Posts by: Mohamed ElGohary
An Egyptian veteran blogger.Global VoicesLingua manager.
This is the 4th Day of “Streets In Cairo” event by the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute
This day was a special day, Danish and Egyptian chefs spent hours in the Town House Factory preparing Egyptian food components while the DJs were preparing themselves for a major performance!
They brought different kinds of food and fruits. Apricot, water melons, okra, green salads, Egyptian beans, mint, even some yogurt. The idea was preparing Egyptian food in the Danish way.
For me this was like presenting a new perspective of things. Showing the same everyday usual from a different angle. We know the food, we know its usual taste, we know its form, but this time, everything is different. Shape, taste, smell, everything is just new.
We had this meal of fool (Egyptian beans), yoghurt.
Was delicious, exactly like enjoying new ideas.
Then the chefs prepared some new way of preparing watermelon:
Watermelons with okra, onions along with green salads.
People were enjoying themselves :)
We saw some geeky children, spending time dancing and working on laptops!
During and after this, Egyptian and Danish DJs started performing.
The Egyptian DJ Shehta began first by playing Sha’bi songs
The people were dancing and enjoying:
Event he Danish chefs joined!
Shehta was playing with the Danish DJ Asmund Boye Kverneland, who said that the Egyptian music fitted perfectly with his own style.
Different Danish DJs continued playing their own styles, it felt very open. Consuming different kinds of ideas and feelings.
This kind of events gives me the feeling that people are the same everywhere in the whole world, but they just see things from different perspectives, different point of views. But all the senses are the same, all the inside are the same. Only perspectives changes. What we need is communicate and discover. I don’t like using the term other, since it emphasizes that we are different, the thing which I don’t believe in since we are the same.
What we need is, discovery, communication and peaceful reaction between different perspectives.
Third part of the “Streets In Cairo” event.
We spent day 3 with the Danish and Egyptian DJs and photographers around Sayeda Zeinab area, in a small neighborhood beside Ibn Tulun Mosque, in Al Khalifa area.
The Egyptian artist Aalam Wassef introduced us to his workshop
He was telling us how was the people in the neighborhood were open-minded and didn’t impose the, what we called, Shakespearean right or wrong. How they just understood what is the real meaning for freedom towards his arts, towards cultural events as long as he didn’t “provoke” the normal people. For example, the example he mentioned, not kissing his girlfriend in public.
The path to Aalam’s workshop
We put our bags in his workshop then we went around the Egyptian traditional (ahwa) cafes around the corner, the people were very welcoming. Everyone is shouting “Welcome” to the Danish. In contrast, had a nice talk with Katrine Ring, one of the Danish DJs, she said that people think they are rude because they are not that warm or welcoming but it is just their nature. She said that in some countries she can spend several days without having a conversation with anybody, but in Cairo, she is talking everyday to 3 or 4 people she never met before.
The crowd then were scattered everyone in a direction, taking photographs and talking with people who know Aalam, then they went back to the hotel, getting ready for the next day’s major event.
In Day 2 we spent most of the day in the Viennoise talking with the Danish photographers and artists. Had a great talk with Charlotte Haslund from Copenhagen. Her main activity is documentaries and art photography in several countries.
We talked about how photography exhibitions can expose details which are not noticed generally, giving feelings should be noticed more by people.
Charlotte Haslund the explorer.
In one of her projects, Natives: the Danes, she tried to reverse the colonial point of view by displaying the Danes as if they are colonized natives.
I was amazed at how reversing stereotypes can do outstanding changes to the viewers mind.
In her visit to Palestine, she was trying to portrait how the world is seeing the Palestinian cause in the form of a documentary and some photos. Many people are talking, but are the rest really listening?
