Farah Koubaissy

Women were braver than a hundred men

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Resistance to the neoliberal policies of the Egyptian government has led to a strike wave involving thousands of workers. Anne Alexander describes how women have played a key role in the struggle and Farah Koubaissy visits a tobacco factory where one woman, Hagga Aisha, has led the strikes.

"Egypt: open for business" runs a headline on the Egyptian government's investment website. World Bank officials appear to agree. Last October they named Egypt "Top Performer in Doing Business 2008". Economic growth is strong, averaging 7 percent per year over the past three years. At the urging of the International Monetary Fund, the government began a privatisation programme in 1991 which has led to the sell-off of hundreds of state-run firms, while cuts in corporation taxes have made life easier and more profitable for both foreign and domestic investors.

Letter from Lebanon

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On 14 April this year Lebanese campaigners launched the people's tribunal to investigate the disappearances and massacres committed during Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war.

The tribunal is set to coincide with one launched by the United Nations into the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Campaigners are demanding that the deaths of all Lebanese and Palestinians be investigated, not just that of a billionaire politician.

Farah Koubaissy is one of the organisers. She writes from Lebanon on the long running campaign for justice.

On 14 April this year we launched the people's tribunal under the slogan "Yes to the annulment of the amnesty law - Justice for the Victims".

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