ELAASAR: Egypt’s Nour released from jail: Slow justice after 3 years, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 2-19-09

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By Aladdin Elaasar —
Vancouver, Canada/ News Agencies/ Finally, remaining for three years in jail after winning most of votes in his 2005 for president of Egypt against Dictator Hosni Mubarak, opposition leader Ayman Nour was released from jail in Cairo.

The decision came after pressure from the Obama administration and the visit of high level American officials to Cairo recently. Human rights organization, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the even the US State Department, had decried the unlawful arrest of Mr. Nour for years.

Mr. Nour was not the first high profile political prisoner detained by the Mubarak’s regime. Activist Saad Eldin Ibrahim remained in jail for almost three years, as well, under fabricated charges of receiving grants from civil society organizations in Europe.

Human rights organizations estimate that more than twenty thousand political prisoners are in Mr. Mubarak’s concentrations camps for years without a charge or sentencing. Mr. Mubarak has been ruling Egypt under the notorious Emergency Laws since 1981.

The Bush administration had called for eight years for the New Middle East and winning the hearts and minds of people in the Arab, Muslim nations, but he stopped short right there without implementing any pressure. While anti Americanism is Egypt and throughout the region has reached all times high due to the conspiracy theories spun day and night by Mr. Mubarak’s media who he has been receiving more than two billion dollars a year as foreign aid for decades!

The Mubarak’s regime has grown very unpopular in Egypt and even in the region. Egypt’s economy is in shambles, unemployment is at 30%, twenty million people in shanty towns, epidemic diseases like Hepatitis are widely spread, and two million street kids are roaming the streets. Observers have been warning of the ultimate collapse of Egyptian society

Moreover, visible signs of discord between the United States and Egypt over a wide array of issues have appeared in recent years. Today, the bilateral relationship has eroded over.

Haunted by the memories of the overnight fall of the Shah of Iran to the Ayatollahs, U.S. policymakers fear a similar event in Egypt. Once thought to be a strong U.S. ally, the Shah of Iran, lost his grip over power to the zealous clergy sabotaging every effort for peace and stability in the region. Marcos and Suharto, two old dictators considered strong U.S. allies, as well, fell to the angry mobs in the Philippines and Indonesia.

President Obama is likely to find himself facing an unbelievably bad choice in the largest Arab country, says Elaasar– discussing several scenarios that can take place in Egypt. “Would America intervene militarily to preserve Mubarak’s faltering rule? Or would America throw up its hands writing Tel Aviv a blank check, and hope that a twenty-first-century Masada can hold out in a Middle East where Iran has the bomb? Would an ambitious general stage another coup, turning Egypt into a God -knows-what regime? Would that general ally himself with Muslim radical groups like the Muslim Brothers, Hamas, or Hezbollah? Would Egypt witness another Khomeini-style revolution? Considering the alarming rising poverty figures in Egypt and the disparities between the classes, could Egypt be overrun by an angry and hungry mob, French Revolution style? Egypt would then erupt into lawlessness, chaos, or perhaps civil war with the dissolving of the central government, its head figures and its upper class already preparing for such a turn of events.

(Aladdin Elaasar is author of “Silent Victims” and “The Last Pharaoh”, where he exposed the authoritarianism of the Mubarak’s regime and its use of anti-Semiticism and anti-Americanism to gain popularity in the region. His books are banned in Egypt and the Arab World. Contact: Tel 224 388 1353, Email: omaraladin@aol.com. Click Here to get info on Last Pharoah at Amazon.com)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com