Saturday, December 31, 2005

My Half Year Blogging... Happy New Year!

I know so much have happened this year in Egypt but I only started blogging mid this year, 2005. Below are not all the blogs I posted over the past six months, but those I considered important to the sequence of this year's events.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year. It has been a difficult year filled with moments of hope and despair, excitment over seeing change could happen and disappointment over slackness of bringing real changes and the production of faked plays for democracy. Here is the year's round up:

Government Killed the Sudanese Refugees and My Grandma Did Not

Yesterday, a bloody massacre took place at the very early hours of the day at a well-known busy square in Mohandeseen, Giza which is part of Greater Cairo. About 25 Sudanese refugees were killed and more than 35 were injured at the hands of the police officers of the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior. Officers used cannons with cold water directed towards the Sudanese refugees at a time when the temperatures are round 48-52 F/8-11C, before starting the raid with sticks and weapons.

The Sudanese refugees have been living under severe health conditions in this polluted heavy traffic area with their children for three months. Many children were said to be born at this tiny circle in one of the areas in Giza that is considered to be for the relatively rich middle class. This place used to be a small park before the Sudanese refugees took as a shelter. The place has no access to potable water or electricity. Three months have passed and not a single finger for the Egyptians authorities has been lifted to ease the lives of more than 3000 refugees who lived under the worst conditions humans can live under. Their miserable stay ended with tragic loss about humiliating stay in a country that claims to have fraternal ties with its neighboring countries. Not to mention that I have studied at school that Egypt and Sudan have been always historically one region and we share the same precious Nile Valley, only words but no deeds. Yesterday, the Egyptian police officers gave the new young generation a new history moral lesson on how to kill your neighbours.

My sadness and frustration over yesterday’s brutal attack on a group of unprivileged Sudanese people is because how it was easy to shatter the values of the lives of the Egyptians and how that was reflected on my personal life and memories. It shatters and defeats my childhood memories. I feel my world is defeated and small after yesterday. It brings back also childhood memories with a woman whom I cherish every moment. This woman is my grandmother who died few years ago. I spent most of my childhood years at her house due to the fact that my mom was a working mom. My grandma did work but she was a landlady, she owned a building in one of Cairo’s districts and used to rent low-rate apartments and guess to who? To the Sudanese people. I remember when I was a small kid in the late 70’s and 80’s, the Sudanese people took Egypt as a second home. Sometimes we were joking saying that their numbers are getting bigger than the Egyptians. I have to admit that they were poor and always postponing paying the rent to my grandma. And my grandma with her great heart did not mind and they loved her so much despite her temper sometimes. Life was tough with my grandma and she was there one day so she felt for them. Tenants who left her apartments used to come and visit for a cup of Egyptian tea for her kindness and her motherly feelings that encompassed many with her warmth. My uncles and aunts were jealous for the number of Sudanese brothers and sisters they got because of my grandma. She always had candies and no one was allowed to leave without having some. She was a very special woman. So I kind of collected memories about the Sudanese people from my childhood. They are very social joyful people; a Sudanese apartment is a hub for other Sudanese fellows. They are avid readers and open-minded people with very hot temper. They love and respect Egyptians. And they love to drink. They are socially open unlike Egyptians in some instances. I saw Sudanese girlfriends visiting their Sudanese boyfriends with no insinuations for any disrespect. By the way, my grandma was very strict about the straightness of her tenants as an Egyptian woman of some origins from Upper Egypt who also had daughters that she needs to keep an eye on them. As a kid around the legs of my grandma everywhere she went, they used to compliment her by playing with her granddaughter. I naturally established this grudge-free relationship with others that does not judge people according to their color or their financial status which until this day do not impress me at all.

Their country politically deteriorated late 80’s and the 90’s was the worst. Egypt did not help and many Sudanese were deported and the number of the Sudanese people living in Egypt declined tremendously. It was very normal that any Egyptian citizen would report the presence of a Sudanese person and the Egyptian authorities to come to collect the Sudanese person or family for deportation. And because they are poor, in the eyes of the Egyptian authorities they had no price. They are cheap human beings. A wealthy Gulf man with no respect to the Egyptian people but who has dollars in his pockets coming to fish for whores because he cannot have them in his country is very welcomed because of his money. And this is still Egypt until this day, a state with no values towards humans.

Three months have passed and neither the people nor the government moved to help those Sudanese people to find a proper shelter until they move to their country or another country. One of these months was the benevolent Ramadan where 70% of the government TV broadcasting and press is dedicated to polishing some fake religious figures who have nothing in their mind except women and whether it is appropriate to enter the bathroom with the right or the left feet and no one of them mentioned those poor Sudanese people who are living next door at the very heart of Cairo in one single article or TV/radio show. They did not advise people that instead of spending L.E. 40,000-50,000 (less than $ 10,000) to visit the holy lands in Saudi Arabia at the end of Ramadan, that it would have been tenderer to look into the misery of those poor Sudanese refugees whom their only demand is to live a decent life like any human being. Those parents who spent thousands could have taught their children how to be kind to people in need that live next door. But also because most of them are not considered Arab Muslims, they do not deserve attention. Most of them were displaced by the Darfur conflict.

I feel so sorry for what has happened to the 3500 Sudanese refugees and it actually breaks my heart to write any further about it. I am aware that my sorry feelings do not mean anything to the magnitude of yesterday’s massacre. The damage that happened to those Sudanese families and to me is bigger than losing a beloved family member or a child. For me it is Egypt, that every day I see its parts are deformed or lost at the hands of the military ruling. God bless your soul, grandma.

Friday, December 30, 2005

27 killed, 30 injured after police stormed a UN Refugee Camp in Cairo, Egypt

Photo: A Sudanese man is beaten on the floor by Egyptian riot police during a forceful evacuation of thousands of Sudanese refugees on their third month protest outside UN offices in Cairo. Ten Sudanese refugees were killed when several thousand Egyptian riot police forcibly broke up the protest.(AFP/Cris Bouroncle)

To Add Insult to Injury....

