Friday, 17 February 2012

Blog note

A note to kind readers, with many thanks.
Much has changed since this was written, however as far as many are concerned I do believe the prinicples involved continue to apply, in theory at least.

The situation in Egypt today is so multi-faceted that finding the need to edit and re-edit may sometimes appear quite endless. August post 'Egypt, a nation determined' was written as a homage to my home-land upon a short return visit after experiencing the uprising that shook the world shake my somewhat quiescent existence in the UK.
I feel the only truly positive thing coming out of such a movement is affirmation of how creative the spirit can be. I am particularly thrilled to witness how some TV presenters such as Yosri Fouda conduct interviews and commentaries. They have truly raised the bar. I also feel very drawn to the music scene, the art and drama world that seems to be budding all over the place and receiving most justified recognition but perhaps deserving quite a lot more. Universal appreciation in days to come will hopefully raise morale and allow the visible talent to flourish and reflect the nation's tangible flair of spirit. These fresh aspects of a country in genuine strife, politically speaking, are nothing if not comforting since they allow hope to survive and optimism to find its own little licence for existence.    

Comments appreciated
'Please share your thoughts with us. Your feedback is not only valued but stands as a contributory factor to the spirit of the blog. Thank you.'

Sh.elS says:  
Your blog posts or collected glimpses are panoramic in their insightfulness, compassionate analysis, and uplifting stance. They offer your readers a much wider perspective than most reports on the Egyption situ do - so Keep them coming".
4 May 2012 
Belle says:
It's certainly very encouraging to see the numbers of comments rising; it is very positive that people can access a way through the noise of news to a thoughtful, reflective place. Hopefully, it can become a place for responses of the same nature. It's also important that it is visually attractive,which conveys a mood and sensibility.

Some top comments, updated:

Arabic, not just another language 

justjoinme said...

"I have always regarded myself as a fish swimming in air if not water and always seen it as an asset rather than a hindrance, so to bring this bit of writing to an end: Perhaps, for all of us, the need we feel to reach out~ gifts us with more than just an enhanced grounded outlook… It allows us to breathe. ". Simply empyreal and pellucid introspection. Thanks for helping us to discern that we are still alive and we can still experience what exquisite feelings look like

" 'MORSI Past the Point of NO RETURN' Jadaliyya" 

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"Compassion on Ration"
Anonymous said...
Very nicely put! LOVE is the key :)

"Old rule." 

Sh.elS said...

A very comprehensive and reflective post of Egypt's current predicament. Enjoyed reading. 

10 April 2012 03:53

"A precedent: Clean water" 

  Belle said...

It's a very interesting read, I come from a position that I know very little of the conditions of peoples' ordinary lives in Egypt and this truly clarifies important points. It seems very daunting with the amount of challenges to be overcome, with a regime that has so neglected the needs of people. It would seem that leadership of a person who can understand the priorities is fundamental. I would imagine that aspirations of the youth must be part of this too.

9 March 2012 03:53
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10 February 2012 10:03

"Respect the Spring bud ..."

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10 February 2012 21:03

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12 February 2012 09:53

"standing in silence, doors ajar"

Description: AnonymousSh.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.

"Carrying the torch through"

Description: BloggerAmira Nowaira said...
A great collection of photos. Truly staggering. Keep up the good work :)
27 January 2012 14:42

"Crux of Befuddlement"

Description: AnonymousBelle said...
It was good to read your messages,what we are seeing on the news is both distressing and inspiring.
We can hope that world opinion can bring pressure to bear on the authorities, as some I think have quite a lot of influence. The demonstrators are raising the consciousness of all of us, we live in turbulent times, and people are finding their voices everywhere.
22 November 2011 04:59

"NEGM ~ star that shines"

Description: BloggerAmira Nowaira said...
Great post. Ahmed Fouad Negm is a man with good sense. Wish there were more people like him in Egypt.
16 November 2011 10:33
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"To teach or to preach... ( is that the question?)"

