Thursday, November 5, 2009

mona nincompoop

i was very upset when I googled the above term and found no result. Now, I hope, when I google "mona nincompoop" I will not be disappointed.

love and pokes.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Will everyone just calm down for a sec.... seventy-what??

Im really losing patience with the world's contemptuous attitude towards Libyan president, "the king of african kings", Muammar Gaddafi. He is neither more ruthless nor has he caused more damage to the world and its inhabitants than any other world leader- why does everyone resent him for at least being original? Even his face is entertaining. So he made a ridiculously long speech at the UN, who cares.
We're all happy to think he's some kind of devil when he receives back Abdel Baset al-Megrahi the blood thirsty terrorist, but its all fun and games for Italy to make use of his inhumane policies when they need to send back dozens of migrants on the brink of death. Italy's new deal with Libya wherein the former can send back anyone it doesnt want on its soil to Libya (where they will spend the rest of their days in unthinkable detention centers) is understandable, apparently, while receivig the Lockerbie terrorist to die in his home land after doing jail time is out of this world. If anyone could be described as "a sad commentary that he is granted presence in civilized society" its the assholes who would let 73 people die on a dinghy on the way to italy (including two pregnant women who were raped on the way). Please click here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

لكل مواطن ماك

No, not a bigMac, a macbook. I just bought a macbook at last and it feels fantistilicious...

حملة لكل مواطن ماك
because everyone desires this level of sexiness in their life and technology should be this soothing

When I become Governess/President/ruler queen, I will implement the glorious campaign of "likol mowatin Mac" which kicks "wa2fa masreya" in the ass swiftly and will be a truly sensual climax to its "ilqera2a lilgamee3" predecessor. My nationwide legislative changes would also include guaranteeing optional mid-day showers in all full time jobs (because you can never do anything after six without going ALL the way home to shower which gives salaried labor control on your free hours even AFTER 9-5. That is not right.) Macs and mid-day showers for all citizens, hail the Chieffette!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

on an unrelated note

why am i the last to know that Washington D.C has a hot young mayor?

Change is not the only constant and other useless ponderings

Its funny how things play out. sometimes, most times, its quite tragically- but as consistently it is with deep, almost comic irony.

Yes, this is sort-of about the Obama speech in a convulted sort-of logic. Let me delay my conceptual qualms with dichotomies such as "america can co-exist with islam" (where can i get islamic citizenship by the way?) and let me overlook my dismay with his complicity with the Mubarak regime. For philosophical and other concerns, i'd rather refer you to this very insightful article. But about Palestine, I was still thinking you know, its a good thing what Obama said, about Israel being an occupying power, and about Palestinians suffering untolerable daily humilation. But with equal scrutiny I wondered about why he asks Muslims to not get trapped in the history of colonialism, but lists the atrocities of the holocaust. why he tells Palestinians to abandon violence but doesnt mention the devestating cast lead operation. Then i tell myself, well, he's a politician, and he's getting enough of an ass kicking in America for even just being here, from all sorts of paranoics and crackpots. But I wasnt too forgiving on that point. But the act of Abdulhakim Muhammad brought something home: America is chucked full of lunatics with no degree of sense or reason. Please see here.And unlike the crazy crackpots in Egypt, these ones have voting power.gak! I had just written my response, here to this guy, and had just managed to retrieve my eyeballs from how far back they had rolled to the back of my head after reading the rants of this loser here. Although I'd always thought Obama was an adventurous and brave man, sometimes I forget what he's up against. But then, things never stay in one way. Against this intense rhetorical whopping that Obama was getting, being questioned as to how he would "justify this one", came the most startling statement, that could outshine any retort I could have tried to tell some of these bloggers. A crazy supremacist senile white man, shoots a black security guard at the national holocaust museum. Obama was lecturing us about the wrongs of denying the holocaust, but few are bigger critics than whats his face,James W. von Brunn. Id like to see the haters try to pin that one on the Muslim world. Or scarily run away from the whole thing. I feel really sorry for the family of the deceased guard but I absoultely have to admit that I chirped and clapped my hands when I clicked on the story and realised it was a white american who dun it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Abdulhakeem takes one for the team

