Archive | February 2, 2011

The Youth’s Day of Anger

The Youth’s Day of Anger

Hwaa Irfan

“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”~ Henry Kissinger.

A week after the Jasmine Revolution, one woman (aged 45 – 50?) in a Cairo street interview replied to the interviewer, I get up early and come home late, and I plan to do things, which she never does, and her day ends up being useless — her whole life has been useless,. I don’t know how to explode, so I just keep quiet. Her facial expressions revealed nothing of what she shared having normalized the situation.

One man (aged 50 – 60) said the only thing is to return to God or to talk with others, or to talk to one’s self in the streets.

What is a dream when you can’t

Remember your dream

What is a song when you can’t

Sing

your voice sounds like broken glass.

What is love when you can’t

Understand love is like

The bitter night.

What is a smile when your

Face is always in a frown

What is a cry when there are

No tears.

What is pain when there is

no hurt.

What is feeling when you

Can’t feel your feeling.

What is emptiness when

Your body is unwhole

What it is

What it is

It happened in the middle of moving house, the unexpected happened, although quite expected. Known for their everlasting patience, a people’s revolution was well overdue, not be because they were in the right, or because the government was in the wrong, but because both the people and the government had acquiesced to sparkling stars on the American banner, the illusion that Americanization, or globalization was the road to democracy.

Is the dream which you remember

And afraid of its beauty

Afraid of your dreams

What it is

What it is

As the removal men were shunned because they had acquiesced to the idea of money by any means, and as much as possible for as little as possible, the Egyptian youth moved into their second Day of Rage, only a month or more after a questionable national election. They demanded democracy, and the right to eat, and as one moved through the people’s revolution on a microbus, to hear an old man share the pains of depression that engulfed his graduate son, and how the old man gave his son pocket money so that his son could feel some semblance of life, the people’s revolution spread void of help from the disconnected Internet and mobile services.

Is the song which you like

To sing and dance and afraid

Of its rhythms, afraid of the beat

What it is

What it is

A people who had become too frightened to exhale – to admit to their suffering, to admit to the level of stress that they endured for years on end, and every day was accumulating, began to exhale the lies they told themselves, that this way of life life, the life that was being squeezed out of them, as foods became increasingly unavailable to them, as school, fees, doctors fees, the fight to get to work because of inadequate transportation in an overcrowded city, as good health and sanity became an illusion, and education a long nightmare of memorization, as distrust became the prevailing wind, and cooperation a thing of the past, one recalls two old working men four Ramadhans ago chuckle like children the eve of the first day of ‘Eid, looking forward at being able to go to sleep that night, and being able to sleep into the morning.

Is the love you have in your soul

And you are afraid to share it

Afraid to express it

What it is

What it is

The Egyptian youth would not have known how it once was. When it was easy to buy the basic foods, and to work according to one’s likes and not the limited choices presented by westernized education or to grow free as children in the countryside of their parents/grandparents where childhood allowed for a more complete emotional and psychological self development. They would not have known how each Egyptian helped the other, where time was on the side of the living, and time for relaxation, and family and personal well-being was the norm. They didn’t recognize the nature of the trade-off they had made for a “better” Americanized life. They did/do not see the real nature of western liberty that has shaped societies into a fragile mental state of distrust, of materialism, of prostituting the soul for recognition, for the trappings of excess that dismantle human dignity, and constructs inhumane living conditions, the poverty and starvation that litters the developed streets. They would not have seen the depravity of sexuality or the confusion as identities become entrapped as individuals give over their lives to the states doings. The parentless children that fall into obscenities as their parents step on the tread mill of claiming a stake in the illusory Big Dream. The ever-growing addictions from drugs to shopping and a mind that cannot cope along with the heartlessness that ensues. Yet still, there are youths who will chant and march on the streets for the right to a lifestyle they know not the reality of.

Is a smile which lives in you

In your heart –beat

Which you are afraid to open

What it is

what it is

Is the cry with the joy

Which has to be seen

What it is

What it is

The straw that broke the camel’s back has been gestating for a long time even amongst the citizens of developed countries, people want change, but the real change is within. Only when we begin to see the world as an integral whole, can the liberty of reciprocal rights be honoured.

