Tuesday, January 31, 2006


These two issues date one month apart...

...but isn't it ironic that I found them sitting next to each other in the news stand?


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Coach Seneferu on the Africa Cup

It's my opinion that our national soccer team has traditionally been the physical laughing stock of Africa. In our Africa Cup matches, our players either take the beatings of their lives, or run out of breath before the end of the first half of the game. This is not because Egyptians are physically weak by nature (we built the pyramids!),

but because of bad management of the team. Players seem to be chosen by the managers according to their popularity and their connections (as the rest of the corruption in our country goes), and not as they properly should be - by professional scouts who should sweep the entire country in search for the most fit and skillful players who are worthy to represent our national team.

The result is that every time we play against the violent SOBs of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), their players usually go straight for our players to knock them out, instead of for the football in the field. Although I haven't performed this sweeping scout of the Egyptian lands myself, I have while following the news found the perfect solution to this problem:

Egyptian state security thugs employed by the government to beat Egyptian protestors. The poor protestor in the strangle-hold is testament to their strength!

So coach Seneferu proposes that our government perform a national service by donating its esteemed thugs to the national football team, instead of using them to beat Egyptian protestors who are calling for reform. This way we can make a special B-team of thugs to face the teams of the Maghreb, while exchanging them for our proper players to play in the matches against our more civilized brethren from sub-Saharan Africa. Yes our players will still run out of breath half-way through the game, but it is just a temporary solution until our scouts professionally train the more physically fit and skillful youth throughout the land.

What? You think my proposals unwise? Then how about when you see...this:


Luckily our team managers seem to have finally realized that Hazem Imam is not Africa Cup material, and haven't included him this time in our team. Our team is different this time, but until real systematic changes are made in the way our players are selected, we can only afford to cross our fingers.

Let me know what you think!:-)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Government Officially Tampers with Egyptian Liberalism

I told you that this wouldn't be the end of the story for the reformation of the Wafd. After the government's Political Parties Committee initially ruled that the Wafd's leadership was an internal party matter that does not concern it, the deposed government crony No'man Gomaa got the Attorney Genereral to rule that he had the right to re-enter the party and assume his previous position. Interim leader Mahmoud Abaza and the reformers objected that this ruling was given after hearing only Gomaa's complaint and without even hearing their rebuttal. Meanwhile, the members of the Wafd have sworn not to let him in. Here are a few pictures that give you an idea of how unpopular Gomaa is among the Wafdists:

Under their feet

A personal favourite; protest with pictures of Gomaa with swastikas drawn on them

One protester tied himself to the gate. The sign on his back reads: "Over my body, No'man, you will enter".

Today's papers report that government police have already surrounded the party headquarters to implement the Attorney General's ruling to let Gomaa in, by force if necessary. Meanwhile the maniacally crazy dictator Gomaa, although he hasn't even entered the party yet himself, already ordered the firing of the party newspaper's editor in chief Abbas El Trabeely.

What I really don't understand is why the government's ruthlessly Machiavellian political strategists haven't got it through their heads yet that it is in the government's interests to strengthen the Egyptian liberal parties before the whole country goes down the drain.

Can they really be that selfish?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Update on the Coup in Process

Here is a small update on the coup in process taking place against the Emir of Kuwait.

Parliament speaker Jasem al-Kharafi, who is siding with PM Sabah al-Sabah, refused a request by Emir Saad to perform his swearing-in oath Monday evening. Which means that Sheikh Saad is not incapable of performing the oath, as the coup plotters claim. It means they are preventing him from performing it.

Earlier today I watched a young spokesman for the coup people talk to Al Arabiya. The anchor asked him if they had the two-thirds of paliament necessary to vote against the health of the new Emir, and he answered affirmatively. The explanation he gave however was comic. He said that two-thirds majority does not mean that of the entire parliament, but the two thirds majority of parliamentarians who are found in parliament! He also said that ministers of government are also entitled to vote as parliamentarians, since they themselves are representatives of the people:-) He said it was only a matter of hours that either Sheikh Saad abdicates, or he will be "voted out" by his people.

