Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Peeled curtain ► system collapse


The military has a job, it is there to protect its people, defend the welfare of the state and uphold the country's independence. That's all. Funding is crucial but who lays down the terms?
writes:
"Surely, if the United States truly supports democracy and human rights in Egypt, there is nothing to hide in revealing precisely how this funding is being used."
Read more:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joscelyn-jurich/us-military-funding-to-eg_b_794536.html Adjunct professor at NYU and freelance journalist

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8977604/Prominent-Egyptian-blogger-Alaa-Abdel-Fattah-freed-after-two-months.html
 "I never expected to repeat the experience of five years ago," El-Fattah wrote. "After a revolution that deposed the tyrant, I go back to his jails?"
With the release of high profile activist Alaa AbdelFattah a new phase emerges. Although the charges have not been dropped, his release nevertheless contributes considerably to overall morale, especially that of peace-loving protestors and hopeful citizens. With so many more still awaiting release from incarceration and respite from military sentencing the end-game has not even begun to play itself out. The release of Alaa however, whether a mere tactical ploy or not can only give hope to all who remain adamant and true to the general ethos of the revolution, to the ideology of 'change'~ change which is steadfast in its pursuit for radical improvement; change  embracing the complexity of the Egyptian plight in general.

http://emajmagazine.com/2011/07/01/yes-we-can-publish-carlos-cartoons/
Mark Levine, professor of history at UC Irvine writes about "living the truth" against systems whose "main pillars" were: "... Living a lie...  
'If there is a better description of the war between protesters and the SCAF in Egypt right now I have not read it. But Havel also realised that enabling everyone to peer behind the curtain does not guarantee that they are ready or willing to do so. Living within the truth is extremely hard, and as he was at pains to point out, the rewards for the individuals who are the avant-garde of such truthful living are usually prison, torture and/or death.'
Read more: 



Saturday, 17 December 2011

flotsam and jetsam



With wreckage of a former regime still visible ...
and goods thrown overboard to lighten the load ...
Which tentacle will manage to grab the goods and more importantly will it know what to save?
Will it be able to exercise change?
This blog is one mainly set up for morale and one leading outwards from the heart; from nothing more than modest intuitive response. Global enhancement is only made possible through the endeavour to put all bias aside and listening to the opinions and views that are held all around the world. 
The extreme religious implications that inundate Egyptian thought today, be they for a party or against, be they rational or fanciful, are all nevertheless still only implications. The political agenda involved is transparent; all religion itself is not up for debate even when crudely dragged along.
(link in Arabic)
Egyptians who know their history may veer towards or against one party or another but they will always bear a small part of independence in their hearts. This quintessential grain of self-government would be the saving grace حفظ النعمة

For that to flourish and blossom in the years to come we need to adhere to basic principles of inherent faith:
Hope not despair
Tolerance not bias
And perhaps most important of all:
~in times such as these~
Thought and not fear.
In the spirit of further metaphoric speculation:
Are all the chambers full in the present Egyptian 'Russian Roulette'?

The following article is one that bases itself upon comparative perspective, raising practical issues that are highly relevant:
Joshua A. Tucker
in Al-Jazeera Opinion

'Assuming that Egypt is in for a rough time economically once this political transition gets resolved, the incredibly interesting question is what effect this will have on the popularity of the different political forces. Will the Islamist parties play the role of the post-communist "New Regime" parties, essentially taking ownership of the economy once they come to power? Or will the liberal parties - like the actual liberal "New Regime" parties in post-communist countries - bear the brunt of an electorate discouraged about the state of the economy because of their association with market reforms? Or is it possible that if the military continues to meddle in politics "Old Regime" forces will be blamed for poor economic conditions out of a belief that the military is really still calling the shots?'
Read more: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/12/2011127111524244220.html



cg:amiraT



Tuesday, 6 December 2011

red button



It is not in the interest of any principled Egyptian to panic
Leave debilitating scare mongering to those with vested interest or to those with insular dimensions of Egyptian society
For democracy to be in with half a chance all parties must be aired and in the running
Whichever wins does not determine the fate of the nation in the long run
Or does it?
That's where morale comes in

