We have come to see the Day…

 (Picture by Nasser Nouri, via Hamalawy )

Ammar, when he saw this picture, had one comment to make : Hopefully one day we will have this too in Syria.

Yeah, I hope so too Ammar.

The Mhalla riots are going into their second strong day. 50,000 people are rioting. The police is shooting tear gas, rubber bullets, you name it, and IT'S NOT WORKING. The demonstrators were originally only like 2000-3000, but the government crackdown forced the people on the street. And until today, it's a War Zone.

 

Here is a picture of one of the feared State Security trucks, commandeered and smashed by the people.

For impeccable coverage of the riots, check Hossam's blog.

Update: Another picture that makes my hearts swell, by James Buck.

 

Sea of people. Makes my skin tingle! 

My friend R. from the US just sent me a message : "I'm proud of the people of ma7alla but so scared about what's coming to them. actually terrified"

We shall see R. , I am keeping my fingers crossed!

All I know is this though, for the first time in over 50 years, yesterday AlMahalla was a free city!

Update: This is response to some people in the comments section, you can ignore this if you want to:

Okay, both of you are acting like idiots. First of all, Mahalla is not a MB stronghold, no more than any other city is. The MB's power is greatly exaggerated and hyped, and they are too chicken to be behind this revolt. If anything they are distancing themselves from it and criticizing the actions of the Mahalla people. So no, that's not what's going on. What's happening is that the people there are ignored and fed up, and refsue to shut up while their family members and friends get arrested. They have a semblance of diginity that has somehow eluded the rest of the population. So, yes, we should encourage this.

Secondly, if you are following what's happening there as much as I am, here is something you might not know: The people are not the ones burning stores and cars; the police is. It's being done to be used as pretext to arresting people, The people are setting tires on fire and throwing rocks at the police who are unlawfully arresting their friends, shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at them and have killed so far 4 people, the last of which is a 15 year old boy, who got shot in the head. The people are finally pushing back against a regime you both know is autocratic and tyrannical, and yet you only take issues with them refusing to eat shit. That, on its own, says volumes about you.

Thirdly, and most importantly, allow yourselves to enjoy those brief moments of joy before the get crushed, as they're going to.  If this spreads, then the regime will spare no expense to squash it, especially with the visible absence of the western media and their coverage. Without international cover, this won;t survive, and the government will fuckin air bomb the demonstrators if they truly became a threat to the regime. The point isn't the overthrow of the government, not yet. It's a warning shot, letting them know that they can't get away with this shit much longer, that the corruption must stop, that political liberties must be respected and that the mismanagement of the economy can not continue. That the people won't just bend over and take it anymore. That they better change or this might breed the revolution you so rightly fear. But that won;t happen today, or next week, so please, quit your whining, worrying and bitching about the protesters, and start fearing for their lives. Those people have almost nothing and are risking what little they have for a chance for a better life. Nobody asked you to act like them, nobody asked you to support them, but at least try to respect them. They earned that much!

0 comment on We have come to see the Day…

  1. Bitman
    April 8, 2008 at 5:12 am

    WOW! And nothing in our media here in the states?? Not one US media in the top 10 hit on google news searching on egypt :(

    Reply
  2. Seraph
    April 8, 2008 at 5:33 am

    Same here in Germany. No station or website is reporting ANYTHING about this.

    Reply
  3. Disenchanted Egyptian
    April 8, 2008 at 6:36 am

    You will not be happy until the freaken islamic miltants take over and cover your mother. Thanks freak

    Reply
  4. Disenchanted Egyptian
    April 8, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Yes Mubarak is a despot, but we cannot have a democracy in a country that has 70% illeteracy rate, a country that revolves around religious fairy tales. Those Americans who cheer you I have one question for you: What would America look like if the likes of Jerry Falwel take over? Will it be an uglier place than it already is? Do not cheer this idiot because he wants us to become another freaken Afghanistan or Iraq or Palestine. You have to live in Egypt and see how dominating freaken religion is here. It will be a scary scene you idiots and we won’t allow it. Mahallah is an exception since it is a strong hold for freaken Muslim brotherhood

    Reply
  5. GZ Expat
    April 8, 2008 at 7:01 am

    Jerry Fallwell is dead…it would be a pretty strange place with a dead guy in charge…and Bush is about as Jerry Fallwell-ish as politicians come, and he hasn’t turned the country into one big parish center.

    Reply
  6. Joey
    April 8, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Free city? Ahh.. you are so naive..
    You call setting banks, schools and police stations on fire, free?
    WTF is wrong with people? Why they are so stupid on both sides?
    There’s no hope for this country.. :(

    @Disenchanted Egyptian: I totally agree with you.

