Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Tahrir Square

Million of Egyptians packing Tahrir Square, and scannding “Morsi, Rescind or get off the pot” (Taraja3 aw Erhal)

The current reigning Egypt Moslem Brotherhood cultist movement has lost credibility: Every single promise by President Muhammad Morsi or the MB party were not kept, and this within the brief period of acceding to power, to the executive and the legislative, with the total backing of the US administration.

For more than a week now, million of Egyptians have reconquered Tahrir Square in a show of popular force, to deny the MB a totalitarian and theocratic regime

A week ago, Morsi issued a decree amassing all the powers in his hands: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. He claimed that this decision is temporary, until the former Mubarak regime power centers are exposed and brought back to trial…

Morsi claimed that this decree is to permit the MB predominant legislative body to finish ironing out a Constitution to their liking,,, and for him to sign it and prepare a referendum on the New Constitution within 15 days.

Within a day and a night, the MB assembly voted “unanimously” on the 238 clauses in the Constitution, as the opposition forces refused to be part in that charade

The Constitution is to keep the clause that Islam Shari3a is the major source for laws… and extending wide rights for censuring freedom of expressions…

In his latest speech, Morsi declared that he has suffered under the former Mubarak regime, and there is no going back to a totalitarian and dictatorial regime…

But nothing will do: The actions of Morsi speak louder than his intentions and promises. The Second Revolution is unfolding, in full bloom and with renewed vigor.

All the opposition movements have vowed that Morsi has to rescind the dictatorial decrees and rework a negotiated Constitution with all the movements that were denied participation in its formulation…

The secular and democratic forces want a Constitution that insure partition of power, stable transition to power, continuation of all the institutions regardless of who is voted in power, guaranteeing freedom of opinions and gathering, and equal rights to women…

Morsi was an non-entity compared to other MB leaders, and Robert Fisk claimed that he didn’t win the election: The US wanted a change of the Mubarak regime direct representatives, and a full week for counting the ballot votes was meant to alter the result in the counting process.

Morsi promised a prime minister from the other opposition parties, and reneged and brought in a MB, another non-entity…

Morsi endorsed all the wishes of the military to retain their previous entitlements and economic bases…

The MB have been in a frenzy to quickly consolidate their power, taking advantage of the brokered Gaza cease fire, the full backing of the US administration, the Syrian uprising hoarding the Middle-East news media, and this impression that Egypt is back on the saddle as a pivotal regional power, thanks to the MB…

Most likely, Morsi is to submit his resignation next Tuesday: He has lost the credibility that was bestowed on him.

We’re  letting go of nothing, “Mamfakinch”

The revolution, this evolving dream

In the midst of the this zone of turbulence

Borders deserted, reconquered,

Vast waiting zones to huddled masses for exit and egress

Running away from their dangerous shadows

Prisons stormed, police stations in flame..

As the dance of Spring advances

Love is in the air

Life continues, fear is shed off

We are breathing new emotions of connectedness

Citizens are learning instinctively to get engaged

Taking initiatives, everyone is expert in something,

Hope shines in the eyes

hand in hand, united in coming dreams

Dreams coming true, smiling of real

Dreams of liberty, regained dignity

Birds of gloom and disaster miles away

Can’t let go of anything

The masses reclaimed Tahrir Square

Reconquering what is their dues in human rights

Weeks of ardent patience and steadfastness, of authentic poems

Will not be swept away by the abrasive first sand wind

The splendid city of light is recaptured

Time for hating, time for war

Love forever

To reconstruct a better world

For every one of goodwill and good faith in others

We claim the liberty of conscience, our guiding rod…

The pen is all mine.

