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Egyptian Daily “Justifies” Fake Photo of Obama behind Mubarak
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18/09/2010 After the scandalous reactions worldwide, Egypt’s oldest newspaper Al-Ahram sough on Saturday to “justify” its decision to publish a doctored photograph that appeared to put president Hosni Mubarak at the forefront of key figures at the Middle East peace talks recently held in Washington.
 
The original photo showed US president Barack Obama walking in the lead on a red carpet, with Israel's prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II slightly behind. But Al-Ahram altered the image in its Tuesday edition to show Mubarak in the lead, with Obama slightly behind him to his right, then placed it over a broadsheet article titled “the Road to Sharm El Sheikh,” referring to the Egyptian Red Sea resort that hosted the second round of negotiations.
 
Egyptian bloggers and activists said the photo was unprofessional and called it an example of the regime's deception of its own people. Critics also said the photo was an attempt to distract attention from the fact that Egypt's role in the Mideast peace process has waned.
 
The newspaper's editor-in chief, Osama Saraya, lashed out at critics in an editorial Friday, claiming that the original photo was published the day the talks began and the doctored version was only meant to illustrate Egypt's leading role in the Mideast peace process, not to change the story.
 
“The expressionist photo is … a brief, live and true expression of the prominent stance of President Mubarak in the Palestinian issue, his unique role in leading it before Washington or any other,” Saraya wrote.
 
Hisham Kassem, a publisher and human rights activist, said those who posted the image had apparently meant to please the president; a practice he said was reminiscent of old Soviet ways. "It has done more harm," Kassem said.

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Egyptian Daily “Justifies” Fake Photo of Obama behind Mubarak 18/09/2010 23:07:00
Hamed Al-Harthy  |  Oman
Rather than blaming the Egyptian dictator, blame the hypocrites. The least level of Iman is to keep quiet.
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