Elections under play

17 Jun

Elections Under SCAF

When I would get ready to attend a protest before the revolution, my father would tell me, “nothing will ever change, Mubarak and his regime will stay the same forever, you are just wasting your energy and risking your life for nothing.” I would respond, “every little demonstration is a stepping stone in a long-term process called a revolution that will end this regime.” I still believe that every mobilization is an essential piece of the puzzle to topple the regime.  The revolution started and without one single group leading it, we managed to kick it off. What will take to achieve the revolution’s goals is another important question that we must start answering. We, revolutionaries, spent a year and half boiling our energy in reaction, in mobilizing to achieve the goals we set out on 25 January 201, yet only few things have been achieved. One sure gain is that Mubarak is out, put on trial, and now in Tora prison facing a life sentence. Even though nothing less than death to the dictator would have satisfied my anger, I can’t say that I am not happy to see him suffer his last days in a prison hospital.  As for the rest of the murderers who are free, their day shall come when they will suffer just like they tortured many Egyptians.

Elections are finally finishing up with major expected disappointments and setbacks on the political road to “democracy.” I never expected any elections under military rule to achieve any results satisfying the revolution. Elections engineered and constructed by SCAF (Supreme Council for Armed Forces) can never produce revolutionary or even reformist accomplishments, only will result outcomes that would suit counter-revolution and its allies. History tells us too soon of elections are always used to bury revolutions. We are not the first by any means. Whether Romania, Chile, Portugal, or Bolivia, we can draw parallel where military junta institutionalized militarization and strengthened counter-revolution. We can go back and assess where “we went wrong” or where we could have done better, but one thing is clear, elections were inevitable since the regime is still in place since 1952.  Sooner or later elections would have happened, conducted by the same old regime, benefiting the organized groups sufficient enough to run and win elections. In the case of Egypt; the Muslim Brotherhood and the National Democratic Party (the regime’s political arm).

The truth is the revolution has no machine, no organized group, no political party sufficient enough to adopt the revolution’s goals and capable of fighting the two most organized and biggest threatening machines to the revolution, the NDP & MB and SCAF. This is partially our fault yet partially out of our control for the many decades we were politically silenced under Mubarak. Many of the revolutionaries got politicized with the revolution or slightly prior to the revolution giving a major lead to the organized groups already existing under the repressive regime.  This explains the great success of Islamists in parliamentary elections and in the first round of presidential elections despite their decreasing popularity on Egyptian streets due to their reactionary and opportunistic agenda that clearly contradicts with revolutionary goals.

What is to be done? We organize. Aside from fighting for civil liberties, constitution that reflects revolution principles, and for ending military authority in daily life, we must build our alternative power, our machine that will and can topple this regime once and for all.  As a revolutionary socialist, I believe that the only group of society that has the power to topple this dictatorship is the workers.  We must organize the working class. For this revolution, it is a matter of success or defeat. When I am talking about the working class, I am not only referring to the traditional blue collar worker at a factory, but I am referencing anyone who sells his or her hours to earn a wage. This includes doctors, teachers, public and private employees, those who have the power to put the country at a halt like the last 3 days of the 18 days in the revolution. The workers were the final bullet in Mubarak’s chest, and are the only ones who can finish off SCAF.

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The Festival of Flool #EgyElections

17 May

During the Egyptian Circus represented as “The First Democratic Presidential Election in the Arab Word,” which is untrue by the way, the first was in Mauritania in 2008, you will encounter the funniest and most creative ways people have used to expose the flool (figures from the Mubarak regime) candidates in attempt to prevent them from being “elected.” As many people have zero hope in this fake-democracy packaged in a ballot box, Egyptian people have always resorted to humor to make a point in a time of desperate need for counter-media.

The wide range of mediums used to expose the most popular flool Shafik and Mousa beside the “Spare,” also known as Ikhwan’s 2nd choice Morsy, are photos, cartoons, songs, YouTube videos, and my favorite graffiti

Exhibition A: The “Spare” Mohamed Morsy of the Ikhwan, who came as a second choice after business tycoon Al Shater was disqualified.

