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Hosni and the Zionist Plot - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Following the Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni’s failed bid to head UNESCO, many people stated that this loss was a catastrophe and blamed it on an international Zionist plot, even though it was nothing more than competition for an international position.

The following week, US President Barack Obama received a real blow when the city of Chicago lost the competition to host the 2016 Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Barack Obama made a personal visit to Copenhagen, Denmark, together with some influential personalities and media figures to support the Chicago bid for the Olympics. However, he returned home in his giant jet disappointed. “You can play a great game and still not win…” Obama said. He did not call it a conspiracy and place the blame on others even though he is the most powerful president in the world in terms of influence, and his country’s chances of hosting the international Olympic Games were higher by virtue of Chicago’s sports facilities and its huge financial resources in comparison to the other three competing cities. Obama lost simply because this time the majority voted for another country and this is the kind of thing that happens in any competition.

What I mean is that after years of experiencing the same thing over and over, we still insist on giving Israel a title it does not deserve and that title is the “force majeure” of all Arabs. Anybody who knows public work, including political work, must be aware that Israel’s assumed capability is a false notion including the defeat of Minister Hosni, which was nothing more than a competition that could have been lost by the best candidate.

The belief that the Egyptian Minister of Culture’s failure to win the UNESCO position is a catastrophe belittles Egypt as well, as it is too big a state to value itself on a temporary post. In the same way, this also exaggerates the value of the UNESCO post, as it is merely a cultural organization that cannot be compared to the UN or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is headed by an Egyptian.

I read some of what was written about Minister Hosni and the false accusations cast against him of hatred and book burning and this is nothing more than the opinions of some people that every minister, or anyone in a public position, should be used to. As for voting for the UNESCO position, this was political action being practiced and in most cases it is subject to each country’s considerations. But to accuse Israel of being behind it means we would be awarding Israel a championship medal it does not deserve.

We should be used to defeats as long as we aspire to win; this is part of life, unless we choose to stay at home and refrain from entering competitions, in which case there would be no winners or losers.

Egypt is the most populated Arab country, and one of the developing countries with the most figures assuming international posts even though the country is not the biggest in terms of size or population, or richest in natural resources. This in itself is enough to make one feel satisfied rather than bitter or angry. As for Israel – which is great in our eyes only – its figures have not assumed a single international post at any organization in its entire history.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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