Sunday, May 30, 2010

Be Our Guests

I read this post by Khadija Sharife at the Globe and Mail online where she criticizes and attacks the Mubarak regime as expected and there is a small part that stopped which I want to share with you :

    It came as no surprise then, when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak advised Israel to reject Qatar’s offer of reconstructing the Gaza Strip in exchange for Israeli recognition of Qatar’s political weight in the Middle East.But in doing so, Mubarak Inc revealed the regime’s vulnerability as a “sub-imperial” power already in decline. Simply put, Egypt’s draconian state cannot survive Qatar’s proposal — normalising free movement of goods and material through Gazan borders religiously sealed by Egypt: Mubarak’s regime depends on it.

First of all why does Qatar need the Israeli recognition for its political weight ??

Real regional countries with real political weight do not need recognition of anyone , they impose themselves as regional powers just like Turkey and even like Brazil which imposed itself in the region with the Iranian Nuke deal.

Look I am tired from that sort of talk that Qatar wants to take over Egypt's role and how jealous the prince of Qatar from Egypt and Mubarak …etc to the end of this talk and honestly I invite whoever wants to take our role to take it , be our guest !!

Yes we are moving from bad to worse but I do not think that the Egypt as regional power will be replaced so easily by a newly regional political power like Qatar and this is why I do not understand why there is huge fear that it would take our place in the region. Already the regime through its media showed several times that Egypt has suffered enough from its regional power position which made it lose a lot from their point of view , so what is the harm of taking a little rest and back again to the arena when we are strong !!??

The prince of Qatar is not angelic nationalist as portrayed , do not believe the crocodile tears of a man that hosts foreign army bases in his country and asks a country like Israel to recognize his country as a regional power.


  1. :D معتقدش ان الكلام ده له أساس .. لكن المشكلة اني عمري ما فهمت الناس دي بتفكر ازاي .. سيبك من مقومات لعبهم دور ريادي أو خبرتهم السياسية أو حتى الكروت اللي ممكن يلاعبوا بيها الناس ويخضعوا الجميع لقبولهم في دور الوسيط، دول بيفكروني باسماعيل ياسين لما نزل مصر اشترى العتبة الخضرا ..... مش متخيل ان حمد ده فاهم فعلاً انه كل ما يجمع الأطراف في فندق ويدي لكل واحد شنطة فلوس يخرجوا بعدها متصافحين ويقولوا اننا اتفقنا يبقى حل أزمة .. ده يبقى نزل كازينو بديعة واتسرقت فلوسه المغفل

    واللي يغيظ أكثر ان حتى الكلام ده لو صح، وبعيد عن نقطة الاعتراف بالدور. قطر بتشترط إعتراف إسرائيل بدورها لتمويل إعادة بناء غزة لأهل غزة .. يا حلاوة يا ولاد

    دي حاجه شلل بعيد عنك

  2. Neither Egypt nor Turkey is in the region at all, so they can't properly be called "regional powers" in the middle east no matter what they do.

    Reality check time: Brazil is trying to establish itself as a global power. Turkey is just trying to re-arrange it's alliances.

    Yes we are moving from bad to worse but I do not think that the Egypt as regional power will be replaced so easily by a newly regional political power like Qatar and this is why I do not understand why there is huge fear that it would take our place in the region.

    Of course Qatar is not able to do that. The danger is that Egypt will be replaced by Iran, not by another Arab country. But you don't want to come out and say that, because it doesn't suit your agenda.

  3. PS:

    Zeinobia: "The prince of Qatar is not angelic nationalist as portrayed"

    And you are not the pro-democracy reformer that you portray yourself as, either. So what?

  4. Programmer craig,

    You do not have a blog yourself as your profile indicate. So your only purpose in life is to comment on Zeinab's post? Do you actually do any thing esle in life? Is this your full time job?

    I am very open to hearing all comments and all view points. I especially enjoy hearing stupid comments (it makes me feel good about how smart I am) but I am annoyed by your personal attacks on Zeinab. Rather that trying to guess what she is trying to portray herself and what she is really about, why do not you just focus on the posts themselves ... also why do you know you get a blog yourself so we can enjoy leaving nasty notes at your blog as well.

    Have a life!


