Archive | November 25, 2011

Reoccupying Egypt

Egyptian Youth form national coalition by Wael Ghonim

Reoccupying Egypt

By Hwaa Irfan

At what point does one give up or keep trying is a question that frequents everyone’s’ mind especially when it one is confronted with the reality of a status quo that takes life instead of give life. On a scale of freedom versus oppression it differs for everyone and no more so than it does for the Egyptian masses. The sense of fervor, oneness and community that was so strong at the beginning of the revolution began to die once the conditions of the streets returned to normal that is once the masses stopped caring for their immediate environment. This had not dawned on the “revolutionaries” who found themselves with a responsibility, a responsibility they would not like to admit, they handed over to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. They kept on pushing the argument when the masses found themselves faced with unemployment, and rising food prices, that this was the normal state of affairs for any revolution, and to be patient. That patience lasted over 9 months, in fact 10 months of deteriorating living conditions for many, a bid for wealth and self preservation by the upper middle and upper classes, and legal battles with those who had milked the country for what they could get, but got the country nowhere in real terms. Everyone began thinking of themselves, and forgot about the common good, the country, and forgot that SCAF is but an interim arrangement. The demands from left right and center came from all sides, with SCAF feeling obliged to quell the call for increased pay in some quarters i.e. the doctors and the teachers. Faced with contradictory demands SCAF fared badly on the surface of things in terms of managing the economic, national security, and national unity.

As time dragged on, and it became the fashion to go out and protest for anything one wanted, by the time Ramadhan 2011 came, the situation was extremely tense. The interim government of Essam Sharif was blamed, but that interim government never really stood a chance under the presidency of SCAF. Forgetting to consult the people, and the revolutionaries forgetting to play their role in what they had created, misunderstandings were bound to flourish, with many factions religious, political and economic out to take advantage.

It was one week after the U.S. military visited and met with the head of SCAF, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi to discuss future relations, an act that would make to an elected government! Aided and abetted by a proposal by the  Deputy Prime Minister Ali Al-Silmi under SCAF, the proposal that added fuel to the people’s fire was for all political (unelected) parties to approve special constitutional privilege for SCAF, along with a budget (which is the case now) not to be known by parliament, as well as the right to veto and strategic decision – that is the kind of practice that the U.S. government is made of.

In the midst a growing mistrust from the people to SCAF lost sight of the common goal, and beyond complaining never sought to ensure that the changes demanded by the people were prioritized, and discussed at a level that the short term demands could be implemented. They scoffed at the authoritarian stance of SCAF forgetting that it was their duty to assist SCAF in making these implementations. At the same time SCAF never sought to inform the people of developments, some of which would have been difficult because there were national security issues, and between the two an oversight of the hundreds of capable Egyptian people and groups like the National Council for Change, could have offered serious consultation and guidance in the sea of contradictory views. It is said the end of the 30+ years of Mubarak rule has led to an eruption of everyone wanting to be heard, but with that no one was listening to each other, the most apparent being the Coptics, and the Muslim Brotherhood. The proliferation of new political parties vying for self interest rather than the interest of the country as SCAF dragged its feet on issues pertaining to the trials of corrupt officials, the compensation of the families of the martyrs, the legislation on religious buildings (which is an issue not for an interim government but an elected government), instituting a law that would prohibit former government officials from running for elections, and removal of the emergency law. Why SCAF dragged its feet on these issues is none too clear, thus naturally their position as guardians of the revolution was in question.  Added to this mistrust was the growing number of bloggers and those labeled “a national security threat” were being imprisoned, 12,000 in fact, and the subdued crime rate that Egypt is known for was becoming a factor of public life.

Meantime, a growing number of people had grown tired of the idea of the revolution, adding fuel to the counter-revolutionists at home and abroad.

By the time of the Global Day of Action, November 17th 2011, patience was non-existent, and into the 6th day of reclaiming the revolution, there seems to be little to calm that mistrust. With over 36 deaths and 2000+ injured, the once peaceful revolution has been taking a turn to violence since the attack on a Coptic protest. Who some of the protestors are, is in serious question, because their actions threaten to tear the country apart, with one faction pushing to destroy the building of the Ministry of Interior. It is acceptable to burn down the Egyptian Central Bank in response to suspicions or facts that the bank had allowed money belonging to the country out of the country because like most Central Banks with the exception of the Libyan Central Bank under Gadaffi, they are in fact private institutions that link up globally.

