US embassy cable - 93ALEXANDRIA373

ALEXANDRIA: IMPROVING THE NEIGHBORHOODS AND (BY) MOVING OUT THE FUNDAMENTALISTS

Identifier: 93ALEXANDRIA373
Wikileaks: View 93ALEXANDRIA373 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Alexandria
Created: 1993-05-17 07:22:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV KISL EG
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 170722Z MAY 93
FM AMCONSUL ALEXANDRIA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0459
INFO AMEMBASSY CAIRO
SECDEF WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L ALEXANDRIA 000373 
 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL:OADR 
TAGS:  PGOV, KISL, EG 
SUBJECT: ALEXANDRIA: IMPROVING THE NEIGHBORHOODS 
         AND (BY) MOVING OUT THE FUNDAMENTALISTS 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY: THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IS UNDERTAKING 
A MAJOR PROGRAM TO IMPROVE HOUSING AND GENERAL LIVING 
CONDITIONS IN MANY OF ITS POORER NEIGHBORHOODS.  ONE 
PROGRAM ELEMENT, INVOLVING THE RELOCATION OF 
NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS, IS IN PART INTENDED TO ROOT 
OUT AND ISOLATE EXTREMISTS AND THEIR FUNDAMENTALIST 
SYMPATHIZERS.  GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SURVEYING 
NEIGHBORHOODS AND PREPARING LOCAL IMPROVEMENT PLANS 
ALSO SEEK TO IDENTIFY FUNDAMENTALIST TROUBLEMAKERS, 
WHO ARE THEN RELOCATED TO AREAS AWAY FROM THEIR 
LIKE-MINDED FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (U) THE OFFICIAL PRESS MAY 10 REPORTED THAT THE 
CITY OF ALEXANDRIA WAS ENGAGED IN A 186 MILLION L.E. 
(ABOUT USD 55 MILLION) PROGRAM OF NEIGHBORHOOD 
IMPROVEMENTS.  TARGETTED AT FIFTY-SIX POOR 
NEIGHBORHOODS IN THE CITY, THE PROGRAM IS INTENDED TO 
IMPROVE HOUSING, ROADS, SEWAGE FACILITIES AND WATER 
SUPPLIES. 
 
3. (LOU) A LOCAL COUNCIL MEMBER AND A DISTRICT MAYOR 
WHOM WE SPOKE WITH SEPARATELY WERE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT 
THE PROGRAM.  BOTH EMPHASIZED THE CARE WHICH THE 
GOVERNMENT WAS TAKING TO ADDRESS THE SPECIFIC NEEDS 
OF EACH NEIGHBORHOOD.  THEY CLAIMED THAT SOCIAL 
WORKERS HAD BEEN CHARGED WITH VISITING THE 
NEIGHBORHOODS TO SURVEY THE NEEDS OF LOCAL RESIDENTS 
AND THEN HELP PLAN A SUITABLE PROGRAM.  IN AREAS 
WHERE HOUSING IS COMPLETELY UNSUITABLE, RESIDENTS 
WILL BE PREMANENTLY RELOCATED TO HOUSING ELSEWHERE, 
SUCH AS IN THE NOW-LARGELY INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT OF 
AMREYA, NEAR THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE CITY.  WHERE 
HOUSING IS NOT SO BAD, OR WHERE ROAD, SEWER, AND 
OTHER IMPROVEMENTS HAVE TO BE MADE, RESIDENTS MIGHT 
BE RELOCATED FOR A SHORT TIME TO TEMPORARY FACILITIES. 
 
4. (LOU) OUR CONTACTS STRESSED THE ATTENTION WHICH IS 
BEING PAID TO THE NEEDS OF NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS. 
FOR EXAMPLE, IF SOCIAL WORKERS DETERMINE THAT 
RESIDENTS TO BE RELOCATED INCLUDE LARGE NUMBERS OF 
CHILDREN, SCHOOLS WILL BE BUILT IN THE NEW HOUSING 
AREAS.  ALSO, IF LARGE NUMBERS OF WORKERS ARE 
DISPLACED FROM CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THEIR JOBS BY THE 
RELOCATION, ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN TO IMPROVING 
TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES. 
 
5. (LOU) BOTH OFFICIALS DISCOUNTED THE POSSIBILITY 
THAT NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS WOULD BE RELUCTANT TO 
LEAVE THEIR HOMES.  FIRST OF ALL, THE RESIDENTS ARE 
BEING MOVED TO MUCH-IMPROVED HOUSING.  SECONDLY, OUR 
CONTACTS CLAIMED, MOST OF THE RESIDENTS OF THE 
TARGETTED NEIGHBORHOODS ARE MIGRANTS FROM OUTSIDE OF 
THE CITY.  THEY HAVE LITTLE LONG-TERM ATTACHMENT TO 
THEIR COMMUNITIES. 
 
6. (C) OUR CONTACTS BOTH VOLUNTEERED THAT THERE IS A 
SECURITY ASPECT TO THIS NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT 
PROGRAM.  THOSE WHO ARE CHARGED WITH SURVEYING THE 
NEIGHBORHOODS ARE ALSO IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL 
TROUBLEMAKERS, SUCH AS FUNDAMENTALISTS, WHO ARE OF 
CONCERN TO SECURITY OFFICIALS.  THOSE RESIDENTS WHO 
ARE OF CONCERN WILL BE RELOCATED TO AREAS AWAY FROM 
LIKE-MINDED NEIGHBORS OR TROUBLEMAKERS FROM OTHER 
NEIGHBORHOODS. 
 
7. (C) COMMENT:  ALEXANDRIAS AMBITIOUS IMPROVEMENT 
PROGRAM IS UNDOUBTEDLY PART OF A NATIONAL EFFORT TO 
TARGET SOME SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CAUSES OF 
FUNDAMENTALIST EXTREMISM.  THOSE OFFICIALS WITH WHOM 
WE SPOKE, WHO HAVE IN THE PAST HAVE SHOWN A KEEN 
SENSE AND CONCERN FOR THEIR CONSTITUENTS NEEDS, SEEM 
GENUINELY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT IT; THE DISTRICT MAYOR 
SAID HE HOPED TO SEE REAL PROGRESS IN SIX MONTHS TO A 
YEAR.  IT IS INTERESTING THAT OUR CONTACTS FREELY 
DISCUSSED THE SECURITY ASPECTS OF THE ALEXANDRIA 
PROGRAM, ACKNOWLEDGING THE NEED TO ROOT OUT AND 
ISOLATE EXTREMISTS WHILE ELIMINATING THE REASONS FOR 
AND SOURCES OF THEIR LOCAL SUPPORT.  END COMMENT. 
 
FISHBEIN 

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