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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Zamalek vs Wafd For Third Place?!

Moved on! Check TheCairoCalls

There is a joke in Egypt which goes something like this (after modification to fit the occasion): A guy asks his friend "Who won the presidential elections last year, NDP or Wafd?" "NDP" "And who won most matches between Ahly and Zamalek during the past 3 years" "Ahly" "So it is Zamalek vs Wafd for third place, huh?"

The reason I remembered this joke (which had many variations for the past 30 years or so) is the uncanny similarities between Zamalek football club, and El Wafd party, especially when it comes to their "democratic" processes. If you hadn't been following, Zamalek's elected president, Mortada Mansour, was ousted by the government, and replaced by an appointed temporary board, a decision which was revoked by court last Sunday, prompting Mansour to return to Zamalek with the words of Al-Hajjaj entering Baghdad in mind: "I see ripe heads, whose time of harvest had come, and I shall gather them". Noaman Gomaa, Wafd's elected president on the other hand, was ousted by the general assembly of the party, a decision which he refused, prompting massive clashes between supporters of both sides, which climaxed on Saturday, leading to the arrest of Gomaa, and some of the opposition leaders.
In both cases, the two institutions had a serious problem following a peaceful democratic process; both witnessed violent clashes; both were appointed un-democratically elected leaderships; and both appointed leaderships are, unfortunately, much better than the democratic ones.
So what about the finalists (Ahly and NDP)? Well, they both witnessed very long periods of stability due to the presence of very strong, patriarchal leaders.
A funny thing though: when Saleh Seliem (Ahly's late president) died, the new board prevented his son (actor Hesham Seliem) from entering the club citing his failure to pay club fees for the last 30 years. Think about that!

Moved on!

9 Comments:

Very nice piece of writing, I really enjoyed reading it, especially the last part of the club fees.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2006 11:08 AM  

You forgot to mention that Both work in LAW as a profession. Mansour is a lawyer & Gomaa is a Law Prof who studied in france for 10 years.
Mansour will cause controversies again & Gomaa is finished politically as he lost all credibility & cannot talk about democracy after what happened.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2006 12:09 PM  

Hmmmm, somebody here is obviously Ahlawi.

Seriously, this article was really, really good.

By Blogger Anna in Portland (was Cairo), at April 04, 2006 1:57 PM  

can u believe that i am not?!
Let's just say that we're capable of self depreciating humor!

By Blogger Tomanbay, at April 04, 2006 3:00 PM  

its unfair to compare Ahly to NDP. You remind me of those people during the elections who were campaigning against Hossam Badrawy because he is a member of NDP and the new gang of GM. This was really unacceptable at that time with the attacks of Ahram and other newspapers on the lad who I think would make a better president than Hassan Hamdy!!

By Blogger Ximo, at April 04, 2006 7:59 PM  

here is ur ahlawy!

By Blogger Tomanbay, at April 04, 2006 11:33 PM  

this was very nice indeed...but can you please inform me about when will the match be held...... but to tell you the trouth... i hope that Mr. mansour will have the same end like that of Gom3a..and that if he is elected again in Zamalek club..this will be a very bad indicator of what we think really about democracy !!

By Anonymous Dermact, at April 05, 2006 5:08 AM  

by the way tomanbay, here is another thing you can add about saleh selim. When Mr. President goes to the parliament, he uses his copter and lands in Mokhtar el titch football field. As a kind of protocol, the president of the club has to be in his reception. One of the times Mubarak was late, so Saleh Selim alla yer7amo went to his office and didn't welcome Mubarak in the club.

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 11, 2006 8:08 AM  

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