However, there is one thing in the favor of those who protested, it has been the only time that SCAF sat up, listened and responded with a follow up action with the exception of the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. Not equipped for government, and faced with many voices could play a role in their ability to respond. One of those voices is that from the political parties which intend to run for the elections. SCAF has pandered to these voices, in terms of the Constitution, and the electoral procedure, but these voices have invested interested and it is the people who should decide, after all, leaders come and go, some good, and some, bad, and if a vision is to be maintained, it has to be through the kind of Constitution that any government is obliged to use as a guide.

It is through sitting in a 5 hour meeting with all political parties, and prospective candidates on 22nd November 2011, that Tantawi and Chief-of-Staff Gen. Sami Anan, that SCAF agreed to:

  • To declare an immediate cease-fire
  • To release thousands of protesters detained since 19th
  • To treat all the injured and provide compensations to the families of the deceased (though how when it is believed that Egypt only has enough money to last 5 months!)
  • To bring to justice all those responsible for the violence.
  • To dismiss the government of Dr. Sharaf
  • To  appoint a national-unity government
  • To hold the elections on time starting week of Monday 28th   2011
  • To guarantee free and fair elections (which given the current national security risks is a huge expectation)
  • To give a final date for the transfer of power to civilian rule with presidential elections by June 30, 2012.

A much needed meeting, that should have taken place with the January 25th revolutionists, and the National Council for Change, hence why the people’s trust has not been redeemed and still demand that SCAF cede power, but is now the time? Infiltration by foreign powers, both Western and Arab threaten to not only undermine the revolutionary process, but the country as a whole, along with the fact that it has the Egyptian struggle has given birth to the Occupy the World Movement, a Movement that both regions do not want to see it in their own backyard!

Egypt strikes in support of the protestors

Who Will Govern Now!

Not faced with national security issues, and foreign manipulation of events, Iceland gave the responsibility of the formulation of the Constitution to its people after facing economic collapse early in the global economic crisis in 2008. Icelanders elected 25 assembly members from 522 ordinary candidates (including lawyers, political science professors, journalists, and many other professions), who in turn opened their process up to the public. They used Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to solicit comments and suggestions for the new government. By Friday July 29th 2011, Iceland’s parliament received the new constitution of 114 articles and 9 chapters. The Constitution was reviewed before ratification on October 1st. Views were discussed publicly, everyone who wanted to play a role could! I already suggested this process before knowing about Iceland’s approach, which would in terms of Egypt where thousands of people do not have access to the Internet, and where there is a literacy problem, could play just as effective role if the much maligned state T.V. acted as the medium instead of social media.  In this way, Egypt’s Constitution can be formed and it would be a process that would help unify the Egyptian people who would be informed of all developments.

The above Constitutional process is not what political partied vying for the elections want, and it has become apparent to many Egyptians that many of those parties are only concerned with being elected, and not the best interest of the country. It took over recent 30 deaths and 2,000 injuries, for SCAF to officially respond to political corruption with new legislation that bans any person implicated in political corruption from holding elected or public office. If found guilty upon investigation these persons would be

Expelled from the People’s Assembly, Shura Council, or local assemblies, where applicable;

  • Banned from voting or participating in any elections in the aforementioned bodies for 5 years from the date of their conviction
  • Banned from holding any senior public office for 5 years from the date of their conviction
  • Banned from joining any political party for 5 years from the date of their conviction
  • Banned from membership on the board of directors of any public agency, institution, or corporation for 5 years from the date of their conviction.

But the above took 10 months and more martyrs. The weekend before elections for the lower house as well as two stages for the upper house, and a proposed referendum to put to the vote whether SCAF should play a governing role in the meantime, Egypt is at a very dangerous time in its history. Many believed and some do still believe that the country is not ready for elections yet. Not only that, there is a huge question mark over SCAF’s ability to safe guard fair elections, given the growing national security problems. The call for a national unity government has come far too late, but may be the only means to bridge the gap between now, and the final presidential election. With a clear mandate, and room to govern free from the strings of SCAF, a national unity government could help lay the foundations at a levels of society, but not without the active involvement of the January 25th Revolution, and the National Council for Change. They can no longer be side lined, or sit/protest and complain, but seek to establish a working mechanism to facilitate the change that all Egyptians need whether they know it or not. That includes listening to the pro-SCAF supporters who came out in numbers in the Cairo governorate of Abbasiya, and in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

