decided I wanted nothing to do with a guy who disagreed with me on which one was more beautiful of two sisters. One was darker and the other was lighter. Any IDIOT could tell that the darker sister was prettier. We kept on arguing until I asked him what he based beauty on; he answered: "light skin".

    I said: "I can't believe that you're a college student. Don't ever speak to me again."

    Zeinobia, I feel terrible. I'm jumping off topic, completely, aren't I? :/

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  24. Dear Abdullah just For your information Abdel Nasser did not take anything from any one , this was international borders recognized since 18th century
    Egypt since long history , since the middle ages our borders were at the adebiya city latitude 22
    Do a little research on Halayib's historical posts in this blog before asking and listenning to the other side for the sake of God !!
    My dear I am fed up to be the bad villian of the Arab world and believe me I have been more than patient
    I do not dare to deny the Nubain cause but to suggest if from far that Aswan is Sudanese
    We are not occupiers and comparing the Nubian cause to Darfor even from far is crazy and sick showing how the speaker hates our country and its unity , the thing which is disappearing currently in Sudan
    Some want to send Egypt to the hell to be the next Sudan with sectarian and ethinc tensions not to mention the succession plans , it is like the sick body , a set back , fortunately we always come back stronger than ever.

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  25. Sudanese Observer9/17/2010 03:34:00 AM

    Zeinobia - Adeybiya?!
    It's Aydaab and it's Beja territory since time immemorial.
    Anecdotal evidence doesn't hold water.

    AbdAllah

    I think by saying you were a voice of reason they meant you were willing to engage - voice your opinion and enquire - which is not what we've been getting from the creator of this blog others - and you can check previous posts.

    In another post she explicitly defended blackface in the Egyptian media - saying it wasn't racist!
    We provided the example of a cartoon in AlDustour with Al-Hadari painting his face dark brown whilst surrounded by sacks of Dollars saying 'ni7na balad wa7id' or some other rubbish like that - the cartoon is obviously racist and offensive and Zeinobia 'refused point blank' to condemn it.

    She's so caught up in what she perceives to be her love of Egypt and her delusions of grandeur that she cannot bring herself to be objective when given examples and evidence of where things are going wrong in Sudan-Egypt relations - and where educated Egyptians 'should' be making a stand.

    Blaming everything on jealousy and conspiracy is very last Century and is what people with no substantive point to present - and school kids do.

    We've also asked why the Sudanese civil society activists from Halayeb who languish in Egyptian prisons have not gotten a mention in her blog in the same way that Syrian and Palestinian detainees are mentioned...

    She also contradicts herself - jumping from calling the Sudanese and Egyptians 'one people' to 'advising you' to take 'your collective (Egyptian) side' as opposed to the side of the 'other' - us the Sudanese...
    I've already asked on what basis she claims the Egyptians and the Sudanese were 'one people' and it seems she doesn't have an answer.

    AbdelNasser was a great man in terms of his leadership and impact - but like all men he was no angel.

    Our successive governments did not support his intervention in Yemen and did not embrace his Pan-Arab endeavours - Sudan is *not* an Arab Republic in the same way Egypt is.

    He supported the first military takeover of power in Sudan, in order to sign the 1959 Agreement that paved the way for the creation of the Aswan Dam and all the misery it caused Egyptian Nubians - notwithstanding the benefits it provided Egypt as a whole *and the zero benefit it provided Sudan* even though parts of Sudan were inundated by Lake Nubia (that's what we call it) in Sudan and 50,000 Sudanese were relocated to the East...

    The 1959 Agreement is extremely unpopular in Sudan and in the run-up to the elections last April one of the electionnaire's questions was whether we supported a new agreement and more than 70% answered affirmatively.

    The 1959 Agreement is the agreement between Cuba and the USA on the establishment of a base in Guantanamo Bay - it's unfair but the Cubans can't change it without the consent of the Americans.

    However the 1959 Agreement differs since it involves other countries namely Ethiopia and facts on the ground are going to make it obsolete - Ethiopia and Sudan's consumptive uses of the Nile's waters are increasing and South Sudan 'will not' construct the Jonglei Canal.

