Hitchens ponders Israel

That's what he is doing here is called: Pondering..

I find that no other question so much reminds me of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his aphorism about the necessity of living with flat-out contradiction.
Do I sometimes wish that Theodor Herzl and Chaim Weizmann had never
persuaded either the Jews or the gentiles to create a quasi-utopian
farmer-and-worker state at the eastern end of the Mediterranean? Yes.
Do I wish that the Israeli air force could find and destroy all the
arsenals of Hezbollah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad? Yes. Do I think it
ridiculous that Viennese and Russian and German scholars and doctors
should have vibrated to the mad rhythms of ancient so-called prophecies
rather than helping to secularize and reform their own societies?
Definitely. Do I feel horror and disgust at the thought that a whole
new generation of Arab Palestinians is being born into the
dispossession and/or occupation already suffered by their grandparents
and even great-grandparents? Absolutely, I do.

The questions of principle and the matters of brute realism have a
tendency (especially for one who does not think that heaven plays any
part in the game) to converge. Without God on your side, what the hell
are you doing in the greater Jerusalem area in the first place? Israel
may not be the rogue state that so many people say it is—including so
many people who will excuse the crimes of Syria and Iran—but what if it
runs the much worse risk of being a failed state? Here I must stop
asking questions and simply and honestly answer one. In many visits to
the so-called Holy Land, I have never quite been able to imagine that a
Jewish state in Palestine will still be in existence a hundred years
from now. A state for Jews, possibly. But a Jewish state …

What do you think? 

If you put a cat in a microwave…

..this is what happens!

It has come to that..

"The Syrian delegation hints that the plane of the Arab League's special delegation to Lebanon might not be allowed to land at Beirut's Airport, in case they indicted Hezbollah."

AlSharq Al Awsat newspaper, yesterday

But…

"Do you know  who is going in that special delegation? Somalia, Djibouti, and a bunch of other small and insignificant arab countries. None of the big boys are going- Not Saudi, Egypt, Jordan or Syria are going. Shit, I didn't even know that Djibouti was considered an arab country until today!" 

 A female journalist friend, yesterday

It must be the end of the world

As'ad Abu Khalil wrote something I actually agree with, if you ignore the whole blame Harriri thing at the end:

Just a word of caution on Lebanon.
These are historic times in Lebanon. I have been thinking about the
significance of them as I am trying to finish my article for Al-Akhbar,
and I have been experiencing my first writer's bloc. I am not pleased
with the exuberance that is exhibited by some leftists toward the
developments in Lebanon. I believe that the radical left, or the
revolutionary left, should be careful in evaluating the situation. I
see that the Lebanese Communist Party has for all purposes conflated
its position with that of Hizbullah–at least during this crisis. The
radical left should keep a distance from an organization (i.e.
Hizbullah) with which it does not share an ideology–a religious
fundamentalist one at that. Today, I kept thinking of the leader of the
Iranian Communist Party who sang the praises of Khumayni only to be
forced to appear on TV (after the revolution) and make Stalinist-style
"confessions". He later was executed as were other communists. The
radical left, it has to be ascertained is fiercely opposed to the
US/Israeli/Saudi plan and its implementers in Lebanon (Jumblat, Hariri,
and Ja`ja` and the other gangs of March 14), and is dedicated to the
liberation of Palestine. But it can't abandon its other important
principles of social justice, secularism, and pluralist politics–and
these are issues that Hizbullah either opposes or has a bad record on.
The Left in Lebanon remains the only group without a militia and it is
not an accident: the March 14 and the Hizbullah-led opposition don't
want the left to play a role in Lebanon, and this was something that
the Syrian regime and Iran (and Israel of course) agreed on. I was also
displeased with the closure of Hariri media, as much as I detest them
and as much as I believe that they have been engaged in acute sectarian
mobilization that is exactly the same as of the propaganda of
Al-Qa`idah. I will not enjoy writing in Al-Akhbar and attacking my
opponents if they are not on an equal footing: especially if their
media are closed. One sided polemics are the stuff of which the Saudi
and Syrian media are made, and we can't replicate that in Lebanon.
Having said that: i still blame the Hariri Inc for the crisis, and
their external backers: the agenda of the external backers pose the
biggest threat to Lebanon and Palestine, but that does not mean that
the left should be a mere cheerleader of organizations that are not
leftist.

