Archive for December 1, 2011

Steve Paterno: President Omar al-Bashir Trepidation Over Arrest

Posted: December 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

by
Steve Paterno
Since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against President Omar al-Bashir in March of 2009, just overnight, the dictator became prisoner within the confines of his own country, as he risks apprehension in any case he travels abroad. In search for solution, the regime then mounted fierce diplomatic campaign to circumvent the ICC authority and have charges leveled against President al-Bashir be dropped. These alleged charges are horrendous. They are ten counts in total, ranging from crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide; for the ethnic cleansing that President al-Bashir is waging in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Unfortunately, the regime’s diplomatic bid didn’t render any considerable support that it desperately needed. Instead, the regime is only able to win the sympathy of a handful of insignificant and reluctant allies, who are toothless to foil ICC legal proceedings, which is taking the life of its own, with devastating toll against President al-Bashir’s reign.
Cornered, President al-Bashir had no choice but ended up considering to limit his visitations to those only few countries he thinks are sympathetic to him. Even then, those considered limited visitations come with surmountable risks. For example, President al-Bashir was invited during the inauguration of South African President Jacob Zuma in May of 2009, and the same officials who invited him, warned that if he ever showed, they will be forced to lock him up. This is also a similar case in Uganda, where President al-Bashir was invited on several occasions, but the potential for his arrest is left open. In all these incidents, President al-Bashir dropped the invitations all together, for fearing the obvious.
In some of President al-Bashir’s daring trips, he miraculously survived near arrest scares. The regime in Khartoum is always afraid of the danger that President al-Bashir’s plane would likely face midair flight diversion in some of the hostile airspace, which will eventually lead into his detention. He actually came too close to facing this scenario in June of this year when he was flying from Iran en route to China, only to encounter refusal for passage through the airspace of countries ready to arrest him. When President al-Bashir’s flight was diverted back into Tehran, his Chinese sympathizers were uncomfortably at lost and those in Khartoum confirmed their worst fear.
Those in Khartoum also happened to discover midair flight diversion was not the only danger President al-Bashir faces when he decides to travel abroad. For example, in one of President al-Bashir’s trips to Ethiopia, he was stuck inside his plane at Mekele Airport, because the airport crew could not bring the boarding ladder on time. President al-Bashir and his entourage anxieties were further exacerbated when they caught a sight of a plane bearing USA flag taxing near them. Their expressed mood was of “severe panic” that it was the end. Even though this was a false alarm, the tyrant never takes chances in these situations, knowing too well his ultimate fate.
President al-Bashirs other defiant trips are just outright embarrassing, such as in 2009, in Qatar where the Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva declined to sit next to President al-Bashir at a banquet organized for Arab and South American states summit and Argentinian President refused to take a group photo that included President al-Bashir. Who in their right sense could accept the offer to feast next to an infamous international fugitive with bloods of innocent lives on his hands or even be in the same photo with such a character.
The isolationism of President al-Bashir is further amplified by the wave of Arab spring, which witnessed some of his fellow Arab-Islamic military dictators dramatically losing power, such is in the case of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who is currently rotting in prison or the Libyan Colonel Maumar Gaddafi who was chased down the streets of his own hometown of Sirte and then smothered to death.
Kenya is one of the latest countries that deprived President al-Bashir of his limited freedom of travel. In 2010, President al-Bashir made a controversial trip to Kenya in order to attend a signing ceremony of Kenyan constitution. The visit put Kenyan government in awkward position as it received condemnations from all over the world. As a result, the Kenyan local chapter of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) petitioned the court to rule on the arrest warrant against Presdient al-Bashir. Just this week, the Kenyan high court issued a landmark ruling, ordering the minister of internal security to immediately execute the arrest of President al-Bashir should he set foot in Kenya again. This ruling is significant not just because it bars President al-Bashir from traveling to Kenya, but it also sets legal precedent for justice loving people throughout Africa to compel their governments to execute the arrest warrant of international fugitives like President al-Bashir through the court system.
Although the regime in Khartoum is trying to downplay the significance of the Kenyan high court ruling, President al-Bashir took the matter upon himself by expelling Kenyan ambassador from Khartoum and recalling back Sudanese ambassador from Nairobi. Khartoum’s severance of diplomatic relation with Nairobi comes in wake of East African Community (EAC) denying Sudanese application of trying to join the community—the indication that Sudan is being immensely plunged into the abyss of isolationism. Sudan needs to do many things for it to join the family of nations, and among those things it could do is getting rid of President al-Bashir once and for all.
President Omar alBashir Trepidation Over Arrest.pdf President Omar alBashir Trepidation Over Arrest.pdf
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SPLA vs HIV/AIDS: Fear for South Sudan Army as World Marks Aids Day

