It was unclear how widely the Orascom Telecom service would be available to the public. Spokespersons were not immediately available for comment. North Korea began a mobile phone service in November 2002. But 18 months later, it banned ordinary citizens from using the service and began recalling unauthorised handsets. There is still thought to be a mobile network in Pyongyang which is open for government officials. Most foreigners are not allowed to use mobile phones inside the country.
â€œOur president is the best president in the world,â€� he says, without being asked. You donâ€™t have to believe he means what he says. [â€¦] What he really thinks? Maybe he doesnâ€™t know that himself. Iran is a country in confusion.Isnâ€™t this highly discriminating of Middle Easterners â€“ just because the khawaga correspondent doesnâ€™t understand whatâ€™s going on on someoneâ€™s mind doesnâ€™t mean that someone himself doesnâ€™t know what he has on his mind. This is a feature, ok, but if you ask whether provinces are benefiting from what the capital promises, the words economic growth, investment and unemployment shouldnâ€™t be totally missing from your text, should they (he does mention inflation). Instead Ladurner travels to an industrial area and tries to measure the provinceâ€™s economic development by glancing at factories and roads from the outside. One paragraph really struck me: The author finds out a school that gets promoted as being built within six months of Ahmadinejadâ€™s arrival in fact was built by a local business man two years before Ahmadinejad got elected. He gets the business manâ€™s mobile number, but then he stops short of calling the guy because he doesnâ€™t want to endanger the one he got it from (well, you just donâ€™t tell anyone). Local business men, affiliated with the centre of power or not, can be a good oral source in the absence of reliable social and economic data. So instead of calling up that potential source of information, he spends much of his text (and research, presumably) on complaining about Iranian state officials putting him off from office to office instead of giving him information. But the bureaucracy of some Middle Eastern states is a result of these countriesâ€™ political economy (for which the West often is responsible) and not of the mindset of Middle Easterners, as suggested by the author in an almost Michael Friedmanian manner. (In eigener Sache is the German mediaâ€™s slug for announcements on internal issues.)
The rise of Egyptian-Chinese economic relations needs to be seen in the context of the Nazif cabinet which took office in 2004 and tries to orientate the Egyptian economy towards foreign trade. But it is also a political manoever, a message to the established partners EU/US. However, the reality does not live up to the bullish statements made by economy minister Rashid and others on the potential of Egyptian-Chinese trade. Up until early 2006, China was only the 29th largest foreign investor in Egypt. Now a few committees and investment zones were created, and Chinese investment as well as mutual trade is likely to grow.Personnally, I don't see a lot of trade potential for Egyptian companies here, other than production joint-ventures in Egypt, which could serve Chinese companies well to re-export to Europe and Africa, while creating desperately needed jobs for Egyptians. Other then that, Egypt will remain a market for cheap Chinese products (I guess nowadays few products under LE20 are sold in Misr which are not 'Made in China') which is smuggled into the country via the Gulf (much of Dubai's rise is down to smuggling). I heard from European diplomats that most of current Egyptian-Chinese trade takes place outside statistics, and I'd love to know how much Chinese companies are truly selling in Egypt (and elsewhere in the Middle East).
It was not until 1982 that the Egyptian government acknowledged the problem. "It was a question of costs and priorities," Fathy El Shazly, director of the national northwest coast development program, frankly admits. He refers to the history of his country, which after the Second World War was first busy gaining independence and then tied up in four wars against Israel. A bit more haste would have been advisable, though. According to the NGO "Landmine Monitor," there have been 8,313 mine-related casualties in this region since 1982, including 619 deaths. As can be observed again and again whenever natural disasters or accidents occur, however, the Egyptian government evidently does not place much importance on its own citizens. It has done little to help the victims to date. The Egyptian army did clear some 3.5 million pieces of ammunition out of the desert between 1982 and 1999, but since then a lack of funds has slowed down their efforts â€“ at least that's the official line. Since things are moving much too slowly for the private sector, which has great plans for the region, some hotels and oil companies have begun to remove buried ammunition at their own expense in order to build access roads to their projects.
Mr Marwanâ€™s death will send shockwaves across the Middle East and among some of Britainâ€™s wealthiest people. His associates included Adnan Khashoggi, the arms dealer, Ken Bates, the football club chairman, the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and the late Tiny Rowland. If found to be murder, his death will carry echoes of last yearâ€™s assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB agent.In any case, he was close to Nasser and Sadat and must have made his fortune thanks to the connections he developed during that time, in particular when he overlooked the businesses of the Egyptian military in the 1970.
Egypt is a transit country for women trafficked from Uzbekistan, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, and other Eastern European countries to Israel for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and may be a source for children trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. Reports indicate that some of Cairoâ€™s estimated 1 million street children â€” both girls and boys â€” are exploited in prostitution.I'm surprised at this large number of street children in Cairo. Does anyone have other sources on this?
