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    I love how we got two Christmases in Egypt :)
    Merry Christmas to all Orthodox Christians especially Egyptian Orthodox Christians that saw a lot last year. God knows all Egyptians from North to South , from East to West saw a lot.
    Anyhow to celebrate Christmas this year I would like share this amazing mix of classical music , Islamic inshad, Egyptian Coptic hymns and Christian hymns from Mozart in Egypt 2 album. 
    It is called "Al Maghfera" - The Pardon. The one who sings the Islamic part is late Sheikh Mohamed El Helbawy who was one of the most famous Monshadeen in Egypt.
    This amazing piece of art makes me cry from its beauty.
    Again Merry Christmas everybody

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    Wael Ghonim is back.
    The famous Egyptian activist published yesterday a statement on his official Facebook page and it was important one. It was about the leaks of his alleged phone calls on Al Kahera Wal Nas. It is his first after complete silence since 3 July 2013. It was a message for all those supported him.
    Ghonim announced that despite he decided to quit writing and expressing his views publicly upon the request of his family he returned to tackle this matter and to defend himself in front of any accusation upon the request of his family as well. He is going to take a legal action against the channel and Ali for fabricating those phone calls.
    Earlier this week Abdel Rahim aired alleged phone calls for Wael Ghonim on Al Kahera Wal Nas as part of his Black Box TV show leaks. All those who heard the calls and still use their brains found nothing incriminating Ghonim. All what Ali was doing actually was interpreting the phone calls according to his twist mind or rather according to the script given to him.
    Anyhow you can read it in Arabic below , it is long and it is worth to be read till the end.


    I will translate part of it only because it is too long :
    I hope that everyone doubts my integrity and my patriotism to ask his questions to lots of public figures , from the same political current he follows especially those figures I met and spoke with in an attempt to search for solutions from crises and to unite back Egyptians rejecting division , fight , violence and control of power. Ask General Sisi , Major general Asar , Major general Mahmoud Hegazy , Majory general Mouard Mowafi. Ask the Sheikh of Al Azhar and the Pope of the Church as well many of the icons in those two Egyptian religious institution. Ask the leaders of the Muslim
    good old days , Ghonim and #Jan25 gang with El Sisi
    Brotherhood and their youth. Ask the Salafist leaders and their politicians. Ask Dr. ElBaradei , Amr Mossua , Dr. Ahmed El Borai , Dr. Ahmed Said  and Dr. Mostafa Hegazy. Ask lots of writers , thinkers , intellectual and the youth I know closely away from the intended defamation in the media.

    I had meetings and calls with all those with no self interest except to see a nation for everybody in a democratic state that competes the advanced world’s countries. All those I met according to one agenda : To protect the Egyptian blood. All those know that I was never seeking to demolish but rather to build and was never planning to corrupt but rather to reform. They know that I never used those meetings to market myself in order to create fame or to insult anyone.
    By the way ministry of interior denied having relation with those phone recordings. The mobile phone operators did the same thing. So we do not know officially who recorded these phone calls.
    I hoped that Ghonim would return back and reactive the Kolena Khaled Said Facebook Page especially the original Khaled Said trial is back to square one where the defendants lawyers “Khaled’s murderers” are accusing his family of fabricating the charges and working for the United States and Zionism.
    Some say that it is not about the Constitution referendum but rather to shut up any future opposition voice and any voice calling for revolution or rebellion by defaming the original revolution icons and faces well known in the media.
    Interestingly the persons defamed so far were considered the most moderate among the revolutionary forces and movements to the level they were always attacked and accused of being reformists and not revolutionaries. These names can appeal to the public because they are not too shockingly revolutionary like other figures. Anyhow I expect that there were more leaks coming in the way , its climax will be I suppose next 24 January 2014.
    By Abdel Rahim Ali and Tarek Nour , the owner of the channel are still defying the law and allegedly will air more leaks tomorrow Thursday.Advertising tycoon Nour and Ali feel too free and calm despite they are breaking the law as they are supported by the deep security state. Regardless of what they think now , one day they will pay the price sooner or later whether according to the law or according to the divine law aka Karma. Oh yes I believe in Karma now more than any time and when it comes no one will defend them.

