Revolution, Schmevolution…


Revolution: an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.

There are many optimists who are for some reason I cannot fathom, celebrating the so-called Egyptian revolution anniversary on January 25. Of course, it is a day which should fill us with pride at those who rose up against the Mubarak regime – but it is a massive disservice and an insult to those who have died & suffered in the as yet unfulfilled uprising. This prima facie revolution, has done nothing but change the face of the dictator. The new face(s) have taken the old tactics & we are in a more perilous place than we were before.

We mustn’t forget what those women & men who died died for. Not for a totalitarian Islamic Republic of Egypt alongside this murderous Military Dictatorship, paid for in the blood of those who wanted something else. We mustn’t give up, not only for us, but for them.

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Why is Youssef Boutros Ghali waltzing round London, rubbing our faces in it?


So, last night, Youssef Boutros Ghali was speaking at LSE. This man is a convicted criminal & a fugitive. What the fuck are LSE doing giving this corrupt thief a platform? Did they learn nothing from getting into bed with Gaddafi? SHAME on LSE.

Respect to the brave and outspoken activist, Dina Makram-Obeid who bravely called him out for the criminal that he is, only for him to be whisked away by LSE security, like some kind of VIP, you can watch here http://vimeo.com/34809423 Bravo Dina!

The man is a fugitive from the law & has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for corruption while he was the Minister of Finance in Mubarak’s corrupt regime. He owes the Egyptian people 60 million Egyptian pounds. He was too cowardly to stay & stand trial & was convicted in absentia. Yet, here he is, gallavanting around London, being given legitimacy & freedom to roam, living on the proceeds of crime & being allowed to stay here in London.

Apparantly the Egyptian authorities need to issue a warrant for his arrest, in order for Interpol to be able to do this? Why the fuck has this not happened? Unless, of course, SCAF are in cahoots with him? Why hasn’t the Home Secretary here used her discretion to ban this undesirable corrupt fugitive from justice? As a British and Egyptian woman I am so angry at the collective institutional ambivalence towards this insult to so-called justice.

Shame on all of them for being complicit in this criminal insult to Egyptians everywhere!

Hello again.


It has been many moons since I have blogged. It has been one hell of a year & I am relieved to see the back of it, in spite of the joys it held.

Since I last blogged, I have watched those murderous so called humans in SCAF overtake Mubarak in brutality, corruption of democracy & old-fashioned evil. I have watched the murders, the tear-gassing, the torture victims, the brutality, the lawlessness, the baltagiyeen (state-sponsored thugs), the divisive propoganda, the use of chemical weapons and bullets and sexual violence, the incitement of sectarian violence, the relentless campaigns against those who brought us the revolution by those who should be cherishing & protecting the revolution but instead choose to vote with their feet and their soldiers to try & steal as much power as they can.

I have watched as anti-revolutionary political entrepeneurs in SCAF, the Brotherhood (or so called ‘Freedom & Justice’ party, what a joke) and the Salafis in Al-Noor bastardise our words and their meanings; ‘Dignity’,’Stability’, ‘Freedom’, ‘Justice’, ‘Democracy’. Words which had real meaning to those on the streets and those who gave up their lives, now words with no meaning when it comes from those three institutions, they say those words with their fingers crossed behind their backs. Every time they utter one of those words, what it really means to them is ‘more power to me’, that is all they aspiring to.

Let us also remember the external political entrepeneurs who are so busy meddling & pouring dirty oily bloody money into Egypt right now, all enablers of the outrages that have already happened & the ones to come… SCAF, have at every opportunity blamed ‘foreign interests and funding’ for violence, denounced and attacked human rights NGOs, the 6th April movement and anyone who represents a threat to them for being funded by these shady foreigners. Yet, would they have been able to maintain their violence and monopoly of power over everybody without the weapons &  US ‘aid’ that they rely on themselves? Let’s also remember something that the vast majority of these political players and the ones in the past, like Mubarak, SCAF, Egyptian parliament, Al-Noor party, Islamic Brotherhood and so on, all have in common, in spite of their differences – they have two things – A thirst/greed for power – and penises.