The swing of the pendulum is at play:
A party quashed by the regime during the Mubarak years  may indeed now come to the fore 
It may indeed be its turn to run
If it does so  then it must first of all rid itself of the worst motives of the former regime 
which still lurks in multifarious dimensions  

and it must rid itself of appendages even more extreme

Despair is not the answer
It is only natural in a time of crisis to call upon  faith
In light of the new awakening any newly elected party will  find it 
crucial 
to get rid of the greater part of 'goose grass' corruption
 and remember the most basic principle of all religion 

namely:
do to others as you would have them do to you
or : 

الدين معاملة
*"لا إكراه فلدين"*No coercion in Relion
With the new born disconcertion
felt at the present
and trivia addling agitated minds
condoning sinister strategy could become even more viable

So to all Egyptians 
everywhere 
with liberation in their hearts
and to all who feel for Egypt
Keep heads cool
Consider this phase rather an incentive than a deterrent. One that can help spur the purest aims of the 2011 revolution
Support the morale of parties that have yet to format their way ahead
No unwarranted hysteria
No change in direction
and above all
don't press the red button
just yet



cg: amiraT

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

standing in silence, doors ajar

DO NOT SILENCE ME, DO NOT DUPE ME, DO NOT LET ME DOWN
Slogans for Change
I 'walked' once in Alexandria during a protest march and stood at the Army Camp in Sidi-Gaber where the walk terminated. A friend held banners with slogans for change and for a while we stood in silence; the hint of a Gandhi approach pulsating throughout the crowd, each looking at the other, wondering what walk of life each came from. 
Then a car with a microphone shouting out vociferously particular religious slogans announced its presence, avidly aiming to glean complicity from the crowd's measure ~ subliminally banishing the individual calls held mute~ calls for tolerance, freedom of choice, justice and change. 
We may stand in silence but our calls are far from silenced.

A blossoming sense of national pride and unity, infinitesimal and faint was however what remained after this short-lived stand; a stand embodying principles still being pursued: the purest aim of protestors at heart. With the onset of the bellowing microphone and the endearing chants of "يا خيبتنا ""Ya khebitna"~ implicit of the doltish outcome of the revolution, in rhythm with a rhyme about the falling rain, still ringing in our ears ~ we turned back.

Tugging at the closed door
Hala Halim, Tuesday 1 Nov 2011

On the discourses of national unity and Ahmad El-Khamisi’s anti-sectarian project

"It was on 14 October that I met, for the first time, Ahmad El-Khamisi, writer and leftist intellectual who has written extensively against sectarian tensions vis-à-vis the Copts. Two of the key subjects I wanted to bring to the table at our meeting in Cairo were his 2008 book al-Bab al-Mughlaq Bayn al-Aqbat wal-Muslimin fi Misr(The Closed Door Between Copts and Muslims in Egypt) and an anti-sectarian cultural project that he had proposed earlier this year which was given immediate impetus by the attacks on churches in the months after the revolution.

The meeting, needless to say, gained further immediacy from having taken place so soon after the Maspero incident of 9 October in which a protest by Copts -- in front of the state television building in Cairo and in the presence of military police -- against the destruction of a church in El-Marinab village in Upper Egypt ended in the massacre of about 23 demonstrators and the injury of many, state television having also presented a markedly biased picture with incitement against the protestors"   
read more: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/25704.aspx

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Inner Eye



WE ARE LOSING OUR EYES AND DISBELIEVING THEM 
WHEN WE SEE
an inference articulated in a Yousri Foda interview:
".... hosting journalist Youssri Foda gives space to three of our injured comrades to speak as well as to the well known journalist Bilal Fadl. The dentist Ahmed Harara, the blogger and activist Malek Mustapha and the photographer Ahmed Abdel Fattah of the Egyptian daily al-masry al-youm all lost their eyes due to deliberate shooting from close distances with what we call khartouche ammunition, a projectile with between 13 and 16 small bullets of different sizes, made of either hardened plastic or metal. Fired at close distances it can be lethal and if targeted at eyes, the eyes are destroyed. Ahmed Harara is a close friend of mine. He lost his right eye during the first revolution on 28 January 2011 and 4 days ago he lost his left eye. He will be forever blind but he went back into Tahrir square, right after his operation in the hospital. In the TV program you will see the young officer who fired the bullet and you will hear the voice of a shooting officer proudly reporting to his superior that he managed to get another eye…it was a premeditated campaign… "

