Tuesday, 29 November 2011

standing in silence, doors ajar

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

1 comment:

Sh.elS said...

Catching up on posts, have summed up my comments into: hayla, spot on, chapeaux and well said. As i read these words reiterate in my mind whilst sharing thoughts.