The caption reads: "Egypt, led by President Mubarak, hosts a fresh round of direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis".

At first glance, it looks like an ordinary red carpet photo of yet another diplomatic meeting. So why are bloggers in the Arab world calling it a "disgrace"?  

The photo was published on Tuesday, September 14 on the front page of the Egyptian daily "Al Ahram". In the foreground is Egyptian president Hosni Moubarak followed by his American counterpart, Barack Obama, King Abdallah II of Jordan, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and in last position, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The photograph was taken just before the five leaders gave a joint press conference on the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Nothing unusual… except that the image underwent a few Photoshop changes. On the original photo, taken by an Associated Press photographer, Obama is leading the group, and Mubarak trailing behind. The little edit didn’t dupe bloggers for long, given that several other newspapers published the original photo on the same day.

“Al Ahram”, founded in 1875, is widely considered a pro-Mubarak press outlet. Its content is controlled by the Egyptian minister of information.


 Original photo published by AP





The photo published on Al Ahram’s website.




The same photo in the paper version of the newspaper.