 
                  Ahmed Harara (dentist.. no thug!) who lost one eye in January and the other in November 2011

“Egyptian shebab* will never give up, none of us will give up any more”, Report from Cairo Posted by Niel - O.T.R.O on 11/26/2011                                                                      * youth



Getty images:


For more brutally graphic images of atrocities and injuries, visit: 

Blinded by The Eye Hunter: Egyptian police expert marksman 'takes out eyes of five protesters with rubber bullets'Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2066537/Egyptian-protesters-blasted-policeman-targets-eyes.html#ixzz1eur85nQZ


http://www.nation.co.ke/News/africa/Egypt+fury+over+police+shooting+at+protesters+eyes/-/1066/1278060/-/ljsr4r/-/index.html 

mASKs ON

Readers do not have to be familiar with the Arabic language in order to follow the first one or two minutes of the following broadcast link.:
Most sinister is the new appearance of 'the efficient gas mask' as worn by the very officials perpretating utterly unjustifiable, monstrous attacks; 'disproportionate' would be an understatement. Sniper shots are fired simultaneously. The nature of aggression although clear to a layperson is perhaps  one for psycholanalysts to elaborate upon, exhaustively. These officials, faces hidden, appear much more deft and confident than the Egyptian police force members have ever appeared before ... The novel  pliant leather glove accessories are also unreflective of Egyptian police uniforms which are much more basic and void of such paraphernalia. Furthermore, mode of attack and shooting manoeuvres denote a much more military inclination.
Conspiracy theories may indeed be rife but many are substantiated and even plausible through the visuals and mobile phone snaps captured. Authorities do not tire from referring to such as fabrications, but that is to be expected. The isolated robot soldiers, origin questioned, here captured on film are of course accountable but do their seniors doling out the orders get away scot-free?

With considerable evidence of nerve gas being used the term 'chemical warfare' mentioned in previous post would not seem entirely misappropriated. However, the authorities claim that the canisters of 'tear gas' in use involving a 10 year lapse expiration date cannot be causing any harm and are, if anything, less effective. The reported asphyxiation and deaths due to seizures would seem to denote otherwise and severely question brazen blatancy involved.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/27537.aspx
Gassing the revolution: The US origins of Tahrir's tears
The liberal use of US-manufactured tear gas on protesters in recent days has raised questions about its public health effects - and who is actually ordering its use
Ahmed Feteha, Michael Gunn, Thursday 24 Nov 2011

"Canisters found on the battle-scarred streets around Tahrir Square bear the manufacturing stamp of Combined Systems Inc (CSI), a US-based firm that provides equipment to military forces and law enforcement agencies around the world..."


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

masks off





http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=HK-aNVdgqAE


Don't shoot, don't shoot! Protestors shout. With chemical warfare being rampantly used masks are no protection. Doctors trying to help the wounded are nabbed and held in custody probably to be court-martialled, a jurisdiction now generously extended to peace-adhering civilians, whilst members of the fire brigade are shot at while climbing ladders to put the fire out. 
Protestors come to their aid and fight their way through. They are impeded at every turn and those who have lost one eye in January now risk losing another.  
Shots are heard even in areas considerably distanced from Ta7rir Square.  
 The Ministry of Interior, with tarantula acumen, has left its doors wide open but the protestors have dodged that spider's web so far and stood their ground saying they would have and could have barged in long ago since all back streets are known to them. But even though, so far, the protestors have refrained from transgression they are being continuously provoked, incited and attacked so that the situation is very precarious indeed. One protestor has said : All it takes is for one weakened, tired protestor to snap and there will be a massacre. The cheers of protestors when the fires are extinguished ring loud. Morale is what it is, never entirely lost even though submerged in a labyrinth of chaos and despair.  