The youths Days of Anger gave courage to their parent’s generation. At last, if only for a moment, everyone can exhale. It proved that people do have the power to change, and that the real change can only come from them. It is in the midst of this realization that hope as a chance, but in this hope there must be real contemplation of what one truly needs for the good of the whole. Without this realization, all could be lost. It means living with the heart and the mind in unity in order to find one’s feet on the right path, it means realizing that life is more than what one can buy, or the status that one dons to claim superiority over another.

Is the pain which has to be liberate

You towards your freedom

Is a pain which has to be expressed

What it is

What it is

Is the emptiness of the day

Fulfilment of its God creation

Giving thanks to every living thing

What it is

What it is

Is a fear that everyone

Hides themselves in their own mask

What it is

What it is

The Day of Rage was a peaceful demonstration begun by university students on January 25th 2011. As the word spread, and others joined, the protest turned with the clashes between security forces and certain participants. The vandalism that ensued, does not nurture wholeness, albeit that that the icons that were hit (the government offices, banks, the Egyptian museums, the overpriced malls, security vehicles, police stations, and hotels) are representative of the upper class, the authority, and forms of oppression that taunt the dignity of the youth who cannot get on with their lives due to unemployment etc.

Instructed to cooperate with the local police from the second day of the protests, security forces and the police were not present everywhere, and the police presence was observed only on day 1 of the protest, the day after Yawm El-Shurta (a day celebrating the work of the police and security forces) while organized saboteurs were present from day 2. The hospitals fill with dead bodies as doctors and nurses face harassment, as much as the poor face threats to the little that they have and their lives. Word has it that the vandals are in fact governmental terrorizing the people into submissive lives once again. It does not make sense for the dispossessed to attack hospitals where the dead lay waiting, or to attack the poor unreported areas. It is definitely not the act of the Egyptian dispossessed, but the act of paid bullies as armed forces arrest members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The question is however, paid by whom as President Hosni Mubarak with great urgency forms a new government – the voice of the youth has been heard!

Is a selfishness that breeds

Within your body stopping

Yourself from growing

What it is

What it is

The voice of the adhan “silenced” from Ramadhan 2010, became very vocal by the 4th day of protest when looting and burning of private public property became pronounced. The mosque became a place of regained balance with recitations from the Qur’an outside of prayer time as the curfew began to set in.

Now, as the curfew unknown/ignored by some sets in, neighbours who would once close their doors, find their doors open, talking, talking to each other, talking like how they once used to. Some men who had lost their manhood as the daily grind squeezed the life out of them, now reclaim it symbolically, with sticks, stone, guns, etc., but do they know what they have lost?

It is a human trap in slavery

Trapping every living life creation

What it is

What it is

As dusk falls on the fourth day, unleashed rage spread, citizens follow up on President Mubarak’s order to protect their property, from youth circling Cairo, to families protecting their streets, and their homes, to factory workers at the Sugar Factory.  Fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, are out on the street protecting their area against what turns out to be from the police. Word now has it that the looters are actually police. This explains the lack of police presence, and the arrest of members of the Muslim Brotherhood as youth around Cairo help the armed forces to catch and arrest the saboteurs who after ‘Isha Prayers have been shooting at people, breaking into their homes while present and stealing from them. The emergency calls for help given out over national T.V. have proven to be false i.e. not answered. Of those caught, why else would they be tried in a military court instead of undergoing the natural process of justice unless the men arrested were not ordinary civilians. But why would members of the police force put themselves in such an impossible situation in the long term?

The most serious of incidences have taken place in Alexandria and Cairo, when only protests asking for liberty, democracy and a tolerable cost of living have taken place in other Governorates of Egypt.

What benefit to the people as whole was gained by the original protestors, has been seriously undermined by what turns out to be policemen/paid gangs who hijack ambulances and police cars to facilitate their mission.

It is a madness – madness

Man-made madness – madness

What it is

What it is

Patriotic music plays in the street re-anesthetizing the minds as property owners play with reality, and while the property-less treated as worthless as they work for have other ideas in mind. The property owners do not know the pain they have caused those who work for them, treating them as property without rights. The societal chasms are many, and the healing of those chasms only stand a chance if the people as a whole hold onto the demands of the original protestors, demands that President Mubarak responded to right away in terms of sacking the government, demands of liberty, democracy, food prices, and social justice.