Well it's just another illegitimate coup in the Arab world, right?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Speak of Macarthyism

I agree that some left-wing professors can be irrationally biased towards their Marxist dogma, but this is just pure Macarthyism unbecoming of a democratic America.

Follow-Up to Succession Story

It seems that my previous post has provoked fellow blogger Jewaira from Kuwait to write about me in her story. I wasn't going to write any further on this issue, but I would like to respond and clarify my position with a few points:

1) I am not a "reporter". I am just a person with an opinion, in this case only a suspicion, based on what I wrote in the post below. Actually, my entire knowledge of Kuwaiti affairs can be found in that post.

This does not appear to be a man suffering from Alzheimer's and incapable of uttering an oath to swear himself in as Emir, as q8 says.

3) If he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, it does not make sense that a whole faction of the Kuwaiti royal family would back him as the new Emir... unless Alzheimer's in Kuwait is contagious.

From an outsider's point of view, it looks like a classic coup d'etat.


4) Sheikh Jaber al-Sabah was himself gravely ill and made only few public appearances in the years before his death. Therefore am I wrong to assume that Sheikh Saad, now being in the same exact position afforded to the late Emir, is being discriminated against because of who he is?

I believe I have now sufficiently made my case.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Case of Royal Arab Racism?

An important event has gone by largely unnoticed by the local and international press regarding the succession to the throne of Kuwait, after the death of its Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Sabah, who appears to have been loved and respected by his people....

The late Emir Jaber al-Sabah.

The news of his death was naturally accompanied by the picture of the man in the picture above, the late emir's cousin and heir to the throne, Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah.

Then it was only a day or two afterwards that this man, Prime Minister Sabah al-Sabah, popped in the news as having been chosen the new emir of Kuwait, by a "secret" meeting of the Kuwaiti royal family, citing reasons of poor health of the 76 year old Saad al-Sabah, who is suffering from colon troubles among other ailments.

While such a story of a smooth transition of power by the Kuwaiti heir-apparents would be regarded as logically pragmatic and admirably magnanimous on the part of Crown Prince Saad, its happening in this closed manner in our part of the world, where Kings/Presidents/and Brother Leaders usually don't voluntarily part with their seat of power until they meet their Maker, looked awfully fishy to me...

Years ago, an Egyptian friend who lived in Kuwait for a good part of his life informed me that Sheikh Saad, whom I hadn't known until this succession story, was hated in Kuwait because of the dark colour of his skin. Have I mentioned that the Arabs are racist? Well, they are. My friend told me that there are seven degrees of Kuwaiti nationality (or was it Saudi, I'm not sure). Imagine that, seven official degrees of nationality, like passing through the Seven Heavens, to become a pure Bedouin in a turban. Their oil must have really gotten to their heads. Egyptian and Indian labourers are practically treated there like slaves.

My suspicions of the transfer of power came true today, when I read that crown prince Sheikh Saad, pulled off a surprise in an official speech calling on parliament to swear him in as the new emir of Kuwait, breaking a story of a rift between two parties in the royal family, one supporting the succession of Saad and other supporting Sabah.

Not surprisingly, our national institution of editorial whoring, otherwise known as Al Ahram, appeared today to be taking the side of Sabah al-Ahmad in the center of the same page where it was reporting the story of this struggle for power between the two groups. Not least, I am sure, because the Kharafi family, which owns...practically everything...is taking the side of Sabah. This little editorial square is a praising account of the "illustrious" career of Prime Minister Sabah, who is no young man himself, born in 1929.

In concluding words, I fully support Sheikh Saad's rightful claim to his throne.

And finally, I would like to hear the opinions of anyone who is knowledgeable of Kuwaiti affairs about whether they think there is any truth to these allegations of racism behind the scenes, as they are in the end, just speculation...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Yaay! The Goose is Kicked to the Curb!

