Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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Regional Voices: Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Israel and Turkey

by Robert M. Danin
March 3, 2013

An Egyptian woman holds her son during a demonstration at Tahrir square in Cairo (Salem/Courtesy Reuters).


“Friday has become a day of self-imposed imprisonment.” – Riham Ibrahim, Egyptian housewife

“Presenting money and weapons to al Qaeda (in Syria) by Qatar and Turkey is a declaration of armed action against Iraq…The weapons will reach Iraqi chests for sure.” – Iraqi transport minister Hadi al-Amiri

“Morsi’s decision to go for parliamentary elections amidst severe societal polarization and eroding state authority is a recipe for disaster.” –Mohammed ElBaradei, the leader of Egypt’s Constitution Party

“I tell them that if our kebabs were 100 percent meat and our rice was Iranian, I’d have to triple my prices…And if they keep complaining, I just blame it on sanctions.” –Hesham, an Iranian restaurant owner about complaints from his customers

“Even with all the discounts on offer, few people come and we have to close the shop early.” –Ahmed al-Sherif, owner of a clothing store near Cairo’s Tahrir Square

“This is an Israeli interest…It’s not a favor to the Palestinians, it’s not a favor to the Arab world, and it’s not a favor to the president of the United States…There is no status quo…Stagnation and stalemate means deterioration; this is something we cannot afford.” –Tzipi Livni, speaking about the need for a Palestinian state upon agreeing to join Prime Minister Netanyahu’s next coalition government

“It is the first time to feel we are living in a war condition…Today I saw what was happening in Baghdad in my city, Damascus. This is not the Damascus I know.” –30-year-old Anas, a Damascene whose home is right behind Assad’s Baath party headquarters

“There could never be disagreement between the Armed Forces and the presidency, because the president and the Armed Forces are not two factions, they are one, and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is extremely professional.” –Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in an interview with state TV

“Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.” –Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking at the “Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum” in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace

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