Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Egypt - a nation determined come what may..

Here in Egypt - in the arms of the Mediteranean, Alexandria, a cool sea breeze bounces off August heat. Subdued serenity with the onset of the holy month of Ramadan bears envisaged hardship and yet certain promise of a kind.

People are determined to see this new phase through. Those bearing a low profile sense the necessity and urgency of focus; others remaining active resist being waylaid and continue to pursue targets outlined. The general perception is that no direction can even begin to emerge or take shape until that has been achieved.

Parties creating havoc and division are nothing if not rife on a Friday. Their effectiveness, so far, appears limited. Regardless of where these parties stem from their aim is clear: infiltrate the ethos of a country, create division, and derail the movement for reform. Coming across as primarily extraneous influences they do not succeed in striking the desired chord with Egypt's people. When they become internalised their efficacy is thus fortuitously weakened.
The people's morale may indeed be at stake; negativity always finds its niche. The hope for a more humane existence for the masses appears to dissipate itself through the cracks of an 'Every man for himself' undercurrent.  

And yet, Egyptians continue to air their national views about belonging regardless of their religion or status. An Egyptian shouts out the inner cries of a peaceful and tolerant majority with the words:

"Where are the banners for Egypt our nation? Why have they been replaced by banners for the Islamic world? I happen to be a Muslim but regardless of that do i not count? Am I not a citizen of this land? I don't belong to any of these faceted groups ignoring our country and accentuating Islam for divisive purposes. We are fighting for Egypt, our nation, with all its people, of whatever religion. Our banners should reflect that and nothing else. Do we not count?"

Metaphoric iron bars of a politically motivated framework close in on the land. The people are both figuratively and at times literally imprisoned whilst the race for power, greed, control and intimidation continues. 
But once the well-rehearsed slogans have been delivered by the willingly corrupted they appear in their true light; crass and jarring. Above all, they appear thoroughly remote from a people whose hearts and souls were only so recently in plain view to the whole world.
An integral social awareness of multi-cultural existence and all that is indigenously involved is nothing if not flipped off with emphasis upon Egypt's islamic unity alone. Gangs distinguishable through distinct appearance and colour schemes seem to appear from nowhere with the sole intent of derailing the original call of the people - "the people's revolution".

All the while, in principle, those true to Egypt are all calling for the same thing: revision or reform of some kind, such as would appear compatible with the demands of the revolution. Incessant pleas to the Army council to comply and support the people's movement continue to be thwarted and stifled at every turn. Perhaps the army council can only follow orders but who is doling them out remains shrouded in mystery in so far as only apathy appears rather than a levelled explanation.
Egyptians cannot envisage the next step before a first one has been achieved. It would appear that no integral change can even be conceptualised at present.
There are many within and without the nation who stand to benefit from discord resulting from what may be referred to as artificially inseminated clashes. Funding of such appears quite unmatched, sabotage hell-bent on hijacking the original cry for change.

Additionally, due to lack of direction, all petty grievances find their way forward, chaos reigns on a daily basis. Pseudo-righteousness is at the fore. Differentiating between authentic injustices, genuine hardship and embellished unfounded accounts is no mean feat.  

However, defiance and strength of resolve perpetrates. It is perhaps the only thing that keeps those who have next to nothing from being totally extinguished. Treacherous tides flow in from all directions, seeking to appear heroic and exalted but so far they are quite contrarily thoroughly exposed.

The people's light shines but the lustre fades when negativity and self-interest overrides all else.  
Voices are heard and bear soul some may say. Others may dispute that, believing these voices merely seek to regale in festival style without a purpose. Whatever the case may be: the average Egyptian ..  killed, incarcerated or caused to suddenly vanish off the face of the earth... even then it would seem manages to leave behind a spirit unbroken. The hope must remain if only to honour that.

'ON TV' a privately run Egyptian channel, open to all with access to some cable setup, endeavours to conduct its broadcast with exposés and analysis. It concentrates upon perspectives clearly aimed at demystifying convoluted attempts of breach and violation.

The dynamic of the people resounds come what may. Egypt must indeed be the salt of the earth. 'Kheir el-balad': an indefinable bounty, a largess difficult to put into words would seem unparalleled, an immeasurable saving grace.

The positivity expressed in the art world in Egypt today is astoundingly infectious and the subdued nation continues in its plight. Just like out of a pressure cooker, steam escapes occasionally: a cultural development full of imagination and zest continues to emerge. Riveting sparkling performances inducing an uplifting energy present themselves as if to keep the soul awake and a jazzy empathy is felt.

A small warehouse of budding talent producing amazingly mature performances-- a youth group such as that held together and motivated by the revolutionary hopes of a people voicing their heretofore stifled aspirations. Such an enterprise of authentically sensed dedication can only be seen as symbolic of a promise for this nation's driving force since January 25th 2011. in the link herein.
Any drive and persistence in the face of adversity, however small and occasionally obliterated is not to be slighted. However seemingly insignificant in light of sinister politics on a global scale it is and will remain to be the way forward.

The traffic of the daily grind continues in spite of an evident absence of officials, in fact it may seem correct to note it appears more regulated and less chaotic in some instances. The police and the army are out of favour however the latter holds the strings. There is nothing quite as robotic as the muted mind of a soldier. However, since the army is so integral to Egypt -  perhaps, with a pipedream of a notion, there may emerge a new leader from within that structure, a visionary of sorts, one who can stand by the original movement's drive, collaborate with the potential clearly already present but, wings clipped, so far unable to gain effectiveness. 
This notion being merely the result of common sense contemplation; pipedreams aside, actuality remains blurred at best.

Realisation of goals ahead may take time, but it is that very thing: time, which is insignificant in so far as it is of no consequence. Counting minutes, hours days; weeks, months and years is an unnecessary pursuit since the movement is not to be sabotaged, come what may and no matter how it may appear now. It will take as long as it takes.
We owe it to all who have passed, to all who are in the dark, to all who have hope and adamantly reject despair.

Here's a high note to end with: http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/5354 & http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/1999/445/profile.htm
Link may need updating. Their last event on 27th July 2011, the aptly named 'el-Garh wal Farah' (the wound and the joy) consisted of several inspired, passionate and elevating solo performances accompanied by superb musical talent. 

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