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Showing posts from June, 2012

24.06: Avoiding civil war

After a long and grueling speech by, Farouk Sultan the PEC high commissioner,it's finally clear: Mohammad Morsi is the new and improved president of Egypt. One of his first undertakings is to resign his position as head of the Freedom and Justice Party. Tahrir fills up, from a throng of a few thousand, to a chanting, jubilating, dancing legion of many thousands. It's the first time I witness Tahrir celebrating in this way. It's a cause I don't feel part of. They chant “Shafiq, who is your president? Morsi!”
At an appointment at Darb 1718, which I find out is a house in a quarter rennovated by an Italian cultural fund in 1998, we sit, drinking Shay Koshary, discussing dogs, the army and cats in the quiet evening air that blows in coptic Cairo. On the way back, I notice that the spectacle of the election has given way to a much older conflict: England is playing against Italy and no amount of politics is going to interrupt the sporting pleasure this causes many. If twit…

22/23.06: Parties, Sudan and disillusionment.

--> 22.06
Finally, the day of the great reveal is here. Then it's gone again. Postponed again.
Parliament, controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, had been dissolved, or stripped of its powers. It has been made irrelevant by military decree. Morsi has won the elections. People say Shafiq will nonetheless win the elctions due to ballots ma7sheya (stuffed ballots). The Brotherhood have rediscovered Tahrir as a platform for voicing their opinion. They threaten not to be violent.
Some article in the transitional constitution states that the results of an election must be announced up to three days after the polls are counted. This is the fifth day. Ballots ma7sheya can't take that long to make. I sit, smoking, in Zamalek, following the developments in front of a room fan, the smoke a whirlpool of nicotine, tar and ash. Twitter is more concerned with developments in Sudan, rather than focusing on local non-developments. Sudan is in revolt? Didn't they just partition the …

19.06.2012: Thoughts before takeoff

What follows is a collection of thoughts I had during my flight to Cairo. I'm publishing these as are, without corrections or editing.

Locked in a room in the Berlin nights, it's easy to imagine you're somewhere else. It's hard to imagine the space around your flat as a backyard, a street, a city and finally the county you are in. The darkness of the short hours between ten, when it gets dark, and about three-fourty, the time when the black of night begins to slide into the blue of a sunny new day create a vacuum around the space you are staying in, a state of possibilty and geographic uncertainty.

Once I got in the car with my father I realised this: I'm going back to Cairo, for the second time in the space of six months. I also realise that my official appelation has shifted form “Thawragi” (Revolutionary) to “Baltagi” (Thug). Though this does not bother me personally, it does demonstrate the shift in perception that the Military Junta is try to effect. From be…

Rant: Clones, Zombies, Tucholsky and a square.

Mabrouk ya Masr.

Last year on the night of the eleventh of February, I was assaulted by a strange thought which I started to write down, but then abandoned in favor of a more positive and hopeful outlook on life and the effects of the revolution on Egypt.

The thought went thus: this was too easy. This is the military saying to itself "Let the children blow off some steam while the grownups maintain the status quo." This is not going to end well.

More than a year later, this thought comes back to me, mocking my unwillingness to express it at the time every time I open this blog. We spend some tense hours together, debating how best to write it down, to draw it, to bring it from the tiny realm of my brain into the wider world. We will never be friends, but we have learned to live together and learn from each other… it's a mutually productive relationship.

This was too easy. Unprepared, Tunesians, Egyptians, Syrians, Libyans, Yemenis have plunged into a state of revolution…