April 2007 archive


Today is going to be the day that I've been dreading for quite sometime now. Today is the day I walk away from this blog. Done. Finished.

There are many reasons, each would take a post to list, and I just do not have the energy to list them. As anyone who has been reading this blog for the past  month, I think it is apparent that things are not the same with me. There are reasons for that:

One of the chief reasons is the fact that there has been too much heat around me lately. I no longer believe that my anonymity is kept, especially with State Secuirty agents lurking around my street and asking questions about me since that day. I ignore that, the same way I ignored all the clicking noises that my phones started to exhibit all of a sudden, or  the law suit filed by Judge Mourad on my friends, and instead grew bolder and more reckless at a time where everybody else started being more cautious. It took me a while to take note of the fear that has been gripping our little blogsphere and comprehend what it really means. The prospects for improvment, to put it slightly, look pretty grim. I was the model of caution, and believing in my invincipility by managing not to get arrested for the past 2 and a half years, I've grown reckless. Stupid Monkey. Stupid!

And speaking of the state of the egyptian blogsphere, it has been pretty depressing in its own right. One has to wonder at some point the futulity of being a keyboard warrior in a country where nothing seems to matter to its people anymore. At the same time, there has been those amongst us who have loved the fame and the attention, and are now becoming the egyptian blogsphere's equivelant of Paris Hilton: They are famous for being famous, peddling the same stories and not really presenting anything of value to the debate. And then there is the fact that we are entering the "Iconogrphy" phase : We are becoming Icons. Too much Media attention, too many american organizations claiming to champion our causes while they are cashing out in donation from people gullible enough to believe them, too much hype generated by us and others, so many of us tooting our own horns and even crying wolf at times has made Icons of us. We now have young bloggers who come up to many of us "Old Guard" and tell us how they are such great fans of ours, and how we are their role models and heroes and how they are starting to blog because of our "courageous example". And there are those of us who are buying into it, taking in undertsudies to placate our big heads, hooking up with groupies to feed our egos, acting as if we are the warriors for change we are made up to be and forgetting why we started blogging to begin with. It seems that we are entering a state of transformation, and we should either 1) evolve, take the next step whatever it is, 2) stay the way we are and risk becoming carricatures of ourselves or 3) quit. Not knowing what the next step is, and needing time and space to figure it out, I chose the only other option that made sense: I quit!

So here comes my apology to those of you who read me: I am sorry. I really can't continue to do this. You guys have been the best readers anyone could hope for, altough there are some of you who made me come close to shutting down the comments section many many times. I love you all for everything you have done for me, for all of the egyptian blogsphere. When I asked for your help, you gave us more than a helping hand. You cared. You gave a damn about a bunch of egyptians who had a dream to be free and stood by us in our houres of need. For that you are my heroes, and I can not possibly thank you enough.

May the day comes when I rant once again….

Love you all,

The Sandmonkey  

Erdogan's game

A lot of people rejoiced when Edrogan said that he won't run for president, and instead will have one of his men run for it instead, but I wasn't. What He is doing is basically cornering the country in a very well played game: He stays as PM, the President is one of his men, and whatever changes or reforms he wants to do to Turkey will get rubber stamped by the new president, as opposed to the old one who vetoed more than 200 ammendments to the constitution and new laws proposed by Edrogan's party. It seems that this new direction will force the turkish army to confront Edrogan and his men and start another military coup with a very secular transitional government for the next 5 years. But ecen that is unclear, because the military would be gambeling against the people's wishes and it would shake Turkey's world image as a Democracy. The whole thing is entirely messy, and it won't be over anytime soon!

Sarkozy fascinates me

Not really him, but the way he is portrayed. It's, hmm, well, check this out:

Many blacks and Muslims in the troubled neighborhoods ringing French
cities voted for the first time, saying they were motivated by one
desire: to stop law-and-order, tough-on-immigrants Nicolas Sarkozy from
becoming president.

So, he is the law- and -order candidate, and that's suppsoed to be his weakness? The reason why he is disliked? And the people from the troubled french regions, the areas of highest crime rates and the cause of the fear fueling the french people to vote this time, are opposing him for it? 

How exactly do your opponents expect you to lose an election when they are calling you law-and-order guy, and they are the ones causing the most criminal trouble in the country? Wouldn't that be like Bin Laden getting mad at Bush for going after him? I mean, even Bin Laden knows better than to do that. But it gets worse…

Sarkozy's campaign has been haunted by his use of the word "scum" to
describe young delinquents days before widespread riots erupted in 2005
in the bleak suburbs on the outskirts of the country's cities. Some
youths took Sarkozy's comment as a declaration of war.

"If Sarkozy wins, there will certainly be riots here in Clichy and
all over France," said Mohammed Saidi, a first-time voter who was born
in Morocco. The 43-year-old electrician and father of four voted in
Clichy-sous-Bois, where the riots broke out and spread nationwide.

Another first-time voter, 20-year-old Fatma Celik, said that if
Sarkozy wins the runoff May 6, "people are going to go crazy here."

So they shouldn;t vote for Sarkozy, because the people he cracked down on, who broke the law, might break the law again? Aren;t they saying that he better not win or else huge riots and acts of mayhem will take over the country? Isn't that using fear and the threat of violence to ensure getting their goal? Would we be stretching it, if we said that this is similar to terrorism?

Again, I am not a Sarkozy supporter, but god damn, If I was an undecided frenchman, and I see this piece in the newspaper, saying that the gangs do not want Sarkozy to win because he is tough on crime and they will conduct riots if he does get elected, well, I would want to elect this guy. Get some order restored to the streets, no?  And again, this is the image that his detractors and critics are penning of him. Amazing, no?

Remembering an egyptian Hero

In case you didn't know, there was an egyptian Victim amongst the V-Tech shootings: 32 year old Waleen Shaalan, who got killed while trying to stop the crazy fucker gunman and save the life of another student. He is survived by his wife and 1 year old baby.

May God bless you Waleed, for being who youa re and for doing what you did. You are a true egyptian Hero!

Punk Islam Rocks!

I don't know if any of you is familiar with Michael Muhammad Knight 's Book, the Taqwacores , but it is a book I have been reading for a while, and it's really interesting. It envisions an America where Punk Islam exists, where Niqabi girls sing " I wanna fuck you like an animal" and lead friday prayers, and people do the call for prayer using an electric guitar and young muslims envisoning crashing CAIR and ISNA conventions and ruining them for all of the fundies that are running those places. Needless to say the book is funny and amusing as hell, and it is reportedly the inspiration for Amina Wadud to be the first female tolead a coed friday prayer. It was also the reason why – in the form of life imitating art- islamic punk bands came into fruition, also inspired by that book. I heard one of their songs, called "Mohamed was a Punk Rocker". An Inspired effort to say the least (you can hear it as the background music to this video).

My friend Kim- who introduced me to the book- is doing a piece on them for newsweek and he already wrote a post on them on his blog. Check it out here! 

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