Friday, January 27, 2012

MB: Deja Vu or NDP Incarnate?

Friday 27 January, 2012

I just returned from Tahrir and I didn't like what I saw, and I'm sure many Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) supporters share the same sentiments, albeit for different reasons.
What I saw today was blatant dictatorship by the MB. Blatant! We joined the Mustafa Mahmoud procession and it was in the thousands; you couldn't see the end of it. 
                                  Courtesy Mostafa Hussein (moftasa)
It was very civilized, carrying flags, banners and chanting in unison.
                                          Courtesy Sherif Aly Dabbous
As we approached Tahrir there was a growing elation and feelings of anticipation: we were coming home to where it all began.. we were going to shout our demands and make them vocal.. Or so we thought!
We were greeted at the entrance to the Midan, just past Omar Makram's statue, by  the blaring sound of a patriotic song from the MB stage. We were prevented from advancing beyond a certain point because the MB made a 3 or 4-tier human shield in front of their stage, but the youth managed to squeeze their way inside the Midan. Our chants were muted under the brunt of the full volume of the MB microphones! It was as if the MB was indirectly preventing protesters from self expression or voicing their demands. The protesters reacted by chanting and waving the flags but the MB didn't respond and the volume was in full blast. Suddenly I saw my district's Member of Parliament Mohamed Sawi on the MB stage and I was perplexed. I started waving at him to get his attention: he noticed me and both he and another person next to him waved back and there was a shadow of a smile until I started waving to him to stop this battle of the microphones and that he shouldn't be on that stage! I kept trying to use sign language to tell him that I voted for him in parliament to look out for our interests, not to be part of an MB stage. He just stared back at me.. OK, I admit that this might be too challenging to understand, but what came next was far more verbal than any signs and he and his comrades should've gotten the message, but they chose not to! The protesters raised their shoes up in the air (this I don't condone but I'm describing what happened), so what do the MB do? They put Quran, again in full blast.. This obviously was to embarrass the protesters and coerce them to shut up in respect of Quran recital. I was shocked! Was this deja vu of NDP? This infuriated the protesters and they started waving and shouting. So Sawi takes the microphone and starts to talk. He is booed and prevented from talking. He tries to quieten the protesters but isn't successful. Another person tries his luck and is equally booed.. He then attempts to stir emotions by shouting:
يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر.. ثوار أحرار حنكمل المشوار 
but this doesn't work one bit. The youth start throwing empty bottles and corn cobs (again I don't accept this behavior). MB then bring on a group of sheikhs in their Azhari costumes but it doesn't work. A sheikh starts talking and is booed and another sheikh carries a flag and walks up and down the stage. Pathetic embarrassment and degradation of a respectable religious figurehead! Then Beltagi shows up and tries to stimulate the youth by shouting slogans in the hope that they would follow suit but they don't fall for it. Then on comes Ahmed Maher of 6 April and is equally booed.. The shoes are still up in the air and the youth start chanting.. The group on the stage is quite embarrassed and they know they're being televised so they hold their hands up as if in victory and with a smile on their face pose for pictures while corn cobs are thrown at them. Who are they kidding? I tell you this was NDP incarnate and I couldn't believe my eyes. They finally turn off the lights and the microphones and leave the stage.
Why didn't the MB allow the protesters to speak their mind? Why is the MB trying to absorb all SCAF-opposition and mute it? Do they think that if they ignore the demands they will go away? Why are they pushing the wrong buttons and short-sightedly being dragged towards confrontation? The protesters are NOT anarchists, they are peacefully demanding an immediate transfer of power to the elected, predominantly MB parliament and the hastening of the presidential process. No one is demanding the dismantling of the army, far from it: الشعب والجيش إيد واحدة but let our army protect our country and not control it. The youth were not alone; most of the liberal MPs were in the procession, along with respected politicians, intellectuals, activists: do they all have eschewed political views and/or are brainwashed? I don't think so.. I sincerely hope that the MB don't become the victim of their own success and that their landslide victory doesn't go to their heads! I don't condone the vulgarity and the dirty gestures, but let me tell you that without pressure the MB will become a neo-NDP fueled by feelings of superiority after their electoral majority. Pressure is healthy! And it's OK to disagree, it's not the end of the world.. Egyptians are not homogeneous and are an interesting melange of differences and contrasts; this is our forte not our weakness. The most important thing is not to lose focus of the core issues and demands. Another word of advice: don't turn your back on those who helped you get where you are.. 