In addition, wealthy men from the Gulf reportedly travel to Egypt to purchase â€œtemporary marriagesâ€� with Egyptian women, including in some cases girls who are under age 18, often apparently as a front for commercial sexual exploitation facilitated by the femalesâ€™ parents and marriage brokers.What I also heard is that Cairo's chronically underfunded state-run orphanages are using this to make some extra money (or their employees). The full report can be downloaded here.
Throughout the 1990s, most of Iraqâ€™s oil was transported in relatively small tanker trucksâ€”to Jordan and Turkey with dispensation from Washington and undercover to Syria and the Gulf. As the pipelines to Turkey and the Gulf were turned back on in 2003, most of these truckersâ€”many of whom had close ties with, and indeed colleagues in, neighboring countriesâ€”were out of a job. Hence, it is not surprising to learn that pipeline attacks â€œare now orchestrated by [insurgents and criminal gangs] to force the government to import and distribute as much fuel as possible using thousands of tanker trucks.The authors challenge the mainstream view (and thereby also the whole reconstruction ideology) that in pre-invasion Iraq the state still functioned as a regulatory agent and controlled much of the Iraqi economy.
Washing their hands of any responsibility for the violence that plagues Iraq, they present the insurgency as springing from a yearning for lost domination on the part of groups linked to the Saddam-era state. This is the statist narrativeâ€”the idea that Saddamâ€™s regime controlled everything worth controlling before it was overthrown.Highly interesting are the remarks on the links to Iraqâ€™s neighbors, most notably Jordan:
The political and social histories of modern Iraq and Jordan are bound tightly together. The deep ties between families, tribes, political movements and economic actors across the borders of these two countries have a history that, by and large, has yet to be written.From the article it also becomes clear that the 2003 invasion merely finished off what was left of the prosperous nation that Iraq was in 1980. The US got most of the job done by sponsoring Saddam in the 80s and engineering UN sanctions in the 90s.
In other words, the Boycott Office has now become an instrument to fight globalization which threatens primarily the Syrian state-run command economy drowning under the weight of stifling regulations, pernicious corruption and a mafia-style political system. Syrian staff are the primary beneficiaries of the salaries advanced by the Arab League. If the CBO were abolished, many of these bureaucrats will be out of work or will be working as civil servants in the Syrian government at a fraction of their current salaries and benefits.MEMRI has its agenda etc, but to me it looks like this thing still exists only to organize some extra baksheesh for Syriaâ€™s state-class, as the Der Spiegel article also claims: â€œTo be removed from the [boycott] list, Western companies allegedly paid millions.â€�
The vague wording of the decree, combined with the fact that parliament has still not got around to approving it, has left the parties concerned in a considerable state of confusion. No one is really sure whether non-Egyptians can still buy property on a freehold basis. Certainly, resorts such as Delta Sharm in the Hadaba area of the city continue to sell and resell on this basis. â€œTechnically, a decree does not cancel a [previously existing] law, it merely gives another option,â€� says El Bahrawy. Other observers add that a further unwelcome consequence of the legal confusion is some officials have been demanding unwarranted fees.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah will next week lay the foundation stone for a $1.5 billion bridge project that will link the Kingdom to neighbouring Egypt. The bridge will link the Sinai region of Egypt, close to the Sharm el-Sheikh resort town, to the northwest of Saudi Arabia near Ras el-Sheikh Humayd. Two bridges will be built to span the Gulf of Aqaba and Tiran Strait, with Tiran Island used as a halfway point for the 25 km crossing.While I generally think that more infrastructure is badly needed to support inner-Arab trade, I actually don't think this will immediately do much good to South Sinai's economy, which is relatively well-off thanks to its tourism resorts. (It would be the North around El Arish that needs development.) This giant project is likely to destroy more of its precious coral riffs, and certainly means more trucks shipping goods from the Kingdom to Cairo, polluting the air and further damaging already bad roads. There are also talks between Yemen and Djibouti, by the way, to connect their countries via a bridge as well. This one is planned to carry a railway connection, which definitely should have been contemplated in case of the Sinai bridge as well. But I guess ENR is too busy with repairing all its switches and electrifying its tracks.
The charred bones that were long believed to be remains of St. Joan of Arc don't belong to the French heroine but are instead the remains of an Egyptian mummy, a new study has shown. Philippe Charlier, a forensic scientist at the Raymond PoincarÃ© Hospital in Paris, France, obtained permission last year to study the relics from the church in Normandy where they are housed. The relics were said to have been retrieved from the French site where Joan was burned at the stake in 1431. Charlier's team studied the relicsâ€”including a fragment of cloth and a human ribâ€”under the microscope and subjected them to chemical tests. Close inspection of the human rib showed that it had not been burned but may have been heated to create a blackened crust on the surface, Charlier said. Meanwhile the fragment of linen cloth had a coating characteristic of mummy wrappings and contained large amounts of pine pollen. "Pine resin was widely used in Egypt during embalming," Charlier explained, adding that pine trees did not grow in Normandy during Joan of Arc's time.Zahi, could you please comment on smell artists from the French perfume industry also being used to find this out. (Where do pine trees grow today in Egypt?)