Egyptian police turned water cannons on Sudanese war refugees and beat them with sticks today, brutally clearing out a squatters camp in a city park. At least 10 people were killed.

In Geneva, Switzerland, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, expressed his shock and sadness over the violence and deaths.
BBC reports UN 'shocked' by violence in Cairo. Up to 3,000 refugees had been living at the camp since it was set up on 29 September, many of them sleeping in the open. Sudan said on Friday the refugees should come home, after a peace deal ended its 21-year war with rebels in the south.
Photo:A Sudanese man is beaten by Egyptian riot police during a forceful evacuation of thousands of Sudanese refugees. (AFP/Cris Bouroncle)

I have no problem evacuating the area since it was at the very heart of Greater Cairo. It was odd to see them at such place where traffic is busy and all those high towers are surrounding them ...etc, but why kill and injure the people? This is unjustifyable!

A regime that kills its own citizens without giving reasons, a regime that fails to guarantee and protect the citzens' civil and constitutional rights... why would I be surprised that the ministry of the interior officers are killing Sudanese refugees....Let the world watch why Egypt is slipping into the list of failing/failed states.

"Failed states create environments that spur wider regional conflicts with significant economic and security costs to neighboring states. They pose serious challenges to world interests in terms of refugee flows, trafficking in illicit goods, peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, and in terms of lost trade and investment opportunities. "

Egypt's history reversed 300 years since 1952!

I have wrote this in a different blog, however I see it related. It is a complete transformation to the principles and ethics that our history before 1952 taught us. I cannot believe that this is happening in Egypt that once hosted Damascus Jews after the 1844 massacre, Lebanon’s Christians after the 1860 massacres, thousands of Armenian orphans in 1915, the Greek royal family during world war II, Albanian Royal family after the 1950 coup d’etates, Al-Habib Bourqiba, Russian and Chinese princesses as well as Algerian and most African strugglers. Egypt was also sought by Prince Talal Bin Abdel Aziz and the Iranian and Libyan Royal families as a safe haven, where they all lived in safety. Let’s not forget Egyptian Jews who had to flee Egypt in a savage way under the brutal ruling of late President Gamal Abdel Nasser who gave orders to get them out of Egypt with their bedtime clothes confiscating all their properties.

Blogs in Tuning: Dog-Pundit, Free Thoughts, little green footballs, Mostafa Hussein from Global Voices and Seneferu.

Tomorrow Protest- Candle Vigil, see details on Manalaa Blog. The protest is against the suppressive the Egyptian ministry of the interior and the candle vigil is for those innocent Sudanese people whom we lost today at the hands of brutality. Applauds Egyptian Bloggers

I am not into French but what I read looks good:) . "L’Afrique du Nord blogge à gogo, Petit tour d’horizon de la blogosphère du Maghreb et du Machrek"

I have been always proud to be an African, something most North African Arab nationalists tend to forget. But geographically, yes I am an African.

Back to the Article, it mentions Egyptian bloggers: Freedom for Egyptians (that's me) , Rantings of a Sandmonkey and The Big Pharoah as a reference for Egypt's current affairs...etc.

And of course it did not forget Manalaa and Miss Mabrouk of Egypt who we do not know where did she disappear, Kareem Amer who was detained for talking about Islam reform and The Egypt Blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

RSF:Mubarak cannot keep promises over Journalists' Freedom

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the continued hounding of journalists in Egypt and called on President Hosni Mubarak to keep his pledge, made to parliament on 19 December, to allow press freedom.

US Enemies Writing in the American Press

US renowned reputable the Washington Post hosted an article by one of the Egyptian regime’s stooges and informers on Saturday, sending a repulsive message to the US through the paper. I thought of sending a message to the paper but my message might not be read, but thanks to technorati technology. The message that the article is sending is that reform towards democracy and freedom in Egypt is not achievable and futile without the consent of the secret state security in Egypt which the writer claims is in charge of the election results, media, including the US government-funded Al-Hurra TV channel office in Cairo, and the National Democratic Party’s appointments…in short of the hijacked country.

So the message that this article is trying to send to the Bush Administration, stop trying introducing reform, democracy and freedom because it will be cosmetic because it is the Secret State Security in Egypt that decides not the US! And if President Bush wants to do anything it can only happen with their consent. But the article did not mention who is running this secret state security so that the US could talk to...or whether they get their share from one billion dollar plus aid that the US pays to Egypt annually!

The Writer who claims to be a democracy supporter is a member of the regime's National Democratic Party NDP that rigged the presidential and the parliamentary elections. The thugs of the NDP rapped women, attacked opposition groups in demonstrations and recently helped the ministry of the interior kill 12 Egyptian citizens in the last parliamentary elections. Where is her democracy writings? She likes to play the anti-freedom messenger on the US papers.

All I want to say that I felt disgusted after reading the article and I felt deeply disturbed that the Washington Post is promoting such figures on its website. I wonder whether the Post understands that it was manipulated or not or that it was making fun of its own Administration.

It revolts me to see that the Washington Post promoting and giving space to the supporters of tyranny and dictatorship that the Bush Administration is trying to curb their evil. The paper is not helping to build confidence with the Egyptians or Middle Eastern readers but rather causing confusion. I beg the American press to stop hosting tyrannical regimes' figures and aides!

If the Washington Post does not mind the mass graves found in the Middle East, the lack of freedom and democracy, the continuous violations of human rights, people living under poverty line because of oppression and tyranny, unprivileged peoples, I do not think it supports those who kill the US troops, those who attacked the US in 9/11, kidnappers who slay innocent people from different nationalities, those who terrorize our lives and threaten to blow us anywhere whenever they get a chance.

