American-Made Tear Gas Canisters and Egyptian-Hope for Reform

American media coverage to Egypt’s turmoil is maybe 20 times more than that of Tunisia during their revolution that led Bin Ali, the former president of Tunisia, to flee the country. Although, there are more than 20 Arab countries spread throughout West Asia and North Africa only two the majority of the world are aware of; Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Every Arab country insists on its  importance on the political map (border to Israel) or on its tallest European architecture built towers (Burj Khalifa)  but the reality is Saudi Arabia and Egypt are the heart and mind of the Arab world, respectively.

Egypt makes quarter of the Arab population dominating 90% (if not more) of the film industry in the Arab world. It is like Hollywood of Arabia. Hence, the Egyptian dialect is the only dialect among the other 20 plus Arab dialects that is almost fully recognizable and understandable by all Arabs. Through their films we learned their culture and tradition. Egyptian films are not the only thing we grow accustomed to but also Egypt’s stream of knowledge. Egypt didn’t just provide entertainment to the Arab world but an ooze of scholars, writers, and thinkers. And when it comes to religion, Egypt becomes one of the most influential in the Muslim world giving us Al-Azhar religious school and one of the most controversial Muslim-political groups the Muslim Brotherhood, both have millions of devoted Muslim followers not just in the Arab world but worldwide.

Yesterday while covering Egypt’s riot the American mediae mentioned repeatedly the tear gas canisters labeled ‘Made in U.S.A.’ I applaud them for that. Americans need to be educated about their government’s, republic or democrat, foreign affair which sadly most of them believe it is all about going after the bad people. The FACT is it is not. America supported Sadam, the Ba’ath dictator ruler, during his war with Iran and went after him when he won the war. The Talibans were good while fighting against communist Russians but became bad after winning their war. I wonder when Husni Mubarak will be a bad guy? Even after the bloody Egyptian riot and being a president for close to 30 year, Obama called Mubarak to tell him “you still a good man to us, you can stay”. This is how I imagine the conversation went. And you don’t need a Harvard or a Princeton Political or Law Analyst Professor to tell you why Mubarak, at 82 year old, is still good for the US. The fear of Islamists up rising and Israel’s border, am I right?


[Click on the picture to play video]
NBC’s Richard Engel, reporting from the streets of Cairo, holds up a used tear gas canister, labeled “Made in the USA.”


Egypt is no Tunisia, Yemen or Jordan. Any decision the US makes regarding Egypt will affect the entire Arab world. Siding with Mubarak against Egyptians means siding against the entire Arab world. As I mentioned earlier Egypt is the brain of the Arabs. Knowing that the US sends yearly 1.5 Billion in Aid to Egypt including these tear gas canisters makes the US look very bad. An image that is already destroyed by the never ending “war on terror “ in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For the first time in decades news about the Arab world are no longer about the conflict in the Middle East (Israel-Palestine). The conflict has risen to a new level now. I wonder what the end of 2011 would be to the Arabs.


5 thoughts on “American-Made Tear Gas Canisters and Egyptian-Hope for Reform

  1. The people have spoken!
    people can’t bare the situation any more and they are asking for a change, a major one, and I gess America just can’t do any thing about it!
    I agree that Egypt plays a major role, maybe the biggest political role in the arab world, and if people just accomplished what do they want I think this will reflect the entire Arab world. I hope it’s the beggining of a good thing for all of us and may Allah be with them.
    This huge and unexpected changes reminds me of that phrase of Qura’an:
    ” ومكروا ومكر الله والله خير الماكرين “

  2. Hi. Please accept my apology for being off topic here. I’m an american muslim woman living in beirut with my four children (it’s a long story). Have been in Lebanon a few months and don’t like it at all, except for the nice individuals I’ve met here and there–won’t bore you with the details of why I hate it otherwise.

    Now I’m considering moving to Amman. I’m looking for a place with good universities for my children, that’s more conservative than Lebanon, with fairly good weather (not excruciatingly hot like the gulf country where we lived for 10 years). My children are alhamdla good students and fluent in Arabic and English, so I think they wouldn’t have any problem being admitted to Jordanian universities, nshala.

    My (Arab) husband travels all the time for work, so I need to be in a place where I can manage without him. He is not Jordanian, but he could get us into Jordan without any problems, nshala. I don’t think we’d have any problems establishing residency.

    Aside from the recent political upsets, do you think Jordan is a nice place to live? People I know in Beirut all say that Jordanians are difficult and unfriendly, but the expat and traveler’s websites I’ve seen usually describe Jordanians as “warm and friendly,” so I’m confused (maybe Jordanians don’t like the Lebanese for some reason?).

    Anyway, my priorities are to live in a relatively stable Muslim majority country that is somewhat conservative, where there are good universities, and the weather is tolerable and the air pollution is not too bad. It would help if amenities were available, such as parks and activities for children.

    We are a very conservative Muslim family, by the way. Do you see any reason why we might not want to live in Jordan? Thanks for any feedback anyone familiar with Jordan could provide!

    1. To tell you the truth as far as I always hear the majority of Jordanians are known to be very social and friendly. But I may not be a good judge since I am a Jordanian. If you can manage residency in Jordan then Amman is the city for you. As in any other Arab country only the capital has all the services and business investments. You will find Amman to be very modern city. Jordanian Universities are well received compared to other Arab countries. Amman is very safe compared to other Arab capitals.
      I think you need to contact Americans who live in Jordan and ask specific questions. I know few Americans who live or lived in Amman and have their own blogs. I can’t give you their emails but I can write their blog addresses. You can contact them through their blog. Hopefully they can help you with questions related to living in Jordan or direct you to other people who will help you with your question:

      Good luck

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