Friday, September 30, 2005


This blog is moving, to somehwere else. Destination undetermined yet. I'm bored of you all and want to blog in private again, or to strangers again. If I get tired or bored I'll come back, but until then, wish me luck.

In the meantime, don't come here again. Look for me elsewhere if you care [keywords = sex, love, sense, thought, logic, me, her, it, gods, now, then, back, whenever, whatever, human, bla, bla, bla].

If you're still wondering, ask yourself this. Did you learn anything from reading this blog? I sure as hell hope not, otherwise, you had no clue before. Then, if all you've learnt is about some shallow guy who calls himself Mohamed from Cairo, about his simple thoughts and dummy reflections, then you've been wasting your time, and you should thank me for saving you from my crap no more. Even as plain entertainment, this is not good enough. Just because its that easy to publish my thoughts onto the world wide web doesn't mean they're worth reading. I should be the only one to enjoy reading them. Remember, "I write to know what I think", so I'm just curious about myself and my mind. I had started with good intentions, but it really sucks now.

If you've really enjoyed it that you're planning to look for me elsewhere or to come back here wondering if you'll find me here again, then you're really obsessed and need immediate care.

In 5 years I've moved 8 times, and in the last 3 years I've moved 0 times (5 jobs don't count as moving). I got used to moving that I've missed it. Packing is so easy this time!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sania is a good Muslim player

Sania Mirza is an 18-year old Indian Muslim Tennis player ranked 37 on the world ranking today up from number 132 last February. She's praised by everyone for her pleasant Tennis style, atittude on court, fighting spirit and ambition. The only ones criticizing her are some Muslims who don't like her attire on court, maybe prefer a long restrictive skirt or maybe a veil even!

I have seen one of the Egyptian female Squash champions playing with a Hijab. A veiled teenage girl who plays really well and the head scarf doesn't seem to bother her, but boy did I feel for her and just couldn't imagine that she's not struggling against those heavy pants and face sweating scarf along with her struggle on court. But that's her choice nevertheless --I hope.

Sania complains that "Every word I speak, every skirt I wear is discussed and analyzed".

"Well behaved women rarely make history" says one of the t-shirts she wore once on court, but just for the fun of it, she says.

Count me one of those proud of Sania and cheering her on her next match.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The embassy movie

Went to the gym to find it closed in preparation for tomorrow's tournament, so went to see Adel Imam's film in the club instead. Five pounds for his movie is all I was willing to pay for it. A very trivial movie, but I loved it, cracked in laughter most of the film. Imam is still funny, and I still hate his melodramatic and emotional scenes. Just stick to funny.

The movie is too trivial, and I like trivial stuff. Forget about the stupid analogy. The building, Palestine and the Israeli occupation. You had to ignore that part to enjoy the movie. The analogy I saw was not to the Israeli scene, but to the current domestic one. Those current protests against the regime, those emotional demonstrations, those "normal" people never connecting with those protestors though they're suffocating from the system, at times onlooking, at times participating for different reasons, and at times just not understanding what those protestors are all about.

The movie made fun of everyone and everything, and well deserved actually. Thought I was watching Jay Leno or something. I needed that simple fun. Made fun of those leftists, the protestors, the government and its police, the Israelis and their ambassador, alJazeera news channel, the radical Islamists, the always high Egyptians as well as the emotionally principled Egyptians. Cracked in laughter. The only person who was real was Imam's character. That simple human being. Just a simple guy who reminded me of a guy I know too well. As he says, he's neither a hero nor a traitor, just a guy going about his life facing those unexpected hurdles that he just wants to bypass.

The fun ended when he turned into a melodramatic protestor thinking he's falling in love with that rebellious Warda and planning to marry her.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


He feels an intense flood of emotions turning him over. Everynow and then he tries to run away, but it always gets to him. Doesn't want to bend over, or else he's screwed. Why can't he just avoid it? Walk away. He feels belittled. He feels disappointed. He feels betrayed. He's hurt. Physically hurt with a cramped abdomen. Why did he think he was different?!

