Thursday, 22 August 2013

A fish called SiSI

Fluctuating tides inundate the shores of Egypt ~ Amid new silencing, media censorship, excessive propaganda and assertion of power and control, airing the rising and ebbing variations may prove vital for a continuously maturing perspective.

A new big fish has swam to shore, a victory hailed by many. Whether it comes bearing deliverance or simply fateful strongholds of control is at best a moot point. Either way it would be true to say that with fervour true to Egyptian nature, 'low-key' has all too often been abandoned in favour of laud and glorification, thus inevitably appearing tasteless in light of so much bloodshed. 
But even amid jubilations among a significant elite exists a national despondency weighing heavy, swelling and subsiding as events unfold.

Came across a facebook status that reads:
نــفــسى مــصــر تــرجــع زى زمـــان
نحـــس بــأمـــان وأحـــنــا ماشــيـين  
ونــبــقى متأكـــديــن لــو حصـــلــنا حـاجة مليون حـــد هيقف جمبنا
مــش ماشييـن خايــفــين وبنــبــص ورانــا

مــش عــارفــيــن نــازليــن راجــعيــن ولا مــش راجــعيــن

نــفســى اوى يـــا بــلــدى تبــقــى احــســن بــلــد فــى الــدنــيــا 
"I yearn for Egypt of days gone by~ 
When while stepping out we felt safe and confident that if anything did befall us there would be a million people standing by to help; 
when we didn't feel frightened, or feel it necessary to glance behind us; 
not knowing whether we were going out only to return or never to return again.
I wish with all my heart that Egypt may yet become the most wonderful place on earth."

Many supporters who remain staunch to parties established or to ones suppressed if not outlawed will adopt new survival tactics. Pivotal radical elements debated with vigorous controversy will carry their own weight wherever the tide sweeps them.

Opposing, contrasting forces will give rise to one another, interconnect and ultimately prove to be interdependent.
Most ironically, the hailing of Mubarak by some is equally necessary if only to remind the nation as a whole that the revolution wasn't for nothing. 
Which revolution?
A people's uprising noted in 2011? Or some popular dissent/ military coup eventually termed 'war on terror' that followed in its trail? 
Needless to say all forces come with their very own loaded implications, each revealing its own shadow in the light of day. And while popular with some, simultaneously seen as demonically motivated by others.

Potentially insurmountable parameters may present themselves but insurmountable is not a word we comfortably link with Egypt since 25th January and that must surely be to its advantage, in the long term if not today. At present, coveting order of some kind accompanied by even an infintesimal degree of respite may well appear to override all.

"Analysts say Mr Mubarak's release - if it happens - would be seen by many as a symbolic sign the military is rolling back the changes that flowed from the 2011 uprising."

It has been said over and over again, Egypt needs strong leaders to keep order established; order seen to be justifiable and necessary even when tyrannically bestowed.

Today may look overcast; dark stormy weather may well erupt from time to time but day must follow night and night must follow day so that the happy ending will be, to use the saying: wherever we may choose to stop the story. For some and judging by how quickly things can turn around, that ending has already come and gone. There will doubtlessly be many more.
"... posters of Egypt’s de facto leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, have become more ubiquitous on Cairo streets than Sphinx souvenirs...
But understanding al-Sisi is critical to understanding where Egypt is headed—especially after this week’s bloodletting, which has seen his soldiers crack down on pro–Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators."
Read more: 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Compassion on ration

The rife concept in Egypt I have heard many allude to is that there is no justification in directing compassion towards animals when people are suffering too, as if to imply that compassion is as pragmatic a part of life as an economic budget. If that were true then the poor would be the least compassionate which is clearly a serious fallacy. Only too often the tested poor appear of a more generous and even more acceptant disposition than the rich or overly self-indulgent. Compassion can only truly exist in pure form when it retains its immeasurable attribute. If it were linked to a budget at all then it would be one of spirit rather than pocket. Often tagging along is 'Reda': an acceptance accompanied by inner peace, a blessing by all standards.

With the above in mind, how can reporters be censored for haplessly reporting what they see simply for imbuing their reports with whatever pity or compassion they feel unable to dismiss?

For true reporters there is no propaganda to consider. They report what they see, what they witness. They repeat what they are told within that context. Today, where Egypt is concerned they may even appear to be at risk for reporting atrocities with even a hint of compassion unless the compassion is sanctioned by official state.
The middle ground is at best a grey area.

Demonisation by state versus demonisation of state; pick your side or for ever say nothing more..  