Requested explanation to the last paragraph of my blog:
With the last paragraph I meant that the tyrannical regimes are acting with different arms. These are not necessarily the terrorist cells that they support either directly or indirectly but also some figures that might look modern and appealing to the western world, like the writer of this article. This writer is one of the aides of the regime apparatus. From my point of view, she does not help promote freedom and democracy, she helps the current tyrannical regime to stay in power hence the prosperity of terrorist cells that are the outcome of such kind of regimes. In short, tyranny is a monster with multiple arms, one of them is this sleazy writer who is a phony pretender. All her writings are serving the regime and its party and not telling anything about the freedom of the Egyptian people. She appears with a sweet face to the westerns and we know her disgusting face in Egypt. I do not want any help to be given to tyranny in any shape.

Blogging same topic:

Monday, December 26, 2005

Remembering Tsunami..

The world today is remembering the loss of 200,000 people caused by the deadly Tsunami last year same day. Remembering the victims and surivors must remind us of our generosity to each other. The memories of the disaster must remind us how humans can be so generous and kind at the moments when we need each other. Let's keep the spirit of brotherhood, compassion and benevolence. May all those we have lost rest in peace and may those who have to survive without their beloved ones be given serenity and the will to continue...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Opposition Leader Ayman Nour Sentenced to 5 years in Jail

Nour has received a five-year jail term after being found guilty of fraud. I do not know what to say that was kind of expected. I did not except him to be acquitted.

"Hundreds of Nour's supporters at the court shouted slogans against President Hosni Mubarak as the verdict was given.

"Hosni Mubarak's rule is illegal! The trial is illegal!" they chanted.

His lawyer, Amir Salim, is quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying the decision against him will "go into the dustbin of history...This is a political verdict that will be annulled by the appeal court."

In first reaction, White House Criticizes Egypt for Conviction of Ayman Nour, Runner-Up to Mubarak in Sept. Election
The White House said Saturday that the conviction "calls into question Egypt's commitment to democracy, freedom, and the rule of law."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the United States was "deeply troubled" by the conviction and called on Egypt to release Nour. Photo by AFP: Supporters cry after hearing the senetence.

The European Union expressed concern as well: "This verdict sends negative signals about democratic political reform in Egypt. The EU expects that any appeal application by Mr Nour will be looked at fairly by the Egyptian Courts."

Whether we agree with Ayman Nour or not, today is another blow to democracy efforts that I call farce that started with the amendement of article 76 of the constitution that allowed multiple candidates to run for the presidency.

What answer should we seek for the attacks by the thugs of the ministry of the interior on opposition demonstrations, the Black Wednesday May 25, the cold blood attacks on voters in the parliamentary elections....the list of violations is long... and life is getting heavier by the minute... we are back to square ONE.... The regime's National Democratic Party thugs are in power, joined by the "Banned" Muslim Brotherhood and Mubarak is still in power for 30 years grooming his son.....Is there a hope?

On a different note, while looking for Ayman Nour's images on the internet today, I noticed that the Ministry of the Interior provided the soliders of the State Security/Central Security with bullet-proof jackets that's because the citizens shoot the soldiers and police officers. May be I read the news upside down few weeks ago when the Central Security killed 12 voters with rubber bullets and tear gas bombs.

Publius Pundit is reporting on the sentence.

Human Rights Watch on Ayman Nour trial (Dec 7), "Judge Jails Opposition Leader, Others, Without Explanation"

Friday, December 23, 2005

Please Welcome "Seneferu"!

Another Pharaoh, I mean another Egyptian blogger joined the blogosphere. "Seneferu" is yet another unrepresentated point of view in Egypt as many bloggers who only find the blogosphere a sane place to freely express themselves.

Welcome Seneferu aboard. I loved the blog you wrote about President Sadat.

If you ask why Pharaoh? It is because, the greatest builder of pyramids ever known was Seneferu, the first king of the fourth dynasty. About 40 km (25 miles) south of Saqqara, at Meidum, he built the first pyramid with the true pyramid shape. Unfortunately, the outer stones have since collapsed, leaving only a step-pyramid core. Seneferu also built another pyramid closer to Saqqara, at Dahshur.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Egyptian Regime Writer Mirrors Iranian President's hallucination

In a country where the President hires the Minister of Information who is responsible for all official and unofficial media outlets, in a country where the Chairman of the Shura Council hires all editors-in-chief and in country where many prisoners of conscience die in prison because of torture or choose to live in seclusion because of the regime’s threats to him/her or their family, I AM NOT SURPRISED to read everywhere that the one of the journalists of one of the government-run newspaper, Al Massaa’, repeats Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s words saying that the Holocaust did not happen. Not only that the “Banned” Muslim Brotherhood leader whose group won 88 seats in the Egyptian parliament through a good deal with the regime says also that the Holocaust did not happen and calls it a myth.

Are we going to be named the "Islamic Republic of Egypt" any soon under the leadership of President Hosni Mubarak who claims that he runs a secular country? It is getting better by the second during your fifth term, onwards to 30 years in power! Photo by Reuters.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Egyptian and Iraqi Elections in the Balance

I was not surprised when I talked to some Egyptians including my family who talked about the Egyptian elections comparing it to the Iraqi elections. Some were joking hilariously about the Egyptian one. But that’s typical Egyptian for your information, we laugh even at the worst moments.

Seeing the Iraqi police and armed men helping the elderly and the disabled find their way to the polling station was a usual scene in the Arabic Middle Eastern media. The Iraqi forces were so attentive to the Iraqi people. They took the voting cards to the hospitals to help the patients cast their ballots. Who could believe that Iraqi insurgents secured an election center in Ramadi to guarantee the winning of the Sunni candidates? That was unexpected stance from the insurgency. Sunnis realized that their only path to be in power is through election and democracy. On the other hand, the Egyptian police were also so proactive and engaging to the extent of attacking the judges who were monitoring the electoral process and killing the citizens with rubber bullets.