It delineate the Red Lines not to trespass

It satisfies my conscience

It does not submit to authority figures…

Our revolution is not the making of a moment of craziness

And we are not leaving the Square

Sorry citizens, we have been a bit late to react

But we are here to stay

We’re  letting go of nothing, “Mamfakinch

Free at last, free at last

Note: Inspired from a poem by the Tunisian Mahmoud Chalbi, extracted from the French book “Arab Springs, the breath and the words” (Riveneuve Continents)

Did Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi really win election? What Robert Fisk says…

Robert Fisk  published in The Independent daily on July 1 (with slight editing and rearrangement):

Rumors in Tahrir Square claim that the majority of 50.7 % of Egyptian voters cast their ballot for Ahmed Shafiq, (Mubarak’s former Prime Minister) in last month’s elections and that only 49.3 % voted for Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party. Why Morsi was inducted President? Apparently, the military were so fearful of the hundreds of thousands of Brotherhood supporters who would gather in Tahrir Square that they decided to hand out the victory to Morsi, after ten days of waiting for the results to be officially announced.

It is rumored from well-connected insiders that Mohamad el Baradei, Nobel prize-winner and former nuclear “watchdog”, was behind the secret meeting of Morsi with four leading members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) in Egypt, four days before the election results were proclaimed and that Morsi agreed to accept his presidency before the constitutional court rather than the newly dissolved parliament – which is exactly what he did on Saturday.

(It is very doubtful that Baradei had the necessary weight to influence anyone in Egypt if it were not the US behind the planning and “facilitation”)

Morsi says there will be another election in a year’s time, although I have my doubts.

Behind this piece of fox-gossip is a further piece of information – shattering if true – that the Egyptian army’s intelligence service is outraged by the behaviour of some members of the Scaf (in particular, the four who supposedly met Morsi) and wants a mini-revolution to get rid of officers whom it believes to be corrupt.

These young soldiers call themselves the New Liberal Officers – a different version of the Free Officers Movement which overthrew the corrupt King Farouk way back in 1952.

Many of the present young intelligence officers were very sympathetic to the Egyptian revolution last year – and several of them were shot dead by government snipers long after Mubarak’s departure during a Tahrir Square demonstration. These young officers admire the current head of military intelligence, soon to retire and to be replaced, so it is said, by another respected military officer with the unfortunate name of Ahmed Mosad.

I have to say that all Cairo is abuzz with “the deal”, and almost every newspaper has a version of how Morsi got to be President – though I must also add that none have gone as far as the fox (Baradei). He says, for example, that the military intelligence services – like some of the Scaf officers – want a thorough clean out of generals who control a third of the Egyptian economy in lucrative scams that include shopping malls, banks and vast amounts of property.

Where does Morsi stand in relation to this? Even the fox doesn’t know.

Nor is there any plausible explanation as to why Shafiq set off to the United Arab Emirates the day after the election results were announced, reportedly to perform the “umra” pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. There is much talk of a court case against Shafiq going back to Mubarak’s era.

Baradei is expected to be appointed Prime Minister and would help Morsi keep the streets calm and allow Egypt to come up with an economic plan to persuade the International Monetary Fund to loan the country the money it needs to survive.

There is also talk of great tensions between the military intelligence and the staff of the interior ministry, some of whom are fearful that another mini-revolution will have them in court for committing crimes against Egyptian civilians during the anti-Mubarak revolution.

There are persistent rumours that the plain-clothes “baltagi” thugs who were used to beat protesters last year were employed to prevent Christians voting in some Egyptian villages.

Interestingly, when the ghost of late “Sultan Faruq” ran through election irregularities before announcing the presidential winner eight days ago, he said he didn’t know who prevented the village voters getting to the polling station.

All of which is quite a story. Not the kind that can be confirmed – but Egypt is not a country which lends itself to hard facts when the Egyptian press (a mercifully wonderful institution after the dog-day years of Mubarak’s newspapers) makes so much up.

But one fact cannot be denied. When he wanted to show that he was a revolutionary animal, the fox held out his back paw. And there was a very severe year-old bullet wound in it.

Note 1: Today, July 9, Morsi re-instituted the People’s Parliament that the military had deccreed unconstitutional on Juin 15, before the election of the Presidency, through Egypt High Constitution Court .

