My heart is torn between East and West. I live somewhere between the present and the past. I don't know who I am.

Just another human being biding their time on this earth. Passionate about current affairs, history, politics (particularly MENA region), religion, cute animals and food.

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Posts tagged "REVOLUTION"

This photo was taken at today’s protest in London outside 10 Downing Street in support of democracy and justice in Egypt.

Speak up for those who have been silenced.

So Obama has come out urging Morsi through a telephone conversation to respond to issues raised by opposition protesters who are calling for Morsi to leave. The sheer hypocrisy of the Obama administration is outstanding. When hundreds of thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters took to the street in the US to protest the Obama administration’s policies and failings, this was their response:




The White House also released a statement Tuesday saying that Obama told Morsi on Monday that “the United States is committed to the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group.” Hold up Obama. Let’s just take a look at the top 10 recipients of U.S. Economic and Military assistance:


Now let’s take a look at this breakdown of how and where exactly this money is spent:


So 65% of the aid sent to Egypt goes directly to the military - so much for not supporting any group, eh Obama? We’re not even going to take into account the fact that the remaining 35% of aid went straight to the pockets of Mubarak and his cronies, billions of dollars sent by the US to help prop up their puppet dictatorship in Egypt and billions of dollars which was deposited by Mubarak and his cronies in foreign banks and billions of dollars that the governments of these foreign banks refuse to return to the Egyptian people.

The statement went on to say that Obama “encouraged [Morsi] to take steps to show that he is responsive to [protesters’] concerns, and underscored that the current crisis can only be resolved through a political process.”

Yes, you’re absolutely right Obama, a political process called a REFERENDUM. Morsi was democratically and rightfully elected by the Egyptian people and so if he should be removed, then it must be done through a democratic and rightful way. Many voted for Morsi not because they were bribed with ‘sugar and oil’, not because they are “mindless sheep” but because they truly believed that he is the best option for Egypt. 

The US will be the first to claim that it supports democracy, that it stands with the will of the people but what the US won’t tell you is that it supports only those have who the US’s interests in mind, it stands only with the will of those who will uphold the US’s interests in the region. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by their claims. The Obama administration and every administration before it don’t give two hoots about democracy, the only democracy they’ll support is the democracy that supports them.

I want you to just take a look at this picture and reflect on it.


This is Ali Watfa. He’s 33 years old and he has been a prisoner in Assad’s merciless prison cells for the past year.

Ali is disabled, he has a medical condition, yet despite this Assad’s forces showed no sympathy and accused him of being a ‘terrorist’ working against the regime, without any evidence to back their accusations.

Over the past 2 years many of us - living far away from Syria - have somehow reduced the importance of the popular Syrian Revolution, by branding it as a ‘civil war’ where both sides are apparently equal, or a ‘proxy war’ - or even just a ‘humanitarian crisis’ - or whatever other names people have come up with.

I just wanted to remind you all, that what’s happening in Syria is a revolution and remains a revolution. Our people rose up for freedom and dignity against an oppressive regime which denied them both rights.

The first words they chanted were for freedom and dignity. And the first chant to be said was for dignity - الشعب السوري ما بينذل (‘the Syrian people will not be demeaned/humiliated’.) 

They did not rise for bread. They rose for dignity. And often, without realising, we dismiss this. We get too caught up with the developments of the revolution, that we forget the essence of it all. A call for dignity.

This man here, Ali Watfa, he deserves his dignity. He deserves to live as every single human should live, with dignity and universal human rights. Him, his family and friends. His entire nation. 

So I ask of you, please. To forget all the other countries and players involved in  the outer core of this struggle, and just focus on the main stakeholders, their demands and their needs for once. To remember how the revolution started and why. And to respect the Syrian people’s calls for dignity, without attaching any extra strings to them.
This was an e-mail recently sent to me by a dear friend, Razan, a dedicated Syrian activist and a brilliant writer who has been working tirelessly since the very beginning of the revolution to document and report what’s happening on the ground in Syria. You can follow Razan on her twitter and blog.


You always wanted to be a revolutionary,

wanted to show your grandkids pictures

“this is me when I slept in the square” 

Said your dream was to make a difference to the world, 

but you never stood up to make a difference when the cameras were cold

“this is me when I offered the oppressor flowers” 

You shrugged your shoulders and blamed life when injustice didn’t hit your own home,

yet you always liked the slogans shouted from the crowd; 

Long live the people

When you ran down the street with the flag in your hand,

it was the front page you chased not freedom for the land

“this is me when I cried because I was tear gassed”

You were never a revolutionary, just a gimmick. A trend. A faded rhetoric with no substance. Represented a past that didn’t belong to you. Hijacked suffering and wore it like the drug dealer who flaunts the gold of stolen dreams. 