You got

To set yourself free

Free yourself from your own slavery

What it is

What it is

The fourth night has passed… the curfew was necessary – necessary to quell the rampaging vandals. The people played their role as vigilantes throughout the night helping the security forces to capture the vandals… The fourth night was a night where the people, the President, and the security forces were one. As for the vandals, their true identities are yet to be revealed, and the police have taken one step further down from the shelf of low regard of the people.

The fifth day, January 30th is calmer than the previous four days. The people of Cairo can awake, for those who slept, feeling empowered, and playing an important role in the running of their country. A total of 450 saboteurs have been caught. There is some semblance of normalcy as some people set about their work, whilst in many areas of Cairo a level of vigilance in maintained as it is learnt that some of the saboteurs are former prisoners poor and without jobs, but this is according to reports. Curious that reports of prison break outs suddenly hit the government news service, breakouts that are occurring in more than one governorate, overwhelming the prison staff. This, questions the security measures in place, and the elements that brought about the prison breaks. The initial help lines broadcasted on national T.V. have proven to be false, and one woman who was seeking assistance to out a local fire was told on phoning that she would not get any help. As the police force remains unavailable, it is the armed forces that have been working double overtime responding to cries for help, providing security, defence, and catching the saboteurs in conjunction with the raised spirits of the citizens. Meanwhile, the local branch of Al Jazeera news service has been closed, and licenses withdrawn until further notice, which the U.S. will be pleased with.

The road blocks created by the people on the third day of unrest – the fourth day after The Youth’s Day of Anger, remain in place, and collections of homemade Malakoff cocktails remain ready to face any threat to civil society. The Grand Mufti of Egypt has regularly asked for calm, and protection of the country, and providing Islamic guidance on one’s behaviour in relation to the state.

Rumours from the previous day concerning attacks on staff at the Egyptian Museum seem to have been unfounded as reports file in of witnesses to the event. All public buildings are under the protection of the Armed Forces, and more reliable helplines have been publicized, directing the caller to the Armed Forces. Doctors under the guidance of Mohammed Sherbini have organized to provide emergency care where needed providing a hotline to the public, but the emergency demands on both the armed forces and the doctors has been more than they are able to facilitate.

Finally the police force has been ordered to go on duty, and right now one can only guess that they must have undergone some serious grilling, as the curfew is brought forward to 3.00p.m from Monday 31st Jan, 2011. This is more than likely as a result of the infamous traffic jams of Cairo, as many tried to resume a normal life, which means work. The curfew Egyptian-style means not being so much in the home, but on one’s street, as neighbours, friends and relatives share news from the grapevine, views, and preparations. The atmosphere is alive with a shared spirit and the voices of children at play that once used to pervade the air before the adoption of a Western lifestyle, where each home is closed to the other, instead of being open to each other. This is the avenue for mutual understanding that is needed to heal a people as President Mubarak creates a new government, a government one prays includes  members who know the real living circumstances of the people, and evaluates the budget in terms of looking at the basic needs of the poor. Pope Shenouda of the Coptic Church makes a call for restraint, and to put aside protesting for the sake of the nation in these times.

The time of the curfew is from 3.00pm – 8.00am, and in between times, daily activities differ according to the community. Cairo is a collection of communities with each community possessing its own sphere of reference. One community will be quiet outside the curfew, where the level of fear might be great according to the level of gossip, and another community will be functioning more or less as normal as possible. In the other governorates outside of Cairo, daily activities are much closer to normal, where there have been fewer problems, and a functioning police force to call on in times of need. Football matches have been cancelled, but the men now have something more worthwhile to attract their attention, and all university exams have been postponed.

The fifth day starts late with most of the men on duty during the cold nights where fires will be lit in order to catch some warmth. Rounds of shots could be heard during the early part of the night, so more men were on duty than the previous night. The fifth day follows a night of protest in the centre of the capital, Tahrir Square, which cooperated with the armed forces by centralizing any protests for security reasons. The traffic soon picks up to almost normal proportions, which if you trying to get home before the curfew starts is not helpful. If one intends to do any shopping, it had better be early, because besides having to look for somewhere that is open for the sale of food, groceries etc, the staff too have to get home before the curfew starts meaning that the odd supermarket that is open closes at 1.00pm. The underground train service is running normally, but the women’s carriage is now occupied by men to keep to the curfew (one hopes), and generally it is not too difficult to get road transport whether it’s a microbus or a taxi, however taxi prices have gone up!

