Posts Tagged ‘Mohamed El Moseilhi’

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Of course they are.. Stands to reason after decades of forced-behavior that at some point we will all unanimously decide to crawl back into our holes.

They’re trying to spin so many stories to get you to forget what it felt like in the beginning.. in Tahrir…  What it tasted like.. Freedom.

While all the while… Distract.. Sidetrack.. Divide & Conquer..

A simple formula that works time and again on us Egyptians. If the message is decorated with enough attractive words, Egyptians will follow any ‘cause’ mindlessly for a while.

Economy, sectarianism, security, with the Council? Against the Council? Yes? No? et cetera.. et cetera to the end of the endless list of non-sensicals that we are bombarded with without due fact-checking or corroboration, only to weave through our lines, dividing us, like cracks in an earthquake. Either cause we’re tired, either coz we no longer believe it possible.. as the dark has once again begun to usurp the light, or cause they found out how to get us to get scared again.

Little explosions in the media, like Trojan horses are used to distract your free line of thinking, block thought and occupy it, and coat poisonous objectives:

To the extent of using God and Absolute Truth in arguments as if speaker holds a franchise and is ‘God’s voice’ sent to us mortals

The rise of the media-borne SAFC-inspired notion that getting the wheels of industry & the economy turning is threatened by legitimate demands and calls to prosecute the corrupt and purge bodies and institutions from those parasites

Delay in implementing a systemic methodology of assessing corruption and dealing with its remains, allowing for this randomness in prosecution and creating escape routes for the corrupt that have the ability to put on the cloak of the revolution

A media still far from objectivity and balance with elements still clearly pursuing an agenda that attempts to preserve and polish and sympathize with the cancer-like corrupt symbols of the old regime

Sectarian incidents and this production of looming fear of clashes between Salafis and Copts

Delays in tracking smuggled funds and embezzled sums allowing for their safe transfer and reducing chances of Egyptians ever seeing that money again or anyone being indicted over them

Distract.. Sidetrack.. Divide & Conquer.. A simple formula that works time and again on us Egyptians.

We have to stop lunging randomly and learn to focus our energies in a systematic way, to actually achieve documented steps, for a long-term plan to emerge, as we build steps upon steps upon..

Seems us Egyptians by default are always looking for a Pharoah to place on a pedestal of divinity, or a devil to blame for all their failures, guilt and shame- all in an attempt to escape carrying any responsibility of our own, or facing any situation or ourselves.

Mubarak’s corruption was indescribable; under his late rule Egypt rose amongst the countries with cancer prevalence through radiation-poisoned food and dumps in secret sites all over Egypt. Egyptians started getting kidney failure from the water, which in some places became closer to sewage, even though Egypt is historically known to be ‘the Gift of the Nile’. Appalling education, health services, pensions, employment rates, wages, rights, justice, and the list is endless…

He managed in 30 years to instill a sense of individualism, a selfish bible for Egyptians to live by, with every line written in the blood of the oppressed and the tears of the victimized.

This individualism, or amplified dog-eat-dog driving philosophy, was there at the core of governance and thus translated in turn into all the little details in our lives, from ministers stealing billions and millions of acres of the land our grandfathers died freeing, down to those that would cut you off on the road, even though the path ahead of them is blocked, just so no one gets served before they do, down to the clerk demanding a bribe, all the way down to the poor folks throwing elbows and fighting for their lives to get on that bus… it’s the law of the jungle that they tried to have us live by.. Scarcity & Survival & How Low You’re Willing to Go… the law of the jungle that we naturally gravitated away from when given our freedom and liberty to choose in Tahrir.

SAFC doing some 'explaining'...

Egypt since Jan25 has been at a tug-of-war against the pillars of corruption remaining from the old regime. Every time the righteous inch the flag on the rope a notch closer towards the Egypt we dream of, those who hold the strings burn another card, another mask falls, and the distance to the day where every institution and body in Egypt will purge and rid itself of the cancerous, gets shorter. It is important to start with all the positions of power that hold a great deal of influence over the general population’s lives and livelihoods. Like the judiciary, the police, the Prosecutor General’s office, the Forensic medicine Authority. And anyone else that is involved with representing or defending or making a judgment in people’s rights or ongoing court cases.

State media and the media in general has to both be transparent and trust-worthy and respectful of people’s intelligence and demands, and not just an authoritarian mouthpiece now serving the SAFC instead of Mubarak.

