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Cairo Airport Building 3: Fairy Tale, The Never Ending Palestinians Story, Nothing Have Changed


Article by Marivel Guzman in Collaboration with Omar Karem From Egypt, Cairo International Airport

Palestinians supported the Egyptian Revolution, they tweeted as much as the Egyptians did, they went to the streets to show support for their Egyptian brothers, they suffered with them the first days of the backslash of the revolution when they were being strangled by the same revolution when the Rafah crossing was closed for security measures, said Egypt. 
Palestinians celebrated the triumph of the revolution because ending up the dictatorship of Mubarack servile to the Zionist occupier, Palestinians were hoping to end the 3 years embargo that Israel had imposed on them.  With the deposing of Mubarak who was puppet of Israel and the US, so, the Palestinians thought.

Back in February right after the Revolution in Egypt succeeded in sending Mubarak out of the country, hundreds of Palestinians were stranded in the borders of Egypt and in Cairo Airport because the Generals in charged could not make their mind on opening the borders of Egypt to travelers. 
Palestinians sent a MESSAGE OF PALESTINIANS STRANDED AT CAIRO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT to MR.BR / Marshal Tantawi, the situation was critic because they have started a hunger strike to call the attention of the world. After many negotiations they were allowed to pass thru Egypt and to enter Gaza. The new Egyptian government was not ready to face the world with scheme of this type and they let then pass throught.

Two months later Egypt hosted the paramount meeting between the two Palestinians factions where they signed the reconciliation agreement and Egypt promised to the world that they will alleviated Gaza’s suffocation opening the borders once and for all, well not that easy, they indeed open the borders and the Italian Convoy made their joyful visit to Gaza, some were allowed to visit their doctors in Egypt and some were allowed even to fly out of Egypt with student visas and they even promised to purge their Black List of more than 400 Palestinian men that were not allowed to enter Egypt.

But there is something that the world ignores, Palestinians before the Egyptian Revolution and after opening the borders, Palestinians are still treated as a second class humans in Egypt.
Around these days every year the pilgrims to Mecca flood the airports of the world to fulfill their Muslim duty and visit Mecca at least one in their life, taking the opportunity and being Gaza Strip mostly Muslim they started to apply to leave Gaza to visit Mecca.
Needless to say that the procedures to leave Gaza have not changed, they all need to paid the fee to get their permit from the local government, pay the fees to get their permission to use Egypt as a gate-away to Saudi Arabia, Egypt does not extend visas to these travelers coming from Gaza, after all the paper work was arranged close to 3 buses left Gaza City at 7 am Monday morning to their destination to the airport, they were with the idea that they will be taken to Arish Airport in Egypt which is only one hour from Gaza and closer to Saudi Arabia but instead they were taken to Cairo airport, they traveled since 7 am from Gaza, they spend 7 hours in the border of Egypt checking their passports, and finally they left again in the buses to Cairo, first their passports were not returned to them, once in Cairo airport they were hundreds of other travelers that were directed to a different lines to take their fly, all the Palestinians were taken to a different line and taken to Building 3 of the Cairo Airport where they have been under security, they can not go out.

When they arrived to Cairo airport some of they call they families to come to meet them but were turn back by the police, they were not allowed to contact the Palestinians which without passport and under security guards are like in a prison.


This beautiful Project is only in the mind of the Authorities, as stand now, empty halls, dirty, with not enough bathroom for 200 people, is used to hold Palestinians in their way to Saudi Arabia. Omar Karem journalist and writer of Akashma News will share with more detail when he is is back to Gaza in 2 weeks.
“Once operational, the impressive EGP 3.1 billion new TB3(Terminal Building 3) will be one of the largest terminals in North Africa doubling our current airport’s passenger capacity.” Said H.E. Ahmad Shafik, Minister of Civil Aviation .

Terminal 3 will revolutionalize duty-free shopping in Egypt. With close to 4,000 m2 of retail space, the shops offer passengers both popular international brands and introduce exclusive brands new to the Egyptian. The new Terminal will also include food and beverage areas with local and international brands.

They were told that their fly won’t leave until tomorrow May 25 at 7 PM..that is almost 2 days waiting all crowed in that hall of the airport, dirty, sleeping in the floor, women, men and children are in the same hall, they have restroom inside.
All the talking that the borders are open is only a fairly tale for the Paid Media to distribute to the world and make Gaza Residents look less victims. The reality is that nothing have changed, They still treated as second class human.

When the guards notice that they were taking pictures, immediately the cameras were taken away, the pictures deleted and given back with the warning that they are not allowed to take pictures. The Egyptian Police do not want the world the see the reality..

