Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

 

Do you accept the crackdown on protests in the name of ‘getting the wheels turning’, or ‘in condemnation of ill-timed personal or sectorial demands’?

Did our sisters & brothers not die to give us the freedom to express ourselves in dignity and safety…

Do you think the revolution has ended or that it has realized its objectives or would you want it to end soon?

For a true revolution to happen in Egypt, just like everyone says in rote, ‘we have to start with ourselves’.. meaning we have to keep asking ourselves and growing organically with both the question and answer to hopefully deliver Egypt to a station it has never seen before. If we place a lid on our dreams or draw a finish line, then that is all we can hope to amount to, and it is more likely that we will fall short and quickly descend into the same cesspool of corruption we all know so well by now.. Instead we should keep reaching higher and higher, and the most powerful dream at any one moment is the one we focus on achieving.. step by step.. it is not impossible.. we just have to stand up against the randomness in governance that we have been living under…  But it has to be a personal revolution everyday.

Are you hasty to willingly hand over your fate to any entity that seems to say the right words and delegate all your responsibilities of monitoring and being a part of deciding Egypt’s path forward into the hands of some ‘infallible authority’?

The whole point of the revolution was accountability and transparency, that we should not go to jail for asking questions, or voicing concerns or opinions. We took the nation’s fate in our hands when we chose to stand up in Tahrir and everywhere else in this great land to say NO to injustice and indignities, so we can’t simply leave her by the roadside now with the job half-done?

Do you believe that the media is now clean and is no longer in contact with any hidden agendas?

Do you say ‘the Army is a red line’ that cannot be questioned?

Do you believe religion is a red line that cannot be questioned?

Do you think anyone possesses the Absolute Truth? SAFC, religious leader, politician, Mubarak, or even Obama?

Learn to question everything, look for your own answers, do not accept any pre-packaged explanations without  healthy skepticism.. Do not allow big words or shiny exteriors to blind you from the ultimate message contained within… Freedom is not awarded, it is won.

Are you able to differentiate between the respectable, honest army officers who helped us protect our streets and homes, and between the SAFC?

Do you think there are secrets that are too big to share with the public?

Do you spread rumors without due fact-checking and corroboration of sources coz it’s an interesting story?

Do you change positions often, or keep finding exemptions to the rule?

Do you fear change?

Stealing is wrong. Killing is wrong. Unfair trials are wrong. Spreading lies is wrong. Maintaining a secret agenda and deceiving the public is wrong.

Drives me up the wall seeing people so opposed to change that they try to wish things to their previous state of affairs, hoping that all of this confusion they have no idea how to deal with, or what to do with- called the revolution- would simply just go away.

Takes some talent to fool yourself into not seeing when your eyes are not closed.

They seem to think that we should just pretend that everything is normal until it actually becomes so…

Well sorry to burst your bubble, but everything is far from normal.

These are extra-ordinary times for Egypt, and we cannot waste precious time half-pretending half-wishing it was normal- especially not when we should be drawing clear, definitive, decisive lines between what, and what not, to carry from a corrupted past to a brighter, more promising future.

One finds people that try to blow holes into any cause or call to action which may mean that they might have to carry a responsibility, or worse, face something or someone.

When you talk about the need to have a methodical, and just system to weed out corruption and its men & women, you are faced with ridicule and claims that every institution would fall to pieces and the whole country would be in jail.

When you talk about the breach of civilian rights when unarmed, peaceful protesters are killed or sentenced by military courts, these passive-ists will go on the attack and start accusing you of breaking and not respecting the law and its rule, citing such illuminating insights- such as this one that works for almost every occasion:

“We should fix ourselves first before judging others”,

or in the case of violence and military courts for protesters  “why didn’t they respect the curfew?”

or “how can they talk about corruption when they don’t respect the rules”,

or “since you agreed to Martial Law under the military then you should respect their decisions”..

Well guess what, no one ever agreed to place this omnipotence and absolute power into the hands of the Supreme Armed Forces’ Council, SAFC, in the first place, it was never up for a vote. In fact, if they search their not so-distant memories [or youtube] they would invoke the image of a Omar Suleiman stating that “Mubarak chose to waive his presidential powers and place them in the hands of the SAFC” on Feb 11th.