NO to the sentencing of civilians by military tribunal
Pictured above: Alaa Abdel-Fatah, holding up the slogan for the primary objective of his campaign.
Alaa, among so many others, was unduly arrested and awaits his fate patiently.

Monday, 21 November 2011

No Defeat


DON'T ATTACK ME






The Egyptian people have a right to protest.
They have found their voice but encountered a deaf Cyclops.
A Cyclops more terrifying than any unearthed party, one who holds the forces that still 'be' in place; one who rules with a ruthlessness that knows no compassion, one that embodies not an inkling of respect for its people but instead treats its children like foe; considering them an entity that is not only powerless before them but one to be tortured and coerced into submission with tables being turned right left and centre.
The Cyclops has its own agenda.

The people who march in protest, in rightful protest, free of violence, but imbued with demands cannot be silenced nor bypassed. Their cries for reform, for bread and all other provision, for peace of mind cannot be waylaid. People have suffered and continue to do so in the wake of economic crisis, one present well before those more comfortable in the world began to sense the present global difficulties. Egypt's people have endured so much hardship and with such dignity awaited patiently for justice to come their way and indeed for the fruit of their labour to find a tree to bear its seeds. The 2011 revolution was such a seed but its tree remains evanescent, untennable. Instead, all efforts are flipped off in the most barbaric ways possible and the aim is to create the illusion that all had it better before they revolted and to therefore give in quietly rather than persevere.
"When you overcome the barrier of fear it is irreversible." Alaa el-Aswany.

The people have indeed hurdled over the proverbial barrier and no longer cower under its iron grip nor are they disposed to retreating into a realm of deep slumber yet again, in spite of gravitation towards a limbo of bleakness and uncertainty.


The people whose light shone in January and still shines now, with the grace of our Maker, will be rewarded in time.

DON'T HURT ME



Every decent soul that shuns despair will feel that yearning of a hope.

Egypt's people have roots that are adamantly and deeply embedded in a fecund soil with the desert equally inductive to their perseverance and cactus-like resilience; a people who regardless of divisive influences are resolute in their quest for liberation from mule-reigned oppression, for freedom of choice: a quest innately linked to a people's very core of being over not only decades of despotic rule but centuries of exploitation and disempowerment where many another have sought to glean.




DON'T SELL ME OUT

Many parties may well be accentuated by ulterior motives discrepant to those of the revolution. Parties that call out in the name of religion, parties that call out in the name of military sovereignty, parties that do not recognise how inherent a faith Egyptians have in their own individual choices of adherence and practice~ all such parties indeed prevail, now all in plain view and inviting further memberships, not to mention those flighty fickle-natured individuals and inane groups, jumping on the band wagon of vicissitude angling at profitting selfishly wherever they feel a weak link to be.
Human nature embodies all and it is in essence no different anywhere under the sun.
But it should be noted that many of those parties visible can only be driven underground and that the present transparency is more of a blessing than a curse.

With elections due, elections that pose as both a hazard and a hope since little faith exists in its actual deployment or sincerity of approach have been yet another tool to divide the country further, albeit with lucid awareness of many an intellectual and modest free thinker. Should we vote or should we abstain? Although the answer to this question may seem pretty straight forward and clear to any outsider and would appear to be non debatable if only for the purpose of keeping apathy at bay, there is the niggling thought behind those who decide to vote that their vote may not only be discounted but that their very name be used in a complicit manner to hold up the grounded apprehension of a rigged outcome.

The peaceful protesters have the right to persevere in making their voices heard but the ensuing violence has resulted not only in serious bodily injury and mental anguish but in the most poignantly felt fatalities.
The proverbial spanner in the works has been cast or as it is known in Arabic:العصا فالعجل ~ as alluded to in an interview with both el-Baradei and Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fettouh.
A shadow looms over a people who know not- how much more blood will be shed - but whose courage and determination know no bounds.
May we all appeal unreservedly not only for respite but for merciful minimisation of a price yet to be paid in the quest for justice, equality, tolerance of one another and even of faith itself; the latter being an Egyptian treasure adhered to for centuries without the superficial tags of a particular exhortation, denomination or persuasion.

