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AL-MASRY AL-YOUM (Egypt)

Worldcrunch

A month after he was elected president, Mohamed Morsi has surprised many by naming Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Hesham Mohamed Qandil as prime minister. More than praise or criticism, the general reaction was "Who is he?", reports Al-Masry Al-Youm,

According to the Cairo newspaper, Qandil is an unassuming, innocuous figure, whose appointment has baffled the entire political spectrum.

Fifty-year-old Qandil graduated from Cairo University and went on to earn a PhD from the University of North Carolina. He has held several posts and has made a name for himself as an intelligent, hardworking public official. But his appointment on Tuesday was met with more than a few objections.

"I am just bewildered that at this point in our history, Morsi chooses someone with such little experience working in government and who is unable to deal with the plethora of problems on the table already that will also be thrown at him," Cairo University political science professor Mostafa Kamal al-Sayed told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

"Morsi followed the same criteria as toppled President Hosni Mubarak in choosing a low-profile prime minister who will be obedient to him," said Basel Adel, a former MP from the Free Egyptians Party. "He will just be a secretary for Morsi."

"Although Qandil is not an official member of the Brotherhood, he has Islamist orientations, evident from his beard," Adel said.

Capital Economics, a London-based financial consultancy, sent a notice to its clients warning them of political instability: "The surprising appointment of Qandil as Egypt's new prime minister is unlikely to calm nerves in the financial markets. For a start, he lacks the economic credentials that some were hoping for. ... Investors were hoping that the new prime minister would come from an economic background so that much-needed reforms are implemented and the economy can be put back on track."


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Society

When Friends "Break Up" — The Psychological Damage After Friendships End

Society sees friendships as far less important than love and life partnerships. But psychologists warn that the end of a close friendship can leave the "grieving" side in need of therapy.

The end of friendships can lead to heartbreak and grief like with any other relationship.

Paula Galinsky

BUENOS AIRES — It was Wednesday and Sofía, a 31-year-old woman living in Buenos Aires, was having a good day. She'd had a productive work meeting in the morning and her usual gym class in the afternoon. But as she walked home listening to music in her earphones, she felt an acute pain, first in her chest, then throat.

It wasn't a heart attack, but she panicked and began to cry. What prompted the reaction, she realized later, was the music she had just heard: a song that brought back teenage memories of a former friend. Sofía told her therapist the next day that the end of the friendship had upset her greatly, and until that moment had suppressed the grief.

The friend hadn't died, there had been no fight or exchange of ugly words, but the two had drifted apart, irreversibly, Sofía felt. None of this, she told the psychologist, made it any less troubling or hurtful.

The song that had triggered her anxiety was 11 y 6 by Argentine Fito Páez. It took Sofía back to her 16th birthday, which she spent with her friend. That girl "was" her teenage years, she explained and without her "a big part of what we lived together now is gone."

The end of a strong friendship causes bona fide grief, even if it is often ignored. More and more specialists believe that it needs to be processed, and perhaps treated, like one would the end of a love affair or partnership.

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