As it is unimaginable that if left to the corrupt, that these bodies would be expected to dish out justice when they are a part of the corrupt team opposing the people.

Let’s take the police for example..

Why is there a rise again in the number of ‘police victims’?! Is it actually possible to turn this security arm around and believe that it can embrace another faith than the one they’ve been brought up on all their lives? Even the kids who are in the Police Academy now, the trouble they went through, the bribes to get in, all these kids ever grew up dreaming of was becoming like those corrupt cops, with unquestioned authority and irreproachable actions and words! I don’t believe it is hard to find out who the ‘good’ cops are.. it’s just that the collective leadership doesn’t want to.. What are they going to do with a ½ a million or more terminated cops?

But unless we face facts, the corrupt cops will slip an act of vendetta here or there against anything it feels injurious to their umm pride, or reminiscent of the days of the thawra. Or worse still, they would destroy any hopes of cleaning up this principal security arm.

Can the army not physically train ½ a million unemployed Law graduates to incrementally substitute the cops terminated? Of course the ultimate message to drive home in the training would be to respect human rights and change the face of this security arm as well as its heart.

And I say face before heart, because right now the people need to feel that the police are partners in the revolution and not some foe, as some cops still clearly think, and they need that to translate to their everyday lives- so no rudeness or arbitrary arrests, or torture-to-deaths.. Because the face is seen and sensed while the heart may still remain obscured.

Hell why stop there? Why not open up a forum to suggestions to improve the efficiency and image of Police? Instituting a monitoring body over precincts? Giving police heroes leading roles? Amnesty for those who have a real change of heart and spill the beans on all the forms of corruption they encountered in their days?

Why the hell is the interim government [primarily concerned with plugging holes and making sure nothing falls apart and that institutions function smoothly] announcing the highest budget in Egypt’s history??! Why is Minister Radwan accepting Billions left, right and center? Does he not understand the destructive effects of interest and debt? Why start off our New Egypt with DEBT? In fact, more debt to exponenti-ate the existing one such that a nation can never climb out of this hole and has to constantly provide more concessions: privatizing its successful national industries, abolishing tariffs on international products such that they can compete with [and totally substitute] local products in the name of ‘free trade’, then basically from there everything goes to shit.. education, healthcare, all services- unless of course you exist above the line of poverty in the ‘elite’ 10% that ‘own’ the rest..

Why is Finance Minister Radwan trying to find a way to ‘legitimize’ the sanadeeq khasa [private chests] that were a swindle by government sectors and accounted for round 80% of Egypt’s income and yet were divided privately amongst government officials without ever being entered into the state budget? If this sanadeeq khasa system isn’t brought down [even on principle alone] then the probability that the same swindlers that used to manage these boxes/chests to the benefit of the ‘few’ will simply continue to do so. Eliminate this farce and if you need to ‘swindle’ us poor Egyptians out of more money then at least create a transparent system whereby we feel that our money is contributing to the wellbeing of all Egyptians, and such chests should have extremely strict guidelines to avoid history repeating itself.

Why is Spain allowing Hussein Salem to PULL A MUBARAK?

Why was the ruling that Mubarak and his wife’s name be removed from public institutions overturned?

Why is the SAFC trying to produce a legislation to ‘REGULATE’ media, including digital media and blogs and online presence. Is it possible that if someone writes a status update that rubs the SAFC the wrong way, then they would be called in by the Military Prosecutor? Why are yet more journalists being summoned by the Military Prosecutor again to face and answer to charges concerning freedom of speech?!

Why are SS officers slowly being reintroduced to previous positions of power?!

Another thing I wonder about sometimes in the wake of this ‘digital revolution’, is why hasn’t some techi made an online forum, a virtual Tahrir, where professors in every sector can teach people their rights and responsibilities? Quench their thirst? Else don’t blame anybody for returning to the bad habits they’ve been taught..

Why are we surprised that slowly everything is starting to look and feel the same? We breathed clean air for some days but we didn’t put all that oxygen to the best use yet.

But there’s always hope.. and as the saying goes.. Anything is possible in Egypt…

We Deserve Better ! Believe It !

 

 

 

Egypt’s awakenings are not all declared by the media. Sometimes positive things are born silently without the TV stations and different media forms getting to it and tainting it with their production of it.

Such a rebirth is happening now with heroin addicts all over Egypt. Somehow it seems that the revolution with its number of arrests and depositions has managed to fundamentally topple the system that networked in selling its heroin on Egypt’s streets.

