A recent meeting between TBE’s editorial staff and outside consultants concluded that TBE needs more gimmicks to attract a wider readership in today’s crowded media marketplace. To that end, TBE is today introducing a new feature, TBE for Translations (تي بي يي للترجمات), which will translate an article from Arabic to English most days, selected by our editors at their daily editorial meeting, which occurs at the newspaper stand diagonally across from the Boursa’s main entrance, for those interested in attending.
TBE is both excited and a bit saddened by this new feature. Excited because Egypt’s politics is once again becoming interesting, with parliament expected to be dissolved any day now and early elections called, and rumors that the presidential election will be moved forward from 2011 to 2010 with the goal of implementing long-expected changes in top government personnel. Saddened because you, the reader, may think less of our editorial standards based on the quality of our translations, and because TBE was launched with the goal of eschewing politics. This latter stance has become harder and harder to maintain, however, because our editor-in-chief has approximately three interests (hip hop, politics, and Arabic/the Arab world, if you must know) and removing one of them from TBE’s consideration has become untenable.
Today’s article, about ‘Amr Khaled’s exile to the UK, appeared on page 1 of al-Shourouk’s June 29, 2009 edition. For those unfamiliar with Khaled, here’s an old article about him from the NYT Sunday Magazine.
Reasons for ‘Amr Khaled’s Leaving Egypt
Personalities requested that he join the policies committee and attack the Brotherhood
Informed sources revealed to al-Shourouk the real reasons behind preacher ‘Amr Khaled’s leaving Egypt, a matter that has aroused significant debate in the recent past.
The sources mentioned that the true reason for the preacher’s leaving was a request by influential personalities in the National Democratic Party that he join the party’s policies committee in the coming period and that he participate in attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood in his [television] programs knowing that he calls for a moderate and civilized Islam, which is what the Brotherhood says that it calls for.
The sources said that Khaled refused to attack anyone in his series, pointing out that he carries a peaceful message and wants to communicate to the youth a public religious revival and does not want to enter into a battle with any side because that will be harmful to the to the call he wants to transmit.
The sources placed the request that influential personalities conveyed to Khaled with regards to joining the policies committee under the framework of preparation for the coming presidential elections, since Khaled enjoys huge popularity among the youth. Therefore his joining would have a big effect in increasing the popularity of the NDP candidate in the presidential elections.
For his part Khaled, in a telephone interview from London, refused to comment on this information, saying that he lives a calm life in London and he is through with what happened in the recent past, reinforcing that he does not want anything from Egypt and all that he hopes is to teach society that he carries a message of renewing the umma and its youth and he wants to complete his task in this domain, but, he said, “There are personalities in Egypt that don’t want to hear ‘Amr Khaled’s voice.”