However, no one is willing to take up that position as it would mean that they would be disqualified from the elections, in order to safe guard the countries best interest. Also, no one is willing to take on the heavy burden that Essam Sharif was under knowing how judgmental Egyptians can be at this stage of developments. Al Baradei has been approached, and has said that he is willing to take on the role, yet it seems that the Muslim Brotherhood rejection of Al Baradei presents a stalemate, a candidate that was put forward by Tahrir protestors. It does not matter what reason they have, because once again a group that has an invested interest in the upcoming elections should not have a say at this stage. It is the people’s call, and the people’s responsibility, and in the best interest of the country, it needs to be acted upon. What will be the follow-up as Tahrir protestors reject the SCAF candidate former Prime Minister under former President Hosni Mubarak, Kamal el-Ganzouri? Will revolutionist blogger’s proposal MalekX/Malcolm X proposal be considered i.e. a civilian council of would-be presidential contenders Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, Bothayna Kamel, Hazem Salah Abou Ismail, Hamdeen Sabbahi, Mohamed ElBaradei, and, reform-minded judges like Hisham El-Bastawisi and Ahmed Mekky be considered? M.X. has suggested that they should be made responsible for appointing a new government, planning upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections,  restructuring Egypt’s judiciary system, interior ministry and state media institutions. This makes perfect sense, except the affairs of Egypt left over is bigger than SCAF leaving a gap in the running of Egypts domestic, and foreign affairs. The revolutionists should not make the mistake of blaming, and isolating SCAF as they did with the police, which could leave Egypt in a most dangerous situation.

It is time to acknowledge the scale of the state of affairs, and towards a shared responsibility for the benefit of all. What SCAF is able to do should be acknowledged as well as the need for a interim government and a council that can focus on carrying out the functions as described by M.X.

The global call for change starts with the caller, after all is not the problem that the world has been facing is the relinquishing of too much responsibility in the hands of a few! This is the nature of true democracy, a people’s democracy, and the only democracy that reminds the politician that they are servants of the people, and not the other way around!

Related Topics:

Global Day of Action against an Irrational Economic System

U.K: Police Provocateurs Active in Occupy London

Occupying Love in Oakland

Police Attack Occupy Oakland Protestors

Vatican Calls for a New World Economic Order

‘Occupy Wall Street Spreads to Africa!

Egypt: Paper Made from Rice Straw!

How Top Central Banks Can Bankroll European Banks

What Libya was Before the Pseudo People’s Revolution

The Lotus Revolution

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Hope Unleashing in the Universe

The messengers of Creation

Hope Unleashing in the Universe

By Hwaa Irfan

For many of us down here on Earth, we have for far too long seen our world in terms of the limitations of what we do here, except we never saw our actions as limitations. In our Time Tunnel of Forgetfulness, we separated ourselves from the Universe and the Laws that guide it and All Creation, and believed in our own myths.

The biggest myth is that we could create our own lives and take control of it without interference, without needing the “other” without suffering the consequences. Now here we are suffering those consequences, but because our world view became limited and unsustainable, far too many of us have a fatalistic view of what is happening now.

As the tool of the Laws of Nature attempt to eject us from that Time Tunnel of Forgetfulness, for that is what is happening now, some of us are awakening to the reality that we are really not alone, or separate, or without hope, but if we are too busy being consumed by all the fallout from our thoughts and actions, we will not know that, at least not for now, although we must face our miscreations so that we can learn to take greater care, and greater responsibility for our lives and each other’s lives.

When one is ready to open one’s world view to a less conditional one, one becomes aware of the interconnectedness of all things, to observe the influences, and that we are not as independent from our microcosmic world view – the immediate environment – the Earth, and therefore our macrocosmic world view, the greater environment, the Universe.

Many revelations through the expanding field of science in 2011 have revealed such past notions as real and happening right now, like light emits from a vacuum, and the expanding Universe, which all reveals that there is more to life than our limited world view has led us to believe. Whilst down here on Earth the global Shift reveals new vegetation where once there was no vegetation, and dry hot climates shifting towards a more subtropical climate, life on Earth reveals a change in the balance in the nature of things as we have misunderstood it to date. This would allow the parts of our Earth that have been abused for so long to recover from what we have done to it, as will be revealed to us in the case of Japan so heavily polluted now with radiation at every level. Of course this means a Big Sacrifice, as the Earth Shifts in a manner which means for the living, that the places that were once inhospitable may become hospitable, and the places we have known as hospitable, climatically speaking, may become less so, but nothing good comes easy especially when we are not ready to let go, but this only refers to the Armageddon of our respective lives, than the Apocalyptic knee-jerk reaction we have become addicted to simply because we are not willing to let go, and realize that Hope is only a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

Yet, if we exercise our wings, and give those wings strength, we will realize in order to do so, we have to spread our wings, to include all those and that we have rejected including parts of our true selves. As we learn to do so, Hope gains strength and is spreading its wings with or without us in the Universe, so when Hope seems distant in our man-made world just take a look up and outward to its image in Nature.