Video link:

So many have lost loved ones, MB supporters/ anti-coup protestors/ officers/ soldiers so that as we watch on a new generation of misfits is being born.
People will in time find that nothing ever goes away, it just changes in form and that tolerating one another will prove the only safe alternative; the learning process to do so being a lengthy and arduous one. The first step is to see that those who are demonising are demonised and that there is no end to one kind of terror or another, only new beginnings.

"Egyptian activists in search of middle way for their country demand to be heard"

“We get suspicion and disapproval,” he said. “There is the suspicion among some that we are Muslim Brotherhood in disguise. Or we are bashed for being irresponsible, or told we are naïve for not sticking by the military.

“Our campaign is about reviving optimism. History teaches us that when dictatorships become more and more violent it’s because they have lost the grip they used to have.”

Read more:

"These horrific scenes represent all sides of Egypt’s '‘state of emergency'' 'A national tragedy'  
Article in the Independent: 

And for all sides of whatever argument presents itself, a famous quote to clinch present predicament: 'oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive' 

"All parties in Egypt have overplayed their hands in the two and a half years since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011."

Read more: 

If we are to dismiss the beast in favour of humanity then we need to address our own reactions or else all bear an equal share of culpability.

'An eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth would lead to a world of the blind and toothless'.
Disempowerment does not mean extermination nor dismissal of existence. 


Monday, 19 August 2013

UNDEFINABLE w/ updates

with an occasional telling clue:
"I'd half noticed this guy during our first ride; he was wearing bandages on his arms and legs, but he wasn't handcuffed and was the only person allowed to speak to the policemen without being punished afterwards."
Read more:

Perhaps the worst short-coming in Egypt today is its all-over short-sightedness, understandable but non-conducive to long-term reform.

People are so fed up with chaos that they are glad of simplification and prepared to disregard anything  and everything that appears a very grey area but people, many who feel persecuted collectively, who have lost loved ones will not tow the line and fearing the worst is inevitable since situation is bound to accelerate. 

The overwhelming pumping of the media controlled by official powers is driving people into excessive violence on the streets as it continuously drives home to the general public that everyone should be afraid of the anti-coup demonstrators, claiming they are no more than terrorists trying to destabilise the country and so ordinary people wishing for order are now fighting them. Protestors are being excessively demonised and dismissed while the protestors, see it as a 'political conflict' not aggression towards the general public. 
The poor soldiers are just obeying orders and they too, just like many of the unarmed anti-coup protestors are not regarded as individuals, only as an entity demonised by the anti-coup protestors. 
A niggling factor for many is: 'Who are the thugs still operating so insidiously and altogether too efficiently? They never seem to get caught'. 

Western perspective or bird's eye view is not appreciated for obvious reasons:
The West professes itself to be very anti the violence which it is witnessing and which has accelerated and that is what those in charge now in Egypt do not want to address, rather demonise whole entities and in the process be equally demonised. The price for that is a total disregard for human life, be it protestor, detainee, prisoner or soldier.

From a live newsreel:
Q: "We've been seeing this very strong campaign to brand the anti-coup protestors as terrorists, how's that message taking hold in Egypt?"

A: "Well look, when you 'control' the state media and; you have overwhelmingly sympathetic private channels and overwhelming sympathetic newspapers and satellite channels, then the message that they've all been pumping out is essentially that these anti-coup protestors threaten to destabilise the country and when you control that message and the message gets out to most Egyptians then a lot of them begin to believe it, that is why you are seeing on the streets, particularly I've seen it on the streets around Cairo when anti-coup protestors try to march or try to demonstrate local residents try and block them from getting there, they* tried to attack them** outside the Al-Fath mosque on Friday and it was the army that escorted a lot of those people out ultimately, then yes, so the public, a lot of them are beginning to  believe that these anti-coup protestors are trying to destabilise the country - the message of the foreign minister to the foreign media this morning was that he said that this was not a political conflict, he said this is about elements trying to destabilise the country, of course the anti-coup protesters say that this is a political conflict~  but that is not what a lot of people on the streets are beginning to believe.
*(they being the people on the streets?)
**(them being the protestors?) 
Compassion is fast becoming a dirty word and bias on all sides is replacing fairness of any kind. In simple terms: 
~ 'disproportionate and violent response' is being dismissed.
~ For the sake of order so desperately lacking and necessary to restore, all fairness appears to be a luxury and is sacrificed in favour of bias and simplification of situation. 

