October 31, 2011

On Egypt - Observations on a Revolution

This is an email that I sent to Sameh about some of the things I observed in Egypt recently. 
I have been avoiding commentary on the current scene in Egypt on purpose. I don't want to be part of the ongoing "talk" war on the cyber space & I am honestly avoiding inquisition. People these days are attacking one another on assumptions & life is too precious to be wasted on such side wars.

Anyway, I felt that this email should be shared with bigger audience. 

Oct. 7, 2011

It is 3am. And it is another sleepless night. You think spending the day in the streets will make me tired enough to sleep. Well, I am tired. Even my legs hurt. Most of the muscles hurt :) I walked a lot today. I enjoyed it. And enjoyed the division of the egyptian street over politics.

I am not really sure if I enjoyed it. Or I just enjoyed that I am seeing one of the things I said will happen.

Actually seeing the things I said will happen doesn't make me happy. People acknowledging how right I was makes me happy. Though people don't do this too often. They usually pick on the wrongs you do. But in rare occasions it happens and someone say, you were right, I was wrong. And this is my happiest moments.

I am not always right. Actually most of the time I am always wrong :) honestly I don't believe I am always wrong but it is always good to learn to admit it. To be able to admit that u can be wrong, you are wrong and it is ok coz you have to be wrong so u can learn how to be right.

so, first a man almost beat a woman in the street because she was distributing flyers to a demo in Mostafa Mahmoud.
he called her every name in the book and added NDPian to the list of insults.

People at first watched, then slightly started to take sides. I took the side of walking away. Ghada wanted to stand and defend the girl but I insisted we have no business in that fight. So she showed support by taking one of the flyers.

The people, the passersby, few took the same side I took. Looked at the situation as if it is from outer space. It isn't our business. It is just smth to watch. Few surrounded the guy so he won't beat the girl and few surrounded the girl to protect her. And it was when she screamed thawret eh elly el wa7ed mesh 3aref ye2ool fiha ra2yoh, people started to take her side. She gained audience. And she wanted to call the police and people started to calm her down.

I left when she was talking to a bigger crowd than she had at first. Which makes me wonder how much this guy served her goal. She got insulted, yes. But she delivered her message to audience that she wasn't going to reach and got their attention in abnormal circumstances. By far, she won that battle.
I wonder who else might be winning similar battles only by giving his enemy the chance to carry an offense on him.

I like listening to what people say in the streets. I can tell that they are talking more politics. It isn't that the Egyptians never talked politics before. C'mon whoever says talking politics is new to Egyptians is simply not Egyptian or doesn't live in Egypt.

We always talked politics, but politics was easy. It was flat. One dimensional type of politics. It was Mubarak, and Abu taweela's government sins.
El 3iesh wel 3eesha welly 3aysheinha were pretty much the topics u hear in the streets. Now you hear them talk about israel, how the air show is advanced and the type of training those pilots get ( which was a talk bien baya3een el tora7 and kolha ta2leef) but the point is, it got their attention and they are impressed.

Also a shop was playing tantawi's speech, the one he said there were no orders to kill protesters. I was so curious to ask the guy why he was playing it. But didn't want to get dragged into such conversations. But they weren't laughing and they weren't cursing. They were paying complete attention. And no one in the shop was upset.

I don't really know how should I feel about this. Since the jan25 I think I have been going through the 5 stages of grief.

I don't know what I am exactly grieving. But I think I am grieving this. The deep break in Egypt. I am grieving that right now people call their hate love and destruction revolution. I hate how deep the division is. And I hate the unlimited bad scenarios that we can have at any moment.

We are still running the risk of having a civil war. It seems distant. It seems infeasible. But we are still running that risk. Not like Libya. The Libyan scenario isn't on the table anymore. Which reminds me to mention that I can't believe some thawrgya are now saying ya rietna kona Libya. I don't know what type of minds do they have. Libya is screwed. They don't have a country. And the interim council is god knows whose. It is a disaster on our western borders and we have people wishing we were Libya. So they can control the God damn tv.

