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Why This Website?
While history influences the lives of individuals, individuals also influence history. If it used to be said during the lifetime of this man that “The sun never sets on two things: The British Empire, and the newspaper published by Mohamed Ali Eltaher”; there is a good reason to stop and note.
This website tells the story of Mohamed Ali Eltaher (also known by his traditional Arab nickname, Aboul-Hassan). It is also the story of his wife. It provides the sources and references needed for those who are interested to learn more about him, and, more importantly, to learn about the history of the Near East and North Africa between 1912 and 1974, and the political and historical issues of the countries spanning from Morocco to Iraq, and from Syria to Indonesia. Those who know Egypt through the writings of Lawrence Durrell and Konstantin Kavafi and other famous Western writers, will be able to have a glimpse of that side of Egypt these talented writers did not write about.
The website offers first-hand original material, written in the context, spirit and style of its time. Some material is either unpublished or out of print. It was compiled by individuals who have known or lived many of the stories told, or issues discussed, and by others who have known of, or met many of the persons appearing in the photographs featured in the website. The site would appeal to an interested reader, student, historian, academic, journalist, homme de lettres, or diplomat, without forgetting those seeking action-packed adventures.
The team overseeing the development of this website thought that it should not stop at simply telling Eltaher’s story. It believes that it should build on his bitter experience and rethink the future in light of the present, and not only of the past. All the traditional approaches have been tried and tested in relation to the sad state of affairs between the Israelis and the Palestinians over so many decades. The current state of affairs between Arabs and Jews is not conducive to anything but perpetuating a permanent disaster zone. It is certainly time to think outside the box.
The proposed accommodation between the Israelis and the Palestinians detailed in the Biography, calls for seven steps. This gradual approach will offer both parties a physical separation and a breathing space for as long as needed in light of the prevalent situation. As for peace, the process may require several years before the word “peace” is even mentioned.
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