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Riyadh and Cairo and the Slander Party!

Unfortunately, during the last few days, the "highly-charged" Egyptian media outlets have transformed Saudi Arabia into a cheap item on the market of political outbidding and blackmail against the backdrop of the case of an attorney who was proved to be implicated in the smuggling of internationally-prohibited pills, who recognized his act and was photographed with the confiscated drugs. Some perceived this as being an opportunity to attack Saudi Arabia and use the incident to achieve false political gains under the headlines of the revolution and dignity, especially from within the April 6 movement, the Muslim Brotherhood and the faltering leftist remnants!

Saudi Arabia informed the Egyptian brothers that no prior sentence was issued against their national or attorney whose bags were filled with narcotic pills. It said that the Saudi judiciary had no charge dubbed the "defamation of the monarch" which used to exist during the days of King Farouk in Egypt. It also added that no imprisonment and lashing sentence in absentia had come out against the attorney as opposed to his claims, and that Ahmed el-Gizawi came to perform the Umrah while his bags were filled with 21,000 Xanax pills deviously concealed in Juhayna milk cartons and cases of copies of the Koran. But they responded by saying that the statement did not interest them then indulged in the slander party under the pretext that the statement mentioned that the pills were in powder milk cartons "and we only saw liquid milk." Their country's consul in Jeddah came out and said he had met with El-Gizawi, that he was being treated well and that he recognized the introduction of the drugs in exchange for a reward - i.e. the Umrah - offered to him by a company with which he dealt in Saudi Arabia, without knowing that these pills were prohibited. They responded by saying that this was nonsense, was invalid talk and that they did not believe it. Their country's ambassador also came out and spoke sensibly while trying to disprove the talk of the foolish and rumors of the rowdy, but they persisted in order to pressure the Kingdom to release the lawyer since he is "Egypt's son, even if he is mistaken." What logic are the latter following? It is as though El-Gizawi was an angel from heaven. The slander and smear party thus continued, at which point Egypt's consul in Jeddah tried to undermine their threats without being able to convince them. They were then addressed by an Egyptian legal advisor who lives in Jeddah and who told them the entire story, but they assured: "This is not true," and proceeded with their practices.

The cheap outbidding carried out by some Egyptians is unacceptable, especially after they learned about the implication of their national and after he recognized what was in his luggage in picture and sound. Egypt's tolerant spirit should not be hijacked by the rowdy who are trying to turn the domestic anger wave toward Saudi Arabia and its people, knowing that the latter are hosting around one million Egyptians, each of whom is treated by the Saudis as one of their own despite a few exceptions.

The easiest media practice is slander. And although the Saudi media empire can respond to all the fabrications being made up against its country and people, and even downplay the media thugs and riff-raff and hit the trigger of influential words to keep theirs in their throats, it is taking into account the depth of the relations between the two countries and Egypt's great stature, upholding credibility and completely neglecting the futilities of those in crisis and the slogans of the irrational!

There is a major problem when awareness is absent, and when decadent words and insults are uttered in a bad play whose audience is foolish and whose directors are the advocators of strife and rowdiness. One of the latter stated on an Egyptian channel: Do not talk about our nationals, even if they were to smuggle drugs and explosives, until we hear what they have to say. Coincidently, 48 hours following El-Gizawi's arrest, the Cairo Airport authorities announced the arrest of an Egyptian who was planning on traveling to Riyadh and who was also carrying narcotic pills.

Whoever follows some Egyptian media outlets cannot help but feel disgusted by the absence of reasonable and responsible talk, except in very rare cases. And unfortunately, among those who insulted Saudi Arabia were journalists who worked in it and some of whom are still working in Saudi media institutions, a thing which exposes their bad intentions and their decadent values.

Saudi Arabia would accept any constructive criticism made with respect and credibility. However, it rejects blackmail and the attempts of those in crisis and the instigators to open the airports and the ports before the criminals, the thieves and the smugglers, even if they are lawyers!

Saudi Arabia was patient for days while awaiting an official apology for the slander which affected its image, people, mission and embassy, for the burial of its plate and the lowering and burning of its flag, and for the lies spread to trigger strife and spite. But the military council remained idle, which prompted Riyadh to summon its ambassador and shut down its embassy and consulates in Egypt. Riyadh knows that relations with Egypt are crucial and strategic and that normalcy will soon be restored. Indeed, the Saudi decision was not hostile or aggressive, rather preemptive, and aimed at delivering a message to the Egyptian authorities saying that the Kingdom has had enough and that patience had limits! And just like there is a wish to uphold the Egyptians' dignity, that of the others is also equally important.

I believe that Field Marshal Tantawi's call to the Saudi monarch extinguished many sorrows and fires, but Egypt must fix the flaw, bridge the gap, provide protection to the diplomatic mission, present those who attacked the embassy before justice and contain those attempting to trigger strife and belittle Saudi Arabia and its people!

What is certain is that the Saudi decision was necessary and was met with wide popular support, but there should be no media slide behind the actions of the foolish, the rowdy and the hypocrites who want to ruin the relations between two major and brotherly countries at a critical stage in the history of the Arab world and at the level of these relations. In reality, the Egyptians are emotional and love Saudi Arabia just like the Saudis perceive Egypt as being a brotherly, great and very dear state. twitter | @JameelTheyabi

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Publication:Dar Al Hayat, International ed. (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:May 1, 2012
Previous Article:The Egyptian Circus and Political Adolescence.
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