But its all unreal, almost fake. A figment of our imagination, but a wonderful creation. Never really there, never really shared, never really felt him, never really cared. Its all made up, and worst of all, its not reciprocal. One of a million, not in a million. Time to wake up and know where he stands. That would be nowhere. He's just a shadow, of every passer by, mixed with her own. She sees herself through him, she reflects on him. That's all he's good for. Never wants to see him, never wants to find him, just wants his mirage lying there.

He doesn't want to build a sand castle. It always crumbles. Needs a solid ground, and two skilled workers for it to withstand. He prayed it twice, each with an instant response. Isn't it clear?! Wake up and know your place.

Seems he's trying to fill the void. At times, his life looks like a void. Damn that void. No, he's not a loser. Just ain't getting what he wants. Maybe he's not trying hard enough, but aim for what, and based on what. Its all unreal, and patience has been consumed.

He needs to share, but no one to share it with. Wishes to keep it inside, to deny or ignore, and so be strong. Sharing equals weakness, admission equals weakness, and that's a bad start, but always a good ending. Just shut up and run away.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Kefaya in the Red Sea

Called my friend who's active with Kefaya/Youth for Change to wish her a happy birthday. Tried really hard to remember to call her this year since she's been so nice for the last few years and always remembered mine. Really have to remember some others too.

So she missed the elections day and all the action along with it as she was in Umra, and she's now enjoying her peaceful routine trip in Sinai, and from there onto Marsa Alam for a diving trip. Sometimes I wish to learn diving just to join her on those cool trips. She couldn't take a vacation during the summer because there were so many activities ongoing with Kefaya, she was constantly involved in events and activities. I keep thinking, she was just totally unpolitical a year ago, and now, she can't take her routine vacation because of political activities! I remember during the first Black Wednesday protest she told me she came out fine out of it simply because she was pretty innocent not really knowing how to react. I've realized I write so much about those Kefaya guys, they're even one of the reasons I started this blog. They trigger something in me for sure.

I jokingly tell her that maybe she can start a new Kefaya branch in the Red Sea resorts. She says, no kidding, she met one of the Air Traffic Controllers who went on strike a few months back. Kept talking to him for three hours on the beach, and told him if you need any support make sure to contact us. You should join us. He told her that by the end of their strike they were in complete confusion as to whether what they were doing was the right thing or not. They were being blamed for ruining the country's economy and for doing major damages, yet they were fighting for their rights. They just didn't know what was right anymore.

Talking to my future stock broker, he paints a total rosy picture of the economy in Egypt. I tell him, but its unstable, what if the telecoms crash again, they're heading for big upcoming investments and competition, your portfolio is mostly telecom. I lean at my friend and tell him that the way we'll probably lose our money is if Mubarak dies, imagine what will happen to the stock market then. Just look at the market during the pre-election month, flat.

I read their prospectus, and it has statements like; "Instability may result from factors such as government or military intervention in decision-making, civil unrest, extremism or hostilities... there can be no assurance that a future government would not seek to re-nationalize certain companies... investors will bear the risk of adverse movements in the Egyptian Pound/US Dollar foreign exchange rate. The position regarding corporate taxation of capital gains in Egypt is not entirely clear... there can be no assurance that the Capital Markets Authority's view will be applied in practice, and hence the situation is not entirely free from doubt. The quality and reliability of official data published by the Government and Government agencies of Egypt will not always be equivalent to that of more developed countries."

Couldn't help but remember that economic session for dummies that I attended a few months ago where the guy throwed at us so many obscene figures and painted a dim picture of the economy, concluding that its heading to the gutter.

But then, look at the performance of the market so far, over 100% return last year. Holy crap! Can there be companies doing that well? Is that real growth! It sure is worth it. I go out of the money-making meeting baffled by the numbers and the returns people have made in the last year. I try to call my friend who works in London in Wealth Management (whatever that means) for advise, but he was busy in a meeting managing wealths.