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    Here is the latest production from Mosireen : The three arms of justice in Egypt. 
    Justice is another meaningless word in Egypt. Unfortunately so far what I saw in the past two years a politicalized judiciary and biased prosecution that does not represent the publicbut rather represents the regime. I do not need to speak about police.
    Yesterday the ministry of interior announced that the Jan25 activists trial of Douma , Maher and Adel would be adjourned to Thursday even before the judge would announce it. This tells you a lot.
    You know the revolution in Egypt is facing some sort of Greek methodology multi-headed beastand unfortunately it has not got yet a magic weapon to kill it. 

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    Since 2011 we saw amazing snippets of interesting people in the most unusual circumstances and here I mean circumstances related to death and clashes. Thank God we have got Mosa'ab El Shamy to capture those moments , those interesting people on camera.


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    The Pro-regime mainstream media promoting for Constitution 2014 aired this short documentary about the participation in the constitution referendum called "Shark" aka "Participate".

    "Participate" idea is to let the Egyptians or so-called "normal Egyptians" in different governorates to show how they are going to participate in the upcoming constitution referendum. True they are normal Egyptians but the reasons on why they are going to participate in the referendum have nothing to do with the Constitution !!! It is sad documentary when you hear simple Egyptians saying that they are going to vote for the draft constitution because "General El Sisi approves it" and "That it will bring stability" as well "welfare"
    Unfortunatelythe constitution won't bring stability or welfare, nor it should be approved because the army's commander "who has not right to vote in the first place" likes it !! 
    It is sad documentary.  

    The documentary showed unfortunately how people do not understand the meaning of the constitution or its role and the media is celebrating this misunderstanding and sorry to say ignorance.Needless any authoritarian regime will not make any effort to make those understand the truth of the constitution and what would bring stability and welfare for real.
    The short documentary is directed by Sandra Nashat.She directed before that video clip against the Constitution 1971 amendments in March 2011. Of course that campaign failed miserably. It is worth to mention that it was during the golden alliance between SCAF and Islamists.
    Sandra Nashat is known for light romantic comedy and thriller films starring actors like Karim Abdel Aziz and  Ahmed Ezz.
     Some Pro-Revolutionary supporters compared Nashat to Leni Riefenstahl and Shark to the Triumph of the Well. First I highly doubt that Nashat heard about Riefenstahl or the Triumph of the Well for real and Shark actually is mediocre compared to one of the world's biggest propaganda documentaries in the modern times. Needless to say Riefenstahl was not celebrating ignorance of her people. 
    All the Pro-Mubarak/Pro-Military/Pro-Police State supporters online are cheering for Sandra's documentary for showing the real Egyptians that are ignored by the revolutionary media "where is the revolutionary media already now".
    Unfortunately those supporters do not care for real about that class featured in this short documentary or their true demands and needs.
    Professionally speaking this is a documentary to encourage people to say "Yes" in the Constitution for reasons other than the constitution and its articles and its proposes so actually it is a propaganda
    Now speaking about propaganda , a young activist called Shady Hussein made this short clip which is actually a social experiment on how the media in Egypt uses the Yes-Yes persuasion technique in order to convince the people with certain message.

    Ironically Hussein made this clip without knowing what Sandra Nashat did. 
    We will not deny that many people in Egypt are uneducated and sorry to say ignorant and unfortunately those people again and again are left in the dark because no authoritarian regime or police state likes truly educated people who know their rights. It is not about being poor or rich but about knowing your rights. One thing I blame the Cairo youth in it in those 3 years is that we did not spread the revolution principles and let the people know their rights in their rural areas. 
    Anyhow may be in 2015 we have another constitution or amendments and the same problems including poverty , terrorism and political still exist may be the people will  know that the real role of constitution.




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    One of the myths in June 30th that we were putting an end to the use of religion by the Muslim Brotherhood in politics , well now the current regime is using religion boldly and disgustingly in politics and nobody from the so-called liberal and secular politicians and parties are opening their mouths like before.
    Dr. Shawky Allam , the current grand Mufti of Egypt is saying that boycotting the referendum is hateful in Islam !! Last time I checked as a Muslim there is nothing against or with the boycotting of any political election as it is not a bloody testimony in some court !!
    Moving to the Salafists , to Nour party that masters the game of religion in politics.
    Of course they are saying that the draft constitution protects Sharia and so on.
    Salafist flyers for constitution 2014 
    They also say that this draft constitution will protect the last Sunni army in the regime !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You know verses the bad Iran !!!
    I know that Sheikh Allam "who was appointed during Morsi" is trying to counter the MB's calls
    The church also jumped to the wagon and unfortunately we found the Pope himself , Pope Tawadros II himself is telling the people to vote yes in order to be blessed by God !!