This is the first good news item I've heard so far this year. The reformers of the high council of El Wafd took the unexpected initiative to sack the crony No'man Gomaa from his leadership position of the historic liberal party. With a vote of 34 of the 40 members of the high council, it was decided that he would be replaced by Mahmoud Abaza who will lead the party for a period of 60 days until elections for the leadership will be officially held.

The crony Gomaa responded in expected dictatorial character, calling on thugs to interrupt the high council in their meeting room and inviting the government police to surround the party headquarters, "preventing people, including journalists, from going in or coming out", according to Al Ahram Weekly:

"Abaza was angry about the police presence. "In the morning," he said, "the police allowed Gomaa's thugs into the party headquarters, and now they won't even allow the party's own members in. What does that mean?" Abaza said the police appeared to be taking sides in an internal party matter.

...The main complaint against Gomaa was that he was running the Wafd like his own personal fiefdom. "We are all sad that things took this ugly turn," Abaza said, "when all we wanted was for the leadership of the party to be collective again. We are saying that the Wafd is a historic party, and that one day we will rule the country. But we can't do this when we are in fact ruled by one man."

This, ladies and gentleman, is the future party of the Egyptian people. However, it is for this very reason that this matter will not simply end here, as the government will do everything it can to prevent the emergence of the Wafd, via its cronies Gomaa and his goons:

"A Gomaa supporter argued that the matter was not as serious as Abaza made it seem. "This is a simple dispute that will not affect the party itself; mark my words: things will be back to normal in a few days," said Mahmoud El-Saqqa, a member of the party's parliamentary committee. El-Saqqa claimed that Gomaa was willing to reach a compromise with Abaza and his supporters to calm matters down."

Gomaa must be one incredibly dastardly man. He knows that the absolute majority of the Wafd's leaders and members can't stand him, yet he is still desperately and shamelessly still clinging on to the party's leadership with his teeth. This next part is very funny:

"Another Gomaa supporter, Samir Wahba, the general secretary of the party's Al Daqahliya branch, said the decision to remove Gomaa was illegitimate because it falls under the jurisdiction of the party's general, rather than supreme, committee.

Abaza said the committee's decision had been forwarded to the Political Parties Committee, along with a videotape of an interview Gomaa gave to a satellite channel, in which the former chairman indicated that it is the supreme committee's right to withdraw confidence from him if it sees fit to do so."

I wonder how the Goose will try to wiggle his way out of this one, LOL.

I am very hopeful that the Wafd will emerge very strong after this shakeup in its ranks. However, it all depends ultimately on the character and leadership of its new bosses, and on their ability to out-maneuver the party from the future traps that will be set for it by the government. Masr el yom fi eid:-)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Meet the Press

Mahmoud Abbas is unable to confront them, and our government isn't interested in protecting our borders. At least someone is working to keep the terrorists in check.

A headline in page 6, "Arab Affairs" section of Friday's edition of Al Ahram reads:

"Official Source: The Egyptian Forces Practiced Self Restraint And Did Not Fire One Bullet"

The saddest thing about this is that the government thinks it will thanked by Al Jazeera and the Palestinians because of this...

Some highlights from the report of the government's official mouthpiece Al Ahram:

"An official source explained that about 3,000 Palestinians gathered on the other side after a large number of them infiltrated in an illegal way from the 5m wide, 3m high breach they created. When the Egyptian forces confronted them, they fired ammunition on them while the Egyptian security forces practiced self restraint, following orders from the Egyptian authorities not to fire one bullet in the direction of the Palestinian brothers, but also to offer all facilitations to ease their crossing from the main border point in a legal way. The official pointed that the Egyptian authorities made great efforts until a late hour of the night to contain the situation and to not escalate it with the Palestinian brothers, and to stop the crossing of thousands of them from the breach to the Egyptian territories....and he said that the Egyptian security apparatus was careful not to injure one Palestinian and resorted to tear gas to disperse the Palestinian gathering on the border. And he said that 17 injured soldiers were treated and left the hospital, 7 others are still under treatment, and four of them were transfered to El Arish hospital for the severity of their cases."