We are running the risk of a Syrian scenario. Unless there is a huge Brutus in the army. Then we will get to experience the Libyan scenario, which was initially intended to us.

Oct. 19, 2011

Lots of things happened since the night I started writing this. It is funny that the last part I wrote was about civil war. And I am writing this almost a week after the Maspiro battle.

You know, this so called revolution course was determined in small battles. I don't know if anyone was paying attention. It is just like war and those little battles reflects how Egypt changed over the last 9 months. Yet, I personally can't predict which of the available scenarios is more likely to happen.

Let me tell you about those battles.

The 1st battle, the one that started the war was the qasr el Nile bridge battle in the jan28th. The people versus the police. The fire from that battle spread across Cairo and other cities. It was a major trauma for the nation. A trauma that will be a determinant factor in other battles too.
The qasr el Nile bridge battle changed this generation forever.

The 2nd battle will be the Camel battle. The Emad Adeeb choice of name for that battle was genius on so many levels. But that was the battle that sent Mubarak to a hospital bed. It was the one victory that turned the results of the war. But again not necessarily in the favor of the cause.

The 3rd battle will be the April 9 battle. Though it was preceded with the march 9 battle. But I think both should be named the battle of the museum.
The battle of the museum showed change in the wind but no one paid attention. It was the 1st introduction of what I call a lebanses political tactic. When one of the parties involved do something that shakes the scene and then shows public regret on what seems to be wrong. A tactic to يكرس the action not to withdraw it.

Then there was the Ministry of interior battle in jun28. I call it the balloon theatre battle. That marked the come back of the police to tahrir. And a public sympathy against thugs and chaos.

Then comes the battle that proved no one was paying attention since the battle of the museum or simply no one cared to analyze the results of this battle. It was the battle of Abbasya in July 23. That battle showed not only a change in the public support for the revolutionary group but also the change in tactics from the government. It was a well planned battle. To get out from such battle with only one dead it was huge. But probably the theatre of operations helped in minimizing the loss in humans.

This battle was followed by a minor water testing that I call a7dath el sanyah. Which simply revolves around revolutionaries bing beaten in tahrir, 1st of ramadan and losing power over the symbolic center of power to them. Sanyet midan el tarrier.

The next on the list will be the embassy battle. That battle took time to cook since April 8. The final act of it was too dramatic it killed the last traces of support in the watching population. It was another mess, that led to a bigger mess where the revolutionaries lost more grounds.

The final is the Maspiro battle. That one too had been cooking for a while since the 1st Maspiro clashes. Where the army interfered in favor of christians against unknown thugs.
This time, it was a trap for all parties involved. Having it aired on national
Tv didn't leave a room for anyone to live in denial. It was Egyptians killing each others and burning Egypt down. The tweets about the qatl 3ala el haweyyah style in tahrir was horrific too.
I still didn't form an opinion about how this battle changed the scene. But it is enough to watch all thawrgya fighting each other over parliament seats to tell that this battle too didn't serve whoever was trying to stage another jan28.

The problem with trying to re-stage a jan28 is that you can't repeat history on demand. The wind changed since that day. And a look at the results of all the battles before the battle of Maspiro proves that staging a jan28 is hard now. I am not saying impossible. But it is just too hard, in my opinion.

Which bring us back to the risk of civil war, but not like syrians more of bahrainis style.

I am sleepy. I think I should send this anyway and write the rest and the economic part later.

Again & Again & Again & Again

Dear X

So the thing is, I loved you. I loved you for years, silently. Everyone noticed except you. I had to give sign after sign, hint after hint. Everyone noticed but you. Till I got to the point where I doubted if you knew but the game was too good for you to ruin.

I will never know whether or not you were one of those who noticed. I will never know whether or not you missed seeing the passion everyone else saw. I will never know if you ever knew that it was the thought of you that lightened up my smile in all those pictures.