January 25 2012 - Happy Anniversary EGYPT

A great, great day in Tahrir today, 25 of January 2012! Al7amdulilah after what I saw today I can tell you that my hope and optimism are BACK.. 
                                                    Courtesy Amani AbdelBari
I have NEVER seen Tahrir so crowded, not even when Mubarak was ousted! 
                                          Courtesy Amani AbdelBari

Joined Zamalek procession with some great friends and met up with many more on the way, on Kasr El Nil Bridge and in Tahrir.

                                  The Guardian - APAimages/Rex
We arrived in Tahrir after 2 but it was so crowded that we couldn't go beyond the Metro station opposite Omar Makram statue.
                                  Courtesy Amr Nazif
There were thousands upon thousands of fellow Egyptians flocking into Tahrir in what seemed like never ending processions from all over Cairo of Egyptians who were joined by politicians, activists, bloggers carrying banners and flags, chanting slogans in defiance of military rule and refusing to celebrate before the Revolution triumphs.

                                  Courtesy Amr Nazif
Egypt was there with all its economic and political strata: the poor, the rich, the intelligentsia, the uneducated, socialists, Islamists, capitalists, communists, Arab nationalists, professors, doctors, engineers, unemployed, men, women, young and old.. 
                                  Courtesy Amr Nazif
Everyone was in revolutionary mode and the voice of the people thundered: يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر everywhere. There was a sense of purpose and power in the air, the Power of the People of Egypt, who refuse to be coerced or oppressed. The Power of the People of Egypt who are adamant about their dignity and human rights. Today I can tell you with conviction that Egyptians won't be sidelined or taken for a ride.. Today there was no fear and most of all, there was no going back.. الثورة مستمرة

Friday, January 20, 2012

How Far Should a Lawyer Go?

Should a lawyer's integrity determine his legal representation of criminals? To some this might be a black and white question. To others it's grey. Let's first define integrity:
in·teg·ri·ty  (n-tgr-t) is defined as Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code

By definition, a lawyer with integrity would only select those cases which meet his strict moral or ethical code. A basic human right is that an accused has the right to an attorney and a public hearing, to defend himself against criminal charges. A murderer on death row has the same right of legal representation as a shoplifter or a drunken driver. And
 if the accused can't afford an attorney the state should provide him with a legal counsel and cover expenses. If the accused is rich and powerful then he has the luxury of affording the best and most expensive legal representation; sadly justice favors the rich. Take the notorious case of O.J. Simpson. Despite mounting evidence against him, Simpson clenched an acquittal from the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman. How did that happen? Simpson hired the best and most expensive lawyers, what was referred to as the "Dream Team". They craftily chose the jury and included 9 African Americans, and proceeded to undermine the prosecutor's case by discrediting the witnesses and throwing a racial slur on the case. One of the lawyers incredulously compared the prosecution to Hitler's persecution of the Jews! The famous glove episode and the defense's line "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" was yet another feathers in its hat. Simpson was acquitted in October 1995. However the families of the victims slammed him with a civil trial and this time he was found guilty of causing the wrongful death (i.e. murdering) of his ex-wife and her friend and ordered to pay a compensation of $ 8.5 million and $ 25 million punitive damages. Bottom line: Simpson was guilty but his smart, expensive lawyers got he off the first time round, so is this ethical? Yes it is, if they believed he wasn't guilty and went about proving it based on the defendant is innocent till proven guilty rule.

Which takes us to the Mubarak trial. As President of Egypt, Mubarak should be held responsible for use of excessive police brutality that left between 800-1000 dead and thousands injured and maimed. But not everyone believes Mubarak is guilty as evidences by his staunch supporters, albeit for different reasons. The first defense excuse is that he has never given direct orders to kill protesters, as he didn't know the full extent of the surging anger on the streets, or how his Interior Ministry was trying to succumb it. Then there's the ludicrous excuse that he's an old man, he's my father and yours and you just don't treat your father or insult him like that. It's just not done in this part of the world which reveres parents and has no tolerance for offspring ingratitude. Why can't we be like the French? They didn't extend trial immunity courtesy to 78- year old Chirac and tried him on embezzlement charges. Another defense tactic is the 6 October card; Mubarak was commander in chief of the air forces that dealt the surprise strike to Israel which gave Egypt the initial advantage in 1973. A war hero doesn't deserve this, they argue, shouldn't his distinguished career grant him preferential treatment? Well, although Saddam Hussein was no war hero, his military background didn't prevent the Iraqis from executing him in 2006, nor did it stop Romanians from killing Ceausescu and his wife in 1989.