Note 2: According to Egypt current Constitution, The President has absolute monarch powers, and the level of this power has not yet been reformed or revised officially. The Moslem Brotherhood are faking that the president elect Morse has to navigate within reduced powers, just in case they fail to enact the necessary reforms that the revolution hoped for…That the military is also able to currently share in the power is a good signal that reforming the power of the President is necessary for a healthy and equitable democratic system that can be sustained without falling back into dictatorial tendencies…

“Thugs in the Egyptian Army are still ruling”: Robert Fisk

Which Egyptian Presidential candidate won the election?

Murci of the Moslem Brotherhood that Saudi Arabia hate?

Chafic of the Mubarak regime that the Egyptian army, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US love?

The Egyptian high command of the army wants us to wait till Thursday to decide, not what the people voted for…

Is Mubarak dead yet?  The Egyptian high command of the army wants us to wait for the proper timing to declare the status of the former dictator…

Robert Fisk wrote in The Independent this June 18:

“Millions of Egyptians turn their backs on the brave young revolutionaries of Tahrir Square. Time to remember old General Mohammed Neguib who kicked off Egypt’s first post-war revolution by plotting the overthrow of King Farouk almost exactly 60 years ago.

Neguib and his fellow Egyptian army officers had been debating whether to execute the obese Farouk or send him into exile. Nasser opted to shoot the monarch. Neguib asked for a vote.

In the early hours, Nasser wrote a note to Neguib:

“The Liberation Movement should get rid of Faruk [sic] as quickly as possible in order to deal with what is more important – namely, the need to purge the country of the corruption that Faruk will leave behind him. We must pave the way towards a new era in which the people will enjoy their sovereign rights and live in dignity. Justice is one of our objectives. We cannot execute Faruk without a trial. Neither can we afford to keep him in jail and preoccupy ourselves with the rights and wrongs of his case at the risk of neglecting the other purposes of the revolution. Let us spare Faruk and send him into exile. History will sentence him to death.”

(Zionist Trosky begged to differ and executed Russia Tzar and all his family members, without trial)

The association of corruption with the ancien regime has been a staple of all revolutions.

Justice sounds good. And today’s Egyptians still demand dignity. But surely Nasser got it right: better to chuck the old boy out of the country than to stage a distracting and time-consuming trial when the future of Egypt, the “other purposes of the revolution”, should be debated.

Today’s military played an equally shrewd but different game: they insisted Mubarak go on trial – bread and circuses for the masses, dramatic sentences to keep their minds off the future – while realigning the old Mubarakites ( and Mukhabarat) to preserve their own privileges.

The ex-elected head of the judges’ club in Egypt, Zakaria Abdul-Aziz, has rightly pointed out that even if Mubarak was put on trial, the January-February 2011 killing went on for days, “and they [the generals] did not order anyone to stop it. The Ministry of Interior is not the only place that should be cleansed. The judiciary needs that.”

It was Mubarak’s senior judges who permitted the deposed dictator’s last Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafik, to stand in this weekend’s run-off for President.

As Omar Ashour, an academic in both Exeter and Doha, has observed, “when protesters stormed the State Security Investigations [SSI] headquarters and other governorates in March 2011, torture rooms and equipment were found in every building“.

And what happened to the lads who ran these vicious institutions for Mubarak, clad alternatively in French-designed suits or uniforms dripping with epaulettes? They got off scot-free.

Here are some names for The Independent’s readers to stick in their files: Hassan Abdul-Rahman, head of the SSI; Ahmed Ramzi, head of Central Security Forces (CSF); Adly Fayyed, head of “Public Security”; Ossama Youssef, head of the Giza Security Directorate; Ismail al-Shaer, boss of the Cairo Security Directorate – “shaer”, by the way, means “poet” – and Omar Faramawy, who ran the 6 October Security Directorate.

I will not use the words “culture of impunity” – as Omar Ashour does without irony – but the acquittal of the above gentlemen means that Mubarak’s 300,000-strong SSI and CSF thugs are still in business.

It is impossible to believe the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – still running Egypt and commanded by Mubarak’s old mate Field Marshal Tantawi – was unaware of the implications of this extraordinary state of affairs.

If Mubarak represented Faruk, and his sons Gamal and Alaa the future leaders of the royal family, then the 2011 Egyptian revolution represented 1952 without the king’s exile and with a shadow monarchy still in power.

