Sudan keen to enhance cooperation with Egypt: Sudanese FM Al-Mahdi    Moody's completes periodic review of ratings of GIG Insurance – Egypt    Egypt improves ranking on Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom    FMs of Egypt, Comoros agree to continue coordination to ensure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines in Africa    Egypt's stocks end week lower, benchmark EGX 30 plummets 0.52%    Myanmar police break up protests again after bloodiest day since coup    Sisi mourns Kamal Amer, head of parliament's defence and national security committee    Egypt court upholds 3-year prison sentence for Mubarak-era Minister El-Feky    A Happy Purrfect Rescue Story of 4 Cats in Thailand    Anghami music platform to be first Arab tech-company to list on US-NASDAQ    Egypt allocated EGP 104 bln in public investments to Upper Egypt over three fiscal years: Planning minister    Preview: Atletico host Real in Madrid derby title showdown    Egypt, AfDB ink €109 million financing deal to provide sanitation services to residential communities in Luxor    Egypt's Zamalek arrive in Tunisia to face Esperance in CAF Champions League    Spurs handed advantage ahead of north London derby, says Arsenal boss Arteta    Live score: Liverpool v Chelsea (English Premier League)    Egypt reports 577 new coronavirus cases, 44 deaths on Wednesday    Saudi-led coalition says destroys Houthi missile fired towards Jazan: State Media    Egypt's Sisi urges intensifying global cooperation to eradicate coronavirus in Africa    Winston Churchill's Moroccan landscape painting owned by Angelina Jolie sells for $11.5M    Orascom Construction to build Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre    Respect for diversity    Three decades and counting    Huawei launches HUAWEI FreeLace Pro in Egypt with extra-long battery life and top-grade noise cancellation    Enhanced Labs signs Mr. Olympia 2020 "Big Ramy" And His Trainer Dennis James    Second coronavirus wave in Egypt more serious, widespread: statistics authority    1st hours of registration for coronavirus vaccine seen 7,000 Egyptians signing up: ministry    King Tutankhamun funerary mask is must-see tourist icon: The Telegraph    Russian flights to return to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada for first time since 2015    Egypt eyes gradual return for tourism after revenues fall to $4 bln in 2020    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Coronavirus strikes Egypt's youth team as 17 players, coach test positive    Nassef Sawiris plans to up his stake in owner of New York Knicks, Rangers    Cairo International Book Fair suspended for five months over coronavirus concerns    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    Trump says won't blame Egypt for being ‘upset' over GERD dispute with Ethiopia    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    

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Ignored news
Published in Ahram Online on 26 - 01 - 2021

In the international press, bad news tends to overshadow good news in general. When it comes to the Middle East and its population, on the other hand, there is barely room for anything but bad news. International media coverage of Egypt, for example, is always sparse, and what little international readers do read will not be about such positive matters as the major economic development projects that have been unfolding in the country during the past few years. Regional conflicts and rights issues prevail over local Egyptian concerns, sadly. In fact, last week saw the launch of a number of new national projects in a range of areas from food asecurity to granite and marble production. On Saturday, Al-Fayrouz fish farming project was inaugurated at East of Al-Tafreah in the Port Said governorate. The largest project of its kind in the Middle East, it “adds a new accomplishment to the series of large-scale development achievements that Egypt has experienced in recent years,” said a statement released by the president's office. “This mega project contributes huge added value to the development of the Suez Canal zone and the Sinai Peninsula through the construction of new industrial and urban communities. The project will generate 10,000 job opportunities directly and indirectly in numerous professions and specialisations related to this field.”
In the realm of food security too the government announced that it set in motion a project to have 100,000 acres of land in Sinai cultivated before 30 June 2021. President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi also simultaneously unveiled the high-speed rail project which could take people from Cairo to Aswan in just four hours. “By the end of 2021 there will be no more old trains in operation,” the president said.
President Al-Sisi has spoken at length about an ambitious drive to remedy many longstanding problems in rural Egypt in the next three years. A range of modernisation projects will overhaul the infrastructure of Egyptian villages, lining open irrigation canals to prevent seepage, saving three billion cubic metres of water. With regard to the latter project, the president said: “We are working to restructure water, not to encroach on others' water.” The problem-solving development approach exemplified by the village development project is grounded in a comprehensive, integrated strategy to harmonise the efforts of all government agencies involved. It is a strategy that promotes high performance, rapid progress and governance in every component of the project with the aim of realising radical change in all aspects of rural life. Improving rural standards of living is long overdue after decades of neglect for the needs of the countryside, a neglect that was inevitably manifested in sharply declining economic and human development rates. The first phase of the village development project targets 1,500 villages across the country for the renovation and construction of water, electricity, natural gas and wastewater disposal as well as road grids and networks, and for the development of education, healthcare and social welfare systems.
News of such ambitious projects are unlikely to find their way into the international press and media even though, if they are to see the bigger picture, it is important for readers to know about all political, social and economic aspects of life in Egypt. The tendency of foreign media is to home in on particular issues for years on end. In Egypt's case the choice of most of these is influenced by Islamist agendas. The focus is so blinkered and the glare so harsh that one sees only a distorted sliver of the picture. Political and media circles abroad need to reexamine the concept of human rights, which is a cornerstone of the philosophy of government in Egypt today. Only with a fuller, more comprehensive concept can they assess Egypt. The reports issued by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and international credit rating agencies speak of the degree of progress on the ground. In so doing, they draw attention to shortcomings in the international press coverage of Egypt.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 28 January , 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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