Sometimes, every once in a while, or rarely than that, I try to comment on posts like this one. I think its more out of a feeling that I have to say something to protect from being reduced into spontaneous convulsions from sheer irritation.
I dont always know what to say, or where to start, and I have no moral feeling of intellectual responsibility to really make a valid point. but i cant just sit there convulsing, so here's what i said to the Vienna gate-keepers:
its funny when a new school shoot out happens no one calls it yet another "sudden columbine syndrome" or chronic murder disease, rather they try to understand what may have caused this act of anger. its a little too convenient that sporadic acts of seneless violence are only a real threat when a Muslim (and a convert, no less so it cant be a genetic prone-ness to violence) does it..and what, couldnt he be violent just because he's black? or is that political incorrect in this day and age...? On an unrelated note, did you know that the fastest growing rate of conversions in the U.s is African Americans turning to Islam? Better watch out.

My comment was duly ignored, of course. But really, what is that Vienna siege line?what new phase? what old war? im just so confused.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Now we're getting a taste of Hilary Clinton

these are my initial reactions, but im ready to hear yours....

Here's what Hilary has to say to Iran, very much in line with obama's lets-all-get-along and keep the world safe rhetoric...

pre-emptive from what? ?is the very existence of an iranian nuclear program a declaration of war? not everything is about not discounting the political and strategic concerns of iran, but its also true that some people need to be self sufficient in energy sources because they're alienated from the rest of the world..walla eh? is anyone really dumb enough to nuclear bomb israel? i really dont think so. and being next door to israel, i can honestly say i trust a nuclear bomb in the hands of the iranians just as much as in the french, the british or the israelis. north korea im not so sure about, they're just plain crazy. and the japanese might be holding a grudge..who was it that bombed them again? ok, ok that was a low blow.

Mrs Clinton appeared ready to unnerve the Iranian leadership with talk of a pre-emptive strike “the way that we did attack Iraq”. ;
what a bullying B-i-t-c-h

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


On the eve of the obama visit, son sejour, lest you get caught up in the glitz and glamour of it all, even if you eventually choose to be more optimistic about the state of the world than old Fiskilicious here, whose massive intake of whisky per day is bound to make him a little aggressive...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

sectarian flu, achoo achoo achoo (and other nasty things)

While almost all governments have taken some degree of precaution to protect from the "H1N1" influenza, most have limited preventive action to increasing medicinal stockpiles and raising awareness, the Egyptian government stands alone in its decisions to confiscate and kill all of the 300,000 Egyptian pigs. dumb, you say? Well yes, partly, but its much more evil and idiotic than that..

"Sectarian Flu" and Economic and Social Rights

With almost a quarter of a million Egyptians, primarily Christians, involved pig farming, and by extension garbage collection (pig farmers also act as the major garbage collectors in the city, relying on the animals to eat what cant be recycled of the collected refuse) - the move to slaughter hundreds of thousands pigs will in turn leave hundreds of thousands of Egyptians without their source of livelihood and without compensation.

It is difficult to separate the flagrant disregard by the Egyptian parliament who pushed for and passed this decision, to the fates of the affected citizens, from the fact that the overwhelming majority of those citizens are Egyptian Christians. While some see this as a convenient opportunity for the advancement of forced Islamization in Egypt, the fact that Egypt took similar measures when cases of the bird flu were reported, a move which resulted in the extinction of the "farkha fayoumi" breed, also severely damaging the economic prosperity of the many Muslim families who raised them serves as a somewhat disturbing redemption for the Egyptian government.