    The man does not want to stop after the video , we find an op-ed in Ahram newspaper "Saying yes increases blesses" !! 

    Ironically the Pope said last April 2013 that religion should not be involved in politics because politics are dirty !! I do not know why there is a change now !!
    Of course I can not ignore how the Muslim Brotherhood are using religion in a counter way telling the people not to vote because it is a sin to do so !!
    Voting in the constitution  has nothing to do with God for God's sake , leave God out of your stupid cheap earthly conflicts !!
    No big difference between the Muslim Brotherhood and current regime actually.
    There will be no more blessing nor Egypt will be a paradise after adopting that constitution , stop fooling the people.

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  • 01/14/14--09:11: Constitution Referendum 2014
  • And we have got another referendum for Constitution in less than 4 years. We are addicted to polling stations after decades of Mubarak rule !!
    By the way Mubarak asked to vote in this referendum and he will say Yes too :)
    Anyhow here are quick numbers about this constitution referendum 2014
    • The number of polling stations across the country is : 30,317 polling stations 
    • The number of judges supervising the polling stations all over the country : 16,000 Judges "10,000 substitute" 
    • The number of army forces participating in security of the polling stations "From Monday" across the country : More than 160,000 officer and solider. 
    • The number of police forces participating in the security of the polling stations : Allegedly more than 200,000
    • The number of eligible voters across the country : Nearly  53,423,485 citizens



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    And here is my experience in the Constitution referendum 2014.
    First of all since the 20th century Egyptians had 25 referendums where each one witnessed unprecedented turnout and the answer was always Yes.
    Second of all “No” was not taken as an option , in fact people were arrested for promoting “NO” , a thing that did not happen amidst the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule unfortunately. If the MB accused those who were against their constitution to be infidels , the supporters of this constitution accuse those who are against of being traitor.
    Third this referendum was not about the Constitution itself as a document as much it is about creating an alleged legitimacy of the current regime to counter the alleged legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was also about giving a support to General Abdel Fatah El Sisi in order to runpresidency and also to tease the Muslim Brotherhood.Yes teasing the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Of course there were other reasons on why the voters went to vote without even reading a single article in it for the hope of finding stability and welfare as the intensive media campaign kept telling them.
    Despite Constitution 2014 is slightly better than Constitution 2012 I reject it.

     I reject this constitution mainly because of the army related articles and it is not the military trials for civilians articlebut also other articles that gives the minister of defense more power than the president and how for the upcoming 8 years the army will be a state inside the state for real.
    Unfortunatelynobody wants to read history or learn from our historical mistakes. The last time the army was a state inside a state without even constitutional support we had the six days war defeat and that is what I fear most especially now with that silly comparison of Nasser to El Sisi.
    Another reason why I reject this constitution is how many of its articles from rights and so on are left to be determined according to the law. The laws will be issued by the parliament which will witness apparently the return of the NDP in a new shape besides the current puppet parties that do not open their bloody mouth against the violations of human rights in the past few months.
    I was between two choices either to go and say No or boycott. I never left a single election as you may know even during the days of Mubarak when I became officially a voterbut it was as if God had another plan.
    In the past 48 hours I had a terrible fever and flu. I could not leave my bed in the past 48 hours except forbathroom. I have a terrible cough that does not make me sleep easily so you can imagine what I had to choose.
    Yes I had to boycott.
    I do not feel sad about.
    Yesterday I read that according to news reports the majority of voters were mostly from elderly and +40 years old segment while there was a noticeable absence of a very important segment in Egypt : The youth segment from 18 to 30 years old. Yes the youth were absentand nobody can not deny.  
    By the way In the past few weeks the mainstream media and public figures adopting the Yes campaign only of course had one message: Those who will boycott the referendum and will vote against the constitution are traitors, Not Egyptians , Not patriotic and MB.
    So yes according to the mainstream media and those public figures speaking in the media I amtraitor for boycotting the referendum. 
    Ironically this constitution is allegedly will put the first pillar of democracy and yet all the government and the majority who support this constitution were against the simplest principle of democracy attacking those who would say no  to the constitution and those who boycotted in the most disgusting way ever.
    By the waymy mom went and voted in the referendum. She voted against it. In her polling station she told me that many of the voters did not show up according to the voters registry where she supposed to sign her name. There was no privacy for her to vote. The supervisor told her that it was not a real problem because "everybody was saying yes" and "You are going to vote Yes , are not you !?". My mom told her that even if the people were voting Yes they should know their rights as voters and to have privacy in a nice way before covering the ballot paper with her hand and choosing No before folding it and putting  it in the ballot box.
    I was worried on my mom and my aunt as well because they were voting against the constitution and in those two days human rights lawyers were reporting that people were actually arrested and harrassed for voting NO. 
    This won’t be the last referendum or the last constitution for sure and one day with God’s will we will have a constitution that will put this country on the right track in the 21st century , a constitution that really will be worth all the sacrifices we presented as people in the past years.