Amen!

The other side of this

I have been reading a bunch of lebanese opposition blogs lately, and I have to say that I am amazed on how disconnected from reality they are, or rather how reversed their reality is. You see, what Hezbollah did was justified apparently and they have in essence liberated Beirut , oh and the FM secuirty force-that ran away when Hezbollah first attacked- is actually the Harriri terrorist militia , killer of syrian workers and attacker of lebanese christians. It's great!

Some of the opposition do keep a level head about all of this and don't indulge in their own bullshit like the above blogs do, and for that I am grateful. They do have a sense of weariness to them, knowing-unlike the previously mentioned blogs who were written by the blogging equivalent of 13 year old female NSYNC fans who are talking smack about the equally lame Backstreet Boys- that there is no easy victory here, and that what Hezbollah did will cost them and the Lebanese Shia for years to come  I will provide you with a list to check out, in order to give you a "more rounded" perspective on all of this:

Marxist from Lebanon

In the Middle of the East

Land and People

qunfuzcreation

And because we offer full services around here at Sandmonkey INC. , we recognize that there are those of you who are anti- both sides as well as there some of a who are Lebanese and who simply hate everything that is going on. So for both of those gorups I give you the one and only Fuck Lebanon blog.  

Enjoy! 

Those Invisible hands

" As I watched what was happening in Khartoum, and then what was happening in Beirut, I stopped and relaized that this fitna is not natural. That this all seems connected. That there are invisible hands behind the conflict in those two areas."

Amr Khaled, Islamic televangelist and current crusader against drug-use in order to combat irrelevancy. The Invisible hands he is mentioning are naturally those of the Jooz, of course! 

The Beirut Media dance

So we are finally there. Finally, after 3 years of pussyfooting, it's here. Oh boy, where do I begin?

Well, now that the gloves are off, we have become aware of 3 very important facts:

1) Hezbollah has lost its mind and decided to turn their weapons against the lebanese population.

2) Amal and the SSNP have vicious militias that are doing the work that Hezbollah doesn't want to be associated with.

3) The Sunni militia is a bunch of pansies, and Saad Al Harriri could never be his father.

I have been following the sataelite channels for the past 3 days, glued to my TV, watching what's going on with serious disbelief. I never thought that the Sunni neighborhoods would fall this quickly, nor that Hezbollah would control Beirut this easily. But here we are, and it all seems so…deliberate. Like M14 wanted this to happen. Like they wanted Hezbollah exposed. Their refusal to engage with the opposition fighters is making the latter look-and rightfully so- like thugs. Not to mention they are, once and for all, exposing to whom their allegiance falls: Our dear old friend Bisho!

Oh, and btw, Images of the Hezbollah occupation of Beirut is here!


The Satalite coverage of what's going is fantastic, depending on who you believe. Here is the rundown:

AlJazeerah: Anti-M14 coverage as usual. They are hosting way too many people who keep denying what we are seeing on TV. My Favorite was the SSNP guy denying that its his militia running around with guns and responsible for burning down the Almustaqbal TV station building, but nevertheless emphasized that those acts won't stop until, well, the M14 people bow down, lick the boots of the opposition and pledge to be their bitch at all times. Oh, and the footage of the Prince of Qatar and Bisho agreeing that what's happening in Lebanon is "an internal matter". Awwww, you guys. It's so cute when u r so obviously sticking it to the Saudis. So so cute!