Posted: December 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Socio-Cultural

Fear for S. Sudan army as world marks Aids day
Africa Review
FILE | AFRICA REVIEW | By MACHEL AMOS in JubaPosted Thursday, December 1 2011 at 20:07 The HIV/Aids prevalence in the South Sudan army is higher than the national average, says report. The report supported by the US Department of Defence put the

South Sudan: ‘Freedom is never free’
Daily Maverick
The recent case of two journalists detained in South Sudan, and their subsequent release without charge, illustrates the difficulties the media faces in the newly independent country. South Sudan may now be free, but its press clearly isn’t.

South Sudan: When Shall Our Ministry of Sports Announce Our National Football
AllAfrica.com
The Republic of South Sudan needs a national football team to be created by selection of the best football players from across the ten states of the country. The responsible ministry should encourage the ministries in the states to form football clubs

South Sudan: Atar Community Expresses Acknowledgement to Respondents for
AllAfrica.com
“Friend in need is friend indeed”This press statement is the part of the previous statements made by the community, where it had informed the public of South Sudan about 16th November 2011 incident where the militias loyal to renegade Gen.

Sudan: Country, South Sudan Disagree On Oil Issues
AllAfrica.com
Juba — South Sudan and Sudan have disagreed on the charges of transit fees and 7.6 million dollars meant for bridging financial gap between the two countries. South Sudan delegation that went to the Ethiopian Capital for negotiation on outstanding

South Sudan: Women MPs Demand for More Leadership Posts
AllAfrica.com
Juba — Female Members of Parliament (MPs) in the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly complained yesterday over underrepresentation of women in the Independent Commissions and moved a motion that the names of the Chairpersons of Anti-corruption

South Sudan: From the Film Festival Scene – Lichter or Distant Lights, a Movie
AllAfrica.com
With people of South Sudan subjected to long period of suffering, theft and embezzlement of public wealth are the order of the day. This is the real problem we are faced with in Juba for the past six years and even now. Through crooked wealth, some of

Dr Lam Akol: Review of Higher Education in South Sudan

Posted: December 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Dr Lam Akol.

A presentation by this author to the Conference on Higher Education in South Sudan held on 14-15 November 2011 in Juba [1], outlined the function of tertiary education and its requirements, concluded by raising certain policy issues that needed to be addressed in order to revamp higher education and recommended that it will serve the best interest of this country that at this stage our country consolidates the current three universities. The organizer of the conference did not like this recommendation and claimed that the author was the only one who held that view. How he arrived at that conclusion, when no vote was taken is known to him alone. That is not even an issue, what mattered was whether the recommendation was sound or not. Since then a number of academicians worth the mettle who supported this point of view made their opinions known on the internet.

In audience in that conference was a highly educated group and therefore certain issues were taken for granted not requiring explanation. The discussion that followed showed that this assumption was somewhat misplaced. Furthermore, the debate has now gone to the newspapers; a situation demanding putting ideas in a manner that will be easily understood by all. The purpose of this paper therefore is to elucidate further the reasons behind the recommendation in the said paper.

The Function and Running Tertiary Education

In a nutshell, the function of higher education is to provide merit-based knowledge and advanced skills critical to the country’s socio-economic development. This is attained through efficient education and research. Improved and accessible tertiary education and effective national innovations systems can help a developing country progress toward sustainable achievements in the Millennium Development Goals, particularly those goals related to all levels of education, health, and gender equity.