    There's a lesson to be learned there - stubbornness and the lack of respect in dealing with the other lead to negative outcomes in the long-run - and the same is applicable to the case of occupied Halayeb.

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  26. Sudanese Observer9/17/2010 03:35:00 AM

    Back to AbdelNasser, he overthrew Naguib right?

    AbdelNasser had his own agenda and his own advisors - some like Heikal who don't hide their chauvenism and racism (see what he wrote about Sadat's mother in disparaging terms).

    AbdelNasser chose to move towards Halayeb to prevent Sudanese electoral officers from carrying out their duties towards the Sudanese citizens of Halayeb in Sudanese territory.

    He was smart enough not to escalate the matter, as was his successor Sadat.
    President Mubarak's biggest blunder in Sudanese-Egyptian relations is his decision to militarily occupy and annex Halayeb by force in the mid-90's when Sudan was bogged down in the North-South civil war.

    So having explained the fact that international arbitration involves the consent of all the parties involved, and taking into account the historical precedent Egypt has when she agreed to international arbitration with *Israel* over Taba - I put the question to you and Zeinobia - do you not think that the dispute should be submitted to international arbitration in order to settle it once and for all???

    If you weren't here I highly doubt whether Zeinobia would have commented on the sacrifices of Egyptian Nubians...

    She responds because you're 'Egyptian' but you're taking the wrong side (not that you're taking sides, you just want to know the other side's perspective like any rational person).

    The title of the documentary and its reference to Halayeb are hyperbolic and believing the siege mentality and security threats only plays into the Egyptian regime's plan of clinging to power.

    Egyptian Nubians 'do not' want separation - they just want basic rights.
    And I agree with you 100% - it's probably not feasible to provide them with those rights.

    But what demand is not different from what we demand - respect, recognition of the differences, constructive engagement.

    God help you and your family and theother good Egyptians I know (obviously not the ones who usually respond to us on this blog) in educating the others of you on embracing diversity and accepting it - not just when it comes from the Mediterranean Basin - but also when it comes from the deep, dark, rich South.

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  27. Abdallah

    The Egyptian Nubians in the video complained about the distortion of their history in Egypt's school curricula and their portrayal as doormen and man-servants.

    If we stretch that analogy we can sort of understand why the Egyptian Minister of Culture has never visited Sudan or why Zahi Hawass has never visited Sudan.

    As Sudanese we're bemused by this 'reality' and the moth-eaten slogans Egyptians - even young Egyptians continue to churn out about Sudan and Egypt have some kind of a special relationship...

    How this ties into the initial post is that Zeinobia simply does not respect Sudan or the Sudanese people as the has never condemned blackface prior to this post and refuses to post anything on the Sudanese civil society activists from Halayeb who are detained without trial for up to 7 years - 2 of whom have died under torture.

    A sad reality and sadder when the young, educated and supposedly exposed are supposed to improve on past mistakes - but then again she does live in a parallel reality 'in the glories of the past'.

    Keep doing what you're doing.

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  28. I want to be clear on some things.

    That I am listening to what someone is saying about history doesn't mean I believe them.

    I just want to know what is being said and why it is being said.

    Saying Halayeb was Egyptian since the 18th century or before is very, VERY different from saying Nasser occupied it in the 1950s.

    Zeinobia, you told Sudanese Observer to go to the Hague instead of arguing, yes? Does that mean you agree that the Halayeb issue should go to the World Court? If the maps before the English occupation of Egypt and Sudan clearly show this then we have nothing to worry about, right?

    Oh, you never mentioned what you thought of working in the Gulf countries.

    Sudanese Observer, I would first like to ask you where did you learn to write in English so eloquently? How old are you?

    I would like to comment on this, though:

    "The 1959 Agreement is extremely unpopular in Sudan and in the run-up to the elections last April one of the electioneers' questions was whether we supported a new agreement and more than 70% answered affirmatively."

    I'm quite surprised about this. We were informed that it's Egypt and Sudan on one side and the Nile source nations on the other.