    Reply
  7. Disenchanted Egyptian
    April 8, 2008 at 7:35 am

    I know that Falwell is dead. I am glad you got my point though but Bush is still a secular leader despite his religious zeal. Listen, in Egypt, only one force rule. If it is not Mubarak it will be the extremists. Remember Hamas? Remember Mullahs in iran and Afghanistan? This is it

    Reply
  8. Adam B.
    April 8, 2008 at 9:31 am

    About the commetns from SM up front:

    I’m not sure I see this in such a simple way…

    Riots like these are a little too similar to throngs of people in the streets of Karachi, Islamabad, Damaskus or even London, protesting what have you because it doesn’t suit their viewpoint. If this is the alternative to the current regime, I’m not sure it’s worthwhile… Of course it’s dificult to put yourself in the same situation, when you live in a country where the only people rioting are spoiled kids, who aren’t getting everything that they demand. Maybe having grown up under oppresion does this to you, but I would be much happier seeing people protesting in peace, not throwing stones or setting trucks on fire. This kind of reaction will just be used as an excuse for the government to crack down hard on the protesters.

    I don’t exactly know how elections work in Egypt, but if, say, 90 % of the population doesn’t like the current government, how come its still in control? Fixed elections? If so, why not protest when the result is announced?

    Reply
  9. anonymous
    April 8, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Adam B…u live in a bubble. They didn’t count all of the votes in the Bush/Gore election and the American people bent over and accepted a court decision..and this is the most powerful nation on earth right now…

    So how do u expect these poor Egyptian people who are 2 busy trying 2 make ends meet to run out and protest peacefully. Have u ever been 2 the Middle East..there is no such thing as peaceful protests simply because the authoritarian governments there don’t allow that kind of protest. They will provoke the crowd so that a peaceful protest will turn into a violent one. It’s all about keeping the chokehold on the vast majority of the population. Keep them living in fear. Fear means control. It’s how Saddam run his country and how the rest run their current regimes.

    There has to be a better alternative to current corrupt regime that has robbed the country’s population of it’s wealth. And no that alternative isn’t the MB or any other religious organization. Trust me, while religious, the bulk of Egyptians do not want to live in a country run by Imams or religious zealots. Egyptians, by and large, are peaceful which is why they have sat quietly for so long and accepted a corrupt dishonest government that squashes any sort of political opposition.They don’t protest fixed elections because they are too busy trying to make ends meet and protests there are met with force and violence and those anti-riot troops. But right now, they have reached a point where prices have escalated and making ends meet has become near impossible. When you have little to nothing to lose, protest becomes a viable option.

    SM is right. They won’t let this get out of hand. They will bring in the army and they will ensure this gets little to no media coverage if possible. This will be squashed because, as the most populous arab nation in the Middle East, they want to ensure that the status quo remains the same. The Egyptian government would be left to its devices by its people if inflation hadn’t skyrocketed out of control and if unemployment wasn’t a huge population.

    Reply
  10. anonymous
    April 8, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Also, peaceful protests are not tolerated much in the West anymore…take a look at the G8 summits. They don’t let protesters get anywhere near the summit anymore. Peaceful protests in the West also don’t accomplish much of anything. In the end, the governments send troops where they want 2 and run the country pretty much the way they want.

    Reply
  11. brooklynjon
    April 8, 2008 at 11:36 am

    anonymous,

    The New York Times, no lover of Bush, DID count all the votes in 2000, and ultimately concluded that Bush would have won even if they had been allowed to recount Florida like the florida Supreme Court wanted. So the USSC decision, which I agree was a travesty of justice, ultimately didn’t matter. I carried the same banner as you about the 2000 election, but then I realized that the USSC decision was immaterial, so I put the banner down. You should too.

    Reply
  12. brooklynjon
    April 8, 2008 at 11:38 am

    And yes, the US media have been strangely silent about what’s going on in Egypt.

    Reply
  13. Dave
    April 8, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Well, I’m glad in a way to see these riots. They don’t look like MB riots to me, as there are no signs raging about Allah and written in English… these look like what they are, just an uprising by a fed up people..

    And I can’t help wondering if Bush’s Iraq misadventures somehow have given other oppressed people in that region the feeling that things can change if they want it badly enough..

    there were no such riots under Saddam, and none in Egypt before Saddam assumed room temperature… Khadafi gave up his nuclear weapons.. the Taliban is in caves now… Islamism, as a political force, is actually much subdued compared to what it could be at this time in history…

    But we also must remember that Saddam was essentially a secular Stalinist dictator and only got religion when he thought it might help him control his people.. and Mubarak is also a Nasser-type pseudo-democrat dictator… Stalin and Hitler set the mold for these guys, not bin Laden or even Qutb… so maybe their time has come. Maybe history is ready to toss these dictators in the dumpster.

    I only hope the MB isn’t the beneficiary… but the people want freedom and dignity, so this should be interesting.

    Reply
  14. Eric
    April 8, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Keep your head down. Not even the great Sandmonkey can outrun a bullet, and it’s at times like these that old grudges get settled.

    Reply
  15. Disenchanted Egyptian
    April 8, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Dave,
    You wont see signs that had “Allah” on them. You will see small books called Korans in people’s hand.
    Bush’s misadventure may have helped some to express their rage, but rage in the Middle East is so ugly. Just ask the Danish and the Dutch about this rage and they will tell you.
    Sandy
    I feel that you are a closet Ekhwany despite your liberal rhetoric.