I have watched with special pride and frustration as my sisters of Egypt yet gain rose up & stood fearlessly against oppression again. Those of you who have read my blogposts before will know that I think that without the full involvement of women at every stage, this is a useless and half-baked revolution. In fact, I still call for a feminist revolution of women. As once again, after giving up lives and fighting for the same rights as the men, women have been sidelined. The culture of obedience that should have been smashed once and for all last January is still the status quo for women in Egypt. I am very worried for our future with the proclaimations of those who would rule. I will say it again – I still think that only a feminist uprising and revolution will save us! Like I’ve said before, we need revolutions of the minds as well as the streets. Those Wise Men that have and will rule have shown themselves time and time again to not be up to the job. The nepotism of the Egyptian penis has gone too far. How many times will we let them fail us before we change things for ourselves?

I have hope though.  Samira Ahmed is just one example of a brave woman who triumphed against SCAF & held them up to scrutiny in the Courts of Justice, where they failed. This was after she had been subjected to so-called virginity tests after protesting. (Don’t be fooled by the name, the simple truth of it is they are not virginity tests, but state-sponsored rapes, how else can you describe forced penetration of any type, under duress?). The sight of so many women and men on the streets demanding womens’ rights and freedoms was a beautiful and long overdue one. I hope to see much more of this in 2012.

Of course, there are so many things I have watched and so many people that have filled me with inspiration. The release of Alaa Abd Elfattah was a great moment, let’s hope the other thousands of political prisoners who have suffered the injustice of unfair military trials under an illegitimate military dictatorship follow suit. Maikel Nabil, who was on hunger strike for so long,  suffered so many injustices for standing against military trials, for being a consciencious objecter and for telling the truth – that the army and people were never one hand. He still sticks to his guns principles and refuses to compromise them. How can I not have hope when there are so many inspirational people out there whose principles may help save us? When Aliaa Elmahdy shed her clothes in a big FUCK YOU to her oppression, that gave me hope too & a massive grin too. Good on her, too.

I’ll be back soon, but leave you with this thought:

It’s better to be pissed off than pissed on.

Humanism, Inhumanism and changing my mind about Annihilation.


So, as I said a few days ago, for the first time I was feeling quite nihilistic, which was a first for me. I am very grateful for the relief of not feeling that level of philosophical despondency – a bit like sinking in quicksand. For awhile, I couldn’t see the humanitree for the inhumanitrees. The inhumanity of the world was becoming overwhelming (an indulgence, considering what others are going through now).

Personally, something which I found very pleasing (as I understand, many people did) is that all of these Arab revolutions and uprisings have seemed to be based on humanity. People putting aside their differences, uniting as humans and demanding their dignity & rights. Something more beautiful than I could ever have imagined (although the horror of seeing such violence and inhumanity inflicted on peaceful, righteous protesters is something I will never forget and the joy of seeing the revolution finally unfold was a bittersweet one).

I’ve considered myself a humanist (if I HAVE to have a label) and on a personal level, I initially found that these humanistic, unifying uprisings in the face of corruption, unfairness & oppression a perfect example of why I find humanism so compelling – the idea that all we need in our reason and our humanity & mutual respect in society to be able to live ethically & fairly. I’ve always been saddened to see divisions in society which divide us when we are all, at the end of the day, supposedly equal human beings. To see the unity between the Copts & Muslims was beautiful, everybody can agree. My biggest hope for Egypt (& everywhere else) is that the revolution that was fought for on the streets is continued in our minds. Our biggest hope for real change that makes a real difference is if we respect the differences between ourselves and stop seeing people as part of some strata of society and see each others in the spirit of sister and brotherhood, as individual human beings.