While it is undeniable that the "precaution" has gained some support from pro-Islamic or simply disinterested parts of society, in effect, those who see the move as production also stand a lot to lose. The fact that all sectors of the Egyptian society are equally vulnerable to such degradation of economic rights is alarming. Girgis Youssef Boulis, the head of pork producer Ramsis Meats, said pork accounts for about 30 percent of the country's total meat production. Although he is a Christian involved in the pork industry, Boulis is far from the image of impoverished families surviving in the slums by driving donkey-carts around the city collecting garbage. Having invested millions of Egyptian pounds in his prestigious farms (in the country- far from the "hygiene" concerns used as justification by the government), Boulis gives a different picture of the effects of killing all the pigs in Egypt.

"If this continues, one of the first things that I will think about is layoffs," he said. "But more than that, there are the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people at stake in this industry, from the farmers, to the producers, to the workers and the drivers who deliver the meat."

"I've invested millions of pounds in equipment, including buildings, fridges, etc. Who will compensate me for these millions in investments?"

The move is already having an impact on the market for other meats, he said. Domestic fish prices have surged about 100 percent as people turn to other lean, protein-rich meats in place of pork.

"If beef prices haven't gone up now, they will in a week," Boulis predicted


Whether Muslim or Christian, rich or poor, this severe whip to the food market comes at a time where the WFP already estimates food will become the most challenging obstacle for all countries, especially developing states, in the coming years.

Whether Muslim or Christian, rich or poor, individuals who have been directly affected by this widely criticized (even ridiculed) action will receive no compensation given instead justifications like that, since the meat will still be sold- there is no need to compensate the farmers (even though purchases have gone down dramatically). There have even been some allegations that farmers have even been charged by the slaughterhouse for the occupancy of their livestock. Meanwhile, other types of farmers, beef and veal, who have been forced to vacate the slaughter houses, will also find themselves in precarious economic situations.

The violence of the decision, and the lack of foresight associated with the move (from massive inflation of food prices to massive mounds of rotting garbage with no pigs to eat them, to massive discontent from diverse segments of the population) is paralleled by a violent and shocking method of implementation. Farmers who resisted the confiscation of their pigs were allegedly beaten and intimidated into compliance. The cruelty suffered by the pigs themselves is also entirely unacceptable. Mass burial sites often included still live piglets, carelessly thrown in with their slaughtered parents to meet the same fate- but slower.

On the issue of "mass graves", to add insult to injury, the government's total ill-preparedness for crises, demonstrated in its failure to effectively contain the bird flu and the resulting related deaths, was not only displayed but even paraded by recent statements: the government's request of municipal authorities to prepare mass graves- for humans this time- in preparation for the fatalities of the epidemic. The fact that before a single case has been reported in Egypt, and no parallel statement has been made about, for example, preparing hospital capacities and medicinal stockpiles in case the flu hits- has further traumatized the Egyptians' faith in the competence and frankly, concern, their government actually has. The Egyptian Minister of Health, Dr. Hatem Al Gabaly who has become a recent superstar, is quoted as saying that when the swine flu hits Egypt the government will "hit a great mess at first, but will eventually get things under control". Meanwhile, Egyptians will remain in disbelief that such a "mess" as is already underway may only be the calm before the storm.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Class Act

I got this instead of my regular Washington Post newsletter. Seriously just lost some respect for the publication...scurrying to get facebook points!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

pocket full of bullets, pockets full of cash

does anyone else think its ****ed that the only country not expected to contribute anything to the reconstruction of gaza is the one that did all the gallavanting destruction to begin with?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

jaded/ You gotch yo mama's style But you're yesterday's child to me

Poof! No wait, he's still there...

