Monday, September 8, 2008

A tale of money, murder and spin

A glamorous singer's death has exposed the clumsy media manipulation Egypt's government relies on to control its people

Jack Shenker, Sunday September 07 2008

"The story's ingredients were a tabloid editors' wet dream, and the plot seemed to have been lifted straight out of one of the lurid soap operas that glue Egyptians to their TV sets every Ramadan. The sultry young pop star with a troubled past, the real-estate mogul with close links to the president, and a gruesome murder in a Dubai apartment – this was a drama of glamour, money and betrayal played out by synthetic people in a synthetic world, a million miles away from the lives of ordinary Egyptians.

But the brutal killing of Lebanese diva Suzanne Tamim and the subsequent arrest of Egyptian property tycoon Hisham Talaat Moustafa on murder charges was very real, and shockwaves are already being felt in the corridors of power. Moustafa is a high-ranking government insider, a member of the ruling National Democratic party's "supreme policies council" and a personal friend of President Hosni Mubarak, whose regime has become notorious for its close links with rich businessmen......"

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