After Mubarak was forced to relinquish his office the people's jubilation was overwhelming, and his supporters were subdued and barely managed an apologetic whisper on facebook of "We're Sorry President - إحنا آسفين يا ريس". However the movement gained momentum as the Revolution's euphoria wore off and these apologists blossomed into an unabashed group of sympathizers who religiously rally outside the courthouse in defiance to the families of the martyrs. But they sometimes border on the ridiculous when they're joined by dubious characters like Sheikha Magda who continuously hallucinates about her visions and dreams of a saintly Mubarak. Both supporters and detractors confront each other with their own set of banners, although the supporters strangely sported Saudi flags the other day! The ensuing war of words and brawls have become a routine occurrence that has of late culminated in skirmishes. Advocates of Mubarak's innocence may be given the benefit of the doubt given the state media brainwashing tactics, but can the same apply to Mubarak's brilliant lawyer, Farid El Deeb? El Deeb is an exorbitant lawyer, who ironically defended Ayman Nour against Mubarak and his regime in 2005, and 3 years ago rose to the defense of Hisham Talaat Mustafa in the Susan Tamim murder case. Does El Deeb believe in his client's innocence or more in his genius defense endowments if he's guilty? This raises the question: how far should a lawyer go?

A lawyer should go as far as his conscience takes him. The underlying assumption is that he has crisp integrity and would never accept a case if he was certain that the defendant was guilty. Obviously the likes of Al Capone's lawyer are not in this league. One can therefore assume that since a lawyer's choice of cases depends entirely on his moral code of ethics then he is above reproach. When a lawyer is convinced in his heart that his client is innocent, he strives to defend him by refuting any incriminating evidence and exonerates him. Having said that, should we criticize El Deeb for defending Mubarak? Not if we're altruistic and give him the benefit of the doubt.. in overdoses.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Egypt was Heaven before 25 January 2011.. We Just Didn't Notice!

Apparently Egypt was a great, prosperous country during Mubarak's era, paralleling the best of the developed world and surpassing healthy economies, but we ungrateful Egyptians just didn't notice this, and concocted that unfair and unscientific slogan of "social equality" as a sorry excuse for the 25 January Revolution. Did I lose you there? OK let me rephrase. Since the figures indicate that Egypt is better off than many countries in terms of income inequality, therefore there is no social inequality and thus the Revolution's slogan of "social equality" is void. Those greedy Egyptians didn't realize their blessings, how pampered they were and just had to have more. This is what one statistics-laden article by Ahmed Sarhan claims. Check out the full post here:

Here's the logic: Sarhan compared important income distribution and disparity indicators to demonstrate that Egypt's indicators were higher than other countries with supposedly better economies, and since no revolution happened in those countries then the call for 25 January Revolution on grounds of social equality is baseless. In numerical terms he rightfully showed that Egypt's Gini Index, income share by lowest 20 percentile, income share by strata placed Egypt ahead of countries like Iran, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa. And since there was a Revolution in Egypt and not in those countries, then social justice is not the reason for Egypt's Revolution. That's a flawed logic. Here's why. Firstly he only focused on income disparity and subsidies as the most important, if not only, determinants of social equality. Secondly he failed to mention other equally important social indicators.

1. Income Disparity
Sarhan cited this World map of the Gini Index which is a sound measure of income disparity.

File:Gini Coefficient World CIA Report 2009.png

Gini Index of 0 would indicate perfect income equality and 1 indicates perfect income inequality. Egypt's Gini Index places it in the 0.35 to 0.39 bracket equating it with countries like Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, Algeria and the Indian subcontinent. It also puts in a better position than Russia, the US, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil. Given Sarhan's logic this would indicate that Egypt was in the same league like Japan and New Zealand and slightly better than the US.

2. Income Distribution
Sarhan further backed his argument that social justice in Egypt is favorable with graphs and tables of income share held by lowest 20 percentile and income distribution strata. Once again according to his figures, Egypt comes out with flying colors in comparison to Iran, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.