My friend who admits that his income is from a haram source kept asking the guy questions as to how to avoid investing in companies selling undesired products and services. He says he wants to atleast have one source of income clean!

My friends then tell me that I have to stop going to those Kefaya protests I sometimes go to. We need Hosni in place for atleast a year, until we can double our money, maybe triple.

Monday, September 19, 2005

God isn't dead

If one of us haven't killed him, then He's alive.

I claim that each one of us has this constant struggle between serving our self material interests and rising above them, between good and evil, between having principles and being purely utilitarian, between being moral and immoral.

Does it matter if we're Muslim or not, or if we're religious or not even? I say it doesn't. A religion like Islam just makes it clearly communicated, what's wrong and what's right, and we get to choose and we get to know the consequences, and we should thank God for letting us know. Nevertheless, we know it already, but now its just communicated for the blind of us.

How do we know it? Simple, that's how we've been created. Man is created with a balance of good and evil, and he makes the choice, and he is accounted for that choice. You have been created in the best form, yet you can become of a lowest form, and that's how God has created us [al-teen:4-5].

Knowing enough atheists makes you realize that there is such a thing as a moral atheist, and knowing enough religious people makes you realize that there is such a thing as an immoral believer. Maybe the believer is trying to compensate for his immoral behavior, and maybe the atheist is trying to compensate for his lack of belief? Well, I would say no, not necessarily. But we're all affected by religion and by God, and even atheists have been influenced by some form of religion that is radiating from their surroundings, family, literature, film, architecture as Begovic notes, and that the nonreligious didn't grow up in ignorance of religion, but rather in opposition to it.

So we're all affected by religion really, some of us choose to believe in it and in God yet still be immoral in most of their acts. Those, have killed God, but it doesn't mean that He's dead still. And some of us choose to reject religion and God, yet they are still the creation of God, created in the best form with as much good in them as much as evil, and their lack of visible belief does not negate God's existance, and their beings is proof of His very existance.

An atheist friend of mine who has grown in a Christian family and whom I consider very moral, once told me that he knows he will be missing something and will eventually need to "believe" as he grows older in the later stages of his life. I wonder if that is a common case, and I wonder why?

For those who suggest that man's conscious, not God, is what drives moral behavior, isn't that conscious a creation of God? of the form man was created in. And thus, as Begovic asks, isn't belief in man instead of God a lower form of religion? That conscious part of us is what God has blown into man from His spirit [saad:72], which drives our morality, whether we recognize it or not.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Favorite spot

My friend emailed me from Vancouver today telling me that the job market is booming again there and I should reconsider moving there. I replied back that I am sticking here for a little longer. Maybe next summer but probably not, if things go on track here. I would still like to take a few years break there in a few years though.

Somehow I am getting satisfied here in Egypt. Its far from perfect, far from good for that matter, but as I said before, I do belong here, whether I like it or not. I am adapting, that's for sure. Something that I didn't want to happen when I landed back in Egypt a few years ago. I remember a conversation where I argued that I do not want to adapt, and I do not want to fit in. Not in this mess, I'd rather not adapt and continue to have the feeling of being a stranger than adapt to all the wrongs that I see around me.

Unfortuantely, I have adapted, and I am becoming too Egyptian again, and seems that I'm perfectly fitting in. On an ideal standard that's not what I want, but on a realistic standard that's making me happy and satisfied. My emotions towards this country are growing again. I used to love it here like crazy, but this love has faded with time, we've grown apart. And as they say, "away from the eye, away from the heart". After living here again for a few years now, breathing the pollution, interacting with the unrefined and dealing with the asystem, I am fitting in just fine now. Just like everyone is doing here, complaining, interacting and moving on.