“this is me when I thought I was a revolutionary”

10 plays
فرقة إسكندريلا

Eskenderella is an Egyptian band that was formed in 2001 by a group of passionate musicians from the city of Alexandria. Throughout the first year and a half of their existence, they performed live concerts in different cultural spots in their city. Their music is well-known for its revolutionary focus. At full strength Eskenderella consists of 14 members, several of them second and third generation artists and musicians.

In 2005 they started playing virtually underground venues in Egypt. Listening to their music - let alone composing and performing it - was an act of dissidence. They developed quickly, shifting between revivals of the nation’s classic tunes and ventures into new compositions. They added some original compositions to their musical repertoire, with texts written by leading poets Fouad Hadad and Naguib Shehab el Deen, and young poets Ahmed and Amin Haddad, among others. Relying chiefly on Eastern instruments in its live set-up, Eskenderella also performed famous songs by Sayyed Darwish, Sheikh Imam and Ziad Rahbani.  Using collective vocals, a piano, percussion and the oud in their later performances, the band started collecting a wide and passionate audience.

During the 18-day Tahrir sit-in at the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, Eskenderella were one of the first bands to bring their instruments to the square and their music flourished with the revolution. They travelled the country to perform at public gatherings, protests, sit-ins, factories, universities and big theatrical venues. Earlier in 2012, they performed in Gaza, the biggest concert the city had known in two decades. Even in besieged Gaza everyone knew their songs, demanded favourites, and sang along with them.

The song يحكى أنَ (yohka ana - ‘It is said that’) was composed before the Egyptian revolution of 2011 from the words of a poem by Amin Haddad of the same name. The song centers its focus on the various situations that were taking place in the Arab world at the time, mainly the invasion of Iraq. It also criticises the Arab league on their silence as well as the silence of the Arab world on the atrocities that were taking place. The song originally ended with the words يحكى أن إن إحنا سكتنا - ‘It is said that we remained silent.’

However, after the uprisings that took place in the Arab world, the band performed the song but with a different ending (NB: the following translation is idiomatic not literal) 

بس سكوتنا مكانش سكوت *** و مفيش أمة تعيش و تموت

But our silence did not remain so, and no people simply live and perish

يحكى أن أن إيه *** شعبنا مسك النور بإيديه

It is said that…what is said? That our people grasped the light with their hand

يحكى أن كان ياما كان *** اللي أراده شعبنا كان

It is said that, once upon a time, the will of the people triumphed

يحكى أن جيل ورا جيل *** مصر إتولدت في التحرير

It is said that generation after generation, Egypt was born in Tahrir square (a reference to the Egyptian revolution of 1919)

يحكى أن يا أبناء *** شمس الثورة من الشهداء

It is said that the revolution is illuminated by its martyrs

يحكى أن يا حرية *** ثورتنا ثورة عربية

It is said. oh freedom, that our revolutions are Arab revolutions

فجر و صبح و ضهر و عصر *** تونس ليبيا سوريا مصر

From dawn, sunrise, afternoon and sunset, Tunisia, Libya, Syria and Egypt

يحكى أن ستعقد قمة *** فيها العدل و فيها الهمة

It is said that a summit will be held, and it will be characterised by justice and enthusiasm (reference to the Arab League)

يحكى أن فجرنا طالع *** و الورد بيطرح في الشارع

It is said that a new dawn is rising, and that roses (i.e. good/pleasant things) are starting to grow on the streets

يحكى أن النور قدامنا

It is said that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The interactive nature of the song is what I love most about it. The fact that Eskenderella is so in touch with the people and the music of ordinary folk is what sets them apart from other bands on the scene and this is exactly what makes their songs so enjoyable and inspirational.