3. Subsidies
He further documents the Egyptian (Mubarak) government's supposed bias in favor of the underprivileged by its insistence on subsidies. He lamented how the NDP government was branded as a businessmen government that favored the rich although it was apparent how it fostered its less financially endowed subjects. And to prove his point he gave the example of gasoline as a perfect subsidy to the poor. However he overlooked that it was a universal subsidy enjoyed by all Egyptians driving the 1971 Fiat as well as those driving the latest Mercedes and BMW. He warned that any economic reform was bound to address subsidy rationalization, with the aim of gradually reducing and finally eradicating subsidies. The end result would be that Egypt would be worse off in terms of the Gini Index and income distribution, and lead to negative repercussions on social justice. Again he failed to state that the policy of subsidy removal was the underlying objective of the previous government, as part of a financial package of reforms dictated by major international lending institutions.
But I believe it was his conclusion that was the final straw:
المؤكد ان الحزب الوطني و حكومته قد أخطأوا كثيرا في حق هذا الوطن حين لم يبذلوا الجهد الكافي للشرح و التوضيح و الاهتمام بالطبقات الدنيا و الاهتمام بمشاكل العمالة المؤقتة .. و الأهم من ذلك، لم يبذلوا الجهد الكافي للحصول على دعم كل المصريين عبر اشراكهم في الافكار و القرارات و الخيارات. الصين والبرازيل أفضل منا كثيرا حيث نجحوا في أن يلتف الشعب حول قيادته رغم ان كلاهما على مؤشر العدالة الاجتماعية في وضع أسوأ كثيرا من مصر
"It is certain that the National Democratic Party and its government have greatly erred in this nation when they did exert the necessary effort to explain and clarify, or attend to the lower strata and the problems of temporary employment.. but what's even more important is that they didn't get the support of all Egyptians through involving them in ideas, decisions and options. China and Brazil are much better than us as they succeeded to rally the people around their leadership, although both have a far worse social justice index than Egypt." 

Does Sarhan expect us to believe that had the NDP and its government explain, clarify and involve the people of Egypt in their plans, Egyptians would've been better off in real terms? That is possible if the NDP and its institutions applied vehement hypnotic waves through its brainwashing media to beautify the dismal existence of Egyptians! Sarhan further commits, either knowingly or not, a grave mistake by confining the measurement of social justice to the Gini Index, income distribution and subsidies. He overlooked important indicators such as Egypt's worsening poverty line, rising unemployment rate, lack of healthcare and housing, which alone were viable bases for any revolution.

This is not a full fledged economic study, however a quick glance on statistics in AlAhram Online, 13.9.2011
in a study by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, revealed that poverty has increased by 2% from 2004/2005 to 2008/09 with the poor representing around 22% of the population. Moreover an alarming 44% of Egyptians were living under the poverty line. The vicious circle of poverty and illiteracy was confirmed with an increase in illiteracy among the poor to 41% versus 24% in non-poor families. The underlying conclusion is that there is an increase in poverty and illiteracy in Egypt, which is a strong indication of Egypt's deteriorating social wellbeing.

The indicators Sarhan mentioned therefore only give part of the picture, which explains why there are no revolutions erupting all over the World. We do however see strikes and protests in ALL countries, especially the developed ones, whenever certain groups believe their welfare or rights are compromised. What then is the full picture? What factors denote social justice apart from income disparity and subsidies?

Land's article Theories, Models and Indicators of Social Change (1975, 14) defines social indicators as follows:
"Social indicators are statistics which measure social conditions and changes therein over time for various segments of a population. By social conditions, we mean both the external (social and physical) and the internal (subjective and perceptual) contexts of human existence in a given society." 

Without delving into complicated economic and social analyses, here is a quick outline of what Smith (1973) considered in Geography of Social well-being in the United States, to be indicators of social wellbeing:
1. Economic
   * Income
   * Employment
   * Welfare
2. Environment
   * Housing
   * Street and Sewage
   * Air Pollution
   * Open Space and Parks
3. Health
   * Mortality
   * Chronic Diseases
4. Education
5. Social Disorganization
   * Personal (addiction)
   * Family Breakdown
   * Overcrowding
   * Public Order and Safety (crime, juvenile delinquents)
6. Participation and Equality
   * Democratic Participation
   * Racial and Income Equality

I would therefore greatly appreciate it if Sarhan, as an avid NDP advocate, analyzes the above indicators, not just income and subsidies, and presents us with concrete findings that prove his earlier contention that there is no social inequality in Egypt.

