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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Algeria beats Egypt, and Algerians beat Egyptians

The rivalry between the Egyptian and Algerian soccer teams, which caused so much violence last week, is over for this year, as Algeria prevailed in a tiebreaker in Khartoum, 1-0:
Silence and despair loomed over Egypt Wednesday night as the national football team lost their tiebreaker against Algeria in Sudan in a bid to secure a qualification ticket to the World Cup in South Africa next summer.

Algerian defender, Antar Yahia scored the game’s only goal in the 40th minute, clinching a spot for his team after a 24-year absence from the world football stage.

And the Algerians celebrated in typical fashion:
Violence broke out in Khartoum following the World Cup qualifier between Egypt and Algeria as Algerian fans attacked a bus carrying Egyptians, according to news and television reports.

The injured mainly suffered from bruises in the face, arms and chest, with a couple suspected to have a fractured foot and thigh. Nine of them were transferred to Nasser Institute and Heliopolis and Al Safa hospitals. The remaining 11 received first aid in the airport and were immediately released, according to the news report.

Algerian fans attacked a bus carrying Egyptian journalists, actors and singers, breaking its windows and leaving some injured after the match, singer Mohamed Fouad told Orbit satellite TV show “Al-Qahera Al-Youm” over the phone.

To put this violence in a wider perspective, check out the second panel in this comic strip from that same Egyptian newspaper:

The last panel indicates another truth: as much as Arabs hate each other, they hate everyone else worse.

That is, pretty much, the definition of Arab unity.

(By the way, the Al Khan comic strip noted above is very good.)