Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘“Arab Spring” revolts

Shantytown gone: And Movie pictures stay. 

Where is this Mafrouza shantytown in Egypt?

Shantytown Mafrouza, in Alexandria (Egypt), by the Greco-Roman necropolis, is now long gone.

Luckily, between 1999 and 2003, Emmanuelle Demoris spent two years filming the shantytown and the daily living of these poor families.  The movie director Jean Gruault decided to produce the long 5 movies, two hours and a half long each!

Initially, the project of Emmanuelle Demoris was to capture the relationship between the living and the dead, and stumbled of the shantytown Mafrouza: How practical and handy for the subject.

Like the current reality TV series, the inhabitants in Mafrouza got used to the filming every day.  “She is filming you girl.  Is that why you are turning your back?” would say a woman.

The five long movies showed the inundations, wedding ceremonies, separations, baking of daily bread under the rain, amorous dates, daily routine of a shop, tentative of taking over a mosque by Moslem fundamentalists, resistance, births,…

Non-entity people, brothers and sisters, who learned to conquer their fears facing the monsters of video equipment that were taking pictures of the real living conditions…

Typical Mafrouza people:  Current events of “Arab Spring” revolts have uncovered these typical Mafrouza people, many who were filmed and no longer exist, vanished from the reality of the living, “gone with the wind”, still existing in movies they have never taken seriously, another dimension to their daily living…

Note 1: Mafrouza in the Arabic language means a Real Estate that is subdivided. The inhabitants of Mafrouza must have known that their shantytown is going to be demolished by the oligarchy in order to build luxury hotels with view to the sea.

Note 2: This article was inspired by a piece published in the French weekly Le Nouvel Obsevateur and written by critic Pascal Merigau

Why popular uprisings start at dawn of Spring?

I suggest that writing down wish lists for the next year be shifted to first of March: People feel upbeat and with rejuvenated energy to carry through many of their fresh wishes.  I would say that my prefered season is Spring, early months of Spring, simply because people get on the march.

The year 1848 was the Spring of the people throughout Europe:  The people demanded constitutional monarchies, everywhere absolute monarchies could not be changed.  France got its Republic back. 

It was contagious:  A single conflagration in a city spread like wild-fire to the entire country.  Barricades were the tactics of choice and communicating with the soldiers.  For example, the kids sitting by the soldiers would talk to soldiers: “You will not open fire before warning us. Okay?” and the soldiers to reply: “Do not worry, we have no orders yet”.

Spring in 1848 started on February 22 in Paris.  The night before the call for gathering, the organizers decided to call-off the demonstration, but it was too late.  On Feb. 23, the people demands the resignation of the Prime minister Guizot and shout “Long life reforms”. 

The monarch Louis Philippe accepts the resignation of his PM.  The guards at the Tuileries open fire on the demonstrators.  The people carry the dead bodies on carriages and exhibit them below the balcony of the monarch, shouting: “Vengeance, vengeance, they are slaughtering our kids”.  The marchers then attack the Tuileries in many directions and chased out the guards.  On Feb. 25, the King abdicates.

Russia monarch, Nicolas I, is preparing a war against the new French Republic proclaiming that the war is in the name of “God’s justice and for the sacred principles of the hereditary order” that the convention of Vienna in 1815 had laid down among all monarchs in Europe.

On March 3rd, the Hungarian lawyer Louis Kossuth demands the creation of a parliamentary regime, and head a delegation toward Vienna, Capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Prince Metternich resigns (designer of the Vienna new political arrangement in 1815) and comte Battyany is named Prime Minister of Hungaria.

On March 17, the people in Milan set up barricades.  Lombardi in Italy is in insurrection. Five days of uprising convinced Marechal Radetzky to retire his troops from the region of Milan.

In Berlin on March 17, King Frederic-Guillaume 4 bow down temporarily and accord freedom of the press and convoke the Diet.  The people march below the windows of the king; the troops open fire.  The king announces conceding to a Constitutional democracy and move his residence to Potsdam, far from the Capital.

The king of Munich abdicates.  The insurrection spread to Leipzig, Hanover, Wurttemberg.  Poland is agitating.  Monarchs and soldiers believed that killing a few demonstrators will quickly establish Law and Order:  The victims were paraded as martyrs below kings’ windows.

The year 1848 ended in massive counterattacks by all European monarchies and the year-round revolts are tamed for a while.

