Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dangerous Decision

Egypt is going to open two consulates in Iraq , a news that made headlines yesterday. Despite having our first Ambassador to Iraq after the invasion being killed and we have not found his body yet , despite the fact that our embassy survived a recent bombing and despite fact that Iraq is still under ugly occupation , the Egyptian regime is insisting to open embassies and consulates.
Barzani and Mubarak
The recent decision to open two consulates in Iraq can be regarded as a step to recognize Iraqi Kurdistan state as we have opened a consulate in Erbil not to mention the announcement of this important decision came after the visit of Masoud Barzni to Mubarak at the presidential palace.
For sure it is good that Egypt returns back to Iraq and I hope that our consulate in Erbil will keep any eye on the Israeli involvement and plans in Kurdistan still I have my own doubts related to the fact that Mubarak and his regime now are in a desperate need to secure in their existence in Cairo. It is about historical alliance , during our war with Israel , Mustafa Barzani had Israeli military advisers between 1963 and 1975 following the principle of "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" at the peak of Pan Arabism which was considered and is still considered a counter movement to national identities by some.
I do not have anything against Kurds on the contrary , it is enough to say that Saladin was of a Kurdish origin along with many other wonderful Arab Kurds who contributed greatly in our Arab culture whether in the past or the present but there are some Kurds who need to wake up and see how they are being used as a political game nothing more ,nothing else. Yes the 20th century Arabic regimes did not give them their rights as equal citizens recognizing their significance in culture but let me ask you where is that Arabic regime that gave any Arabic citizen his full rights of citizenship in the first place !!??


  1. Pan-Arabism is 'offensive' to any sub-national group whose natural linguistic and cultural rights were violated 'for the cause'.

    Drawing a parallel between the denial of specific cultural rights by 'Pan-Arab' regimes against sub-national groups - and the general denial of civil liberties that 'everyone' was subject to - is extremely offensive and reflects lack of sensitivity or awareness on the ethno-linguistic front.

    No wonder 'some people' in Egypt 'still' refer to the many different peoples of Sudan and Egypt as 'one nation'.

    Pan-Arabism is forever condemned to the dustbin of history.

  2. @Africanist: Im not getting what your rant is all about here to be honest. Both Egypt and Sudan share an African and Arab heritage, you might hate pan-Arabism thats fine, Im not a big fan my self esp since the English seem to have had some role to play in spreading it but that will not simply cancel the concept of familiarity that many normal individuals of the region feel towards each other and the many things they share in common, nor would it change a history of co-existing. I think we should be happy to have so much in common be it as Africans or Arabs and not go around ranting about them. Instead we should find ways to make use of our diversity and find solutions to problems among us.
    Also, I cant speak for Z but in all honesty what she wrote is felt by many, citizens of our region tend to suffer under their regimes in general and while minorities had to suffer more in some situations the fact remains that the regimes of the region failed to respect their citizens and one aspect of that failure is their failure to respect the diversity of the ppl.

    @Z: I think we should think in terms of the present and future not the past. I'm sure that whatever the Kurds did before was meant in their judgement to serve their cause and I can not really blame them for that. I think we have an opportunity to establish competing relations with them and make it more valuable for them, this is the only and realistic way of dealing with their relation with Israel.
    I also hope we firmly establish ourselves in Iraq, the loss of the life of the Egyptian diplomat was meant to push us out.

  3. Anonymous:
    I'm interested to know what your definition of being African is.

    Sudan and Egypt and Africa can only be put in an affirmative context within a sentence if one talks in geographical and geo-political terms: both are on the continent and both are members of various regional African international organisations.

    However Sudan is far more enmeshed in Africa, actually the Sudanese are far more enmeshed in Africa 'ethnically, linguistically, culturally, historically' than Egypt.

    It is unfortunate that many Africans in West and East and Central and Southern Africa don't consider Egypt to be representative of the continent.

    For example if a permanent seat was given to Africa at the Security Council, most Africans (myself included) would prefer that the seat be given to South Africa rather than to Egypt which is a major Mid-East protagnist.

    Yes Sudan has an Arab heritage that became Africanised and ultimately became 'Sudanese' - after all we are not an 'Arab Republic' like Egypt.