Egyptian Parliamentary turnout was less than 21%. Iraq’s election was more than 71%. Democracy is winning credibility in Iraq because it is real. Egyptians are still refraining from voting because there is no democratic process.

Egyptian voters were mainly from the regime National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood. Sunni Iraqis participated after last January elections boycott. All political and religious currents want to play a role in the democratic process. In Egypt, the regime was the only player in every referendum or elections that took place in the past. To let the world believe that democracy is emerging, the regime brought its’ in shadow ally and partner to the light. The regime partnered the Muslim Brotherhood under the dome of the parliament.

Election Monitoring:
The Egyptian NGOs were hampered so as not to their work. The EU invited themselves to monitor the elections. They declared the elections rigged even before the announcement of the results. They were made unwelcome by the regime and in some instances were intimidated by pro-government personal. The Iraqi election was monitored by the Iraqi people and international observers. The UN and USAID exerted tremendous effort to raise awareness on the electoral process, months before election day, distributing pamphlets and flyers. Candidates had access to media and people. The Iraqi election took place under the protection of the US and the will of the Iraqi people to make Iraq’s future.

Enemies of the freedom in Iraq planted some roadside bombs that did not disrupt the democratic process that day. In Egypt, the forces of the ministry of the interior opened fires on Egyptian citizens on different cities and closed several polling stations denying voters access to the polling stations.

I will not talk about the Egyptian election results, it is apparently obvious. The only thing I will say that all human rights groups and NGOs unanimously agreed that the election was rigged and that it witnessed unprecedented violations. But I will wait anxiously for the Iraqi elections results. Iraq’s regime has changed and Egypt regime is still the same since more than 25 years.
Egypt's Parliamentary Elections in my previous blogs:

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Regime is Killing Egyptian Opposition Politician Ayman Nour

Opposition Leader’s wife, Gamela Ismail, said today that opposition politician Ayman Nour was taken to a prison hospital after his health deteriorated on the eighth day of a hunger strike in protest at being detained on forgery charges.

“Nour, a runner up in September's presidential election, is a diabetic and doctors said the hunger strike could lead to a coma and eventually death as his blood becomes more acidic, compromising his vital organs.”

“Ismail said doctors were insisting they correct the imbalance in Nour's blood with fluids administered intravenously. She said he intended to continue to refuse to eat, but is considering the fluid replacement.”

This is the destiny of many people who declare their opposition to the regime. Most of the so-called opposition parties and the Muslim Brotherhood have done deals with the regime so they are immune.

Italy's Peace Reporter on Egyptian Elections Scandals

My friend Naoki Tomasini wrote a story, in Italian though, about the recent Egyptian elections fiasco, quoting me as usual. Thank you Naoki for continuing to show support for our freedom struggle in Egypt.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Egyptian Rigged Elections into International Investigation

Egypt's judges gave the regime an ultimatuma with a deadline to investigate the rigged parliamentary elections. The Egyptian General Assembly for judges threatened to resort to international investigation if the regime refrained from investigating the violations of the electoral process and the rigged results that brought the extremist wing of the banned Muslim Brotherhood to parliament. The deadline is March 17, if the government did not respond to their request; the judges will escalate it to international investigation.

The announcement came following the results of Judges Association elections where the “Independence list” of judges won. The winning group of judges set separating the judiciary jurisdiction and the government as a demand in their campaign. Didn’t I tell you that I am filled hope for a better future. And today after I read this news, I felt like floating with happiness.

There are still honorable people in my country who sincerely want the good for our Egypt. The result of the elections of the Judges Association is evidence that the Egyptian Presidential and Parliamentary elections were rigged. If the people truly choose who to represent them, they make the right choices and we will definitely not end up with Mubarak for President to rule for 30 years or the extremist Muslim Brotherhood and the regime’s National Democratic Party for Parliament seats. This is another acknowledgment from the Judiciary authority that protects our laws and constitution that the Egyptian elections were rigged; hence we live in a state that is being run unconstitutionally.

The newly elected judges will preside over their Association for three years. Four thousand judges voted in the elections and newly elected president, counselor Zakaria Abdel Aziz won over his pro-regime candidate with difference of more than 3000. Yes, that’s wonderful. The new president won 3687 votes and the latter 930 in fair democratic free elections.

Their last Friday General Assembly meeting that lasted after midnight reviewed the violations of the rigged elections and attacks on the innocent citizens and the colleague judges during the voting and monitoring process. Their next extraordinary General Assembly meeting will be held on March 17, to discuss referring the electoral violations to international investigation. They gave the regime three month to conduct investigation on the attacks of the police officers on the judges.

Not only that, wait for more good news, the General Assembly decided following a majority referendum not to participate in any upcoming elections unless they are given the authority to observe and monitor the elections fully and setting up judiciary police to receive orders from them to ensure neutrality and integrity. The judges also stated that they will not be part of rigged elections or be involved with the riggers at any expense and whoever proven from the judges to be involved in the rigging will be stopped.

More good news is coming; I just cannot take my breath from happiness. They threatened that if the General Attorney showed slackenness to bring the responsible for human rights violations during elections, they will seek international investigation. The list of violations includes government orders to police officers to attack the judges, attacking demonstrators violently at the Referendum Day on the constitution’s amendment, May 25 this year. The General Assembly added that some women demonstrators were attacked and sexually harassed by thugs hired by the regime’s National Democratic Party.

In their statement they also mentioned that elections were rigged and that the regime claims it is under the judiciary supervision, so they admit that they are being used as a tool to legalize the results without our consent.