A new country like South Sudan must start on the correct footing by striving to promote more efficient tertiary education institutions that innovate and respond positively to meaningful performance-based allocation of resources and accountability systems.

To fulfil its function, higher education (in the case of South Sudan today, read universities) the inputs must be of good quality so as to be able to produce the desired output. In this case, you must have students well-grounded in general education, qualified teaching staff and a good environment (adequate facilities, etc.) for the educational process. These are the three elements of higher education that must be taken care of in the planning and execution of policies on higher education. Thus, must be the focus of any debate on the matter.

A lot has been said on whether our universities should go for elite or mass education. If by mass education is meant a situation where the standard of the graduate is compromised in favour of numbers, then we are not talking the same language. University education is by its very nature special and of quality; call it elitist or otherwise that is what it is. Hence, it is not haphazard that universities set minimum admission requirements for students, minimum qualifications for the teaching staff and standard facilities for the educational environment. These are meant to meet the objective of higher education; a qualified graduate and high quality research.

In the same vein, all positions of University administration naturally have set qualifications. A head of department must have spent a known minimum number of years in the department concerned, so is the case for a Dean of faculty or the Vice Chancellor. In particular, a Vice Chancellor must be a Professor who has published a set number of papers in reputed journals and had held a number of administrative positions in the university (Dean, Head of Department, etc.). Without that you do not qualify to compete for the position; election or no election. The question of being young or old does not arise here.  Those who raise eye-brows should be reminded that this is the same practice in public offices. Before any election is conducted, candidates must satisfy set requirements without which they do not qualify and are not allowed to compete. For instance, to be an eligible candidate for the position of the President of the Republic or Governor of a State one must be 40 years or older. This is a condition set by our Constitution. A young man/woman of 40 or an old person of 75 years may compete for such a position, whereas a 39-year old fellow is barred out.  This will not be categorized as discrimination or blocking the young out. Why should we be lax when it concerns such a sensitive place such as a university? The point being made here is that any public office, not least of all university positions, must have minimum requirements. These could be related to academic qualifications, experience, age, etc. The University Charter and its regulations must specify the minimum requirements to hold any office in the university. Again, the overarching purpose is to produce good graduates and quality research.

The Status of South Sudan Universities:

USAID carried out a comprehensive survey on the state of our universities as part of a research on capacity building in South Sudan [2]. It revealed that only three universities were able to satisfy a reasonable number of the set criteria. These are the universities of Juba, Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal. Even these are beset by many problems. Dr Charles Bakhiet who is a founding staff member of the University of Juba and was the Academic Secretary of the University from 1985 to 1990 affirmed:

 “However, it is public knowledge that the current three southern universities are under-staffed, under-funded and lack adequate infrastructure. Moreover, we do not have enough well-equipped secondary schools in the south to feed the current three universities. In the immediate post conflict era, the priority of GOSS in this education sector must therefore be, first and foremost, to consolidate the present universities by building their infrastructure, investing in their staff development programs, and improving their teaching and research capabilities. Moreover, once the intakes from northern schools are gradually phased out in these universities, there will be more places created for southern secondary school leavers who qualify for higher education.”[3].

He proceeded to enumerate what the Government of South Sudan needs to immediately embark on as:

1.       initiation of constructions and rehabilitation of their infrastructure;

2.      the provision of needed equipment;

3.      an aggressive staff development programme, recruitment of competent academic staff,

4.      a thorough review of the study programs;

5.       reviewing the conditions of service for the academic staff  to be made more attractive with ample opportunities for research, so that these institutions serve as a hub not solely for dissemination of knowledge but also for knowledge production.

All these will surely be at a considerable cost which the paltry budget of the Ministry of Higher Education can never meet in a year or two.

Are more public universities necessary?