Description: BloggerAmira Nowaira said...
A thought-provoking post Amira. Lovely selection of quotes!I'm sure the man at the heart of the hullaballoo never thought of any of this.
8 July 2011

"Balancing Act"

Description: BloggerAmira Nowaira said...
A metaphor of what Egypt is going through at the moment. Love the pics and the comments even more.
3 July 2011 11:39

Anonymous said...
This is an essential guide for anywhere, anytime and anyone.
3 July 2011 13:24
Description: Delete
Description: AnonymousSh.elS said...
Spot on once again - On the mark as usual. Egyptians are expert in finding humour in dire conditions and intolerable circumstances such as these.
3 July 2011 15:07

"Offense unlimited"

Description: AnonymousSh.elS said...
Spot on. The local always transcends itself to the universal. Food for thought indeed.

"He who sings scares away his woes." ~Cervantes (links enabled)"

Description: BloggerAmira Nowaira said...
I love revolution music and song, particularly sout el horreya. Great article!
18 June 2011 13:26
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"Here today.. gone tomorrow?"

Description: BloggerAmira Nowaira said...
Spot-on. This is a passionate take on the state of the revolution in Egypt. Keep writing. Why isn't this blog open to the general public?
26 May 2011 23:44

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

encapsulated ethos ~ Egypt

They feel it, think it, write it, sing it, dance it~  BE it
El Tanbura are a collective of veteran Egyptian master musicians, singers, fishermen and philosophers. For the past 20 years they've been custodians to some of Egypt's oldest folk melodies at their home in Port Said, the Mediterranean gateway to the Suez Canal. Band members dress in an eclectic mix of gallibiyas and Levis with Gucci sunglasses, fez and Nike caps. Their music is driven by the seductive call of the Simsimiyya - an ancient lyre dating back to the times of the Pharaohs.
photo: amiraT
Lyrics revolve around an introduction to the founding of this long-standing group and the welcoming of a boat in sight and friends traveling~
 exuberant in ethos 
genuine and uplifting, an Egyptian 
'Zorba the Greek' spirit
The name Zorba translates to 'live each    day'
"El Tanboura: Rapturous folk music at a medieval palace"
Read more:

                              murals of Alexandria Corniche 
* Photos by amiT

Sunday, 12 February 2012

living walls

" Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence " H. Matisse
" Painting is just another way of keeping a diary " P. Picasso
but perhaps what says it best:
" It is not your paintings I like, it is your 'painting' " A. Camus
Are they pretty? Perhaps, perhaps not. But there is a beauty to be sensed in all of them.

Mia Grondahl

 "Sunday picture from Imbaba. Beauty is a human right!"
Raw emotions are often crass and unrefined.  Are their screams heard or is it easier to dismiss them? 
Answers are all there in vibrant splashes of colour, bold and crude or carefully designed expressing the drive that steers a people forth.

For, when words alone fall short,  the irrepressible desire to reach does not simply fade away. It 'will' put its stamp wherever it can or risk being stamped out by the bleak, oppressive environment that surrounds it~ not unlike a flickering flame snuffed out when deprived of air.

A surge of expression find its canvas 
wherever it can

Photograph: Mohamed El Hebeishy
view more:

view more:

"The people of Egypt are struggling to reclaim their country as their own while remaining peaceful. Some have used the can to disperse their message while others use their art." 

See more:

"Leave" by Mohaned Khater

"I die at Al Tahrir square, but You do not rule me and I live humiliated, You will leave Mubarak" by Kodak Agfa

left: "Poster about who is responsible, what they did and what the outcome is" by rouelshimi

Painting signs and slogans by rouelshimi |

                                                                 posters by freestylee

Video link:
ahmed hararah graffiti - mansoura - Dakahlia - EGYPT

and for the sound of a living diary of walls 
here find 'Folan el Folany' (a someone of a someone) 
accompanied by the both breezy and sultry tones of the 'nai' flute breathing warm air all around a feeling of despair.
With the loss of loved ones, a nation aims to remember and cherish every breath of life that once was and to etch its memory into forgotten corners of our minds 
 Khaled Said is a young man killed by some brutal policemen in the sixth of June, 2010, Alexandria, Egypt. 
“We are all Khaled Said.”


 "Your love is freedom."