 

 

I remember in an old interview I gave a friend after I was just settling back into life in Cairo, back then she said..

“Egypt has changed tamaman [totally] since the 80s. Cairo more specifically was still a magical place. There was half as many people, the hash market was thriving. Everyone was spying on everyone else. It was delightful.

It was still [partially] isolated from this western culture of time and money, it was still innocent somehow prior to the assassination of Sadat.

Following the assassination of Sadat things started to change really fast. And when I came back in the 90s there was this whole thing with liberalization, “economic reform” business, which opened the flood gates to all sorts of trash basically, or this western style of development, [resulting in] this veneer of wellbeing as everything is getting worse and worse.

The 80s were more honest somehow. Tab3an [of course] there was corruption, of course people didn’t have it all, but it was honest, more upfront. Now of course the government tries to disguise what it’s doing with all this great rhetoric; ..reform and open market, as people are starving to death.

For one thing the very next-day to Sadat’s assassination, there was a tank in the market-place in Batniyya, and a big crackdown on the hash dealers, but at the same time heroin started hitting the streets in a big way which had never happened before and this totally changed the face of the city. Hashish was one little thing that people could allow themselves, a small pleasure, a recreation. When that was substituted by heroin, you started getting more violence. There was this great uncertainty surrounding Mubarak, and then things seemed to spiral from then on. I think the population [increase] had a lot to do with it. At some point things must have become unmanageable.

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Well that was Maria Golia and the year was 2006. Now in 2011 we see that with the toppling of Mubarak and his top-tier band of 40 thieves, heroin has managed to dry up on Egypt’s streets. And the addicts- well they now have a real chance to discover who they really are without this destructive substance’s hold on their every effort. Best of luck to those being reborn.. see you on the other side…  : )

 

Well there’s a number of potential reasons to this:

First with the whole trouble in Egypt, Israeli IDF border patrols have risen in numbers making it harder for smugglers to weave through. One such smuggler in Egypt I heard saying ‘mashyit Mubarak jat 3aleina bkharaab’ meaning Mubarak’s leaving has brought destruction on our heads, in other words, Mubarak’s absence has made it difficult for illegal smugglers to conduct business as normal.

 

The thing with heroin is that actually Egypt under Mubarak used to produce a lot of the fundamental raw material- opium. At a time when these channels were still functioning, this opium was smuggled to Israel, where their labs convert the opium to diacetylmorphine- or heroin for short. Part of this is then sold back [at a far higher price] to the Bedouin smugglers in the Sinai Peninsula, which then act as middlemen to the big traders in the different cities where demand centralizes.

 

Another reason that saw the acceleration of the disappearance of the drug was the Walk to Palestine that was declared on the day of the Nakba. The increased border security completely cut-off a tap that was already barely trickling after Mubarak’s ousting. The natural thing to do for the local traders was to first get rid of all the inferior quality merchandise that could not get sold while better heroin was available. But then even that had to come to an end.

 

The third reason that might explain this tap-effect, that was demonstrated clearly only months earlier when hashish disappeared completely from Cairo at the time Mubarak and Zakaria Azmi left to Germany for the ousted president to undergo medical treatment, is attributed to the sudden disappearance or unavailability of ‘facilitators’. Thus stocked levels dry up and we hit a dry run all of a sudden.

 

Well one thing is for sure, we the people need to understand more about who holds power over this tap. And what the hell are their reasons for turning it off.. or on?

 

It’s been a year since Khaled Said was beaten to death in the entrance of a building near his home by 2 aomanaa shorta, [police personnel], and the uproar following that swelled and divinely built momentum leading to Jan 25 and the events we are living today.

Just one man.. one story.. one year…

RIP

 الفاتحة لروحه و أرواح الشهداء جميعاً [prayer for his spirit and that of all martyrs]…

Khaled Said - 1 Year On: RIP

 

Well Egypt seems to be doing fine at the moment.. rolling along as it takes hit after hit yet manages to keep them all under its belt, allowing each new realization of the unbelievable levels of corruption, to flash across its collective awareness before being relegated to being filed away in a void of ‘corruption memories’.

It seems that between the remnants of the old regime, the counter revolution, the co-conspirators, the hopefuls for a big payday or a slice of the hypothetical pie, the couch potatoes, the baltagiyyas, the naive and the frankly uninterested, Egyptian society would like to declare the revolution finally over so they can get on with life as they know it. Talking about pre & post revolution, like it had really changed something in them or the way Egypt is managed?

