Monday, June 07, 2004

Iraq's Neighbors: Big Pharaoh in Egypt

Big Pharaoh is starting to draw a crowd. Get there while the getting is good. Here he takes a bunch of readers' questions and tries to answer each one as best he can.

What will be the response in Egypt if Iraq becomes a free and prosperous country?

It will make us think and think. That’s why I support the US efforts in Iraq. A free decent country in the Middle East will definitely have repercussions across the region.

How deep is the Anti-Americanism?

Deeper than the deepest ocean. However, American people as people are not hated. I think Egyptian anti-Americanism differs from French anti-Americanism in a sense that an American tourist is welcomed with an open arm while this same tourist might face some “envy/hidden hate/stereotyping” from a Frenchman walking in Paris.
How does Egypt combat terrorism and the hardliners that promote it? Or does Egypt even bother with it aside from saying they do?

You know Abu Ghraib? Multiply is by 1 million and you get the picture. Islamists are the government’s main opposition and they are not tolerated, period.
Why do the opinions of the majority of your countrymen differ so much from yours?

I am realistic by nature, I refuse to follow, I like to have an independent view on things. Besides, you will always find a rebel in every society. Yesterday I was talking with an Iraqi who works as a translator with the US army. He is very pro-America. I was shocked when he told me that he is from the Adhamiya, the Sunni district in Baghdad. This area is the most pro-Saddam and anti-US area in Baghdad. He told me how some people sent his mother a message threatening to kill her son if he didn’t stop working with the US army. See, I’m like him, I refuse to follow, I’m a rebel.

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