    The preamble to the Sudanese Interim Constution 2005 states:
    The Republic of the Sudan is a sovereign, democratic, decentralized, multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-lingual State.

    As for the 'Arab heritage' - it is the language that counts and Arabic is Sudan's lingua franca.
    However taking into account the discriminatory legacy of 'pan-Arabism' and the racism that rears its ugly head against the dark-skinned Sudanese from time to time, many young, educated Sudanese choose not to identify themselves as Arabs, even if this defies reality.
    After all, no one wants to be a second class citizen.

    This article touches on a recent event and was written by a Sudanese columnist in the British Guardian.

    Pan-Arab narrative a myth in LebanonAn

    apparently racially motivated attack on Sudanese immigrants in Beirut exposes the subtleties of intra-Arab discrimination

    And I disagree with the 'generalisation' about the citizens of the region...

    Morocco and Algeria recognise the diversity of the Amazigh and this is reflected in their media.
    A video that was posted on youtube and is 'supposedly' demeaning to Algerians is of football commentary in Tamazight.
    The comments say 'look at how the Algerians speak Arabic, we (the Egyptians) taught them how to speak Arabic'.
    Many of the people who posted the comments didn't know that the football commentary was in a different language...
    Not everything can be blamed on regimes, do the citizens themselves respect peoples' diversity? This blog's creator's commentary suggests otherwise.

  4. "It is unfortunate that many Africans in West and East and Central and Southern Africa don't consider Egypt to be representative of the continent."

    How is that our fault as Egyptians? You totally missed my point, you think you need to choose one or the other and I think we shouldnt choose any. I dnt care for theories ect what matters is how one identifies him/her self. You along with what you called my young Sudanese prefer not to be associated with Arabs, well good for you. Im sure it has nothing to do with the difficult times any thing Arabic is facing these days.
    Keep on picking on bits and pieces of what individuals do and twist them to try and make general assumptions.
    I dnt care whats written in laws and constitutions about the diversity of a nation, good to have that in for sure but what matters in the end is whether the citizens in general appreciate their diversity or have animosity bec of it. Not my words but that of Sudanese friends, sentiments bet those from the north and the south ain all nice, how many mixed marriages do you have?
    Last but not least, I dnt get your point, should we sever our relations with any other cultures/civilizations to be proper Africans? Isnt it a fact that the reason some Africans do not view all of Northern Africa and not only Egypt as proper representatives of Africa bec some are simply racist?!!

  5. Isnt it a fact that the reason some Africans do not view all of Northern Africa and not only Egypt as proper representatives of Africa bec some are simply racist?!!

    How is that your fault?
    You do nothing about the way your media depicts black Africa and black Africans.
    The film 'Africano' is a case in point, set in South Africa, which is the economic powerhouse and pride of all Africans, it depicts the indigenous locals in an extremely backward light... And it's supposed to be funny...
    Whose media depicts who in a racist manner?
    The Egyptian media depicts black Africa negatively, no one in black Africa goes out and targets Egypt fo rno reason - this mentality of victimisation and crying wolf is childish and based on poppycock.

    Should you sever your relations with other cultures to be proper Africans?

    No, but it is 'well known' that Egypt has not been constructively, dynamically engaged in Africa for a very long time - re-read Huweidy's article.

    How many mixed marriages are there?

    I reiterate the fact that you obviously haven't been to Sudan.

    How is it that the Northern Sudanese are brown and dark-skinned?

    They i.e. 'we' are the result of mixed marriages and miscegenation.

    With the legacy of the civil war these decreased (but did not disappear and many exists as in Abyei - do you know what Abyei is?)
    Go to Darfur and try to tell the difference based on 'physical looks' between an 'Arab' and an 'African'.

    Please don't comment on what you have no insight in.

    And 'yes' choosing to not identify as Arabs has absolutely 'nothing' to do with the difficult times anything Arabic is facing these days - it's a simple matter of 'respect' and is a sentimental 'not' material thing.

    Senegal is holding an African conference on Negroid Culture and Sudan is sending a huge delegation.

    I wonder if Egypt will send one its Nubian dancing troupes...


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