From prosecutions that go nowhere, to promises of employment that sound headed for a similar destination, to independent voices being silenced, to the amplification of lines that divide and not truths that unite.

While we watch on. Mindlessly steer on. And we drop like flies, in giant numbers, at every marker further down the road to freedom.

 

Is it really that difficult to understand?

 

We want corruption uprooted from the systems used to govern and direct our lives. That we all become equally responsible and equally accountable. And equally Egyptian.

 
We want an independent judiciary. Not threatened or terrorized by any authority nor favoring any group by any stance or opinion.

We want a swift justice against the tyrants and the corrupt that exemplifies the rule of Law and the distinct change from mistakes of the past. We want the funds they smuggled and those who facilitated it prosecuted if they do not fully cooperate.

 
We want a repeal of the Emergency Law, such that constitutional rights are restored to every citizen.

 
We want a clear, and just, and inspiring constitution, befitting the martyrs for freedom throughout history. Protecting rights and freedom of opinion and expression above all.

We want a Parliament that is the best possible reflection of the aspirations of the masses, elected cleanly, fairly and with transparency, following a mature & informed presentation of available candidates and their positions.

We want the cessation of military or ‘emergency’ trials of civilians.

 
We want every citizen to be made aware & have a say when his/her fate is being decided by the government. So transparency & democracy.

We want all prisoners of thought, opinion & speech freed, and rulings overturned.

 
We want the persecutions and terrorism of Amn Dawla [State Security], Amn Watani [new name lit. National Security] or any similar namesake security arm with an internal function, stopped and all future operations be monitored and authorized by parliament, such that if ‘mistakes’ were to happen again in future, the members of parliament security councils authorizing these actions, as well as the officers and officials involved, are made accountable.

 
We want a just and prudent handling of Egypt’s wealth & opportunities, such that everything is in the books, including all sources of income, aid, and any new form of sanadeeq khasa.[private government treasury chests initiated by any government sector and managed privately]

We want real, powerful, long-term projects that will restore Egypt as an agricultural power and as a center of knowledge and creative power and that engage its youth.

 
We want a minimum wage that guarantees a dignified sustenance to all Egyptians.

We want an overhaul for all the staple aid systems in place, such that most benefit is derived out of least expenditure [and not as a free-for-all corruption and embezzlement bonanza] this especially means the energy sector.

We want a review of all Egypt’s debts & budgets, such that all who have stolen from the people lightly come to realize, as well as everyone else, the gravity of the consequences of their actions.

We want a respectful and honorable security apparatus that is neither sold out nor tainted, which truly serves the people.

We want the baltagiyyas & hired thugs that try to convey this image of chaos to be interrogated and made to point fingers to their patrons.

We want a president [as one kind cabdriver put it- yataqqi Allah feena- who fears God in the way he rules us ], who is not there simply for show or to sell more of us into servitude, but truly representative of the spirit of change and technological aspirations of the revolution.

We want civilian rule instated for the first time in Egypt.

 
We want a review of all our treaties and ‘aid-conditions’ that we as a people may accept what we will and contest and renegotiate what we feel is unjust.

 
And most of all, we never want to be subjected to indignations or insults or physical abuse. EVER. Not by an amin shorta, or a cop, or a ma2mour, not by the Chief of the military, not by the president.


If anything then anyone who’s a part of ‘the system’ should function to elevate the wellbeing, worth and image of Egyptians and not take away from it.

Otherwise Egypt seems to be doing just fine : )

 

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…

 

At a point in time where Egypt finds itself faced with the weight of ridding itself of 30 years of corruption, Egyptians also know that this is compounded by 30 years of ignorance, 30 years of manipulation and being held prisoner in their own country. 30 years of being unprepared.

But we’re starting to venture out into the sun, and learning to listen and speak, and learning to be brave enough to question.

Mubarak left on Feb 11th handing over power to the Supreme Armed Forces’ Council, SAFC who in turn took it upon themselves to “oversee the transition of power to a civilian state elected by the people, in recognition of the principles driving the 25 Jan Revolution”.