The armed forces are visible, and helping to control the traffic and one will come across army tanks, but generally the atmosphere is one of ease. Over 3,000 prisoners have been caught over the past two days, and a new government has been sworn in with the exception of the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Education.

In the late evening of the fifth day, a crowd of maybe around 1 thousand gather outside the Radio and Television building chanting in support of President Mubarak and the reforms in process, but by the morning of the sixth day, thousands of people, and not just youth gathered in Tahrir Square. Some are there demanding through constitutional change, and others are worried about what they are going to eat tomorrow, as 75 billion Egyptian dollars were lost on the stock exchange, the armed forces promise to bring in food supplies as shops and means of distribution remain limited, and problems with water and electricity supply in some areas – all of which occurred not so much as a result of the protests, but the apparent intentional means to destabilize the country as the government make it known that the prison break outs occurred as a result of saboteurs from the outside.

No everyone wants President Mubarak to remain, but not everyone is against him. Not all the forces at play are in the best interest of the people and the country, President Mubarak promised to look into those governorates where election fraud took place in, but the new governmental line up albeit in response to the demands of the youth asking for the removal of members of parliament with business interests reflects more the elite with two exceptions, and reflects no representation of those on low or no income. Yet, if the calls continue without allowing for reforms to take place the Egypt will lose probably the only security they have, President Mubarak. All opposition parties hold a limited of vision of the country, which does not represent the broad cross section of Egyptian society. They do not have an understanding of the complex position that Egypt is in by mere fate of geography. With South Africa in the hands of the West through neo-colonialism, and waiting for Sudan to split in two, all that is needed to prepare Africa as a whole for the next phase of neo-colonialism through synthetic biology is the North. The youth of Tunisia went through the same chaos as is experienced in Cairo, but the Tunisian youth were clearer, and more focused. The weight of the elite and the upper classes has not been taken into consideration despite that they never took into consideration the needs of the lower income. Many of the elite and the upper classes are only concerned about their wealth, and some are even considering transferring their money abroad. As the older generation gets involved who are only concerned with their basic needs, the situation in Egypt is getting more precarious with every passing moment.

As the sixth day after the Day of Anger, the fourth day of unrest comes to a close, King ‘Abdullah of Jordan sacks its government, after weeks of unrest, and President Mubarak acquiesces to the call for his departure, by stating that he had no intentions to stand for re-election in the presidential elections due in September 2011. For those who brought this about, time will tell if the extent at which they went putting in jeopardy people’s lives, welfare and employment have any honour in the interest of the people in the long term.

Men have been identified dressed in the uniform of the Armed Forces mingling amongst the protestors in an attempt to incite them further. The opposition refuse to accept the invitation to an open dialogue with the government. It is the youth who have only themselves to turn to who represent all levels of society, but did they only listen to themselves or was there a directing hand?

You got to unmask yourself

To be free unmask yourself

This is it

That is it

What it is

This is it

THIS IS IT

Unmask yourself

Free yourself. – Frank John

As this is written, a reflective quietness has returned to the pre-protest streets of Egypt, after all, once again, they have become victims of a questionable tomorrow, the same questionable tomorrow before January 25th 2011, while the protestors in Tahrir Square are high on some victory.

Approaching 2.00am February 2011, the opposition acquiesce to dialogue with the government, and the masses crowd in Tahrir Square in support of President Mubarak, while the youth’s protest was actually organized by the opposition.

3.48pm, after the curfew, a clash that typifies Egypt between the pro-Mubaraks and the anti-Mubarak ensues.

February 3rd 2011 awakens to the brutality of what took place in Tahrir Square, with a death toll of 6, and hundreds seriously injured. Both governmental and foreign presence bear witness to an “element” making their way to the protests with Malakoff cocktails in hand. The curfew has been shortened to 5.00pm – 7am, but is not applied to all cities. To present the debacle of yesterday security forces have increased security measures around Tahrir Square, but tomorrow in Friday, and after congregational prayers, there is bound to be protests on a larger scale than before. Because of the security measures around Tahrir Square some protestors have moved to Abd El-Moneim Riyad up the road, exposing themselves to Malakoff cocktails being thrown at them from nearby buildings. However clashes still took place in Tahrir Square between the pros and the antis in Tahrir Square. Meanwhile, the Prosecutor General has frozen the bank accounts of former ministers Ahmed Ezz NDP leader and steel tycoon, Zohair Garana (Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Al Maghraby (Minister of Housing , and one of the heads of Mansour Maghraby clan, and Habib Al Adly (Minister of the Interior), and has prevented them from travelling abroad.