Link with captioned photos:

Whether in support of brothers or not here there is peace and acceptance which is all about Islam: villagers congregate at a church after Friday prayers at mosque~ in solidarity and protection~
 Tongue in cheek reflection:
Remembering a 'golden age' when religion was a private matter and when inner faith extended itself only in empathy; when soldiers did whatever they did and citizens towed the line regardless, shielded from taking part in political conflict. Flawed? Yes, Indeed. 
However, by comparison flies in the ointment are often less harmful than brewed toxins.
But here's to hoping Egyptians will hopefully bounce back, the good the bad the ugly and the beautiful.....

Thursday, 15 August 2013

One Fine Straw

"Enough blood.. not every supporter is a terrorist and not every officer a thug~ we are human beings"
 Facebook poster/ comment, lost amid images of blood and gore: 
 Sadly sadly sadly few seem to bear that in mind.. very few and even fewer than few.. everyone seems to think they 'have to' side up on one side of violence... a really bad bad world.. i personally don't think that true negotiations between MB and Military ever begun and they are both part of Egypt so that we are all stuck in the middle

Yes, not to put too fine a point on it: the Military and the MB with all staunch and many innocent supporters are at war. There is no euphemism for it, no rhetoric able to appease, no reconciliation or compromise adequate, no referral and in spite of inevitable lulls, no 'give' to the crisis as yet visible.

Opting out of this war is where one fine straw cast aside now waits to be clutched :
We need to diffuse the situation, we need it to de-escalate.. we need the authentic January 25th revolution to extricate Egypt from the mess it is in. The supporters of the MB have a right to their views and should not be driven underground yet again even if many of their objectives clash with the actual notion of democracy.. just as the Military with all the objectives it holds only too often clashes with a people it is meant to serve regardless of  political affiliations and tendencies; only too often retaliating disproportionately; reminiscent of when a whistle blower makes his or her voice heard~ a very rooted reason for the 2011 revolution in the first place.
Peaceful protestors of the revolution are a mixed bunch and now it appears that the moderates who wish for reform have taken to siding up with one of the two parties at war rather than stand their ground. 
Hope lies in a people remaining principled and leaning towards peace among all men, women and children ~ in a people willing to not only declare but show they are not willing to condone any violence whatsoever ~ in a people ready to say NO to both sides. 
NO to a party making Egypt all about their own ideology~ NO to a Military who should do no more than serve its people regardless of who is in charge rather than flex its muscles in order to subjugate and take control, thus exploiting a people's dire and desperate need for a restoration of order. Order and security by all apparent  assumptions, intentionally withheld during a crucial take-over of government by a party theretofore quashed thus rising in the form of a prime adversary to the dictatorships of the past few decades.
History is being made but never heeded.

Questions on a unending loop:

~Where was the Military when the MB were 'supposedly' democratically elected? Where were security forces? 

~The democratic election consisted of only two opposing parties.. the former regime represtented by Shafiq and the MB represented by Morsi, but Hobson's choice or not, who really controlled the services and the gloom and doom of the MB rule? Why were Egyptians stuck in the middle of this power play?

~Did the MB ever really have a chance to make progress of any kind visible to Egyptian nationals? 
Was it a sinking ship right from day one and was there even a need to weigh it down further? 
Was there ever cooperation forthcoming between various members of its parties and those belonging to another? Every party blames the other for lack of it. 

~Were we to leave all rhetoric aside, how did the country sink so fast into further and further decline? Was it primarily if not solely to teach Egypt a lesson?

~If it is true to say that the MB appeared to be rooting itself with its own armed brigade preempting challenge by the Military..  did it deem it necessary in order to continue to rule or simply to exist?

The Military is now back on top and driving the MB and many of its supporters underground yet again with even more dire consequences than before; significantly however, not all of its supporters by any means. We must remember there are supporters who are resilient and adamant in their beliefs and as far from terrorism as the very next you and I; a fact hard to swallow for some which however does not make it less true.

~How, without the proverbial straw's intervention will Egypt ever move on to new elections that include its very diverse parties in the long run?  

Generalisation and villification of parties must flux and dissolve, directional emotive incitement must subside or no form of democracy amid such diversity can ever be achieved.

Finally would it be fair to say rotation of power between the nation's constituents can only ever begin to emerge when a presently absent yet exigent neutrality is reintroduced? 

Blog link posted to facebook with: 
" Disparaged by horror and writing to gather thoughts rather than promote even the very remotest~
Holding out for hope alone.. nobility of spirit being so out of reach. Bias is not even possible as far as i see it.. all at war are to blame. We cannot take sides without being part of the equation and have some blame attached to soul if not to character. NO to what is going on, whoever is encouraging it, whoever is enforcing it, NO."