Morsy is your “Spare” president, the puppet of Ikhwan

  Morsy as a “Spare” LOL

Exhibition B: “The Pullover is Not Over” represented in Ahmed Shafik, the luckiest last prime minister Mubarak appoints before enjoying a 5 stars stay at a 5 stars hospital. He is the funniest and easiest to make fun of and expose. Every time he speaks, I feel like comedy movies could be drafted. His posters almost every where have been either ripped or flool written all over them, but my favorite is the flool song and graffiti.

Graffiti stencil saying “Vote for Shafik for an even bloodier camels battle” referring to Shafik’s presence in Mubarak’s cabinet during the bloody 2 Feb 2011

This is mimicking the famous Om Kalthoum song saying that the East build civilizations where Shafik built the airport himself on his own.

Shafik flool and Zionist

Exhibition C: “Mr. X” represented in the most obvious flool, the candidate of all elite in Egypt including Sawiras and I am sure if USA and Israel had a love child, it would be Moussa with a smaller frog face. He has received the most anti-flool propaganda. It is a tie between Shafik and Mousa, but since Mousa is more likely to succeed so the concentration is more when it comes to the obvious level of floolness.

Mousa flooling around back in the day

Cartoon by Ashraf Omar depicting Mosa looking in the mirror trying to convince himself he is not flool.

“The students of Mubarak can not be president, no flool”

It will be “kossa” a term meaning zucchini, but usually means rigged

This video can not be translated because the humor is just too relevant to Egyptian slang that it wouldn’t make sense in English but trust me, it is the funniest thing !!

Mona: Why Do You Hate Us?

25 Apr

Women's march in Tahrir #April20

At any given moment in the Egyptian revolution, or the Arab Spring for that matter, the question of women or the role of women arises. I cannot recall the number of emails, and questions I usually get, mostly from foreign journalists, about the “role of women in the Egyptian revolution.” My answer is (if i ever answer at all) usually the same and consist of something like “women have been fighting in the forefront of the struggle paving the way to this revolution. They have been beaten, tortured, stripped naked, imprisoned, sacked from their jobs and much more just as much as men if not more including getting their virginity checked. However, they are not acting as one block of women, but rather as revolutionaries or ordinary people fighting for the revolution’s demands: freedom, dignity, social equality.”

It might take some aliens to not understand this, especially as an Egyptian, even for an Egyptian living abroad who visits Egypt a lot for some people. If any of these journalists who usually ask this question happen to have joined one protest or one strike, he or she would immediately know that women are the backbone of this revolution. In my experience, the most militant, radical, brave people I encountered in this revolution happened to be women. Samira Ibrahim, Aida Seif Al Dawla, Layla Sweif, Rasha Azab, Salma Said, Mona Mina, Mary Daniel, Tahrir girl, to name a few, not to mention all the mothers, sisters, and wives of martyrs and working class women.

This post is not supposed to convince you how courageous women are in the Middle East, or how they are fighting for freedom, minimum wage, social equality, or good education, because that is shown everyday through the heroic stories that the western press fails to cover, but Egyptians encounter them on a daily basis. You can view some stories of brave ordinary women here. This post is rather a response to the disgraceful, one-dimensional, article “Why Do They Hate Us?” by Mona El Tahawy.

Titles like “Why do they hate us?” can only describe Geroge-Bush dichotomies of “them” versus “us” paradigms, where the making of the “other” into a monster can only add to “our” vulnerability and righteousness. I never thought that this dichotomy could be used as an argument for feminism, but the astonishing Mona El Tahawy have found a way. In her article, she based her whole vague-over-generalized-orientalist argument of why women are oppressed in the Middle East to a simple reason of “because they hate us.” To give Mona the benefit of the doubt, as I skimmed through the title before reading the first paragraph about a woman so unmoved by sex with her husband, I imagined an article written on why dictatorships hate women or why exploitative systems hate women and turn them into objects, even if it is not about love or hate in my opinion, but I was imagining this to at least make the article readable for me after the disturbing title, the horribly chosen picture to accompany the topic, and the overt opening. Naive I was to think that Mona El Tahawy could write something I might slightly agree with given her history in writing about “women issues in the Middle East.”

