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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...

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...

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