    Reply
  16. Ooops
    April 8, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    I´d a dream…

    Mubarak out…

    The so called “peace” treaty denounced ASAP…

    A revolution… in the most populous arab state…

    Great.

    Reply
  17. Leaflesseve
    April 8, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    This is great! and i’m glad to hear that the MB is not behind this, cause that’s the first thing i was scared of.

    Could it be that FINALLY the voices of FREE Egyptians are emerging? Against the govt. and are not religious fanatics!

    The least thing that we can do is try to get more coverage about this, so these guys can get the respect they deserve. So SPREAD the word people!

    Reply
  18. L.
    April 8, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    its true coverage on the media is dismal…my main weapon right now is FACEBOOK yay! so yeah, i agree with sandmonkey, help spread the word!

    Reply
  19. Bob
    April 8, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Nothing really serious is happening there that´s why nobody talks about it.

    Reply
  20. Morgan Farmer
    April 8, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Since when does the US media cover anything about human rights? Just look at the goverment, we are up to our ears with repressive regimes as we pick and choose WHICH repressive regimes can further any US ambition.

    Reply
  21. Jack
    April 8, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Wait untill you have a government run by the Mullahs and Sharia law.

    You haven’t even begun to see tyrannical and autocratic; but you could look to Iran for a taste.

    Reply
  22. Ooops
    April 8, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    but you could look to Iran for a taste.
    ***********************************

    At least, they vote in Iran. Sorry, I forgot : we applaud them as long as they vote for “reformists” like Khatami… Palestine : the same.

    In KSA, Koweit… big friends of Bush I don´t know…

    Reply
  23. Mac
    April 8, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Disenchanted Egyptian,

    Bush is a religious man; he follows the teachings of his Christian faith. That said, while I’m sure he personally would think it great if someone joined his church, he has absolutely no interest in forcing, or even cajoling, someone into doing so. Like most Americans, he lets his religion (or lack thereof) show in his actions.

    Criticize Bush if you will. I certainly have disagreed with him on a number of issues during his time in office. However, I respect him as a good husband, loving father, and personally decent man. He has, despite TREMENDOUS provocation, refused to stoop to the vicious vitriol of his political enemies.

    I think when twenty years have passed, history will look back and say he was a pretty good President of the U.S. What is absolutely certain even now, however, is that he restored personal decency to the office. There were the usual political fights that cannot be avoided, but there weren’t any rapes, or bribes, or salacious affairs with young interns, or secrets sold to our foreign enemies. As an Egyptian with Farouk not too far back in your past, maybe that won’t mean much to you. But as an American who deeply despised Bush’s predecessor for his criminality, immorality and greed, I’ve been glad to have him in the office. Even if I didn’t like his politics, I respected his innate decency and, after Clinton, I now appreciate such finding such characteristics in high places far more than I once did.

    Incidentally, it’s that same media that bitterly hates Bush and takes every opportunity to turn his slightest miscue into a cause celebre that is completely ignoring the civil disorder in your country. And don’t think they’re not doing it deliberately, either. Tell those folks in Mahalla that if they start burning American or Israeli flags and cursing Bush they’ll be front-page, above-the-fold news in the New York Times tomorrow morning.

    Reply
  24. tedders
    April 8, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Just what you said Mac, well said.

    Reply
  25. Hani
    April 8, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    So’what? Who cares if they starve? The world has more problems than subsidising bread for people who should have never left their villages. You can thank AbdAlnaser for this and all of Egypt’s wooms.

    Reply
  26. amal
    April 8, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    pppsssst! nothing. we did even more in Beirut after the July war and nothing happened. if the big ones don’t want a change… then no change.
    but its good for the frustration to come out from time to time.
    good luck

    Reply
  27. Memz
    April 8, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    It seems the more I follow whats happening in Egypt the more that I realize how delusional both the government and the people are of Egypt are.

    1- The people think that a change in government will fix everything. Roses will grow, prices will be cheaper and our manners will improve. But actually what will happen is the opposite; freedom will decrease, prices will increase, more jobs will be lost and more people disenfranchised. The biggest loser will be them car driving; private university going Egyptians. Ironically these Egyptians are getting the best worst education and probably their skills are needed. But hey Viva le revolution. Who cares that we are getting fucked; well definitely not us.

    2- As for the government; they are delusional and self defeatist. They treat the people as if they are kids. No communication, no dialogue just a spank here and there. They feel between a rock and a hard place; and not that thats an excuse, but they have very limited manuvering place.

    I never would have thought I would say this, but I do think we are finally going in the right direction. The sad part is that its going to take a generation to see the impact and no one has the patience. And therefor it is all downhill from here!

    The worst case scenario with the so called “peoples” demands is the MB in power. The other scenario is our version of Hugo Chavez.

    But a liberal pluralistic democracy; embracing free markets? Not in the tarot cards. Very sad.