Her sole argument on why women are oppressed in the Middle East, since this is a special place in the world where only backward thinking can be found, is because men and/or Arab society hate women. What is very troubling is her belief that she is the “voice” for so many unheard women, who are oppressed and beaten by their husbands or shunned by the patriarchal Arab societies. She is the beacon of hope for Arab Muslim women living the male-dominated Middle East forced to wear the niqab and do slave work at home. Not only does she believe that she is speaking for these women, but she believes that she is one of the few (if not the only) who is brave, eloquent, and educated enough to vocalize these suppressed voices to the Western media like FP, BBC, CNN, who are of course incapable to reach these suppressed creatures, Middle Eastern women.

I think the only factual thing Mona brings up is that there is discrimination against women more in the Middle East than in other countries, but she blames it on all the wrong reasons. She brings all statistics and backed-up research on how women are subject to unequal laws, genital mutilation, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape, etc. I am not minimizing or dismissing these facts at all and I do encourage and believe discussion about these crimes as healthy and the only way to move forward is by acknowledging the problem. Many who have criticized Mona’s article get accused that we are defending the actions of discrimination against women or simply denying it and that couldn’t be farthest from the truth in understanding the fundamental problem with Mona’s argument in the first place.

The fundamental problem of Mona’s essay is the context and framework of how she analyzes why women in the Middle East are oppressed and the only reason she could give is because men and Arab societies (culturally and religiously) hate women. This is offensive to most women I know, who read the article and shared the same view. Women in the Middle East are not oppressed by men out of male dominance, they are oppressed by regimes (who happened to be men in power) and systems of exploitation (which exploit based on class not gender). Having women in power in a flawed system will not “fix” the problem either. We had a women’s quota in Mubarak’s parliament, did that change anything for women in reality? It was all ink on paper. Even after revolution, women are consistently used for political grounds by crony political parties. Explaining why women are oppressed without touching on any of the historical, political, or economical aspects of Arab countries, which are not all the same as she tends to generalize in her article, couldn’t be more delusional than this piece.

The answer is in the picture FP used as a “sexy” caption alongside a sexist article full of disgrace to brave Arab women including one of the bravest in that picture. Did Mona El Tahawy ask herself, “what would this brave young girl who exposed an army think of what I write about her oppression?” I don’t think Mona is even capable of this thinking given her stance. Did this girl feel hated by those men in uniform because she is a woman? or did she feel betrayed by the men who were supposed to protect her as part of their duty? She was standing for social justice, freedom, human rights, she stood against an army for Egypt as a whole, men, women, Christians, Muslims, young, old, Nubians, and immigrants. It is hard to believe that if she had a choice she would only choose women because “they (men) hate us (women).” Mona, on the other hand would disagree. I don’t know how the girl felt, I don’t know how she feels about this article and nobody does except her.

I am not here to tell you how every woman in the Arab world, which is a very big divers place, full of all kinds of women, feel about men and about this article. I can only speak about my feelings and my experience. Mona El Tahawy’s article does not represent me. I am an Egyptian American Muslim woman, who was raised to Egyptian parents, spent all my childhood in Egypt, studied high school and partial college in the US and now living in Egypt since 2008 and I am happily married to an amazing Egyptian man, who loves me and doesn’t hate me because I am a woman.

Our society is far from fair towards many groups not just towards women. My fight and our revolution’s heart lay in this struggle itself, to have every Egyptian living a decent life, living a humane life, and for some to simply live. For decades, Egyptians in all sectors of society have suffered the iron fist and corruption of dictators ruling Egypt and still ruling them. This transcended through generations and found its place in almost every household and institution (with relative degrees). How can all this very complicated complex be summed into a zero-sum equation of men versus women, love versus hate? It is much more complicated than that, but Mona doesn’t bother to mention any of this, but portrays the Middle East as if it is an anomaly, where the only measure of women success or women equality is how many seats she got in parliament or if we will ever see a woman president of Egypt. Does Mona El Tahawy know that nearly 3,000 Egyptian women workers started one of the first Mahalla’s strikes (in the recent decade) in December 2006, when they started chanting, “where are the men, here are the women!” Which paved the way to the revolution that is inspiring and shocking to the world right now? of course that wouldn’t fit into the perception of the average American Foreign Policy reader, who is used to images of American soldiers with guns going to “liberate” Afghani and Iraqi women from Muslim extremists. Simply, Mona’s audience are neither Arab women nor most women who took part in this revolution. To give you an idea, here are some examples of responses to this disgraceful article. Some written by Arab women, who agree Mona only represents herself in that article.

