Tag Archives: Discrimination

@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.

Enough Sexual Harassment

20 Jun

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t get sexually harassed, at least verbally, on Egyptian streets. Many women face the dilemma of whether driving or riding in cabs safer to get around town, and sadly it is neither. I know as many women who get harassed driving their own cars as women who walk or cab it around town. The unfortunate truth is that NO ONE is above sexual harassment in Egypt; whether young, old, fat, thin, rich, poor, veiled, nikabi, not covered, foreigner, native, Muslim, Christian, atheist, educated, or not, all are equally subject to sexual harassment on any given day. However, I think the poorer you are, or the more time you spend on the streets, the more you will get harassed by sheer math. Thus, the working class women, I think are the ones who get sexually harassed the most on a daily basis. Any women, who travels far from home to work, or works multiple jobs, will spend more time on the streets (whether driving or using public transportation), therefore she is subject to the daily sleazy comments, starring looks, and even ass-grabbed by men of all ages even little kids!

What is the solution?

They are multiple, but first, we have to stop blaming the victim mentality. Many Egyptians believe that it is because women dress “casual” or “sexy,” but simply that is NOT true because Nikabi, and completely covered women get as much harassed too. The rhetoric of accusing the women for “bringing sexual harassment upon herself” by being late on the street is the most ridiculous. I, as a woman, have every single right to be on the street at any given hour of the day just as much as men without being judged or harassed. Let’s remember that women have a right to live just like men, and assumptions based on gender is simply a form of discrimination and sexism.

AUC After-Grad Party With a Splash of Sexism

16 Jun
at least for me...

Veiled girls not allowed to AUC after-grad party

As an AUC graduate of the spring class 2011, I am not planning to attend the usual fahkes – lame after graduation party, which immediately brings horrific images from the movie Mean Girls and the plastics. Then, during rehearsal today, I came across this piece of information via Twitter account Ahmed Abulhassan stating that veiled/hijabi girls are not allowed to attend after-grad. EXCUSE ME?!!! After making some phone calls to get to the bottom of who is actually is in charge of this event and especially this policy, I found out what was expected.

As far as I know and what I gathered from fellow AUCians, who normally attend those parties, is that this event is usually put on by AUCians of the graduating class. The party is planned independently from AUC as an institution, other than the name or the fact that it follows an AUC graduation. Usually the graduating class is invited except this time, whoever is in charge chose to exclude veiled girls. WHY?! Are they not pretty enough? Not appropriate for the event?! May tarnish the “cool in crowd” of the sexist/racist ignorant spoiled elitist AUCians, who get to decide who is invited and who is not? Also the hotel where the event is held allows veiled women, no problem, I attended countless weddings there full of veiled women, so it is NOT a hotel policy.

Here is a testimony of a graduating veiled girl, who wrote on Facebook a note about how she feels of being discriminated against. Thank you Menna Adli El Kiey for sharing your thoughts.

After all this digging around, I give you the douchebag of spring class 2011, who is said to be the person in-charge: Mr. I-am-too-Racist-Sexist for my shirt Gamal Kharma.

Here are some Twitter conversations starting with Sara AbdelRahman @Sarrasworld asking if the “rumor” of discrimination is true? Then she was immediately assured that it is a reality and when she asked who organized it, she was answered by Omar Khairy @okhairy88 of the same douche: Gamal Kharma @Gkharma

Please correct me if I am wrong, or if you have any more details about this nightmare of discrimination, do let me and others know. We are suppose to be graduating and celebrating our journey of education, but it seems that some people, who discriminate, need to go to rehab to get over themselves instead of graduate.

To be fair, here is what Mr. Gamal Kharma @Gkharma said this morning …

So you decide if Mr. too-sexist-for-my-shirt is a discriminatory douchebag or not?

If party organizers like him have a right to discriminate, then I also have a right to criticize them and hold them accountable for such behavior.

The private Facebook event is created by several douchebags including: Tamer Banna, Ahmed El-Meligy , Marwan Ziad, Dina Rizkallah Akladios. Anyone who is okay with attending this party that clearly discriminates against veiled girls is a douchebag and sexist in my book and special attention goes to the organizers.

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