Its hard living in Egypt to gather a coherent thought sometimes, because just as you give yourself a moment to complete a ponderance, or pontification, whatever you fancy, you're hit on the head with 12 other things that just make your head spin around.
Sinai for example, is a case in point, the relations between the security authorities and the widely acknowledge drug culture that runs amuck freely right behind each security check point has often caused to me to wonder how anything actually functions here, and what are the dynamics behind it.
But because the aforementioned idiosyncracy i just mentioned would require more of a dissertation and thesis than a blog entry ill limit myself to this little thing i noticed this morning (amongst 20,000 other thingies).
Reading Al Masry Al Youm this morning, I wondered more about the amusements and motivations of the Egyptian reader. Front Page, Top Right, Font Bold, a story about Ahmed Nazif. But did the largest post focus on the content of his speech? the fact that unemployment rate is a festering epidemic eating out the economic stability of Egypt? No, not really, surely it was mentioned of course, but right underneath the headline that starkly spat out "Nazif's Speech to the Shura council occurs during 4 Electricity Power Cuts" and then in smaller fonr "the government isnt worried about inflation and can get past the financial crisis"...
Perhaps it is indeed more fruitful to bemusingly chuckle at Nazif speeching in the dark (I assure you I couldnt hold it in either when i read the caption) than to poke holes in the conviction anyone actually has that the egyptian government (who cant ensure constant power supply for the prime minister) has any real reason to show no concern for our impending economic doom. tee-hee.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

forcibly articulated inevitably conflicted initial responses to the exciting obama era.

There is a notable shift in U.S diplomatic/political discourse with the advent of Obama's presidency, surely, overnight almost, there is a remarkable change of tone, one that is less hostile, more humane, or rather, humanizing. The fact that Obama realizes that arab news/media outlets even exist, i suppose, is noteworthy, as is his messages of "listening rather than dictating" which he described as having been previous U.S methodology. Granted, it is a great achievment to hear that we are finally being conceived as creatures with voices, rather than the condescending paternalism we've all gotten used to the past, oh, decade or so. However, as an egyptian, im getting really tired of being so grateful for the west's tiny little favors such as "listening" or "recognizing" our existence as humans. Sure, Obama is making some great gestures, but they are only as great as their predecossrs were miniscule, and as person with a mind, thinking, assessing, i refuse to be so grateful over something i should by all means take for granted. I guess we should resort to "optimism" about this discourse, but i cant bring myself to diminish my optimism to such grotesquely diminshed standards as small as being consulted in the course of my own destiny and that of my region and people.
(but then again why should we expect more from the U.S than our own leaders ever conceived of giving.back and forth, back and forth.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pee at the end of the line, please.

Today was a peculiar day, much like any other day, such as yesterday.
It started out with tragedy in the office, which I wont get into, seeing as- well- I dont feel like it.
I had to do some errands, mundane. I went to pay the phone bill in a central "Egypt Telecom" office, in the heart of downtown Cairo and that's where I noticed one striking peculiaritiy. Lo and behold, we have developed, sexually segregated lines. What the hell? Thought I. There were actually two windows, one said "women" and one said "men" I wondered if I was going to pay my bill at the end of line or strip down and take a pee on the counter.
When did this become normal protocol, wondered I. and why? I wonder if this was a real decision made by the highest telecommunications authorities or whether it was just one of those loopholes where a mid-level employee sees the opportunity to take an initiative and can identify only one problem: unisex lines. the horror. I really hate it when people take protocol into their own hands, it happens way too often in this country and its always related to boy-girl proximity, pathetically enough. Receptionists in hotels who refuse to check in mixed gender groups even in DIFFERENT rooms. What dicks. . I've seen some spontaneous sexually seperated lines form in the metro when it gets crowded- people just feel more comfortable rubbing up on the same sex in those circumstances, that I can understand. But why are we spurting out signs to prohibit inter-genital queues now? And FYI the place was totally deserted. So when this thing spreads like cancer, in the railway stations and the mogamaa' and the airports, you can say the diva said it first!

Monday, January 12, 2009

غزه تحت النيران

I've seen the image before but I loved the caption.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Qualm

Yes I have been engulfed by the bloodbath in Gaza, I have been invested, I have been following and thinking, assessing, and stopping and cursing.
Yet there is a conflict that never resolves itself (no, not the Israeli-Palestinian one...) and its a convuluted debate that always emerges when Egyptians get together and talk about "Palestine" and how much you do/should/want to care and what your priorities as an Arab/Muslim/Christian/Agnostic/Egyptian should be/are.

