No doctors to Saudi
Egypt has barred doctors from taking up jobs in Saudi Arabia after an Egyptian medic was sentenced to 1,500 lashes and 15 years in prison for allegedly turning a Saudi princess into a drug addict. The decision came after talks between Egypt and Saudi Arabia reached a dead end, but Egyptian doctors already in Saudi Arabia can continue working because of contractual obligations. Doctor Raouf Amin, 53, was sentenced for giving the unidentified princess morphine to ease her pain following a riding accident, which allegedly turned her into an addict. The penalty against Amin has sparked protest in Egypt, with Hamdi al-Sayyad, director of the Doctors Syndicate, describing Amin’s trial as unfair and his sentence as torture. Flogging is a standard punishment in Saudi-Arabia which strictly enforces sharia or Islamic legal code.
Responding in kind
Three diplomats from Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, who were stationed elsewhere in the Middle East were denied entry at Cairo airport earlier this month. The move came within Egypt’s decision to respond in kind to several European countries by denying their diplomats entry if they had not obtained advance visas.
No entry, bin Laden’s son
Egypt recently denied entry to one of Osama bin Laden’s sons, the self-proclaimed “ambassador for peace” Omar Osama bin Laden, 27, and his British wife, 51, Zaina Alsabah. Bin Laden was denied entry after he unsuccessfully sought political asylum in Spain, claiming he would not be safe if he returned to an Arab country. The couple had lived in Egypt for the past year where, as a Saudi national, bin Laden is automatically entitled to a six-month residency in Egypt but, an airport security official said, he was no longer welcome after his high profile decision to apply for asylum in Spain,. One of al-Qaida leader’s 19 children, Omar bin Laden and his wife said they were looking to eventually move to his native Saudi Arabia. British authorities rejected his request for a residency visa there in May saying his presence would cause “public concern” due to statements he had made to the press. He has not renounced his father, but has said he wants to be an “ambassador for peace” between the Muslim world and the West.
A ceremony organised by Mo Ibrahim Foundation and attended by its founder, prominent Sudanese businessman Mohamed Fathi Ibrahim, was last weekend hosted by the Bibliotheca Alexandria. Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana, was honoured as the winner of the annual Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. A host of local and international public figures attended, including Kofi Anan, former secretary general of the UN, Joacquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique and first winner of the Prize; Mary Robinson; former president of Ireland; and Mohamed al-Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a pyramid thought to belong to Queen Sesheshet, the mother of King Teti, who ruled from 2323 to 2291BC, according to Zahi Hawwas, secretary-general of the Egyptian Council of Antiquities. The pyramid, found some two months ago in Saqqara, south of Cairo, probably housed the remains of Shesheshet who is the only queen whose pyramid is missing, Hawass said. The headless, five-metre high pyramid originally reached about 14 metres, with sides 22 metres long, the 118th pyramid found in Egypt, was uncovered near the world’s oldest one at Saqqara.