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Was It a Mistake to Protest Against Morsi?

By on Jan 6, 2015 in Featured, Politics | 1 comment

On the 30th of June, 2013, we took to the streets to protest the rule of Dr. Mohamed Morsi, a member of the so-called Muslim Brotherhood, and then president of Egypt. We protested against him, and our reasons were as diverse as we ourselves were; some of us were with the revolution and against the Muslim Brotherhood, some of us were clearly Mubarak loyalists who salivated at the chance to depose the Brotherhood, and some of us had, ostensibly, gone down to protect their Egyptian ‘Identify’ from the Pseudo-Islamist fascism that we had all seen crystalized before our eyes in the mostly-Islamist parliament in which we had seen the face of so-called ‘Political Islam’. Since that day, since Morsi was removed, events have taken on their own momentum; the military exploited our protests just as it had exploited the revolution from the very start. The generals took control just as they had...

Egypt: Waiting for Sunset

By on Dec 23, 2014 in Featured, Politics | 0 comments

How long must we endure? It is difficult to take events in Egypt seriously right now. It has become normal to see legal and judicial travesties on a daily basis; a news story about two people being arrested for speaking English while on the subway, another story about a man getting arrested, or brought by a mob to a police station, for writing the frequency of satellite channels on a bathroom wall, as though it were some sort of political pornography. We are almost used to the frequent violations of the basic legal rights of anybody suspected of homosexuality or atheism, as though those were crimes when even Egypt’s mockery of a legal system has not yet found the time to officially criminalize them. The courts, initially resorted to by human rights activists, have about as much blood on their hands now as the police force does. The army has become, first covertly, but now quite...

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...

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