I kid you not. This is not some fictional parody of black comedy. This is our government and this is our press. All what's left is for them is to issue an official apology to the Palestinian brothers for standing in the way of their fraternal bullets.

Regardless of Al Ahram's whoring, it's the victims' stories which in the end really count:

"Inside Rafah's central hospital Al Ahram met the injured Egyptian recruits who are still undergoing treatment. On one of the white beds sat private Abdelatif Abdelrehim who has different injuries all over his body and who told us the details of the incident from the beginning, when an Egyptian police force was standing at the border and the Palestinians made their way through the breach in the wall. He said 'It was dark and we couldn't see them, while on the other hand the infiltrating Palestinians had flash lights and opened fire in the direction of the Egyptian police personnel, except the officers ordered us not to return fire in the direction of the infiltrators. In less than a moment I saw my colleague Arafa who fell victim to this incident become a martyr for doing his duty. He was standing behind me, a bullet pierced his chest and another the lower part of his body and he fell on the ground, drowned in his blood. At the same time I was injured by some shrapnel, and despite that I immediately carried my colleague before he breathed his last breaths to one of the police cars to transfer him to the hospital. I put my hand on the wound piercing his chest in my attempt to stop the bleeding, but he passed away before he reached the hospital and at this moment I fell unconscious and was transferred to the operating room while my friend Arafa's body was transferred to the morgue.'

In a nearby room sat private Abdelsamie' Fouad who is suffering from asphixiation from the tear gas that was fired. He insisted in a low voice that at about 9 o'clock in the evening he was taken by surprise by hundreds of Palestinians crossing from the breach, and his commanding officers ordered him and the rest of his colleagues to go to the separating border to try and prevent the infiltration of the Palestinians to Egyptian territory. Clashes occurred between both sides and the Palestinians opened fire, which led the police forces to use tear gas. He fell unconcsious and was transfered to the hospital. He said that he cannot forget that scene in which he saw his colleagues falling around him in the extreme violence and bloody events."

In case you hadn't noticed, our border police guards who risked their lives to protect our borders, were neither provided with flashlights to see in the dark nor given permission to use their weapons to defend themselves and the country's borders.

I don't know why this reminds me of the 1956 and 1967 wars when the Egyptian army was sent to Sinai barefoot and unequiped, on orders from Nasser's play-war over the airwaives...but when the wars turned real, the army was ordered to immediately withdraw in both cases without being allowed the chance to defend themselves. A brilliant Egyptian saying comes to mind: Assad 'alaya we fil heroub na'ama. It means: "You are a lion on me, but in wars an ostrich."

The names of the fallen soldiers:

Arafa Ibrahim El-Sayed, 21 years old.

El-Sayed Salim El-Sa'dawi, 21 years old.

Names of the injured:

Said Salama Sabet, Sidky Deif Inawy, Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel Hafiz, Emad Abdel Mongy, Mohamed Abdallah Mustafa, Mohamed Radwan Abdel Aziz, Amr Fathy Abdel Min'im, Abdel Fattah Izzat Mohamed Mahmoud, Abdel Nasser Abdel Atti Mohamed, Mohamed Ibrahim Tammam, Isaac Adly Shinouda, Mina Zakaria Atta, Ahmed Said Ahmed Ibrahim, Mahmoud Gamal Mohamed Abdel Gawwad, Rida Mohamed Ismail, Ahmed Gamil Hassan, Talaat Badr El Dimirdashi, Abdel Latif Abdel Rahman, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Ahmed, Ibrahim Fathy Mohamed, Mustafa Ramadan Abdel Nabi, Abdel Samie' Fouad Nasr, Sami Mohamed El Sayyed, Hossam Mohamed El Sayyed, Ibrahim Moussa Ahmed, Zein Mohamed El Sayyed, Ahmed Mohamed Badr, Khalifa Ali Khalifa, Atef Zaki Soleiman.


- Abu Mazen declares in the front page of Al Ahram that the two fallen soldiers will be considered martyrs among the martyrs of the Palestinian people. Lucky Arafa and Sayed.

- Not one columnist in the government press or opposition comments on the "incident".