There is something good here, no its not the food, no its not the people, no its not the family and friends, and no its not necessarily the in-your-face religious preaching; I'm not sure what it is. Maybe its the sense of belonging even though we don't want to belong to this mess. Maybe its our extra emotional being that is somehow attached to this hidden good over here which makes us guilty for not working hard to bring that good out and make it spread.

I am convinced that our problem is in the first place cultural, and a culture is formulated by its people. Yet something is good about those Egyptians, some of them atleast. Today I saw Ahmed Zoweil in the club, finally giving up the bodyguards that used to protect him from fellow Egyptians. Looking at him, I thought of his scientific achievements, but also thought of how zoweils will not save Egypt. Scientists will, but not those with a big bang effect. I'm thinking not just Zoweil's big bang, but everything I know of with a big bang in Egypt have failed, such as the 1952 coup/revolution and Sadat's visit to the Knesset for example. While well thought of plans and slow but hard work seems to be fruitful here, such as the 1919 revolution, and the building of the Pyramids. Egyptians are survivors who will survive through anything anywhere --you don't want to know how! They are resilient in the sense of withstanding shocks, however they will be deformed by them.

I've written before about some success stories of hard working Egyptians who want to make a change. Lots more of these examples. Many Egyptians who have a goal of developing this country by doing what they do best. I'm seeing so many of them lately that I'm feeling proud for a change that Egyptians have this unexplained emotional attachment to the country. I don't think its patriotism, but its the unwillingness to give up on this country for no obvious reasons. Emotional reasons maybe. People who could just leave all this hassle behind and be all they can be elsewhere, or others who could raise their self importance above all to get the maximum personal gains but don't. They always have the good of the country in mind in whatever they do. There is no lack of megalomaniacs here ofcourse, yet with all the harm they do, others keep on working and staying the course, and this is the real hope. Just amazing.

I remember hearing an argument that building and flying a paper kite in Egypt could be as worthwhile as building a space shuttle abroad, and sometimes just as hard. Looking at this statement with less naiveness and idealism and with an extra flavor of realism and pessimism now, this might not be so wrong. Just as long as you realize that you're only building a paper kite, not a space shuttle yet.

Back to my favorite spot, the reason of this post. No, its not the G-spot. Its a green area in Cairo that I used to love. Eight years ago, this was my favorite spot in Cairo, along with a few others. A few years away and back to Cairo, I couldn't see why I would ever love such a spot, burnt grass, lots of dirt, uneven ground with dead tree leaves, noises in the background and cars parking in the back area. The spot didn't change really, but I felt it was stolen from me. A while ago, I realized that I'm recapturing my favorite spot again. This wonderful area that is in the core of the city yet totally detached from it, very private yet totally open, full of green yet you can see the messed up city around you so you're not fooled, hot in the summer but with a breeze of wind that you feel everynow and then, surrounded by two veins of life (the Nile) yet totally unseen. A timeless place to me, in the middle of it all, yet out of it all. A place that doesn't require me to re-adjust when I'm leaving it to the craziness of the city. Today, they are finally cleaning up and grooming that area, removing the dead leaves, evening the land, planting more greenery which made me feel wildly happy. I praised them, thanked them and told them they don't know how happy they're making me.

In every city you live you ought to have a favorite spot(s). A spot that provides you with a sense of belonging and somehow attaches you to the city. You don't have to frequent it often, but you have to long for it, and when you go to it you reach a soothing level of comfort that tells you that this city is worth living in after all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bloggers everywhere

I was asking my friend who's involved with the Misr for Culture and Dialogue NGO if they have a lecture planned for this week, and he told me they have a session about "bee-logs" instead. I used to like to attend lectures at this place, but seems that bloggers are planning to hijack it! Come on, give me some space to breath, bloggers are everywhere now, protests, newspapers, TV, activists events, and now that NGO. Next thing I'll find them in my bed! Anyways, so this looks like what I don't hope to be a new movement, Bloggers for Change hosted by Misr for Culture and Dialogue NGO. I like to attend lectures there from time to time, so this session/dialogue might be interesting, and I'd be curious to go and just listen, but I suppose we'll be able to read the outcome on the blogs anyway. In any case, here goes the invitation:

تدعوكم جمعية مصر للثقافة والحوار لحضور لقاءها الحوار ي الأول تحت عنوان
المدونون المصريون والتغيير

سيكون الموضوع الرئيس للحوار هو الأثر الذي حققته حركة المدونين المصريين في دفع عجلة التغيير في مصر وملامح هذه الحركة والاليات التي اتبعتها والانجازات التي حققتها كما سيتم مناقشة الأفكار والوسائل لدفع عملية التغيير وتطويرها خاصة فيما بعد الانتخابات الرئاسة المصرية لعام 2005

المكان :القاهرة - 26 شارع النزهة . عمارات القوات المسلحة بمدينة مصر – الدور الارضي
الزمان : الخميس الموافق الخامس عشر من سبتمبر – الساعة السادسة ونصف مساءا

تنسيق : أ. مالك مصطفي
لمزيد من المعلومات يرجي الاتصال بموبيل رقم

** جمعية مصر للثقافة والحوار جمعية اهلية يراس مجلس إدارته الدكتور سليم العوا ومن اعضاء مجلس إدارتهاالمفكر الكبيرالدكتور عبدالوهاب المسيري**

الدعوة عامة للجميع

سيحضر الندوة مجموعة من المدونين من مختلف الاتجاهات

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Who I am, in a nutshell

Bored with the elections and its results, and before some reporters ask for my dumb political opinions again, here's my proof that this is not a political blog. Shallow silly questions that describe who I am. I think its cool though:

How You Live Your Life

You seem to be straight forward, but you keep a lot inside.
You are always tactful and diplomatic. You let people down gently.
You prefer a variety of friends and tend to change friends quickly.
You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren't attainable.

You Are 40% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!

Your Personality Profile

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.
For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

Your Kissing Purity Score: 60% Pure

For you, kissing isn't a casual thing
Lip to lip action makes your heart sing

You're a Romantic Kisser

For you, kissing is all about feeling the romance
You love to kiss under the stars or by the sea
The perfect kiss involves the perfect mood
It's pretty common for kisses to sweep you off your feet

Your Ideal Relationship is Serious Dating

You're not ready to go walking down the aisle.
But you may be ready in a couple of years.
You prefer to date one on one, with a commitment.
And while chemistry is important, so is compatibility.

You Should Learn Japanese

You're cutting edge, and you are ready to delve into wacky Japanese culture.
From Engrish to eating contests, you're born to be a crazy gaijin. Saiko!

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a tempered, reasonable way of thinking.
You tend to take every new idea in, and meld it with your world view.
For you, everything is always changing. Each moment is different.
Your thinking process tends to be very natural - with no beginnings or endings.

Your Hidden Talent

You have the natural talent of rocking the boat, thwarting the system.
And while this may not seem big, it can be.
It's people like you who serve as the catalysts to major cultural changes.
You're just a bit behind the scenes, so no one really notices.

Your Brain is 33.33% Female, 66.67% Male
You have a total boy brain
Logical and detailed, you tend to look at the facts
And while your emotions do sway you sometimes...
You never like to get feelings too involved

Slow and Steady

Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy.
They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder.
It'd really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment.
They expect you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then usually decide against it.

Everything Pizza

Diverse and adaptable
You enjoy the full buffet of life
It's hard to you play favorites with friends... or flavors
There's very little that you dislike!

What Your Underwear Says About You

It's important that your underwear doesn't offend anyone - in case you get in a car accident.

You are childlike (or childish), and prone to run around in your underwear.