AlArabiyah: The Saudis are FREAKING OUT. But before we get to them, can we please salute whomever put Rima Maktabi as their anchorwoman? She is so very very hot, and the pics I found of her online do not do her justice. She could read a food menu and I would still listen. HOT!! ANYWAY, so yeah, Saudis, freaking out, calling it the Hezbollah Coup and are complaining about how they were attacked and their tapes were destroyed. But the one thing that keeps annoying me is their tendencies to get saudis to comment on what's going on in Lebanon. And saudis in the gelbab and kefayah and everything. People u never heard of them before, and they have the title of "Mohamed whatever, political analyst". Who the fuck is that guy? Did Lebanon run out of political analysts al of a sudden, that u have to get a saudi guy? Dude, every lebanese is a political analyst. Stop being assholes and hire those guys. They need the work and could definitely use the money.

Press TV: The Iranian english news channel is awesome. They get this lebanese guy, this editor of a newspaper called "Al Intiqad"  ( which means 'the criticism', I wonder what's it all about!) who is squarely against the current government, and then have the token M14 guy talk for 6 seconds before cutting him off. They also like to bait the M14 guys and then cut them off the moment they get what they want. They once asked this M14 guy what are the external factors and forces that play in Lebanon, so he naturally started to mention Israel and the war first, and before he could say Syria, the moderator thanked him and went to the Intiqad guy and was like "So, with Israel next door Hezbollah has the right to have its weapons, no?", and then gave the Intiqad guy 10 minutes to respond. It was beautiful.

AlManar: OH MY GOD. I am in LOVEEEEEEEEEEE. This  channel is great. Ignore the reporting for a second, and watch the Propaganda segments. It's almost rude in the way it's direct. I also love the segments where they show that the vacated offices of the FPM had "weapons", never mind they are showing 2 handguns and an AK47, which is like the standard amount of guns inside any self-respecting Durzi guy's car and doesn't exactly constitute "an armed office of a militia". It's all bullshit, but that's the beauty of Hezbollah: they don't care that they are full of shit. They know they have a population that will eat it up regardless. Also, they have fantastic graphic work, reminds me of egyptian TV in the 80's. I mean come on guys, we know u r backwards and stupid, but surely you can do much better in the media production value department, no?

LBC: They were playing game shows. Seriously. And today, they had morning Aerobics.


"Egypt will not stand by as Iran takes over Beirut!"

Anonymous Source from the Egyptian Ministery of foreign affairs

"If Beirut falls, Riyadh falls, and Cairo falls"

Some Egyptian expert/analyst/whatever on AlArabiyah TV

Feel free to laugh.  Seriously. I am laughing my ass off. Oh yeah, Mubarak won't allow Iran to take over Beirut. Ok, was that the same way he didn't allow Iran to take over Iraq via Muqtada al Sadr, or the way Iran took over Gaza Via Hamas? And what are you gonna do tough guy? Send the army? Ha! You mean the one the people of Egypt begged you to send to fight the Israelis? So You are sending it now to fight those who fought the Israelis? Yeah, that will look good.

Dear Lebanese readers, don't count on arab countries for anything. Especially ours. Trust me, we are useless. And as for those of you who have been asking that Egypt does send troops, well, I do not recommend this at all. Mubarak is in charge people, and this guy never leaves a hole the moment his dick gets in it. Not recommended. Trust me on that one! 


Nasrallah says that the phone network is "the most important weapon for the resistance" , and here I thought it was all about stealing revenue from the government. 

Iran is blaming… you guessed it…Israel and the US! Hey, at least they are consistent!


Obama opened his mouth on the Lebanon situation yesterday and proved himself to be a jasckass. Here is what he said, plus the commentary of Abu Kais:

Hezbollah's power grab in Beirut has once more plunged
that city into violence and chaos. This effort to undermine Lebanon's
elected government needs to stop, and all those who have influence with
Hezbollah must press them to stand down immediately. It's time
to engage in diplomatic efforts to help build a new Lebanese consensus
that focuses on electoral reform, an end to the current corrupt
patronage system, and the development of the economy that provides for
a fair distribution of services, opportunities and employment.