Most recently, I was reading the Badeel coverage of Gaza. But it would be deceptive to say that while I was reading, it was Gaza that dominated my thoughts. Of course it was when I read numbers and figures; 100 children dead, over 2000 injured. I think of Gaza.
But when I read of 40 Egyptian religious scholars writing a press release stating that armed resistance is the way to get back Gaza, I think of Egypt, I think of our academic institutions, I think of our scholars. And when I read about the statement made by the "Egyptian people's Committee for Solidarity with the Intifada of the Palestinian People" I think of Egyptian activism, of the Palestinian diaspora in Cairo, of refugees, of legislature, of civil society and of the (in)competence of the opposition. When I read this : I think: thats disgusting and retarded. When I read about Amr Khaled's campaign for blood donation I am contradictor: yay for blood, ew for Amr Khaled.

And when I read about thousands of demonstrations going on all over Egypt, spreading outside of Cairo, to Domyat to Sohag to Alexandria, I am impressed and I think I am wondering if I am filled with hope. But then I read that the Egyptian police dispersed these demonstrations with tear gas and electric batons, they beat the demonstrations apart, i dont think of Gaza. I think what the fuck? and i think did anyone just notice that? And I think it should have its own article, it should be every article in every national newspaper. No, I think, in this convulated debate, Egyptian brutality in repressing demonstrations about Gaza shouldnt be engulfed in a piece about Gaza, and again I am pressed to think: so what about Gaza.....and it keeps. spirals, and spirals away.

Lili's post

About Gaza. Well, generally I am filled with disgust, followed by frustration, and then I disguise it with indifference. Some solidarity, some militant desires, some fire. Some ashes. We're going a little crazy here in the office, but its even more frustrating to see the futility of an entire band of international human rights lobbyists, who were told by partners in Brussels to "forget about pressuring the EU" or the EU itself, whose new presidency (czech just took over EU presidency with 2009) who originally made the statement that what Israel is doing is self defense...

On the other hand, its inspiring (if you overlook that while im watching my colleagues in action ambulances and mosque are getting bombed indiscriminantely)- to see how creative their initiatives are becoming. Again, though, its disullisioning to see how SLOW the process is, if only because, for example, the strikes began (very calculatedly) during xmas and new years holidays. Ugh.

I wrote a few posts about it on my blog, lacking most coherency. Israel Palestine has always been an issue wherein i cant gather enough energy, or repress enough rage to actually go into detangling geo-political or strategic theories or whatever. its usually my cue to start dreaming of dematerializing and travelling as molecules of energy to another universe and a prettier existence. But I'd miss my family and chocolate too much. And then I feel bad about having unlimited access to chocolate, while others havent had access to heating oil in over a year and that while their plight evokes escapist fantasies in me, for them, there is hardly means for escape. And it goes on, you if anything, if you've been there, you should be the one telling ME more balancing insights.

Who's going to make it?

I've always had a particular qualm about spreading pictures of bloodshed. Mostly because in this part of the world, in this particular conflict, the images have been exploited and compromised, repeatedly, mutilating the mutilated twice over.

This picture on the left resonated with me, the man reportedly screaming over his two sons and nephew and wailing "they've killed my family. Im an orphan"...

Again, its deceptive to reproduce his words and pretend that that deepends my understanding of his strife, or makes my sympathy more authentic. I've seen men on their knees for their children, I've seen them held back by their relatives, I've seen it in funerals, I've seen it after accidents, I've seen it underneath my own house, and inside other people's houses. but I havent' seen this. And I couldnt shake the image, I couldnt turn away from a father who is rendered an orphan while his babies lay lifeless on a cold hospital floor. And I can't blink while the number's still rising.