On April 9th uniformed military officers joined Tahrir protests that were calling for the prosecution of remnants of the old regime, some say 12, some say as many as twenty-something army officers were present, though the SAFC says 8. These officers spoke out against the Minister of Defense Chief Tantawi, who served under Mubarak for 20 years and now heads the SAFC, and they spoke out about corruption in the Military. The SAFC, who admitted to using Army and Central Security Forces, broke up the sit-in in Tahrir by force during the early hours of Saturday April 9th. The SAFC’s reasoning was that the protesters were breaking the law by breaking the curfew. It is said that at least 3 were killed, the SAFC admits to one- shot in the head.

Knowingly or not, these uniformed officers were forming an alternate nucleus to SAFC.  The officers even pitched up a make-do tent in the center of the roundabout of Tahrir, which was torn down violently by police and army troops that stormed the square. It was inevitable that SAFC would attempt to eliminate the threat of conflicting signals from different power points within the Armed Forces, especially that the uniformed officers had moved to center stage amongst the people. And worse, that the people had embraced them.

Perceived participation or endorsement of the revolution, as opposed to simply protecting the people, has been a sensitive issue for the Army, and one which it has tried to handle responsibly and with awareness, since it first came to the streets on Jan 28. First as “guardians of Egypt”, preventing it from descending into total chaos when the police vanished from the streets after freeing criminal prisoners [shedding an ‘air of accountability’ while the citizens were armed & out on their neighborhood checkpoints], then as “guardians of the revolution” after Mubarak left, trying to fulfill an almost impossible formula of ruling & serving all at once- well, not in the way Egyptians have come to know ‘rulers’ and those who ‘serve’ in the days of Mubarak anyway.

The SAFC may also be fearful of growing calls for their prosecution, deserved or not is beside the point. Logic does imply that due to 30 years of un-education and the old regime’s ability to manipulate people’s perceptions, any sudden and unexamined shift in power is unadvisable, yet one questions what exactly was the message the army tried to deliver with its violent and dramatic storming of the square? And to whom?  

Chief Tantawi knows that in all probability he will have to face some sort of questioning, but all parties seem to be dancing around the issue, keeping a low-profile and pretending to play-nice, just like the Minister of the Military-Industrial complex Sayyed Mishaal who was appointed by Mubarak years ago.

Sayyed Mishaal who had just won a questionable election a couple of months before the revolution for a seat in Egypt’s parliament, combining both legislative powers [as MP] as well as executive powers [inherent in his existing ministerial role]. Sayyed Mishaal who was there under Mubarak, and then there as an unchanging element in all the changing governments formed in an attempt to balance out, and is still there under PM Essam Sharaf who took his office oath in Tahrir. What a talent must he be?

Statistically speaking, it is idiotic to think that the Army was the only institution devoid of any corruption during Mubarak’s years, they just hid it better. I’m sure that just like all other institutions in Egypt we had the oppressed and the sidelined, those trying to just survive, those that wanted to climb the corruption ladder with their pom poms & ‘take a chance on me’, and then there were those who pulled the strings and tried to manipulate money & power. Why would the army be any different, after all they lived under the same conditions as everyone else?

That is why I believe despite all their calls to want to hand over power to civilian leaderships; the SAFC is terrified from the moment that they give up their unquestioned authority. They are afraid of what may happen to them next, and it is only logical that this ultra-drawn-out slow pace is a time for preparations and forging alliances for self-preservation. Yet no matter how uneducated us Egyptians may be, we are aware that we do not want to risk throwing Egypt into unnecessary conflict. Though some of us are plain scared. Of what this Neo Egypt will look like, and what it may mean for them… At the moment Egyptians seem ready to die defending anything that seems half-decent, just because they do not know what ‘daring to ask for more’ may bring.. Well the Supreme Armed Forces’ Council has at least hinted…

I remember standing in Tahrir the night of the 25th awestruck by the sheer numbers and the common consciousness moving through the crowds as one wave of chants washes over another, picked up and given life by converging minds and voices. I wondered if I had woken up in an alternate reality that day. Where Egyptians were no longer afraid to speak up against injustice. Where we had all slid into a part of our minds basked in the knowledge that we are all born free and equal, and it is only us that can give away that power, and allow someone to make us believe otherwise. And since day 1, the essence of the call has not changed, though not many have stopped to reflect upon the meanings inherent in the elusively suggestive “Al Sha’ab yureed Isqat Al Nizam” which can be translated either to: “The People Want the Regime to Fall” or it can be taken to mean “The People Want The System to Fail”. They are 2 completely different places…

Well the age-old adage says “follow the money”, so where better to start than Egypt’s Central Bank? Clicking on the official website’s link in the miniscule description on Wiki, a number of things jumped at me straight away on their ‘About Us’ page:

  • The CBE is an autonomous public legal person, assuming the authorities and powers vested therein by Law No. 88 for 2003, and the Presidential Decree No. 64 for 2004, Issuing the Statute of the Central Bank .