As for the latest news from Saturday's edition of Al Ahram:

The Egyptian government declares that it will issue compensations of 100 Egyptian pounds to each of the injured soldiers, and 1000 pounds to each family of the deceased. This amount equals roughly 15 US dollars for the injured, and about 150$ for the families of the deceased.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Palestinians Invading Egypt, Kill 2 Soldiers and 30 Wounded

My worst fears are coming true. Palestinians are already invading Egypt. They bulldozed our border, killed 2 Egyptian troops and wounded 30. At least 1,000 Palestinians according to witnesses crossed this time into Egypt, I am sure to infiltrate immigration and settle with their relatives on our territory. Meanwhile it appears that our wonderful Pan-Arab government initially gave our troops orders not to fire on the wonderful, poor, suffering and invading Palestinians, and only started to fire back when they realized that our brethren were invading and killing our soldiers.

[Update: I was wrong. It turns out the Egyptian soldiers were under orders from their commanding officers not to defend themselves and not to fire on the invading and shooting Palestinian brothers. Read next post.]

Here is the CNN report.

I call on all Egyptian bloggers to organize a mass protest tomorrow against the Palestinian invasion of our country.

Monday, January 02, 2006

We Have a Street Named After This Clown

We have a main street in Cairo named after this clown. The man in the picture is Salah Salem, one of the more notorious members of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), Nasser's gang. This was his idea of appealing to the people of Southern Sudan. The picture was taken in Febuary 1954 in the Sudan, in a delegation the RCC sent to talk about the future of Egypt and Sudan. More importantly, it's purpose was to spread false rumours to the Sudanese leaders about President Naguib being a dictator (Oh, the irony of this claim), to try to push him out of the picture. As you can imagine, the Sudanese people were not very flattered by these pictures.

Another brilliant goon from the "expedition" of Salah Salem to the Sudan. The caption below the picture reads: "Egyptian Tarzan in the Sudan!...He is not "Tarzan", he is Colonel Gamal Thabet, one of the companions of the North's expedition to the South. He was inspired by the beauty of nature in the South, so he climbed trees and screamed in the way of "Tarzan"!

The RCC's ploys against Naguib would fail, and the Sudanese leaders would stick to their demand that Naguib remain president of the republic for the Egyptian-Sudanese federation to work. Their logic, which they said to Nasser, was understandable: if the RCC had committed this treachery against the beloved Naguib, then why should they feel safe about themselves? Nasser would respond harshly, and the Sudanese press and people would label his regime for the fascist dictatorship that it is. Relations between the two countries would deteriorate as never before, and the federation would forever be lost.

Of course, Egypt's loss of the Sudan was a major political catastrophe of public opinion back then, as the future of the Sudan had been the main stumbling block which prevented the successive Egyptian parliamentary govenments from reaching a deal with Great Britain on the evacuation the rest of its forces from the Suez Canal. So Nasser, whose favourite book growing up was "The Prince" by Machiavelli (really!...and no wonder!), would turn againt none other the swinging man in the picture above, offering him as the sacrificial lamb for the special occasion, and Salah Salem would soon submit his resignation.

What a colourful history, but the question now is...why is this man's name still on our street?

*All photos taken from Masr El Mahroussa magazine, October 2002 edition. Original pictures from the archives of Al Mossawer photo journalistic magazine.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Egypt and Sudan

Regarding the historical bond between Egypt and Sudan, I would just like to add the following:

Among the four presidents of the Republic, our first and third presidents were half-Sudanese. Both Mohammed Naguib and Anwar el-Sadat had Sudanese mothers. Naguib's mother was the descendent of an Egyptian family living in Sudan and Sadat's mother was a Sudanese living in Egypt. In the early 1950's, the Sudanese nationalist parties decided they would like to remain united with Egypt on the condition that we would be a parliamentary democracy and that the deposed Naguib would be restored once again as president of the republic. However, Nasser responded in character, choosing his personal dictatorship over the combined interests of two nations put together. Naguib and Sadat were the most popular with the Egyptian people among the four.