    In addition, 70% of who exactly? Are we talking the Northern Sudanese or the entire Sudan or those who just answered the questionnaire? I'm being serious and NOT sarcastic. And if 70% of the entire Sudan want this, why isn't it declared or obvious in the media? I assure you, Egyptians watch Aljazeera. It is very important that people know.

    And for the record, I dislike Abdelnasser. I consider him the main reason Egypt lost a very strong economy; the Egyptian Pound cost more than a gold pound during the King's time. After that he went to his wars, printed valueless money and preferred importing over strategic manufacturing! So, yeah, he wasn't an angel.

    I find it incredible that you call it "Pharaonic circumcision" while it came to you from Ethiopia and passed on to us. The Arabs don't do this. I'm talking about the Gulfies, the Shawam and the Western Arabs starting from Libya and on to Morocco.

    It's the main reason I never married a Nubian or a Sudanese, btw.

    Africanist, I do have a comment on what you said, that the history of Nubia isn't mentioned in Egyptian school history is ridiculously shameful and disgusting.

    Then why do we have the Nubian Museum in Aswan if we're going to ignore Nubia's history.

    The stereotypical jobs associated with people from Nubia or Aswan just isn't fair. There are way more non Nubians who work as doormen or servants. Not to mention that this may have been true prior to the 80s. The numbers have been in decline since.

    I have met so MANY Nubian businessmen who are just as successful as anyone else.

    As per the Sudanese civil society activists that you mentioned, perhaps Zeinobia never mentioned them because, like me, she never heard of this before.

    I swear I NEVER have!

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  29. This thread is epic. Good job everyone.

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  30. Do not feed the troll.
    Sudanese Observer is a text book troll case, TROLL ALERT EVERYONE.

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  31. Sudanese Observer rants about how we complained about him deviating from original posts ect and claims its his freedom of speech but he considers those who see things differently as not so good Egyptians :D what a joke. Just because we do not see things your way it doesnt mean we are bad or evil. Nubians and their rights are none of your business. We dnt need an outsider to come and preach to us about their problems or how we should deal with them. Stick to your recycled words against us and how we messed up the lives of the Sudanese ppl who were living in peace and harmony and not at war with each other.

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  32. @Last Anon: very true and a big :D at the "troll"

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  33. Anonymous, just cause you disagree with someone or you think they have a skewed view compared to what you believe doesn't give you the right!

    Sure, the man is aggressive in expressing his beliefs, but he is passionate about them. I'm going to have to have more studies concerning the issues surrounding what he is saying, but I won't call him names! If someone is showing me what he believes are facts, I will match him in every way.

    I'd like to thank Sudanese Observer AND Africanist for confirming what I've guessed for years you can't tell someone you're "one people", "one nation" and "habayeb" and go on to make fun of how God created them!!!!

    I've learned from Egyptian media that there is an issue between Egypt and Sudan over Halayeb but I never knew to what extent the issue is; even if I disagree or don't know the whole story.

    The Nile water distribution agreement will eventually result in war if not solved diplomatically. You have to see that. If they take one sided decisions, we will go to war! And the country that is supposed to be on our side has people who don't want to be on our side!!! Don't you see the problem with that?

    In the 1980's Ethiopia asked Egypt for help for water and agricultural projects! We ignored them! Apparently it never crossed someone's mind that they would turn to Israel or America! But the fact is they turned to US first!!!

    When Jacques Cousteau studied Egypt's use of Nile water 20 something years ago, he concluded that we will eventually be put in a spot where water is turned on 4 hours a day for us!!! That is 4 (four) hours a day!!!!! I don't know about anyone else, but I have no interest in living like that!!!

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  34. @Abdallah: NO ONE HERE MADE FUN OF THEY WAY GOD CREATED THEM AND NO ONE IN EGYPT MAKES FUN OF THEM ON PURPOSE. SOME DO AS BAD JOKES BUT NOT WHAT YOU AND THE 2 SUDANESE RANTERS DESCRIBE OR THINK.
    Also, how come you are preaching us about respecting different opinions, while you ignored the insulting words your Sudanese buddy wrote about those disagreeing w him. Many here just dnt see eye to eye w wt he is saying and thats not our issue here our issue is the irrelevant comments full of recycled words he keeps on posting.