    Reply
  28. Xylo
    April 8, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Anonymous;

    Bush won because he had more votes. All the votes were counted in Florida by machine. Gore demanded a recount, as was his right, and a machine recount was performed throughout the state. Bush still came out the winner. Instead of being graceful losers, the Democrats demanded a manual count, which ended with the Supreme Court decision. Much later, the New York Times, a newspaper which is not exactly a friend of Republicans or their causes, sponsored an unoffical recount along with other interested parties. Bush still won.

    Rather than cry over imaginary conspiracies, ask yourself why Gore wasn’t the shoo-in he should have been.

    G8 protestors are kept away from summit meetings because of their tendency to damage property and vandalize businesses. Until they behave themselves, they will be held at a safe distance. Their right to protest ends where the integrity of my property begins.

    Reply
  29. Toady
    April 8, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Morgan Farmer;

    Since when does the US media cover anything about human rights?

    All the time. Maybe you’re just watching too much American Idol and none of the Tibet situation.

    Reply
  30. Dave
    April 8, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Disenchanted Egyptian–

    I have looked at every picture I can find of these riots and see NOTHING in anyone’s hand. No Korans. No signs. Nothing.

    I stand my my original comment, that this looks less like a typical Islamist riot than a simple stand on behalf of freedom and dignity by an oppressed people.

    Show me pictures of these protests in Egypt with protesters holding Korans. I see nothing like this.

    Reply
  31. an old fan
    April 8, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    really man imagine if a revolution happens now who will take charge other than the MB as they are the most organized and best funded and hell at least with corruption you can manage to live but what about muslim rule we will get fucked so yeah i dont believe we are ready for a power change at least not yet

    Reply
  32. Tomish
    April 8, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Great post, SM.

    I’m confused by some of the comments — I always see comments on your blog saying things like “when will the Egyptians get up off their bums and fight for their rights” and now that it looks like some Egyptians in Mahalla have been pushed so far that they are indeed pushing back, a bunch of the comments say “why can’t they be happy with the government they have, they’d only get the MB anyway”…

    I don’t have any huge illusions that this is going to work out great, but it’s hard not to be at least a little excited about it. As you put it, “we have come to see the day…” Keep up the good blogging.

    Reply
  33. anna
    April 8, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    This is about a people fedup. MB definitely stand to gain from such discontentment and perhaps are giving a leg up to those doing those demos but this is about desperation.

    The MB are leaving the place to go to pieces, isn’t their role to lead the youth in the way of God? Does Egypt need any more evidence that the MB only care to get into power and don’t give a dime for their own people.

    Reply
  34. Reine.de.tout
    April 8, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Sandmonkey: You said: “If this spreads, then the regime will spare no expense to squash it, especially with the visible absence of the western media and their coverage. Without international cover, this won;t survive”

    Some American blogs that have a good number of readers are picking this up. The western media (including the US MSM) may ignore this story, but we here in the US are getting word – YOUR COVERAGE OF THIS IS INVALUABLE – so glad you returned to blogging, please stay safe, but keep up the good work!

    Reply
  35. yma o hyd
    April 8, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I tell you what this reminds me of:
    it remeinds me of the beginnings of Solidarnosc, in Gdansk, Poland. that was the beginning of the end of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe.

    Perhaps we’ll see something similar now. it will take time – it took eight more years before the Wall in Berlin came down, and before the Soviet Union crashed, but once the people see that they themselves can take matters into their own hands – without the help of organisations like, here, the MB – then things will truly change.

    My bes wishes for the people of that town!

    Reply
  36. Formercorpsman
    April 8, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Sandmonkey, thanks for reporting on this.

    Obviously, you can tell that some of the blogs in the U.S. are picking this up as we speak, however, we are at some disadvantage as it relates to grasping the players.

    I am very interested in what you are writing, but would this be comparable to the average man on the street wanting more democratization?

    Just trying to get a better grasp of the big picture.

    Reply
  37. Red Tulips
    April 8, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    The Iranian ‘revolution’ started this way too. It was not long before the Islamists took over. After the leftists and pro-democracy types did the dirty work, the Ayatollah took the prize. I would be actively surprised if Egypt does not end up with a Muslim Brotherhood government, should Mubarak leave. I hope I am surprised, but given the high level of support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt…I doubt it.

    Sadly. :(

    I will hope for the best, but I assume it will not happen.

    Reply
  38. Chris
    April 8, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    No US flags burning…no pictures of Bush burning. I am very happy today.

    Reply
  39. brooklynjon
    April 8, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Red Tulips,

    You are 100% correct, as usual.

    Reply
  40. JB
    April 8, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you for keeping us informed, SM, and ignore the idiots.

    Reply
  41. Joanne
    April 8, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    I didn’t see one woman in that crowd – what’s up with that?

    Reply
  42. Joanne
    April 8, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Ok, I saw three women total in the pictures – good on them.

    Reply
  43. Mohammed the Teddy-Bear
    April 8, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    “Oops says: ‘The so called “peace” treaty denounced ASAP…’”

    What does THIS mean?

