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Egyptian anchorwoman suspended after live row with Ethiopia envoy

Rania Badawy of the private satellite station Tahrir hung up on Ethiopia’s ambassador to Cairo during a live call-in over the contested Grand Renaissance Dam

An Egyptian broadcaster has been suspended for arguing with Ethiopia’s ambassador to Cairo during a live TV phone-in about Addis Ababa’s ongoing Nile dam project.
On Wednesday, Rania Badawy, a talk show host on the privately-owned Tahrir satellite channel, got into a heated argument with Ethiopian envoy Mahmoud Dardir over the Grand Renaissance Dam, a multi-billion hydroelectric dam that has been a source of contention between the two countries for over a year.
Egyptian broadcaster Rania Badawy
Near the end of the six-minute-long call, Badawy asked the envoy if Addis Ababa insisted on pressing forward with the dam’s construction in its current form and capacity, which Egypt fears will harm its share of the Nile’s water.
The ambassador replied: “You do not understand about dams and are talking in a bumptious tone.”
Badawy then angrily told the ambassador he had “crossed his limits” and that he should not “characterise [her] talk or speak to [her] about arrogance”. She then thanked him and abruptly ended the call, as his voice trailed off in an attempt to reply.
The head of the TV station, Mohamed Khedr, told Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website on Sunday that the move to suspend Badawy came amid his channel’s “sense of responsibility,” adding that the management was revamping the programme map ahead of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan – which should fall on 29 June.
In comments carried by state news agency MENA earlier in June, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom – on a visit to Cairo at the time – criticised local media for sending “very negative messages, sometimes systematically, that create a feeling of rejection” between the people of both nations. The senior diplomat, however, said that Addis Ababa and Cairo were looking forward to a “new era” of mutual ties.
Almost 10 days ago, the same station suspended another female broadcaster who made light of mob sexual assaults against women in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during celebrations for President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s inauguration earlier this month.
Khedr said Sunday that the suspended anchorwoman, Maha Bahnasy, would return to the airwaves after Ramadan.
Source: Ahram


  1. The Egyptian anchorwoman can only be described as an over zealous minion trying hard to get the attention of the new regime while making a “good” impression.
    By seeking to further her career in disrespecting the Ethiopian Ambassador she has only exposed the fact that there are elements within that society who would feign not to see what is taking place under their own noses while pointing people’s attention elsewhere.
    Top marks to the station for suspending her, at least somewhere the spirit of civility is still alive.
    Ms Badawy’s attitude may well be indicative of the classes who support the new regime, desperately needing a diversion in the midst of near insurgency and death sentences.
    If Egypt is really worried about loss of Nile river water it should assign it’s scientists the task of combating evaporation which loses far more water than could even be envisaged being lost from the dam’s construction.
    At the same time if Egypt were not just seeking a convenient diversion from the internal politic, then they would also be breathing down Sudan’s neck for supplying Saudi Arabia with the same Nile water they want to make war with Ethiopia over.
    I am still of the firm belief that despite America turning back on the finances, the monies that Egypt expects to receive from China is far greater, and
    that China should use it’s social – economic muscle to impress upon Egypt the need to settle this matter in a peaceful way, and
    make it abundantly clear to Egypt that they are not going to fund Egypt so that Egypt can then proceed in attacking Ethiopia which will entail the destruction of Chinese investments in Ethiopia and possibly other downstream Nile countries where they have invested.
    This point need to be brought home to the Egyptians and
    Ethiopia needs to make sure that China is fully aware of what is at stake.

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