Filed under: News
Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Brahim, who owns Cairo’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, has decided to ban alcoholic drinks at his hotel. The hotel’s staff spent an entire day pouring millions of dollars down the drain. This stricter brand of Saudi Islam has stirred up all sorts of debate, according to this BBC article:
- The parent company warned that this may drive away foreign tourists visiting Egypt.
- They also warn that the hotel could lose its five-star rating.
- Egyptian columnist Suleiman Gouda (no relation to the cheese) suggested that the Sheikh play by the rules of international business or sell his hotel to someone who will.
- Others say that when in Rome do as the Romans, so foreigners should just not imbibe when in Cairo.
- Which, on the flipside, still others say that if a Muslim can get Halal meals on flights, then a foreigner should be able to practice their own culture while in Egypt.
- There are also the people who are annoyed that the Saudis keep making up rules for Egypt.
Writer Ezzat Al Qamhawy deserves the last word. The novelist is also editor of the weekly cultural magazine Akhbar Al Adab (read it here if you know Arabic). Here’s his take on the whole deal:
[It imposes] Islam on tourists who are not Muslims, and compulsory drunkenness on the Muslim fish of the River Nile.
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