The chairman of the Alexandria Governorate branch for the Association described the parliamentary elections as a farce and asked the Egyptian President to tell the people what had happened.
What is happening is historic in the real sense of the word. My words will not describe my happiness. These group of honorable people are giving us hope for a bright future for Egypt that is being destroyed intentionally by a malicious gang who currently rule whom their only motivation is absolute greed for power.
Today I feel I am a proud citizen, feeling the protection of the highest authority in the country. But above all I am extremely proud of my people, represented in the judges. More....
For details in Arabic, Mona Salem from the Middle East online is reporting.
More honorable stances from our judges since last Spring this year:

Friday, December 16, 2005

Cheney in Egypt,I wonder why?

US Vice President Dick Cheney will be visiting Egypt next week among other countries. Apparently, the main reason is Afghanistan because he will be representing the US in the opening session of the new elected parliament. And, he will be visiting Pakistan. The reason is known, post-earthquake assistance.

However, he will stop in Egypt, Oman and Saudi Arabia and his office did not mention straight forward reasons as for Afghanistan and Pakistan. But his office said that he will be meeting with the leaders of these three countries to discuss the war on terror and President Bush's goal of expanding freedom around the world.

I want to assure the US Vice President and tell him that our President promised to leave power no later than 2050 and that the Egyptian people will continue to rehearse rigged elections until we become mature enough to act as qualified citizens. I do not want to forget to say that voters go to vote to be shot dead not because of terrorists but because of the Ministry of the Interior.

I am so curious to know what is the reason of the visit?

Egypt says US ignores offer to train Iraqi troops

This is so funny, "begad". Is there anyone from the Egyptian regime recording or documenting the Egyptian regime stances over the years? Does anyone have a record of strategy plans?

Wasn't President Mubarak the one who said we do not send troops to an Arab country under occupation? Are we withdrawing statements What did the Egyptian regime think at that time, when the US asked for other neighbouring countries to cooperate in stabilizing Iraq? That the US is going to kill the Iraqi nation. That all world troops go to Iraq for war. The answer is no if they still do not know what are other troops are doing there. Some of them are training Iraqi police and army...I feel so embarrassed for the Egyptian regime, do not beg now and lay the blame on the US..."ely ra7 ra7 ya albi..."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Yes, You are a Winner

When I read US President Bush speech that he delivered at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars which is a nonpartisan forum for the study of world affairs, I told myself this man knows he is a winner.

President Bush said yesterday “As president, I'm responsible for the decision to go into Iraq and I'm also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities. And we're doing just that”. And why would not he take responsibility of going to Iraq when he will be recognized for the establishment of the first democratic free country in the entire Middle East, with Israel as an exception.

Knowing that the US is a nation at war, its commander in chief should not be talking about faulty reasons to go to war. It is not the right time, at least from my humble point of view. This only happens after the commander in chief made sure that he won. And indeed he won. Iraq stands as a blooming flower for the marriage between freedom, after the removal of Saddam, and the Iraqi people who are willing to take control through a democratic process to make their country a better place.

President Bush became so confident of his success that he is admitting responsibility with courage and bravery without any embarrassment and he was willing to say it before his staunch democrat opponents at a time of war.

The Bush administration crossed to the far future by attacking Taliban in Afghanistan and liberating Iraq. The US hit the terrorism camp in Afghanistan where Taliban took the country as a play ground to train terrorists who flew from dictatorship countries in the Middle East that breed extremist ideology. The US liberated Iraq and heralded freedom and democracy in the entire Middle East. Before March 2003, there were no popular movements in Egypt like “Kefaya”, Doctors for change”, “Writers for change”, “Journalists for Change” and “Children for Change”…etc. I had never heard of one single demonstration in any street before Iraq. In Lebanon, Syria was manipulating the Lebanese and taking all their income. Now, the Lebanese people are determined to win their freedom and independency. In Saudi Arabia, who could have ever believed that women would go to vote as in Jeddah? In all Gulf countries, at least now there is a female minister or member of parliament at countries where women’s place was their home regardless of their education. A major Middle East dictator, Saddam, was brought to justice to face the Iraqi people in an open candid trial. The US is helping the Iraqis to get over their pains over 35 years of brutal bloody dictatorship.

The US under the Bush Administration was able to realize who are the friends and who are enemies. The US identified the allies in the war against terrorism and the regimes that sponsor terrorism. Terrorism is the enemy of the entire humanity not the US only.

But the best thing of all is that for the first time in my life I cast my ballot in the Parliamentary elections, despite my deep belief that it will be rigged but I also believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how far it is but we must walk the walk to get there.

Even my language about the future of Egypt has changed. Now, I am more positive. I want to talk, write and tell the story of my country to everyone. I do it now without fear. I am not afraid as before or desperate that change will never happen. Now I want to be part of a positive change. It is because I am so happy for the Iraqis and I know that help is on the way.

The US is determined to win, because if it did not win, oppression, dictatorship, humiliation to our human dignity, terrorism and extremism will prevail.

New Posts on the US and Egypt:
Cheney in Egypt, I wonder why?
Egypt says US ignores offer to train Iraqi troops
Previous posts:
I Cried when I saw this Picture
The US is Winning
Social Freedoms and Chastity in Egypt and the US

Egypt Foils US Freedom Efforts in Manama
The Egyptian liberals and the American conservatives
Cindy Sheehan in Egypt
I Think They are Going to Like You
September 11 Remembered…in the Wake of the Egyptian Elections
The B-52 will Take Care of You

Bad News for the Muslim Brotherhood

Zeinab Radwan was hired as a Deputy Speaker for the Egyptian Parliament, replacing Amal Osman. Osman won a seat in Parliament though.

Radwan is a tough nut. I have attended two-week training on human rights in Cairo a couple of years ago and she was one of the lecturers and that was the first time I met this genius woman whom she irritated lots of males attending the same training, but this is not the important part. I discovered a mine of progressive Islamic knowledge. I have to admit that I was stunned with admiration after she ended her lecture.

She is among the Muslim Egyptians who says out loud that that there is nothing in Islam that proves that head scarves is obligatory as many Islamic clerics try to propagate the idea. This is to name it but few on her progressive stands from Islam. She has such strong personality as well. Congratulations Zeinab Radwan!