And if he really wants to know why Egypt's middle class and the supposedly better-off social strata joined the Revolution, I advise him to read Richard Crosland in the Future of Socialism (1964, 89):
"Poverty is not, after all, an absolute, but a social or cultural concept. This demands a relative, subjective view of poverty, since the unhappiness and injustice it creates, even when ill-health and malnutrition are avoided, lies in the enforced deprivation not of luxuries, but of small comforts which others have and are seen to have."

Egyptians who called for, and joined the Revolution, may differ in their ideologies but they all share the same aspirations for a Better Egypt. An Egypt that epitomizes the universal human rights of freedom, justice and equality. Is that too much to ask for?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

To B or not to B.. That is the Question

To many, this came out of nowhere. Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, presidential hopeful, abruptly issued a statement on January 13, 2012, announcing his decision to withdraw from the presidential race. Dr. B, as he's fondly called by his supporters, has been a continuous pain in the neck to Egypt's ruler since his retirement as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2009. What started off with a polite demand for democracy in Egypt culminated in a call for civil disobedience after the December 2010 election fiasco. He lived up to his reputation in his exit speech published in the Dostoor and his televised address to the nation by condemning SCAF's continuation of Mubarak regime's oppressive practices.

But did Dr. B's withdrawal come as a surprise? Not really. One strong indicator was the landslide results of the Islamists in the recent parliamentary elections. The combined Islamist forces of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis clenched close to a whopping 70% of the vote. Egypt's preference was obvious; no presidential candidate stands a chance without the seal of approval of the Islamists and it wasn't forthcoming to Baradei. The MB dangled its carrot on several occasions but came short of fully supporting him. Although Abdel Moneim Aboul Fetouh's bid for presidency cost him his MB membership, he's still family and blood's thicker than water. The Salafis, the elections' black horse, were never considered a serious political power. Until now, that is. Their support was not only difficult in view of Baradei's liberalism, it was virtually impossible with their own strongman Hazem Abu Ismail in the race.

And to complicate matters, enter the current ruler of Egypt. There is no love lost between SCAF and Dr. B; he is one of their most vocal critics. In his withdrawal statement he didn't mince his words and accused them of dictatorial mismanagement, flagrant oppression and borderline corruption. Until recently SCAF kept appearances and grudgingly invited him to conciliatory meetings with predominantly pseudo-opposition characters, which he unceremoniously turned down. This minimum decency disappeared as their relationship hit rock bottom in the aftermath of Mohamed Mahmoud and Cabinet events when the army used excessive force in dealing with protesters and Baradei reprimanded them in no uncertain terms. They subsequently unleashed their media dogs to rekindle the fires of the smear campaign which started during Mubarak's reign, and fallaciously tainted him and his family. There was bad blood and irreconcilable differences and Baradei would have never been endorsed by SCAF in his bid for the presidency, especially with his unyielding demand for absolute authority, autonomy and good governance. Why risk it with Dr. B when they had a loyal comrade-in-arms and already-tested Shafik in the wings?

Another discerning factor was the lack of consensus on Baradei among the Revolutionaries and intelligentsia. They stand divided on the man who was the first heavyweight Egyptian politician to speak out against Mubarak when it wasn't in vogue. To his admirers Dr. B is "the man": Egypt's savior and emancipator, a seasoned politician with vision and integrity. To his detractors he is distant, uncharismatic and falls short of their fiery revolutionary aspirations. To the young Islamist revolutionaries he doesn't even exist.  No. Baradei's chances for the bid for presidency were slim, an uphill battle whose expected unpleasant outcome would've tarnished his distinguished career.

And while I'm deeply disappointed that he bowed out of the race, I'm almost relieved he spared himself, and us, an almost hopeless battle and welcome reverting his vast wisdom, energy and constructive analytical thinking to his original role as catalyst and mentor of the Egyptian Revolution. Is this being defeatist? Pragmatic is more like it. Suffice it to analyze the results of the referendum and the parliamentary elections. I mean, how shrewd do you have to be in order to foresee the outcome? And though I yearned for an executive role for Baradei because I strongly believe he is the best among all the presidential hopefuls, I'm mature enough to realize that it was a remote possibility given the country's inclinations. Baradei will go down in history as one of the most important and influential catalysts of Egypt's Revolution; unfortunately Egypt is not ready to give him more than that. For now.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mubarak or Egypt? - January 12, 2011

