Monday, August 23, 2010

Hany Helal and Hany Elnazer

The reader and Al-Doha translator who thinks El Naschie is a douche provides this in a comment, but it is a great story in its own right and needs to be a post, so here it is. I should mention that the spellings "Hany" and "Hani" both appear commonly in Google searches, there being some arbitrariness in spelling Arabic names using the Roman alphabet. I have used both spellings myself and am too lazy to make this blog consistent. Similarly, "Elnazer" is sometimes "El Nazer".

The confusion over "Helal" was my mistake in an old comment so let me correct it. Hany Helal was and still is the minister for higher education and scientific research. The other guy was Hany Elnazer, the ex-head of the National Center for Scientific Research. The struggle between them was known at the time as "A Tale of two Hany's". Hany Helal the minister presides over the state prizes in science through the National Academy for Sciences. Hany Elnazer, who was quite the media star, was nominated for the prize and the majority of the committee voted for him. On the day of the announcement when the whole Academy takes a second vote (usually a formality since they take the recommendation of the committee that deliberates on the nominations), an odd thing happened. Both Hany Elnazer and Hany Helal are members of the Academy because of their adminstrative roles. Hany Elnazer stepped outside before the vote on his prize and went to the podium of the press conference awaiting everyone coming out with the announcement. To everyone's shock, the minister Hany Helal came out saying that the prize would be cancelled this year! Hany Elnazer was fuming and started a media campaign against Hany Helal, including an interview on Elbeet Beetek with our old buddy Khairy Ramadan who was completely sympathetic with Hany Elnazer against Hany Helal. Subsequently, Hany Helal made an appearance on the show explaining that the 'candidate' (without naming Hany Elnazer) had not published a single paper in years and that he had an H-index of ZERO, making him unsuitable for a top state science prize. He wasn't clear how this came up AFTER the committee had decided upon him, and he just said that it was something that was making the head of the National Academy uncomfortable. You can see how the douche can flourish in a country like Egypt where the members of the National Science Academy think that a zero H-index isn't enough to derail a nomination for a top state prize in science.

Since then, Hany Elnazer has retired and has entered politics full-time working with the ruling party (he is a member of the infamous Political Committee of the National Democratic Party [which El Naschie loves --Jason], a committee headed by the President's son no less), while Hany Helal against all odds, modulo the famous incident with Mohammed El-Saadany, is still the minister. Mohammed El-Saadany tried to muddy the waters saying that Hany Helal was behind thwarting the douche's plans for a scientific revival, only for Helal to appear in the famous kiss with the douche during his cancer 'award' ceremony, and the douche suddenly remembering in one of his idiotic Rosa Al-Youssef columns that he actually befriended the young Helal in London decades ago. And the circus goes on...

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1 comment:

  1. A tale of two Hanys, it is interesting and it remembers me with A tale of two cities by Charles Dickens.

    The great man had also
    A tale of two Kleins unified in strings and E-in finity theory
    Chaos,Solitons and Fractals 26 (2005)247 –254