The belief among journalists and academics that Tahrir Square would fill once again with the young of last year’s rebellion, that a new protest movement in its millions would end this state of affairs, has – so far – proved unrealistic.

Over the weekend, Egyptians wanted to vote rather than demonstrate – even if the country’s security apparatus would end up running the show as usual – and if this is democracy is going to be of the Algerian rather than the Tunisian variety.

Maybe I just don’t like armies, while Egyptians do?

But let’s go back to Neguib. He went aboard the royal yacht in July 1952 to say goodbye to the king he was deposing.  King Farouk told Neguib: “I hope you’ll take good care of the army. My grandfather, you know, created it.(Meaning Muhammad Ali)”

Neguib replied: “The Egyptian army is in good hands.” And Farouk’s last words to the general? “Your task will be difficult. It isn’t easy, you know, to govern Egypt…”

Neguib concluded that governing would be easier for the military because “we were at one with the Egyptian people”.

Indeed. Then Nasser kicked out Neguib, prisons reopened and torturers were installed. Then came General Sadat and General Mubarak. And now?

The little revolution soldiers: Egypt’s street kids by SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON

SORAYA Sarhaddi NELSON posted on January 4, 2012 this article on “Egypt’s Street Kids Are Revolution’s Smallest Soldiers”

A demonstrator in Cairo runs with an injured child during clashes with security forces last month. A growing number of children are participating in anti-government protests, and their numbers are rising among the casualties.

Enlarge Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images
A demonstrator in Cairo runs with an injured child during clashes with security forces last month. A growing number of children are participating in anti-government protests, and their numbers are rising among the casualties.

“In Egypt, a disturbing trend has emerged in recent clashes between protesters and security forces: children placing themselves on the front lines. Activists say several have been killed or wounded in recent months by gunfire and tear gas. One out of every 4 protesters thrown in jail following clashes in December was a child.

Their advocates say these kids live on Cairo’s streets, and that they see the revolution as a way to escape their isolation from society. For example, every Friday, crowds of Egyptians gather in Cairo to chant slogans against their military rulers. But recently, a small group tried to bring attention the plight of street children who take part in demonstrations, a problem few protesters like to talk about.

This group is shouting that the ruling generals should be ashamed for killing and jailing the children. Rally organizer Amira Abdelhamid hands the children who show up helium-filled balloons.  Eleven-year-old Ahmed Adel says he likes going to protests to check out what’s going on. Ahmed admits he throws stones at the soldiers and then runs away.

Egypt Kids are Partners In The Revolution

Abdelhamid lauds children like Ahmed for braving bullets, beatings and tear gas on the front lines with other protesters.

A protester shows a picture of his son, who was killed at a rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Dec. 23. Soldiers at the rally were taped beating female protesters, sparking international outrage. Advocates say there has not been similar anger over the deaths of children.

Enlarge Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.
A protester shows a picture of his son, who was killed at a rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Dec. 23.
Soldiers at the rally were taped beating female protesters, sparking international outrage. Advocates say there has not been similar anger over the deaths of children. The 20 year-old university student Amira Abdelhamid says:  “the children are valuable partners in the Egyptian revolution given their speed, agility and small size, which make it harder for security forces to stop them.  It is important to recognize their contribution. I wasn’t communicating the message of whether it was good or bad because I don’t know. It’s bad for them, but it’s good, it helps us as well, it helps us in the front lines. I was just saying thank you to Egypt’s kids”

Abdelhamid is frustrated that only a few dozen people showed up at the rally. Many more demonstrated nearby against Egyptian troops for attacking female protesters last month.  The photo of one veiled woman stripped down to her blue bra and being dragged by soldiers who kicked and beat her drew worldwide condemnation.

Teenage Abdelhamid says:  “”The story of an Egyptian boy who was shot by soldiers during the same series of protests drew far less attention.  In a YouTube video of the incident, rescue workers try to stop the frightened teen from bleeding to death from a bullet wound to his chest.

Abdelhamid resumes: “A lot of controversy happened about the women’s march and about that girl who was stripped. And people asked: ‘Why … was she there?’ But I don’t think anyone would say, ‘Why were the children there?'”

