We knew from the start of the Arab Spring in 2011 that the wave and the urge to revolt against the ruling political establishment will never arrive to Lebanon.
Now, the whole scene looks in reverse; it seems Lebanon exported violence, sectarianism, chaos, militias and instability to the whole region and can compete to be better in some categories…
Below is a video showing an Egyptian version of a typical Lebanese political argument about numbers… Which you can’t argue with.
This time it’s about Tahrir roundabout, errr…sorry, Tahrir Square.
Today is the 39th anniversary of the ‘Tishreen liberation war’ or the 1973 October war between Syria and Egypt on one side, and Israel on the other. Syrian state today is celebrating the victory of this liberation war.
Sadegh Kharrazi, Iran’s former ambassador to France, has made some startling comments on the regional foreign policy of Iran. It seems he represents some Iranian circles that have some ‘hope’ with the current regime changes in Egypt, believing they can strategically align Iran with Egypt against Saudi Arabia. Kharrazi believes Turkey would too be included in this alliance.
This actually sounds counter-intuitive when Egypt, past and present, looks closer to Saudi Arabia than Iran. But the interesting bit is the reasoning given by Kharrazi, which gives little importance of Egypt’s position on Israel (or United States.) Continue reading
You might have followed yesterday, like most people I follow on social media, the first live presidential debate in Egypt between the former Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh Abdel Hady and former Secretary General of Arab League and Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa.
Today, the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forced (SCAF) of Egypt was helping Israel in its continuous never ending war against the Palestinians, with all the moral support they can give; just like any other Arab regime repressing its people.
Reminder: I believe 2011 was the best year yet for the American arms and crowd control weapons trades.
One of the outcomes of the Arab Spring (on the ‘soft side’ of things) is the increase of the national pride of the nations that experienced uprisings, especially where the revolutions were successful. Egypt’s revolution has been called ‘sexy’, and revolution in Tahrir Square (or Tahrir Roundabout) became a role model for almost anyone writing or planning a protest. Egyptians and Tunisians are proud of themselves and of the outcomes of their revolutions.
This photo might a bit explain the ‘yob’ culture Britain is currently facing. Obviously, I am referring the guy at the back (or right) not the one at the front who became a Prime Minister later. Some people call these young kids ‘hoodies’ as they usually wear hoodies as a sign of ‘coolness’ (or a face cover from the CCTV cameras as seen in the UK riots this week).
The incident took place during David Cameron’s visit to a council estate in Manchester, more than 4 years ago, to discuss gun culture within the youth! The teenage made a gun gesture towards David Cameron behind his back, ‘on-high’, full of confidence and other stuff in his other hand. He was later charged with drugs offences.
One aim of the pro-democracy protests sweeping the Arab world is toppling the dictators, but the ultimate aim of the Arab Spring should be establishing democratic countries that respect of human rights in all its forms. As we know, this is NOT necessarily happening.
Sadly, there are always parasites that will mushroom and try to exploit any successful revolution to bring their respective country backward to the dark ages. One of these parasites is someone called Sheikh Abdallah Rushdi in Egypt, who was debating on Egyptian TV if women are allowed to run for presidency (imagine we are still in the ‘debate’ stage on these matters).
In the wake of the Arab Spring, a Harvard University study surveyed 98 bloggers (who responded) from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) about their views on their blogging experience.
I didn’t think the survey was comprehensive enough, but still it gave a snapshot of the bloggers experience. The reason is that the survey was aimed to study the online security measures taken by bloggers, which the survey showed that it was not a top priority to most of them. This shows a lack of knowledge in this field.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak mostly answered: I don’t remember, I didn’t know, no clue…even for the more obvious ones.
The full script of the investigation with him has been published, and these are some parts of it – in Mubarak’s own twisted words and ‘logic’.
On the famous beating of the protesters off the backs of camels, he said he only saw a camel running among the demonstrators, and he was surprised. He later learnt it was called “the Battle of the Camels. When asked why were the demonstrations’ demands not met before its outbreak, his answer was: because I did not know these demands!!
Communism: You have two cows. The government takes them both and provides you with milk.
Nazism: You have two cows. The government shoots you and takes the cows.
Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
Do you remember the above? I remember it very well; it was a famous political sarcasm that was widely circulated in 1990s (at my time) about the different political systems. It’s has an older origin though. Believe it or not, these jokes affected my political ‘evolutionist’ thinking then.
I have been noticing that Wael Ghonim (@Ghonim) was becoming more a ‘spiritual leader’ for a revolution that was never completed. He has been recently tweeting on twitter about the need to do things that will ‘help’ the economy.
It seems the guy has forgotten what made him famous in the first place: Continue reading
Mohamad Bouazizi! – a straight forward answer.
Ok, on a more serious note, what’s pushing all these masses to be on the streets? Since the start of the so called ‘Arab Spring’ less than 5 months ago, all analysts have been looking to study the involvement of the Islamic movements (or other ideologies).
This interest spiked after Osama Bin Laden’s death last week, with majority looking to assess its impact on the uprisings (I can even tell from the search engines hits on my previous first Bin Laden post!)
Moreover, many political parties claimed their fatherhood to the freedom demanding protests. Al-Qaeda claimed that the uprisings were the fruits of their struggle against America and the Arab regimes.
The Americans (likely to be Republicans) said that the uprisings were the results of what George W. Bush started in his Iraq invasion in 2003!
I asked myself this question when the blogger Maikel Nabil was arrested in late March 2011 for ‘insulting’ the Egyptian Army. Quite a move from the army, after the ex-president Hosni Mubarak was just been ousted. I didn’t quite get how an army can be ‘insulted’, especially when they are playing politics now, and not being in war with an enemy. Usually, it’s the other way round.
Anyway, what the entire activist did, was describing the humiliation and sexual harassment he experienced under the military police hands, and obviously criticised the army role for some of their criminal activities. Result: The 26-year old was sentenced on 11 April for 3 years for insulting the army, without anybody bothering investigating his claims.