 A glance back at May 2012: 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Simply Complicated

"To put it all in simpler terms: Egypt’s first revolution was to get rid of the dead hand, the second revolution was to get rid of the deadheads and the third revolution was to escape from the dead end."
"The trouble is that Morsi was the elected president, and when – apparently to his own great surprise – he was overthrown by the army (or the ‘popular will of the people’, depending on your point of view), his supporters simply had no plans for the future save for their demand that Morsi be reinstalled. So they blocked the roads of Cairo. General al-Sisi, assuming that the Brotherhood would tire of this tactic after a few days in the summer sun and a few mini-massacres, is now suffering the conundrum of all generals who find that their enemy doesn’t want to play by their script."

"... must come to realise they cannot extricate or marginilise their political other and that will take some time..." (Adel Iskandar)

"Without a serious dialogue with all the parties, and most importantly with the political prisoners because they are the main element in this crisis, I believe things will be difficult."

"You cannot speak of a democracy when there is an institution above scrutiny," Springborg said. "It is of utmost importance for Egypt that the army and its economy comes under civilian control. However, I don't think that is happening any time soon, since there is no group of civilian activists at the moment capable of achieving this."

"Egypt's disenfranchised moderates" by Alaa Bayoumi

“The June 30 revolution cannot go back on the goals of the January 25 revolution, including criminalising the police state, holding those politically corrupt accountable, rejecting the misuse of authority and power, and respecting basic human rights and freedoms," Moataz Abdel Fatah wrote. "If we don't see before us strict commitment to the goals of the January 25 revolution, we will most probably witness a new revolutionary wave against the outcome of the June 30 revolution.” 

Belal Fadel, a political commentator known for his criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood, has called on General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to resign - along with Interim President Adly Mansour and Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi - over the killing of protesters."Whoever is in the seats of power should resign or courageously face his responsibilities and refer those responsible for the massacre to justice, regardless of who they are," he wrote. "Everyone should know that if he is lax in doing that, he will not escape justice - no matter what his position is - once the balance of power turns against him, as it turned against those who thought they were shielded from punishment." 

“Many want stability," he said. "They want to live without political problems, crises, or even stands."
Still, Mahmoud remains cautiously optimistic for the future.
"Change will come," he said. "Revolutions are like snowballs. They start with a few people speaking up - when everyone else is silent and sees them as crazy.”
Read more:

Friday, 2 August 2013

Opting out.. not an option/ 'WITNESS'

When an entity has power it should be confident enough of its power to exercise tolerance if not compassion but it is proven over and over again that the gentle giant in fairy tales appears only as an ogre no matter what he/she/it represents.

* Protesters seen as mere irritants
Perhaps there will come a time when a people related and yet so diverse can express how they feel and think without fearing severe backlash from one oppostion or another but only when a modicum of equilibrium is regained will there come such a time. Until then, the national spirit would appear inextricable from the political arena.
Many caught up in the turmoil are tired and survival instincts are all that remain. But even giving in to weariness comes at a price, the aligning consensus being: Whatever worms have escaped from the proverbial can will only be joined by others; hope for any reform rapidly fades.

 the proverbial wood with trees ever-growing.
Following exhilaration of awakening, a few too many now appear to have forgotten and with the return of the Military revel in the shallow victory of 'I told you so'.. It is time, if only for the sake of those who have laid down their lives, that the cheering stops.  

But battles lost and won are just that and the protest war cannot be erased from memory.

Ironically, our national spirit flourishes and crumbles primarily from our interaction in everyday life, protest marches simply intensify that which underlies and already prevails. The prime enemies of good will are 'fear' and 'hatred' lurking everywhere with 'off' switches shrouded in darkness.
The original awakening marked by a purity that lit up the world may appear far cruder now but for better or worse it has also gathered in sophistication. Will we witness many more games? Undoubtedly. Will ever-evolving aspirations persist in  seeking the spotlights? Indubitably. Literary viewpoints as well as artistic expression continue to pave the way. 
Should complacency creep in from time to time it is nevertheless doubtful it will ever match Egyptian latency which has been well and truly ruffled.

The way in which the revolution against a long-term dictatorship  has unfolded is  irrefutably of global relevance but simultaneously also uniquely pertinent to Egypt itself. 
Similarities in the Arab World naturally prevail however respectfully so does every country's own ethos. Ongoing comparisons are often out-of-sync especially those made with the West but  globalisation whether cultural, political technical or economic has made them all imperative. 

 "Democracy Camp"  
"A group of Arab teenagers begins to understand free expression as seismic political changes shake their world ...
"Eventually the kids overcame their differences and began to process their emotions through their creative works at the camp."  "Witness" Link:

* Anonymous Art of Revolution (Facebook)
** Art for ever (Facebook)