    Reply
  44. Maserya
    April 8, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Sandmonkey, thank you for your great blog I don’t know if anyone else said this, but here in the States, the only place I heard about this uprising is KPFA i.e. independent media: radio and T.V.

    Reply
  45. Uh-huh
    April 8, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Sandmonkey,
    Please keep yourself safe during all this, and keep up the good work

    Reply
  46. Mike Nargiziain
    April 8, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    How long can you keep a lid on it in the current world with global media and internet?

    The problem is when riots and chaos occur only the well organized can/will benefit.. In Poland it was Walessa and the Unions that forced the gov’t to concede and brought the country to its knees…

    In Egypt unfortunately the only and by far best organized party is the Muslim Brotherhood. So regardless of whether or not the MB is part of this only they will benefit from disgust with the gov’t… they ARE THE ONLY other option right now.
    The other thing that occurs in chaos and unrest is minorities bear the brunt of violence and lack of safety. So the Coopts will undoubtedly suffer in this case.

    Mike

    Reply
  47. Dave
    April 9, 2008 at 12:11 am

    If only the practical were to guide us, there would never have been any revolutions, any changes for the better, anywhere. This is good. The MB will have to convince an angry people that they will be a good government, but the evidence is everywhere to the contrary in the Middle East. Al Qaeda is scattered, they’ve ruined their own reputations with all the pointless violence.. Sunni leadership isn’t setting a great example in Islam right now.. Iran is frightening most Arabs to death with their furious desire for nuclear weapons, so the Shia will not be welcome in any leadership or consulting role… Truly now is the time to make some kind of change… when will the MB or any radical muslims be any weaker?

    Blessings to the people of Egypt, and may they find dignity and freedom, that’s what I say.

    Reply
  48. Friend of the Egyptians
    April 9, 2008 at 12:36 am

    I’m glad to hear about this.

    On my AP “World News” program on my homepage it is number five in top news. Yet the articles title and story are calling this simply a “strike gone violent” rather than the reality of what it is.

    Stay Safe Sandmonkey! We’re with you!

    Reply
  49. Kurtlane
    April 9, 2008 at 12:48 am

    No good will come of this.

    First of all, I hate lawlessness, so I hate riots. I hate riots even more, because they bring out an explosion false hopes, pipedreams, followed by huge doses of disappointment even when they do overthrow the government.

    Think about it. Do these people want democracy? No. “[A] nationwide strike was called by a number of political parties and worker movements to protest their low income, the skyrocketing cost of living, and the open corruption and blatant nepotism of the Egyptian government.” They want higher standard of living for themselves, and less corruption and nepotism. The first is an economic problem, which can be fixed only by long-term and painful reforms. The second is a societal problem, corruption and nepotism are throughout Egypt, not just in the government. I bet most rioters themselves would gladly accept bribes and promote their children. It would take generations to change such deeply entrenched customs. I come from Ukraine – another corruption-ridden society (but a democracy), and I’ve seen how corruption just keeps going, no matter who is in power.

    Rioters, however, always blame everything on the government and the leader, and expect total change right away. This will never work.

    This is true of all rioting. It gets far worse in Egypt.

    I think Disenchanted Egyptian is closest to reality. Mubarak, bad ruler that he is, is much better than the overwhelming majority of Egyptians. Whenever there were elections in Egypt recently, on every level, Muslim Brotherhood was the big winner. And if those guys were to win, Egypt would turn into another Taliban government, with all the consequences: highest infant mortality in the world, women not allowed to go outside unless in burqas and accompanied by husband or brother, any woman not allowed to be touched by any strange man, not even a doctor who is to save her life, women not allowed any education beyond grade school, men required to grow beards, public executions (cutting off of hands, heads, stoning to death, etc.) as the only form of entertainment, deliberately not repairing roads and limiting supplies of gasoline so that people return to horses and donkeys, barber becoming a dangerous profession, non-Muslims required to wear yellow badges, huge army of morality police to enforce all this. One of the last decrees of Taliban before Americans overthrew it was “Women are not allowed to laugh.” Plus, last but not least, sponsorship of huge doses of terrorism, which will eventually become unbearable and cause a war.

    And low income, open corruption and blatant nepotism.

    Moral Majority is not Muslim Brotherhood, just as Bush is not Hitler.

    The rioters might not be pro-Brotherhood. But does it really matter? In Iran, Islamists were just one fraction of the revolution, yet they are the ones who grabbed power. If it happened in Iranian revolution, it’s guaranteed to happen in Egyptian one, where Brotherhood is so much more popular.

    I am not sure this is what most Egyptians want, but if not, why do they vote for Muslim Brotherhood? I’ve come to a simple answer: they are crazy.
    (Just look at blatant and completely irrational hatred of Israel in Egypt.) And it was this video that brought me to this realization:

    http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1513.htm

    Hani al-Sibai (whether he is Egyptian or not), sitting in London and accusing the British of eating a Turk for Christmas, is a perfect example of this insanity.

    Sayid al-Qimni (the sane guy in the video,) Sandmonkey, Disenchanted Egyptian are among few sane people in the insane asylum called Egypt.