We must support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions
that reinforce Lebanon's sovereignty, especially resolution 1701
banning the provision of arms to Hezbollah, which is violated by Iran
and Syria. As we push for this national consensus, we
should continue to support the democratically elected government of
Prime Minister Siniora, strengthen the Lebanese army, and insist on the
disarming of Hezbollah before it drags Lebanon into another unnecessary
war. As we do this, it is vital that the United States continues to
work with the international community and the private sector to rebuild
Lebanon and get its economy back on its feet.

Oh the
time we wasted by fighting Hizbullah all those years with rockets,
invasions of their homes and shutting down their media outlets. If only
we had engaged them and their masters in diplomacy, instead of just
sitting with them around discussion tables, welcoming them into our
parliament, and letting them veto cabinet decisions. If only Obama had
shared his wisdom with us before, back when he was rallying with some
of our former friends at pro-Palestinian rallies in Chicago. How stupid
we were when, instead of developing national consensus with them, we organized media campaigns against Israel on behalf of the impoverished people who voted for them.

During that time when we bought into the cause against Israel,
treating resistance fighters like our brothers, we really should have
been building consensus with them. Because what we did back
in 1982, 1993, 1996, 2000 and 2006 – all that was plain betrayal and
unnecessary antagonism, a product of a corrupt patronage system and unfair distribution of wealth.

We stand today regretting the wasted time that could have been wisely spent talking to them, to the Syrian occupiers who brought them into our system, and the Iranian revolutionary guards who trained them.

Yes, this is change we believe in. Get me a time machine.

As for Jeha, he hits it on the nail as usual:

Could someone tell that neophyte that he is not yet President of the United States? He will have plenty of chances to “engage” with Syria at our expense, when or if he becomes "President of these 57 states". We may be down, but we're not out yet

Just spare us the hypocrisy for now

 Signed: A bitter Lebanese, still clinging to religion and guns

Even the Blacksmiths of Lebanon agree . It's kind of funny, but not a single M14 supporter I know is an Obamaniac. Hmmm… I wonder why!


Anyway, a new day is starting, and the latest I've heard is that the Druze militias have just killed like 7 Hezbollah guys when they tried venturing into their neighborhood. Hezbollah may have stretched his muscles over the sunnis, but he can't do it to the christians and the druze as well. Plus, they have now angred all the sunni forces in the region. Don't be surprised if assassinations of Shias start by groups claiming to be "AlQaida" in Lebanon. Hezbollah are warrioris, and if they are not fighting Israel they need to be fighting somebody, and their sociopathic behavior is now apparent to everybody. They may have taken over some parts of Beirut, but they have lost both their legitimacy and image. They are now fair game, and they surely don't lack enemies.

We are heading towards some really interesting days! 

Lebanon Clashes

Hezbollah and the Sunni Militias are clashing in Lebanon right now. Live reports from Lebanon here , pictures of the clashes here.

This past week

I have been gone for this past week, but I wasn't absent in any way. I was running around helping an Australian friend do a report on May 4th. Here are glimpses of the days that passed by and the people that I met during.


Going to the Hesham Mubarak center is a head-trip. In front of its building there is a street market for groceries, there are 4 police soldiers always camping at the entrance, and there is no respectable sign at the door that says that this is the main legal center for the defense of human rights violations in Egypt, only one made out of cardboard and written on it with a sharpie. And the funniest thing about it is that it is managed in the most democratic of ways. Every year they have elections for the position of the Center's manager, and everyone can nominate him/herself and everyone from the previous manager to the officeboy has a vote. Oh, and no manager can run for more than two consecutive terms.


"I find that I have no choice but to support May 4th, even if I disagree with it, because it's something that the youth are demanding and doing on their own and I am all for them trying to do something. Now, despite the fact that they are going at it the wrong way, I can't stop them, nor will they listen to me, because they are sick of hearing people telling them what they can or can't do. So I support them, cause if they succeeded, it's a good thing, and if they failed, they will gain experience."