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    And The Square has become the first Egyptian film to be nominated for an academy award in history.
    Yes The Square made to the finals. It is being nominated for Oscar best Documentary feature for 2014. I am extremely happy more than you can imagine.
     
    It is worth to mention that The square has not been screened yet in Egypt. It was supposed to be screened from couple of months ago in Cairo but its screening was cancelled. The censorship board ironically has not approved it yet. The film’s director Jihane Noujaim told Jon Stewart about that. It is not a big secret both the army and police will reject such film especially it got unseen raw footage from clashes like Maspero , Mohamed Mahmoud and Cabinet HQ. This is why the Censorship board has not approved yet and we all know it.  

     We will not ignore the fact that the current regime won’t like such film to be screened now because it is not advisable to inspire people anymore when you keep repeating in the media day and night that 25 January revolution is a conspiracy and you teach their children in their history books that revolutions do not bring change.
    Already except for Ahram Online and Shorouk News as far as I have only mentioned the news in Egypt that Jihane Noujaim’s film has reached to the OSCARS. In fact there is nothing about it in our media today. Of course they do not want to spoil the big feast of democracy. 

    Unfortunately I know with the current conspiracy theory ultra-nationalism wave in the country now all what the Square film crew will get from Egyptian media is attack. I will not be surprised to find the talk show hosts calling this documentary an American Zionist attempt to defame the Egyptian armed forces and to bring down the State as the Oscars are controlled by the Zionist lobby to the end of that attack. 
    Ironically our media will ignore the fact that in the same category another documentary called “Dirty Wars” by Jeremy Scahill about the dirty military operations of the US army in Afghanistan , Somalia and Yemen is nominated and nobody has accused its makers of anything and the film was screened in US easily. 
    Even some began to say that The square has no chance in the academy awards in front of other documentaries just like our revolution itself, well it is enough to be nominated and revolutions just do not die.
    We do not have Netflix in Egypt. Some of us are waiting it to hit the torrents while others are hopeful that it would be screened commercially in Egypt next 25 January 2014 after the permission of the censorship. Already I doubt it especially with the footage
    If you are in the States , then you are luckier than us in Egypt because you can see this film before us in Netflix.
    I am praying that The Square will win and the Revolution Continues.