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  35. Sudanese Observer9/18/2010 11:51:00 PM

    By the way I'm a Sudanese Nubian myself so anything Nubian 'is' my business.

    Abdallah

    Fahmi Huweidy described Egypt's policy towards Sudan in an article as being built historically on 'alfahlawa' and he said that this was dangerous and counter-productive to Egypt's interests.

    Fahlawa won't work anymore in this day and age.

    We can't choose our neighbours and we all have to learn to get along and live together and work out win-win situations equitably.

    Regardless of the allegations against me I don't hate Egypt and Egyptians - myself and Africanist and Sudanese Optimist and Zol have all been to Egypt more than once and I have Egyptian friends - but I'm telling you - go to Addis Abeba and see what they think of Egypt and Egyptians and you will be shocked - I most definitely was.

    Outlawing black-face in the Egyptian media will give Egypt some sort of credibility in the rest of Africa.

    'Civilised nations' engage with one another on an equal footing.

    Japan and South Korea are a good example.

    They both have diametrically opposing interpretations of their shared history - yet they were both mature enough *NOT* just at the official government soundbyte level but at the academic level - to engage each other in order to recognise their differences and look towards the future.

    One thing I haven't mentioned is how incredibly insulting it is to the Sudanese when Egyptians say 'Egypt lost Sudan' in reference to our independence struggle.

    Ahmad Maher of Al-Jazeera made that statement and was strongly rebuked by many Sudanese viewers.

    The Unionist Party which was put together by Naguib and had a parliamentary majority was the same party that passed the unilateral declaration of independence in 1955...

    And this reinforces the suspicion that many Sudanese have about the Egyptians considering Sudan as an extension of water and land, the guarator of Egypt's food security, a land of abundant natural resources - ruled by naive 'Arab' man-servants who have to deal with savages (in the South).

    This vision completely neglects the Sudanese nation and its unique history from ancient Nubia to Sennar, Fazughli, Darfur and the Beja nation...

    Egypt from 1820 was in Sudan 'by force' and the first unification of the peoples of Sudan occurred as a reaction to the tyranny of the dynasty of Muhammad Ali and this led to the Mahdist Revolution which affected every single family in Sudan - either through the martyrdom of their men or their mass migration.

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  36. Sudanese Observer9/18/2010 11:52:00 PM

    The first time Egypt's heir apparent Gamal Mubarak went to Khartoum was not to discuss economics or to get to know the place but to watch the Egyptian national team lose against Algeria in the World Cup qualifier...

    I read Zahi Hawass' article in the current National Geographic on Tutankhamun and wondered why he had never visited Sudan or gone on site in Sudan or given a talk in Sudan on ancient Egypt and or ancient Nubia in pure 'academic' terms - which would generate a lot of interest.

    I wonder why Egypt's Minister of Culture has never visited Sudan and why our literary figures are more well known and feted in Morocco and Germany - than in Egypt...

    I wonder why the Gulf countries are happy importers of our livestock whilst Egyptian newspapers continuously refer to our livestock as being diseased...

    There is not one Sudanese party or political grouping that does not think that the Egyptian illegal military annexation of Halayeb is both offensive and unjust. Halayeb today is an open air prison and the peoples of the occupied territory are not allowed to travel and resume their traditional lives and visit their kin in Sudan...
    When Beja leader and former rebel and Presidential Advisor Musa Muhammad Ahmad tried to visit Halayeb the December before last, he was refused entry at the border of the occupied territory...

    There is a certain arrogance that some Egyptians have which is based on delusions of historical grandeur which when combined with ignorance towards diverse communities in the country and region - makes for a very ugly concoction which does not bode well for the future.

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  37. It's Ahmad Mansour not Ahmad Maher.

    Ahmad Mansour obviously has a big chip on his shoulder and his Lebanese and Algerian AlJazeera colleagues Sami Kleib and Ghassan Binjiddou have conducted more successful, respectful and well researched interviews and discussions with Sudanese figures including Al-Imam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi and former Foreign Minister and Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement member Dr Mansour Khaled.

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  38. This post reminds me of a quote,
    ""Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one, and nobody wants to look at the other guy's".