Iran is not only Intimidating Israel but Egyptians

I have just read that Iranian extremist group is producing a film on late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat assassination in 1981, entitled “34 Bullets for the Pharoah”.

The documentary is produced by the Committee for the Glorification of Martyrs for the World Islamic Movement in Iran. Wow, this is so motivating to watch the movie, how many people they will be showing to be beheaded and slaughtered?

The group promised in a statement "The documentary will feature raw images of the assassination of Sadat, the trial of the martyr Khaled Islamboli and his companions ... and their motivation for executing the signatory of the first peace treaty between an Arab country and Israel."

Before two years ago, Iran had a popular street named after the killer of President Sadat, Khaled Islamboli, whom they call him martyr in Iran and we call him in Egypt murderer and killer. The Committee for the Glorification of Martyrs for the World Islamic Movement has previously also erected monuments for Khaled Islamboli and for Palestinian and Lebanese suicide bombers.

Iran's new smart president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also warned in October that Muslim leaders who recognize Israel "face the wrath of their own people." Few days ago he denied that Holocaust ever happened that the Germans are still apologizing for.

I read on Alarabiya net the same story in Arabic which is followed by a long discussion and some Arab fanatics are saying nasty things about our late President. I want to tell them that, I am proud of the peace we struck with Israel and that I am grateful to President Sadat for growing up in a non-belligerent country. What President Sadat did more than 30 years ago, many Arab countries are dying to do today but under the table including the Palestinians. I am proud of his legacy of peace and God Bless his soul.

Oh but wait...I got to tell you that it is not only Iran, but Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Their leader said in an interview that Israel is a "cancer" in the Middle East and its peace deal with Egypt should be submitted to a referendum. Well there is no surprise, Islamists defending Islamists. But they always contradict themselves but they agree on hatred. Iran which claims to be Shiite is defending the Sunni Khaled Islamboli, making him a hero. Egyptian Sunnis, like the Muslim Brotherhood, do not recognize Muslim Shiite religious rituals. However they agree on propagating hatred against other faiths and countries.

President Sadat, you are my peace hero. Freedom for Egyptians

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I cried when I saw this picture

Two-year old Mohammed wanted to have his fingers stained with ink just like his father, so the two went back to the electoral table at the central polling station in Copenhagen, Tuesday, December 13, 2005, to get the little proof of democracy. Photo by AP

Aqui Al-Hirez and his 13-month-old son Mussilm show off their inked index fingers. Photo by Reuters. Because of those children the US is Winning in Iraq and that's why Iraqis are dancing. Those children will grow up to tell their childhood memories and will be determined to carry their parents' legacy.

I grew up in country with no memories of practicing my citizenship. People are humiliated because they are ruled, not because they rule. Onwards Iraq to Freedom, Deomcracy and Peace. I will dream with you.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Egypt's Kefaya (Enough) Demonstrations Against Rigged Parliamentary Elections

More than 200 opposition supporters protested in Cairo today against rigged parliamentary elections in which President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party won some three quarters of the seats. (See updates down, demonstrators reached 2000)

Photo by Reuters: An Egyptian woman looks on from behind a banner during a demonstration in Cairo December 12, 2005. She is also holding a sticker saying "Enough Corruption".

Photo by Reuters: The demonstrators from the Kefaya Movement also condemned the deaths of 12 people in violence during the elections, which took part in three stages over a month and ended last week. The banner in the background reads, 'go away Ali Baba and the forty thieves - enough is enough'.

Mostafa updates the story saying that the demonstration probably started at 13:00 with 200 indviduals but then the march which ended two and a half hours later saw a number ranging from 1000 to 2000 persons.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Boycott Chinese Products, Don't watch the Olympic games in Bejing

What had happened in China, Dongzhou Village, is so disgusting and so cruel. The regime claimed the lives of 70 protesters by opening fire on them. When will the repressive regimes stop treating their citizens as slaves? I am seconding Stefania 's call for boycotting Chinese products and not watching the Olympic games in Bejing.

Gateway has the full story. He has been covering the Chinese massacre for a couple of days. He reports "Today Chinese officials came out and defended firing on innocent protesters in Dongzhou Village last Tuesday, December 6, 2005 where (they claim) three protesters were killed. Dongzhou villagers, however, claim that the death toll is much higher with as many as 70 protesters shot dead by authorities. China reported today that authorities have arrested the local official who ordered governmnet forces to shoot and kill the land reform protesters last week." We Do Not Buy Your Products to Kill Your People. Written in Solidarity with the victims of the massacre.
Another note, one of my friends who works for Chinese political affairs read my blog, told me that this happens all the time in China. Meaning: Calm down...there is nothing unusual.. Is this the everyday language?...I am speechless..

Social Freedoms and Chastity in Egypt and the US

This is a true story that happened to one of my American friends living in the US. I felt like sharing it with you because I am seeing it from a different social and cultural perspective being an Egyptian woman.

A friend of mine is living by herself in one of the residential buildings in one of the US renowned popular cities. She shared with me an experience in which I will not go into its details. However, the main thing that I want to review is the repercussions of her story. My friend got harassed by one of her ex-boyfriends. She had to take a couple of precautions. She also sought my advice and her family’s.

In Egypt, a woman is not supposed to live by herself in the first place to start with. A woman must stay at her parents’ house until she moves to her husband’s house. They have to guard and keep an eye on her chastity. She could be doing all that she wants in life including having sex but she must be under the roof of her parents house so that any would-be groom would look at her with respect.

Harassment issues in Egypt must be treated with carefulness because it might touch the girl’s “reputation”. FYI, women at the age of 50 can still be called girls because they are virgins. A woman is not called woman until she is married. A family might advise their daughter never to mention a harassment issue no matter what because if a would-be groom learns that somebody tried to harass his future wife he might consider not marrying her. The reason is always that if a woman has good manners, she would not have been harassed in the first place. Having a harassed daughter in the family is a lasting stigma, because this means that she did not respect herself in a way or another. Reporting violated rights is not an issue.

