Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rural power

I opened the Arabist and found a link to this great blog...But I am baffled by the writer R’s attraction to it: "Reminds me of Muhammed Mustajab’s characters for those who know his stuff: violent, pompous, dishonest, idle rural types... it’s super."

If this is your definition of the rural type, then on whose behalf exactly are you campaigning in the struggle for the Egyptian people's rights? I am sorry for my occasional criticisms at The Arabist (and can imagine how they can be an irritation and a nuisance from a commenter such as myself), and your journalistic sacrifices that aren't frequently made by others (foremost by myself) in this area are appreciated; but I can't help but notice the general pattern by which Egyptians are viewed there: according to them (and according to many, if not most, of the Egyptian demonstration-frequenting types to be fair) we are servile, apathetic, have bad (not to mention bastardized) food and now this. Again, what is the point in your work then? Even the Egyptian Sandmonkey (briefly, I hope) lost all hope in his Endgame post; and the reception to its negativity from the aforementioned crowd, if you had noticed, was enthusiastic!

I believe the writer of el Hag's blog is laughing affectionately with the rural type and not at them; there's a big difference between the two. At least that is my impression.

I hope el Hag abu-Gamal keeps up his great literary work, but the servile and cowardly Egyptian in me cautions him to focus on the good humour, and not divert it in the future to reckless bravado of the proud and free industrial folk.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Be7maro (II)

By Ashraf Sweillam

First Published: March 16, 2007
Associated Press

EL-ARISH: A potential Palestinian suicide bomber and 10 Egyptians were arrested in the northern Sinai peninsula, a security official said on Thursday.

The Palestinian, identified as Hamid Al-Nador, was detained Tuesday while wearing an explosive belt inside a beach resort in the border city of El-Arish, the security official said speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

An Egyptian man, identified as Ahmed Abdel Moaz Mohammed, was arrested together with the Al-Nador, who said he was plotting attacks against Israelis, according to the official.

The official did not elaborate whether the Palestinian was planning to attack Israelis in Egypt or perhaps cross into Israel.

The official said that nine other Egyptians were also arrested Tuesday and Wednesday in the border city of Rafah.

They are believed to be part of a large militant group which has already had 60 Egyptian and Palestinian members detained here since February.

Authorities have put the northern Sinai peninsula on high security alert, while hundreds of troops have been deployed searching for more suspects, the official said.

Since Oct. 2004, Sinai towns of Sharm El-Sheikh, Taba and Dahab witnessed a string of deadly terrorist attacks that killed 125 people.

Friday, March 16, 2007

On Yury Samarin

And the steadfast men of conviction are passing away. Yury Samarin, a man of immense talent and unshakeable convictions, a man who did most useful work, has died. There are people who command the respect of everyone, even of those who do not agree with their convictions. The New Times printed a very characteristic story about him. Not that long ago, at the end of February, while passing through St. Petersburg, Samarin read the article by Prince Vasilchikov, "The Black Soil Lands and Their Future," in the February issue of Notes of the Fatherland. This article made such an impression on him that he did not sleep the whole night: "It's a very fine and true article," Samarin said to a friend the next morning. "I read it yesterday evening, and it made such an impression on me that I could not get to sleep. All night long I kept seeing a terrible picture of the arid, treeless wasteland into which our central black soil region is being transformed because of continuous and unhindered deforestation."

"Are there many among us who lose sleep worrying about their motherland?" New Times adds. I think that we still will find some, and, who knows, perhaps now, judging by our alarming situation, there will be even more of them than before. We have always had enough worriers, in every sense imaginable, and we are certainly not asleep, as some would have it. The point, however, is not that we have worriers; it lies in the manner in which they think, and in Yury Samarin we lost a steadfast and deep thinker; that is a loss indeed. The old forces are departing, and we are still too bedazzled by the new ones, the people of the future, to make out what they are...

Dostoevsky tribute to Samarin

Monday, March 12, 2007


... حاجة تكسف , مستوى انحطاط الخطاب العام اللى وصلناله اليومين دول

كل ما يقع حد مشهور فى مشكلة مع السلطة, تلاقى كل من هب ودب فى الصحافة وعلى عينك يا تاجر نازلّك فيه أو فيها شتيمة. حتى اللى بيدافعوا عنهم تلاقيهم بيقولولك ياللا ماهو مولد , فرصة نصفى حساباتنا (( الفكرية طبعاً )) ونردحلنا شوية فى الزحمة احنا كمان. خد أزمة الدكتورة نوال السعداوى الأخيرة مثلاً. تلاقى هنا ولية بتجعّر فى النص الأولانى كله من مساحة مقالها ونزلالك فيها دب:

لم أكن مهيأة يوماً من الأيام للدفاع عن الدكتورة «نوال السعداوي»، بل كنت في الحقيقة مستفزة دائمًا، ومتحفزة لنقد آرائها. ربما كنت أشعر أنها تفزع الرجال بجرأتها وتحرضهم ضد المرأة، وأنها تستخدم مصطلحات عدوانية تضر بقضايا المرأة أكثر مما تخدمها!

باختصار اعتبرت اختلافي مع معظم ما تطرحه حالة صحية، تؤكد وجود «الأضداد» في ساحة الكتابة والعمل العام.

لم أنبهر يوماً بكتاباتها، لكنني ظللت مشدودة لنموذج المتمرد إلي حد التهور، أو «الانتحار» لتقديم الدليل علي أنه «موجود»، أو كان كذلك رغم أنف المجتمع. كنت أتعجب كيف استطاعت أن تؤسس مجموعة تتبع منهجها الصادم، وتروج لأفكار لم تنضج بما يكفي لكسر نسق القيم العتيقة. لم أر في عملها «مشروعاً فكرياً» ينتشل المرأة - مثلا - من بئر الأمية، أو ينقذها من أمراض الفقر!!

:حتى بنتها وجوزها الراجل الطيب د.شريف حتاتة ما سابتهمش

بل كنت أشعر أن مثلث (السعداوي - حتاتة - حلمي) يناضل برفاهية مزعجة. وظللت أتابع الضجيج المصاحب لكل ما تفعل، من مقالتها المناهضة لختان الرجل!! إلي هوجة التصريحات حول سفرها أو هروبها.

وتفتكر إن حد هايراعى سنهم مثلاً لكن مافيش فايدة. وفى موضوع هالة سرحان تلاقى اللى بيكتبلك " أنا ولا أحبها, ولا بتفرّج عليها ولا أطيق أبص فى وشها يا شيخ ... لكن اللى بيحصل دا عيب , فا سيبوها فى حالها. "

أنا واخد بالى إن الناس دى غالباً شايفة إن أسلوب كلامهم ده يعتبر نوع من أنواع فن الخطابة ... لكن أنا مش شايف إن مستوى الحوار العام دا يبقى فن خطابة ... دا شلأ.

Say what you want of Ms. Saadawi's opinions, she's a sweet and funny lady in my book.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

.واحد مسحوق كاكاو من فضلك

(.الظاهر إن الأخ ﭼـونى مسك قاموس وترجم الحته دى لوحده)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Very cute

* AP photo from The Daily Star.