On the issue of whether to open or not to open more public universities, Dr Bakhiet stated:

“To be more specific, the GOSS will require substantial financial resources to provide the badly needed infrastructure for the three universities that would transform them into modern universities, with access to new technologies. For instance, the Bilinyang campus for University of Juba, is a huge project which will require millions of dollars to construct. To the best of my knowledge, neither Bahr el Ghazel University nor Upper Nile University has a decent campus, and each will need a properly and purposefully designed campus. While all these programs are crying for attention and resources, and the capacities of the present universities have still to be fully utilized, for the GOSS to consider establishing yet another public university in the immediate future will constitute a clear case of poor judgment. Putting the economy of scale to their advantage, each of the three universities can easily expand to accommodate between twenty to twenty-five thousand students, with an average annual intake of four to five thousand students.” [4].

Other places in higher education can be made available through the government arranging scholarships for our students to study abroad making use of the current environment of international good will towards the Republic of South Sudan. We had a similar experience following the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement where, since 1974, the Egyptian tertiary education was admitting around 300 Southerners every year, thanks to the Egyptian government. This figure was close to ten times the rate of admission of Southerners into the Sudanese higher education by then. Many of our professionals and politicians today are the beneficiaries of that arrangement.

Private tertiary education is also another area where some qualified South Sudan students could be admitted. However, these institutions need to be streamlined to suit our requirements and meet strict accreditation conditions that must be put in place to ensure that they keep high standards in terms of resources, qualified staff and adequate facilities.

This conclusion does not rule out the fact that in future the number of universities may increase gradually based on a real need, feasibility studies and availability of funds. There can be no place for brief-case universities; we must avoid the experience of Sudan in that respect. The argument that not having a university in each State in South Sudan is “social injustice” is mere demagoguery meant to score political mileage. Most of us did not study in universities near our homes. Social justice is associated with catering for the basic needs of the people. A travesty of a university in one’s homestead that produces semi-illiterate graduates is the greatest disservice to that community.  Communities will clamour for having all kinds of things including universities. It is our role as intellectuals to tell them what is possible now, tomorrow or not possible at all. It makes more sense for these communities to strengthen their schools so as to be able to compete better for university entrance. After all, universities, wherever they are, admit students from all over the country.  Still, if need be to cater for the lack of qualified personnel in some States of the country, a special admission system similar to the arrangement made with the University of Khartoum in 1969 by the then Minister of Southern Affairs, the late Joseph Garang, or that of the least developed States in Sudan from the 1990s may be considered. In all these cases, the prospective student must satisfy the minimum admission requirements. This is the bottom line. Universities used to grow naturally from colleges to university colleges and finally to fully fledged university.

Review of Higher Education

The independence of South Sudan is a golden opportunity for the government to review higher education in the country with a view for meaningful reform of the system. There are good ideas in this respect [5,6]. The review must carry out a SWOT analysis of the current situation of higher education so as to be able to prescribe and execute the required solutions. It must also include looking into establishing a technical and technological stream separate and parallel from the academic system of education right from the primary level to the tertiary level. The system must be so designed that a graduate at each level will be useful in the job market as craftsmen and technicians. In order to achieve meaningful development there are internationally accepted minimum ratios of craftsmen/technicians and technicians/professionals that must be maintained in a given country at a given level of development or rather underdevelopment. This is not the case now in our country, and was the purpose of introducing technical education in the late 1950s and for proposing the new stream now.

The technical education in Sudan was killed by two policy mistakes that led the community to discourage their children from this type of education. First, the students in the technical schools then were not afforded ample opportunities to study beyond the secondary level. The only available tertiary level was one Khartoum Senior Trade and one Khartoum Technical Institute (KTI), also known as Khartoum Polytechnic.  Second, the pay was less than what their counterparts in the academic stream were getting and the pay scale for the technical school graduates did go beyond group 7 at that time, whereas those from the academic stream could advance up to the end of the civil service scale (group 1). These grave mistakes must be avoided if we are to change the negative attitude of the community towards technical education. Hence, the pay scale of these graduates must be as good as, if not better than, their academic stream counterparts. Given today’s level of development, technical education in the old sense is no longer sufficient. Therefore, technical and technological education must go hand in hand. If this stream begins to be seen as promising and lucrative, it will attract bright students and hence will be competitive.

