Posts by: Mohamed ElGohary

An Egyptian veteran blogger.Global VoicesLingua manager.

10 activists arrested at Sidi Bishr in Alexandria

via Fustat

BREAKING STORY -- 10 activists from Ghad Youth and the April 6th Youth has been arrested at the Sidi Bishr beach in Alexandria. They were singing songs about Egypt and raised the Egyptian flag on the beach as well as wearing T-shirts with 6th of April on. According to reports, they have been taken to the Alexandria State Security Headquarters, al Farana, the same place where Kareem Amer was taken after the Muharram Beq riots in October 2005.

Tamer Mabrouk arrested

Via Fustat

According to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information(AHNRI), Tamer Mabrouk was arrested on the 17th of July by police in Port Said. Mabrouk is currently involved in a libel lawsuit by the Trust company in Port Said, a company that he has dealt with extensively in his blog, and done some really good investigative citizen journalism on workers rights and environmental impacts and responsibilities of the factory on the water nearby, and how it effects the fish in the lake.

Book Review: Utopia – Ahmed Khaled Tawfik

يوتوبيا يوتوبيا by أحمد خالد توفيق

My review

rating: 1 of 5 stars
Well I think the author is presenting the world as a result of extreme neo-liberalization of World Economy, the duality of poor and rich. And to present the unity of the two parts from the perspective of sex, drugs and violence (though for different reasons).

Not so bad for a pessimistic point of view, but personally I don’t agree with the author.

View all my reviews.

The Bride for the the bride – By Nawara Negm

Nawara Negm wrote this article (in Arabic) in ElWafd newspaper, sent to me via Zeinobia. I like her presentation and translated the thing, here it is…

‎I came across a title in the news about the marriage of Phyllis ‎‎Leon (84 years) and Del Martin (87 years), and for clarification, ‎‎Phyllis is a woman, and Del is a woman too. Recently, in ‎‎California, a law was issued allowing Gay Marriages. The ‎‎moment I saw this I just remembered the President of Columbia ‎‎University while he was directly attacking the Iranian President ‎‎because in Iran they do not respect the gay rights.‎

‎I will consider trying to be more “civilized”. What does the ‎‎President of Columbia think about polygamy? (In case of a male ‎‎marrying several females as in Islam) What happens in the West ‎‎is that polygamy is a crime from a legal (punishment with jail ‎‎and fines) and social point of views. ‎

‎It is just related to different cultures and different definitions ‎‎across different civilizations. In our old (Islamic or Arab) ‎‎history, polygamy was introduced and it wasn’t that offending to ‎‎the public. This social state continued for thousands of years ‎‎with nearly no change. And if went back in time to the other ‎‎side of the ocean, we will find that the Greek and Roman ‎‎civilizations didn’t despise homosexuality. In the contrary, they ‎‎considered the female as a disgusting creature; a creature who ‎‎bleeds, and suffer protrusions which negatively affects the ‎‎beauty of the human body. Females were just created for ‎‎preserving the mankind, and males must beware of them. Real ‎‎love is between a man and a man. It is the noble, pure love, for ‎‎there is no children are begotten and there is no required ‎‎commitment of any kind to force one of the partners to continue ‎‎living with the other. It is just love and love only. You can see ‎‎that in Plato’s book “The Republic”. But in the same time, it ‎‎was prohibited in the civilizations (The Greek and the Roman) ‎‎for the male to marry more than one female. The thing that ‎‎made the Romans call our (Egyptian) Queen Cleopatra by the ‎‎name: Egyptian Whore because she married Caesar while he ‎‎was already married.‎

‎I understand the differences between cultures and I do accept it. ‎‎But this glorification of homosexuality happening nowadays in ‎‎the West to the extent of adding being high emotional, artistic, ‎‎intelligence, and creativity to homosexuals is the normal ‎‎evolution to the Western heritage and civilization (civilization as ‎‎history). What I really don’t understand, why the West (and the ‎‎United States specifically) doesn’t understand that our ‎‎perspective towards homosexuality is just the same as their ‎‎perspective towards polygamy? And that their crimination of ‎‎polygamy and their refusal of legalization of the many affairs of ‎‎men (outside marriage) is just the case as our refusal to legalize ‎‎homosexuality though they are existing in our societies?‎

‎I find it trivial and playful to draw caricatures of Plato or show ‎‎him in a movie while he is putting a gum in his mouth while ‎‎wearing make-up and dancing playfully. But the Westerners, ‎‎though there is no comparison between our Prophet (Peace be ‎‎upon Him) the most Gracious in our hearts, culture and history ‎‎and Plato, made of fun of our Prophet for nothing but marrying ‎‎more than one woman.‎

‎The West considers us (the Arabs) idiots, and I want to clarify ‎‎that we see them as idiots as well. A famous saying among the ‎‎Arabs: Americans are idiots. But this comes back to our ‎‎definition of idiocy. They think that the idiot person is the one ‎‎who does not know how to read and write correctly, is not ‎‎brilliant in Physics and Math, etc. While we consider reading ‎‎and writing, computers, Physics and Math as skills with an ‎‎availability to be learnt easily. But in the other hand, in our ‎‎culture, We understand life and variations in abilities between ‎‎different human beings, their richness, differences, and ‎‎accepting this while searching for the common among them ‎‎without altering them. This is the real wisdom. We do not think ‎‎like Westerners think that who is not with us is against us.‎

Torture is unacceptable – International Day in Support of Torture Victims

Torture affects thousands of people in about 100 countries around the world.

