دروس مستفادة من قضية مصنع اجريوم






د. زاهى حواس ابن دمياط والاثرى المعروف يكتب فى صحيفة الاهرام ويكلى

عن الدروس المستفادة من قضية مصنع اجريوم
وفى المقال يؤكد أنه من دمياط وانه دوما يفتخر بأصوله الدمياطية .


31 July - 6 August 2008Issue No. 908

Dig Days: A lesson from Damietta
By Zahi Hawass
What happened in Damietta is a lesson from which all of us -- governors, government officials and every Egyptian -- can learn. As we all know, a Canadian company, E Agrium, was pursuing the construction of a fertiliser factory on the Ras Al-Barr island, and because of the controversy parliament appointed a committee to study the case. This committee decided to move this factory away from Ras Al-Barr.
First, I would like to say that I am from Damietta, and I have always been proud of my origins. When National Geographic made a film about my life and work, I took them to Ras Al-Barr and the seashore where I spent my childhood. I took them to a unique place where the red water washed through the fertile land of the Nile joined the Mediterranean Sea, the beautiful setting called Al-Lessan (The Cape).
This area has been developed by the great man and architect, and the regional governor, Mohamed Fathi El-Baradei. If you go there at sunrise or sunset, you will see a remarkable coastline that does not exist anywhere in Europe. Many famous actors, writers and politicians used to spend their summers relaxing on this magnificent seashore. After the 1973 war the shore was ruined by immigrants who turned it into a town, but El-Baradei restored it to its former glory and made it into a national park. No one could believe that the authorities would allow an industrial factory to be built on one of our treasured shores, destroying the natural beauty and fish and wildlife habitat and polluting the atmosphere. How could this happen? We must also ask ourselves why the Canadian company wished to do this. Would they have accepted this damage if it was being done in their own country? Would they destroy one own of their national parks? I think not!
This important case can teach us a lesson. First the governor, El-Baradei, stood with the people and spoke out against the government project. Normally in his position he should support government plans, but he put himself on the line and stood with the people of his district. He is a man with ethics and integrity. He felt that history would be his judge and if he did not do anything to help protect this area he would ultimately take the blame. He was not afraid of losing his position; instead he stood with courage and in a quiet way, without using an antagonistic voice, he analysed the project and concluded that the factory would ruin all his dreams to make Ras Al-Barr a protected site; a contribution from him, a gifted architect, to the people of Damietta.
The second lesson is how the people, together as one, stood against the government project. The people of Damietta did not stage violent protests or marches. They did not destroy cars or buses. To show that they opposed the project they put black flags above their houses to demonstrate that the factory would change their lives. All the political parties in Damietta, the Democratic Party and the opposition parties, as well as the members of parliament, rejected the project plan on the grounds that it would ruin the beautiful coastline. We can learn discipline and determination from the people of Damietta. President Hosni Mubarak, during his latest visit to Damietta, announced that he hoped to see all Egyptians behaving like the Damiettans.
The third lesson we can learn is that we need town planning. Our towns and villages do not have town planning like other places in the world. For example, when the city of New York was originally planned more than 200 years ago, certain restrictions were set that are still followed today. It is the duty of every governor to bring expertise and help establish plans for their towns and villages that designate specific locations for tourist and industrial activities. So, when they retire and future governors take over (even hundreds of years from now), they will have a plan to work by. We need to keep national parks safe because these natural wonders cannot be replaced. We have a vast desert that can house factories, but these factories must still follow regulations so they do not destroy our environment. We can look to the desert road in Upper Egypt to erect such industrial projects.
El-Baradei should be seen as an example of a man who has taught all of us an important lesson.
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