US is distracting the world with Osama story and the planing of a new war in Pakistan. Obama is busy making sure that the world get deceived with his speech and nothing changing for Palestinians..

The Hypocritical position of Egypt regarding the borders, they announced with press conference that the borders will be open, but nothing have change, still Palestinians are mistreated, and humiliated.

Back from Saudi Arabia the situation have not change for us, even thought in two weeks there were rumors of opening the Rafah borders permanently, but Egyptian do not want to wake up, the story is the same for us Palestinians

Home is home wherever it is. After a year of being in the US, I decided to go spend a month with family and friends in the Gaza Strip. I knew traveling would be a hard time at some point because I have a Palestinian passport. I thought of how hard it was for me when I left Gaza in June 2010, but hoped it would be a better experience after hearing in the news that the Egyptian government decided to open the Rafah borders permanently

Identity Crisis

PALESTINE: Arabs Damaging The Palestinian Cause


PALESTINE: Arabs Damaging The Palestinian Cause

Posted on 01. Aug, 2010 by Raja Mujtaba in Palestine

Saudi regime is the most reactionary and the most backward regime in the whole region. They’re closer to the Taliban than to anything else in terms of regime and society. Saudi rulers are better advised to change their own regime rather than trying to change the regimes in other countries.

Prof Gilbert Achcar

Arabs’ ties with Israel damages the Palestinian cause: Prof Gilbert Achcar

By Kourosh Ziabari

Prof Gilbert Achcar

Prof. Gilbert Achcar is a renowned Lebanese academician, writer, socialist and anti-war activist. He left Lebanon in 1983 and taught international relations and politics at the University of Paris VII for several years. Since 2007, Achcar has been Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. He is a frequent contributor to Le Monde Diplomatique and ZNet.

Prof. Achcar joined me in an interview to discuss the latest developments related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s attack on the Freedom Flotilla and the prospect of Israel’s occupation of West Bank and Gaza.

Kourosh Ziabari: Dear Prof. Achcar, what’s your estimation of the prospect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Gilbert Achcar: This is extremely difficult to answer because the situation of the Middle East is changing so quickly and frequently that any kind of prediction about the future is always very risky, so what I can say in reply to your question is that in the foreseeable future, there can’t be any serious and acceptable compromise leading to a peaceful coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians. The reason is that the Israeli society has been continuously shifting to the right so that more and more extreme branches of Zionism are governing Israel, and therefore it’s extremely difficult to imagine that governments like the present government of Israel would make all of the concessions that are required for a true peace with the Palestinians. There can’t be any beginning of peace actually without an end to the occupation of the territories that were occupied since 1967, the dismantlement of the separation wall which Israel has been building and the dismantlement of the settlements. These are basic conditions to which of course one should add the immediate lifting of the blockade of Gaza. So, there’s absolutely no indication at present that the Israeli government as it is, has any inclination to go in that direction.

KZ: Both of the Palestinians and the Israelis, from a religious viewpoint, claim that the land of Israel belongs to them. Both of them cite the historical evidences and religious implications in this regard. What’s your idea about that? How should this interminable conflict come to an end?

GA: This should be hardly debatable among serious people because it’s absolutely clear that when the United Nations voted on the partition of Palestine and voted on creating a Jewish state on Palestine which was the goal of the Zionists, it gave 56 percent of the land of Palestine to the Jewish population which constituted only one third of the whole population. Moreover, the majority of this one third were immigrants, the overwhelming majority of whom had been in Palestine less than 15 years, so there is no fair standard on earth by which this kind of resolution could be considered as legitimate and just; it was completely unjust and completely unfair. No people on earth would admit that recently arrived immigrants have a right to establish their own state in their country. However, I believe that a just solution to the problem is one that would not involve any new expulsion of population; it should be a solution based on democratic principles and peaceful coexistence of Muslims, Christians and Jews, Arabs and Israelis in the region. But, for this to happen, the very nature of Israel’s relationship with its environment should change whereas what we’re seeing now is more and more violence, barbarity and cruelty on the part of Israel.

KZ: Israelis believe and claim that they should have a state with its borders spanned from Nile to Euphrates. This is the “Promised Land” which they recurrently refer to. What do you think about that? Is it a reasonable and justifiable claim?