All European Union countries oppose torture and have been fighting together for 15 years to put an end to it and to help victims resume a normal life. That’s why the European Union is financing projects across the world to make torture a thing of the past. These projects are being run by the European Commission within the framework of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.

26 June -- International Day in Support of Torture Victims

Discovered that

Everyone must have the courage of the surgeon when he begin the first cut of the operation. Everything just follows naturally after the cut, while you might think a million times afraid of the first moment. Falling in million traps of uncertainty…

When you think of something, go for it, be it right or wrong, mistake or not, you will realize and have the experience, maybe you can give you valuable experience in a place like this…

People vs Politicians

What do politicians want? What value do they add to people in my country? Is it worth all this media coverage? Being it corrupted official one or the usually not so good independent?

Politicians claim that they word for people, so do Members of Parliament, popular talk shows, News Agencies, or even Bloggers. I’m not essentially a leftist, but I believe in the impossible meaning (at this moment) of Democracy; The Masses ruling the Masses. (This can happen within the hi-tech era, thought not our point now.)

Do people, the Mases, really believe in one or more of those? And if someone achieved a degree of credibility, does this mean that this someone is of a major importance of influence?

All these strikes, sit-ins and protests; the major ones were held solely by normal people, very normal people indeed. Media maybe had some influence by covering “some” of them, and usually in not so good a way. Activists/Bloggers did a great job (as persons versus corporate backed new media) in documenting and covering these incidents which is the major part of this activism plus calling for protests which usually ended up with the 30-some demonstrations held in downtown against at least 10 thousand of the armed Central Security Forces. with some exceptions (Major protests)

The major workers’ (and others’) protests were effective mainly (if not only) for the economic crisis (crimes) in all Egyptians suffer. While all the media catalysts (New Media and Bloggers) were just lucky enough to be in the right place in the right time and trying to do the right thing.

Politicians are trying to do their dirty jobs in numerous ways, either they were suposed in the good side or the their bad side. They either involve in bashing it in a very unethical way, or boasting the so-called heroic acts of their party or their precious personnel. The later are really worse esp if they have they keys to show business to market themselves. Man that reminds me of Bill Clinton’s show business policy.

The economic crisis is increasing at a high pace. More people will move sooner or later. I’m already feeling a volcano building from years, slowly, waiting for a weak point to erupt. Growing exponentially in a dangerous way recently. Real politicians are not those who only write in newspapers and go show off in talk0shows. Real politicians emerge within people, those normal people who suffer everyday to get their bread (life as Egyptians call it)

People around the world who exist in countries supporting the Egyptian authoritarian government, your taxes directly finance the dirty\corrupted business between our governments and is directly used for supporting cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. In addition to state terrorism against normal people ion the international bright name of fighting terrorism. You have part of the ball to play with. You know you can do something.

Give or Leave

This is how I see it. I was always the one who put the fuel. I tend to supply fuel in great quantities and for a very long time with no equivalent refund from the other side. I ended up needing more refund which was not possible for reasons either I don’t know, or I don’t want to know about. No equation can be stable in this situation and pressure increase to break the whole thing up. And it broke.
Though I still long for that beginning…


Day after day, love turns grey
Like the skin of a dying man
Night after night, we pretend it’s all right
But I have grown older
and you have grown colder
and nothing is very much fun any more.
And I can feel
One of my turns coming on.
I feel
Cold as razor blade
Tight as a tourniquet
Dry as a funeral drum,

Adolescence of media in Egypt

Media is an important factor of public opinion formation, being free or otherwise. Egypt was the victim of centralized or controlled media since the 1952 coup (I personally feel that media was fairly developing before this date). Any one can imagine how can controlled media be so destructive to the abilities and talents of any nation. Media, fundamentally, must be free.

Any country controlled by military men hate free media to their bones. I think even in thr western democracies, officialis in in the security field (military or police) hate media to some extent. Maybe because of the being-exposded feeling. In the last two decades Egypt was witnessing an increase in the freedom level in difference media forms, beginning with the satellite channels, then after them the independentnewspaper. I see that the most important terms in the media equation are: money and credibility (credibility here includes the mass influence).

I want to talk about about a very recent example of what I can call adolescnce or idiocy of supposedly free (independent) forms of media. The 6th of April strike. I really don’t know if this is a trend of personification used differently by the normal people (as an easy way of dealing with things), or by the seucirity (to make the government heads happy by oppressing the the personified ones). In the end of the day, the press used all of its power to make the strike personifed in a girl who found herself in the middle of unexpected extraordinary circumstances with no real reason other than being accidently the founder of the controversial strike group without being the real person who suggested the whole thing. This press mass idiocy, next to the equivalent idiot policy for the State Security, was the main reason of detaining Israa Abdel Fattah plus all the fuss that happened, and all the “chaos” the press got in.

The credibility of media is measured by the personal scale within every person receiving the media material, but the media must run after the truth, not after high noise show business. Show business destoys the eopes of freedom in our oppressed countries.

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