Walking around the streets of downtown Cairo recently is like a full-blown conscious self-imposed session of De Ja-vu. You see, ladies and gentlemen, we might have parliamentary elections and a presidential elections all wrapped up by next year, which means that after 3 years of no work, old activists and bloggers are starting to come out of their hiding places to start playing again on the streets of Cairo. Oh Fun.
And while it’s always good to see old friends and enemies alike (god knows old enemies have a weird habit of becoming acquaintances after a while), I have to say that I wish it was under better circumstances. The egyptian political scene is at an all time low, with all the players either sidelined (see Islamists, also leftists), or completely distracted (see liberals) with minutia and fighting over foreign funds. And then there are the pretend players, and those are the worst. The Pretenders list includes the following:
1) Kefaya: The movement is now a website. No more, no less. Simply a place to give George Ishac and AbdelHalim Qandil an affiliation to put next to their names. That is it. There is nobody there, and no one believes in them anymore, because after 5 years on the scene they still haven’t come up with a single program or plan that makes sense that would place it as an alternative to the government. So far it’s: Mubarak is bad, and oh yeah, so is Israel. Fantabolous, no?
2) 6th of April Youth: Ahh, the movement that never was, which is still a movement because fuckin Ayman Nour decided to have his marriage implode the same day they were being exposed nationwide as a fraud (over an affair with the ex-leader of 6 of april, of all people), which caused them to become a B-news item, and to continue to operate, instead of becoming completely discredited, once and for all. Enter a certain american organization, whose last name rhymes with Mouse, and whose Program Officer for the middle east needs any kind of achievement to placate his bosses. So he starts telling his american bosses that 6th of April are a real movement, that they started protests, and that they are not a made-up joke or PR stunt, or people who stole the work of real activists and claimed it as their own, and they start funding them and promoting them. How awesome is civil society, really?
3) Ayman Nour: The current Giant Asshole. People, someone should get a hold of Ayman Nour and tell him that the 2005 elections are over. For real. He is still running. You would think Ayman, if he was truly a smart politician, would work on rebuilding his party, you know, for the 2010 parliamentary elections, so that he would end up with 10 or 20 seats and be relevant again or something. But noo, not Ayman. Ayman wants to debate Gamal Mubarak for the election, an election that is 1) 2 years away, 2) where Gamal is not known to be the candidate yet and 3) Ayman can’t even participate in legally. I know he is trying to appear relevant, but relevant and crazy are two different things unfortunately, and he is accomplishing the latter quite brilliantly.
And this is where things are at right now. A fucking lake of shit. And god knows I didn’t want to ever come back to it again. The crooks and liars of the egyptian opposition make me want to support the crooks and liars of the government: At least they are stealing real money…not stabbing each other in the back or making imaginary movements for a silly fund from NED or MEPI or USAID or whatever other acronym that stands for US money that should probably stay in the US these days. But see, they are all back, which means that I have to come back again, because really, it just ain’t the same without me. Don’t you think?
Game on, bitches!