Kids Finding Comfort Among Protesters

At a recent news conference, Gen. Adel Emara accused activists  of paying children and teens to throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at security forces.  The general also showed a poor-quality video of a boy named Sami confessing to his interrogator that he received the equivalent of $33 to attack buildings.

Many children’s rights activists in Egypt suspect the confession was coerced. They accuse the generals of using the kids to try to discredit the pro-democracy movement and justify soldiers’ use of deadly force. Lawyer Tarek El Awady is representing 82 children arrested for taking part in last month’s violent demonstrations outside the Cabinet and parliament buildings.

Awady said:  “These street children sought shelter, food and companionship from protesters encamped downtown”.

Amira said:  “The children tell me and other protesters that they are the only Egyptians who make them feel they are important”.

Note 1: In Chile (Latin America),‎ students have taken over schools and city streets in the largest protests the country has seen in decades. The students are demanding free education, and an end to the privatisation of their schools and universities. The free-market based approach to education was implemented by the military dictator Augusto Pinochet in his last days in power.

Note 2:  Kids and children in the developing States are receiving few coverage of their plight: Famine, sweat-shop factories, homeless kids, orphans wandering in cold streets, ramaging through garbage bins for scraps to eat, kids who have never been inside a classroom, kids soldiers snatched from their families and forced to kill “enemies of the civil revolution”, sex substitute…What future is left to hope for?

Note 3: In the 90’s, over two million of the outcast kids in the streets of major cities in Latin America disappeared: They were used to harvest their vital organs to the rich classes, sold to sweat-shop factories, or adoptive slaves…

Session 3 of TEDxBeirut: Any follow-up session to wrap it up?

Note: You may read detailed info on 8 speakers on this post

You would assume that the third session, after lunch and no siesta, is usually doomed to be more on the dosing side, regardless of how inspirational a speaker is.  Sort of the speaker must learn clowning to attracting attention first… The auditorium was still packed and buzzing.

Najat Rizk spoke at 2:50.  (Read link for further details) The story is how Najat turned from “Bent el Ashrafyye” (Christian East Beirut) to an open-minded person and investigated the Moslem Shia of Dahieh, headquarter of Hezbollah. She entered the lion’s den and had the guts to visit all regions and cultures by breaking through stereotypes and delving into the other side fo the fence.

Halim Madi took the stage at 3 pm. Halim examines the internet to feel what are the needs and wants of the world community and discover trends.  We are into web 3.0 where you start searching internet for medical information before you visit a physician.  We have more confidence in the internet “intelligence pieces” and what it disseminate in knowledge than textbook materials…Halim explained the process of how the Flying Spaghetti Monster God got so popular.  A single  person has now the power to trigger changes.

Hala Fadel spoke at 3:13.  (Read link for further details).  In order to have a successful enterprise, she commended: “Work like a slave, lead like a king, and create like a god”.

Andrew Bossone appeared at 3:30.  He said that a wolf trust his companion in the group, and thus, he has no fear, and can howl to the moon as long and as hard he wishes.  He participated with the Egyptian mass upheaval on Jan. 23 in Tahrir Square.  Andrew gave the butterfly example for drastic transformation: At its second stage before turning to a butterfly, it just dangle from a branch and is an easy prey to all kinds of danger.

Andrew likes to predispose friends to noticing changes in their life.  For example, he tells a person: “Expect to see a butterfly soon”.  Obviously, butterflies are everywhere, but we fail to see them, unless we are forwarned to expect their existence soon in our life… 

Hassan Aziz spoke at 3:43.  Let us not take shadows for granted: We used to be fascinated by shadows in our early years.  I failed to note down this speech: I was outside for an urgent need.

Arne Dietrich expounded on the theory that what people claim as “higher level consciousness” is in fact a far reduced level of consciousness.  In a transcendental phase, the brain fails to compute properly and differentiate your body from the environment.  This state of merging with the surrounding and becoming ONE with the universe is a state of brain failure. The world is happening in your own mind, an onion of different layers of consciousness..

