Saturday, 29 November 2014

Arab Spring Medley Awards

November the 29th 2014
"Judge Rashidi, who led a panel of three judges, did not elaborate from the bench on their reasoning, insisting that any commentators read at least a 240-page summary of their 1,340-page explanation of the case.
He dismissed the most serious charges: that Mr. Mubarak was responsible for the killing of hundreds of nonviolent demonstrators during the protests that ended his rule. He acquitted him of the corruption charges, which involved allegations that as president he had sold natural gas to Israel at below-market prices, as well as other allegations Mr. Mubarak and his sons were given vacation homes on the Red Sea as kickbacks in a land deal."
Verdicts were uttered not unlike the taking part of an award ceremony. 
ميدياوي - MediaWay

 A poster shared on Facebook ~ in memory of some of those who lost their lives in the January 2011 revolution.

November the 28th 2014
"Although the protest was under the banner of protecting Egypt's religious identity, the chant from those demonstrating had a different message,( Down with Military Rule)'يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر'

photo by Khaled Salah

First civilian casualty shot and killed shown unarmed ~ image of him dead, a blur of gore. Protest has been called illegal. The MB and those organising the protest had called on their supporters not to confront the police or army. Instead, encouraging them to gather in the smaller streets and roads of Egypt. Despite this it wasn't long before the first fatality occurred. includes video "Army soldiers take their positions with their armoured personnel vehicle during clashes with supporters of Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in the Cairo suburb of Matariya November 28, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany"

"The Salafi Front termed its call for protests on Friday the "Uprising of Islamist Youth", alienating secular critics of Sisi and also limiting turnout.
The Salafi Front said demonstrations would continue into the evening and issued a statement urging protesters to remain peaceful."

Sahar Aziz,  author on Egyptian politics and a professor of law at the Texas A and M University; says the Egyptian government must listen to the concerns of the protesters.
"I think these protests signify that without a political solution, Egypt will continue to be plagued by violence, unfortunately. What happened on July 3rd 2013, when the first democratically elected president Morsi was deposed, was a political crisis, and unfortunately, the government since then, whoever was in charge, they have misguidedly used violent state  repression and oppression of protests as a way to 'hope' that this problem will go away. 
It's clear the way the country is operating is the same as the way in which Abdel Nasser and Sadat and Mubarak operated which tends to happen when you have a military run government - the only language the government knows is the language of the gun, of force- and that in 2014 is no longer a feasible option for the Middle East and the Arab world. 
The youth have rejected these forms of police brutality and state oppression and they now want a democratic system where their voices are heard and are part of the decision making process as opposed to being used as objects or infantilized; that they should just sit, be quiet and listen to what the elders tell them. 

Q: "You mentioned Egypt's youth, some people say this is the beginning of the 'Muslim Youth Intefada', what does it look like to you?"

Sahar Aziz: "Well, 90% of Egypt is Muslim, so when you say Muslim youth of Egypt you are not talking about some extremist group, this is essentially all the youth, 90% of the youth in Egypt. The reason why January 25th occurred, which was a revolutionary moment that could have produced a revolutionary outcome... the reason why these uprisings occurred was because the youths' futures had been robbed, had been stolen by corrupt business elite and corrupt military elite... and every time they tried to tell their government that they had no jobs and that they were starving, couldn't get married, couldn't live a life of dignity, they were put in prisons, they were tortured and they were subject to police brutality...  and the same conditions exist now. The people who have the most to lose from the current police state which is expanding, are the youth... and when you have nothing and also the most to lose at the same time, you are forced into violence.
I think the Sisi regime needs to take very seriously this robbed future  that the youth have experienced and it needs to figure out a way to give them something to live for so that violence is not the only means they have to survive."

Monday, 3 November 2014

The SWS of modern-day Egypt

Having coined the above acronym which stands for 'Stepford Wives State' I must add that we all still live in hope; in hope that those who think for themselves will eventually have some creditable impact upon this great nation.
On a light note that is nevertheless profoundly apt, perhaps Uncle Shelby (Shel Silverstein) says it best here:

YESEES AND NOEES (from the poetry collection 'Every Thing On It')

The Yesees said yes to anything
That anyone suggested.
The Noees said no to everything
Unless it was proven and tested.
So the Yesees all died of much too much
And the Noees all died of fright,
But somehow I think the Thinkforyourselfees
All came out all right

or else:

But all rhymes aside, the following is not aimed at dishonouring the noble and honourable servicemen of the nation whatsoever, quite the contrary, for the Military and its personnel are an integral part of Egypt and no one in their right mind would dispute that.  

With Edward Morrow's 'WE MUST NOT CONFUSE dissent with disloyalty' we must ask ourselves: Does dissent imply disloyalty? Or does it rather promote the way to a more democratic state of affairs which contrarily infers a patriotism and love for country and its freedom of expression? A question that should be recalled at every juncture of time and circumstance.

Linking everything and everyone who is not in favour of a state ruled by the military to treason is not only flawed in concept but seriously twisted. Being averse to a military-run state does not mean being anti-military and its personnel. 'The Military' is after all an essential part of any country, one set up to protect and serve it and that is where many would deem its duties to begin and end. Principles are at stake when confusion between the two roles occurs; If the only party serving and ruling is allowed to issue and enforce every decree it deems necessary in order to maintain its power and to do so without opposition whatsoever then, wherever that occurred, we would all be on a very slippery slope with the term democracy voided of all bearing.

As for the attempt at connecting the dots we have huge chasms of nuances and belief systems to leap over before we can conscientiously do so. The many who, rightly or wrongly, believe that Islamic ideas extend into politics as a way of life with set guidelines and deterrents in place are nowhere akin to the inhuman mass of criminals and murderers naming themselves ISIL. Incurring panic through flawed comparison and thus demonising all religious groups cannot be seen as anything other than discriminatory and even unhealthy wherever that occurs. For tolerance advocated cannot claim sole franchise or by definition it cannot exist. 

With prison doors opened up for members of the MB who had for decades been driven underground and who were basically incapable of addressing the nation with the necessary enlightenment and thus committing one transgression after another, innocent supporters of the MB ideology have paid the price. They have done so simply for believing in a party which promised them reform and for daring to believe that charitable aid had come to their rescue. Let us bear in mind, the MB was enabled to surface seemingly only to be targeted and eventually, as time would tell, intentionally annihilated. 

As for the January 25th 2011 revolution, there are very conflicting views about the forces that drove it and we are all now urged to presume that the former decades of dictatorship should never have been thwarted in the first place. 

The times speak for themselves; with the dignity of those who stood up for principles of reform thrown aside, addressing corruption appears to have been quite resolutely dismissed.

Today, the protest law has been found flawed and yet many are said to be rightfully sent to jail for campaigning against it. Resignation and dismissal of popular television presenters and other celebrities previously favoured by the media are a testimony to that general feeling of free speech under duress~  
Can we assume the message is anything other than 'be muted or sing our praises'? Perhaps not, hence recognising SWS is not an act of disloyalty but rather it is recognising that there is an urgent need to address it.  

"The family’s predicament is the result of a crackdown by authorities against the liberal pro-democracy movement by youth groups who fueled the 2011 popular uprising against the rule of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The detention of dozens of young activists, mostly over breaking the contested protest law, over the past year has taken place amid a vicious media campaign to smear their reputation as agents of foreign powers or on the payroll of dubious rights groups in the West.
Another crackdown has been carried out in parallel against supporters of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted in July 2013 after just one year in power by the military, led by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi who was then defense minister. The general-turned-politician won with a landslide victory in a presidential election held in May."
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