November, again!

It has been 4 months since I last wrote anything here. It is just so hard to think with everything that is going on. The question of whether it is a coup or not a coup should be over by now!

People still dying in dozens just for being on a train, as usual! Since I wrote about The history of Egyptian railways  the list have continued to grow longer and no one seems to act to put an end to this. Military and police are still given a priority over people’s healthcare, education, lives and safety.

November has never been anything but my least favorite month of the year. Motorcycles running on Mohammed Mahmoud street, bloodshed everywhere, all Islamists remnants insisting that protesters are foreign infiltrators conspiring against democracy and the democratic process while they were running for the parliamentary elections.

Looking back at the posts I wrote in November 2011 and November 2012. Yes, it is a horrible month indeed. But for Egypt, every month is a horrible month filled with old and new memories of dozens of people who lost their lives because of the terrible way everything is handled.

Now, the police and the military that took part in murdering defenseless protesters on those days are calling for the people to commemorate their memorial and insisting that the Muslim Brotherhood supporters were the ones who murdered the protesters!

Yes, the Muslim Brotherhood supported killing them and everything went with the consent. We are not in the ages where information can just go away forgotten. If the internet wasn’t there, some of us are still alive to remember! It is not only unfair to those who lost their eyes or those who got paralyzed or those who died but it is also unfair for those who are watching this bullshit.

We have been and still being naive every now and then. But taking it to the extent of wanting us to repeat after you “we are stupid” is not going to happen. Not now and not ever!

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The myth of reconciliation

This post isn’t intended to offer answers or analyse the situation but it is more of laying down more unanswered questions.

Lately, many voices started calling for initiatives for accepting reconciliation with the regime remnants of Mubarak’s era to be able to “move forward” with the country and fix what the Muslim Brotherhood had done.

Surprisingly, the idea sounds logical to many of the secularist elitists whom are refusing any dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood at the same moment and calling for banning them from any participation in the political life on the grounds of using religion and being non-nationalistic since it is an international organisation etc…
Sixty years of oppression and deceiving went forgotten after only one year with the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule.. how sad is that?

We forgot about all those who were murdered or tortured for political reasons for the sake of having some gang defending us against the other. We are refusing to believe the fact that any of those two will most definitely pave the road for a new era of oppression by using the same old effective methods.

I don’t have a solution nor I claim to know everything but at least I am sure that my consciousness is refusing to support anyone who is not standing for the intrest of the people and their freedom.

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Between the coup and the revolution

Downtown Cairo on January 29 2011, people walking in every direction smiling -Which is unusual-, the smell of tear gas is still in the air and my face is still burning from the day before. Almost 14 hours passed since I saw the first tank taking the streets and my mind wouldn’t stop thinking if they were “those good pro-revolution” soldiers or were they there to help the police kill more protesters.

The days have passed with the struggle against the Superior Council of the Armed Forces with many tortured, arrested and killed and finally we got stuck in a bottleneck forced to choose between the military and an Islamist. I boycotted the elections and I’m still proud of taking such decision. Morsi had only 5 million votes and people who understood the danger of the military rule pushed him to win by 51% after all his promises for a civil democratic state.

During the past year, we have seen nothing from Morsi except for him putting all his effort to increase the political polarization in the country. He started with drafting a constitution with a committee only from the Muslim Brotherhood and some Salafis. We -the ones who called for this revolution- became alienated. Activists being arrested on fabricated charges, their media instigating hate and violence without any legal consequences and finally he occupied all positions of power with people from his brotherhood.

Whether if what happened yesterday is a coup or a revolution can be up for debate for many reasons. The military theoretically did not take power since the current president is not from the military as well as being backed up by almost 30 million people who took the streets everywhere. For me, the military have always been in power as almost 40% of Egypt’s economy is controlled by the military while their budget is not monitored nor questioned and that has been the case for more than 60 years. If money and weaponry is not power then what is?

If the USA won’t “recognise” the new regime that we are trying to establish because Morsi was elected “democratically” I would love to remind them of their support for the past 2 presidents who came to power by “elections” that they praised before.

Basically, if someone came into power democratically and started legislating undemocratic laws such as laws to discriminate between people, then this is Nazis’ democracy and this is not the one I’m looking for.

Apparently, the military has been planning for that day for while since once the speech was out, all Islamists’ channels were shuted down by force. Ironically, a part of the statement was about ensuring the freedom of media 🙂

The debates won’t stop if that was ok or not. Yes, those channels instigated violence and hate for more than a year. Yes, if Morsi were to stay, all liberal channels would have been closed as well in a way or another. But, I will never accept those shackles on freedom of speech and I will keep demanding enforcing the law to arrest those who call for hate instead of closing some TV channels to make the people happy and stir the debate away from the military’s legitimacy.

In order to know if this is a coup or a revolution we will have to wait until the new constitution is complete. If the military stays as usual (a fortress within Egypt) then it confirms the whole conspiracy theory of using the people’s rage against the MB to get rid of them and bring someone who ensures their economical security. If we were able to stop military prosecutions for civilians and force the ministry of defence to be just a ministry within the Egyptian cabinet, then and only then, it will not be a coup. 

Away from the definitions and my stupid thoughts, there are tens of thousands out there who will never give up on this revolution. The revolution will continue in many forms whether is the military likes it or now and whether the military’s supporters like it or now.

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Just a reminder

The other day I remembered this Friday 8th of June 2012 and how it kind of scarred me for life, basically this was what happened. But also, I remembered all those friends I got to know on that same night and how I can’t imagine how my life would have been now if I hadn’t met them.