My friend reported the harassment incident at her work place, seeking the security personnel advice. They assured her. If an Egyptian working woman is harassed and reported that to her work place for protection, she might be subject to interrogation, but not to win her rights to understand why so that they could protect the work environment against deviated women. At the end of the day, she better lie about it to protect her dignity and reputation. It is like being raped in Egypt. A raped woman should remain silent to continue to live as an equal in the eyes of her society to any another woman and not being stigmatized by a rape incident when she could be going under psychological and in many cases physical pain.

Coming now to the building part where my friend lives, women in Egypt are not allowed to live by themselves because they are incapable of protecting themselves against male carnivores who were originally created as sexual predators. We have a very popular proverb of Islamic insinuation that says “if a woman and a man are alone, their third will be the devil”. The Bawab, who is alternative of reception personal in the US, could be the building’s chastity guardian or pimp in Egypt. My friend talked to her building’s manager. He assured her that her safety comes first and that he will give instruction to all receptionists to make sure to report to her all her apartment’s visitors and that noone will be allowed to get inot the building without her consent. He did not talk about her personal behavior or tried to condemn her in anyway as a loose woman. In Egypt, landlords may ask tenants to leave the building because they endanger the building’s reputation and other innocent women. And in this case they are always women because in Egypt we live in a masculine society that gives the men all rights to mess around with women but he repents and he is forgiven the moment he prays and be at the hands of god. Life is beautiful for men. As for the “Bawab”, he would start immediately to give personal smart interpretation like the woman is coming late, there is a guy who always follows her, she dresses in a way that seduces men…etc. He can spice up the story to an extent that ruins that this woman’s reputation socially. He will try his best to lay the blame on the woman no matter what. And by the way the word “reputation” is frequently if not excessively used, because “the reputation” is part of chastity.

Women in Egypt, if they are getting high education at universities, the lack of social freedoms reduces them to in-waiting potential wives because their families cannot rest before they see them married otherwise families will be hunted by the idea of their daughters losing their virginity. A father is always so worried about his daughters because culturally, they are believed to be a burden.

One of the tools for ensuring women’s chastity is female circumcision. It part of subjecting women to complete sexual obedience, something like the medieval chastity belts. Many men in Egypt believe that women must be circumcised otherwise, they can go and hunt other men. Women are treated as prostitutes and men as sexual predators in an age women travel to the moon in space shuttles.

When anyone raises the idea of women’s social freedoms, he/she is either accused of being a disbeliever or infidel or a shameless person who he/she propagating for sexual looseness. The easiest way to attack anyone in Egypt is to attack him/her in connotation to their faith since everyone will look down at him or her if they are socially regarded as not so religious. This is the way anyone can lose credibility. Because social freedoms are mixed with religion and values of a muscular society, there is no way to respect an individual's privacy or freedom. A private life is not a well-known concept in Egypt. Two main questions an Egyptian person would ask a foreigner: "What is your religion? Are you married?". In my society, everyone has a category.

I did not mean to compare Egyptian women, particularly to Americans but the story of my American friend inspired me to compare. I am sure the European or even Asian women are enjoying as much social freedoms as the American women with relativity.

Freedom is all about individuals’ rights. Freedom cannot be attained with individuals in our society crippled by patriarchal muscular ruling. Freedom is all about choices in life.

Egypt: 26 Percent Turnout in Elections

"Egypt's justice minister said yesterday just one quarter of registered voters cast ballots in the monthlong parliamentary elections that ended this week."

And they say regime's National Democractic party and Muslim Brotherhood won! huh..I told you nobody I know went to vote. One quarter is a percentage to save their faces...I bet you it is less... No Representation...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Hail Egypt's Ministry of the Interior

Good Deeds Are Never Forgotten
The ministry’s thugs rape and tear the clothes of demonstrators in opposition protests in Cairo last summer. Opposition demonstrators were regularly intimidated and harassed before the presidential elections. Our rule, if you can't beat them, kill them or kill them.

Beni Suef’s inferno ,where dozens of Egyptians were burned and injured, and no one was held accountable or brought to justice. Our rule, we are over populated hence 45 talented persons are dispensable. We do not speak human lives value language here.

Killing and attacking voters in the latest parliamentary elections. Our rule is consistency, if you can't beat them, kill them or kill them.

Innocent Egyptians have been rounded up from Sinai Peninsula following Taba and Sharm El Sheikh terrorist attacks without police interrogation or official arrest orders. Our rule, citzenship rights are not our language. Intimidation and torture are the best means to talk with innocent citzens because their only crime was being close to the crime scene. Photo by AP.

Good Job, waiting for more! We pay taxes to be beaten by you! We pay you to violate our civil rights granted by our constitution!

Blair: Man of the Decade

"British Prime Minister Tony Blair was awarded the title "Statesman of the Decade" by an international organization.

A spokesman for the institute said the award, last given to German chancellor Helmut Kohl in the 1990s, was in recognition of Blair's leadership and vision in addressing crises and challenges in the Balkans, Iraq, Africa and elsewhere.

The brochure drawn up for the occasion pointed to his achievement in completing negotiations for the 1998 peace agreement in Northern Ireland and shuttle diplomacy he carried out to help form and maintain a coalition after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States."

I always thought that this man is so smart and intelligent. Despite the desperate miserable situation with regard to the statemen in Egypt, but part of the merits of globalization is looking for great figures around the world to admire. There is always a room to smell roses and see daises even if you are among weeds. Photo by AFP.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oh La La Finally Different voice from the US on Egypt's Elections

Today when I read this article posted on the Washington Post by Jackson Diehl, I have to admit I was a bit surprised but with amusement. I saw a change in the American press angle of seeing election developments in Egypt that’s hard to let go without mentioning it here. Diehl is admitting that President Mubarak has a “scheme for thwarting the Bush Administration’s pro-democracy agenda”. That’s really big. Finally, someone is seeing the reality of the Egyptian regime that tried to fool the US for long years.