    This rioting is in a small town, so I don’t expect rioters to win. It’ll just end in a bloodbath.

    Pray for the health of Mubarak. It’ll be much worse when he goes.

    Reply
  50. Karridine
    April 9, 2008 at 1:17 am

    Good coverage, and better INSIGHTS, SandMonkey!

    Baha’u’llah said, “I have given POWER to the PEOPLE.”

    What the clergy and the kingly-caste held jealously for 6,000 years has now been given to We, the People… and Mahalla is no fluke! More and more people around the world are recognizing that We can decide for ourselves, thankyouverymuch, and we do NOT need tyrannical, blood-sucking governments to brutalize us day after day.

    “I have given POWER to THE PEOPLE.”

    Reply
  51. Karridine
    April 9, 2008 at 1:33 am

    “The second is a societal problem, corruption and nepotism are throughout Egypt, not just in the government. I bet most rioters themselves would gladly accept bribes and promote their children. It would take generations to change such deeply entrenched customs.”

    Kurtlane speaks wisely, with a few clarifications. Corruption and nepotism are SPIRITUAL problems, problems of the Human Spirit, when it has no spiritual education, no principles backed by Divine Authority and no societal reward or reinforcement for behaving in a just, courteous and legal manner.

    Kurtlane goes on to make my point in his second sentence, quoted above. Society does not impose corruption on us, WE VOLUNTEER for corruption, because WE get material and egotistical rewards… ‘Corrupt ME, please…’

    This is why Baha’u’llah not only brought the Kitab-i-Aqdas, but He is the focal point of devotion for People Submissive to the Will of God (Muslim) in this Day. Allowing Egyptians and others to learn of Baha’u’llah CAN change, CAN TRANSFORM societies virtually overnight… much to the chagrin of professional clergies!

    Reply
  52. David Ross
    April 9, 2008 at 2:36 am

    Remind me not to sample the Flavor Aid in Karridine’s house.

    I’m impressed that the Egyptians have managed a demonstration with none of the Koran-waving and flag-burning to which we’ve all grown so accustomed. But you do have to think HARD on who’s ready to step in and take charge after Mubarak is gone. If not the Ikhwan then who? This isn’t a rhetorical question; some people in this thread have already brought up Iran, which was better off under the Shah than Egypt is now and more secular. This is a question we need to have the answer to, lest we screw up like Carter.

    Kurtlane: I actually don’t think the MB would be able to turn Egypt into another Sudan, Somalia, or Afghanistan; or even another Yemen. Egypt, while no Iran, is at least better educated and richer than that lot. Plus, there’s the Internet now; and Egypt is more accessible than Iran in anycase. I do agree that Egypt under the MB would sponsor much Islamist terror in Africa, with the occasional rocket at Israel. There would also be much grandstanding. I’m thinking on the lines of a more outwardly pious Nasser (our dads’ Chavez).

    Reply
  53. Adam B.
    April 9, 2008 at 8:33 am

    11. Anonymous: I may live in a bubble (or maybe a country where things actually works like they should…). Still, I can’t help but feel that part of the reason why foreign medias are not paying attention is because these looks like more of the same old riots, and frankly, we’re pretty much fed up with riots in the ME…! What would get attention was hundreds of thousands of egyptian protesting in the streets in peace, not resorting to retaliation if the police/military cracked down on them. The government would lose face in front of the west, and be forced to deal with the issue differently. As it is now, they have a perfect excuse to send in the hard-hitters…

    30. Memz: I’m afraid you’re right, at least partially. Following a change in a system, the citizens are almost always gonna experience a drop in their standard of living. Post soviet Russia is a prime example. This is something that must be endured, and again post soviet Russia is a prime example of how most people DON’T understand this… Hopefully it won’t take a whole generation for the country to right itself.

    35. Tomish: “Getting off their butts” doesn’t equal “rioting and looting in the streets”… Certainly none of us are saying that they should be content with the present government – we’re just saying that we belive they’re choosing the wrong path…

    Make no mistake – I certainly hope that some good will come of this; maybe even an Egypt, where the people will demand respect for their human rights and a country where true democracy will be the order of the day. I just don’t think so… :(

    Reply
  54. Gila
    April 9, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Sandmonkey–

    I am going to parrot everyone else here–thanks for reporting, and please try to stay safe!

    Reply
  55. Don Cox
    April 9, 2008 at 10:42 am

    “The other scenario is our version of Hugo Chavez.”

    That was Nasser.

    Reply
  56. Don Cox
    April 9, 2008 at 10:50 am

    “They want higher standard of living for themselves, and less corruption and nepotism. ”

    The whole point of democracy is to reduce corruption, by making government open and accountable, and to reduce nepotism, by using elections for key posts and openly advertised positions for the civil service. The aim being to pick at least relatively capable people to run things.

    Democracy isn’t a simple formula you can switch on, it is a whole collection of skills and knowhow for running a country. And democratic countries are constantly devising new techniques for preventing corruption, because the enemy (human greed) never goes away.

