Your comments: Shut out of the World Cup
Lots of people across the Middle East cannot afford to watch the World Cup. Many like Nimrod in northern Israel who called us cannot afford the more than $100 cost of the satellite package to watch all of the matches.
Haitham said that King Abdullah in Jordan put up many large screens across the country so that people can go watch. Karim in Cairo says the atmosphere is great in these huge outdoor areas, but families have difficulty finding a place to watch.
But it wasn't just the issue of the cost of the satellite TV that had you upset. Spino Muni sent us this text message from Accra Ghana:
President Kufour calls his government a listening government so how can he be a listening president when health services has been withdrawn and Ghanaians are dying with minor issues in Ghana? The country is on fire and he is traveling around the world to watch the world cup in GERMANY?
Maitham in Baghdad said the satellite cards cost $350, which is far beyond the means of many Iraqis.
We received this e-mail from Lawrence in Malta:
Well as Malta never ever qualified I'll sit down and set eyes on my second best - england and watch it with my two sons and my dog brouke, all the way to the finals from home via satellite
Derek Clark in Hameln Germany sent us this e-mail:
I will be watching in Germany as a member of the forces out here and got lucky and was not away on tour like a lot of my mates.The atmosphere is great and the people friendly.
I can relate to what to the problems of Mas Sow in Tokyo, Japan. I had to stay up until the middle of the night to watch the games four years ago when the World Cup was in Japan and South Korea.Mas emails:
I guess it is going to be a tough month for me, because I live in Japan and most games are played around 3 am (japan time). This means going to work after a sleepless night everyday, for a month.
And a round up of the text messages around the world. Nimmi in Oman had this to say:
World football is not the only game "hijacked" by satellite/ cable tv providers. Some of the cricket matches suffered the same fate in india last year. Where does commercialism / capitalism end?
Dan in Lebanon sent us this text message:
Here in beirut everyone gets it free because of illegal cable. Its not always the best picture but it means everyone gets to see it.
Kevin in iceland
I'm an american living is iceland and yes we americans like football aka soccer. However the only way to watch it here reallly is to pay around 250 for a three month subscription as a pay per view is the only station that carries it.
Graham in Bangkok had this to say:
Hi. Just for the record, I see that ALL Thai free TV stations are presently showing the Germany game!
Iraq reflects on the death of Zarqawi
Omar in Baghdad said:
This is a very big victory for the coalition and the multinational forces in Iraq. I am not saying this will immediately stop violence. but I think this victory will give momentum to the coalition forces and Iraqi forces.
Sa'ad also in Baghdad said that this was an important time for the country to get a boost in morale. Many people here believe that zarqawi is only the tip of the iceberg.
Layla said she could know go to the Green Zone today because of the curfew. Everyone sees this as a victory over this 'brutal figure'.
Majid in Basra are happy with the death of Zarqawi who contributed to the death of many innocent people. But they did not believe that the bombings would not stop.
Thailand's King celebrates 60 years
Jom in Thailand said that the Thai people discuss problems in remote villages to discuss their problems. It was in stark contrast to Sanjeev in Nepal who has just watched violence in their country over the role of the king. There he was seen as autocratic.
Steve in London had this comment:
I lived in Bangkok for 4 years and I must say that the devotion the Thais show to their monarch is something that people in the UK could learn a lot from.
Jaime in Spain said that King Juan Carlos is seen more as a political figure but wasn't viewed with as much affection as the Thai people view their king.
People powered politics
We closed out the programme speaking with US Senate candidate Pete Ashdown. He's running for the Senate in th US state of Utah. One of our listeners, Steve Petersen, sent us an e-mail suggesting that we discuss Pete's campaign:
I have an interesting idea for a discussion topic -- wikipolitics. In the United States, Pete Ashdown is running against U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch for his Utah seat. However, Ashdown has included a rather novel feature to his campaign, a wiki. He is using this wiki to allow anyone to come and help him form his platform. he feels strongly that the best ideas come from the people and not campaign donors nor special interests groups.
Thanks for the suggestion Steve. Mr Ashdown and Steve will be joining us on the programme on Monday. Want to engage in an experiment in democracy? Join us on Monday.