The feedback from Aswan in the South where protests have taken place is one of peace and understanding. With no love of the mentalities of Cairo they are both on the side of the protestors, and President Mubarak. They do not understand what more the protestors want in the belief that they are more understanding than the north. After all, Aswan has more reason to want a change in government having suffered bitterly in terms of freedom of expression, and expression of culture. They are more aware of all the elements at play, and worry that the protestors of Cairo will sink Egypt into the same quagmire as Iraq. In the voice of a Christian Egyptian protestor in Tahrir Square, the people need to use their mind and know what is right and what is wrong. She is pro change, and for her change is working with what they have Mubarak. Ironically, this is in line with Islam, which makes it incumbent upon the people to advise the oppressive ruler for a successor would only make promises, and not do, and do and not order. It is for Muslims to wake up to the teachings of Islam that forbid sinking the state into chaos negating the needs of everyone. It is the responsibility of the people to advise the oppressive ruler towards what is good and away from what is bad, and it is the responsibility of the people to change the bad that manifests in society. But this is not the way of the secular world which many of the protestors seem to be following, which is to negate one section of the community for the interests of their own. Like most secular societies in illusionary democratic societies, the majority wins leaving the minority to suffer, and during that leadership the minority becomes a majority who votes in another successor who will repeat the same pattern.

Many tourists have fled, and by tourists one is referring to those who have made Egypt their home. It was a place of respite from the doom and gloom of the economic crisis in their home countries, particularly Europe, without realizing that their higher accustomed cost of living was increasingly the cost of living for most Egyptians, and their unsustainable lifestyles, was make life unsustainable for many Egyptians.

Talking to different Egyptian people, they all want different things, but accept the change that the protestors want, but most people are only interested in the right to eat, and the right to work. For those who chant change, the real change has to take place amongst the people as they remember the rights of their neighbours are as important as their own rights, and the right of the ruler is that he must be told in no uncertain terms that he is wrong so that he has the chance to do right. This is how a society is built in the long term, for it is easy to replace a person, but that only reflects on one’s perception of what life is really worth, and why relationships never last long enough to build something worthwhile spiritually, and materially sustainable!

February 4rd 2011 as expected thousands throng to Tahrir Square – the largest pro-change – anti-Mubarak protest, but still a drop in the ocean of the 80 million population, and in the knowledge that over 400 people have died as a result of the protests and/or as a result of the attacks that have taken place in and outside of the protests. The Armed Forces have taken extra measures, flooding the area, cordoning of certain streets that lead to the Square, leaving Kasr Al-Aini Street and one other open for entrance and exit. To avoid wrong information circulating, the Armed Forces through Defence Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi made it known by his presence amongst the protestors that they were there to protect the protestors, and to ensure no more violence takes place, all those wishing to enter the Square were searched.

The atmosphere was charged, especially powerful as protestors joined together in a mass Friday congregational prayers, The protestors represented a broad cross-section of Egyptian society.  ‘Amr Mousa, Secretary General of the Arab League was present amongst the protestors to ensure calm, and so was the new Prime Minister Al-Shafiq, to make it know to the protestors the current governments intent, that open national dialogue has begun with opposition members, and that the protestors are included in that national dialogue.

President Mubarak has not been visible since his speech about not re-electing. The Vice-President, Omar Suleiman, has spoken on his behalf in terms of reviewing the demands of the protestors, and being ready to have an open dialogue, and making it clear that neither President Mubarak nor his son Gamal Mubarak will stand for the September elections. A special appeal from Suleiman has gone out to the Muslim Brotherhood who have suffered much as a result of the National Democratic Party, NDP under President Mubarak. However there is a growing mistrust of any member of NDP. Meanwhile, the President has announced on American ABC T.V. that he will not stand for re-election, probably to convince the disbelieving youth that he meant what he said, and Rashid Muhammed Rashid, former minister of Trade and Industry has been prevented from leaving the country, and his bank account frozen by the Public Prosecutor.