Nature is not just the trees, and the plants, the birds, and the climatic conditions, it is the part of ourselves we have disconnected from, and the Universe as a whole, for as in the Alef, everything comes from that which created it and us All for in that we are All connected.

Darkness only needs a flicker of Light to no longer be dark, but Light needs an abundance of darkness in order to gather force to remove the Light. So when we look at all the forces of darkness gathering momentum, be aware that it is a knee-jerk reaction to the flicker of Light. That flicker of Light comes from the Universe in various forms, affecting and effecting us here on Earth in ways that may not be apparent until after the event, and then only if we are ready to spread our wings.

The expanding Universe when some of us are still in a state of contraction is a clear example of what is going on. Our limited world view is being pushed beyond its parameters, just as the Universe reveals new planets, and young galaxies via the Hubble Space Telescope.

“The galaxies have been there all along, but up until recently astronomers have been able only to survey tiny patches of sky at the sensitivities necessary to detect them.” – Arjen van der Wel of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany.

Reference:

ESA/Hubble Information Centre (2011, November 10). Hubble uncovers tiny galaxies bursting with starbirth in early Universe.

Related Topics:

Electro-Smog and the Shift of Ages

The House of Three Rooms

The Patterns of Our Lives

Heavenly Signs: Jupiter, and the Moon

Heavenly Signs: Sunspot R1339

Heavenly Signs: What is the Sun Telling Us?

Heavenly Signs: Showered with Gold

Heavenly Signs: We are a Part of the Universe

Heavenly Signs: Infinity in the Stars!?

Heavenly Signs: July New Moon Solar Eclipse 2011

And He Shows Us His Signs!

Geomagnetic Storms in the Dancing Sky

Heavenly Signs: The Soul of Our Sun

The Winds of S’afar

Heavenly Signs: First Solar Eclipse 2011

The Largest Full Moon of 2011!

The Seasons of Our Lives

A Solar Radio Storm Going On…

Heavenly Signs: New Moon Solar Eclipse 2011

Heavenly Signs: Saturn and New Moon

Heavenly Signs: Dance of the Planets

A Meeting of Minds

A Meeting of Minds

 

By Roger Darlington

Martin was returning to work in his London office after spending two weeks with his brother over in New York. He was coming back with a heavy heart. It was not just that it was the end of a wonderful holiday; it was not just that he invariably suffered badly from jet lag; it was that Monday mornings always began with a team meeting and, over the months, he had grown to hate them.

Martin was aware that colleagues approached these meetings with hidden agendas; they indulged in game-playing; and he knew that people were not being honest and open. The meetings themselves were bad enough – but then there was all the moaning afterwards.

“The usual people saying the usual things”. “I could have improved on that idea, but I wasn’t going to say”. “I was thinking of making a suggestion – but I couldn’t be bothered”.

As this morning’s meeting began, Martin braced himself for the usual moroseness and monotony. But, as the meeting progressed, he became aware of a strange background noise. At first, he thought that he was still hearing the engine noise from the aircraft that had brought him back to London – he had had to sit over the wing and the droning was terrible. But, as he concentrated on the noise, it became a little clearer.

He realised – to his amazement – that he could hear what his colleagues were thinking as well as what they were saying. As he concentrated still harder, he found that he could actually hear what they were thinking at the same time as they were speaking. What surprised him, even more than the acquisition of this strange power, was that he discovered that what people were saying was not really what they were thinking. They were not making clear their reservations. They were not supporting views which they thought might be unpopular. They were not contributing their new insights. They were not volunteering their new ideas.

Martin found it impossible not to respond to his new knowledge. So he started to make gentle interventions, based more on what he could hear his colleagues thinking than on what he could hear them saying. “So, John are you really saying ..

“Susan, Do you really think that …” “Tom, Have you got an idea on how we could take this forward?”

He was aware that his colleagues were unsettled by how insightful were these interventions. They looked at him mystified. In truth, he felt rather proud of his newly-acquired talent.

Emboldened now, Martin forgot his usual misery at participating in such meetings and began making comments of his own. However, he became aware that some of his colleagues were looking at him quizzically. One or two even had a gentle smile playing on their lips. Only gradually did it dawn on him – they could hear his thoughts and he was not really saying what he was thinking.

As the meeting progressed, Martin became aware of changes to the tone and style of the event. It was clear to him now that, one by one, each member of the meeting was learning how to hear the thoughts of all the others and this was subtly changing how they inter-acted with one another. The game-playing started to fall away; people started to speak more directly; views became better understood; the atmosphere became more open and trusting.

The meeting ended. As people left the room, Martin found that he could still hear what they were thinking.

“That was the best meeting we’ve ever had.” “All meetings should be like that.” “In future, I’m going to say what I think”.

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