And to ALL who would say ”nana nana nanaaa..fix yourself first” and such, I wish to draw their attention to the fact that though my bad habits may take a while for me to outgrow and ‘fix’, yet in all honesty, ultimately they seem pretty inconsequential compared to the crimes committed by existing pillars of corruption that still run amok.

As long as the corrupt are pulling the strings in every sector, Egypt will function still in pretty much the same way it did, with the added burden of attempts to alienate, discredit and circumvent the Revolution. Attempts even by the old regime to redress itself in the cloak of the revolution- such that the corrupt become the symbols of the revolution!

Isolating them from their positions of power, will give the chance for the honest and down-trodden who remain fearful that this is just a façade, to feel safe enough to speak up.

The old regime and tyrannical regimes everywhere have succeeded in creating a psychosis amongst their people, a schizoid state of claiming to both uphold the principles of the revolution; of liberty, equality, bread and social justice, yet equally finding grounds to start making up excuses for the SAFC as to why this ‘justice’ doesn’t apply to this person, or that group, or Maikel Nabil, or the “baltagiyyas” that were in Tahrir on March 9th, or the army officers on April 9th?!!

You cannot segment justice. And you cannot discriminate and say who deserves it and who doesn’t. Or else it’s a farce. And a bloody cheap one.

Personally, I am getting less impressed with PM Essam Sharaf’s performance by the day. He has to acknowledge that he is playing a game not too different from the ‘gophers-in-the-holes’ found at most arcades. You stand there with your furry hammer and every time a gopher sticks its head out of one of the holes. BLAM you bludgeon it back in. And in time the plot thickens with the gophers growing faster and coming out of further-to-reach holes simultaneously.

Essam Sharaf seems to be doing just that, reacting to every miniscule event with his creative arsenal. Once he’ll face the situation with science, another with piety, a third with good old homeboy, ibn balad panache- all very good. But at some point as the gophers keep coming faster and the situation is ever more distracting, you get the sensation that this is exactly what is meant of the whole exercise- to distract and divert, his attention and ours, while the army or more properly the SAFC is in some other corner doing something completely different while holding all the strings.

Some of these gophers smell fishy too [as most sectarian incidents do] such as the opposing to the new Governor in Qena based on his Coptic faith and not on the fact that he was a key security figure during the killing of protestors, the Salafis attacking a church, the whole Kamilia Shehata shenanigan and how it has been forged into a most powerful weapon of division.. To who’s benefit is this lack of response to these gophers? Who is supposed to benefit from allowing them to thrive, while shrouding the situation in mystery and allowing for rumors and build-up of negative feelings?

All the while as PM Sharaf keeps chasing gophers while the SAFC continues to maneuver with an obvious auxiliary agenda to the one it has announced.

This allows for two options: either PM Sharaf does not see that he is being ‘kept busy’ and plonking gophers unwittingly while not questioning what the SAFC is doing, which in reality constitutes an epic fail as PM material. Or, scarier still, he is doing so knowingly and uhmmmn ‘putting on’ the best show he can for the benefit of the SAFC and its objectives.

I remember that one of the rumors that was offered me time and time again by friendly cabdrivers was the one saying that both PM Sharaf and Chief Tantawi are secret Muslim Brotherhood members, as if the MB was akin to the illuminati or Knights Templar,  or freemasons?!

But as time goes by, one begins to wonder if not indeed the oil of the old regime as well as wine of the young revolution, have not indeed begun to mix and align in nature and objectives?

The Army appeared with the timed withdrawal of police forces on the 28th of Jan, and the people met them with song and dance, hugs and jubilation. We the people projected onto these sporadic army personnel, the role of saviors that had appeared to defend them from the sadistic police and security forces that were killing us. I’m not in any way saying that the army officers and personnel that appeared on the 28th had anything but our best interest at heart, many of these officers risked their lives to protect us and at the very least treated citizens with utmost respect and care that was such a welcome blessing almost after the indiscriminate abuse and humiliation suffered at the hands of the police. But really, let’s just see: the Armed Forces of 300,000 troops et al, came to defend us from Security Forces that add up to close to a million and a half in manpower?

Face it people, WE were our REAL protectors, WE were our saviors. It was us millions that were on the streets that struck the fear of God into the hearts of unjust rulers and still does. If it wasn’t for our neighborhood committees or ligan sha’biyya, the army could not have covered Greater Cairo in area or numbers. If it had been 200,000 camped in Tahrir at dawn of April 9th and not 2,000, then the army and Amn Markazi would have never dared to use violence. Our faltering now, takes the wind out of the sails of not just our own revolution, but its negative effects extend to countless other freedom fighters in Syria, Libya, Bahrain, Iran and the list goes on…

Do not allow yourselves to be placated by an apparently benign outward appearance, when we have no idea what is really going on..

