A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Algeria 1, Egypt 0: Can We Get Back to Other Things, Now, Please?

It's over. Algeria won. I think Khartoum is still standing. Though Egyptians in the Sinai city of al-‘Arish showed the Algerians what for by setting fire to a palm tree (?):

On the assumption that the Middle East has more serious things to fight about than soccer, can we get back to some of the other issues, please? (Like Iraq's much-heralded election law being vetoed, for example, which I'll post about at some point. Meanwhile, Reidar Visser has a lengthy analysis.)

Of course, in the rubbing-salt-in-the-wound category, after Algerian mobs smashed up an Orascom Telecom store in Algiers and stole thousands of phones, now the Algerians have slapped Orascom with a $600 million bill for back taxes. That may well be a legitimate tax claim (I have no idea), but given the fact that Orascom is an Egyptian company, the timing is highly suspect.

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