Ziad AbiChaker spoke at 4:08.  (Read link for details). He shared his enthusiastic hate-love story with waste and garbage. That guy is the recycling monster in Lebanon, and I’m not quite done with him. Stay tuned for updates from his side as well..

The event practically was wrapped up at 4:23.  Tania Saleh was slotted to sing, but she could not deliver at last-minute invitation.

William Choukeir and Patricia Zoghaib took the stage and introduced the volunteers, and the speakers joined to a round of applause.  Huge thanks and appreciation to TEDxBeirut team from a grateful audience to this monster organization that required 9 months in preparation.

I met with speaker Ziad AbiChaker and I learned that the Hariri clan, monopolizing the waste disposal contracts in the last 20 years, has tried to buy him out for $5 million. I also learned that, in order to getting rid of small insects and flies in the composted waste, all you have to do is using the water of diluted Mexican hot pepper…

We were supposed to have cocktail drinks to celebrate the big event: It never happened!

All TED talks will be posted online!

Note 1: In the first session, TEDx displayed the speech of Kankwamba in one of TED events.  This African young guy from a remote and poor village put together a functional windmill from whatever material he could gather around the village.  This installation generated enough electricity to transfer water, and for the neighbors to recharge their cellular phone…I guess words of cell calls led Kankwamba to being selected a TED speaker.  Sort of TED company needed to diversify the range of limitations and exotism…? Most probably, TEDxBeirut realized that the slogan “From Limitation…” was to be desired and speakers’ limitations were lacking in the selection process. Consequently, TEDxBeirut was implicitly extending apology? 

Note 2: Miscellaneous posted on Sept. 25, underTEDxBeirut was yesterday and it was amazing

(With slight editing to abridge the post) “In the days leading to the event, I had wondered if the event would be worth an entire day. I walked into the theater thinking that I was one of the first to walk in after all the ushers were saying that people should start going in. Boy was I wrong!  The theater was packed up and I barely found a place in the first session (in later sessions I opted for a seat on the stairs for it felt more natural). 685 people were sitting there waiting for the event.

The stage looked amazing: Simply decoration of various luminescent boxes (in the form of file boxes?) in an elegant testimonial to what was about to begin. Our host Sara was well rehearsed and so were all of our speakers.  The talks alone were not the cause for success. The success came from the well-timed breaks, allowing people to mingle and to bring forth discussions, to linger in conversation, as speaker Mahomoud Natout had so hoped.

And to my surprise and happiness those discussions during the breaks were not about people selling their products or their companies, it was about knowing other individuals in such a short span.  But the greatest testimonial for the event’s spirit and success came from the audience.

During the sessions, you would be hard pressed to hear side conversations taking place. People were listening, and dare I say reflecting. More importantly, after lunch, I came back to a theater that was still packed. You might not grasp the significance of this immediately, but in Lebanon (or elsewhere) I have yet to see a little less than 700 people stay the whole day for conference.

Yes, yesterday’s TEDxBeirut event was well worth the day and much more. It was worth it thanks to the hard work invested by the TEDxBeirut team who volunteered to make such a great event, and to the speakers who volunteered their stories. To both of you a great thank you for the wonderful even you did. As for me, I think speaker ‘Arne Dietrich’ put it best when he said that “It was the most fun he had in a single day in Beirut”. Do visite TEDxBeirut“.

“Raise your head: You’re Egyptian” exploded Tahrir Square

Times to fight to death for liberty and times to celebrate living in freedom.

Many Egyptians repeated the American revolutionary slogan “Give me death or give me Liberty“.  The Egyptians vowed to storm the Presidential Palace as Mubarak refused to step down after 18 days of marches and demonstrations.

The next Friday afternoon on Feb. 11, Mubarak had no time to even announce his farewell to his “beloved people”:  His freshly appointed Vice President Suleiman (head of intelligence services) delivered the message in the name of his patron and in his own name.

The 30 previous years are to be revisited on new terms, new programs for securing dignity, liberty, and freedom of expression by the younger generations.

