History

Egyptian Parliamentary Elections 2010

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Having driven around various parts of Cairo, doing my monthly chores I can only say that by the end of election day, streets have been extremely quiet in Cairo, no election day hustle and bustle, people avoiding possible violence at polling stations. This apathy is understandable considering that most people already know the results before they have been concluded.  So far 8 people have been killed in election related violence and an independent candidates son was stabbed to death a few days ago.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Looking back in time, we know that Egypt has had a great history of transparency, justice and economic prosperity for centuries.

Lawrence of Arabia

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(photo by wasapninjordan)

I recently managed to watch the film ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ which I have wanted to see for ages. However, I was not sure how accurate the movie was to true life. I saw Lawrence being portrayed as the saviour of Arabs and almost being revered ‘god-like’ figure by the Arabs in the film. I asked a few friends at work and behold they all challenged the accuracy of the film.

Below are quotes from ‘wikiquote’ about Lawrence from others that knew him:

“There is no other man I know who could have achieved what Lawrence did. As for taking undue credit for himself, my own personal experience with Lawrence is that he was utterly unconcerned whether any kudos was awarded him or not.” (Edmund Allenby, commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force to Lowell Thomas.)

“I deem him one of the greatest beings alive in our time… We shall never see his like again. His name will live in history. It will live in the annals of war… It will live in the legends of Arabia.” (Winston Churchill)

I also recently visited Wadi Rum where tourist attractions such ‘this is where Lawrence slept’ and ‘this is where Lawrence drank water from’ were sold to me as sites for pilgrimage.

I would love hear from other peoples views on T.E. Lawrence’s legacy. What do you think?

wasapnin

This is an adventure

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Lord Islington argued that the provisions concerning the establishment of a Jewish national home were inconsistent with Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which had laid the foundations of the mandatory system. Lord Islington continued that ‘the mandate imposes on Great Britain the reasonability of trusteeship for a Zionist political predominance where 90 per cent of the population are non-Zionist and non-Jewish … In fact, very many orthodox Jews, not only in Palestine but all over the world, view with the deepest misapprehension, not to say dislike, this principle of a Zionist Home in Palestine … The scheme of a Zionist Home sought to make Zionist political predominance effective in Palestine by importing into the country extraneous and alien Jews from other parts of the world … This scheme of importing an alien race into the midst of a native local race is flying in the very face of the whole of the tendencies of the age. It is an unnatural experiment … It is literally inviting subsequent catastrophe …

Answering this criticism, the author of the Declaration, Lord Balfour, said:

Zionism may fail…this is an adventure…Are we never to have adventures? Are we never to try new experiments?…I do not think I need dwell upon this imaginary wrong which the Jewish Home is going to inflict upon the local Arabs. (Lord Balfour 21st June 1922 – House of Lords)

Lord Sydenham replied that the Zionist experiment would fail, but the harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country – Arab all round in the hinterland – may never be remedied … What we have done is, by concessions, not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, to start a running sore in the East, and no one can tell how far the sore will extend.

House of Lords, 21 June 1922