  5. The real embarrassing issue here is two Arab states competing to appease Israel. Which one is closer to hold the key and make the deal. It is not enough that the first populous one is shameful, the second one is trying to outperform and becomes the favorite. Do you call this role a Regional Power?

    Do you remember Naser? This was THE regional power. RIP.

  6. @PC, it seems u r here only to attack 'Z' and why dont you just get lost!

  7. Sudanese Optimist5/31/2010 05:36:00 PM

    Firstly Turkey is in the Middle East, it is also in Europe, and being in both regions is not mutually exclusive.
    Secondly Turkey has strategic agreements with Israel - like Egypt and unlike Qatar. Turkey also hosts US military bases, like Qatar.

    Secondly, with all due respect (and please do not take this personally as it seems to be a more general problem amongst Egyptians) it seems to be that the creator of this blog has 'delusions of grandeur'.
    For one thing her introductory blurb reads that she:
    'lives in the present with the glories of the past...'
    Where the past is done and dusted, and the constant in life is 'change' - living in the present with the past is living in a parallel reality with no real grasp of the changes that have unfolded and are unfolding in the world...

    Accusing Sheikh Hamad of being 'jealous' of Egypt and its President is childish and that terminology is more suited to the primary school playground than to a commentary on international relations.

    Sheikh Hamad has:
    1- big ambitions for his country's regional and global role,
    2- an uncanny understanding of the role of 'soft power' in today's world (Al-Jazeera) and,
    3- the petro-dollars to back up his plans.

    It is so ironic that I read the disparaging comments on Qatar on this blog, after reading an article which praised Qatar's pioneering foreign policy.
    This article was written by one of Sudan's leading academic historians in yesterday's edition of one of Sudan's leading daily newspapers.

    In the article the historian states that Qatar hosts a US army base (like other countries) and that Qatar has diplomatic relations with Israel (like other countries) but in spite of this Qatar is pioneering on many fronts:

    It engages and invests in countries which are viewed (in the traditional centralised pan-Arab, Egyptian driven view) as being 'on the periphery of the region' such as the Comoros Islands.

    It hosts and pays the expenses of stakeholders in important, troubled states such as Somalia.
    (Egypt narrowly views Somalia as nothing but a potential destabilising factor to Ethiopia which contributes over 70% of the Nile's waters...)

    It has successfully mediated the constitutional crisis in Lebanon (it is interesting to note that Lebanon's first peace agreement was mediated by the Saudis - 'not' by the Egyptians...)

    It continues to host the peace negotiations in Darfur with the blessing of the Sudanese government, the International Community, Sudan's local opposition and all but one rebel faction. (Egypt made bold statements about hosting a Darfur peace conference in Aswan - why Aswan?! - but this never materialised)

  8. Sudanese Optimist5/31/2010 05:36:00 PM

    States which are regional powers never take breaks from their role - either they are equipped for that role - or they aren't.
    History doesn't have a 'pause' button whereby States can choose to maintain leadership roles when they feel fit enough.
    Leadership and power entail a great deal of momentum.
    Brazil would never step back from its South American leadership role, because it is completely equipped to be South America's leading nation - economically, militarily and through its soft power.

    Stepping into the present reality, is it not reasonable to evaluate Egypt's suitability to any perceived leadership role?

    There is ample evidence to support Egypt's dramatic decline from any position of leadership and influence it 'regionally' had.
    On the 'soft power' front, Egypt is quite simply not perceived to be a leader:

    Most Africans prefer South Africa, Ghana and even Nigeria to have Africa's permanent Security Council seat as opposed to Egypt.

    The collective recent signing of the Cooperative Framework Agreement by Upstream Nile Basin States (except Sudan), in spite of Egypt's protests is a bold political rejection of Egyptian hegemony in the Nile Basin.

    And finally no where is the decline of Egypt's power and influence more evident than in its perceived (from the Egyptian perspective of course) back yard Sudan.
    Egypt has no friends in the Sudanese opposition. Egypt makes strange bedfellows with the Islamist leaning National Congress Party and this is done for political expediency.
    Egypt has no friends in South Sudan, the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement 'refusing' to construct the Jonglei Canals.
    Egypt has never been less popular amongst the Sudanese, as in the aftermath of the Algeria-Egypt qualifying match in Khartoum, where the Egyptian media spread a campaign of slander and lies, which was supported by the creator of this blog, and this caused a diplomatic crisis and the dispatch of Egypt's Foreign and Intelligence Ministers - to clean up trouble caused in light of a 'football match'!!!

