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Cairo University staff, students weigh in on Obama’s visit
Daily News Egypt ^ | May 31, 2009 | Tamim Elyan

Posted on 06/03/2009 3:59:58 PM PDT by forkinsocket

CAIRO: US President Barack Obama’s choice of Cairo University as the venue from which to make his much-anticipated address to the Muslim world elicited different reactions from university staff and students.

Some are opposed to the visit, on account of the US’ support for Israel.

“The American president is not welcome; especially after what happened in Gaza and the destruction that was acknowledged by all human rights organizations,” Nasr Radwan, secretary general of Cairo University’s Professors’ Club, said.

Radwan said that Cairo University was chosen as the venue to give the speech more weight, as well as to directly address professors, whom he labels as the “elite of the society, to give the speech a more cultural dimension.”

Others were more welcoming of the visit.

“The American administration is doing a good job so far, and their choice of Egypt — as opposed to Turkey or Pakistan — is significant because Egypt has always been a moderate country,” Laila Abdel Meguid, dean of the faculty of mass communications, said.

“The choice of Cairo University is also very significant; it represents a major hub for culture and science in Egypt and the Middle East and has always been a forum of dialogue between cultures and civilizations,” she added.

Laila Souief, a professor and activist from the faculty of science, criticized the timing of the visit for coinciding with exams.

“Student schedules are a sacred thing, choosing Cairo University during exams is an underestimation of the educational process and left me annoyed and unable to welcome the visit,” Souief said.

According to Abdel Meguid, exams scheduled for June 4 were postponed and students were informed beforehand.

Obama is scheduled to give his speech on June 4 at the university’s main conference hall.

“Redeeming Cairo University’s position after it failed to be listed among the top 500 universities of the world shouldn’t come from a president’s visit but from work and research,” Souief said.

Three hundred students will be selected to attend the speech; however, according to Radwan, the board of the club hasn’t been invited, which he attributes to the “freedom of expression that the club enjoys.”

Students have also expressed mixed reactions.

“The choice is a great appreciation of Egypt and the university; he chose a moderate place to address intellectuals and promising youth,” Mohamed Saeed, head of Cairo University’s student union, said.

“If he spoke from a mosque he would only be addressing Muslims, he also avoided a Sunni-Shia bias when he chose a sacred place which is an origin of science and culture in the region,” Saeed said.

Tharwat Nasr, an art student, believes this visit will restore Egypt’s position in the Arab world.

“Egypt has been the target of attacks from Arab countries lately but this visit came to give it back its status in the Muslim world,” he said, “Egypt is a country where neither politics overshadow religion or vice versa, unlike most other Islamic counties.”

Echoing his sentiments was Mostafa Mohamed, who said that it will be a great honor to the university because its name will be mentioned by media outlets around the world.

Others were less approving of Obama’s choice.

“If Obama meant to choose a place that enjoys freedom then he chose the wrong place,” Mohamed Mohey, spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood students at Cairo University, said

“If he has deliberately chosen this place then it means that he approves of the current policy and has given up the call for democracy,” he added.

“We can be optimistic about the visit given the good gestures Obama made earlier like closing down Guantanamo prison. However, we shouldn’t be too optimistic, we must wait and see what he will say,” he added.

Mohamed Refaat, a student at the faculty of mass communications, agrees.

“Addressing the Muslim world from Egypt shows support to the dictatorship in Egypt,” he said, “it would be better if he was to give his speech from a more democratic country.”

Gamal Abdel Nasser, a student from the faculty of commerce, thought the issue was given a lot more hype than it deserved.

“It isn’t one president that will change everything,” he said.

“It is all a game of mutual interests,” Mahmoud Abdullah, a student from the faculty of commerce, said.

“Obama chose Egypt and he will get something in return,” he said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: cairospeech; egypt; obama; obamessiah
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1 posted on 06/03/2009 3:59:59 PM PDT by forkinsocket
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To: forkinsocket

I am sick of this douchebag already.


2 posted on 06/03/2009 4:03:15 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: forkinsocket

The Prodigal Son returns.


3 posted on 06/03/2009 4:05:51 PM PDT by FTJM
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To: Army Air Corps

They would like to see him in full arab clothing and carring a gun ready to kill any and all Americans, them they would be happy.


4 posted on 06/03/2009 4:06:46 PM PDT by handy old one (It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims. Aristote)
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To: handy old one

Rest assured the Egyptians see him for what he is ~


5 posted on 06/03/2009 4:08:13 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
A sycophant?
6 posted on 06/03/2009 4:10:20 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: Army Air Corps

A syncophant ~ at the least!


7 posted on 06/03/2009 4:16:29 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: forkinsocket

> “The American administration is doing a good job so far, and their choice of Egypt — as opposed to Turkey or Pakistan — is significant because Egypt has always been a moderate country,” Laila Abdel Meguid, dean of the faculty of mass communications, said.
“The choice of Cairo University is also very significant; it represents a major hub for culture and science in Egypt and the Middle East and has always been a forum of dialogue between cultures and civilizations,” she added.
Laila Souief, a professor and activist from the faculty of science, criticized the timing of the visit for coinciding with exams. <

Egypt,a forum for dialogue and a hub for science in a moderate country...I had no clue Egyptian weed is more potent than BC bud.


8 posted on 06/03/2009 4:18:58 PM PDT by max americana
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To: forkinsocket
“O” noted he wanted to return to the origins of muslims to give then speech hench Egypt. Egypt is not the origin of muslims.
9 posted on 06/03/2009 4:25:21 PM PDT by edcoil (Reality doesn't have to say much.)
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To: forkinsocket

freep the comments at the bottom of that article.


10 posted on 06/03/2009 4:44:57 PM PDT by Yehuda (Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!)
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To: muawiyah

You say the Egyptians see him for what he is? Check this out where he gets blown off in a meet and greet line, the King being the Big Cheese (prolly deserves its own post): http://msunderestimated.com/2009/06/03/barack-gets-rebuffed-on-saudi-welcome-line-video/


11 posted on 06/03/2009 4:47:05 PM PDT by eureka! (Elections have consequences, boy howdy. *sigh*)
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To: eureka!

astounding video of an American President being royally dissed. I wonder who the people were who didn’t shake. Wish I could have seen the expression on his face.

This is a big big diss.


12 posted on 06/03/2009 4:58:12 PM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: forkinsocket
"Gamal Abdel Nasser, a student from the faculty of commerce, thought the issue was given a lot more hype than it deserved."

Was he named after this guy or was he pulling the reporter's leg?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamal_Abdel_Nasser

13 posted on 06/04/2009 3:52:33 AM PDT by Mila
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To: cajungirl

Re#12 I have later read it was some of 0’s staff and he just wasn’t paying attention.


14 posted on 06/04/2009 8:28:10 AM PDT by eureka! (Elections have consequences, boy howdy. *sigh*)
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To: forkinsocket

Heh. Either you posted the wrong URL or they took that little snippet down already.


15 posted on 06/03/2011 7:14:58 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (Tired of being seen as idiots, the American people went to the polls in 2008 and removed all doubt.)
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