Refuting the View of Dr. Farooq Al-Baz Regarding Tiran and ‎Sanafir Is:
Refuting the View of Dr. Farooq Al-Baz Regarding Tiran and ‎Sanafir Is

عثمان محمد علي في الأحد 11 يونيو 2017

Refuting the View of Dr. Farooq Al-Baz Regarding Tiran and Sanafir Islands



Published in June 10, 2017

Written by: Dr. Othman Ali

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy



 All of us are aware of the details of the conflict between the Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, and many Egyptian citizens, as the former with his retinue members insist on giving them to Al-Saud royal family members who donate lots of money to the current Egyptian regime, while the latter insist that the two islands are Egyptian land, and never  part of the Saudi land. The Egyptian courts issued a verdict months ago that both Tiran and Sanafir Islands are Egyptian lands and the agreement to cede them to the KSA has been annulled by the court, and yet, the Egyptian President insists on sending the annulled borders demarcation agreement, signed by him without any Egyptians knowing of it, to the Egyptian Parliament so that its members who are loyal to the president would pass a law as soon as possible to allow the KSA to have the two islands, as per the promises made to king Salman in the latest conference held in Riyadh! This is why all obsequious media figures in Egypt are now mobilized to convince Egyptians of the KSA 'right' to retrieve both islands, as those hypocrites in the media are eager to please the Egyptian regime and to get money gifts of SR! Indeed, all Egyptian media are stopped from ever publishing or talking about any views regarding the fact that the two islands are Egyptian land. Such decision to ban any opposite views from Egyptian media has driven one editor-in-chief, two days ago, to go on a strike and never to leave his office as his articles that expressed different view on the subject were prevented from being published in his newspaper. It is a sad fact that Dr. Farooq Al-Baz (un)intentionally supports the view propagated by Al-Sisi regime; I cannot tell if Dr. Al-Baz has expressed his view on his own accord or driven to do so upon orders from Al-Sisi regime; in fact, Dr. Al-Baz has sent a detailed memo to the Egyptian Parliament to explain that the two islands are Saudi lands based on the 'scientific evidence'; as he claims that "the geological formation of rocks in the depth of the Red Sea matches the formation within the Saudi side of this area, and they move slowly toward the East, and consequently, the two islands are Saudi land"(!).

Let me contradict this erroneous view based on simple, plain facts:

* I will not discuss intentions of Dr. Al-Baz, as one's intentions are known only to God; let me refute his geological hypothesis regarding demarcation of borders.

* At first, let the two islands remain Egyptian until they move slowly but steadily for millions of years toward the Saudi coast of the Red Sea!

* I tend to think that the view of Dr. Al-Baz is utterly wrong in demarcation of borders between Egypt and the KSA for two main reasons.

Firstly: Dr. Al-Baz has authored in 1979 a book about Egypt's geography and geology as well as its natural and marine resources, while dedicating this book to the late president Sadat; this book contains paragraphs about the Egyptian two islands Tiran and Sanafir; in fact, this book has been among the written documents and evidence offered to the Egyptian court that issued a verdict against Al-Sisi regime and in favor of the view that the two islands are in fact Egyptian lands.

Secondly: It is unprecedented that any marine or land borders are defined or demarcated as per geological features; borders are made based on historical and geographical elements and based on who resided where for the first time. Otherwise, if the logic of Dr. Al-Baz were OK, why would not Egypt cede Arish and the Egyptian Rafah city to Palestine based on geological features?! Why would not Egypt cede Sinai (the Asian part of Egypt with Bedouins whose lifestyle and customs similar to that of the Palestinians and not Egyptians in the Lower or Upper Egypt!) since the rest of Egypt is African lands?! Why would not Egypt, then cede Marsa Matrouh Governorate to Libya since its geology is similar to Libyan lands and its Bedouins are similar to Libyans?! Why would not Egypt then cede Halayeb Triangle to Sudan since they share geological features and customs and traditions of both people in it and the Sudanese? Or the exact opposite, why do not Egypt occupy Gaza and the Palestinian Rafah city as well as north of Sudan and east of Libya to annex them to Egyptian lands since they share similar geological features?!

* Dr. Al-Baz has forgotten that all European borders are merely like streets or traffic lights; there are even houses on these borders whose half lies in one country and the other half lies on another country, and they share of course all geological features and types of rocks; yet, the borders are respected and agreed among the EU and no country ceded any lands to another country there for geological reasons!

* Dr. Al-Baz has forgotten that Alaska is an American state, bought from Russia in return for $ 10 million though geographically, it should have been part of Canada; in fact, Alaska is separated from the USA by the Canadian state British Columbia (nearly 2 million km2). Thus, geological ad geographical facts have nothing to do with this; likewise, Toronto (the most important city in Canada) lies geographically in the depth of New York state; yet, the USA never claimed that Toronto is part of the its land. Another example is in Africa; the kingdom of Lesotho is actually inside South Africa like an island, and yet South Africa never claimed to have the right to occupy Lesotho at all as part of its land for geological and geographical reasons.

*Dr. Al-Baz has forgotten that until 1932, there was no such a thing as the KSA on World Map; the Arabian peninsula had merely moving tribes and not one entity of a state, while the Hejaz region was controlled by Egypt. Thus, the two islands were never Saudi lands; they have remained for centuries Egyptian lands.

* Some people might suggest that Egypt and the KSA must resort to international arbitration; I personally agree with that; if it turns out that the two islands are Saudi lands (by providing historical foolproof evidence, not by testimony of obsequious bribed Egyptian media men!), so be it, and if found out as Egyptian lands, let Al-Sisi regime (the president and his cronies, retinue, government, and parliament members) be tried in court for high treason.

* Finally, as an Egyptian citizen, I used to respect Dr. Al-Baz for his erudite knowledge, but now, I feel he has sold his dignity to serve the Egyptian regime instead of supporting the rights of Egyptians to protect their lands; this grave error of his ill certainly make him lose his stature, love, and respect he used to enjoy within the Egyptian citizens. The issue of the two Red Sea islands is never a matter of different viewpoints; rather, it is an issue of dignity and respect for all Egyptian citizens and their beloved country, Egypt, whose lands, borders, property, and security are of vital importance to the future generations.                       


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