Sunday, 24 March 2013

'WOMAN' among MEN 'Rites of passage'

Egypt's women protest against violence""How often have women been described as precious stones that are so valuable that they need to be kept under lock and key and protected against theft? Or as candy bars that have to be wrapped up in order to keep away the flies?"
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With the link above, few would not see the validity of debate and value the necessary stand women must take in order to counteract fanatic unreasonable and even unfounded ideologies. 

With the following link however, perhaps a pinch of salt or more is necessary since it appears a little simplistic in its viewpoint. Perhaps quite innocently so, lacking a certain depth through cultural discrepancy alone. Issues of culturally related values shape our world not only obviously but at times much more subtly than would appear and should not be dismissed nor self-righteously disparaged.
Values and ways of life vary significantly from land to land and just as we happen to be more comfortable with one we should remain aware that others are equally so with quite another for whatever reason~ often varied and rooted in laws that ideally and if correctly implemented can deliver protection rather than penalty. Change cannot and should not be imposed but rather brought about through focus and prioritisation and by the people themselves.  
"Marital rape? Is this a big problem that we have?” she said, suggesting that it might be a Western phenomenon, while sexual harassment in the streets was a far greater concern in Egypt."

Swings and Roundabouts

 Taxi driver: "I am not one of them, you understand' What they throw in our faces and flaunt is not part of us nor should it ever be. I have an open mind and to each their own and in my opinion every Christian in Egypt is also a Muslim.. we use the same language and feel the same thoughts~ i don't know if you are Muslim or Christian but i hope you understand what i mean." He then quoted a verse that escapes me however it was one about the dangers of mixing politics with religion.  

 'As for driving this cab, i find it a living that i am just about comfortable with and in which i find relief. I worked for a very nice 'lady', a woman very respectable and gracious in every way, saw nothing to criticise in her whatsoever and the salary topped many another~  however, one day, I inadvertently came across a scene that disturbed me, one that went against the grain so to speak. I don't refer to nudity, for that in itself is not a problem as far as I am concerned, after all it's how nature intended it, but this..  that which I saw was 'quite something else', alarmingly intrusive.. you could see everything .. and i mean every bit of the anatomy~ perhaps the final impact was fake, perhaps not, either way..."He didn't say what he saw but the implication was clear, he was referring to very graphic sex scenes being filmed; pornography of a kind that paid well no doubt. 
"I was very perturbed at first ~ somehow couldn't fathom how that which shocked me so could be related to this fine woman. Then I became significantly confused as did not wish to confront her with questions about what I had seen. But I just could not bring myself to be 'fine' with it.. even though I repeat she really was in every way ever so good to me, manner-wise and~ generous~ I began to feel my pay was tainted somehow and sought advice about how I should proceed. I decided in the end that 'that with which I wasn't comfortable' was not an option for me any more and having weighed up salary loss in my mind said my 'thank-yous', made up an excuse and moved away. I still think about the pay but feel nothing pays as does peace of mind and that what I intuitively feel is to be shunned must be so if I am to be true to myself~ for apart from that we have little else in this world. So i chose to return to driving this cab and thank God for the 'Rizq' (blessings and good fortune) bestowed upon me in my - this ordinary life".  
It was at that point that I made  mention of how Prince Charles had an intrinsically similar reaction to viewing the often unnecessarily graphic scenes in films, again those to do with direct intercourse.. even when faked. As shown in a documentary about his life, he is known to avert his gaze when he feels reluctant to gaze at a particular scene and his aide is known to tap him on his shoulder once it is over. People might think this contrived but this was only a very minor issue amid a medley of introspective nostalgia filmed and that small matter came across most genuinely as part of the Prince's unspoken ahderence to how he feels about his own morality. Perhaps he is not alone, albeit we don't all have the aides and therefore often continue to look on cringingly. 
The taxi driver seemed to find this food for thought, initially somewhat dumb-founded, his silence spoke incredulity but then almost simultaneously he received and welcomed the subtlety of message involved , the connection, and he may thus have felt a little less alone in the world even if perhaps surprised that a British Royal could have so much in common with himself.  
We thanked him for his riveting pondering thoughts relayed with authentic present feel mixed with hindsight. He was most gracious and thanked us in return. Moreover, he left us with food for thought too, perhaps it was his general demeanour of wishing not to pass judgement and yet striving to stick to his own gut feeling that made the encounter so poignant. 
Sadly, for Egypt, the economy of the land is such that an honourable living is always being questioned, by some on a daily basis and it is only through deeply ingrained decency of a kind, be it morally taught or handed down that both the rich and the poor manage to escape corruption.

ECONOMY/RELIGION/POLITICS ~ and in no special order~
  'Swings and Roundabouts'


"From Arab Spring to global revolution"

"In an excerpt from his book Why It's Still Kicking Off Everywhere, Paul Mason argues that a global protest movement, based on social networks, is here to stay"
"The Protester" may have made it on to the cover of Time – but not a single protest has yet achieved its aim.
"Two years on from the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the new Egyptian president is from the Muslim Brotherhood; on the streets of Cairo, the same kind of people who died in droves in 2011 are still getting killed. On the streets of Athens, the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn is staging anti-migrant pogroms. In Russia, Pussy Riot are in jail and the leaders of the democracy movement facing criminal indictments. The war in Syria is killing 200 people a day. It's an easy step from all this to the conclusion that 2011, the year it all kicked off, was a flash in the pan. But wrong. Something real and important was unleashed in 2011, and it has not yet gone away. I am confident enough now to call it a revolution. Some of its processes conform to the templates laid down in the revolutionary wave that swept Europe in 1848, but many do not: above all, the relationship between the physical and the mental, the political and the cultural, seem inverted."The Guardian,
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For a somewhat unusual angle in the midst of unmitigated confusion:

"Alif the Unseen: speculative fiction meets the Arab spring

A Morsi supporter checks his laptop during protests outside the Presidential Palace in Cairo, EgyptG Willow Wilson's novel about Egyptian hackers is a delirious urban fantasy which puts the unlikely case for religion in an age of empowering but intrusive technology"