Realizing their smallness in numbers in comparison to the total Egyptian population, students have been busy going beyond Facebook -through e-mails, to call on more people to join the protests believing that the greater number of protestors, the more likely they will succeed. This only demonstrates that they are not aware, or do not believe that their demands have been heard and have been included in the national dialogue, or that they too have been invited to play a participatory role in the national dialogue. One recipient of the e-mail remained unconvinced however, as the e-mail did not state their demands, and thus she felt unable to participate. She met resistance from the BBC and CNN who were reluctant to hear her view unless it was in line with what they want.

Skirmishes on the outskirts of the protest in Tahrir Square took place because of pro-Mubarak protestors.  Other protests took place in Alexandria which was pro-stability i.e. for Mubarak to serve his term until the September presidential elections, but implementing some of the changes, and peaceful protests also took place in Suez, Mansoura, Mahalla and Bani Suef.  Pro-democracy for Mubarak to step down now, and hand over demonstrations took place in governorates Zagazig, Minia, Mansoura, Al-Arish, Luxor, . The Committee of Wise Men s group of public figures issued the following demands:

1) Mubarak should step down

2) the rigged parliament should be dissolved

3) a freely elected parliament should introduce the constitutional amendments necessary for presidential elections

4) the immediate prosecution and referral for trial of the “murderers” of pro-democracy protesters, and of those implicated in corruption.

The participants of the original student protest that took place on January 25th have disassociated themselves from further protests in Tahrir Square, and are now organizing themselves for possible open national dialogue as a 25-member group to be headed by  ‘Amr Mousa, Mohammed El-Baradei, Ziad El-Eleimy (lawyer), and Ahmed Zeweil (Nobel prize winner) on the road map to the September presidential elections, and also to form a party to become contenders for the September presidential elections. The protestors of today erected their demands in Tahrir Square which consists of the following:

1) The government should take responsibility for protecting the lives of protesters in Tahrir Square, and ensuring safe access and exit from the square

2) Government authorities should be held responsible for bringing an end to attacks by thugs and hooligans

3) The arrest and detention of pro-democracy activists should cease, and those arrested immediately released

4) the armed forces should take up their role in assisting the peaceful transition of power in Egypt.

In the accidental interview with ABC President Mubarak expressed desire to leave, yet fear at leaving abruptly due to serious external security issues. He was tired and fed up. When on hates a person, there is an inability to see the humanness within them. To no longer be heard when he needs to be heard the most, after years of not be straight with the people is a very difficult juxtaposition to be in, especially if there are elements within one’s own government that are behaving contrary to what has been agreed. Does one go ahead and paint Mubarak as an evil entity, or realize that some of the brutality throughout the protests he might actually not be aware of as coming from within the government, or pro-Mubarak supporters. Then there is the likelihood that some pro-Mubarak supporters are defending what they have under him rather than Mubarak himself.

When we stop listening to each other we miss the opportunity for something more nurturing than what we have now. As discussions began today with only two opposition groups, one prays that the last 30 years have been for nothing, and that it has sown the seeds for the first people-based revolution that will include all the people, and not just another group of people.

As the numbers of protestors grow, and their direction clearer, Europe begins to worry that the spirit of the people might hit their borders.

This day ends with some protestors still present in the Square, and the curfew shortened to 7.00pm – 6.00am.

February 5th 2011 is a day like any normal average day in Cairo despite the days since The Lotus Revolution (as it is now dubbed began). Women are less visible on the main means of public transport to work and from work reflecting certain fears. However, despite the smaller protest taking place in Tahrir Square today, daily life returns to Cairo with the opening of some main banks throughout the country, as all bank accounts for all ex-ministers (those recently sacked) remain frozen.

Unfounded rumors abound in the U.S. press about the assassination of the new Vice-President  Suleiman as a definite, while the blast of the gas pipeline in Al-Arish, north of Sinai raises another set of rumors. The main pipeline out of Al-Arish supplies Jordan, and Israel, to some it is a shame that it was not the Israeli supply that was cut. Clearly an act of sabotage pinpointing aspects of the relationship of Egypt with Israel. As the top NDP leaders resign finally, Hossam Badrawi becomes the new Secretary General and Head of the Policies Committee replacing President Mubarak’s son Gamal, and Safwat Al-Sherif.

