كتب : هاني عسل | الأحد، 11 يونيو 2006 - 15:08

Suck it Up!

It's our right to be mad about the Arab Radio and Television (ART) network's monopoly over the rights to the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany, but it's not our right to object!

What ART did is a pure right in this era of globalization which is based on the theory of capitalism and is sponsored and encouraged by "liberal and democratic" states.

The Saudi company has earned the right to be the sole broadcaster of the World Cup finals in the North Africa and Middle East region, fair and square. It's an economically and religiously legitimate act.

And contrary to popular belief, most of the European leagues and competitions are sold to broadcasting companies at home and across the "old continent" like Canal Plus, Premiere and Sky Sports that pay to air this service.

My purpose here is not to defend ART, because I am one of millions of Egyptians who want to sit down and watch the World Cup in the comfort of their living rooms.

And I feel sorry for the deprived Egyptian people who can't afford paying for the decoders or even for some of life's basic necessities, let alone to sit in a coffee shop and pay the "minimum charge" set by subscribed owners who show the matches on ART.

These simple people, who wait four years for a single event to take their mind of their daily hardships, held on to the last straw, that the Egyptian government could reach an agreement to broadcast the matches on local channels.

But ART refused to negotiate, which is also their legitimate right under the theory of "personal wealth".

Regardless, the Egyptian government, or any other government for that matter, is not responsible for providing entertainment for its population in the form of World Cup matches or other.

It's true that Egyptians adore football, but so do many other people across the globe, which doesn't mean that we should be exempted from paying to watch the World Cup just like other human beings in other countries that may be even poorer than Egypt.

Some people used the religious argument that says that "monopolies are prohibited in Islam".

But in fact, such a statement is not true, or to be more exact, not put into context!

Islam prohibits creating a monopoly on basic necessities that could lead to the death or suffering of human beings, which obviously does not apply on the World Cup matches or any other sporting event!

The conclusion is…Get over it! Life will go on and people who can afford to watch will do so, whether it's by subscribing or by watching in a coffee shop or even by paying someone to "hook you up" illegally!

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