To be specific, the review of the higher education should consider the following areas among others:

1.      Current Staffing:

Number and qualifications of: the teaching staff, teaching assistants and

administration personnel.              

      2.  Human Resource Development:

How much from University resources will be devoted to this important area, how

much to be availed through collaboration with other universities and colleges and

how much from foreign scholarships.    =

3.   Physical Structures and Equipment:

Lecture theatres, Libraries and ICT centres, Laboratories and workshops, Hostels,

Staff houses and guesthouses, and Equipment and materials.

4.   Quality Assurance:

Students’ admission standards, Criteria for staff employment, Salary structure, Research,

and  Performance evaluation.

5.       Technical and technological tertiary education

Designing the syllabuses for primary and secondary schools, and institutes of

technology or technological universities. This must be done in close collaboration

with the relevant professional organizations (Engineering, Agriculture, etc.). Then

the determination of the proportion of the schools in this stream to the academic

stream.

6.   Financing public tertiary education:

            How shall the universities and institutes of higher learning be financed?

7.     Private Higher Education:

Requirements of licensing and accreditation.

 8.   Future Projections:

                How to meet the expected increase in the number of qualified students seeking

tertiary education and what specializations, if any, to plan for.

Conclusion

The role of higher education in socio-economic development cannot be overemphasised. However, given the many competing demands over limited resources, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan is well advised to carry out a review of higher education, including introducing research centres. The review is to achieve the desired reform in the educational system avoiding the mistakes of the past including opening universities that have not undergone thorough feasibility studies. Realities on the ground today clearly point out that the way forward is consolidation of the resources available for the reconstruction and staffing the current three universities to an acceptable level. Then in the future as more resources become available and real demand arises, gradual and studied increase in public universities may be considered. Private education that satisfies rigorous conditions for accreditation can be allowed at this stage to absorb some of the qualified students without expense from national budget.

The Government has to make use of the current good will of the donor community to urge them to include support for higher education in terms of funds, material, transfer of technology and scholarships in their aid assistance.

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References:

  1. Akol, Lam, “Tertiary Education in South Sudan”, Speaking notes at a conference on Higher Education in South Sudan, 14-15 November 2011, Juba.
  2. USAID, “Government of Southern Sudan Strategic Capacity Building Study”, 2010.
  3. Bakhiet, Charles, “The Challenges to the Revival and Role of Higher Education in Post-Conflict Construction of South Sudan” , A paper presented at a conference on post-Conflict Construction in Southern Sudan, Juba, Southern Sudan, November 29th – December 2nd  2006.
  4. 4.      Ibid.
  5. Saki, Sam, “Proposal to Reorganize Higher Education in South Sudan”, 2004.
  6. Bakhiet, op cit.

South Sudan threatens to suspend oil production if north imposes unilateral
Sudan Tribune
November 30, 2011 (JUBA) – The South Sudan government on Wednesday reacted negatively to reports that Sudan plans to take 23% of the new country’s oil exports, saying it will consider suspending oil production if north Sudan continues to impose high

Sudan Says It Hasn’t Stopped South Sudan’s Oil Exports
Bloomberg
By William Davison – Wed Nov 30 13:16:13 GMT 2011 Sudan’s government said it hasn’t blocked South Sudan’s oil exports, contradicting a statement by its oil minister two days ago that shipments have been halted. “The government of Sudan has not and will

Sudan Threatens to Take One-Fourth of South Sudan’s Oil
Voice of America (blog)
Sudan says it will take about a quarter of South Sudan’s oil from a pipeline under Sudan after talks on sharing oil revenue failed. Sudanese officials say they have no plans to block South Sudan’s oil exports. Officials say they only want their fair

A&M partners with South Sudan
Bryan College Station Eagle
By VIMAL PATEL South Sudan, just created in July, will be helped in its development by the A&M System, which will have employees on the ground in the African nation teaching agriculture methods. Texas A&M’s Borlaug Institute for International

South Sudan: Ngok – No-Fly Zone Over Abyei to Force SAF Out
AllAfrica.com
of the SPLM and the government of South Sudan in finding a final solution to the issue of Abyei area within the framework of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Abyei Protocol and the 2009 awarded of the permanent court of arbitration at the Hague….