Music is a language that has no boundaries, and art is an international language that anyone can understand. “Streets of Cairo” is a cultural event taking place in, of course, Cairo, for 10 days. The event is basically about social interaction between Danish artists and cooks to communicate with normal Egyptian people and discover the Egyptian life and spirit. It is arranged by DEDI
So yesterday decided to see what is happening, thinking that I would enjoying meeting some bright minds and enjoy the interaction between different cultures. The Danish people were residing in an old building in downtown Cairo called The Viennoise. I entered then I found out they were showing some presentations, the first about how to help drug addicts to facilitate treating them presenting images from drug addicts in Denmark, then the second was about forming images on metals using LASER.
Some children were there which spread a cheerful spirit in the air :)
There was some nice discussion going on, we even talked about Facebook privacy :)
After a while we went to a Shaabi Wedding (Folk Wedding), which was an amazing experience. The people there were thrilled to see the “foreigners” arriving, joining them in celebrations and dancing :)
It has been a while since I last wrote here, but really I can’t take it any longer. For a long time I witnessed and supported (at least virtual support) many human rights cases where people were hit and tortured by the Egyptian Police, till recently, when I faced a strange situation. What will you do when someone who is supposed to be a human rights defender hit a blogger just because he hates him?
What is the difference between this act, and how the Egyptian police attack Egyptian citizens and torture them? What will you do when a human rights defender commit an act which is equal to what exactly condemned by all Human Rights organizations?
So, this Mr. Mohamed Gamal Beshir, also known as @Gemyhood, attacked me for reasons of hate and paranoia. Dragging me after a workshop in the ANHRI about online security, slapped me several times, breaking my glasses along with suffering bleeding from different parts of my body.
And here are his own confessions (in Arabic) on twitter, with links and snapshots in case he deletes them.
I’m not showing off my strength, but there was this pimp who is keeping insulting me. When he arrived Cairo and was slammed he shut up? This is a reason for not dealing online with real men.
And ask the pimp who thinks himself a man what did Global Voices do to you when you were attacked and your glasses were broken? Don’t be suck pimps for your work if you please.
And this is how the story begins.
It all began with some harsh dispute about what is the role of Global Voices, with him claiming that I’m ignorant and I don’t know anything about media, journalism, or what he called editing policy; being him, at that time, the website Editor in Chief of ElDostor Newspapers. So I blocked him online and that’s it. After this incident he began to be violent verbally towards me on his social networks. I ignored him completely, though he continuously cursed me and called me and my mother names, which is extremely insulting. Still, I tried to bypass all this and consider him a lunatic.
After that he began inventing stories that I’m doing what he is actually doing, cursing him and his mother, spreading false news about him, etc etc. I thought that by keeping silent and acting the good guy will end this. But he just used the chance that he saw me at the ANHRI workshop I attended and waited till I went downstairs so no one can see him, and he did what he did. And when I tried to hit back Wael Abbas was there trying to stop the fight, allowing Gemyhood to retreat.
1. I didn’t talk just after the incident till now because of my shock and confusion I suffered. We live in an authoritarian government which will definitely use such an opportunity, if I seek police intervention, as a free gift, to extremely screw up all the human rights field, specially when the mister is known as a Human Rights defender, internationally and locally.
Though, indeed, he himself claims that it is all is just for fun, he does NOT believe in human rights as he stats below in his own tweet:
And who told you I state my opinion or I’m defending a case to protect it or hit for it? I just play man!
2. Mr. Gamal Eid, The ANHRI’s head, thankfully cancelled and stopped any future cooperation with Gemyhood following this incident, and this is really a good step towards cleaning the “hood” for the real people who believe in human rights.
3. I won’t seek legal revenge against him, because as I stated I don’t want any infiltration from this Authoritarian government, the Police State we live, as we suffer enough infiltration. All I need from you, the reader, to do is spread the news. Because in this online world, the only power your build, is your credibility.