    Finally, speaking for myself and many other Sudanese - we admire Qatar's foreign policy and regard Qatar as a pioneer.
    We admire Qatar's leadership and all that has been invested for Sudan's investment and stability with no strings attached.
    It is true that the first President to recognise Qatar's independence and to visit Qatar was the Sudanese President in the 70's and that Qatar's civil and military development was pioneered by leading Sudanese professionals - however this does not define our views towards Qatar today.
    Qatar does not occupy our territory like Egypt does since the mid 1990's in Halayeb.
    Qatar's media does not insult us, on the contrary they go to Sudan, educate themselves about it and educate others, Qatar's policies are not based on slogans which correspond more to a parallel reality than the real world...

    For all these reasons we love and support Qatar and its leadership and wish them the best in their plans to form an OPEC for gas producers.

  9. Sudanese Optimist doesn’t recognize the difference between history and people in one side and the rulers and current events on the other side. To bundle the 2 sides is a simplistic generalization and ill-understanding of the facts. There is no need here to defend the ‘people’ of Egypt, yet for clarification another country may be used as an example.

    Greece can hardly win any medals in summer Olympics, but it gets the credit, recognition and receive due respect in every Olympics. This is not due to Greek 'delusions of grandeur', rather respect for the facts and understanding of history.

    Two weeks ago Greece was in the verge of bankruptcy, and needed infusion of EU money to survive. This crisis didn’t devalue Aristotle, Socrates and Plato, who can give humanity, and you for sure, more logic to balance your point.

    People and civilization are not discredited by headline news or soccer game uproar. This applies for Qatari, Egyptians and Sudanese people as well. Every Sudanese citizen can travel freely abroad, while al Bashir is under international arrest warrant. This is not to say he is guilty or innocent, just to identify separation of the issues.

  10. Sudanese Optimist5/31/2010 09:44:00 PM

    Anonymous -

    Firstly, are you the same person who keeps on mentioning the ICC indictment of the Sudanese President?

    The difference between the Sudanese and the Egyptians is that we don't have a blind collective mentality whereby we are offended by an attack on our President.
    I for one, didn't vote for him.
    And your country is his biggest defender.
    So that particular point is completely irrelevant.

    As for my reaction to Zeinobia's allegations that Qatar and Sheikh Hamad are 'jealous' of Egypt and my conclusion (and that of many others) that there are great 'delusions of grandeur' when it comes to evaluating Egypt's real power and influence today:

    To put it in very simple terms, no one accuses Greece of having 'delusions of grandeur' because Greece at the official and popular level doesn't act in a way which suggests that they have 'delusions of grandeur'.

    Official Greece does not utilise or co-opt the greatness of the Hellenic civilization to indoctrinate its citizens on how great their forefathers were - nor does official Greece base its foreign policy on some sort of 'manifest destiny' to fulfill the greatness of the ancients in the 21st Century.

    Egyptian government policy since Nasser's coup was to create a direct link in the the collective mind of the Egyptian masses between an Egypt that existed over 3000 years ago - and Egypt in the mid to late 20th Century - and even today.

    I also have many Greek friends, and there is a small but fiercely proud to be Sudanese, Greek community in Sudan - and they never bring up Plato or Socrates in the context of foreign relations or as a justification for why I should visit Greece, come to think of it they don't mention ancient Greece at all!

    With all due respect to his person and his office, I'm bemused by the wall hanging in the palace where the Egyptian President receives many dignitaries.
    It is a large embroidered map with the words 'alqi6r alMasry' written on it - which translates to 'the Egyptian region' - the areas shaded in yellow include territory in Libya and Sudan, and is much larger than contemporary politico-legal Egypt.
    That is tantamount to the British Prime Minister having a map of the 'British Empire' at 10 Downing Street or the US President having a map of the US that includes Puerto Rico and Micronesia!

    I was also genuinely bemused when I saw the bas-relief of ancient Egyptian warriors on the Egyptian Ministry of Defence building...
    It might not be my place to comment on your policies - but please don't expect people to buy into it and don't attack other countries for not subscribing to it or respecting this deluded self-image.