We have to start treating each other as equals and acknowledge and challenge the prejudices that we all have within us. The way we look at people poorer and wealthier, the problem with the way that the underpriveleged and poor in Egypt have been treated, the inequalities between the sexes, homophobia, religious animosity and discrimination of those who may not have a religion or be atheist, even the way we treat animals – all things that have upset me and things we need to confront collectively. It’s not only the regime that needs to change, but we as a society, each and every one of us. We have had enough dehumanisation of people and inhumanism with the corrupt Mubarak regime. Don’t we all owe it to ourselves to change everything for the better, starting with ourselves? We have to ask ourselves – what kind of a world do we want to live in? Perhaps, with this new Arab Renaissance, we can reclaim the humanity, compassion and hospitality that has been denied to us for so long.

Very Apt Quote on Liberty by Benjamin Constant.


‘The danger of modern liberty is that, absorbed in the enjoyment of our private independence, and in the pursuit of our particular interests, we should surrender our right to share in political power too easily.

The holders of authority are only too anxious to encourage us to do so. They are so ready to spare us all sort of troubles, except those of obeying & paying! They will say to us: what in the end, is the aim of your efforts, the motive of your labours, the object of all your hopes? Is it not happiness? Well, leave this happiness to us and we shall give it to you.

No, Sirs, we must not leave it to them. No matter how touching such a tender commitment may be,let us ask the authorites to keep within their limits. Let them confine themselves to being just. We shall assume the responsibility for being happy for ourselves.’

Benjamin Constant 1820

Especially relevant today as Cameron goes to the Middle East to encourage more sales for UK arms companies, like the corrupt BAE. As Gaddafi massacres innocent citizens using weapons that until yesterday afternoon, were still licensed to be sold to Libya, Cameron sees fit to get more weapons to kill more people into the Middle East. Shame on him!

As The Libyans Are Slaughtered, Cameron goes to the Middle East To Sell More Weapons To Kill More People.


Gaddafi is proving himself to be tyranny & inhumanity, par excellence. As the plane loads of African (& unconfirmed reports of Italian & Ukrainian) mercenaries descend on defenceless citizens to slaughter them, with weapons that were until yesterday afternoon, still licensed to be sold to Gaddafi by the UK. YES, until yesterday!

David Cameron, our Prime Minister is in the Middle East on a tour at the moment – most likely defended as ‘helping the region transition into democracy’.  He has taken EIGHT weapons companies with him. The first country he visited on this tour, was my beloved Egypt. Egypt has still not made the transition to a DEMOCRATICALLY elected government. We are living under a military dictatorship, with a junta which has no legitimate right to be making any kind of deals with arms companies, or negotiating with other governments – that is what the elected government will be for, not this unelected bunch of military men.

At a time when so many have already paid the ultimate price for claiming their rights from their governments and when so many governments have already used deadly force on innocents, it is reprehensible that Cameron should be out in the Middle East encouraging and legitimising the inhumane use of weapons by trying to sell them. Shame on him. It remains to be seen whether he will follow in Blair’s footsteps & have the blooded hands of and accomplice to murder.

A swift google of BAE systems will show you the calibre of the companies that want to trade in the Middle East. The  types of deals that this company has become infamous for, including bribery, creating slush funds and aiding corruption & oppression wherever they go. One of Britain’s most shameful companies. Exploiting death & oppression for financial gain, is there anything lower than that?

I will leave you with a small clip of Prince Bandar Al-Saud’s comments on the investigation into the billions of dollars put into slush funds for him and the Saud Royal Family by BAE, rather telling of the typical Middle East ‘leader’s’ attitude to corruption and entitlement.

IF YOU ARE IN LONDON TODAY – PLEASE COME ALONG & SHOW YOUR SOLIDARITY WITH THE LIBYANS AT 10 DOWNING ST FROM 3PM.

