British pound climbs as government makes U-turn on tax cut plan    Egypt's net foreign assets decline again to reach $925 million in August    Turkey's inflation jumps to 83% highest level in nearly in 24 years    Egypt's FM heads to Congo Today to attend PRECOP27 conference    King Charles III won't attend COP27 in Egypt, following PM Truss advice    Swedish coastguard says: Fourth leak discovered on Nord Stream pipelines    Egyptian gecko invades Israel    Egypt welcomes back Russian flights on 1st October    Egypt launches 200 Years of Continuing Science tourism campaign    Egypt, UAE partner on sustainable waste management in Sharm el-Sheikh ahead of COP27    QNB Group names TikToker Khaby Lame official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 brand ambassador    Three possible scenarios as Egypt's central bank governor resigns – MP    Adele is living a love story, wants to be a homemaker    In Photos: Egypt swears in 13 new ministers after major Cabinet reshuffle    Egypt's Sisi names 13 ministers in Cabinet reshuffle    Spain: prosecutor seeks 8 years sentence for Shakira over tax evasion    Egypt: Alamein Art Festival kicks off a collection of recycled installations    Egypt's athlete Basma Emad wins bronze in weightlifting in Mediterranean Games    Maha karara joins AAIB as Head of Corporate Communications, Sustainability    Egypt works on charting cooperation strategies with international institutions for 5 years: Al-Mashat    Over 2.4 million newborns examined for hearing impairment: Health Ministry    Netflix releases trailer of Arab adaption of 'Perfect Strangers' film    Balqees to headline concert celebrating launch of streaming giant LIVENow in MENA    Sawsan Badr to be honoured at Aswan Women Film Festival    MP Abdel Hady Al-Qasby calls government to facilitate and support NGOs    Al-Sisi follows up on 'Great Transfiguration Project' in St. Catherine    Cairo, London stress need to strengthen cooperation to face climate change    Foreigners account for 22.6% of Egypt's T-bills issuances in 1H 2021: CBE    Egypt's ambassador to Italy passes away    Egypt confirms readiness to help African countries face terrorism and extremism    An estimated 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020: IOM Egypt    Egypt, DRC discuss water cooperation during WYF    Egypt, DR Congo discuss boosting bilateral cooperation during WYF    Cameroonian police probe assault on three Algerian journalists covering AFCON    Pharaohs start AFCON 2021 campaign with fierce clash against Nigeria    Foreign Ministry opens capacity building course for French-speaking African diplomats    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Arab through and through
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 08 - 11 - 2007

The world's attention will be focussed on Cairo on Sunday as the 11th pan-Arab Games begin, writes Inas Mazhar
Two days after the African Champions League football final, Cairo International Stadium will host the opening ceremony of the 11th pan-Arab Games. The ceremony is being supervised by the Egyptian Armed Forces.
More than 7,000 athletes representing 22 Arab nations will compete in more than 30 different sports in the Egyptian cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, Port Said, Arish, Assiut and Aswan.
Egyptians are determined to maintain their supremacy and top the medals table, just as they did four months ago when they placed first at the more difficult All- Africa Games which was held in Algeria and saw 52 nations taking part.
The pan-Arab Games are a regional multi-sport event held between nations from the Arab world. The first Games were held in 1953 in Alexandria, Egypt. Intended to be held every four years, political turmoil as well as financial difficulties has made the event an unstable one. Women were first allowed to compete in 1985.
The Games are held under the supervision of the Arab League.
The organisers have been working hard to bring about a successful event. Delegates have started arriving in Cairo to get ready for the competition. Volleyball started days before the official kick-off in time for some teams to travel to Japan for the Volleyball World Cup.
Some Arab teams have been training in Cairo for weeks such as the modern pentathlon Iraqi team.
According to the Games director Hosni Ghandar, Egypt is ready to host its Arab brothers "in such a unique festival of true and fair competition."
Egypt will take part in almost all sports included in the programme and the federations' officials are promising Egypt a host of medals.
The Games program includes football, handball, basketball, volleyball, cycling, athletics, swimming, equestrianship, judo, wrestling, badminton, tennis, table-tennis, chess, squash, weightlifting, fencing, handicapped sports, taekwondo, boxing, bowling, archery, shooting, camel racing, karate, modern pentathlon and gymnastics.
The only unsolved problem so far, and nobody knows its future, is football. First there were 13 national teams taking part. The organisers asked that all countries to participate with their first teams to help in the success of the Games since football is the most popular sport in the world, and to bring the tournament more credibility. However, some teams withdrew and the number dropped to eight, then six and now it might drop to just five.
Two additional incidents have further marred the football competition. The world football governing body has suspended the Kuwaiti federation for failing to elect a board of directors. Accordingly, FIFA warned the organisers not to accept the participation of the Kuwaiti national team, however, reports say the ban could be lifted. Meanwhile, the African federation insisted that all African nations who have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana 2008 should not participate in any competition with their first team before the Nations Cup in January. An excpetion was made for Egypt while Sudan will play in the Arab Games with its Olympic team.
Egypt's organisation of the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations has given the hosts a reputation as successful organisers of world class events. Thus it was no surprise when Egypt collected 12 votes as opposed to 10 for Lebanon to win the right to host the 2007 Arab Games.
The vote was taken during an Arab sports youth and sports ministers meeting at Arab League headquarters in Cairo.
For the first time in the history of the Arab League, the vote was taken by secret ballot. Egypt, Lebanon and Syria were initially in the running. Negotiations by Prince Sultan Bin Fahd and his deputy Prince Nawaf Bin Faisal resulted in the Syrians pulling out, leaving the Egyptians and the Lebanese.
Following the winning vote, Mufid Shehab, minister at the People's Assembly and Shura Council, told reporters that it showed the confidence shown in the Egyptians as successful organisers. He thanked all those who voted for and supported Egypt and promised that the country will prove that it really deserves to be the organiser.
Prince Nawaf also succeeded in obtaining the auspices of the International Olympic Committee in the pan-Arab Games. The prince met with IOC President Jacques Rogges at the headquarters of the IOC in Lausanne, briefed him on the outcome of the meetings and urged him to recognise the Arab Games as a great regional event.
It will be the first time since the inaugural of the pan- Arab Games in 1946 that the IOC will recognise the Games. According to Prince Nawaf, it shows that the IOC president and its members have recognised the efforts of Arab sports officials in the region towards promoting and supporting sports and athletes by applying the rules and ethics of the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC only recognises bodies and organisations that represent an entire continent and not a region. As such, Prince Nawaf said he saw the recognition as a big success for Arab sports.
The Syrians were hosts to the Games in 1992 and the Lebanese hosted the 1997 edition. Egypt hosted the event twice, the first in 1953 in Alexandria and the fourth in Cairo in 1965. Egypt has participated in the pan-Arab Games seven times in the past 10 editions. Egypt did not participate in the 2nd, 5th & 6th editions in Beirut 1957, Damascus 1976 and Casablanca 1985.
The all-time medals table shows Egypt in first place with an overall total of 985 medals; 504 of which are gold. Morocco is next with 589 medals; 222 are gold. Syria is third with 692, including 213 gold medals.
The budget of the Games is expected to reach LE25 million.


Clic here to read the story from its source.