Saturday, July 30, 2005

Anti-Mubarak anyone?

Today's protest was no fun at all. Our wonderful president who has been ruling Egypt for a quarter of a century has decided to surprise us all and run again for presidency. How considerate of him. And ofcourse, since Egyptians are a bunch of cynical unappreciative bastards, some of them decided to protest against him for running the country like 3ezbet abooh for 6 more years. Guys guys, its his constitutional right to run for presidency until he dies (or we die). Give the guy a break, he's sacrificing alot for all of us!

Well, I tried to join today's protest, but not just because I am unappreciative of Mubarak, but also because I wanted to be on TV, jump up and down and wave to everyone out there. Did you see Kefaya's protest two weeks ago on alJazeera? It was so much fun, I was in the North Coast, watched it for two hours while sitting next to the sea. Was more fun than actually being there, kept SMSing my friends who were there to feel that I'm doing something useful --from the luxury of my beach couch. The chant that got to me most back then was ".... elsha3b elmasry 7ayy..." (Egyptian people are alive). Well, we are alive, but under a heavy coma.

On the ground, its very different. Today's protest was horrible. As expected Tahrir square was sealed off, and protestors tried to start their grouping in Talaat Harb street. Group of 40-50 infront of Felfela. They were cornered in the opposing building, the street was cordoned by Amn Markazy forces, and plain-clothed soldiers from State Security went in groups of five to grab the protestors one by one, while Amn Markazy soldiers are beating the protestors with their long sticks. They dragged them in the street, beat the shit out of them, and put them in a prisoners' cargo lorry. When the people standing by cried to the officers to have mercy on these people, they were shouted at, asked to move back and mind their own business. The high ranking police officers were standing there indifferent, giving orders for more masses of soldiers and officers to come down.

It was just devastating. The scene was horrible. The way they were pulled out, beaten, and dragged, and who knows what's happening to them right now in the detention center.

The same scene happened again in the Bustan street, a group tried to start chanting, they were cordoned, plain-clothed soldiers took turns in grabbing some of them and beating them, and dragging them to the prisoners lorry. Some passed a word that one of the guys beaten and detained had died! The state security officers were also wearing plain-clothes, some in trainers, as if they were in a routine exercise! Many journalists and cameras on the scene this time. alJazeera aired video footage of the events in Talaat Harb street.

After witenssing all that, the word was that the remaining courageous protestors went to the journalists syndicate to continue the protest there. At last, the protest happened there, around 500 standing on the stairs of the syndicate shouting chants against Mubarak, his regime, and his coward bullies. "We are not afraid. You will not shut us up. Down with Mubarak." What a pitty, the state this country is at. Its not even funny anymore to mock that 'Arab Spring'. People were chanting on the stairs of the syndicate, looking the officers in the eye with great disrespect for the country's honor they've stained. What a pitty.

Those 40 or so who were dragged, beaten and detained are now my heros. Their comrades who kept it going and are still on the syndicate stairs right now, sticking there until all their comrades are freed, are also my heros.

Thanks God they're starting to release some of the detainees now. Amin Iskandar and George Ishaq seem to have been released so far, and more are on the way, hopefully tonight.

I think I'm ready now for my meditation trip tomorrow in Sinai. No worries about bombings at all, but worried about disappearing in mysterious circumstances after the many detentions that's been going on in Sinai since the Sharm bombings.

--
See Josh's shocking pictures.
More news from: Associated Press 1, Associated Press 2, Reuters, alArabyia.

10 comments:

Al Sharief said...

Love your Red&Black sign Ya Mohammed. & It's not enough :(
I wish you'll have a heroic
serene meditation!

After Sharm, I was wondering why the Minster of Interior is spared,
Now I know. May be he will let go after the election.

Jane said...

Wow. I am astounded that this sort of thing is truly happening in Egypt. I guess I am quite ignorant but I had thought that the political climate there was more open, more progressive than these actions show it to be. Very troubling.

Me,Myself and I said...

I am not sure if i was angry reading ur post--i had wierd feelings of pain, agony, tiredness and i found tears running down my eyes (i am not easy to cry at all) reading about the violance committed against the protestors...it is so so painful, unfair, unjust and truly regardless of what these guys call for whether i agree with or not (and i do to a great extent) i have mega respect for them...those committed street activists...really...funnily enough i am in that state of mind..when things feel complex around me..i revert to the image of genisis when God created Adam and Eve and the vastness and the simplicty that i invoke in my mind..the uncumbersomeness..u know what tomorrow i shall wake up feeling angry..thinking of constitutional rights, thinking of all these violations from a different angle..and pushing and pushing but as for tonite i am tried and sad...

Jane said...

Since reading this post, I have not been able to get it out of my mind. I searched the Yahoo online news and here's the link to the only article I could find.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050730/wl_nm/egypt_politics_protest_dc
If you read it you'll see how much gentler and less atrocious the incident appears. I for one am going to trust your version of events. I wonder if this is creative editing or just not considered of interest to those in the english-speaking world. I am disgusted that my government would give any money or support of any kind to a government that would treat its citizens this way. If I am not mistaken, these people were beaten and detained simply for a peaceful protest of their president, correct? It is all so dishonorable and shameful and horrible. I wish there was something I could do...some way for me to help without being a meddling foreigner. My thoughts are with these brave souls and I hope for a better future for your country.

zoss said...

jane; check out cairo magazine's report, and the pictures from arabist

Jane said...

zoss, thanks for the links. I saw the pictures and read the article. Much more informative than the report I read on Yahoo news.

Alina said...

I saw only a short part of a no comment footage on a Romanian TV channel, so I didn't really know what happened until today, when I read your blog. It looked bad, sounded bad and felt awful.

ألِف said...

"Anti-Mubarak anyone?"
Yes, please. Well-done, if you may.
:-)

Anonymous said...

fuck trator mubarak dod of zionists

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