Read and view more: 

With many thanks to SaraH for shared material.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Thinking 'allowed'

So much stares us unremittingly in the face, on a daily basis, so that our thoughts seem spoken aloud even when not heard.
Would it be fair to assume that current events may head towards little other than more bloodshed?
Is this to to anyone's advantage? 
Can the nation be pulled out of despair?          

What are the options? 
Which demands are reasonable and how to go about achieving the first rung to reform? 
All are questions that need to be answered and preferably before pursuing the same strategies over and over again achieving only more and more instability and confusion; before walls close in tighter and tighter on an ever-elusive abstract wave of freedom.

Although effectually early days, a general concensus points to the following:
(a) Those who demand that empowerment be handed over to the people would appear to have only noble aspirations at heart even if their aims are tentatively criticised for being somewhat unrealistic.
(b) There is little planning involved and lines between many political parties are hazily defined if at all so that in a nation where dramatic change is taking place, clarity so desperately sought is despairingly absent.

Before even beginning to find direction, here are some simplified aspects to take into consideration.

FACT: Rightly or wrongly, Scaf has no intention of relinquishing total control.
Consequence: The people will not have a free hand, Power will not be attributed to or ultimately withheld from any elected member or party unless accompanied by a nod or a shake from SCAF.
FACT: Whether fact or misconception, the military is expected to serve the people rather than rule them and yet it has seemingly adopted the role of defending itself instead. Unlike certain parties involved most activists do not wish to contemplate compromise of any kind.
Consequence: More innocent blood will be shed.
FACT: Many, Americans included, laypeople or otherwise, believe USA foreign policies in the Middle East are not so much bystanding clauses as they are integral to the struggle which is taking place and dividing inner Egypt today.
Consequence: Unless the USA is seen to review and amend such policies the chance of any reconciliation between Egyptian activists and the militia appears slim.
FACT: Protesters are seen as either heroes or anarchic rebels in Egypt today.
Consequence: Ordinary citizens who are not politically orientated feel threatened whichever way they turn.

FACT: The nation is ripped, divided and torn.
Unrest prevails. Anxiety escalates. Planning is seen as conspiracy. Lack of planning is seen as idiocy. In short,  a stalemate situation is on the horizon if not recognised as yet.
Consequence follows fact in its footsteps.

             Going back to April's 2011 post, in the early days of the revolution:
It would be rational to assume the army is always either overtly or covertly dictated to. Its funding is crucial. The military will naturally obey step by step whatever is advocated and outlined, whatever the circumstances. If a military force has backed up a certain regime it is unlikely to be dispersed or weakened when the regime crumbles. Soldiers are specifically trained to do as they are told and not to think for themselves. 
The paramount objective for the army is to preserve its basic skeletal strength. That is its duty. 
                                      But most significantly: Whoever funds has puppet control.    
Recent interactions between militia  and protesters point indisputably towards the above.

In light of all the tragic events that shroud the revolution today, is it time to review the situation and do whatever it takes to find an inkling of reconciliation amongst the people, the militia and the powers that be?
A December 2011 article highlights clashing loyalties and confused expectations:

Is it possible to achieve this without diminishing necessary accountability for the blood and injury of  individuals who have done no more than aspire for reform?
Failing that, will we evaluate life 'spent' through lack of recognition or rather cherish the memory of those gone with an increasinlgy enlightened approach, both challenging and persevering in order to allow a democracy to transpire?

Answers do not stare us in the face. They are oblique at best. Only one thing is clear: 
Without cooperation, without distasteful compromise, without proper focus, no rooted outcome is likely to transpire; only more encounters with hazardous seas and clashing tides. Time to reassess and persevere, whilst continuing to challenge the bowers of autocratic rule with even more determination. The route towards democracy may as yet be out of reach but when visible on the horizon, achievable only if kept in sight.

And for the overriding purpose of this blog, for morale and nothing other than morale:
Although there may be no guarantees nor highlighted terms, every ounce of integrity and resolve could prove crucial, every thought may have consequence, every constructive building block may have potential. May hope be realised.
And here added from AlJazeera find insightful points of view candidly and directly expressed, upholding so many inclinations many can only sense to be the truth. Thoughts aloud shared indeed and clothed here in this lucid interview
 Egypt: Tariq Ramadan & Slavoj Zizek