 

Forget the legalese for a second the phrase I want to bring your attention to seems clear enough no matter what other disasters may be contained in Law 88 & Presidential Decree No. 64. The phrase “autonomous public legal person” according to my limited legal knowledge, forged by skirmishes with security, means that it is pretty much run like a corporation in its definition in American Law- which are considered a real person made of flesh and blood with more rights than most Americans- well a better legal team anyways. Well anyone that has read The Corporation should know what I mean. So the Central Bank of Egypt which prints all the money, decides all the monetary & credit & foreign currency exchange policies in our nation is a self-ruling person, allowed the failings of any ‘human’… Interesting…

  • Paid-up Capital = 1000 million Egyptian pounds ( LE).

 

This simply means that the capital or money that runs the bank or the reserves amount to 1Billion EGP. Seems a bit tiny to me in the light of the Billions being exposed since the Jan 25th Revolution, no?

  • The funds of the Central Bank are considered private funds.

 

This simply builds on Point 1 which states that the CBE is a ‘corporation’-like entity by declaring its funds to be private & not public. And scarier still, is the insinuation that the whole thing is run for a group of private persons [or the major stock holders to keep the corporate analogy]…

Then I got to the objectives, which declare on their website their whole raison d’etre, or aims and goals, & each line helped to make me feel even less secure…  This sparsely worded page was turning into a real nightmare with its implications and the knowledge that the Governor & Board of the CBE are appointed and probably receive no supervision or auditing by any other entity… Well I can name at least one person that ruled uncontested for 30 years without being held accountable during the time, and he turned out to be pretty sweet and adorable did he not?

Well to keep it short the CBE dealt with all major ‘money’ issues and founding the principles for day-to-day operations in all money-related sectors from the actual printing of money & its denominations & specifications to how much of it is allowed in the ‘market’ at any one time. This coupled with the responsibility of ‘managing prices’ meant that the CBE owned the tap to Egypt’s market; allowing it to flood & prosper, or to drip, or worse still to hit a patch of market-drought. A most powerful tool to ‘squeeze’ the people and potentially steer them in a sense, if ever someone who was ill-intended or mean ever got to that sacred position of power. And what exactly does the statement mean that all of this is “in agreement with the government”??

The CBE is responsible for the supervision of banking, credit, exchange and ‘money’ institutions- and we all know how that’s faring as more & more is revealed by the day in a race against time to prevent further ‘theft’ of our economy.

The CBE manages the gold & foreign exchange reserves for the State. Ouch…

The CBE supervises the National payments system. Would that be the payrolls for pensions that went up in smoke, or the 5 million government employees which 1.5 million of whom turned out to be Amn Markazi & internal Security Forces?

The CBE is also responsible for “recording and following up Egypt’s external debt both the public debt & private”…

Dunno about you but seems to me that the CBE was run by a few-worded and secretive sociopath that helped crush Egyptians “in agreement with the government” to manage a private wealth as well as the whole money market to the advantage of a small group of people, besides having foreign/external allegiance? Sound about right?

If anyone can answer these questions please help put a mind to ease:

  1. Besides the funds being managed as private funds, WHO do they belong to??
  2. Does Egypt have any gold? And how much belongs to the people?
  3. WHEN was the last time the CBE was audited, if ever & by who?
  4. WHO appoints CBE Governors & Board etc?
  5. What foreign exchange reserves exist for Egypt?
  6. With the appalling state of exposed practices in money & financial markets in Egypt, WHO in the CBE is liable due to its supervisory role?
  7. Billions of Pounds were printed after Jan 25th, what became of them??

Finally, I’d just like to note that every Law & Presidential Decree mentioned on the CBE’s About Us page was during PM Ahmed ‘Nazif’s time in office… Hope that isn’t bad news : (

Links:

Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Bank_of_Egypt

Official Site About Us page: http://www.cbe.org.eg/about_us.htm

Last declared budget in 2007!!!: http://www.cbe.org.eg/Balance_Sheet_as_at_June_30,_2007_EN.htm

Says total assets are 354,310,404 EGP that’s not even half of 1 Bn, but then again, what do I know? This is pretty confusing to any one & seems to be intended to do just that!

