'New' Seven Wonders competition sparks global controversy
So, the new seven wonders have been unveiled. Two are in the Arab world. But as Wassim points out, none of them were built by Arabs. They just happen to be on the land we live on.
I mentioned a couple of days ago how Egypt's President-King Hosni Mubarak fought a campaign to get the Pyramids on to the list without a vote. They said that their place on the original seven wonders list gave them a right to be part of the new list. "Let people vote, but we want a guaranteed win," - we've heard that call coming from Mubarak before haven't we.
And then there is the voting method: you can vote online and by phone - as many times as you want. Monuments in India and China won - no surprise that they have the highest number of internet users in the world.
And if you pay US$32, you get a second chance to vote. Why?
The Vatican was also apparently worried that the poll was anti-Christian, for some reason.
And in the UK - according to the LA Times: "Apathy and disdain apparently doomed Stonehenge, Britain's prehistoric collection of circularly arranged megaliths. "The polling arrangements" in the contest "are so flawed that they make even Eurovision Song Contest judges look objective," sniffed London's Independent newspaper.
And in Rome, the campaign never caught fire. Calls last week to both the city government and the Culture Ministry could find no one who had even heard of the competition."