Not Hatred, But Love! Dear Mona

Us and Them: On Helpless Women and Orientalist Imagery

Dear Mona ElTahawy: You Don’t Represent “Us”

I Don’t Really Think They Hate Us!

In response to Mona Eltahawy’s hate argument

On Muslim-Arab issues and the Danger of Aiding the Neo-Liberal Colonialist Agenda

Hatred and misogyny in the Middle East, a response to Mona el Tahawy

Oh, Mona!

Let’s Talk About

Debating the War on Women

Mona el Tahawy and the Transnational Fulul al Nidham

A Critique of Mona Eltahawy’s Perception of Misogyny in the Middle East

Clashes with police continue

5 Feb

 

 

 

 

Tear gas and bullets are still being fiercely used by police against protesters around the ministry of interior for the third day in a row following the deadly football massacre in Port Said that resulted in more than 70 dead. The clashes in Cairo have intensified as police refusing to end the violence and the protesters determined to hold SCAF & police accountable for the deaths and injures of Egyptians. on the front line of battles, revolutionaries are never hesitant or afraid, they resist, they fight back with courage and bravery. Long live our glorious Egyptian revolution

ACAB: Expect Resistance

4 Feb

 

 

After deadly clashes at Port said stadium resulting in 79 deaths of Ahly Ultras members, revolutionaries battle the police once again on Mohamed Mahmoud & Mansour st near Ministry of Interior.

The battle with police entered its second day with no sign of unrest on both sides. Protesters were resisting the police bullets and tear gas. All revolutionaries are holding SCAF & police responsible of these deadly clashes that is resulting in 1000s of injuries and at least 6 dead (Suez & Cairo) so far.

 

 

Many people have the misconception about how “peaceful” is the Egyptian revolution, but i bet you, these people have not been at the front lines of battles. Every time revolutionaries clash with police, the most militant youth are right there resisting and never backing down. Over the past few months, we even got better at it. Tear gas gets thrown, and we throw it right back at the police. This video just gives you a glimpse of what revolution looks like. Revolution = resistance = victory

Revolution Continues – ارفع كل رايات النصر

26 Jan

 

Revolution Continues - ارفع كل رايات النصر

 

On the first anniversary of the revolution, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians take to the streets echoing the same chants and demands from last year as if nothing have changed because nothing have changed. The only difference is that today was a record breaking numbers of protesters on the streets demanding end of military rule. More people took to the streets today all over Egypt than even Feb 11. The message was clear; we demand change, we demand the downfall of regime, we are continuing revolution until victory

 

January Flashback

2 Jan

 

 

These days last year, we were running from city to city protesting sectarian strife post the deadly bombing of Alexandria church 20 minutes into the new year. We chanted death to Habib El Adly, we demanded justice and to hold those in power accountable for not protecting churches, and repressing us for asking for our dignity and equality. While crackdowns on Tunisian revolutionaries were taking place, activists in Egypt were watching closely hoping for victory for what was known then as the #Sidibouzid up-rise. As fellow Arabs calling for freedom, we stood in solidarity with Tunisians in their fight hoping the domino effect would hit us soon and save us from our dictatorship misery. On January 2nd, we called for a stand with candles in Talaat Harb sq in solidarity with Tunisians that soon enough turned into a protest against police and sectarianism. The stand was held by only tens of supporters and was shortly raided by state police, telling us no one can stand here, four of my friends got arrested while Ramy Raoof and I ran down on Talaat Harb st escaping police after my phone was almost broken by a police officer when I was trying to take a video.

 

 

 

We regrouped with more supporters on the way, and we marched down the streets of Talaat Harb chanting “To Mohamed tell Bolus, tomorrow Egypt will be Tunisia,” a chant that combined Muslim and Christian unity in the face of sectarianism for a better free Egypt in support of the Tunisian revolution. We marched down Ramsis st and immediately we were met by hundreds of riot police, and finally cordoned for nearly 8 hours without anyone allowed in or out of the cordon for any reason.

 

 

Along with Mona Seif, Ramy Raoof, Haitham Mohamedain, Aida Seif, and many other brave souls, we stood there chanting, tweeting, never giving up, and telling those officers, “Tomorrow when the revolution comes, it will put you in prison.” The night ended, we went home, and protested again in Shubra in solidarity with our Christian brothers & sisters at El Massara church sit-in, where I also was cordoned for nearly 10 hours by riot police while thousands clashed with police on Shubra st.