Korea to send peacekeepers to South Sudan
The Korea Herald
The government has decided to send peacekeeping troops to South Sudan next year, sources said Thursday. The decision was made in response to requests from the United Nations made on Aug. 8. Although the decision has yet to be approved by the National

Seoul mulls sending troops to South Sudan
Korea Times
By Kang Hyun-kyung The government is considering sending hundreds of non-combat troops to South Sudan as part of a UN peace keeping operation, according to sources Thursday. The government will come up with a dispatch plan for some 350 to 400 soldiers


I am not aspiring to be a prophet but one thing is clear: It might be too early to say this but the rise of Islamists in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, possibly Syria soon, will not only add to election problems facing President Obama but might as well be his undoing, sealing his fate as one term president. Congratulations to the Muslim Brotherhood, welcome to the reign of power!! Paanluel Wel.

CAIRO — Islamists claimed a decisive victory on Wednesday as early election results put them on track to win a dominant majority in Egypt’s first Parliament since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the most significant step yet in the religious movement’s rise since the start of the Arab Spring.

Zyad Elelaimy first emerged in January as a main voice of the youthful revolutionaries in Tahrir Square. Now he is running for a Parliament seat as a candidate in Egypt’s strongest liberal party.

The party formed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s mainstream Islamist group, appeared to have taken about 40 percent of the vote, as expected. But a big surprise was the strong showing of ultraconservative Islamists, called Salafis, many of whom see most popular entertainment as sinful and reject women’s participation in voting or public life.

Analysts in the state-run news media said early returns indicated that Salafi groups could take as much as a quarter of the vote, giving the two groups of Islamists combined control of nearly 65 percent of the parliamentary seats.

That victory came at the expense of the liberal parties and youth activists who set off the revolution, affirming their fears that they would be unable to compete with Islamists who emerged from the Mubarak years organized and with an established following. Poorly organized and internally divided, the liberal parties could not compete with Islamists disciplined by decades as the sole opposition to Mr. Mubarak. “We were washed out,” said Shady el-Ghazaly Harb, one of the most politically active of the group.

Although this week’s voting took place in only a third of Egypt’s provinces, they included some of the nation’s most liberal precincts — like Cairo, Port Said and the Red Sea coast — suggesting that the Islamist wave is likely to grow stronger as the voting moves into more conservative rural areas in the coming months. (Alexandria, a conservative stronghold, also has voted.)

The preliminary results extend the rising influence of Islamists across a region where they were once outlawed and oppressed by autocrats aligned with the West. Islamists have formed governments in Tunisia and Morocco. They are positioned for a major role in post-Qaddafi Libya as well. But it is the victory in Egypt — the largest and once the most influential Arab state, an American ally considered a linchpin of regional stability — that has the potential to upend the established order across the Middle East.

Islamist leaders, many jailed for years under Mr. Mubarak, were exultant. “We abide by the rules of democracy, and accept the will of the people,” Essam el-Erian, a leader of the Brotherhood’s new party, wrote in the British newspaper The Guardian. “There will be winners and losers. But the real — and only — victor is Egypt.”

Results will not be final until January, after two more rounds of voting. And the ultimate scope of the new Parliament’s power remains unclear because Egypt has remained under military rule since Mr. Mubarak resigned as president in February. But Parliament is expected to play a role in drafting a new Constitution with the ruling military council, although the council has given contradictory indications about how much parliamentary input it will allow.

The emergence of a strong Islamist bloc in Parliament is already quickening a showdown with the military. Brotherhood leaders announced Wednesday that they expected the Islamist parliamentary majority to name a prime minister to replace the civilian government now serving the military. In response, a senior official of the military-led government insisted that the ruling generals would retain that prerogative.

The unexpected rise of a strong ultraconservative Islamist faction to the right of the Brotherhood is likely to shift Egypt’s cultural and political center of gravity to the right as well. Leaders of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party will likely feel obliged to compete with the ultraconservatives for Islamist voters, and at the same time will not feel the same need to compromise with liberals to form a government.

