Walk like an Egyptian

A rally in solidarity with revolting Egyptians has been called for this Sunday from 3pm @ the Consulate General of the Arab Republic of Egypt, (Level 6) 50 Market Street, Melbourne. The official tag is ‘Come and support the right of the Egyptian People to choose their government and parliament’. Being Sunday, the Consulate will be closed. Also, seeing as it’s gonna be like 40°C or something, it’s probably a good idea to take supplies if you’re going. Otherwise… President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak’s regime is in some slight trouble ’cause of public protest, but moreover ’cause of who’s gonna take over after he goes he goes he just goes. ‘Mubarak’s Last Breath’ by Adam Shatz (May 2010) provides a neat overview of the historical background, while Robert Fisk (January 28, 2011) reckons ‘Egypt’s day of reckoning’ has arrived.

People talk of revolution but there is no one to replace Mubarak’s men – he never appointed a vice-president – and one Egyptian journalist yesterday told me he had even found some friends who feel sorry for the isolated, lonely President. Mubarak is 82 and even hinted he would stand for president again – to the outrage of millions of Egyptians.

The barren, horrible truth, however, is that save for its brutal police force and its ominously docile army – which, by the way, does not look favourably upon Mubarak’s son Gamal – the government is powerless. This is revolution by Twitter and revolution by Facebook, and technology long ago took away the dismal rules of censorship.

A real crisis of leadership among the ruling elites in Egypt, in other words, and also a revolution facilitated by Facebook, Inc. and Twitter Inc.. Jadaliyya is an interesting sauce of infos too, and one writer sounds a horribly optimistic note:

We were told, time and again, that “revolution” and “the people” were obsolete terms, irrelevant in a post-revolutionary world, especially in the Arab world. This, after all, was a place where the burden of the past weighed so heavily and the cultural DNA somehow preconditioned those who carried it to feel more at home with tyrants and terror. Too many trees were killed theorizing about the region’s inhospitability to democracy. “Reform” was the most one could hope for. Revolution? No way! That was the stuff of outmoded leftists and dreamers left behind as history marched forward. The referent for “revolution” resided in the past (or in the west), but never in the present, or near future. The latter, was eternally deferred. Revolutions were dormant in archives, dictionaries and documentary footage. Revolutions were celebrated and imagined in songs and poems fading from collective memory and oral history.

Even those of us who didn’t buy into this narrative for obvious reasons fell prey to despair and pessimism. It wasn’t just hereditary dictatorships mushrooming left and right, but neocolonialism, military occupations, sectarianism and civil wars. It was even difficult, at times, to be a pessoptimist à la Habibi.

Then there was Tunisia…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in Broken Windows, History, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Walk like an Egyptian

  1. Paul Justo says:

    Iran in ’79 started as a secular democratic revolt against the Shah. They were rocking the casbah big time but look who they ended up with.

    What’s the odds we get a repeat in a few more places?

  2. @ndy says:

    Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei (Arabic: محمد مصطفى البرادعي‎, transliteration: Muḥammad Muṣṭafa al-Barādaʿī, Egyptian Arabic: [mæˈħæmːæd mosˈtˤɑfɑ (ʔe)lbæˈɾædʕi] LOLwut?

  3. inglourious_basterd says:

    Arabic has different dialects. Though the words are written the same the pronunciation is different because in Arabic vowel sounds differ from region to region. So Elbaradei’s name would be pronounced differently depending on whether an Egyptian was saying it or whether, say, a Lebanese was saying it.

    And Arabic speakers from different regions will lay claim to being the “purest” speakers in terms of the way they speak the language.

    السلام عليكم يا صديقي

  4. @ndy says:

    (The LOLwut? refers to the idea that The Egyptian Problem can be solved by way of parachuting ElBaradei into the Presidency.)

  5. @ndy says:

    The great revolts shaking the Arab world in Yemen, Algeria, Tunisia and now Egypt have caught everyone by surprise. They are, without a doubt, one of the most significant events of our time sending clearly out there the message that no place on this world is doomed to be some imperialist-backed-dictator’s playground. Extraordinarily authoritarian regimes like that of Ben Ali were shown completely powerless in the face of a united and determined people on struggle. The people carrying these rebellions are youth, workers, unemployed, the poor, who are right now shaping the face of the region, sending cold shivers to the cliques sitting in Washington and Tel Aviv. Not all the weapons amassed by the Mubarak regime, not all the US military aid have had the power to stop the protest from growing. They are showing the might of the people and the working class when they come together, they are showing the political capacity of ordinary people to build organisms of dual power with a clear libertarian instinct and they are proving the world that we are in an era of revolutionary change. We have had a quick dialogue with our comrade and friend Mazen Kamalmaz in Syria, editor of the Arabic anarchist blog http://www.ahewar.org/m.asp?i=1385 who talks about the importance of this splendid political development.

    ~ The Arab world is on fire: dialogue with a Syrian anarchist

  6. Kim Jong-Un says:

    The Mubaraks can come stay with me in Pyongyang if the Egyptians kick them to tha curb. They can sleep in the pool house like in the Fresh Prince.

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