Today’s papers: Football victory, artifact trade

The national football team’s victory in the final of the African Nations Cup dominated the news today, appearing on the front page of every major newspaper. Egypt beat Ghana 1-0, defending its title and setting a new record for the championship with three consecutive title wins since 2006 and seven since the championship began.

The story faced little competition on the front page of government-run newspapers Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar. Al-Akhbar ran the headline, "The Pharaohs…Kings of African Football," with a sub-headline about President Hosni Mubarak congratulating the team on their "historic accomplishment."

Midfielder Ahmed "The Eagle" Hassan was awarded best player of the tournament, Essam el-Hadary best goalkeeper, and the striker who sealed the final victory, Mohamed Nagy Gedo, took home the title of top scorer. Al-Akhbar noted that the match’s one goal by Gedo came in the 86th minute, four minutes before the end of the match, bringing the Egyptian team victory against "the younger and more vital" Ghanaian team.

The opposition newspaper Al-Wafd ran with a lead story about concerns surrounding expected amendments to the real estate tax laws. Al-Wafd reported on a presidential decree calling on all real estate owners to register their properties before 31 March. The paper also reported on Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali’s directions to the leadership of the ministry, including the head of the real estate tax authority and his consultant Alaa Samaha, and the head of the general tax authority, to refrain from making any final declarations about the new bill.

Independent Al-Shorouq followed up on the ongoing dispute over the sale of historic artifacts, reporting that that Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawass was pleased with the outcome of his discussions with National Democratic Party (NDP) representatives in parliament, who opposed steel magnate and NDP secretary for organizational affairs Ahmed Ezz’s proposal to trade historic artifacts in Egypt. Hawass was quoted as saying, "I think Ahmed Ezz has no bad intentions. We were opposed to his personal opinion, which allows for the trade of artifacts inside Egypt. He’s a man who lives in Europe. He doesn’t understand that we can’t follow Europe’s example. Everyone in Egypt is against the sale of artifacts."

In a related story published on the front page of Al-Wafd, the paper reported that Hawass has stated his refusal to establish a Jewish museum in Egypt, noting that Israel has tempted Egypt with numerous incentives to found a museum for Jewish artifacts. Hawass, in a press conference held on 30 January, indicated that Egypt would not consider this proposition until the peace initiative is finalized and Palestinians have regained their rights and occupied land.

Al-Shorouq also ran a brief story about the African summit, which commenced yesterday, 31 January, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Muammar Qadhafi, the Libyan leader and chairman of the African Union (AU), announced that the president of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, had been chosen to assume the rotating presidency of the AU. Qadhafi was quoted as saying that he had not resolved any of the cases presented to him "because the Africans continue to be lost."

Opposition newspaper Al-Dostour’s top story was a meeting held by Mohamed Badee, newly appointed Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, with intellectuals, writers and influential figures. The meeting, which Bedee described as "social and introductory," was attended by Mustafa Kamel, Rafik Habib, Hassan Nafei, the Supreme Guide’s three deputies, as well as other deputies and press agents from the Brotherhood. After the meeting, Cairo University professor Nafei said, "I found that Bedee had a real desire to help the advocates of change, and coordinate with all political parties and activists in all plans and strategies for the coming two years," wrote Al-Dostour. Nafei noted that Bedee will continue the work of his predecessor Mahdi Akef, perhaps with more enthusiasm, since he is a good speaker with a clear political vision.

Related Articles

Back to top button