Malek, Tuesday


On Wendsday we met with Abdel Monem, the Muslim Brotherhood Blogger and Khaled Hamza, the editor if www.Ikhwanweb.com at the house of the Media Coordinator for the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the setting that I walked into: We were greeted by the house owner, who had with him this young and tiny veiled girl named Sondos, who (of course) spoke English fluently and (naturally) was one of the higher-up editors of Ikhwanweb ( "See, not all veiled women are oppressed an at home, we have young ones who know English and are in managerial positions") and who hosted us in a very posh living room and served us Tea and Cake, with members of his family periodically coming out, dressed in western clothes come out and greet us very nicely. Those people know exactly how to handle the western media.

To be fair to them though, they have been extremely nice and hospitable to me, despite knowing my beliefs and stands on them, which is a cause enough to respect them. And despite the fact that I completely disagree with almost everything they stand for, they are getting their human rights violated in this country on daily basis, which any human being will tell you isn't right. And in case I was never clear on this before, I am for them having the right to form their own political party and run in elections. Firstly because it's everybody's right to have political representation and secondly because maybe that will be the jolt that will move the anti-Ikhwan crowd from their apathy and slumber. Maybe.

One thing though I am confused about, so Khaled if you are reading this, can you tell me why in the name of Zeus' Butthole was there a decorated Christmas tree- in May nonetheless- in the corner of the room with ornaments on them? And why did the ornaments have pictures of veiled girls plastered on them? Please, I would like to know.


" You know, the State Security people one day decided to give me a "humanitarian visit" to see my very sick father. So the night before my visit, a squadron of SS soldiers arrived at our building at midnight and occupied the building, and forced themselves on my parents' house and stayed there for 8 hours till I arrived at 8 am, in the name of securing the building, since you know, I am a dangerous visitor and all. When I found out I flipped out on the accompanying officer, asking him why would any decent human being do this, and of course there was no answer. My mother came out, gave me this look and said "Damn you" . That killed me. I think that messed me up more than all the time I've spent in prison."

Abdel Monem, Wendsday


Khaled: I spoke to your friends, Elijah and Issandr, about you. And you know, they both said that you are extreme.

Me: Well, of course they would say that. I am not surprised at all!

Khaled: Why? Is it because they are leftists?

Me: No. It's because they are foreigners here and their work warrants them to have a good relationship with you, and I am not sure that's possible with them publicly endorsing my views. Don't you think?


Thursday was the first of May, the Egyptian worker day. On that Glorious day the new Mubarak directives were released: A 30% increase in the wages of government employees as a solution to the current problem. Because, you know, the rising prices only affect government employees, and a 30% increase on their 30$ a month salary will really help improve their lives, and allow them to buy cars and houses and maybe save some money for Lil Mo's college fund. And the way he said it too, man, talk about classic: "They told me we will raise the workers 10%, I refused and said it has to be higher. They said ok, 20%, I said, NO, it has to be higher. They said we can make it 25%, but we really have no way to cover it under the current budget, I said NO, NOT A PENNY UNDER 30%". And this, ladies and gentlemen, how you know the mark of a great leader. A great leader doesn't care about the budget, the economy or reality, he only cares about the goal he set in his imagination despite what the actual circumstances may allow. All Hail Hosny.

Thursday was also the day we met Bilal, the kid that went up to the PM and demanded –to thunderous applause- that he release the April 6th detainees. He is very young, very skinny, with intelligence just poking out of his eyeballs. I didn't know that he was a member of the Ghad Party, hell, I didn't even know el Ghad party still had members. The interesting thing about him though, is that he is from the Post Ayman Nour generation: i.e. he joined after Nour went to Prison. That's a believer in a party and its ideals, not a leader and his charisma, which is a concept that is lost on the middle-east for some reason.


"Oh, my parents didn't think highly of what I did at all. I went home to find that my parents burned half of my books. However, after my mother talked to the neighbors, who surprised her with their messages of support to what I said and did, she changed her mind. She looked at me and said "Bilal, you know, you and your friends may perish for standing up to what you believe, but don't worry, Egypt will always remain Bilal!". So I looked at her and said "That's all very nice mom, but couldn't you have figured this out before burning my books?""