Diehl believes that Mubarak “set out this fall to crush his secular and liberal opposition, which has been growing in strength all this year, while allowing the banned Muslim Brotherhood to nominate a limited number of candidates and campaign relatively freely.” Everyone probably in the world now believes that the MB won fair democratic elections and that because the regime is arresting them this means that the regime is not cooperating with them or not helping them which is a big hoax. This has been the eternal game between the regime and the Muslim brotherhood, a very well done game. This same game explains the cracks in the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, cause the regime strikes those deals with the MB leaderships and then the regime cracks down on the young generations of the MB.

Diehl goes on to say that goal of the regime “was to eliminate all moderate opposition and present the United States with a choice between his continuing rule -- and the eventual succession of his son Gamal -- and an Islamic fundamentalist movement,”
something which I wrote in my blog on November 25. However Diehl is saying it more clearly that it is not the current Mubarak’s regime continuation is the goal because President Mubarak is too old now to continue ruling but it is his son. That explains the old guard and new guard's fight over power and how the old guard led by Mr. Safwat El-Sherif, the government National Democratic Party Secretary General led to the failure of the candidates of the new guard led by the son of the President in the parliamentarian elections. The country is witnessing another divisions among the ruling National Democratic Party.

The article explains the rigging process in Ayman Nour’s constituency and the Parliamentarian elections deal between the government and MB in the first two rounds.
I only disagree with the writer when he said “But the Brotherhood's proportional victory nevertheless triggered panic in the state security apparatus. In the most recent three days of voting, security forces indulged in an orgy of fraud and thuggery in an attempt to prevent more losses -- in full view of Egyptian and international observers, Western journalists, and Arab satellite channels. More than 1,300 Brotherhood activists were arrested and at least three persons killed, in one case when security forces opened fire on people trying to vote.” I believe he contradicts himself here, if believes it was a done deal how come he could not conclude that even the last part of the deal was to collect the 1300 young members of the brotherhood. What is 1300 from 75 million Egyptians.

Diehl mentions "The parliamentary elections have been tainted with flagrant fraud and unprecedented violence," said a statement issued by 44 prominent intellectuals and writers and posted on the Internet site of Egypt's leading newspaper, Al Ahram. "The fraud may lead to a collapse in the legitimacy of the state and the current regime, in light of the fact that political reform was a major element in the justification for a fifth term for the president." I am adding that the low turn out of the parliamentary elections according to the constitution questions the legitimacy of the current regime in the first place. That also explains why elections must be rigged because in fact Egyptians do not go to vote. It is part of the civil disobedience they have been practicing since 1952. Quorum must be established.

Diehl beautifully concludes his article as follows: “Mubarak's 24-year-old autocracy probably won't collapse anytime soon -- but it has lost the support of most of the moderate Egyptians who hoped it would carry out a gradual political liberalization. That should force some hard decisions by the Bush administration, which also has banked on a regime-led reform; its characterization of the elections last week as "an important step on Egypt's path toward democratic reform" was ludicrous, and indefensible.”

“What to do? First, President Bush should refuse to be spooked by Mubarak's would-be boogeyman. Though the Muslim Brotherhood is indeed fundamentalist, it renounced violence decades ago and has joined with secular opposition groups in calling for a genuine parliamentary democracy in Egypt. "[W]e are serious about pushing forward the process of reform, actualising democratic transformation and building a development renaissance on all fronts," said an essay published in Al Ahram last week by a senior Brotherhood figure, Essam Erian. That's an agenda the administration should be able to endorse -- and promote as an example for other Islamic movements in the Middle East.”
Muslim Brotherhood renounced violence because they are the regime’s tamed pet, but if they are given the liberty they are capable of killing. They have killed two Egyptian prime ministers. The good news is that they are like National Democratic Party as I always say, two faces for the same coin; both are not liked among Egyptians. The NDP and MB are not capable to convince Egyptians with their agendas. They guarantee their continuation in power through done deals and by dividing electoral constituencies among them.

He writes “Second, the administration should make clear, starting now, that it won't tolerate a future undemocratic transfer of power from Mubarak to his son, or anyone else. The 77-year-old president is just beginning a new six-year term; the United States should explicitly link the continuation of the billions of dollars in official aid that prop up his regime to steps toward the democratic election of his successor. If Egyptian political life is freed, there will be plenty of good candidates by 2011; like Ayman Nour, they just won't be members of Mubarak's parliament.”
There will be hundreds of Ayman Nour, because Egyptians have many potential leaders., because Egyptians had never felt the need for a sincere leadership as now. A true leadership that believes in Egyptians not done deals. The US must link the billions of aid to free democratic elections that can lead to true democracy and freedom not a faked one cooked by the current regime. Is the US listening to the Egyptian people complaints about election rigging and their quest for democracy and freedom or did it buy the Muslim Brotherhood-regime deal?

Before publishing this blog, I found this news on the US repsonse to the Egyptian elections which is different from anoher one few days ago.

More pictures and also read my first time experience going to vote in the first round of the Parliamentary Elections.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The US is Winning in Iraq

Gateway Pundit has this amazing post on Iraq's progress. I have no doubt that Iraq will make it. A wealthy country with rich culture and history like Iraq, supported by the sacrifice of a giant country like the US, I am afraid has no option but success.

For me, a Middle Eastern citizen, I have no dream but a successful democracy and freedom experience to emerge from the darkness of dictatorships and regimes sponsoring terrorism and extremism.

I am afraid those who promoted that Egyptians are not fit for democracy because we are mentally in need of guardianship will have to cut their crap.