  11. Sudanese Optimist5/31/2010 09:44:00 PM

    I'm sorry if there were generalisations in my post.

    But the reaction of 'many' Egyptians in the blogosphere to defend any and everything that official Egypt does - in light of the Algeria-Egypt qualifying match - and this seeming belief in Egypt's 'manifest destiny' to lead is antagonistic to non-Egyptians whether you would like to admit to this, or not.

    Secularist Egyptians subscribe to the concept of Egypt's 'manifest destiny' to lead, as do Islamist Egyptians...
    Heikal believes in Egypt's manifest destiny, as does Ahmad Maher of Al-Jazeera, as does Al-Banna the head of Islamic Relief as does that awful imbecile Amr Adib...

    There was an utterly disgusting video on youtube that was flagged up by a Southern Sudanese friend. In the video a disciple of Kishk, a bearded Egyptian preacher states that Egyptians should relocate en masse to South Sudan to teach the Muslims there about Islam, as Egyptians naturally understand Islam better than the locals, and that the Egyptian men should marry Southern Sudanese women - even though they're so dark the only white thing about them is their eyes and teeth - and through the famous demographic growth of Egyptians they will become a force to be reckoned with and stem the conspiracy against Egypt by the Nile Basin States whose objective is the denial of Egypt of 'its manifest destiny'...

    If others don't believe you have the factors entitling you to leadership and as thus do not view you as a leader, who are you going to lead?!

    Egypt's ancient civilisation is impressive, as is the grand pyramid in Giza.
    No one can dispute Egypt's important geo-strategic position.
    However geography is not enough of a factor to determine leadership.

    I mentioned many points that you failed to address.

    Civilisation is most definitely not discredited by headlines, but where people defend the indefensible and in the process slander others, and do not see that there is anything wrong with this - the discredit is clear and unequivocal.

  12. Sudanese Optimist6/02/2010 09:56:00 PM

    Evidence of Egypt's lack of power and influence from a respected Egyptian writer:

    مصر فى السودان: غيبة أم غيبوبة؟

  13. Sudanese Optimist6/02/2010 10:37:00 PM

    Is there a problem with the recent comment lists?

  14. Yes Sudanese Optimist. There is problem with the comment’s list.

    The problem is not realizing what really matters. While we started rambling about the competition between Qatar and Egypt to lead the Arab worlds, and you recognized every misdeed committed by the Egyptian rulers, and paid attention to the large embroidered map behind the Egyptian president depicting the Egyptian region, the IDF stormed the Flotilla from air and from sea, while practically all the Arabs were asleep.

    The only map on the wall you should care about is the one with Star of David in the middle between 2 blue lines, the Nile and the Euphrates. When this map will be materialized, you will be included.

  15. Sudanese Optimist6/03/2010 02:12:00 PM

    Why am I not surprised? The article states it clearly. There is no 'seriousness' in tackling the issues.

    You successfully avoided addressing substantive issues raised and clouded 'Egypt's Mainfest Destiny' in the dispicable acts of Israel...

    We don't have borders with Israel - Egypt does - is that why you shoot African refugees crossing the border like flies? The memory of the Mustafa Mahmoud square massacre and brutalisation of defenceless refugees including women and children is raw in the memory of many Sudanese...

    We never had diplomatic relations with Israel - unlike Egypt,

    I condemn the IDF's aggression against the humanitarian convoy...

    But this takes nothing away from the fact that the Egyptian army continues to occupy Sudanese territory and to deny Sudanese people the right to free movement in Halayeb.

    We might be agreed in our condemnation of the IDF's aggression against the humanitarian convoy but gone are the days when the vast majority of Sudanese people:

    1 - Viewed Egypt as a leading State

    2 - Would support or accept the idea of Egypt's 'manifest destiny' - which is not dissimilar to the concept of Zionism - a special people in a special place...

    You say Nile to the Euphrates?
    I say regardless of who roles it - just as long as we're not bundled up in the same administrative entity as Egypt.

  16. Qatar has given Africa, where Egypt's water comes from Al-Jazeera English and a whole new enriching dimension to news, exposure and media coverage.

    What has Egypt done?

    Here's something that might contribute to curing Egypt's wholesale ignorance on Africa:


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