Bilal, Thursday


A state of uncertainty dominated the media scene on Friday, on whether or not anything was gonna happen on May 4th. You see, it's kind of hard to predict the outcome of a strike that has no clear organizers or participants, with everything operating in a very anarchist manner. In order to combat such uncertainty and confusion, the media invented a new political entity that is behind all of that is happening. What did they call it? "The Facebook Youth movement", I kid you not. So now the Facebook Youth movement is the new political player in town, with newspapers running stories on how they are calling for this or demanding that, which is basically them making a story from any asshole creating a group calling for something on the Egypt network. This reminded me of when they started running stories on the new gods of politics, media and activism: "The Egyptian Blogger Movement". Remember that shit? When they used to run stories on how "The Egyptian bloggers called for this or organized that", like we are some sort of monolithic entity that actually agrees on everything and is organized and has goals and leadership. I kept asking every blogger I know to introduce me to the coordinator, the supreme leader or even the spokesman of "The Egyptian Bloggers", but they would be as stumped as I was.

My suggestion? We create a facebook group called "The leadership office of the Facebook Youth Movement" and I will be their spokesmen, and someone else can be their supreme leader. I am sure the Media will jump on us in 30 seconds, hosting us and asking us of our goals and demands and what we have in store next. Oh boy, I would mess with them for hours!


"Do I like this government? Of course. It's not a bad government at all. From the security side of things, they are great. They have some problems from the economical side of things, but really, who doesn't? Oh no, I find nothing to complain about when it comes to this government. They keep us safe and secure. God Bless them!"

A Taxi Driver, Friday


Saturday was the day we were slated to meet the Supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahdy Akef. It wasn't what I expected. His personal office is tiny, like literally smaller than my office, and he gives this image of this very kind and sweet old man, a total grandpa type. Since I was only the translator for my friend, I didn't ask any of the questions I wanted to ask. My personal impression of him, personally, is that he is a very smart and astute man, and his brain operates perfectly despite his old age. Oh and very polite. All freaking MB members are very very polite.


"Why are we joining this strike when we didn't join the last time? Well, we are joining because that's what the people asked us to do. There is a national demand for us to join, and we listen to the people, so we have to comply."

Mahdy Akef, Saturday


Later on that day I received an SMS from Sharqawy's fiancé. State Security has been tailing and harassing them for 3 days, and she needed him to hide somewhere until May 4th is over, so she asked me. I've known this kid for more than 2 years now, and I can safely say that I've never seen him in the state he was in. He embodied controlled rage and weariness in a way that is impossible to describe. He told me that they refuse to leave him alone because he managed to identify the State Security Officer that tortured him at the police station, and mentioned that over the phone and now the Officer knows and is scared. So he is harassing him in every way he can, hoping that Sharqawy would have enough and flee the country.


"Those Motherfuckers. You know what they did? They blindfolded me and then took my wallet and looked in it. I could hear them naming the different types of ATM and credit cards I had in there. They then looked into the money pocket where I had about 6 K worth of dollars and Egyptian pounds on me, and then they loudly said ' you have 270 egyptian pounds in this wallet. Take it' and put it in my hand, but didn't return my wallet immediately, but did so later. I didn't figure out why until I came out. The wallet had a piece of paper that had my ATM pin code on it. That Bank account in my business account, and it had over 14 K in it. By the time I was out, the Balance was 0. All the money was withdrawn. And now I am out, I am broke, and owe people money. They are the scum of the earth."

Sharqawy, Sunday @ 2 am.


" Today is the Day Egypt was reborn!"

Al Ahram Newspaper headline on Sunday, marking the President's 80th Birthday! 


Sunday, well, you could read all about it here. So instead let me tell you this unfortunately 100 % true story:

Magdy Hussein- the leader of the Islamic Labor party- called Zakareya Azmy- The President's Chief of Staff and an MP- on the phone one week before the strike and told him that he is organizing a committee to run Egypt after the people's revolution will force Mubarak to abdicate on May 4th and that if he wants a seat on it he is welcome to join them. Not a word was mentioned of Azmy's reply though, although it is widely believed that this was due to Aazmy being too busy rolling on the floor laughing his ass off to reply to Magdy.