DON'T DESTROY ME


The fountain of hope cannot run dry
The adverse tentacles reach out wherever we turn
but in Egypt
they will find
an elusive prey.

POSTERS 
©
Bassem Yousri


Crux of Befuddlement

DO NOT SILENCE ME, DO NOT DUPE ME, DO NOT LET ME DOWN
Slogans for Change


Religion and religiosity and the difference between.

This point was discussed most lucidly in a very recent interview held with guest Galal Amin and presented by prominent journalist Yosri Fouda on 'ON TV'.
Here is a brief assimilation of one or two points made, as personally absorbed:

Religions of the world, anywhere, are just that. Religions. Religiosity on the other hand is how an individual or group of people decide to interpret a particular religion. There are no limits to how interpretations occur, no guarantees that even just 2 people agree fully on their personal interpretations even if belief in the actual religion is not a contentious issue between them. Religiosity is therefore a personal and even private matter and although open discussions may indeed enlighten each to another's viewpoint, faith of any kind cannot find its truth nor pertain adequate veracity when it is forced upon:

*"لا إكراه فالدين"*
No coercion in Religion

Religion itself means something to each and every one of us, whatever be our faith. It is even thus to those who negate or disbelieve altogether since it frequently and invariably presents itself as a focal point. Actions and thoughts are often validated by its guiding rules and morality is more often than not inextricably linked to it in one way or another. It is there and there it shall remain for us to bicker and quibble about for as long as humanity is capable of doing so.
Religion is an emotive subject, perceived in kaleidoscopic array; with nuances and common grounds shared or disputed. Religiosity is therefore undoubtedly wide open to various interpretations, even if the essence of a belief in one religion or another is a shared one. Being so emotive and universally shared a concept, religion is therefore an invariably exploited and slick tool in reeling people in ~ no matter how vastly individual religious practices may vary.

But for every one of those who succumb to such pressure, always of political motivation and relentlessly aimed at usurping power, there are others who value their freedom far too much; freedom of choice, be they of dress code or other more intrinsic and subtle inclinations sensed, felt or perceived.

The Egyptian people have a right to protest. There has been no change.

The Egyptian people have a right to protest. There has been no relief.

The Egyptian people have a right to protest. Fear mongering is rife and protection is absent.

This post is a tribute to all protesters of change with a personal mention of SaraH

POSTERS
©
Bassem Yousri

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

NEGM ~ star that shines

File:احمد فؤاد نجم.jpg
 

Ahmed Fouad Negm; vernacular poet and so much more.
Negm (meaning of name: star) Apt indeed. Negm is totally fascinating.
Negm captures the spark of hope that is far from empty, the haze of light we can but feel and know about in our innermost being; one we can indeed all grasp but only if lucky enough to 'it' possess, the 'it' in this case being 'Egyptian roots', or indeed: an affinity with such~ as felt and perceived not only by so many Egyptians but by a great deal more who have visited, lived and truly experienced Egypt and its people~
another world, another home to the one they feel to be their own.
It is indeed worth familiarising ourselves with Negm, an old soul youthful in clarity of wisdom and earthy appeal. All affectation and superficial modernisation kept effortlessly at bay. His appearance matches his clarity of thought, unadulterated, with no streak of any pretentious class distinctions present, whatsoever; an appearance casually expressed through modest, smart, national attire with no frills of any kind; strikingly contrary to so much of an adverse nature indeed present in today's society. It is through lack of all affectation that Negm's incredibly witty and shrewd faith in the old genuinely surviving spirit of an Egyptian shines.
An interview with Negm broadcast only yesterday with a view as to what to expect from imminent forthcoming elections end of this month was met with twinkly-eyed perception: his reflection upon how Egypt has managed to retain its roots and quite singular traits in spite of all the slumber years and all the hooha now present. Negm's confidence is anchored to the rich soil of the Nile bed and remains inspiring .. challenging; a breathing antidote to the current despairing views widely exhibited today. His perspective looks upon all such despair as transient, noting it to be of little consequence in the grand scale of a people's multihued history. To every question put to him about people's present anxieties, Negm reiterates with an inexhaustible fountain of analysis how these existing anxieties are indeed the very reason why people need not be anxious!
Without any anxiety there would be no trepidation, no determination, no enthusiasm. In other words: no safe-guard against pitfalls inevitably encountered along the trek of change.
Without anxiety there would be nothing but complacency and apathy... direct foes of all aspiration~ Caution and visualisation of hopes, innate to an anxious stance, being the very tools needed with which to strive towards the real aim of this long-awaited, most grounded and most sound awakening.
With the rather inane repeated request of the interviewer to Negm as to how he would outline a step by step guide for the people, directing them 'how to vote' in the forth-coming elections, Negm's response is one of inner solidarity, unshaken. He points out how the true Egyptian has his 'own' guidance that dictates what is right and what is wrong; how the essence of the answer lies there, all else being nothing more than minor detail. Outlining how to go about voting is pushed to one side, Negm gestures with a side wave of his hands and a radiatingly tender smile. The Egyptian is now awake and highly unlikely to once again succumb for any length of time to any type of quashing, wherever that may come from.
Upon being asked whether it is true that Egyptians are religious people Negm states with calm and proud resolve that yes indeed, Egyptians have belief in their religion, be it Muslim, Christian or other; that Egyptians are people thankful at heart and express so with every fibre of their being regardless of any divisions that infiltrate or indeed percolate. Egyptians are diverse and acceptant of each other in all their diversity and in answer to whether the now visible trend of exremists are an acceptable part of the society Negm responds, yes of course..... if they are Egyptian~ to which the interviewer responds, even though they fly the Saudi flag? That is exactly what i meant responds Negm: IF they are Egyptian and the twinkle in his eyes says the rest.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

