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Posts Tagged ‘british’

Why Egypt Matters

In Development, Elections, Global Issues, Human Rights on February 4, 2011 at 12:51 am

Egypt has been dominating news headlines recently–mass protests, journalists detained, all that jazz. While I haven’t been able to watch too much of Al Jazeera’s live coverage of this event, I did find myself asking “Why Egypt, and why now?” so here’s a little bit of research to try to answer that question.

To understand Egypt, it’s important to understand the history and political background of the country. Officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, the country is located in north-east Africa. Egypt has historically been vital to commerce between Europe, Africa and Asia, due to its proximity to the Suez canal and transcontinental trade routes. Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 rekindled Europe’s interest in Egypt, and by the 1850s, Alexandria and the gulf of the Suez region were connected via railroad. Fearing international and French influence as well as the vulnerability in the Suez, the British opposed the construction of the Suez Canal from construction to opening in 1869, but ironically enough, profited most from its opening, since it made the Indian Ocean and the Far East much more accessible than railroad. With the economic boost of the Suez trade, Britain quickly bought shares in the Suez Canal Company, becoming a major shareholder in Egyptian politics and government along with France. With the signing of the Entente Cordiale in 1904, Britain secured its control over Egypt, while France was given free reign over Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.

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Why Sudan’s referendum matters

In Development, Genocide, Global Issues, Religion on January 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Sudan's potential split is an ethnic, political, social and tribal issue.

There’s a lot of talk going on about Sudan’s upcoming referendum that will determine if the South becomes its independent state. But I didn’t really understand why it is being referred to as “historic”. And since my alma mater, Annandale High School, is having a STAND benefit concert on Friday, I think I owe it to myself to understand this country and its current situation better.

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