Legalese: http://www.cbe.org.eg/public/Banking_Laws/Law_88,_amendments,_13-7-2005.pdf

Also : “International reserves at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) rose by 12.5 percent in July to $ 35.2 billion, the CBE said in its monthly statistical bulletin.

The bulletin, released Thursday 12/08/2010, said the amount covers more than eight months of merchandise imports.

The volume of domestic liquidity has grown by 7.8 percent to reach 64.8 billion pounds, the report noted. The value of commodity exports amounted to $ 17 billion, a decline of 11.9 percent, the report said.” Rest of statement can be found here.

Below the video frame is the transcript for this Egyptian baker’s views on the ‘Friday of Purging’ – the millions march last Friday the 25th of Feb to rid Egypt of its corrupt officials & the Government instated by Mubarak shortly before he left, headed by Prime Minster Ahmed Shafiq…

Frame 1 : Opinions of the Egyptian People – Friday of Purging 25-02-11
[millions took to the street hoping to topple the Prime Minister appointed by Mubarak- Ahmed Shafiq]

Frame 2: The Well-Versed Baker [an allusion to the Arabic phrase used to describe the angry critical letters of Ancient Egypt farmer Heqanakhte- abundant in advanced rhetoric criticizing the status quo in seats of power in Ancient Egypt]

Speaker: I want to say that Mubarak’s regime was not a snake-like regime that ceases to exist once its head is cut off. In fact Mubarak’s regime was more cancer-like with its malignant cells spread over the body of this great homeland. As such what is the meaning of disassembling both Shaab & Shura Councils [2 parliamentary bodies existing in Egypt] consisting of 900 members when at the same time you leave 52,000 members of Local Councils Majales Mahaliyya? [allusion to the ineffective ‘corrective’ actions undertaken by the High Military Council, HMC]. It is a cancerous network. What is the meaning of dismissing the Minister of Managment Development or Local Development, when I leave 29 Governors, 29 General Secretaries, 29 Assistant Secretaries and 29 Chiefs of Security?? They are all malignant cells. As for [the HMC] using time as an excuse, we said that this has happened all over the world before, Egypt is no special case; it’s happened in Ukraine, it happened in Chile when they toppled Pinochet.
As for whether or not Shafiq [the Prime Minister appointed by Mubarak before he stepped down] is respectable or not, we should mature from the stage of talking about certain individuals or personas, nonetheless you cannot tell me that just because Shafiq successfully managed [Cairo] Airport, then he is capable of managing the affairs of a great people! This is a rhetoric that you can address imbeciles with.. This is a rhetoric that is totally refused by the greatest aware peoples [Egyptians]. The Egyptian People have the world’s greatest awareness and they refuse this logic. If Egypt has a good [functional] airport, then the Saudi Kingdom has a good airport, and the Emirates [UAE] has good airports as well. If [PM] Shafiq by producing a good [functional] airport is able to rule Egypt, then what shall I say about the creator of the airport in Frankfurt, do we allow him to reign over the world? The creator of Heathrow? Does he rule the world? And the man behind Emirates airlines, one of the finest in the world, do we allow him to rule the world?! This is a weak & dumb logic.
And I once again repeat that if we at a point in time ‘consumed’ [put up with] a state of Individual Dictatorship, this in no way means that we will now substitute it with the dictatorship of the High Military Council.. it’s enough..

 
Questioner [interrupts]: Can I just ask, where were you at the time of the revolution? Where you in the square [Tahrir]?.. or somewhere else?…

 
Bakerman: I was in the square on intervals.. I own a bakery so I used to go and defend and protect my place and then come back [as police opened the jails & released the prisoners on the 28th & 29th & disappeared from the streets, and only lately have started trickling back to assuming some of their duties so for the first few nights the whole responsibility of security fell upon citizens & neighborhood watches until the army had spread enough to assume a share of this responsibility] ..

 
Questioner: So in your opinion the revolution cannot rest yet.. it has to go on & continue?..

 
Bakerman: This great people possess a great heritage [as well].. your great people at the time of the 1919 revolution stayed on the streets for two years. The fruits of the 1919 revolution were revealed in 1923 by the unveiling of one of the world’s greatest constitutions. So just to revert to what they use to distract the people from the issue of our constitution.. The constitution that they used to rule Egypt was created in 1971. And constitutions are based on a document called the Constitutional Bill [Wathiqat Al Dustur] which is formulated by all sectors of society and in the people’s name and addresses supreme aspirations. Who said great nations have written constitutions? England has no written constitution- this is used to mislead.