Flawed Reflections in the Jewel. (The problem of sexual harrassment in Egypt)


Like many many people, I was clearly horrified by the well-publicised sexual assault on Lara Logan during the celebrations in Tahrir Square, but was I surprised? No. Sexual Assault and sexual harrassment is disgusting and deplorable – carried out by cowardly evil men, whose dehumanising  attitudes to women needs to be examined. Whether or not they were bultageyeen (government thugs) or men ‘celebrating’ by pathetically violating a defenseless woman is not the point. I have been disappointed that people are saying that this was a ‘one off’ or blaming the baltageyeen or accusing people who talk about this giving Egypt a bad name. What good does sweeping a problem under the carpet do? What good is it saying, well other countries have the same problems? Saying ‘but what about them?’ is not an answer. It’s wrong wherever we is.  To say that it gives Egypt a bad name to talk about it is to defend the tyranny of women by these men – it is not the people who are openly and honestly challenging the wrong within our own society causing this bad reputation – it is the scum that think women are nothing more than objects without rights, existing purely for their own sexual gratifaction. The ones who blame the victim are the worst – nobody ‘asks for it’, how shameful. Women, no matter who they are or how they are NEVER deserve or ask for it. This is about the bastards that do this, not about the women they target!

This problem does exist almost universally – Egypt though, is particularly bad. I live in London, it happens sometimes. I lived in Milan, that was horrible, and it is problematic there too. I have been groped in Medina in Saudi Arabia, whilst wearing a nikab outside the Prophet’s Mosque! Nowhere though, NOWHERE, have I seen such rampant harrassment and violation as I have felt in my own country, Egypt. I have always been so traumatised by this, and so ashamed that my beautiful country, with it’s wonderful people could have this huge unacknowledged problem. It is women often, too, that get the blame!! How can that be? I used to wear a hijab, I stopped wearing it 11 years ago. It happened as much then as it does now. I have seen women, young & old, covered, uncovered and even young girls subject to foul behaviour and it is the norm. If I am in Cairo, it’s a promise that it happens everywhere you go. Who can forget a couple of years ago, when gangs of young men rampaged and sexually assaulted women in broad daylight during Eid?

We have to acknowledge that Egypt has a massive problem with sexual harrassment, it is endemic. In whose interest is it if we ignore the problem or do not admit that there is a problem. Do we really want to go down the route of Suzanne Mubarak, who last year claimed “Egyptian men always respect Egyptian women…This gives the impression that the streets in Egypt are not safe. That is not true . . . the media have exaggerated…Maybe one, two or even 10 incidents occurred. Egypt is home to 80 million people. We can’t talk of a phenomenon. Maybe a few scatterbrained youths are behind this crime.”

If this revolution was not about the citizens of Egypt reclaiming our dignity, then please correct me! This was not just about food prices, or the police, or the emergency laws, economic conditions or Mubarak. This revolution has been a perfect illustration of people uniting from all walks of life – women, men, children, conservatives, moderates, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, the poor, the wealthy, urban-dwellers, rural people, farmers, doctors, beggars, doormen, journalists, lawyers, almost any classification of people that you can think of in Egypt – they were out, putting their lives on the line to improve the lot of Egyptians, remove the oppressive regime and to demand Democracy. But what is democracy if it is not the implementation of equality & freedom? How can women have liberty & dignity in Egypt if this is a part of our culture? That is not equality! The attitudes that excuse or deny or victim-blame or foster this issue must stop. We owe it to Egypt and her women. It is not only to the regime that we need to look to challenge unfairness, the inequalities & the discrimination that are such flaws on the jewel that should be Egypt, but to ourselves and each other. We need open dialogue about the problems, or they will only get worse. I love my country, I want the best for my country & this travesty against women in Egypt to be addressed and stopped, and the first thing to do is for their to be open dialogue and for us not to let it happen anymore. The culture of denial and silence has allowed it to reach such endemic proportions. It must be challenged and those who do it, stopped. Don’t the sisters who have fought so bravely in this revolution, and risked their lives too – deserve this dignity & freedom in our new country?