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Reception of US Congressman Darrell Issa in Cairo Nov. 2001

In November 2001, it was my pleasure to be in the reception of US congressman Darrell Issa in Cairo. Issa is one of few American congressmen from an Arab origin (Lebanese).

My pleasure did not last long when he gave his speech stating that “September 11 attack on America would not have happened if the US administration followed the method of the Egyptian government dealing with suspect terrorists.” That method he mentioned was known and documented to aggressively violate human rights of suspects including fatal torture. It has been often  criticized by local and international human rights organizations. Even after discussing his statement with him later, I was not sure if he really meant what he said or was just complementing the few Egyptian ministers attending the reception and has gone too far. Whatever the reason that was behind his harsh statement, it was disappointing for me and bad enough not to be in his farewell.  The photo was taken before his speech.

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