4. I want to thank all those who supported me to post this online.
5. Here is an archive for the tweets related to this incident:
It has been a long time here, been busy with my new Arabic blog, some volunteering activities and my graduation procedures (wish me luck with my exams results)
My dear friend Rasha tagged me an interesting tag, a hundred questions about me. Will try to answer it truthfully :)
WHAT WAS YOUR:
1. Last beverage = Mango Juice
2. Last phone call = My best college friend
3. Last text message = Shosho :)
4. Last song you listened to = Mother’s Journey – Yann Tiersen (Instrumental)
5. Last time you cried = Tonight, remembering my late Grandma.
HAVE YOU EVER:
6. Dated someone twice = no
7. Been cheated on = no
9. Lost someone special = A lot.
10. Been depressed = Depression is the norm in this electronic life of ours.
11. Been drunk and threw up = Never drink Never smoke :)
FIRST THREE FAVORITE COLORS:
THIS YEAR HAVE YOU: (2009)
15. Made a new friend = Met new people, being friends is something really picky for me, I’m a bit anti-social but I become really open with friends.
16. Fallen out of love = I’m not familiar with the expression, is the opposite to fall in love?
17. Laughed until you cried = Yea
18. Met someone who changed you = I’m never changed by someone, things changing me are certain actions. Tough ones or others touching my sensitivity and inner feelings/perspective towards something. Can be a scene I witness, a movie, a piece of music, or even a thought.
19. Found out who your true friends were = The opposite, things happening are confusing me, making me get rid of thinking about many people along with their actions and work in life.
20. Found out someone was talking about you = This reminds me of The Cranberries album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”, with changing we :D
23. How many kids do you want to have = I don’t want many kids, I love children but I don’t have the nerves to handle more than three.
24. Do you have any pets = Never did, though I have a special interest in cats. When I was in the dorm some cat used to follow me to my room, I just used to pat her on the head and the back.
25. Do you want to change your name = I don’t know, my name is already my last name among people who know me, though I like to be called by my own name.
27. What time did you wake up today = 5:00 am
28. What were you doing at midnight last night = watching TV with dad.
29. Name something you CANNOT wait for = The moment I stop worrying about the next time I will travel, so long wasted time travelling to and forth, more than 6 years? After 8 years of settlement following another 12 years of travelling to and forth. I think I need a lifetime of working online to get stabilized.
30. Last time you saw your Mother = 24 hours ago, saying goodbye to her to go to Cairo.
31. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life? I don’t want anyone to interfere in my decisions, even the family, for the good or the worse.
32. what are you listening now? Watching Lara – Yann Tiersen.
33. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom = Maybe via IRC, it looks familiar.
34. What’s getting on your nerves right now = People screwing the graduation project by not doing their part of the job.
35. Most visited webpage = Gmail, Greader, Twitter, Facebook
36. Whats your real name = Mohamed Legionary
37. Nickname = A lot, Gohary is the main though.
38. Relationship Status = Not to be disclosed at the moment :)
39. Zodiac sign = Cancer.
40.Male or female? = Isn’t it weird to put it as the 40th question? Male
41. Elementary? = St. Fatima School in Cairo, Egypt, in KSA went to 4 different schools.
42. Middle School = Mansoura Language School
43.High School: Mansoura Language School
44. Hair colour = Black
45. Long or short = Short
46. Height = 170
47. Do you have a crush on someone? = Yes :)
48: What do you like about yourself? = Like to help.
49. Piercings = Not in my book.
50. Tattoos = Scars count?
51. Righty or lefty = Right
52. First surgery = Foreign body extraction.
53. First piercing = Again, not in my book.
54. First best friend = Hossam Fouad.
55. First sport you joined = Swimming.
56. First vacation = Cairo, born in KSA.
58. First pair of trainers = mmm
59. Eating = Cheese Burger.
60. Drinking = Tap water.
61. I’m about to = finish my graduation project book.
62. Listening to = Birthday Preparations – Yann Tiersen
63. Waiting on = The God damned results to get rid of the Academic fart I’m suffering.
YOUR FUTURE :
64. Want kids? : Yea.
65. Get Married: At least for the kids? :P
66. Career?: Something I love keeping me financially surviving, getting me a normal life but still supplying my hunger to tech gadgets.