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    El Sisi "Army Spox FB page"
    Will General El Sisi run for the Presidential elections !? When will he announce his candidacy !?  Will he have a second though after the results of the constitutional referendum !?
    These are the questions of the hours in Cairo. Of course now his candidacy forpresidency is something almost everybody certain of especially with all the leaks and his own words not to mention how the media is portraying him as a savior and that we do not have any other alternative at all , we are just waiting for the matter to be official.
    Nevertheless there are certain questions that still puzzles me.
    Some think that El Sisi would not run because he is a smart man and he won’t accept to be less powerful than the minister of defense according to the Constitution. Oh yes in constitution 2014 the minister of defense and SCAF has more power than the president so El Sisi can be under the mercy of the upcoming minister of defense “expected to be Sobhi Sadky” and SCAF losing all his privileges.
    Why would he do something like this !? If it is about fulfilling his dreams then I will be extremely worried.
    Some say that not all the members of SCAF support his candidacy decision because let’s be clear here even if he takes off his military suit and wears a civilian suit , he will be considered a military man. If he falls , his fall will affect the armyand I think some generals and officers know that. Of course when that time comes General El Sisi knows that the army can sacrifice him and sacrifices 1000s men like in order to keep its image as well the privileges.
    For God he won’t be more precious than Mubarak.
    Some say that the general’s final decision will be determined according to the true turn out and results of the constitution referendum. Well the final results have been announced today by the High Commission elections but to be honest SCAF got the real numbers and exist polls since day one. Withoutdoubt the turnout was not that great to the level of convincing the general to run as some hoped and prayed for. Of course now the plan of those hypocrite cronies trying to convince him to run or as he put it “to mandate him” next 25 January “oh yes” but let’s be clear here all these names are not that powerful to make millions go back to the street.
    Unfortunatelythose people , the general and the army forget a simple fact the climax of the general’s popularity was last 3 July 2013 , other than that his popularity began to decrease because this is reality , nobody remains on the top for nothing in such circumstances in Egypt. People are not naïve as some may think.
    Another thing that puzzles me : The regional support to the general.
    Of course last week we knew that the UAE , one of Egypt’s main supporters and financiers had a different opinion that was said by none other than Dubai’s ruler and UAE PM Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashad Al Maktoum in his interview with the BBC.
    Later there was an official explanation from the UAE about Dubai ruler’s statement but the message was received and was understood already.
    Some say that the UAE had another plan for Egypt presidency where former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik becomes the president for one term and El Sisi as minister of defense.
    What is even more interesting is the position of Saudi Arabia , the main backer of the current regime. The same people who say that the UAE wants Shafik , say that the Kingdom wants General Abdel El Fatah El Sisi. Not only some people but also news reports say that KSA will help us financially so the general won’t fail“not Egypt for God’s sake”.
    Still we found  at the same time we find Abdel Rahman El Rashad of Asharq Al Awsat Daily saying that it El Sisi should not run for presidency. Now why was that op-ed interesting !? Well because this Pan Arab newspaper issued in London is known to be a mouthpiece for the Saudi regime. So now Do the Saudis want El Sisi to run or not !?
    Speaking internationally some say that the US made it clear at first to the Generals that it preferred a civilian man even if he were a puppet but I do not know about now.
    Another puzzle.
    Of course you got the other puzzle of Sami Anan and the so-called intelligence Eagle Mourad Mowafi.
    Now speaking seriously I know people from the general’s admirers, true admirers who believe that he should stick to his post as minister of defense and ignore the presidency because “he will lose” in this political/economic battle.
    Even his admirers know that if General Abdel Fatah El Sisi runs for the presidential post , it will be an official declaration for the world that it was a coup on 4 July.
    It is a matter of time now.
    You know I got a plan and you got a plan and in the end God has got the ultimate true and one Plan.

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  • 01/20/14--12:30: Links and Notes 01/20/2014
  • Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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    As if the daily dose madness in Egypt is not enough !! It seems that there are some people in Egypt who believe that former vice president Omar Suleiman is still alive and that he will return back .. just like the

    Absent Emam !!
    They even launched a Facebook page called “The popular campaign demanding General Omar Suleiman to reappear” and more than 9000 person likes it !! These people are demanding Omar Suleiman to reappear again in order to save Egypt and run for presidential elections !!They are also posting these scary photos for the general with words like "The fox of the pyramids will return , wait for him" !!
    Oh yes they believe that he is alive and is actually running the show from the backstage. They also believe that Suleiman’s plan or rather the general was to hide all that time in order to expose the plans of the world’s intelligence …etc.
    The true irony is that some people are leaving comments that if he did not show up or return , the credibility of the Facebook page would be affected !!! 
    This is not a parody thing I am afraid. It is black comedy.

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    I do not understand or comprehend those who are claiming that Egypt is on the right path of democracy and that soon enough we will be enjoying the fruits of that democracy.
    I do not know what kind of democracy they are speaking about when people get arrested for campaigning “No” in the referendum and activists are hunted down by silly lawsuits and defamed badly in disgusting Non stopped media campaigns spreading hatred and ignorance. 
    I do not know what kind of democracy they are speaking about when the mainstream media is trying by all its power to mold the public mind again in to that Presidential cult mentality once again replacing the president with El Sisi  !!
    I do not know what kind of democracy they are speaking about when thousands of young protesters are arrestedand awarded wining journalists are arrested and treated like criminals in prisons.

    I know that logic , yes logic says you got certain beginning that will lead to a certain end and what I see in front of me the beginning of something that does not lead to democracybut rather that leads to something else that is not good.

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    Mona Seif published a message from her brother activist Alaa Abdel Fatah which he sent to her and her sister Sanaa from his detention at Torah prison.
    Here is the English translation of the letter.

