30 Years After Camp David, Israel Still Does Not Appear On Egyptian Maps
Nearly thirty years after the Camp David 'peace treaty' between Egypt and Israel was signed, Israel does not exist on any maps sold in Egypt. To Egyptians, Israel is just a 'painful reality.' But only a virtual one.
Breaking ranks with other Arab nations, Egypt was the first to recognise the state of Israel, followed by Jordan and Mauritania. The other 18 member states of the Arab League do not officially recognise Israel.
Maps of the region sold in Egypt are often produced in other countries such as Syria or Lebanon."No, there are no maps with the name Israel. We follow the rest of the Arab world in this, peace treaty or not," snapped Ibrahim Mahmud, who works in a bookshop in downtown Fagalla Street.
But this isn't just about maps.
A widespread boycott of "normalisation" with Israel means there are no Israeli books in libraries and no Israeli films shown on Egyptian screens for fear of lodging Israel into people's consciousness, some observers say.
"It's a type of schizophrenia, a regrettable denial of reality," said Emad Gad, a researcher at the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, who edits a monthly publication of Arabic translations of Israeli texts.
"A cold peace does exist. At the top of the social ladder there is dialogue and business, but at the bottom there is a void," Gad told AFP.