    But one of the first requirements for democracy is a high level of literacy. Dictators prefer the mass of the people tom be poor and ignorant, so that all they can do is riot, not argue.

    Reply
  57. anna
    April 9, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    They’ve sent the health minister to Mahalla! Nice of him to come but um wrong minister!

    Reply
  58. Josh
    April 9, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    I’m from the U.S. and it inspires me to see people get out, in force if necessary, to try an achieve what they want. I’m against all repressive regimes (including my own). Revolution is the true path to change!

    Reply
  59. Bill Noxid
    April 9, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    It’s always a glorious thing when people recognize the level of oppression they are subjected to, and refuse to accept it anymore. The people of this planet yearn and deserve to live free from the tyrants that have ruled our lives throughout history, and the reality of this is spreading across the globe. The rulers quite obviously don’t want the people to be aware of this growing movement, which is why the mainstream media doesn’t cover the revolts and protests in the Middle East, Tibet, or anywhere else. Let us not forget who the mainstream media work for and are owned by after all…

    Ignoring it won’t change the reality however. The people are self-aware and are determined to regain the true God given rights that are the birthright of anyone born on this planet. The days of tyranny are numbered… God bless these people and all who stand for their freedom.

    Reply
  60. Ryan
    April 9, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Those “extreemist” religious parties in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lybia etc. only exist because every mainstream political party has been banned by those governments. Decent people take up political activism in every nation, and in Egypt the only way you can be political and not get arrested is to speak under the protection of the clerics because The Church (The Mosque?) is too old and powerful for Mubarak or Assad to really shut down.

    Look at the situation in Somalia where the “islamic courts” movement took over. The members had a wide variety of political viewpoints, most of which were moderate and reasonable compared to what the Muslim Brotherhood or the Taleban would want from a government and society (they all only agreed on certain basic premises, like if someone steals something from you there should be a way for government to get your stuff back for you). The whole world frieked out and attacked them because they had the word islamic in their name. It would have been better to support the moderate elements and invest in rebuilding Somalia. It would be better for Mubarak to listen to the demands of the rioters and make changes that improves their lousy lots in life, even if some of them denounce Mubarak saying he goes against God’s rules, rather than against basic human dignity and freedom.

    Reply
  61. Maximus Gringo
    April 9, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I just love how Muslims world wide and the general public in the Middle East always have a good reason to commit murder and mayhem! When these same people get payback for the evil deeds they do all you hear is constant whining from them.

    Reply
  62. J.Philip
    April 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Well, I’ll just say this, we here in America have our own battles to fight with all three Presidential Candidates side-stepping the main two issues in this country; Illegal Immigration and Oil. You do what ya gota do in Egypt to establish Democracy, because American style Democracy is really transparent. We can’t actually stop the Government from doing anything, we can’t stop them from going to War, we can’t stop their Pork-Barrel Projects, and we can’t stop their control of Iminent Domain for those Lucrative Land-deals, and we can’t stop Senators from awarding their wifes and husbands companies Billions in Government Contracts, we can’t stop them from taking money from Corporate America and Private Interest Groups, and finally, the Senate Ethics Committee is a joke filled with neputism. Not to mention, most of the Senators and Governors are not even born in the State they Represent which futher enhances the transparency of Democracy. The IRS is the 900 pound gorilla in the corner over here, pay your Taxes and they will leave you alone.

    So, good luck with your country, wear your seatbelt, and don’t run with scissors, but in passing, we counted those votes in Florida 3 frigin times, Gore lost Bush won, and I don’t bend over backwards for anyone, well maybe the IRS.
    ,

    Reply
  63. Julia
    April 9, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I can’t believe the images you’re bring us. This is NOT being covered in the Western media like this AT ALL…which is of course expected….but I’m praying this doesn’t end the way we all see it probably ending….with horrible violence brought on by the state. I lived in Egypt for four months and feel its a second home to me now and I definitely got goosebumps seeing these pictures and seeing the people standing up for what they rightfully deserve.

    Reply
  64. Hareega
    April 9, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    IT would be nice to see, in a year from now, what would have happened to those who have stepped on Mubarak’s picture.

    Reply
  65. btesh
    April 9, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Muslim Brotherhood ?, be careful what you wish for! just ask the folks in
    Afghanistan

    Reply
  66. brooklynjon
    April 9, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Josh 66 “I’m against all repressive regimes (including my own). ”

    Don’t you mean to say:

    “Now you see the violence inherent in the system. Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”
    “Bloody peasant!”
    “Oh, what a giveaway, Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That’s what I’m all about. Did you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn’t you?”

    /sarcasm off, rolls eyes audibly

    Reply
  67. Verena
    April 10, 2008 at 2:46 am

    God bless the Egyptian people and insha’allah may they have a more benevolent and stable government, improved economy and *peace.*

    Reply
  68. Madas
    April 10, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Fi3lan God Bless the Egyptian people…. Inshalla you get what you are looking for.

