tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Historic" Egypt appoints first woman mayor

With that most overused and underwhelming of clichés, al-Arabiya reported that Eva Habil Kerolos has "made history" by becoming the first woman mayor in Egypt.

Ms. Kerolos, a Coptic Christian, was appointed mayor of the village of Kambuha, located along the Nile in central Egypt near the city of Asyut. Her father was once mayor, too - for 40 years.

A member of Egypt's ruling al-Watani party and long an advocate of women's issues, especially literacy, she has pledged to improve her village's infrastructure and the environment of the countryside.

It's a historic moment for Egypt, but Ms. Kerolos is not the first female executive in the modern Arab Middle East. Palestine has two. Fathiya Barghouti Rheime was the first woman mayor of a Palestinian municipality, chosen mayor of the village of Beit Rima in January 2005. Her win helped pave the way for Janet Mikhail, elected mayor of Ramallah later that same year. Ms. Mikhail is the first woman mayor of a major city in the Middle East. Lebanon has three woman mayors, and Jordan one.

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