Your Blogging Type is Unique and Avant Garde

You're a bit ... unusual. And so is your blog.
You're impulsive, and you'll often post the first thing that pops in your head.
Completely uncensored, you blog tends to shock... even though that's not your intent.
You tend to change your blog often, experimenting with new designs and content.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Mubarak's landslide victory, 88.6%

That's enough to disappoint many people I suppose, and to make those who didn't vote relieved that they didn't miss anything. I was starting to worry that Mubarak is losing his popularity, but seems that he was freaking out too, missing those good old 99.9% numbers, so somehow the results ended up looking familiar. I wonder if they had to play with the numbers in the last minute after recalculating the repercussions, and deciding its not worth it to show that people's voices matters.

I hope no one thinks of their vote as a lost voice.

The pre-elections show was something new, the supporters were sickening as usual, but the regime wouldn't give up their traditional elections results. Now, all I have to do is have a media blackout to save myself from hearing all the Mubarak worshiping words of praise describing his great leadership which will cross us to the future, and how it was inevitable that he be elected in a landslide victory. I think I'll follow Japan's elections instead.

Now, what will happen with the parliamentary elections, I wonder? Will there be more dead bodies and more violence than usual to ensure the mini-Mubaraks victories? The regime is too fuckin weak to allow any leeway in parliament.

7-year old voting finger

My 7-year old nephew got a taste of the elections and went to the poll station. He's getting prepared to vote in a few years. Here's him giving the pink finger.

7-year old pink finger

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Happy elections day

Not bad, not bad at all. I'm happy with the preliminary results, 78-80% to Mubarak, 12% to Nour, and 5-7% to Goma'a. Maybe now, we can start to doubt the Oneness of our president, and start realizing that this is only a characteristic of God. Can you imagine what would've happened if the boycotting parties had joined, and if Kefaya had encouraged people to go vote instead of boycott, and if people had voting cards?

Better yet, can you imagine what a rerun would look like. How many would participate in that one, how many would see Ayman Nour as a viable candidate now after the performance he did in the first run. Could be really something, but its not gonna happen.

Indeed, I am proud of Egyptians. Something was different with Egypt yesterday, and Egyptians made it so, and they can do even better next time. Just keep the heat please. Mubarak's alternatives might be poor and not ready to manage a country like Egypt, especially in its current state. But what's important is to establish people's ownership of their country and of their destiny, and to prove that they can shake an established system that has been too comfortable in power for too long. A tiny shake, but start noticing what a simple act like a simple vote by simple persistant people can do.

Many of us did give Mubarak the finger, although I'm sure it'll take him a while to realize it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Historic day

Today is indeed a historic day, Egyptians directly electing their upcoming president. Its not historic because of the elections, but because of what many Egyptians have made it to be. I am not participating in it, but I am proud of so many Egyptians today. I am assured again that Egyptians deserve better, much better. They are not getting what they deserve yet, but many are sure working for it.

Those benefiting from maintaining the status quo and want to maintain it for their personal gains are the minority.

Yes, the majority maybe silent, but many of them are speaking today, or trying to, in their own calm and peaceful way.

There are those whom are striving for a better change, risking their own security at times, ensuring as much as possible that today's elections are monitored, exposing any of its flaws, so that Mubarak doesn't have it easy as he usually does. Make his life hell until he gives in bit by bit is not a bad strategy. They've disrupted the system for sure, and they are pioneers for sure, for goals which are greater than themselves, for gains that they hope would benefit more people than just those they know, for betterment of the whole society. They've seen and lived through something wrong, and they're working hard to change it. Against all odds, they did achieve something, however small it might look.

And then there are Egyptians going about their daily lives, not necessarily fighting for grand goals, but simply trying to be good citizens, doing good within their limited scope. Lots of these today. I was just surrounded by many of them at work this morning. Some of them proud to have their finger colored, indicating that they've casted their vote this morning. One of them was willing to travel to Banha to cast his vote there when he faced trouble initially to vote at one of the poll stations. A female colleague was able to vote without the voter card, so many others were encouraged to go and vote even though they don't have voter cards. They left work and went to a near by polling station. Came back extremely disappointed for not being allowed to vote without a voter card. Every few minutes someone drops by telling his or her experience in being denied to vote, and the haphazardness in the polling stations. Yet they were proud, unsatisfied and disappointed but proud.

