daniel nour

Egypt, Palestine and the Vatican

In Political, egypt on November 25, 2014 at 3:53 am

Egyptian President Abdel Fateh Al-Sisi is on a diplomatic visit to Italy.

Pope Francis and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi meet at the Vatican.

Pope Francis and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi meet at the Vatican.

While Egyptians and Italians both share a love of pasta and football, it’s the topic of Palestine and a resumption of diplomatic relations with the Vatican which have proven more important to the travelling Egyptian President.

Let’s take a closer look at these two topics.

1, Sisi claimed, in conversation with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, that Egypt would be prepared to send military forces to support a future Palestinian State.

Egypt’s response to Palestine is a complicated one, caught somewhere between compassion and fear. Egypt’s geographic proximity to Palestine isn’t always paralleled by a uniformly friendly political sentiment. Read more about Egypt’s historic relationship with Palestine in this article which I wrote for YourMiddleEast.com

2, Sisi meets with Pope Francis, where he has been urged to embrace Egypt’s “diplomatic role” in the region. Pope Francis is also said to have spoken of the need for Egypt’s “peaceful political transition.”

Coptic-Catholic Father Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, Pope Francis' personal secretary.

Coptic-Catholic Father Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, Pope Francis’ personal secretary.

Sisi’s presence at the Vatican, the first diplomatic visit to take place in eight years, is itself an important symbolic moment. After Pope Benedict’s ill received comments about the culpability of Egyptian authorities in attacks on Coptic-Christians, as well Al-Azhar University’s negative response to the former Pope’s comments about violence in Islam, the relationship between Egypt and the Vatican had weakened considerably. Comments on Islam and violence would be particularly damaging, as the University is widely felt to be Sunni Islam’s highest institute of learning.

Whether the Italian-Egyptian will really stand to benefit from the President’s visit remains to be seen, but the friendly tone of the political tour is a good sign for the two nations, as is the potent symbolism of the Arab leader’s visit to the seat of Roman Catholicism.

Now, more on Egyptian pasta!

Egyptian political commentary published this year!

In Comedy, egypt, Political on October 20, 2014 at 10:15 am

It’s complicated, the difficult marriage between Egypt and Palestine, published at YourMiddleEast.com in October 2014

Family of Peter Greste speak out, published at EgyptianStreets.com in June 2014

Get reading!


Bulldogs win helps restore community spirit

In Community on September 28, 2014 at 3:41 am

This piece also appears in the Wednesday October 1 edition of the Bankstown, Canterbury Torch.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 10.45.21 am

Though team spirit swelled high on the field last night, it was the sense of community which made the greatest comeback after the Canterbury Bulldogs 6 point victory over the Penrith Panthers last night.

Scenes of loud jubilation rang through the streets of Belmore, in Sydney’s South West, where supporters from the Canterbury region celebrated the team’s win.

Sam from Greenacre celebrates the victory with his son

Sam from Greenacre celebrates the victory with his son

“I’m very excited about the win, we were the underdogs and now we’ve made it to the grand final!” said Giselle Gedeon, 28, from Belmore.

However, the team’s victory was particularly pertinent in the aftermath of the Sydney terror raids which sparked such confusion and tension in the greater Canterbury region.

Bulldogs Supporters celebrate their victory in Belmore.

Bulldogs Supporters celebrate their victory in Belmore.

“It’s a great atmosphere, with what’s going on around the world, it makes you just forgot everything. It’s really positive, the crowd and the community feels safer, you see multicultural people living this happy life!” said Sam, 33, from Greenacre.

His sentiments were shared by Theresa Kairouz, 24, from Belmore, who said, “We always get a bad rap, but there’s a mad community spirit here. We sometimes get negative comments, the community here, but as you can see, nothing bad is happening!”

The Bulldogs will play their next game against the South Sydney Rabbitoh’s at ANZ Stadium on Sunday the 20th of October.


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