“It means that, if the Brotherhood chooses, Parliament can be an Islamists affair — a debate between liberal Islamists, moderate Islamists and conservatives Islamists, and that is it,” Michael Wahid Hanna, an Egyptian-born researcher at the Century Foundation in Cairo, said this week.

The ultraconservative Salafi parties, meanwhile, will be able to use their electoral clout to make their own demands for influence on appointments in the new government. Mr. Hanna added: “I don’t mind saying this is not a great thing. It is not a joyous day on my end.”

If the majority proves durable, the longer-term implications are hard to predict. The Brotherhood has pledged to respect basic individual freedoms while using the influence of the state to nudge the culture in a more traditional direction. But the Salafis often talk openly of laws mandating a shift to Islamic banking, restricting the sale of alcohol, providing special curriculums for boys and girls in public schools, and censoring the content of the arts and entertainment.

Zyad Elelaimy first emerged in January as a main voice of the youthful revolutionaries in Tahrir Square. Now he is running for a Parliament seat as a candidate in Egypt’s strongest liberal party.

Their leaders have sometimes proposed that a special council of religious scholars advise Parliament or the top courts on legislation’s compliance with Islamic law. Egyptian election laws required the Salafi parties to put at least one woman on their electoral roster for each district, but they put the women last on their lists to ensure they would not be elected, and some appear with pictures of flowers in place of their faces on campaign posters.

Sheik Hazem Shouman, an important Salafi leader, recently rushed into a public concert on the campus of Mansoura University to try to persuade the crowd to turn away from the “sinful” performance and go home. He defended his actions on a television talk show, saying he had felt like a doctor making an emergency intervention to save a patient dying of cancer.

The new majority is likely to increase the difficulty of sustaining the United States’ close military and political partnership with post-Mubarak Egypt, though the military has said it plans to maintain a monopoly over many aspects of foreign affairs. Islamist political leaders miss no opportunity to criticize Washington’s policies toward Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and the Palestinians. And while Brotherhood leaders have said they intend to preserve but perhaps renegotiate the 1979 Camp David peace treaty with Israel, the Salafi parties have been much less reassuring. Some have suggested putting the treaty to a referendum.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an Israeli official acknowledged concerns: “Obviously, it is hard to see in this result good news for Israel.”

Some members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority — about 10 percent of the population — joked Wednesday that they would prepare to leave the country. Previously protected by Mr. Mubarak’s patronage, many have dreaded the Islamists’ talk of protecting the Islamic character of Egypt. Some Brotherhood leaders often repeat that they believe citizenship is an equal right of all regardless of sect, even chanting at some campaign rallies that Copts are also “sons of Egypt.” But Salafis more often declare that Christians should not fear Islamic law because it requires the protection of religious minorities, an explanation that many Christians feel assigns them second-class status.

Most Copts voted for the liberal Egyptian bloc, which was vying for second place with the Salafis in some reports. It was an eclectic alliance against the Islamists, dominated by the Social Democrats, a left-leaning party with ties to the revolution’s leaders, and by the Free Egyptians, the business-friendly party founded and promoted by Naguib Sawiris, the Coptic Christian media-and-telecommunications tycoon.

The results indicated that some of the candidates and slates put forward by the former ruling party appeared to have won back their seats. It was unclear how large a bloc they might form, but they could prove sympathetic to the familiar mantra of stability-above-all that the ruling military is putting forward.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/01/world/middleeast/voting-in-egypt-shows-mandate-for-islamists.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2

Obama’s socialism: When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great

Posted: December 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Education

Dear esteemed readers,

In case you are having a hard day, this may brighten your day up. Although I do not personally object to nor agree with the so called Obamacare or Obama’s socialism in the US, I still do find this anecdote hilarious and stress-releasing, at least if you are not a Democrat!!!!!! Enjoys if you like it; frame a competing story if you are visibly outraged by it; it is a win-win, you see!!! PaanLuel Wel.

When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed..
Is this man truly a genius? Checked out and this is true…it DID happen!

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Can you think of a reason for not sharing this? Neither could I.