 

January 7th, the Coptic Christian holiday, was spent differently. Muslims and non-Muslims went to form human chains around churches on midnight for Christians to have a safe mass. Later that day, we stood in black with candles on Kasr El Nile bridge mourning the loss of our Christian brothers and sisters from the Alexandria church bombing.

A year later to think that we had multiple churches attacks, whether in Imbaba in April or Aswan in October, post a revolution that happened only weeks after the kind of solidarity & unity shown post Alexandria church bombing is incomprehensible, but explainable. It is explainable by one reason and one reason only because the regime is still alive and kicking. The people STILL demand the removal of regime. Sectarian strife has been one of the many tools used by the regime to divide and rule people, so it is not a surprise that attacks against minorities do still happen, but unfortunately, they happen at a greater loss and more viciously.

 

 

Who can ever forget that the same army who is supposed to protect its civilians could run-over Christians with military tanks? The loss of Mina Daniel and others makes you wonder at what cost will we win this revolution? The answer is clear and seen everyday and in every revolutionary’s eyes in Tahrir willing to die for Egypt to live.

I have no doubt that with this kind of support, courage, and bravery, we will free Egypt from SCAF, which is the same regime that killed and repressed us since 1952. This year, the year of freedom, as I am calling it, will be different and it already has since we started the year celebrating in Tahrir, Muslims & Christians, hand in hand against SCAF. Welcome 2012…

2011: The Year of Heroes

31 Dec

It would be an understatement if one says 2011 was the year of change. The year of revolutions, the year of power of the people, the year of realizing yes we do have the power to overcome and triumph. What has not happened in 2011? Families battles, world disasters, Arab revolutions, global movements, personal struggles & successes, and of course love, all took place in 2011, and sometimes all at once. I saw death, I lived in Tahrir, I witnessed miracles, I went to places never thought were possible, I sprayed graffiti of Khaled Said on the gates of interior ministry, I lived. There are no words that can describe my pride and honor of having been part of the roots of the Egyptian revolution and still fighting for its victory. The days when we protested in tens in a cordon surrounded by thousands of riot police in front of the press syndicate or on the sidewalk somewhere, now seem now only like a small picture in an album book on an old shelf somewhere. From the start of 2011, Alexandria church bombing 20 minutes into the year, this small picture forever changed. People poured into the streets fighting sectarian strife and showing Egyptian unity. Soon enough along came the step-down of Ben Ali, ex-dictator of Tunisia, 10 days later we were in Tahrir demanding the removal of regime, and 18 days further Mubarak, the dictator who terrorized us for decades finally stepped down. The sweetest moment of victory ever short-lived, knowing what we experienced for months after and until now by the extension of Mubarak’s dictatorship under SCAF. So many people around me are disappointed and discouraged with how things are turning out since Mubarak stepped down, but being part of how things were before the revolution makes me so much more hopeful now. I always like to have the big-picture perspective on most events even in my personal life, and what I see now for Egypt is nothing less than greatness and unprecedented achievements in 2011 despite all the massacres and SCAF’s iron fist on Egypt.

Pictures speak louder than words so instead of telling you all the events that made the Egyptian revolutionaries my heroes of 2011. Below is the year of the revolution in pictures highlighting the most powerful images I chose for 2011. This is why there is hope, as long as we are breathing, we will fight for our freedom, social equality, and dignity. We die for freedom, but we live on hope & resistance. May 2012 be the year of freedom. Revolution until victory.

NO MORE FEAR! – Jan28
Nasr City مدينة نصر

NDP ON FIRE (for 3 days) – Jan29
Cairo Burns

The Bastard IS OUT – Feb11
Celebrations in Tahrir Square - February 11, 2011

WE RAIDED STATE SECURITY – March5
وثائق دمرها أمن الدولة

WE WON’T FORGET OUR MARTYRS – May6
Martyrs الشهداء

THE BLOOD OF ATTEF YEHYIA – May15
Egyptian Blood

KHALED SAID GRAFFITI ON MOI – Jun6
MOI Graffiti

BATTLE FOR MARTYRS – June28
DSC_4896

Police cracks down on martyrs' families in Tahrir الداخلية تضرب عائلات الشهداء بقنابل الغاز وخراطيش الرش والرصاص المطاطي