desperately seeking Something


 SUNDAY VIOLENCE  in search of the missing scales~
of justice and harmony. 

A nation in limbo and shaken to the core, like a wounded stag ~ now an easy target.


A people whose patience and perseverence continues in the wake of efforts to divide and conquer are continuously left a little more defeated, a little more demoralised, a little more abject.

There lies a hint of a clue in the following excerpt pasted from the St.Petersburg Times:

"As reports of gunfire and rock-throwing spread through word of mouth and social media, thousands, including Muslims who joined the Coptic marchers, swarmed toward the state television building, where intense clashes with riot police broke out."

Peace & unified efforts reigned until onset of attack, yet again. 
The pattern is always the same:
Incense  
Detonate 



Sunday, 25 September 2011

Spirited away

 
Beauty lies in modesty
Spirited away! Saudi Arabia Vegas bows its head~ Serving the One & Only? The 'money money money' chant blares its messages and the bankrolls ring in loud and clear. A feast for eyes picking at the irrelevant bones of history.
Egypt beware. 
Rather the droning of mega-construction & gabble of hard cash, than the serene chant of a Qur~anic verse ~ microphones in place will ensure that can never happen. But are Egyptians being too indulgent in personal freedom of choice and therefore blasphemous? Followers of the so called 'Islamic World' may indeed think so: Shout or be silent. Say what we say and lay it thick or forever be mute. 
Friday prayers open arena to infiltrators of peace.

Moreover, if you are one of those serene and at one with your religion speak not lest you be mistaken for the 'holy war tribe'. Throwing out the baby with the bath water may even catch on~ or perhaps already in vogue, helplessly so.
Eye openers everywhere and yet: Much Ado About Nothing.
Remember Him
photos:amiraT

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Purely academic



        Alexandrian reflections at dusk
           Echoes of a nation adrift
A private little thought dialogue between our hopes and our fears :

♪♫
Don't you love farce?

My fault I fear.
I thought that you'd want what I want.

Sorry, my dear.
But  where  are  the  clowns?
  Quick, send in the clowns...

Don't  bother, they're  here ♫ ♪

Imbued with more and more undertones the lyrics are adaptable to the feelings of so many Egyptians. With 'rope dancers' and 'hoop jumpers' leaping about everywhere the clowns are never far away.

Please take the time to read Amira Nowaira’s article on precarious university standards~ awaiting a life belt to be thrown just to remain afloat. Footing is out of reach until first steps of reform are implemented. 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/20/egypt-revolution-universities-strike

photos:amiraT