It hurts me profoundly when I see EGYPT begging from its brethren in the Gulf and other countries to finance its deficit, its bread really. I don't blame some countries for laying conditions but what I strongly object to is the Saudi and UAE's stand (if true) that their assistance depends on the outcome of Mubarak's trial! My dear brothers: is Mubarak more important to you than the 85 million plus Egyptians? Is Mubarak more important to you than the millions of Egyptians who have lived in your countries and helped you build it over the years? Is Mubarak more important to you than justice and الحق if Egypt's legal justice decides that he deserves to be punished for crimes committed? And more importantly, and this I direct to our esteemed government: where are Egypt's embezzled BILLIONS which if retrieved would have spared us from begging and saved our face and dignity? Why are you humiliating us?!! Egypt doesn't deserve this!

Baradei and Ghoneim - December 30, 2011

When I get discouraged or feel frustrated I list the independent and respectable characters who are in support of the Revolution..then I take a deep breath..and persevere.. Dr. Mohamed El Baradei and Dr. Mohamed Ghoneim are among those I hold in high esteem and help people like me put matters in perspective. I have in all objectivity and integrity tried to think of well-known and respectable personalities among the so-called Silent Majority of Abasseya with the same Baradei/Ghoneim calibre but found none.. Again, I stand corrected and would gladly acknowledge my mistake..

Politically Correct.. Again - December 29, 2011

People still use the words "retarded" in a demeaning way.. Only people related to persons with disability are insulted by this and feel the pain.. This has been ongoing for as long as I can remember and unfortunately it has become ingrained in our culture to make fun of disability, no thanks to our decadent movie industry which used retarded متخلف and its synonyms in a degrading manner (it has now been replaced by زهايمر i.e. Alzheimer's) in a cheap attempt to make people laugh.. And while I know that it's done out of ignorance not cruelty, I think it shows insensitivity to people with disability and their families. But that aside I am stunned whenever I see that well known writers and journalists still use words like عته مغولي أو توحد as a negative adjective for a person or a situation! One would assume they're educated enough to know that this is NOT "politically correct".. We still have a long way to go.. Education is key!

I Won't Let You.. - December 29, 2011

I won't let you defeat my spirit..
I won't let you bury my hope..
I won't let you suppress my dreams..
I won't let you break me..
I won't let you because I am a FREE spirit full of hope and dreams and you just can't break me..
I won't let you because there is NO MORE FEAR..

لا لن تسقط حقوق الإنسان.. - December 26, 2011

الحقيقة ليس فقط تسقط حقوق الإنسان ولكن يسقط كل كاتب وكاتبة لا يراعي ضميره الإنساني قبل أن يراعي ضميره المهني.. يسقط الكتاب الذين يدسون السم في العسل بدعوى الكتابة الحيادية والمنطق المعوج.. لا أطلب من الكتاب أن يجانبوا الصواب أو أن ينحازوا إلى الثورة - الثورة التي أعطتهم الفرصة الكاملة للكتابة بحرية وكرامة وقد كانوا منذ سنة واحدة يمشون جنب الحيط أو ينافقون ضمن فريق الهتيفة - ولكن أطالبهم بكلمة حق وكلمة سواء.. الفتاة المضروبة أصبحت ستربتيز والثوار أصبحوا حشاشين؟ لا أقول سوى حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل وأفوض أمري إلى الله..
وقد قام البعض بنشر هذا الفيديو عن الفتاة المنقبة قبل ضربها وسحلها وتعريتها معللا وحشية الجنود في التعامل معهم بسبب أنها كانت تسبهم وترمي عليهم طوباً..

Yes the girl was wrong in throwing stones (couldn't make out the insults but that's not acceptable too), but does this justify the vicious and savage way she was beaten? She could've easily died or sustained a crippling injury and I know you're not OK with that but then are you trying to find an excuse for the soldiers? Because in all honesty I can't..
Again I'll say: we cannot BUILD without eradicating corruption and having full, fair CLOSURE of pending issues. Any haphazard, temporary solution will remain that: temporary.
Media? What media my dear friend.. Are we talking about the subservient media which needs radical cleansing or the independent one? I share your frustration and disappointment, albeit for different reasons..
First I would NEVER condone injustice even to a murderer, precisely because our Holy Quran calls for القصاص .. I would never demand that someone be treated unjustly, even if he did the same..
Second who's REALLY responsible for the deteriorating tourism situation.. the tourists evaporated because of lack of security and not because there were protests which was actually a tourist attraction at one point in time
Third let's differentiate between short, medium and long term plans.. I'm a staunch advocate of education because it is KEY but let it be among our other priorities. I have to insist on eradication of corruption. Arguing that other countries are corrupt doesn't make it right; it's one of their vices which they are grappling with and not acceptable there.. Another priority is cleansing of the state media and I really mean radical disinfecting!
Fourth.. there is NO doubt in my mind that ALL my friends' list are patriots but we have different views.. I respect one and all.. I don't agree with some, but I respect them all the same.

