Monday, 2 February 2015


You either love it or hate it. 

Marmite is the thick spread covering Egypt today.
Although my personal preference is irrelevant I do declare and solemnly swear:
I love Marmite.
An oath for all to abide by lest we are put to the stand and are sworn in, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Before reading any further, the Marmageddon path must be averted ~ its rich texture not overlooked
There will always be those who turn a blind eye to injustice, who either do not care or see it as well-deserved. But there is a constant that remains at the heart of the matter; what can possibly justify the jailing of journalists who do nothing other than their job?
Ecstatic, relieved, grateful?
All of the above. Peter Greste is released after a grueling 400 days of imprisonment for 'aiding and abetting a terrorist group, so officials said.'
However it should be noted that although formerly it was declared that the matter was entirely a jurisdictional one, Peter was freed through presidential amnesty.
Now, Egypt awaits the release of the other two, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy, jailed for similar offense, though no evidence stands up in court.

"The timing of Greste's release came as a surprise, just days after Egypt suffered one of the bloodiest militant attacks in years. More than 30 members of the security forces were killed on Thursday night in Sinai, and ensuing comments from Sisi suggested he was in no mood for compromise."
Either way: Opportune Release. And it must be repeated, we are truly grateful, relieved and indeed ecstatic. Thank you.

Timing is everything in politics.
Peter Greste is released, just as the fate of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto is so cruelly sealed by the murderous gang ISIL. The world is watching and sees all in black and white. With evil so clear, a contrasting action glows whiter than white.
May the release of the other two journalists, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy follow. After so many days, weeks and months ~ all once released, even if falsely accused, must declare themselves free of resentment ~ grateful for small mercies.

But just to squeeze a little more out of the marmite metaphor, let us see how large a surface it can cover. Perhaps we should try mixing it in with a flavour-enhanced milkshake, it might even become more palatable for those who cannot appreciate it in its pure state.
In place of the holier than thou religiosity there is now a frothy holier than thou patriotism, with a franchise for national pride and identity.
Anything that remotely questions authority of present rule is condemned and labelled as a negative influence and a threat to national security. There can be no parties grouping in order to eventually instigate a democracy, there can be no allegiance to any thoughts or ideas of reform that do not abide by that general consensus: the sanctity of Military Rule. For any free thought to exist there must be a consequence, for marmite in its pure state is no longer deemed fit for consumption.

Egypt may appear to be back to square one. Tahrir Square now remains etched in the memory of a few as a fleeting moment  in time; one free of milkshakes but then again one of so many in the course of Egypt's history that its after taste may well be considered negligible.*

And yet, beneath that frothy surface a pulse continues to beat, inaudible to those who have added a deaf ear to the blind eye, a pulse that beats even though silenced by fear. Somewhere among the glory lies an abyss ... where hope and despair merge.

A faint whisper is carried by desert sands where once a spring of hope sprang ... 'Free all detainees'

"Oh gosh! I'm watching a few sunsets ... I haven't seen those at all for a very long time... watching the stars... feeling the sand under my toes... the little things... this has been like a rebirth and you realise that it is those little beautiful moments of life that are really precious and spending time with my family of course too...THAT'S what's important.. not the big issues." 
Peter Greste in his first interview after release.
 "If it's appropriate ~ if it's right for me to be free, then it's right for all of them to be free and for those who are convicted in abstentia to be free of these convictions."
For video link click: 

*For a rounded summary of what appears to be Egypt's eternal struggle, following some notable figureheads may aid general perspective. 
In no particular order: eminent historian Professor Khaled Fahmy~ Short story writer, novelist and political and cultural commentator Ahdaf Soueif, ~ among other notable journalists, writers and figureheads such as Bilal Fadl, Yosry Foda and Alaa el Aswany; for although some may have lost general appeal and popularity they nevertheless retain immense credibility through their astute and insightful, long-term observations and acknowledgement of the fact that there is no, can be no, easy fix.