There is another view, too, one that was published in English, allowing, perhaps for a degree of candor not found in the Arabic news media. Writing in the English-language Daily News, the chief editor, Rania al-Malky, suggested that Mr. Hosny might have done as well as he did because he was Arab and Muslim, not because he was qualified. His defeat, she wrote, should not surprise anyone.
“I will say this at the risk of being branded unpatriotic, but no matter where you stand on the political spectrum,” she wrote, “you must admit that the Egyptian administration did not deserve to win this bid. How can a 22-year minister of a country where culture, education, health and science have regressed to the Dark Ages become the head of Unesco?”
Daily News Egypt Editor Rania al-Malky wrote that a few weeks ago, and was quoted last week in the New York Times. More of the op-ed here:
The real question that few have attempted to answer was: Since when has Egypt been able to influence international opinion on any level, let alone the UN?
It seems that under the floodlit stadiums of the U-20 FIFA championship currently being hosted by Egypt whose young and vigorous team kicked off the tournament with a sweeping 4-1 win against Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday, our collective memory has blotted out our 2010 World Cup bid where we failed to secure a single vote.
For a long time, the scandal which came to be known domestically as “Sifr El Mondial” (The Mondial Zero), was used as a metaphor for all the government’s failings, whether in education, health care, fiscal policy, housing or urban development.
Despite priding itself for playing a key role in achieving Arab-Israeli peace and mediating between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, Egypt has been unable to influence the status of both protracted conflicts in any way. At best, the national administration has been able to fend off aggression against it, with the occasional loss of Egyptian soldiers following “accidental” shootings by the Israeli IDF on the border.