Women's March - December 21, 2011

Just came back from the Women's March.. It was an uplifting experience to say the least.. And it goes to prove this fact: Egyptian women of all ages, of all backgrounds are just GREAT! And the shabab and men made a tight contour on both sides to protect us.. The maseera represented Egypt, we were all there: Muslims, Christians, conservative, liberal, mo7agabat and not mo7agabat, rich and poor, educated and not so educated.. and we were ONE.. ONE voice, ONE chant:
بنات مصر..خط أحمر
مصر يا أم.. بناتك أهم.. مصر يا أم.. ستاتك أهم
عيش.. حرية.. كرامة إنسانية
It was a great experience.. تحيا مصر

بالمناسبة كدة على الماشي برضة نحب ننوه إن النهاردة ستاتك يا مصر دبحوا القطة والكلام ليكي يا جارة ياللي بتقولي قال إيه إن الستات ما تسوقش قال.. بجد ضحكتوني

قطع إيدك
This is the picture that many of us held today in the Women's March..

 قطع إيدك
قطع إيدك
قطع إيد اللي ينتهك حرمة الأبية
قطع إيدك
قطع إيد اللي يضرب بنت الأكابر العلية
قطع إيدك
قطع إيد اللي ينجس حرمة جسد الشريفة البهية
قطع إيدك
قطع إيد أي حد يمد إيده على مصري أو مصرية

Today was OUR day.. not sure about tomorrow or the day after.. but it was a nice break, a little hard-earned, well-deserved reward.. The Revolution is targeted by many, albeit for different reasons, and it's not a fair fight because we still don't know who's hitting us in the dark. We sink into depression and despair but we still cling to that last thread of hope. So let us hope my against all odds.. Let us hope

Lose-Lose.. - December 17, 2011

We are in a lose-lose situation; Egypt is burning and Egyptians are being pinned against each other and if we look deep we'll know who's behind this, who stands to be the real winner.. Who wants it to BURN? Who wants the Revolution to fail? I have said a hundred times that I don't blindly approve of protests except those with consensus and for a clear purpose.. but that if these protests are viciously and inhumanely addressed I'll be the first to accuse the oppressor's inhumanity and brutality! No one can dispute that the brutal, vicious scenario is repeated EVERY TIME albeit from different aggressors: protesters are handled heartlessly and viciously with a shoot-to-kill, hit-to-maim attitude, as if this is the ONLY and RIGHT WAY to treat Egyptians! I'm STUNNED at people, especially women, who don't see the human element, who want us to treat this practically and pragmatically to see the bigger picture, and who believe that sympathizing against brutality is romantic or being brainwashed.. I will also not argue with them but will continue to expose claims that these events didn't happen or are photoshopped.. I also have nothing to tell them except that I wish this doesn't befall them or someone dear to their hearts..

فوتوشوب منه فيه - December 18, 2011

    • هااام جدا كشف حقيقة فبركة الفبركة.. اتفرجوا على الفيديو من أوله عشان تشوفوا مين اللي ضرب البنت لحد ما فقدت الوعي لإن فيه فيديو معروض على الإنترنت قاطعين أوله ومش موريين التعامل الوحشي معاها، إيه الوحشية والهمجية دي؟ وبعدين دة ضرب بغل وإصرار على الضرر.. حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل
      فين إثبات براءة الجيش؟ أنا مش شايفة غير متظاهرين (في عُرف بعض الناس بلطجية) بيشدوا البنت عشان ينقذوها ولكن اضطروا يسيبوها وجريوا فالعساكر لحقوها وضربوها بوحشية وسفالة وهم بيشدوها اتعريت.. وفعلا فيه عسكري حس على دمه حاول يغطيها بس بعد إيه لما اتعدمت العافية من الضرب وأغمى عليها!! للأسف الفيديو دة مش كامل ونفسي تتفرجي على الفيديو اللي فيه البنت بتتضرب بالشلوت في راسها وجسمها وبتنتهك بأبشع صورة
  • Do you accept the way this protester was handled.. would you accept this if she was your mother, wife or daughter?