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  39. Sudanese Optimist9/20/2010 03:49:00 AM

    How typically classy.

    "Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn."

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  40. Wow, this thread has been whirlwind of opinions interspersed with facts. I have really enjoyed reading it. I'd like to thank Zeinobia for at least allowing a forum for the folks above to express their own opinions. I think we all can agree that allowing a venue for this kind of discussion is in some sense conducive to change.

    For the record, I am kind of on the same boat as Abdallah.

    First and foremost, Egyptian media needs to drop blackface. I recognize that all over the world people ridicule different regions and ethnic groups. It's undeniable, and it happens everywhere. The problem with Egypt is that this kind of humor is not only widespread as well as randomly inserted even when unnecessary to plot, but it's also seen as ACCEPTABLE.

    It's not acceptable.

    As for the other issues discussed, well, to say the least, I have been inspired to educate myself about them.

    Thank you all!

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  41. Yes. This thread had made the leap from Epic to Legendary.

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  42. Sudanese Observer9/24/2010 05:38:00 AM

    Thank 'you' anonymous

    If you're Egyptian - please spread the word and educate your compatriots on the unacceptable nature of blackface.

    Two days ago a Palestinian guy butted into a conversation I was having with a Yemeni friend on our respective modern historical experiences.

    The Palestinian was very angry about my acceptance of the probability of Southern Sudanese self-determination.

    He referred to the issue in terms of 'Arabism' and 'unity'.

    He was very emotional, and I do sypathise with the plight of the Palestinians - in the same way I sympathise with the plight of the Roma or the Sri Lankan Tamils or any oppressed nation - in my capacity as their 'fellow human'.

    I chose not to explain to him how and why many young Sudanese chose to discard self-identification as 'Arabs' (even if their geneaology can be partially traced to the Arabian peninsula) due to their rejection of their constant racist portrayal as a second class group of doormen and jiggaboos.
    Black 'Palestinians' are referred to as '3abeed' or slaves - and the same goes for Jordan - and all the above leads to this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEaCuaqUjlw

    However I told him that any talk of 'unity' must be based on recognition of 'the other' and respect - as well as a focus on commonalities.

    Two key words: recognition of the differences - and respect.

    Recognise the fact that most Sudanese consider Muhammad Ali and his dynasty to be villains, foreign occupiers and good for nothing (as far as Sudan and its people go).

    Recognise the fact that many Sudanese resent the glorification of Muhammad Ali's invasion of Sudan by some Egyptians.

    Recognise the fact that most Sudanese greatly resent the superficial way in which many Egyptians gloss over the history and say 'we were one country' - based on invasion and pillage!

    Recognise the fact that most Sudanese consider al-Imam al-Mahdi who defeated Muhammad Ali's occupation - as a national hero.

    Recognise the fact that most Sudanese find Egyptian statements about how they 'lost' Sudan or 'gave it away' at *independence* in 1956 to be extremely insulting not just to the nation as a whole but to our fore-fathers who have their sweat, blood and lives for the cause.

    Recognise the fact that, although we admire AbdelNasser's nationalisation of the Suez many of us resent the way he went about securing the 1959 Agreement which greatly benefited Egypt - and caused nothing but detriment to Sudan - even though Sudan's cities and land was inundated by Lake Nubia and 50,000 Sudanese were forcibly relocated.

    Recognise the fact that 'all' the Sudanese political groupings and 'all' the Sudanese people greatly resent the unilateral, aggressive, illegal military occupation of Halayeb by Egyptian forces in the mid 90's - against the wishes of Halayeb's civil society.

    Recognise the fact that the Sudanese resent offical Egypt's stonewalling on this issue and its refusal to defer the dispute to international arbitration when Egypt took a previous dispute to international arbitration over Taba with *Israel* - and the Sudanese (including the current President) actively served in all of Egypt's wars with her former foe Israel.

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  43. Sudanese Observer9/24/2010 05:43:00 AM

    Recognise the fact that all the Sudanese greatly resent the childish, ignorant, racist way they have been consistently portrayed in the Egyptian media.

