Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rock those non-majority votes like its 2008

Every couple of days the Washington Post newspaper sends me e-mails with top stories. Every time this includes an email about the proceedings and developments of the American presidential elections. There's so much coverage I though they were coming up in a couple of months. I was wrong, the real elections are about a zillion years from now. Or November, same thing.

To give myself credit I did try to follow this thing even when I did realize that I might be dead before we hear who the actual president is. It seemed interesting, the white guy, the white woman (some say white women are the new "white men", politically speaking) and the black guy (who might one day become the new "white woman", politically speaking). Frankly though, this mission has not been successful. Usually I don’t understand the title of the e-mail. I read names, I can connect them to faces sometimes. Perhaps places. But that’s about it.

So, ashamed and embarrassed, I resorted to wikipedia- (the free encyclopedia, im sure you are aware)- to try to understand what this is all about. I now know what the "United States Electoral College" is. And that makes me a better person.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Black Obama

Once again, the American elections have succeeded at baffling and confusing me and proving once again that I simply don’t get it. I do not understand the campaigning, the primaries, the secondaries, the speeches the preliminaries, and I might be making some of these terms up as I go along but they all ring true somehow. The last wave of confusion came when I read this quote "Obama has unwittingly enhanced his image as the African American candidate -- as opposed to being just a remarkable candidate who happens to be black". Wait, is that what we thought he was? A remarkable candidate who just happens to be black? I'm worse off than I thought, I always thought he was the black guy. U.S media flaunts it in our face that Barak Obama is black, repeat it over and over again, and then freak out if he hints at it himself. I just don’t get it.

And am I the only one who doesn’t know what a "superdelegate" is?

Sigh. I guess its back to Wikipedia. The shame


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eissa: Scapegoat once again

The misdemeanor court of the lovely Bulaq district in Cairo passed a sentence against Ibrahim Eissa, prominent opposition journalist and editor in chief the independent Al-Dustor newspaper, of six months imprisonment and 200L.E bail pending a 10 day appeal period. This sentence comes in addition to a previous one year sentence and 10,000 EGP bail which was passed last June.

Ibrahim Eissa has become the regime's favorite scapegoat when it comes to showing the press that even the Egyptian judicial system can be turned against them. In a suffocating demonstration of repression of thought and expression, Eissa is charged with “Propagating false news and rumors causing general security disturbance and harming public interest" and "Intentionally publishing false news that may hurt public safety." The article they are referring to is a story published in Al-Dustor saying that the Egyptian president and his family exploit their "royal" position to make personal gains while leaving the country to deteriorate economically and socially. It also implied that the president is suffering from ailing health. If anything the charge against the editor of Al-Dustor should be "stating the obvious".

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ratify This!

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) which lobbies different governments to enforce the International Criminal Court has targeted Egypt for the month of March. The ICC hounds down war criminals and brings them to justice, apparently. So Egypt, hovering over Sudan with its big menacing square-shaped regional hegemony, could mean some well-needed ICC action in Darfur. Or at least the threat of it. But Egypt has other things on its agenda with Sudan, such as…being the big menacing square-shaped regional hegemon that LIKES war crimes.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Square Shaped Home Land

The more I learn about the arbitrary creation of national borders, the more disappointed I am about the shape that the British colonialists decided to give Egypt. I have one question to the pasty British colonel who drew up the Egyptian borders sitting at his desk in London: Why did you give us a right angle? right there, in the South West border of our great nation, at the intersection of Egypt, Sudan and Libya is a perfect 90 degree corner. Egypt is a country with a bottom left hand corner thanks to you. You can never get any respect with that.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

My First Post

I've often struggled with the idea of creating and maintaining a blog. How do you come up with a vision, a tone, a message, a persona, with which you can consistently present yourself and the world to, well, the world. How do you present a voice to change the world in this ever changing world? And how do I, a young Egyptian woman fit into it the world after all? How can I reconcile writing about corruption in Egypt, about poverty or about injustice with the fact that I write these things on a new laptop sitting on the balcony of an expensive apartment complex in the trendy Cairo suburbs. I've never stood in line for bread but I want to write about the subsidies. I've never really been hassled by a police man but I want to burn down the police stations. I've had an American education yet at times I can barely look at the American flag. I've had an Egyptian education yet at times I can barely listen to the anthem. How can I criticize over consumption as I listen to my i-pod on shuffle?

Then 2008 came and my life shifted and shuffled almost beyond recognition. To me at least. I figured 21 was a good age, for most things. I may never reconcile any of what I just mentioned, or maybe this blog will help me do just that. Maybe they are all irreconcilable, but maybe they're meant to be just that. Speculating about it any more seemed futile. If I do have a place in this ever changing world, then it is precisely an ever changing place. So this blog is to mark my positions, moment by moment as they continue to evolve and regress and shift, probably beyond recognition. But maybe they will seem familiar to someone else. And maybe I will eventually carve a space, even if it is only in virtual reality, in which things don’t really need to be familiar for them to be totally mine.