[ilds] New, Conservative Alexandria

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Mon Jun 11 13:36:41 PDT 2007


well, I guess that make me and most of my countrymen pagans - most Americans 
too I imagine (especially the ones in Boston)? and, as for the Brits, they 
are beyond redemption. LD would turn in his grave. No wonder he went to 
France. O blessed land that does beer and baguettes at 7am, Coffee and 
conjac at 10am and wine with lunch at 1pm!!

DG


Denise Tart & David Green
16 William Street, Marrickville NSW 2204

+61 2 9564 6165
0412 707 625
dtart at bigpond.net.au
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bruce Redwine" <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
To: "Durrell list" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 4:13 AM
Subject: [ilds] New, Conservative Alexandria


> Alexandria still?
>
> Bruce
>
> -----Forwarded Message-----
>>From: Glenn Meyer <glenn at glennmeyer.net>
>>Sent: Jun 11, 2007 10:09 AM
>>To: undisclosed-recipients at null, null at null
>>Subject: [arcenc] New, conservative Alexandria - baltimoresun.com
>>
>>http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.alexandria10jun10,0,1637619.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines
>>
>>
>>  New, conservative Alexandria
>>
>>An ancient center of enlightenment is under tight hand of Islamic religion
>>Associated Press
>>Originally published June 10, 2007
>>
>>ALEXANDRIA, Egypt // A white marble statue of a nude Aphrodite in a
>>playful pose is on display in the antiquities museum of the Library of
>>Alexandria. One story up, sociology major Dalia Mohammed, a devout
>>Muslim covered head to toe, is studying for a spring term paper.
>>
>>The ancient sculpture of the Greek goddess of beauty and the Egyptian
>>student represent contrasting Alexandrias.
>>
>>The statue, discovered at a spot close to the library, harks back to the
>>Mediterranean city's days as the center of enlightenment in the ancient
>>world - and its 19th and 20th century past as a place where Muslims,
>>Christians and Jews of different ethnic backgrounds lived in harmony.
>>
>>Mohammed is a child of today's Alexandria - a city that has divorced
>>itself from its liberal traditions and easygoing ways and instead
>>adopted religious conservatism, with Islamists holding sway.
>>
>>It is the way most Egypt has gone. But given Alexandria's fabled past,
>>there might not be another place in this nation of 77 million people -
>>mostly Muslim but with a significant Christian minority - where the
>>change is more pronounced.
>>
>>The only women in Alexandria who don't wear the Islamic veil are
>>Christians and a small minority of Muslims. Women have long stopped
>>wearing swimsuits on the city's popular beaches. Those who wish to take
>>a swim do so in the darkness before dawn.
>>
>>"Alexandrians have lost their traditional ties to the beach and sea,"
>>lamented Mona Abdel-Salam, 42, an independent journalist who says she
>>would wear a swimsuit only on exclusive private beaches or at the pools
>>in luxury hotels.
>>
>>Most of the city's famous bars, restaurants and night spots are no
>>longer in business, their owners long ago returned to Europe. Only a few
>>- mostly elderly people - remain from the once prosperous and large
>>expatriate community of Greeks, Cypriots, Italians, French and Armenians
>>who once made Alexandria Egypt's most cosmopolitan city.
>>
>>The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest Islamist group, has
>>more lawmakers elected from Alexandria than from any other city. The
>>city of 5 million people also has a large Salafi movement, a brand of
>>Islam more extreme than the Brotherhood - its followers are recognized
>>by their long beards and shorter than usual robes.
>>
>>They preach a ban on contacts between Muslims and Christians, and
>>residents blame them for violent clashes with Christians in recent years.
>>
>>The city's move toward fundamentalism has driven away the wealthy and
>>secular middle-class Egyptians who once flocked to Alexandria in the
>>summer for its beaches and nightlife.
>>
>>It is a far cry from the Alexandria depicted in dozens of famous
>>Egyptian movies dating back to the 1940s, in which young men and women
>>found love while vacationing in the city. Endless popular songs from the
>>era laud the city's cool sea breeze, the beauty of its women and how
>>easily love flourishes.
>>
>>Mohammed is more the model for the new Alexandria.
>>
>>She says she avoids contact with men in her college, doesn't go to the
>>beach for reasons of modesty and has only Christian acquaintances, not
>>friends, in her mixed neighborhood of Muharram Bey, the scene of
>>Muslim-Christian clashes in late 2005 and early 2006 that killed six 
>>people.
>>
>>"We cannot be close friends with Christians, but we can be civil to each
>>other," she said.
>>
>>The older of two daughters born to a father working in the Persian Gulf
>>and a homemaker mother, Mohammed says she began wearing the veil out at 
>>16.
>>
>>"I felt it was the right time for me," said the slender young woman,
>>though she wears the bright colors, tight top and loads of jewelry
>>popular among young women who strive to fuse Islamic modesty with being
>>trendy.
>>
>>"You cannot say that what I am wearing is strictly Islamic, but it will
>>do for now," she said with a smile. "I will wear loose clothes when I am
>>older."
>>
>>What has influenced a young woman like Mohammed to become so
>>conservative and insular is the story of Egypt, where authoritarian
>>rule, chronic economic woes and a culture of corruption have pushed
>>millions to find refuge in a strict interpretation of their faith.
>>
>>President Hosni Mubarak has shown zero tolerance for militant Islamic
>>groups, jailing thousands and endorsing the execution of dozens since
>>coming to office 25 years ago. At the same time, his government has
>>sought to match the appeal of Islamist groups such as the Brotherhood,
>>cracking down on public shows of irreverence to religion and dragging
>>its feet on granting women and Christians full rights.
>>
>>Combined, the spread of religious fundamentalism, economic hardship and
>>the political exclusion of most Egyptians have built an increasingly
>>intolerant society, resistant to change and suspicious of outsiders.
>>
>>"You are lonely in Alexandria if you're not religious," said Malek
>>Mustapha, a 29-year-old political blogger who makes a living designing
>>Internet sites.
>>
>>The departure of the city's large expatriate community in the 1950s and
>>1960s, when revolutionary leader Gamal Abdel Nasser pursued hard-line
>>nationalist policies, dealt the first blow to the city's cosmopolitan
>>atmosphere.
>>
>>Next came waves of migrants from Egypt's conservative countryside in the
>>1960s. Later, many left for the oil-rich Gulf region for better incomes.
>>
>>Tens of thousands returned to Alexandria, bringing back the Islamic
>>conservatism prevailing in much of the Gulf.
>>
>>"Everyone of them brought a satchel full of conservative and antiquated
>>patterns of behavior," said Hosni Abdel-Malak, a 58-year-old Egyptology
>>instructor.
>>
>>Islamists boast of their gains in the city.
>>
>>"There are no Muslim secularists in Alexandria. Only Christians," said
>>Osama al-Adawy, a microbiology professor at the University of Alexandria
>>and a local Muslim Brotherhood leader.
>>
>>In Muharram Bey, Mohammed's mixed neighborhood, the Islamist influence
>>is clear in the hundreds of leaflets plastered on homes, schools and
>>storefronts, reading: "Prayer is the backbone of your faith," "Thanks be
>>to God for he has shown me the way to the veil," and "Whoever quits
>>praying or drinks alcohol is a pagan."
>>
>>
>
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