Monday, ahh Monday.

Monday was the day the Egyptian press gloated over the failure of the strike, with many of them claiming that the 30% raise aborted it. Monday was also the first day that Mubarak announced that there is no way to finance the 30% raise. The parliament, that same day, passed measure to finance the raise, by raising the prices of car gas by 35 %, solar by 40% and the taxes on cigarettes by 20%. The ripple effect of those increases will fuck us of a lot of money for the entire year, and one has to openly wonder if a 30% raise for a segment of the population that is less than 10% warrants collective punishment for the entire population. Hell, now even the government employees are more screwed. The new prices were enforced starting from 10 pm. Under my house there is a gas station and at 11 pm, the fighting started. And it's just the beginning. The people, as usual, will turn on each other instead of the government, and life will suck for all of us all around.


"The rich will be the ones paying for the workers raise"

The headline in RosealYusef, a government sponsored rag today 

"This guy I work with, while riding the Micobus with me, kept curisng Mubarak today. His government salary has increased by 37 pounds, but now the Microbus' fare has doubled, so now he has to pay extra 2 pounds a work day. If he works for 20 days a months, he is already worse off by 3 pounds. And what kills is that he raised the prices right after he announces the raise. This Mubarak guy, he has no tact!"

The Taxi Driver I rode with to work today. Oh, and by the way, the ride now costs 30 pounds, up from the standard 20. Increased Gas prices, baby!  


I do have to admire this government's cunning though. If people connect between the hikes and the government wage raises, not a single person will dare to support a strike or demand a higher wage again. And what a perfect excuse to implement price increases that you wanted to implement for ages then say it's a way to pay off the huge raise you gave the workers. And here we thought we were going to give him a Birthday he wouldn't forget on Sunday. Ha, he is the one who made the following Monday unforgettable. Thanks Mubarak for doing this to us on your birthday. What a way to make us celebrate it with you. Motherfucker!

May 4th coverage

Today is Mubarak's Birthday (Happy Mubarak Day, people!) and the day of the new strike. There are two new organizational developments that differentiate this strike from April 6th: The Mahalla workers said they wouldn't join, and the Muslim Brotherhood decided to join. The scale of it this time, however, seems smaller and unorganized, which is making many people believe that the MB is planning a surprise, because the last time, without them, succeeded. So if the one they choose to join fails. then they will look very bad. I will update this day as it goes:

Update: It's 2 am. There are news of people getting sporadically arrested in Mahalla. No confirmation on names so far. The Police seems paranoid. Ahmed Maher the facebook administrator for the protest group has been hiding for the past 2 days. So has Sharqawy.

Update: It's 10 am, things seem very normal. The traffic is normal and nothing is happening so far.

Update: It's 11:30. Mahalla is a ghost town, the police has threatened to shoot the people who demonstrate with live ammunition. 

Update: It's 1 am. A group of protesters have decided to start a protest at the Lawyer's syndicate as planned. There are around 50-100 demonstrators and about 1794374 policemen in plain clothes who are surrounding the protest.

Update: The Kefaya website (www.harakamasria.org) is now blocked in Egypt. No Journalist is allowed to enter the city of Mahalla.

Update: Reports of sporadic small demonstrations in Shubra. The police is rounding the streets behind them. We are still waiting for the MB surprise!

Update: Two were arrested in Jordan for trying to call for a similar strike!

Update: The BBC and Al Jazeera English both haven't been able to send their teams inside AlMahalla. Unconfirmed reports of the Police destroying satalite dishes and severing illegal internet cables.It's like they are daring the people to do something!

Update: This one seems like a failure. It's definitely not even close to the 6th of April strike. The NDP spokesman is gloating on BBC arabic right now!

Update: There are no calls on facebook for another strike on the first and 5th of June and the 25 of July. Fuck off you wankers. I will be at the beach!