WHICH IS BETTER :
67. Lips or eyes = Depends :)
68. Hugs or kisses = both when they are warm.
69. Shorter or Taller= Taller is the usual preferable option I guess?
70. Older or Younger = Every person is a personal case.
71. Romantic or spontaneous = Both.
72. Nice stomach or nice arms = Being nice we khalas :D
73. Sensitive or loud = both
74. Hook-up or relationship = Relationship for marriage.
75. Trouble maker or hesitant = TROUBLE MAKER
HAVE YOU EVER :
76. Kissed a stranger = No.
77. Drank hard liquor = No drink, no smoke.
78. Lost glasses/contacts = Broke them, never lost.
81. Had your own heart broken = Had my own heart broken? Getting to someone to break it?
82. Been arrested = No, but I went to the police station at a very young age.
83. Turned someone down = Some people just deserve.
84. Cried when someone died = Yea…
85. Fallen for a friend? = :)
DO YOU BELIEVE IN:
86. Yourself = I guess
87. Miracles = Of course.
88. Love at first sight = Yes
89. Heaven = Yes
90. Santa Claus = Hoo Hoo Hoooo, give me your money sucker!
91. Kiss on the first date= mmmmm, that’s very hard here.
92. Angels = Yes.
94. Had more than 1 girlfriend/boyfriend at a time = No
95. Did you sing today? = Yes.
96. Ever cheated on somebody? = No
97. If you could go back in time, how far would you go = My Thanaweya Amma, changing to IT.
98. If you could pick a day from last year and relive it, what will it be?= Any peaceful day with good connection.
100. Posting this as 100 truths? = I guess…
This blog post is part of Zemanta’s “Blogging For a Cause” campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.
Global Voices Advocacy is really an awesome network for defending bloggers and online activists around the globe against censorship and physical/virtual harassment of all kinds. It also provides all kinds of support, technical and tactical, to bloggers and activists to optimize their performance. Follow it to find out how you can help defending bloggers around the world.
This blog post is part of Zemanta’s "Blogging For a Cause" campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.
Global Voices Advocacy is really an awesome network for defending blogges and online activists around the globe against cencorship and phyiscal/virtual harrasments of all kinds. It also provides all kinds of support, technical and tactical, to bloggers and activists to optimize their performance. Follow it to find out how you can help defending bloggers around the world.
The High Administrative Court, first circuit, is going to hear the appeal presented by AbdelFattah Murad on the Administrative Court Sentence of refusing the lawsuit presented by him to block Human Rights Organisations’ websites. The court will be held at Saturday 4 April.
The HMLC report about the case (in Arabic)
Being free, and alive…
Freedom of a person is so precious, to the extent that in a society like ours, people are so envious of the full meaning of life while expressing your freedom that they try to insult and humiliate your freedom in every time they could. The person with this sense of freedom, with this sense of life, feeling all these crimes directed towards him but trying to to go on and enjoy every instant of life without regret, without being forced to follow a certain tradition, a certain rule, a certain society chain applied against his will, his imagination, his feelings, his passion, his music, his painting, his philosophy, his love for something he likes. That person is just of full of life, longing for a perfect life where everyone is happy and in love with all their surroundings, be it humans or nature around them.
I just hate it when lively act is being opposed by our idiot society, like a loud laugh, a dance or singing in public, love or passion between a couple…
I just imagine it, when two friends, just friends, a boy and a girl, trying to imagine how their life would be after twenty years. And they bet that the moment they first met, would be the best moment in their entire life. I think that a moment of this kind is just so intense, so full of freedom, imagination, platonic love…
Why is this kind of freedom opposed? Why not just let it go if you are not harmed? Why don’t you just enjoy it when you see that some form of freedom can make someone happy, and even make you feel happy, even if for just the mere feeling that you made someone feel nice, feel alive?
Love, passion, happiness, beauty, art, music, dancing, life…are just kinds of freedom that every human must exercise, must enjoy. Be free…