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Egypt: Bottoms, Narrative Choices, & Frogs

By on Nov 4, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

It seems that there are certain things people need to realize first, in order to sense the necessity of change, and, in some cases, the urgency. Let’s start with a basic social truth – there is no ‘bottom’. Your society, community, or state is not some rubber ball bouncing towards the ground that must inevitably, hit a bottom and bounce back up. Things that fall, will – unless something changes – continue to fall. The inability to comprehend this, to sit back and wait, as though ‘now’ things will get better because they can’t get worse, is suicide. There is no bottom. You’ve already seen the shape of things to come, but not their magnitude, and certainly not the qualitative changes in shape that accompany shifts from one order of magnitudes to another. Things can, in fact, get much worse. Where they get worse is, usually, a...

Le Morte d’Egypte

By on Oct 30, 2014 in Featured, Politics | 0 comments

Excuse the title. I like the Camelot myths. I’ve never read the original Malory though and wasn’t quite so interested in it when I was a child. The whole knight in shining armor thing never quite caught my fancy. However, I was lucky enough, years later, to run into The Sword in the Stone, T.H. White’s wonderful take on the Arthurian myths, in the first volume, we see a young Arthur, slowly becoming aware of what Merlin’s oblique lessons were forcing him to understand. It is a key moment, and here it is, brutally shortened, for your benefit. It’s still a bit long for an excerpt, but it’s important, and if you give me your attention for a few minutes, you’ll see why it’s so important that you get a feel for how it unfolds… “I have been thinking,” said Arthur, “about Might and Right. I don’t think things ought...

Forget That It’s Laila…

By on Oct 28, 2014 in Politics | 1 comment

Laila Soueif has gone on a total hunger strike. Forget that it’s Laila. A mother, whose children are unjustly imprisoned, has gone on a total hunger strike. Never mind how you feel about her son, Alaa. Maybe you like him, maybe you hate him. It doesn’t matter. What matters is only this; do you believe he is guilty? Do you believe that by imprisoning him you have enhanced security and stopped terrorism in Sinai? That you no longer have to worry about getting car-jacked as you drive? His sister, Sanaa Seif, is also imprisoned, just because she stood in a protest criticizing the unjust imprisonment of her brother. Do you believe she is a criminal who should be in jail? Or do you simply believe that she’s collateral damage? A necessary sacrifice to the giant you called upon, and for whom you get angry when people refer to it as ‘military rule’? You told us...

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...

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