Egypt’s Growing Catalog of Absurdities

By on Oct 27, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

As an Egyptian in Egypt these days, you get used to absurdity, it starts when you wake up and look at the news, and then frustrates you during the day as you see it resonate with some of the people you meet and interact with, and finally, at evening, on TV screens across the nation, the absurdity is re-framed into ever more convoluted scenarios before which any sane mind would surely strap on a nuclear bomb and rid humanity of its’ misery. It seems only appropriate, at times like these, to show the world just how crazy we have become… Here are some samples in no specific order: 1. General Hamdy Bekheet, on TV, saying, in no uncertain terms that “We are in a war on terrorism! We are at war with the world! We are at war with great countries! We are at war with the European Union! We are fighting the United States! We are at war with Israel, Turkey, and Iran! We are at...

This Is The Egypt You Have Allowed To Exist

By on Oct 26, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

This is the only Egypt your actions have allowed, one in which innocents are sentenced for standing up for their own rights or the rights of others. It is the same Egypt, in which you support a military dictator (whether elected or not), and believe his lying supporters on TV while you ignore everything your son or your daughter tells you about what’s actually going on at universities and on the street. It is the same Egypt in which you mourn for dead soldiers while you allow the government to arrest and imprison the youth who protested against the terrorist regime you now claim to be at war with. It is the same Egypt that you’ve had for more than 60 years, and it is an Egypt that has been sinking under the weight of the rampant corruption that you have, if not participated in, then catered to. It is an Egypt in which there is no justice, in which the phrase ‘human...

Egypt’s Opposition – “Islamists”?

By on Oct 10, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

Why do many of us still refer to the political opposition and protesters in Egypt as “Islamist”? We use the word regularly, and initially, it made some sort of sense. The military regime, under the pretence of alliance with the National Salvation Front (remember THAT…?), portrayed itself as being Civilian and Secular friendly, and understandably, after a year of religious fascism, people were relieved, as were many Copts. However, time has shown otherwise; the regime has shown absolutely no tolerance for any secularism or diversity in any way shape or form. Sisi’s regime arrests atheists, and in fact, his police force forms special squads to ‘hunt down’ atheists online, homosexuals are under constant threat and if you happen to be a homosexual human rights advocate, for instance, you are easy prey to a brutal regime, since they need not bother with...

A Bomber Called Mariam

By on Sep 26, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

They are taken with the woman in her pilot costume, they see her wearing her helmet, in their heads, they consider her as part of an ‘oppressed’ group, which is to say, Arab women, and they imagine her, flying in the air, as good a pilot as Maverick in Top Gun, and they imagine her dropping bombs on an aggressive crowd of (in their imaginations) undoubtedly bearded men. There’s nothing progressive about bombs. Bombs explode. They make a mess. When they go off, they very rarely damage only the intended victim. A bomb is the most primitive way to kill somebody. More often than not, it kills collectively, which is to say – unselectively. Unlike a sniper’s reticle – it doesn’t see faces. A bomb kills indiscriminately. A bomb does not know if the head that it’s ripping off belongs to a terrorist, a freedom fighter, a doctor, a nurse, a woman, or a child. It, there is no other way to say...

Starving for Justice

By on Sep 13, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

When we speak of the imprisoned protesters in Egypt, many of whom are now, and have been, on a hunger strike, many of us think of the physical pain itself; how hungry you get in the first few days, what you feel as your body starts adapting to the lack of food, and if it’s a complete hunger strike, the body’s slow trip towards finality. The physical pain is indeed, horrific, and, depending on how you strike, can be fatal, but, believe it or not – it is not the main issue – the human body, in the final analysis, adapts, and the end of this particular ‘adaptation’ is often death. The real issue here is the mental, intellectual, and spiritual anguish one must feel in order to resort to turning his own body into a megaphone by which he or she hopes to reach society… It is the anguish of a prisoner, who knows that he is unjustly imprisoned (because...

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