WE ARE BACK IN TAHRIR, WON’T GIVE UP! – July8 sit-in
Faces from Tahrir

ARMY RAID ON TAHRIR – Aug1: Ramadan 1st
Tahrir attack

FLAGMAN – Aug21
"Ahmed El-Shahat" The man who removed the Israeli flag from Israel Embassy in Egypt - #FlagMan

ONE DAY REV – Sept9

Independent Judiciary March

Ultras Ahly  التراس الاهلي

rain of tear gas bombs at protesters at Nahdet Masr Square | وابل من قنابل الغاز على المتظاهرين في ميدان نهضة مصر

MASPERO MASSACRE – Oct9

IMG_6308

مسيرة للتنديد بمذبحة ماسبيرو

NOVEMBER UPRISING – Nov19

Tear Gas قنابل الغاز

DSC_4857

OCCUPY CABINET – Dec16

Army Soldier with a dirty gesture

Protest like Egyptians

Army Officer points a gun at a fallen protester

Army Raids in Tahrir

Revolutionary in Qasr el Einy

The two walls in Tahrir

There so much more ..but one video says it all. SCAF MUST BE EXECUTED IN 2012!!!

With all the painful images above, I am not depressed nor worried. I have seen the strength, courage, and bravery of the Egyptian revolutionaries. We never stop fighting, we never give up, we will continue until victory and I have no doubt that we will EXECUTE SCAF.

#RevSoc: We want to dismantle the state of oppression – نريد اسقاط الدولة المستبدة

25 Dec

Revolutionary Socialists Press Conference @eSocialists

After a conference by the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt on the future of the revolution that was held at the Center for Socialist Studies in Giza on 13 Dec 2011, the Revolutionary Socialists found their video (below) of the 20mins talk of Sameh Naguib being edited into 2 & 3 mins and re-posted with titles such as, “Revolutionary Socialists want to dismantle the State” or “The Revolutionary Socialists’ ruthless plan to burn and destroy Egypt.” As if we had raged war against the people of Egypt ignoring all our well established and credible resistance against oppressive regimes and systems from capitalism to Israel, and all in between, which is all very transparent on our website and in their files at State Security. I am not posting this to defend Revolutionary Socialists or convince how “awesome” and revolutionary we are, but simply to sum up what has been happening.

A media war directed by SCAF and led by Ikhwan & other political groups against revolutionaries and anyone who is challenging their interests to remain in power, has gone to the dirtiest tricks to protect their interests and kill the revolution.

Freedom & Justice Party newspaper 25 Dec 2011 "Revolutionary Socialists: Violence First!"

Why especially the Revolutionary Socialists? I think because Sameh Naguib hit the nail with a hammer on its head exposing SCAF & Islamists. The video gave them all the right “keywords” like “dismantling of state” to incite fear in the public even more and turn the public against the revolution while all the deadly clashes in the past few days were taking place. Another reason is the timing. SCAF chose to do this attack now & not before, since we have statements as early as February that give the same message as the video, simply because they are shifting the blame & the attention from their own crimes committed against revolutionaries onto revolutionary groups like the Revolutionary Socialists & others, who are gaining popularity on the ground for their radical stands against SCAF.  SCAF’s stupidity is gaining us more and more support because revolutionaries, with us or not, are against SCAF more than ever before.

This was our official response to the dirty organized campaign against the revolution & the Revolutionary Socialists. Statement in response to “accusations” in English & Arabic. We also held a press conference reaffirming our strong stand against SCAF and reassurance of the dismantling of the State of repression, inequality, and injustice in order to build a State based on freedom, social justice, and dignity for human rights.

Videos of statements and testimonies below.

Feel free to share this post in solidarity with the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt. Add a Pic Badge on your twitter or facebook. Follow us on Twitter @eSocialists & Like our Facebook Page

Down with military rule! Long live the Egyptian Revolution !