Wake up people, there is power in our numbers and as long as your cause is just, be not afraid to speak it out. And before asking if Mubarak and his cronies were a part of the counter-revolution.. ask yourself truly if you are throwing in a jab every now and then…

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THE ‘US’ &’THEM’ EFFECT…

 

Us Arabs have been known for our ability for self-censorship, drawing lines around freedom of expression, and excommunicating others who offer an opinion using creative license. This censorship has put boundaries aplenty on artistic creativity, and spawned the image portraying Arabs and Islam as blood-thirsty barbarians instead of the peace-driven message and name it carries. The burning of embassies, effigies, trampling of flags, and demonstrating for death,  simply feeds hatred, anger, and this false image.

 

The alternative? Toiling through a maze of rules and regulations, specifically designed to make you falter and fall, to produce a piece of artistic work that communicates usto them.

 

We refuse to engage in discussion. And this self-terrorizing limiting of thought keeps the distance between Arabs and the world perpetually growing.

The harsh reception director Omar Shargawi received at the screening of the award-winning feature film Ma Salama Jamil atCairo’s International Film Festival was one example. Mainstream film critics crucified it, even during the screening, citing absurdities such as “this is more offensive than the Danish cartoons.”

 

Ma Salama Jamil, produced by Lars Von Trier and his Danish label Zentropia, is ultimately a message of peace. It fades to black with a quote from the Qoraan; “Man qatala nafsan ka’anama qatala alnas jamee’an” He who kills one self is as though [he] has slain all of humanity.

 

“… There’s always a handful of angry audience members that remind me of the right-wing in Denmark, and there’s a bunch at every screening,” says Shargawi lightheartedly of the way he was received in the once cinema capital of the Arab world. Yet “people all over the world have expressed that 10 minutes into the movie they forget they’re watching a movie about Sunni and Shi’a. They see the struggle and raw violence that is propelled by human beings. And the need to end it.”

 

Some saw the movie as didactic, an unwelcome sermon, when we most need to reflect upon where we came from, to make sense of where we’re going. Sometimes anger is a defense mechanism to preserve the life we know, the people we were before.

 

Shargawi’s Palestinian father, who stars in the film, arrived in Denmark in the 60s and took a Danish wife, Shargawi’s mother. His great grandfather was from the Egyptian Governate of Sharqiyya and that is where he gets his last name. Born and raised inCopenhagen, on the streets that formed a new culture and language from the fusion of both Arabic and Danish. Shargawi’s movie shines a light on this hybrid culture through a murderer’s violent journey to break the cycle of revenge within himself, after a Sunni murders a Shiite in revenge for the killing of his mother.

 

Arabs arrived in Copenhagen escaping the Lebanese civil war in the 80s; “they brought their old differences with them from back home. At the end of the war everyone was fighting everyone; Sunni Shi’a Muslims, Jews, Christians … even Sunni and Sunnis.”

 

In essence we’re all the same, all religions favor doing good over bad, yet …“even though Sunni and Shi’a belong to the same religion, the civil war in Lebanon proved that when there is conflict, the little differences become very big. Even bigger so after the first drop of blood has been shed.” Housed in refugee camps/centers the fighting continued in Copenhagen and sometimes the police would barricade them, not able to get in. “No one in the European or Danish community knew what was going on. And for non-insiders it was a constant stream of bad stories about Muslims and Arabs, and it’s gotten worse. In most cases the non-Arabic publics think of “those crazy Arabs” …Islamic fanatics, terrorists or criminals. This is the mainstream idea [upheld by] the non-Muslim public [in Europe].” Truly, how will others know who we are if we do not communicate it?

 

“99% of what we’re bombarded with is crap. And it’s not only here it’s in the West as well. Reality shows following a guy losing weight for three months, putting people in a house and filming- all are superficial and all are there to divert our attention from what is really going on. …it’s easier to digest than Palestinians getting killed everyday… by Israelis… by [other] Palestinians. It’s easier to digest than Sunni and Shi’a killing each other in Iraq, in a war created by the West. Then you get angry if someone is writing a book or making a movie about it. All because we want to forget, want to pretend it doesn’t exist. …Life is not about a penthouse flat in Zamalek, but this is what is being over-exposed all the time.”