That night was more of a slap on my face to remind me of Cairo’s real situation. It was important; in order for me not to drift away from being realistic to think of my little bubble in Cairo, the place full of rainbows and butterflies, as the real Cairo. It served as a reminder of the struggle that every girl and woman is being forced to take everyday when they go out on the streets.

This post is just for me to keep the memory of that night. There are no words to describe my respect for every single person who is still fighting against all those fucked up harassers.

 

 

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What happened to me from A to Z

Just to clear it all out as now I have the time and the strength to write about what happened to me.

On Saturday, May 25, I was out with a group of friends and I decided to leave early around 1:15 am. We were at a place called Strand in Hornstull, Stockholm. Just one street away from the metro station a white blond skinhead passing in the opposite direction hit me on my forehead. I turned around and started shouting, he punched me in my right eye.

A couple of friends were at the end up the street. They returned when they heard me shouting but it was over. I called the police and kept asking for the name of the street but no one answered.

I went home, there were a couple of friends staying over. I didn’t wake them up and I just slept. In the morning my eye was swollen and I couldn’t open it so my friends took me to the hospital, and that was the first time in my life to go to a hospital.

I really don’t care about the whole incident any more. I just felt bad about not going to work for a couple of days after I started my new job. But most importantly, I could have never expected something that random might happen to me; even through the riots and the ciaos going on in some parts of Stockholm that weekend. Thankfully, I recovered way faster than the doctor’s expectations and I’m as good as new now 🙂

The psychological pain due to the total apathy of people that night was far worse than the physical pain. I remembered the first time I tried to defend myself against someone beating me.The 2nd of February 2011, when Mubarak’s supporters attacked Tahrir square on camels and horses, I went on the 6th of October bridge right beside Tahrir square. A guy came out of nowhere and started beating me and insulting those who were against Mubarak. The only difference is that 3 Egyptian guys and a German girl who were filming rescued me and put me in a cab. I never got to know their names, all I can remember is that she told me she was from Germany.

I don’t really know what could I have done without my friends who stayed with me for more than 9 hours between two hospitals. Whatever I did I won’t be able to repay them. This incident’s only good thing is that it showed me who really cared about me and who didn’t whether if it was people asking about me here in Sweden or my friends from everywhere.

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The media and the Egyptian revolution

Tahrir square became a symbol for freedom of expression, an inspiration for many movements and actions around the world whether in Libya, Syria, the occupy movement in the USA or south Europe. The international media convinced us the Egyptian revolution was from twitter and facebook, yes, social media had quite a good role in sparking a revolution in Egypt but was it a reason behind toppling Mubarak? Definitely not, let me even go further and say that the not even Tahrir square was enough for toppling the dictator.

In a centralized state like Egypt where everything revolves around Cairo, it was a necessity to occupy the main square of the capital, we actually occupied the whole downtown area but due to the national and international media that only focused on our clashes in Tahrir square against the police and then the regime’s thugs, the people were left convinced that it was the reason behind toppling Mubarak.

Egypt has 27 governorates and Cairo is the smallest one area wise. In the other 26 governorates no one focused on the massacres that took place during the start of the revolution. We have to acknowledge and learn that if it was not for the workers who started their strikes on the 9th of February Mubarak would have never left power. Tens of thousands everywhere joined the strike in Egypt, even the banks were forced to close and by then the dictator couldn’t stand a couple of days before he left.

The struggle for social justice in Egypt continues for the 2nd year after toppling Mubarak with strikes and sit-ins everywhere. Activists who have been struggling to support the workers since before the revolution are being arrested with fabricated charges and they are suffering now more than ever. The media only focuses on the celebrities of the revolution while those who take the streets everyday trying to make a better future for Egyptians are left in jails with no one knowing even their names.

Most people know who Khaled Said was. He was the young man from Alexandria who got beaten to death by police officers. One of the activists who worked on his case and took pictures of him from the first day is now sitting in jail waiting for his appeal on Saturday for a 2 years sentence on fabricated charges, his name is Hassan Mustafa. We should be the alternative media and help those who are not heard. We should stand against the legacy media that convinced the people that toppling the dictator was through facebook and twitter, the media that convinced us that the Egyptian revolution succeeded the media that convinced us that there is something such as a revolution done in 18 days. Please share his story, write a status or a tweet about him as people should know about those we really fight for social justice.

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Sexual harassment on a governmental level

Many initiatives started to keep struggling against the phenomena of sexual harassment that reached a scary level in Cairo and Alexandria. Tahrir Body Guard are offering free self-defence classes for women at Samia Allouba centre in Mohandessin. Operation Anti Sexual Harassment is still working through their hotlines whenever there are marches or protests to help any victim of sexual harassment as well as old organisations providing professionally help like El-Nadim centre, Nazra for feminist studies and Baheya Masr.

According to the last study April 2013 by the UN in Egypt for gender equality and the empowerment of women, 99.3% of women reported being sexually harassed of which 96.5% of women in their survey said that sexual harassment came in the form of touching, which was the most common manifestation of sexual harassment

There is no correlation between sexual harassment and social standard, education etc… but the new level we reached is that now we have a minister who sexually harasses women on TV not once but 3 times!

First he said to a TV presenter during an interview “I hope your questions are not as hot as you”. Then to a journalist who asked him about the status or freedom of expression in Egypt saying “Come, and I’ll show you where” then a week later to another journalist “Come like your friend and I’ll show you”.

Keeping his position after all those irresponsible disgusting acts provoked many women to protest in many forms whether online or on the streets

ImageThe sign says “Mr. Media Minister the harasser, come and I’ll show you where the heel of this shoe would go”

Image

The papers say “Mr. Harassment Minister, where would you like to take that?”

ImageFrom one of the protests by Baheya Masr against the minister of media

ImageSexual Harassment in Egypt’s statistics according to the latest study by the UN

 

 

 

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