    Come on - it's impossible to hide anything in this day and age!
    Africans see examples of black-face in Egyptian media and they (we) resent it - it adds insult to injury when Egypt then envisions a leadership role for herself in and on behalf of Africa!

    In Alek Wek (the Dinka Sudanese supermodel)'s autobiography - she only mentions the Arabic speaking women who frequented the hairdressers she worked in as making racist and hurtful remarks about her - thinking she didn't speak Arabic...

    Recognise the fact that many Sudanese do not want to be part of any greater plan that contributes towards the fulfilment of a glorified notion of an Egypt uber alles that leads erga omnes.

    We and the Egyptians are separate entities: economically, politically, dialectically and any engagement we envision with each other should be equitably win-win.

    Recognise the fact that the relative ignorance of Egyptians towards Sudan is a disadvantage - at least for those Egyptians who advocate healthier and more dynamic relations between the two countries.

    Let's call a spade a spade.

    It's time for positive change.

    Patriotic, historical, knee-jerk reactionary blind defensiveness will get no one anywhere.

    Anyone who reads all the above and then accuses me and those holding my views of hating Egypt and Egyptians is one of two things - either:

    intellectually challenged or,

    too arrogant to admit to something that doesn't conform with their warped self-image that is based on historical delusions of grandeur.

    No disrespect intended to anyone.

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  44. Sudanese Observer9/24/2010 06:32:00 AM

    Abdallah

    With all due respect I don't think either my age or where I learned to speak English are relevant at all to the cause I and the other Sudanese commentators espouse.

    We are all ageless.
    And we are all Azza (the allegorical name given to Sudan during our independence struggle).

    And re: FGM I'm in no position to make historical statements of fact - that it came from Ethiopia or elsewhere.
    It's an ancient African passage of right and a horrible one at that that should be eradicated.
    I was surprised to learn that type 1 cutting takes place as far away as Indonesia!

    The electionnaire was conducted by a wide swathe of the electorate in Khartoum and Juba.

    I already explained the fact that the agreement is like the US-Cuba agreement over Guantanamo - except that through increase of the consumptive uses of Ethiopia and Sudan - and non-construction of the Jonglei Canal - the agreement will become obsolete and there is nothing Egypt can do to stop this (bomb sugar-cane fields in Sudan? bomb dams in Ethiopia?)

    Equitable and reasonable utilisation = water for all, benefit for all, responsibilities on all parties - google 'equitable and reasonable utilization'.

    The Sudanese don't think the 1959 Agreement is fair, the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement have made that clear.
    Part of the agreement calls for the construction of the Jonglei Canals and...the southerners reject this.

    The 1959 Agreement allowed for construction of the Aswan Dam, the dam gave Egypt cheap electricity - the 1959 gave Sudan...nothing.

    The 1959 Agreement is an arrogant agreement that disregards other important, neighbouring nations like Ethiopia and Kenya.
    We the Sudanese are not arrogant enough to limit ourselves to thinking that we have the right to use our shared water resources to develop - while they don't.

    The important lesson to be learned from the 1959 Agreement is that it never ever pays to play dirty (something that has been defended by Zeinobia in previous posts) and it never ever pays to not engage 'the other' with respect.

    As for Halayeb there are various title to territory doctrines - Halayeb was brought into Egypt by force in a post-modern time-frame - whereas its people have always maintained ties with the peoples of what is now Sudan.
    I said that Nasser 'attempted' to invade in the 50's and that in a legally significant move, Sudan lodged a complaint with the Security Council.
    The Egyptians have their case and we have ours - so international arbitration is the logical, rational and only sustainable solution to the problem.

    Have you been to the Nubian museum in Aswan?
    I have.
    It bastardises, undermines and 'Egyptianises' Nubian history.

    We have given Zeinobia ample evidence re: the Sudanese civil society detainees from Halayeb who are incarcerated without trial - 2 of whom have dies whilst under Egyptian incarceration.

    She chooses to write about Syrian and Palestinian detainees instead.

    Google 'halayeb' 'sujoon' in Arabic and see what comes up - names, positions in occupied Halayeb and how long they've been incarcerated - some as long as 7 years.
    The evidence is easy to find.

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