Some of them saw a polling station for the first time in their lives. Some kept going to different polling stations until they were able to vote, some still weren't allowed. A guy voted and was optimistic that something will be different tomorrow because he casted his vote then prayed for something good to happen.

Another female colleague was able to vote in another polling station without a voter card, so a discussion arised as to the big mess in the voting procedures. Some are encouraged to try to go vote again. News arrived that another one of those who went to try that polling station was allowed to vote without a voter card, so many have decided to go vote there after work. Finally, phew!

Later in the day, I went home after work and urged my father to join me and come vote. He kept resisting and I kept urging. I even told him I'll let him vote for his friend No'aman Goma'a if he wants. He said he doesn't find him suitable as president, but he'll join me anyway. This would be his first time to vote since the 60's during Nasser's.

Yet ofcourse, the pro-Mubaraks were all allowed to vote smoothly with their white cards with Mubarak's picture on it. Many of them did not get their finger colored so that they can go around more than one polling station to cast their Mubarak votes. Something other than their finger got stained though.

A demonstration is ongoing in Tahrir Square right now shouting that Mubarak is fraud, "Mubarak Batel", chants which are shaking the square. A few hours later, the demonstration is doing really well, now walking through the streets of downtown, untouched (so far), but watched closely by the high ranking security officers, and by many onlookers (some onlookers were supportive, some called the demonstrators losers (seyya3), and some started to argue that they are not willing to try someone other than Mubarak to experiment on them).

But Egypt is different today. The pink colored finger is an honor that almost everyone is trying to have.

Voting finger

Monday, September 05, 2005

Mubarak signs

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw this English sign for Mubarak so I had to take a picture of it (below)! Unfortunately, the picture is not that clear, but as far as I remember the sign says something like "To show the world that we are practicing democracy, we say yes to Mubarak. Name: [the guy's full name], Nickname: [the guy's first, father and family name]", and his picture ofcourse, a little smaller than Mubarak's. And he had to write the sign in English? Unbelievable! Ofcourse, there's no need to point out the number of Mubarak signs fighting for the wall.

A deadly combination of a fancy show, mixed with some treason, and lots of apathy. Or maybe Mubarak is indeed popular (for no self-serving purposes), and I am the idiot.

On the topic of signs, some friends (ex-colleagues) of mine working in a large manufacturing and development facility were surprised to find a big banner yesterday in support of Mubarak in the name of the company, the board, and all the employees. My friends wouldn't take it, did not agree to have a banner on their behalf when they never gave consent for that, so after discussions they decided to send one of them as a representative to discuss bringing down the sign with a member of the company's board. They haven't met any of them till now, seems that they won't be able to raise their complaints until after the elections!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Elections make bloggers visible

Elections season is making Egyptian blogs visible and high profile:

Tarek Atia quotes Egyptian bloggers in AlAhram Weekly last week and this week.

Charles Levinson writes about Egyptian blogging at the Christian Science Monitor.

Joelle Bassoul writes for the Agence France-Presse (AFP) about anti-Mubarak blogs. The article is translated to Hebrew too, as well as Spanish, and French (or is it originally in French).

Mark Glaser have talked to more Egyptian bloggers than usual and wrote about their political blogging at USC's Online Journalism Review.

And Open Democracy has a piece about Egyptian youthful bloggers.

Seems that the only reason blogs get mentioned is politics, and seems that the only people whom are interested in Egyptian politics are non-Egyptians! In order to balance things abit, I've written an article about blogs, from a total non-political perspective, and am trying to publish it at one of the local English-language publications, in an attempt to get more non-political bloggers on board. Looks like no one is interested though. Doesn't sell if its not politics?