Monthly Archives: January 2011

Zahi Hawass

from vintagedept on flickr

Best thing on AJE all day was undoubtedly Zahi Hawass: ‘IF THE EGYPTIAN MUSEUM IS SAFE, THEN EGYPT IS SAFE!’

To everyone in Cairo: good night, and good luck.


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Egypt rising

I can’t tear myself away from the scenes in Cairo. I’m alternately moved, exhilarated and terrified. To all of you out there: Allah ma’akum and you have all solidarity and support from Britain. I just got a text saying that the entire student anti-cuts march in London today has headed to the Egyptian embassy. We are right behind you and, more importantly, we are watching.

The uprising has been unexpected, unbelievable, and as AlJazeera’s anchors keep reminding us, unprecedented. But let’s be clear: there are three things this is NOT about.

[a] the Muslim Brotherhood.

No-one is arguing that the MB have not been representing on the streets, even if not all of them are sporting ‘the beard-without-mustache “uniform” we associate with the Muslim Brothers’. (Lots of non-Brothers have the neck beard going on, just to point out. It’s a guy thing.) Yet their organisational and official capacity has been limited, which isn’t surprising given their typically unconfrontational stance. One of them is on AJE at the moment talking a load of monkey feathers about unity governments. The only people who seem at all convinced of their significant involvement are worried Zionists and Washingtonians pontificating about an Islamist takeover in Egypt.

[b] Mohamed ElBaradei.

Duktuur Change had been a notable non-presence up until yesterday when he whimsically jetted into Cairo after finishing off his last Viennese whirl. I have absolutely no doubt that ElBaradei has the best interests of Egypt at heart but he has seemed out of touch and remote, both personally and geographically. Western news reports suggesting he has any chance of leading this seem to miss the point. This isn’t led by anyone – yet – and it’s unlikely ElBaradei has the popular support or even a fucking clue of how to lead it.

[c] social media.

To read the breathless accounts of several journalists one would think that every fellah in Egypt is all up on Twitter and Facebook like Fayoum is bloody Silicon Valley. There’s been an internet blackout in Egypt for the past 40 hours or so and astonishingly Egyptians have managed to keep the momentum going rather than standing around scratching their heads and saying ‘gee, I’d love to protest but I haven’t joined a Facebook group so I have no idea what to do’. Obviously it’s played a role but one of the great things about the past few days is that it’s disproved wanky social media trend pieces where white middle-class Westerners gawp in astonishment at how Arabs can blog too. You know what else Arabs can do? Get out on the street and make it happen.

The AlJazeera coverage of Egypt really puts every other news organisation to shame. The awesome Laila Soueif is speaking right now. Stop what you’re doing and tune in.

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Damn, Hosny. You must be desperate.

Skypechat quote from last night:

[28/01/2011 16:34:05] RS: Mubarak’s chat coming up?
[28/01/2011 16:34:13] RS: what’s he gonna offer them?
[28/01/2011 16:34:18] RS: a bag of rice?

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Following Egypt

Links for following what is going on in Egypt today:

AJE live broadcast

Enduring America liveblog with links to lots of media sources

Guardian liveblog

We are all Khaled Said facebook group







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Egypt internet blackout

From Guebara(flickr)

The Mubarak regime have shut down Egypt’s internet in advance of large planned protests today. The shutdown came a few minutes after AP posted this video of the shooting of a protester in a city outside of Cairo (unclear which – maybe Suez?). This is unprecedented – as a lot of people are pointing out on Twitter, even Iran kept the internet up during the post-election protests of 2009. Shame on Vodafone et al for acquiescing to this (apparently SMS is blocked as well). It’s incredibly difficult to confirm anything coming out of the country but reports are suggesting pre-emptive arrests of Muslim Brothers (surprise surprise) who decided yesterday to support the protests (in an official capacity, not to imply they haven’t been taking part unofficially so far). Protests are planned at around 1pm Cairo time, after Friday prayers.

If you have any spare bandwidth please help the Egyptians out here by creating a Tor bridge. It’s like a horrible cloud has fallen over the country. The best of luck and solidarity from here in C-shire.

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Just excellent.

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Ta7iya Masr

مبارك ارحل غور أحسن بكره تموت مقتول

Oh Mubarak leave for good, or else tomorrow you’ll be killed

الهلال ويا الصليب بيقولوا لأ يا حبيب

The crescent and the cross say “no” ya Habib [elAdly]

شرطة مصر يا شرطة مصر انتو بقيتوا كلاب القصر

Police of Egypt, oh police of Egypt, you’ve become the dogs of the castle

حسني مبارك يا عميل بعت الغاز وفاضل النيل

Husni Mubarak, you agent, you sold the gas and (only) the Nile is left (to be sold)

قولوا وردوا أنت وهي …مصر هتفضل غاليه عليا

Say and repeat, you and she….  Egypt will stay dear to me

photo by Sarah Carr

…مصر حتفضل غاليه عليا رغم الخونه والحراميه

Egypt will stay dear to me, despite the traitors and the thieves

ارحل ارحل ارحل غور خلِّي بلدنا تشوف النور

Leave, leave, leave, for good, let our country see the light

ارحل ارحل يا عميل بعت بلادك لاسرائيل

Leave, leave you traitor, you sold your country to Israel

photo by Sarah Carr

مسلمين مع مسيحيين كلنا طالبين التغيير

Muslims with Christians, we all demand change

ارفع ارفع الهتاف شعبنا حر ومش هيخاف

Raise, raise the chant / call / slogan, our people are free and not afraid

اضرب اضرب يا حبيب مهما تضرب مش هنسيب

Hit, hit, ya Habib, no matter how much you hit, we won’t let go

مش عايزينه مش عايزينه ولا كلابه ولا زنانيه

I don’t want, I don’t want, neither his dogs nor his prisons

ثوره ثوره في كل مكان ضد الخونه والأندال

Revolution, revolution everywhere, against the traitors and the scoundrels

اهرب اهرب ياجمال انت وابوك والأندال

Escape, escape, Gamal, you and your father are scoundrels

يا مبارك يا خرتيت ارحل ارحل يا غتيت

Oh Mubarak, you rhinoceros, leave, leave, you’re annoying

حسني مبارك يا بليد شعب مصر مش عبيد

Husni Mubarak, you lazy one, Egypt’s people are not slaves

يا جمال يا غراب البين خد ابوك وروحوا لزين

Oh Gamal, you crow, we’re turning your father’s cheek, so you two leave to Zayn (al-‘Abideen Bin ‘Ali)

علِّي علِّي علِّي الصوت النظام خايف موت

Raise, raise, raise the voice, the regime is scared to death

كل الشعب يقول وينادي حسني مبارك بره بلادي

All the people say and call:  Husni Mubarak (get) outside his country

السرطان في كل مكان والغاز متباع بالمجان

The cancer is everywhere, and the gas is sold for free

From AMW, our Cairo correspondent: ‘a guy walked past a shorta with a shotgun and said ‘when’s the plane to Saudi?”. Are you listening, ya Hosny? They’re talking to you.

NB: obviously none of these images or videos are my own, as I’m in Cambridge, not Cairo. Slogans and translations from The Angry Arab.

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