    To Mona & Sanaa:

    I miss you a lot, although I see you more when I'm in jail than when I'm free. Maybe because when I'm out of jail, I'm able to check up on you at any time and I'm able to follow and understand your news. When I'm
    The chairs of absent Arabic bloggers including Alaa
    in jail, we have to determine how we spend the limited time of your short visits, which news we talk about. We split up the time carefully and of course, I don’t end up having time to hear all the little things that make you Mona and Sanaa. Mona's fights on Twitter or the romantic phases she goes through, whether Sanaa watched  the latest Ahly match or her amusing stories that she inadvertently finds herself in.

    This may be the hardest thing about being imprisoned, that someone else is controlling your time to this degree. To the point at which you are even deprived of the basic right to worry because I’m not going to know if Khaled came down with a cold until he gets better. That someone else is controlling the coinciding of our feelings. For example, the winter storm...I only heard about its extent after it ended. The whole country was talking about the snow for four days, but by the time you were able to see me, I was only able to tell you that we dealt with it and that we’re fine now; we weren’t able to even excitedly talk about how cold it had been.


    While I wear all my clothes at the same time and lay my blankets on top of each other, I remember the people who live in dens or in the streets and how they have less clothes and less blankets than I do. After the coldest night, I decided that I had to block the windows in my cell [to prevent the cold from seeping in]. I realized that even the homeless can get up at any time they choose to and try to deal with the cold. They may find a solution to the cold or they may not. However, the feeling that the authorities can just bureaucratically decide when to open my door or when I will find a piece of carton to block my window or when the warden will get permission to locate a ladder and block the windows [to stop the cold] is oppressing.

    I imagine that you are dealing with a similar feeling while you look for ways to meet my needs within the confines of the jail’s rules. Heavy white-colored clothing without markings. I heard that Maha Maamoun had to re-sew and put together some of the jackets so that they were allowed in and by the time that happened, it was 20 degrees again :-)

    And I don’t know who walked all over Downtown to find a store that still sells a radio that transmits a single frequency and why trouble yourselves?

    But all of these are little things that confirm the reality of imprisonment, that your willpower is completely taken away from you and someone else is controlling your time and body. The problem is that someone else is controlling my soul and limiting when I can see Manal and Khaled and when and how much I can kiss and hug them.

    What is scary is that there is a possibility that they decrease visits from weekly to every two weeks. Newspapers are discussing implementing jail visits through a glass cell and telephone. If such visits are implemented, I won’t be able to touch you. How will I be able to connect with Khaled?

    What is truly oppressing is that the day before yesterday, some were writing in the newspaper how the visits of wives and children should be barred to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from giving out orders and assignments! As if the jailee is not a human being [who deserves rights]!

    And those who are pretending to be logical and writing about how the Maher, Douma, and Adel verdicts are a result of the incorrect political decisions taken by April 6th and the loss of their popularity, as if Ahmed Maher is just an idea or as if the man arrested is just a theoretical notion named April 6 and not a human being who has a 5-year old daughter to whom he is having difficulty explaining where he is and why he is away from her and when he can return to her.

    Reading newspapers in general is frustrating unlike previous times I have been in jail, however it does pass the time. The result of having someone other than yourself control your time is that you have a lot of time you don’t know what to do with.

    Don’t be taken aback at my words, our conditions are fine and as compared to previous imprisonments, we are in comfortable positions. During exercise time, we are together. Half the day, we spend yelling to each other through the jail cells, and the time passes as we read.

    With negotiations, the conditions improve. We negotiated for a week with regards to newspapers and radio, and now we are negotiating about letters. They promised to deliver this letter and we have been negotiating for weeks regarding the right to publish articles and have television voice appearances. Maybe one day they will allow the delivery of friends’ letters and the receipt of telegraphs. I feel that I’m Saeb Erekat, life is negotiating. Life goes on, but the oppression of the soul is difficult.

    The day that they broke into my house and arrested me, Khaled was sick and unable to sleep. I took him in my arms for an hour until he slept. And what is adding to the oppression that I feel is that I find that this imprisonment is serving no purpose, it is not resistance and there is no revolution. The people that are in ongoing negotiations despite the fact that they are not in jail aren’t worth the reality that I am deprived from spending even one hour with my son. The previous imprisonments had meaning because I felt that I was in jail by choice and it was for a positive gain. Right now, I feel that I can’t bear people or this country and there is no meaning for my imprisonment other than freeing me from the guilt I would feel being unable to combat the immense oppression and injustice that is ongoing.