Raise your head: You’re Egyptian” was the explosion of joy by 80 million Egyptians, 160 million Arab States citizens, over a billion Moslems, and over 6 billion living under regimes that effectively obliterated freedom of expressions and reduced their citizens to slavery status.

The Tunisians had their place under the sun a month ago.  The Lebanese secured their place in 2000 and 2006 and showed the way for vanquishing fear and resisting the Israeli invaders.

A revolutionary fervor by the people and for the people is catching fire and making monarchs, dictators, theocratic and one party regime leaders tremble.

The first decade of the 21st century is starting great:  It is witnessing the dawn of enlightened citizens proclaiming that their voices will be heard and their rights for opportunities to a dignified life are theirs.

The UN is to listen to the roars of the people and begin serious reforms for representing the developing nations in every decision and every discussion.  Veto power for the club of 5 super States has dragged on for too long and does not appease the newly acquired intelligence of this widely communicated world and shared social platforms.

Do you know the regime in China scrambled the key word “Egypt” from the search engines?  It doesn’t want to give the Chinese any hint that every regime can be doomed when the masses decides that “enough is enough”.

Any State negotiating with head of States, when one party restricts freedom of expressions, the decisions should not do bind the citizens.  Treaties between oligarchic regimes are not binding to the citizens.  That is the ultimate message of the revolution of the century:  The Egyptian revolution at Tahrir Square.

Baruch Spinoza wrote in the 17th century:

“The right of public power emanates from the masses of citizens guided by the same ideas and desires.  It is the collective citizens who has the power to extend its potentials to the State body.

The right of every citizen is multiplied as two join forces:  This is the right of nature as the power of the weakest individual ruler among the citizens governs the strongest power of the collective citizens who endowed him with the requisite power.

States governing citizens by fear tend to act for reducing vices instead of enhancing virtues.  Free men do not need rewards, stimulants, or marble statues to obeying laws coinciding with individual’s vital natural  rights for happiness and opportunities to live in dignity.”

Misguided sense of Dignity? Dignity has roots….

Customs and traditions are based on sets of rules and rituals that a community tacitly acknowledges and agrees upon.  Dignity is implicitly to abide by these customs.

There is individual pride, but dignity is a collective criteria and you have two choices:

Either you disagree and remain in the community as a pariah 

Or You move on to another community with compatible dignity and be considered a foreign member until your descendants might be included as full members.

History did not record any influential individual, a monarch or a prophet, who managed to change the dignity criteria in his community during his life time:  Slight rules evolved after his death, due to his determination and political acumen.

Dignity developed from “rituals of sexual relationship”.

Dignity evolved to trade rituals, to religious rituals, to organization rituals (castes and classes) to set of rights and responsibilities (Constitutions for citizenship), but the climax of dignity has its roots in basic relationship rituals .  A few examples might set the proper framework for further development on dignity.

In around 510 BC, Rome was ruled by a monarch, King Tarquin.

The king’s son Sextus got jealous of a citizen boasting to him how happy he was with the beauty and chastity of his wife Lucrece. Sextus barged in the house of Lucrece and blackmailed her and raped her.  Lucrece gathered the extended members of her family and told them the story and then, she committed suicide in front of the assembly.  The peasants got angry for their trampled dignity, revolted, and chased out of the city all the members and cousins of the monarch’s family.  The consequence was a new system of government:  Two consuls are to be elected for one year and thus insuring two levels of check and balance.  This form of governance was successful for 5 centuries until the reign of the Caesars dominated.

Jesus tried to modify the Jewish daily rules and rituals (the 265 positive commandments relative to the number of bones in the human body and 365 negative commands to improve one negative tendency every day).  Jesus failed in his lifetime.  After his death, most of the disciples reverted to the same Jewish criteria of dignity.

St. Paul took on the task of transforming the criteria to be compatible to the spirit of Jesus’ message.  Soon, St Paul had to compromise as the disciples in Jerusalem visited each Christian community that Paul established in order to setting their comprehension of dignity “right”.  Most of the compromises were related to abridging women status, responsibilities, and rights in the communities.