Monday, January 5, 2009

"Shake and Bake"

Israel denies the use of illegal phosphorus shells in Gaza...even though it admits to using it two years ago in Lebanon..then its also very convincing when they say that they use "only weapons allowed for under international law" and clearly, they are very stringent about the non violation of international law.. and war crimes and above all: PROPORTIONALITY, of there's really no reason to doubt their word. Well who am I to complain? The Security Council seems to think that both parties should end military activities and meanwhile, the first week of the new EU presidency by the Czechs (France never looked so good) has already managed to cause conflicting statements and misunderstandings after the EU came out looking like it was condoing the attacks as actions of "self defense". Egypt, on the hand, steadfast in protest about having international observors sharing its gaza borders, probably because then they'll see all the African migrants the border police shoot dead trying to cross over to Israel. Other Arabs took more drastic measures such as cancelling new years parties leaving Nancy Agram with an unexpectedly free evening, and playing Quran instead of back-to-back old episodes of Friends. When the UAE takes away your sitcoms, you know the international community is in shambles.

Evil Exists (call me simplistic)

On Gaza. Al Ahram Weekly and The Independent let the experts do the talking

A disturbing mix: deceptive electioneering in Israel and dispicable inaction from the lack the Egyptian government's need to gather votes.

Mustafa Barghouti cuts down the myths Israel spins in the media to justify its most recent campaign of slaughter:
With these myths understood, let us ponder the real reasons behind these air strikes; what we find may be even more disgusting than the act itself.

Robert Fisk: The rotten state of Egypt is too powerless and corrupt to act

Why do I like HMLC?

this .

Friday, January 2, 2009

Facebook gives you a shorter life.

In re-learning the rules of keeping a blog, trying to preserve a free flowing discursive practise, im trying to tell myself that theres not some things i "should" blog about and others not. whatever's up is up i guess.
My latest inspiration, my latest meditation, my latest acheivement, has been reading a complete book. i wont lie, its been a while since ive conjured up enough energy to relax with a book. its so much easier to remain distracted, facebook helps- and was severely stressful, i was unable to continue an attention span longer than the time it took to click from one profile picture to the next wall post.
Of course, it helps to read a great book; I just finished a book by Tom Robbins, called Jitterbug Perfume.
If the book, as Robbins himself described, is "meditation for the hyperactive" then thats exactly what I needed. As the book will tell you, prolonged breathing cycles, and deep inhalation, will immortalize you. I had just deactivated facebook and since then i swear i think ive even been taking deeper breaths.Well, thats one down. Next element: Water.

Ive also decided to stop being drunk on love.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Arab First Ladies

One of my favourite, and most perceptive, moments, was came in a previous post
wherein I concluded that, (unlike a theory related to the first ladies of the West), the first ladies of the Arab and Muslim world are consistently, conspicuosly, and curiously HOT. After honoring the luciousness of the Egyptian Suzie and Khadija, Jordan's Rania and Syrian Asma, it is with great pleasure and joy that I had to the mix of mozzaz Her Highness, Sheikha Mozza. (I didnt actually notice the pun till I finished typing that sentence). Sheikha Mozza, in the heart stopping white suit, is simply, bangin'- she floats with men around her like she conjured them into existence on a whim.

And just like any other picturesque sight to lay your eyes on, one glimpse is not enough. It wasnt enough for me at least. Going through Sheikha Mozza's pictures makes me proud to succumb to my overwhelming admiration of damn good taste.

Going to Blog

I have yet to decipher my own feelings toward blogging. Evidently, there is animosity, from the fact that I havent posted on this particular blog for two months, and for the other one for a month.
Ive come to realise that blogging often times feels like a great, looming, responsibility as well as a challenge, in fact: I struggle to blog. Im not doing it by force, clearly, i wanted to keep a blog, but the truth is, when I do see/hear/think of sometihng blog-worthy, I often feel a weight in my chest, an obstruction, its the web of emotion that hinders the translation of impulse and ideology into written, fathomable, words. For example, I have never been able to blog about Palestine, even now with the calamities in Gaza. I would be inclined not to write but to cite entire historical texts, reproduce treaties, broadcast their violations and generate their tears. But that just means I still havent found the angle that comforts me.

To become a narrator, that is at ease, and at peace, is the lurking feat.
So. here I am, trying again, to see if it works out better this time.