I'm personally involved in this particular photo so please allow me to give you the real story behind it.. When I first saw the picture on the left I was shocked because I recognized the lady as Tante Nadia Rizk, the mother of my best friend Diane Rizk Olsen who lives in NY.. I immediately asked Diane and she called her mom and confirmed that it was her and she told me exactly what happened. T. Nadia who lives in Garden City was obviously buying something when the young woman in green was being chased by the soldiers carrying batons! She sought refuge behind T. Nadia and they both stumbled and fell to the ground. T. Nadia then started shouting at the 5 soldiers with batons for beating up and terrorizing the young woman, which made her run and seek refuge behind T. Nadia in the first place! The soldiers told her: ما تخافيش يا ماما.. and helped her up, hence the second picture. I have strived to clarify this photo everywhere to explain that T. Nadia wasn't beaten up but what everyone's oblivious to, either intentionally or intentionally, is that this doesn't change the truth: they were brutal and violent against the young woman! ياجمال شهامتهم وهم بيساعدوا الست الكبيرة وياسفالتهم وهم بيضربوا البنات الشابات! We are in a crisis and there are NO winners here.. All I keep saying is dou3a for Egypt: اللهم ولي علينا خيارنا ولا تولي علينا شرارنا، اللهم أرنا الحق حقا وأرزقنا إتباعه وأرنا الباطل باطلا وأرزقنا إجتنابه، ولا تجعلهما علينا متشابهين فنتبع الهوى فنضل

فض إعتصام مجلس الوزراء بالقوة وضرب المتظاهرين - December 17, 2011

في الدقيقة ٥٢: الشاب نور أيمن نور ابن جميلة إسماعيل، خريج الجامعة الأمريكية والناشط السياسي يضرب بوحشية وهو يدافع عن فتاة.. هو دة الشباب البلطجي اللي في التحرير..

ظهر الناشط نور ايمن بعد الاعتداء عليه من قبل قوات الجيش
And this is what Noor Ayman Noor got for trying to defend the girl on the ground.. S H A M E !

شهادة الدكتورة التي حاول نور أيمن حمايتها وضُربوا معاً ضرباً مبرحاً.. الفتاة ما شكلهاش بلطجية أو قليلة الأدب بل منتهى الذوق والأخلاق والإحترام.. ليه واحدة زيها تتبهدل وتتضرب في محاولة لكسر إرادتها وإذلالها؟

هل الغيرة على العرض تتنافى مع الإسلام السياسي؟ ام مع المصالح وإنسى أى شىء تانى؟

بالقطع لا تعارض بين الإسلام والغيرة على العِرض.. بل إنه من شيمة المؤمن إنه يغير على عِرضه ومن مات وهو يدافع عن عِرضه فهو شهيد، والذي بلا نخوة فهو ديوث.. خلاص كدة بالنسبة لتوضيح النقطة دي بما لا يدع مجال للشك؟ طيب نيجي بقى لحتة الإسلام السياسي؟ مش عارفة جابوها منين.. بجد .. لست عالمة ولا أدعي العلم ولكنني أزعم أنني متعلمة ومازلت لا أفهم ما هو الإسلام السياسي.. الإسلام الذي أعرفه هو دين وأسلوب حياة وتعاليم تحكم "كل" تصرفاتنا وتعاملاتنا، وبالتالي لا يمكن أن تكون هناك سياسة للدولة ترضى بالنهب الممنهج أو إنتهاك الحرمات والحريات، ولكن بالنسبة لأساليب الإدارة فتُستنبط من أحدث ما توصلت إليه الإنسانية (أنتم أعلم بشئون دنياكم - الحديث) ولكن بما لا يتعارض مع الدين.. كما استنبط عمر بن الخطاب نظام الدواوين والإدارة من الفرس والروم ولم يطعن أحد في دينه! هذا هو فهمي المتواضع

فيديو ضرب السيدة/خديجة حفناوي.. هذه السيدة محترمة وليست بلطجية (حسب معلوماتي لكن اللي عنده غير كدة ياريت يفيدنا) بل إنهم كانوا يلقبونها بأم الثوار لأنها كانت تمدهم بالبطاطين والطعام