    Reply
  69. the boog!
    April 10, 2008 at 11:13 am

    As much as i too would love to see serious movement towards serious change in Egypt and the Arab world it is still obvious that the people of this region are still incapable of producing a viable alternative, and unfortunately what looks like would happen is for Islamic groups to take over quite easily whether they were leading such movements or they weren’t because they are the only group with considerable backing and organization, they would simply step in and fill the void if the current government was somehow overthrown…
    In a survey that was conducted in Amman recently -and Amman is considered moderate in comparison to Cairo- over 70% of the people voted to have criminal punishment including jail time for anyone who dresses or wears their hair “fashionably”, by that what was meant was spiked hair and boxer shorts showing from under the pants, if that’s not an indication of the kind of government that would take over if our current governments were overthrown i don’t know what is… our people still need a lot of time to mature socially, culturally and politically, and when that happens change will take place by default…

    Reply
  70. Adam B.
    April 11, 2008 at 9:25 am

    82. the boog!:

    Unfortunately, I think you’ve hit the nail dead on here.

    Functioning democracy demands a certain level of education and social tolerance, and many countries in the world, including most midlle eastern ones, haven’t reached that point yet. We can always discuss what that point ought to be exactly – after all, you’re not allowed to walk stark naked down the Champs Elysee or Baker Street either, so “we” have our own limitations, sure – but as a minimum, a democracy needs to be able to embrace more diversity than just one tight, uniform morality. Unfortunately, such tolerance is yet some way off in the ME, which is why the ‘Iraq experiment’ have a good chance of failing in the end… :(

    Reply
  71. Alif
    April 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Sandmonkey,

    In this post under this picture You wrote: “Here is a picture of one of the feared State Security trucks, commandeered and smashed by the people.”

    How do you know it was smashed by the people?

    To me, the crowd seem to be circling something they were astonished to find. Look at the the buffer space they left between them and the vehicle. Not indicative of their sense of achievement, victory nor pride!

    The man mounting its front seems to be explaining something he thought was worth explaining. Not likely if they simply were the ones who’d smashed it.

    The man standing at the front left – behind the muscular pink-clad guy – seems to be signaling “halt”. As do many people on both sides, they seem to be saying to the man “get down, they’ll blame us for it!”

    Finally, look at these pictures.

    It is easy to imagine that a government used to implementing mean – but effective – tactics; like fake queues filled by bought-off people to prevent would-be runners from the opposition from filing in their applications in localities elections (انتخابات المحليات name?); would smash their own police car and leave it for this almost inevitable photo to be taken and used against the protestors.

    Conspiracy? yes. But plain and visible.

    Reply
  72. brooklynjon
    April 11, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    The Boog, 82,

    I’m flagging you for excessive verbiage without use of a period. That will be a five minute misconduct. Into the penalty box you go.

    Reply
  73. tedders
    April 12, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    bj’s #79 post.

    priceless!! :)

    Reply
  74. tedders
    April 12, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Hey bj, in the boog!’s defense, he did use three periods in a row after every paragraph or group of thoughts. Just sayin…
    :)

    Reply
  75. brooklynjon
    April 16, 2008 at 5:41 am

    tedders,

    sorry, “…” is an elipsis, not a set of three periods. I’m afraid he’ll have to serve his time in the penalty box…

    Reply
  76. tedders
    April 16, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Damnit… :( Don’t tell my English teacher wife or I’ll really be in the penalty box!!! :)

    Reply
  77. Tarot cards
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    and just came across your blog, generally I just only visit blogs and retrieve my required
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10Pingbacks & Trackbacks on We have come to see the Day…

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  2. [...] Rantings of a Sandmonkey… ..allow yourselves to enjoy those brief moments of joy before the get crushed, as they’re [...]

  3. [...] Sandmonkey – “We have come to see the day” The Mhalla riots are going into their second strong day. 50,000 people are rioting. The police is shooting tear gas, rubber bullets, you name it, and IT’S NOT WORKING. The demonstrators were originally only like 2000-3000, but the government crackdown forced the people on the street. And until today, it’s a War Zone. [...]

  4. [...] from the Egyptian Sandmonkey: The Mhalla riots are going into their second strong day. 50,000 people are rioting. The police is [...]

  5. [...] Did you guys know there’s riots in Egypt? [...]

  6. [...] blogger Sandmonkey provides us with updates about a riot which rocked Al Mahalla, in Egypt, with photographs, in this [...]

  7. work says:

    [...] team of researchers said on Tuesday.http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080408/hl_nm/bowel_disease_dc_1Egypt : Up to 50000 people riotingThe police is shooting tear gas, rubber bullets, you name it, and IT’S NOT WORKING. The [...]

  8. [...] still in practice in the unwritten constitutions of several Arab leaders. I’ve been reading about the recent events in Mahalla, Egypt and thinking to myself whether Mubarak is going to play by the Hama Rules and there are not a lot of [...]

  9. [...] to them – though it can also highlight potential dissidents to the government. Sandmonkey wrote of April 6 strike in 2008, when the movement first emerged: “If this spreads, then the regime [...]

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