    It is true that I am still powerless, but at least I have become oppressed among the many oppressed and I no longer owe a duty or feel guilt. To be honest, one hour with Khaled is more beneficial. I don’t even understand how I can live without him and I don’t understand how I can live without Manal. When I got the order to appear before the Prosecutor, Manal began to pragmatically prepare so that our work would not be delayed and I became so unsettled at her and a visit I had with Maysara to delegate some of my work and determine who will take on the rest of the responsibilities. I knew that I would be imprisoned, but I didn’t want to think about how our lives would go on while we are no longer together. At the end, life goes on. Just because my willpower and control on time has stopped, does not mean that time itself has stopped.

    The thought is scary, I am facing two felonies and it is clear that they have decided that we must be handed down sentences. It is clear that the revolution is in poor shape. We may be handed down sentences, in which case time stops for me and continues to go on for you for years, which means that Khaled grows up without me. This means that he will undergo many colds and will sleep away from my hugs for long.

    Or maybe I will be released after a month or two, or maybe I will be released upon completion of their wretched transition plan. It is up to their will and up to the time that is under their control.

    I am sorry for the depressing thoughts...You know that I hate the whole “You are free and imprisonment will not be able to break you” tone. Every time I am jailed, a piece of me breaks, just like every time someone else is imprisoned, a piece of us breaks. Just like when every martyr dies, we all bleed. It is true that his family and loved ones bleed more, but all of us bleed and all of us pay the price.

    I am fine. You know that this sense of oppression is something that I have lived with even outside of jail, just like you all live with it. Every day when there is news that strains our hearts or weakens them, our souls are constrained. But here, I just have more time that I don’t know what to do with, so I end up focusing more on this sense of oppression.

    I am worn and exhausted, but this will pass just like the times before it passed and I will go back to seeing you less and I will miss you less because Mona will be busy with her fights and her romantic stories and with the challenge of balancing her multiple roles and Sanaa will be busy with her many projects and her many adventures that she inadvertently finds herself in. And I will be busy with Manal and Khaled and with whatever new reasons we have to be angry and to resist.

    Personally I wish that Mona did not reach this letter because now the anti-January 25 revolution police/military state supporters believe that Alaa is giving up. You only have to read their comments online to know what they think and to where we are heading. It is heartbreaking message, a sad message.
    I see a person who is exhausted and he has to.
    Alaa Abdel Fatah has been in prison now fore more than 50 days.
    Now tell me what kind of democracy awaiting us in Egypt. 

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  • 01/23/14--12:30: Links and Notes 01/23/2014
  • Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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    The huge crate in front of Cairo security directorate
    And Cairo woke up today on 3 bombings killing at least five and injuring dozens early morning in Cairo and Giza targetting security checkpoints and directorates. The biggest explosion is at Cairo security directorate.
    The Cairo security directorate in the heart of Cairo was badly damaged along with the Islamic Museum.
    That series of the explosions come 24 hours prior the 25 January revolution anniversary.
    Some say Ansar Beit Al Maqdis claimed responsibility at their shady private twitter account while others use the own words of the Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters only that "we are going to have one hell of a week" to the end of that talk. 
    The Muslim Brotherhood members are accusing the regime itself of standing behind the explosions to destroy the anniversary of 25 January and to stalk the remaining members of the brotherhood..etc
    The TV channels now are full of commentators , strategic analysts and angry callers are asking the authorities ever woman,man and child of the Muslim Brotherhood as well to bomb Gaza..to the end of that talk. Of course those TV channels won't waste the opportunity and remind people on how Egyptians are in desperate need to elect General El Sisi as a president in order to conquer terrorism .. and the whole world and universe as well.
    Amazingly after the horrible bombing at the Cairo Security directorate , we find dozens of citizens in the crime scene carrying the photos of both El Sisi and Ibrahim of interior cursing the brotherhood. Well you are going to fight terrorism for real if you start to treat the explosion site as a crime scene and stop turning it on a political theatre.
    Now I got couple of questions :
    Earlier this week we found the minister of interior Mohamed Ibrahim bragging proudly that "No one will dare and come close to any police station on 25 January like what happened 28 January 2011 other he will find .." and the MOI started sharing photos of police stations and checkpoints with rockets installed and big guns everywhere ,well the terrorists are telling Ibrahim one thing as I see it "In your face".