This heartbreaking Christmas card was written by a 6-year-old daughter for her father, Zaidoun al-Zoabi, a Syrian activist who is spending this Christmas behind bars in Assad’s torture chambers:

Dear Papa, I miss you so much, tomorrow it’s Christmas, but we’ll not celebrate. I want a Christmas tree, daddy, where are you now? Mama told us that you are travelling from one place to another, I will tell you three important things:

1) I am the second [best] in my class now

2) Julia did miss you 

3) Tayma is better than Julia but she will be better

p.s. we miss you so much and Merry Christmas

On December 15, 2012, Professor Zaidoun al-Zoabi and his brother, Souhaib al-Zoabi were arrested by the Syrian police in the center of the the capital of Damascus. Dr. Zoabi is a respected Dean at the European College in Damascus, and Sohaib is a medical student at the University of Damascus. Dr. Zoabi was a recogniSed voice in the media, frequently calling into Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN to provide updates on the dire situation on the ground in Syria. Dr. Zoabi always insisted that CNN use his real name rather than a pseudonym. “When I chant ‘I want freedom’ I can hear my voice for the first time in my life. How can I give up this? Even if it costs me my life,” Dr. Zaidoun Al-Zoabi told Anderson Cooper on CNN in November 2011.

Dr. Zaidoun Zoabi and Souhaib Al-Zoabi are being held in the notorious “Building #215” in Damascus, a facility that is well known for its torture and abuse of detainees. There are serious concerns for the life and safety of Dr. Zaidoun Al-Zoabi and Sohaib Al-Zoabi in detention.

Zaidoun told Anderson Cooper that “Nobody cares about us [the Syrian people.]” Zaidoun and many other detainess like him are spending this Christmas behind bars in Syria. They have all risked their lives to speak the truth but they feel no one cares about Syria. Let Zaidoun, his family and Syria know that WE DO CARE. Demand his release by signing and sharing this petition. Let the Syrian people, especially the children, know they are not forgotten. We are praying for their safety.

With a new Syria emerging, Zaidoun’s voice needs to be heard! Please don’t let it be silenced. Please take a moment to sign this important document and help save them.

Sources: [Facebook page in support of Zaidoun (AR)] [SEO] [@tweets4peace] [AVAAZ] [Facebook page in support of Zaidoun (ENG)

Grafitti in Mohamed Mahmoud Street, Cairo, Egypt that reads:

Beware when fighting monsters, lest you become one of them

Photo: 3arabawy

Graffiti by Keizer in Zamalek island, Cairo, Egypt.

Photo: 3arabawy

Graffiti by Keizer in Cairo, Egypt. It was made as a result of brutal security forces being presented as “Snow Whites” in the Egyptian media after their attack on protesters earlier this year in May, 2012.

Graffiti by Keizer in Cairo, Egypt that reads:

"If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem"

Graffiti by Keizer in Cairo, Egypt. Among the images stenciled by Keizer in public spaces in Egypt are images of ants. The artist writes on his website that ”The ant symbolizes the forgotten ones, the silenced, the nameless, those marginalized by capitalism. They are the working class, the common people, the colony that struggles and sacrifices blindly for the queen ant and her monarchy. Ants are devoted, dedicated workers. They cooperate, organize, delegate and put themselves first in the line of danger and duty. Under appreciated and ruled, they receive and expect no reward for their efforts, toil and struggle…”

أحلامنا لا تعرف حدود… مكمّلين

Graffiti in Egypt that reads “Our dreams know no boundaries” ―Che Guevara 

‎2+2 = 5 - a short film. 

Nominated - Best Short Film, Bafta Film Awards, 2012 

'In a drab, anonymous grey school governed by a strict authoritarian regime, an apparently unremarkable day is turned on its head following a seemingly ridiculous announcement.

Disbelieving at first, the all male, identically uniformed pupils are informed that what they had always been taught as fact is no longer true. When the incredulous students speak out, what initially seems laughably absurd becomes desperately real as they are forced to question how far they will go to stand up for their beliefs.

Two & Two is an allegory for the absurdness of dictatorship and tyranny - and the resilience of the human spirit.’

  • Crew

Director: Babak Anvari

Producer: Babak Anvari & Kit Fraser

Writer: Babak Anvari & Gavin Cullen

Director Of Photography: Kit Fraser

Production Designer: Andrew Paul Littlefair

Editor: Anthony Bairstow

Sound Designer: Rebecca Parnell

Music: The Last Post

  • Cast

Teacher: Bijan Daneshmand

Student 1: Ravi Karimi

Student 2: Pouyan Lotfi

Translated into Arabic by: Operation Egypt


Picture of the Day: Cairo, Egypt. A woman captures video footage of protests in Tahrir Square on Monday using her tablet computer.

Read: A very interesting piece by Amro Ali in Jadaliyya titled “Saeeds of Revolution: De-Mythologizing Khaled Saeed,” which urges a clear and accurate representation of the young martyr who has such powerful symbolism within Egypt’s revolutionary politics.

Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty. Via.

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(via thepoliticalnotebook)


الوداع الاخير

'The final farewell', Syria.