Constitutions are set to protect the rights of the people from their governments and are not placed to allow the president and the government to oppress the people. These filthy ideas have to disappear as they do not suit Egypt. I personally consider Egypt both geographically & historically as a superpower. The whole world’s disturbance in reaction to the revolution in Egypt has not happened in any previous revolution and this is due to its [strategic] position.
Simply the way Ahmed Shafiq sat facing David Cameron in such a cheap & submissive posture two days ago is reminiscent of the way Mubarak used to sit facing Obama with Obama crossing his legs [considered a sign of disrespect in Arabian tradition] as Mubarak sits in utter obedience.. well David Cameron just two days ago was sitting cross-legged as Shafiq sat in utter obedience. My Sir you are the greater one here! If you are not able to represent the greater nation then you should resign. And if you are asking whether or not he is a respectable man- I do not believe he has done as much as Charles de Gaulle did for France. When the French youth in 1968, decided to purge corruption, he respected the wishes of his people. He resorted to a referendum managed by an impartial & independent council. And when Charles de Gaulle saw that he was in the way of the people, he stepped down & resigned [following the rejection of his plans for improvement in the Senate & local governments in a nationwide referendum]- he respected the will of the people. And when de Gaulle passed away in ’69 [actually Nov 9th 1970] it was natural for Georges Pompidou to say “Now that de Gaulle has passed France has become a widow”. The respectable ones are those who respect the will of the people.
To the High Military Council, we do not want to move from an individual’s dictatorship to the dictate of a military council. To enforce these 6 months [of HMC control] without employing transparency, is a dictate we do not understand. We need for all things to become transparent. This move of closing some jail cells while opening other cells is an action we do not understand.. Before [the revolution] jail cells were open to all the honorable people..

Who said that Safwat El Sherif is honorable? [previous General Secretary of the NDP] Who said that Fathi Sorrour is honorable? [previous Head of Peoples’ Assembly] Who said that Zakaria Azmi is honorable? [previous Presidential Aide] Who said that Mohamed Abul Enein is honorable? [Member of Parliament & owner of biggest ceramic factories in Arab world] Who said that Hassan Rateb is honorable? [businessman & owner of Mehwar TV channel used to spread a lot of misinformation/pro-government propaganda during the first weeks of the revolution] Who said that Kamel Abu Ali is honorable? [businessman, producer & president of Al Masry Football club] Who said Mohamed El Messelhy is honorable? [previous member of parliament, businessman & president of El Ittihad club] Who said.. who said .. who said… ? And if I am wrongfully accusing all of those then we need to have an independent trial observed by just judges! Who said that Mamduh Marei [Minister of Justice] or Abdel Migueed Mahmud [District Attorney] are fit to judge their colleagues of yesterday?! Where is [HH Judge] Hesham El Bastawissy? Where is [HH Judge] Zakaria Abulaziz? And where is [HH Judge] Mohamed Qonsowa?!
I thank the High Military Council & appreciate their efforts but I have to tell them you are not Egypt’s Army.. you are the Army of the People of Egypt.. you are the Egyptian People’s Army! You are all Egyptians! Thank God we have not stooped so low as to become mercenaries and neither has Egypt fallen that low. Egypt is the greatest historically and most powerful geographically.. Glory is to the people & shame to dictatorships. No one man holds the absolute truth, thus it should not be in the power of an individual or a group to force their opinions on a whole nation! The respect awarded to the people is the preface to culture & civilization. And Egypt is rising regardless. I give my blood to this pure land so that flowers will blossom for my children to delight in.. Asalamu Alaikum

 

 

 


I love Egypt. I love this land.
There’s something about it that I won’t even try to put to words.
..the early mornings
the bustling days
the nights…

It’s all that.

 

small quirks
surprizes
prayer & roar of the crowds which wins us Nations’ Cups..

 

Don’t get me wrong I’m just another one in the crowd that’s been done injustice at the hands of his beloved. And also like most of these crowds i stayed. We endured holding a silent truth in our hearts, until the time came.. to voice our belief that things don’t have to be this way anymore. Ever again.
It was very special hearts that came together for Egypt, at a very special time for Egypt. They stood their ground and believed in the face of everything. Whether you were in Tahrir, worried at home or sympathizing half a world away.. It meant something, it all added up.

Thank you : )