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Last Updated: Monday, 5 September 2005, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Arab press sympathy over Katrina

Newspapers in the Arab world call for compassion following the havoc caused in the US by Hurricane Katrina.

Commentators say political differences must be put aside, and the whole world should unite in the face of human suffering.

Some, however, argue that the US is partly to blame for the disaster, pointing to the superpower's role in climate change.

Muhammad al-Quwayz in Saudi al-Riyadh

No one denies that the US has killed thousands of people and destroyed countries in our Islamic, African and Asian world... It has opposed every proposal to serve the poor and the sick, or impoverished countries, maybe because it has never gone through such a situation itself before. However, the US's repeated aggression and oppression against our Islamic countries should not make us look at the Katrina tragedy with partiality. It is a catastrophe in every sense of the word. It calls for co-operation, not revenge.

Editorial in Egypt's al-Ahram

The destruction brought about by the dreadful Hurricane Katrina confirms that human beings, even the most powerful ones on earth, cannot prevent the powerful agitation of nature, whose force cannot be compared with human strength. The reality is that human suffering in this disaster requires solidarity from the whole world.

Ahmad Dahbur in Palestinian al-Hayat al-Jadidah

Does nature's great power to wreak havoc on the human race exempt humans from responsibility? We have been messing around with nature... We sympathise with the American people in its predicament.

Editorial in London-based al-Arab al-Alamiyah

Hurricane Katrina... is not God's fury taking revenge the US for its crimes, as believed by many Arabs and Muslims. But, it is part of a series of climatic changes which the US has contributed to in various parts of the world.

Editorial in Saudi al-Jazirah

The voices of the black American leaders were raised after the hurricane managed to generate a political storm that shook the reality of Bush's government... US officials are now saying that they need about 80 days to restore the situation in New Orleans to normal, however they may need more than decades to fix the souls that have been damaged by the hurricane.

Editorial in Lebanon's al-Safir

The US was not able to prevent the harsh anger of nature, however, it could have hidden the scandal and covered up the horrendous images which the whole world is seeing today. Thousands died as a result of neglect and hesitation... The images were actually very touching - and harmful to the image of US.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.




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