And because I will never know, he had to know I love him. He had to know that the privileges he enjoys aren't the regular package for friendship. He needed to know that I want more. I needed to know how off the idea will be for him. Because I know the idea was so off for you.

Dear X

The thing is I loved you. I loved you deeply that years had passed and I can't tell whether or not I am over you. I loved you and now I can't trust my judgements and I have to re-examine every step I ever took in my life. And even then I won't be able to tell if I was ever right. Or what would have happened if I looked you in the eyes and told you "I love you". "I want you to be mine". " I don't want to be reminded that there are other women in you life". " I want you to pick me, to choose me, to love me"

I can never tell now what would have happened. Back then I was able to tell. I was able to wait till you come around because telling you would have scared you. But you never came. You picked someone else.

I loved you. I trusted you. But you betrayed me.

That's why I need to look him in the eyes and tell him. "I love you. I want you to be mine. I don't want you to be seeing other women. I love you, so much it hurts. So pick me. Choose me. Love me. "

The thing is. I don't know what I should do anymore.

Love, S

October 11, 2011

X & Y ... A much needed conversation

X: I still run to you. After all this time. After all these trials of not to. I still run to you.

It hurts ... Not only because you aren't there any more. But because I know it is wrong. I know I shouldn't be missing you. I shouldn't be thinking of you as my person.

It hurts ... Because I can't tell anymore if you were ever my person.

It hurts ... because for every time I run to you it means all my plan b's had failed and you are still irreplaceable.

I run to you ... I still run to you.

Y: (blank facial expression) ( a pause of deadly silence)

October 07, 2011


There is a point of your life when you know that you are a grown up. It isn’t related to how old you are or how big you look. It is when you know what will people tell you in response to whatever worrying you. People have a box of tricks. All tried and tested. At least they think so. You go to any of them with a problem & they start pulling one trick after the other.

The first most used trick is “I told you so”. I know it feels good to remind people how smart you are. I do it a lot. I try not to do. But I am guilty of using that card. “I told you so” as if I don’t know you didn’t or I didn’t know that what you have said was completely valid yet I chose a different approach that apparently failed.

The second most used card is “are you stupid?” If the person didn’t have the chance to pull the “I have told you so” card then it is more appropriate to enlighten you with a fact that by now you probably know. You are stupid. You have done something totally wrong. And only stupid people get themselves into such trouble.

And at the end, all conclusions will lead to one fact. It is all your fault. As everything is a direct result for your actions. So you take all the blame.

You know you are a grown up when you don’t need to go to people to remind you that it was all your fault. You know you are a grown up when you fail to sympathize with your own mistakes. You take it like a grown up. And when you make the mistake of telling someone about any of your problems you won’t be surprised when they remind you that it is all your fault. You will take it like a grown up. Because again telling someone about your problems, is your fault.

So after making sure you are aware that it was all your fault, the kind nature of people will push them to give you advices to lead a better life & not do the mistakes you have done again.

They will always suggest a hobby, so you can get exposure because you will never have enough. If you are having too much exposure they will suggest a few days off your busy life. Career changes, vacations, new hair colors … the box is always full of tricks. All tried and tested.

You know you are a grown up when you have tried every trick in the box. You are a grown up when you know that all tricks in the box won’t solve your problem. Sometimes it works as a diversion & sometimes it doesn’t. You know you are a grown up when you smile when people go all wise on you. You know you are a grown up when you stop arguing & defending your right to think outside the box.

You know you are a grown up when you stop feeling disappointed. After all only a stupid will get disappointed when people do what they usually do. And it is all your fault expecting them to put an effort in caring. Because someone have told you that people care the way they want to care not the way you need them to do.

Plus clichés are called clichés because they have always worked … maybe if you just give it another try. You never tried enough. You need to find a new hobby or maybe a change of scenery. Cut off the emotionally draining people & don’t get attached. It is all your fault for being where you are now because you are too stupid and you never listened. I have told you so!

You are a grown up if you can relate …

If you can’t … it is all your fault.