@BBCNewsNight Hypocrisy & Insults

16 Dec

BBC NewsNight chooses Kissinger as the "expert" on Arab Spring

I was invited to be on BBC NewsNight on Thursday, 15 December 2011, along with Henry Kissinger, Tawakul Karman, Simon Schama, and Jeremy Greenstock to speak on the prospects of the Arab Spring. They emailed me the following questions to answer before the show, and I gave them a brief on my position on each: (copied & paste from the email here:

My brief answers were as following:

When I got on the show, which will hopefully be uploaded to youtube so I can posted here, I was faced with the most western-centric, orientalist, and racist point of view on the Arab Spring. Comments about the Arab spring ranged from “a cry for western democracy,” calling the Middle East “the Muslim world,” “Islamist threat to democracy and prosecution of minorities,” to posing “western technology as what made these revolutions possible.” It was impossible enough to bare Henry Kissinger’s deep voice on the other end of the line being asked as an “expert” on the Middle East let alone the Arab spring & “Islamist scare” they portrayed. Henry Kissinger?! The one whose exact polices ruined our country and many others to the ground?!! unbelievably stupid. I was going to explode out of frustration for not getting ANY chance to address these comments (insults in my opinion). I hardly had a minute all together to express my point of view or have any questions directed to me except 2 compared to the other guests, who dominated the already dominated western/oriental point of view on the Arab spring. The least any professional media outlet would have done especially speaking on the topic of “democracy” was to give an equal time to all the different speakers or the different point of views.

I was able to get in 2 sentences about the western (US in particular) aid to SCAF, who is leading counter-revolution and acting on the “prosecution of minorities” that other speakers wanted to label it as the “Islamist threat,” but I linked it that it is SCAF who is prosecuting minorities alluring to the Maspero massacre. I also added that the west has NO positive impact what so ever on these revolutions in fact we are going exactly against it.

I sent them an email afterwards explaining my frustration, and requesting to never be invited again on NewsNight as a guest. I do expect an apology and a response to my email copied & pasted below.

“BBC News Night

When you invited me on the show, I was okay to arrange my own ride in

the middle of the night when streets are not safe and activists are

being kidnapped by state government & army everyday to fulfill your request

of being a guest on the show. Secondly, I requested to be introduced

as “a revolutionary socialist activist” and you said no problem, but

Kristy Wark did NOT. I was asked by Jake Morris to give my opinion about

possible questions on the show, and I had no problem responding on the

spot with my opinion.

As the show went on, I noticed that you had total of 5 different

guests including Henry Kissinger, who if you had done any kind of

research or simply took my answers to your questions seriously, you

would know that my point of view is the exact opposite. YET, your

presenter Kristy Wark completely cut me off, and never gave me the

chance to get an equal opportunity as the other guests to express my

point of view. Please review the tapes and actually calculate the

amount of seconds i was able to speak compared to the other guests

when I have a complete opposite opinion of this very orientalist,

western-centric, racist discussion of the Arab Spring. If you saw that

i was too much or too “radical” for your racist/discriminatory show to

cut me off like you did, why did you invite me & not give me enough

time to express my point of view like others? or is it because i

didn’t follow the western-based argument about the “Muslim world” or

the ignorant “western technology” comment from Greenstock, so you shut

me up? I felt very disrespected for bringing me there in the middle of

the night to only frustrate me by not giving me a chance to speak. I

would have been much more comfortable sitting at home and not getting

the few seconds I got on the most insulting show on the Arab Spring

that i have ever witnessed.

Please do not ask me for any news night interviews again. Your entity

incites and affirms the western agenda that our revolution stands

against and if you are professional journalists you would at least

give all sides an equal opportunity to present their view, but you

chose Henry Kissinger (with all his history) to be more of an “expert”

on the Arab Spring (given how much time you allowed him to speak) than

someone fighting there and knows more about what is happening (given

why you invited me in the first place). The least you would have done

is an equal time to each speaker but you proved to me how

unprofessional you are.

Thank you for a night of deep frustration.”

Following day I received this email from deputy producer of NewsNight, Liz Gibbons:

This was my response:

“I am not changing anything about my blog, and you can sue me. Just

because you kept inviting me to report on what was happening during

the 18 days of Tahrir doesn’t give you any right to insult me in

return on the show and expect me to be okay with it. I felt

disrespected, and violated by the condescending tone and the whole

orientation of the discussion. All the feedback I got from those who

saw the show, completely agreed that I was cut off by Kirst Wark, and

you can check twitter for that. I can hold whatever opinion I have and

I know that you will never accept it because you are unprofessional

and your righteous indignation is the proof of it.”

I have no comment.

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