 

After 9/11, the world has also been building up a wall between itself, and between Arabs and Islam. No longer only a predominantly-Arab or communist notion, is the West too hiding behind walls of what they know, drawing lines and boundaries to mark asafe-area for a spectrum of opinions that ispolitically correct.

 

The media machine has conditioned people to a tunneled version of permissible options;“It’s becoming more and more like that inEurope, there is no longer such a thing as freedom of speech. You cannot say everything you want. Now it’s becoming criminal to say something like “I support the freedom fighters in Iraq”. This kind of talk can land you in jail.”

 

“It’s hard to present real problems in the Arab world. But I’m happy to hear of more projects in Egypt addressing real problems of society,” concludes Shargawi.

 

The constant constraints on freedom of speech have given rise to a subversive language of symbols and metaphors. Yet sooner or later this continuous restriction will inhibit the natural evolution of artistic creativity.

 

Elsewhere… “The Czech Republic is, in broad terms, a democracy.  However, many of its state institutions are still controlled by a generation of functionaries who are essentially communist in their outlook and behavior, and have merely learned to replace the word “socialism” with the word “democracy” in their rhetoric”, explains Craig Duncan who hosts an evening show on the popular Radio Wave network in Czech Republic.

 

In communist eras the classic method of censoring alternative cultures was a public denunciation of an artist as a political extremist who must be suppressed for public good, supported by deliberately out-of-context quotes.

 

On 12.9.08 Craig Duncan played the Primal Scream song “Swastika Eyes” on his show.  Primal scream is one of the most successful UK bands in the past 20 years, known for their anti-racial and anti-totalitarian themes.

 

Your soul don’t burn
You dark the sun you
Rain down fire on everyone
Scabs, police, government thieves
Venal psychic amputees

 

[The song criticizes politicians who talk loudly about democratic values while openly engaging in not-so-democratic practices. Metaphorically speaking, their words cannot conceal their “swastika eyes”.]

 

More than a month later, the Czech Radio Council, the state body responsible for radio standards accused Craig’s Radio station of “promoting fascism” … by playing “neo-fascist” group Primal Scream. “In support of this allegation they published an extremely distorted mistranslation of the lyrics to “Swastika Eyes”, rewritten to make it appear as a celebration of Nazism.”

 

The accusation fueled a large protest movement, ranging from demonstrations for the resignation of the Council, to a free concert organized on 11.11.08 by some of the country’s top alternative musicians in protest of this oppression of thought.

 

“It is deeply ironic that they chose to base their smear campaign around a song which is about specifically this type of activity – namely, totalitarian behavior by state officials who loudly claim to be “democratic”. I played the song in question and continue to play it, since angry Czech musicians keep sending us their cover versions.”



 

Posted: October 26, 2009 in Entertainment, Music, Ramblings...

everytime i hear the lift my heart stops for a moment thinking it might be you.. the agony     i noticed the piece that you were editing was still open marked in red and crossed out like a love denied     i wake up and youre not there    

do i have to die to come back to life ?


Jam at mine

Posted: June 28, 2009 in Entertainment, Music, Ramblings...
Paul and Gerard were in the neighborhood.. good ol’ fashioned jam




Goodstuff thanx guyz!
nothing like a little strum to get the circulation going before heading off to work.. 6.30 am is a great time for songwriting ; p

hope u likes..


xx



new song…

Posted: April 14, 2009 in Entertainment

Went to Paul’s and as I was preparing
to show him what I’d come up with earlier in the day.. he was busy snapping n
filming…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYZK4q8zOUs

Enjoy

 
 
 

Though the sun  may be rising the breeze heavenly and the planets in bloom

The flower arches away from me

She will not sway in my arms

Her fears and analytical ways a wall between us

 

i309006

 

 

 

And when you arrive holding your sign calculated words fall in a heap that says im nervous

Do my words make you nervous

Do you hate my angles and lines

Tell me what makes you nervous

That I may kill it in me… or revere it

 

i300906

 

 

 

Tell me the way to your very own heart

That I may paint it in water

Weave sunrays

and leave this at your door

 

i300906

 

 

 

Could it be that such love can flow inside of me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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