The “Arab Spring” revolts are overflowing to southern European States (Spain, Potugal, Greece…)and spreading to other European States.  Youth sit-ins in major squares in the various Capitals are demanding that they share in the political decisons concerning their future.

The Century of Islam, (March 11, 2009)


The 20th century was the communist century, particularly of the Soviet Union and China, as the nemesis for the liberal and capitalist world. 

The 21st century was predicted to be the century of Liberal Capitalist America after the fall of the Berlin Wall: “Liberal capitalism” was advancing globalization and the free flow of capitals to national markets by international financial companies. The prediction of the end of “History” and the implementation of US-type of “democracy”quickly ended with the worst financial crisis of all time (2008), and the emergence of many players in world economics and politics. 


 After the September 9, 2001 Twin Towers attack, supposedly planned by al Qaeda, the Bush Jr. Administration spewed his venom for a decade on Islam, as the major enemy to democracy and a stable world order.

This century is showing the definite characteristics that it is of Islam. 

The superpowers have targeted Islam to be the main nemesis for stable world order: 

The superpowers need to create a focused enemy for its people.

Before I broach on current events and realities, a little history is in point.  Islam was the world civilization for over 9 centuries.  Three centuries of Eastern Arab Empire that was first located in Damascus and then in Baghdad.  The Arab/Islam Empire shifted its center of gravity in the next two centuries to the west or the Maghreb Empire, and particularly in Spain or Andalusia.  

Two centuries of Islamic domination were marshaled by the Ottoman Moslem Empire in Turkey in the 16th and 17th centuries; another two centuries of the Moslem Mogul Empire in India, and one century of the Islamic Safavid Empire in Iran in the 18th century. 

These civilizations waned after Portugal and Spain circumnavigated the Oceans to bypass Egypt for direct trade with India and Far East Asia. In fact, the various Crusaders campaigns failed because they could not conquer Egypt, where the major trade routes intersected before reaching Europe, the main target and purpose of the crusaders financial backers.  Christian Europe owes it to the Moslem Empires to be saved from the multitudes of invasions originated in Mongolia and Central Asia by the Mogul and Tatar hordes.


After the Indonesian dictator Suharto died, his successor Bahr el Din Habibi invested over one billion dollars to develop a small civilian airplane.  The “Financial Times” mocked the new President for investing on airplanes that can be purchased with much higher quality and performance. The West was purposely belittling what they perceived as the new challenges coming from the largest Moslem Nation in matter of knowledge and technology. Habibi meant to build new generations of Moslems that can manufacture instead of being simple consumers.  Habibi said “Money comes and goes. Human brains can be purchased but how can we secure loyalty to a nation and to citizens?”

            The Ottoman Empire was later weakened by relying too heavily on its mercenaries the “Inkisharia” (soldiers raised from foreign slaves), the Arab Empire was destroyed from the interior by relying on foreign mercenaries.

            Pakistan had to build the first Moslem atomic bomb in order to challenge India’s bomb.  As Zhu Fikar Ali Bhutto said “we will have to build the atomic bomb even if we end up eating grass”. Actually, Bhutto was overthrown and put to death because he challenged the West for building the bomb.

            Iran is facing constant pressure from the West for manufacturing its own arms, munitions, missiles, atomic power generators, and space satellites.

            India has more Moslems than Pakistan, Indonesia, and Egypt combined.  The middle classes of Indian Moslems and Chinese Moslems are nearly as large as the total USA population.

            Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, and Nigeria are almost continents of their own in size and populations and they are acting and behaving as self-sufficient nations. 

The West has to start trading knowledge and technologies without any pre-conditions if it seeks peace, security, stability, and prosperity.  War is a losing option for both parties and no one can hope to emerge winner anyway

I have mentioned in several articles that the five nations in the UN with veto power are negotiating to partition Sudan for its huge raw materials, oil reserves, and water resources.  This adventure is doomed to fail unless they negotiate a fair deal with the people in Sudan and the most populous Moslem nations in Africa such as Egypt, Nigeria, and Kenya in Africa.

Note 1: The “Arab Spring” revolts against dictators and absolute monarchies have set the tone for democratic systems in the Arabic States.  The major underlying factor for this mass indignity is the realization that western governments encouraged dictator and absolute monarchy regimes for an entire century in order to maintaining the “Moslem” people subjugated and unable to grow and develop. 

Note 2: Sudan had a referendum for partition, but it does not seem that problems will vanish any time soon in Sudan:  The exploitation of oil and mineral resources will resume unabated, and turmoil in north and south Sudan will be enhanced even further.




March 2023

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