In the western medieval period, the Roman Catholic Church instituted its customs and rituals and subjugated the other Christian schismatic sects to abiding by the same understanding of “Christian dignity“.  Consequently, the successive crusading campaigns, although financed by the merchants in order to conquering Egypt and opening up the shorter maritime route for the trade of spices and perfume, were launched by arousing the ignorant population for their “trampled” dignity in the pilgrimage locations such as Jerusalem.

Prophet Mohammad failed in his lifetime to transform the meaning of dignity in the nomadic customs.  Mohammad had to compromise and revisit prior verses in order not to lose everything.

Again, the newer versions were related to women status, rights, and inheritance.

Nothing changed in the customs and traditions of the tribes.  After Muhammad death, many people started collecting hadith, of what the Prophet said or did, in order to emulate this proper conducts  Aisha, the most learned and beloved wife of Muhammad, spent her life confronting and correcting extravagant hadiths.

Later, every monarch hired faqihs (religious scholars and judges) to inventing or interpreting hadith out of context to suit his interests.

As the Omayyad dynasty selected Damascus for Capital of the Islamic Arabic Empire, the Moslems were confronted with urban customs and a different meaning for dignity.  The elite Arabs from the Arabic Peninsula were merchants and were familiar with the Syrian urban and mostly Christian traditions; thus, the administration relied on the converted Christians and for the translation of manuscripts of other civilization.

In the 11th century, most of the Central Asian and Caucasus people were Moslems:  They favored and enjoyed stories on Muhammad’s sayings and deeds (the hadith) and cared less for the Coran’s message. Thus, they declared that the Coran is not to be interpreted or commented.  If there are contradictions in verses then, tough luck; read and move on.  The Coran was no longer the main source for what is dignity and honor to Moslems, but the stories told on Muhammad.

Modern western European “democracies” and republicanism established political structures compatible with a revised meaning of dignity, following higher levels of freedom of expression and dissemination of knowledge and education.

State social programs were promulgated and they became acquired rights for the citizens such as retirement, health care, education…

The problem was that the democratic system was transformed into giving far more privileges and responsibilities to the elite classes (and their appointed unethical and immoral technocrats) to govern and rule in the name of the citizens once the votes are in.

The trend was exacerbated as the elite governing oligarchy realized that people are willing to trade the dignity of sharing in policy making with greed and amusement (the apolitical citizen).  Consequently, credit cards with limits surpassing 50 times the yearly earning were invented for the citizens to indulge in consumer products and be amused.

The latest financial crash is turning the situation around:  There is no more free money to distribute.  The citizens are mainly angry with their cowardice and irresponsible behaviors by trading the dignity of responsibility in the political process to greed and amusement.  The new motto is:  “Amusement is a bonus after a job well done.”

The citizens were no fouls, but they had not the courage and determination to getting involved in studying and analyzing political and social programs before a dime is spent.

The citizens were accustomed to a form of lower level of dignity and now they are struggling to getting back to the streets.  How many scapegoats are to be sacrificed before the citizen is willing to return to shouldering his duties and responsibilities?

The poorer nations can no longer afford to support misplaced sense of western dignity.  The poorer classes in these capitalist systems can no longer suffer misplaced sense of dignity of the higher classes.

Note:  This article was published more than 15 months before the current Arab mass uprising in almost every Arabic State.  The upheaval take its roots to the want of regaining lost dignity:  Indignity or zul is the driving force behind this determined upheavals against absolute monarchs, dictators, and oligarchic infamous behaviors toward the common citizens.

The Syrian uprising has added the most basic of dimensions saying:  “We are not hungry.  We are not demonstrating for lack of food.  We want to fight the indignity (zil) and infamy we have been subjugated to for 40 years.”

No ruler can withstand the wrath of a people who is brandishing “dignity”as its motto. The Egyptian people are back to Tahrir Square:  It is about time that the army general staff relinquish power to civilian mechanisms.

Personally, I will consider that the Arab mass uprising have reached a qualitative level once the civic demand for equality between genders is the cornerstone for political transformation.  It would mean that religion is no longer the hidden power driving the people, but equal and equitable basic human rights.




July 2020

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