GA: Even in Israel, very few people subscribe to this view. Only some extremist branches of Zionism believe in this idea. It sounds so absurd that only crazy people can uphold such perspectives. Now, if we had to redraw the map of the world to go back to how the world was 2,000 years ago, we can imagine what a terrible mess would happen in the whole world. Besides, there’s much debate even on the fact that the European Jews who came to Palestine in the 20th century are descendants of the Jews who were in Palestine 2,000 years ago. But even if that were the case, and again, if we had to redraw the map of the world as it was 2,000 years ago, why not 3,000 years ago or 1,000 years ago? So the only legitimate claim to a land is that of the people who were living on it in recent centuries. But no Palestinian group among the main Palestinian forces is calling for the expulsion of Jews and Israelis from the Middle East. All of them call for coexistence, but coexistence based on democratic principles and on equal footing, not the present situation of very harsh oppression of the Palestinians and the Lebanese by Israel.

KZ: Some Arab nations are progressively taking steps to normalize their ties with Israel. We can name the United Arab Emirates which invited the Israel’s transport and infrastructure minister to an international summit held in Abu Dhabi. Other Arab states, in turn, are making efforts to establish new relations with Israel. Isn’t it going to be harmful and destructive for the cause of Palestinian people?

GA: Four countries have established relations with Israel among the Arab states and they are Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Oman. This is damaging for the cause of the Palestinians, especially when the country betraying them is Egypt which is the largest Arab country. This is a result of the increasing hegemony of the United States over the Middle East, which pushes the Arab governments to establish relations with the state of Israel against the will of their own people. If you look at Jordan and Egypt, you’ll see that the overwhelming majority of their population is opposed to Israel and its policies, and this creates a wide gap between governmental policies and what the population wants.

KZ: What’s your view regarding the recent Israeli assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla? What would happen if another country rather than Israel, say Iran, had attacked the flotilla of 600 international peace activists? Would the international community’s response have been the same?

GA: You should ask me what would happen if the United States had attacked the flotilla, because they do such things quite often. But, you’re right in saying that Israel gets the least protest in comparison with other countries when it comes to the violation of international law and perpetration of war crimes and crimes against humanity. This judgment is in line with the reports of Judge Richard Goldstone who is a devout Jew and even a devout Zionist, but honest enough for acknowledging the fact that Israel committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza. So of course Israel gets much less condemnation than any countries that are opposed to the United States and to Western hegemony. One should say, however, that Israel started to lose even the support of Western public opinion recently, especially since the Gaza war of 2008-2009 which was a brutal and cruel attack on defenseless civilians and was criticized even by traditional friends of Israel. After the attack on Freedom Flotilla, the international condemnation of Israel reached an unprecedented level. A few countries cut their diplomatic relations with Israel in Latin America like Venezuela and Bolivia in the last year and Nicaragua in the current year. A number of countries recalled their ambassadors: we have seen a shift in the stance of public opinion and even a wave of protests has taken shape in the United States. So there’s been a real impact and this shows that the Israeli state by its cruelty and brutality is losing more and more ground in the global public opinion.

KZ: The Saudi King has recently made remarks in which he likened Iran’s government to the state of Israel and said that these two countries don’t deserve to exist. Is this a fair and rational statement? Doesn’t it damage the Islamic solidarity and integrity?

GA: First of all, this statement, if true, is a really infamous statement. Putting Iran and Israel on the same level is totally absurd. Israel is a state that has been created through a colonial process and is violently oppressing the original population of the land it seized. Iran is a country which has been there for a long period of history and there was no involvement of colonial powers in its creation. Its government is certainly more legitimate than that of the Saudi kingdom, which was established by armed conquest less than one century ago, and never elected since then. However, the Saudi King meant probably that both the Israeli government and the Iranian government are extremist to his taste. The truth is that the Saudi regime is the most reactionary and the most backward regime in the whole region. They’re closer to the Taliban than to anything else in terms of regime and society. Saudi rulers are better advised to change their own regime rather than trying to change the regimes in other countries.

Kourosh Ziabari is Iranian media correspondent, freelance journalist and the author of Book 7+1. He is a contributing writer for websites and magazines in the Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, South Korea, Belgium, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. . Currently, he works for the Foreign Policy Journal as a media correspondent. He is a member of Tlaxcala Translators Network for Linguistic Diversity and World Student Community for Sustainable Development. Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian freelance journalist and media correspondent. He has interviewed political commentator and linguist Noam Chomsky, member of New Zealand parliament Keith Locke, Australian politician Ian Cohen, member of German Parliament Ruprecht Polenz, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, former U.S. National Security Council advisor Peter D. Feaver, Nobel Prize laureate in Physics Wolfgang Ketterle, Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry Kurt Wüthrich, Nobel Prize laureate in biology Robin Warren, famous German political prisoner Ernst Zündel, Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, American author Stephen Kinzer, syndicated journalist Eric Margolis, former assistant of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts, American-Palestinian journalist Ramzy Baroud and the former President of the American Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sid Ganis.

K Ziabari contribute regularly to Opinion Maker

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