     I think in a civilized society instead of carrying the photos of Ibrahim in the streets in stupid jubilation , he will have to answer lots of questionsand he may lose his position. 
    In fact not only him but many officials in the National security should answer lots of questions because since August 2013 terrorism did not stop and actually is getting bolder as we see now.
    There is an intelligence failure along with security failurebut no one wants to speak about the elephant in the room.
    The Islamic Museum is horribly damaged. Here are photos from inside the museum.


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     As if this day does not want to end , Egyptian filmmaker and vlogger Aalam Wassaf has not been arrested for no clear reason. This afternoon police searched his house downtown Cairo for three hours before he was arrested along with his Swiss friend Iris Ott. According to Khaled Abdullah , the founder of Mosireen the two are detained at Kasr Al Nil police station.  Updated at 12:28 AM both Aalam and Iris are released. It is unclear why they were detained. 
    Alam Wasaf is a member in Mosireeen and has got his own satirical YouTube channel.
    Also Do you remember the case of Ahmed Anwar , the Egyptian vlogger sued in 2013 by the ministry of interior for his clip criticizing the ministry in 2012 ??
    Well guess what on Thursday he was sentenced 3 months in jail and a 10,000 LE fine for ““insulting the interior ministry” and “deliberately provoking others using the internet.” !! oh yes insulting the interior and provoking others using the internet according to Tanta’s Economic Misdemeanour Court. Anwar will appeal the court verdict.
    Someone is scared from satire and 5 minutes clips as it seems. 
    It seems to me that vloggers are more dangerous than terrorists in the eyes of the MOI which does not want to admit its failure in fighting terrorism for real and is trying to stalk the revolution youth in a way or another. 
    By the way I think constitutionally people should be informed on why they arrested from their homes, at least this is what the new constitution says according to my knowledge.
    Happy #Jan25 guys. 



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    Here is coverage for the third anniversary of 25 January revolution. Today is a busy day where as most Egyptians are staying in their homes the pro-El Sisi supporters are allegedly celebrating the revolution where as they are demanding the general to run for presidency while the Pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters are allegedly celebrating the revolution where as they are actually demanding the reinstatement of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood rule.
    Small groups of revolutionaries are also going to celebrate the revolution despite all the odds and arrests. It istough day because Ansar Beit Al Maqids warned that they will bomb Cairo to the end of that talk.
    Personally I feel stabbed this year , this is not our 25 January revolution nor our Tahrir. :)

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    In case you do not know with all the drama we are having in the past 48 hours whether terrorist bombing or bloody anniversary and a helicopter that is blown up in Sinai  , we got 5 Egyptian diplomats kidnapped by Libyan militias.
    Abu Obeida
    Yes it started last night , in fact it started yesterday after the arrest of the Libyan Revolutionaries operations chamber head Sheikh Shaaban Heida in Alexandria. Shaaban Hedia aka Abu Obeida El Zawy is said to be connected to Al Qaeda. Of course he was arrested and is said to be accused of cooperating with MB. This is what we know from Libyan sources. 
    After couple of hours of his arrest his militias which are connected to the GNC and stood behind the kidnap of the Libyan PM Ali Zidan last October , kidnapped the Egyptian administrative attaché from our embassy in Tripoli. Hours later another 4 diplomats including the cultural attaché Dr. El Halali and 3 administrative employees also from Tripoli “No security what so ever as it seems despite what happens in Libya especially after the attack on the US embassy in Libya”
    The militia’s demand was clear since the first hour : The release of Abu Obeida.
    Egypt evacuated its diplomatic commission in the past hours from Libya in some military plane.
    Now the kidnappers released a photo for the kidnapped diplomats and let them speak on TV , on Al Arabiya TV channel demanding the release of Abu Obeida in the upcoming 24 hours.


    Here is the photo , it is sad
    The photo was released on Tajura speaks Facebook page. It was sent allegedly by one of the so-called revolutionaries in El Zawya demanding the release of Sheikh Shaaban or otherwise the consequences won’t be good. 

    By the waythe media in Egypt does not give a damn for those Egyptian diplomats as they are all focusing on El Sisi love fest only. Ok you do not give a damn for those bad protesters who are killed and arrested what about our diplomats !? Personally I know that the ministry of foreign affairs is working on rescuingthembut I am surprised at the media !!

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    And we are having the aftermath of the huge Sisi party last night and boy what a hang over. Another day , another live updates to keep up this ongoing tragedy.
    We got over thousand arrested and not less than 49 killed last night. Today the saga continues and at least 3 soldiers were killed in ambush in Sinai. We got human rights and constitutional violations committed by the police. It is another day. 

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