Islamic religious authorities repeat their call for the past few days for all protestors to return home as the country thinks of the massive losses that have been made since January 25th, and the need to work, to earn, to eat becomes a priority, however while the protestors struggle to maintain the barriers set up by the Armed Forces from the previous day, clashes between pro and antis takes place in Shubra, another part of Cairo leading to 51 people people injured, highlighting the need for the barriers to protect the protestors when the Armed Forces have other jobs to do.

Whenever a crisis presents itself to Cairo in particular, a new song comes out, and the Lotus Revolution has born witness to more songs, pro-Mubarak songs, and patriotic songs, which by the grace of God is replaced by recitations from the Qur’an in the places. Including public transport that always play music. The biggest surprise was to find the supermarket chain Carrefour was also playing recitations from the Qur’an, which to be frank had the desired effect, to calm the listener, and to remind them how to treat one another. That would be difficult to achieve if one is constantly bombarded by love songs, explicit songs, and songs that have no meaning or value.

The new Minister of Interior Mahmoud Wagdi takes the opportunity to visit the police force in their stations proving them with a new slogan “Police in Service to the People,” and to see if they were actually working. However, if the slogan is to have any effect on Cairo police, it will be a long time before they redeem themselves from the reports of maltreatment of the very people they are supposed to serve , along with maltreatment of  journalists both foreign and local, especially since they returned to duty after their disappearance act since the Youth Day of Anger on January 25th.

The day ends late as usual since January 25th, but with listening to the sound of children playing in the streets instead of some youths driving around in their mobile ghetto blaster.

May the Lotus arise from the mud of the past, to bath, grow strong and share its beauty in the sunlight of reconciliation, open to shared dialogue and mutual understanding and respect.

* * * * * *

Listening to the universe, in the midst of it all, love was found between a have and the have nots. The have nots realized that the person, a foreigner who was about to move from out of their lives, who was stressed from prevailing bad attitudes, opened their eyes and saw someone who loved them more than their own. In that love, the have nots, helped the have to reach their destination – this is Egypt without the stress of globalization, and with the heart of Egypt.

Power can be a dangerous thing to have. For a people and oppositions parties who have felt disempowered, the week of the 25th January 2011, the feeling of being able to change something outside of themselves may have been realized, but that is easier than changing inside of one self. For the few thousands who have been protesting on behalf of the 80 million population of Egypt, the time between now and election time will tell. For all that needs to be done in terms of constitutional change, inquiries into the previous election time, enquiries into the violence and sabotage during and around the protests, recovery of services, trade, industry, national security, water resources, restructuring the education process etc, etc, etc 8 -9 months is not enough to hand over!

The initial protest was seized upon by elements yet to be revealed, and the opportunity to cause terror amongst the people by seemingly external forces playing on the chasms within, met a people who rose to the occasion – they cannot stop a people who are adept at spreading the word as long as they believe in themselves, and the truth. There is nothing more exhilarating than seeing a people who to the onlooker chose to walk with their eyes closed, wake up in a communal spirit! The Egyptian youth should be applauded despite their demands, they were out there protecting the streets, the nation’s security, directing traffic, and their families and friends. They won respect from their elders, when once it seemed like another generation lost, and may this never be lost, but what honour is there in bringing a lamb to slaughter!

It is time to start listening from within, and to stop listening to the whispering fingers of greed from external forces. It is time to realize that their time despite all their might is coming to an end. Australia was almost submerged by the floods of plenty, but that plenty will reap manifold as long as the people, including the indigenous people recognize that man and his environment were never created as separate entities. The honest Egyptian protestors now have a listening President, how many presidents/governments since the global economic crisis actually listen to their people. Is this not a sounder platform from which to reshape the direction of a country than the promises of an opposition may become empty when faced with real governance? The only other possible candidates are the ever popular ‘Amr Mousa, Secretary General of the Arab League, or Baradei who headed the I.A.E.I and a favourite of the U.S., but still with Hosni Mubarak who has made mistakes and allowed many wrongs is open to change! When somebody is ready to change, is there not a greater likelihood of success than with those who wish to succeed on the basis of promises? For in the midst of the reality of governance, a different picture is likely to unfold. What is in the short and long term interest of the nation is the question that must be asked, and reflected upon, and looking at other nations who have been through, and are going through the same/similar scenario can shed a lot of light especially on what it takes to build a nation, and the external forces involved within and outside of a country.

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