The Free Republic of Egypt

Dear Free People of Egypt,

It’s a lovely day to be talking to you all in a Mubarak and NDP free Egypt. It’s been quite the undertaking, and many people were terrified, injured or killed, but we somehow managed to do it. Congratulations on that to all of us. Pats on the back, everybody!

Naturally, we (the revolutionaries) still don’t think the battle is over. The Mubaraks are still free, so are Fathy Surrour, Zakaria Aazmy and Safwat ElSherief, alongside with all the corrupt NDP officials in all branches of government, not to mention all the state security and police officers who spent the last 3 decades terrorizing, monitoring, torturing & killing those they were supposed to protect. The Political prisoners and detained Jan25 protesters are still unlawfully in prison, the stolen money is still in foreign countries, and the Minimum wage of 200 dollars a month for all Egyptians is still not enforced. There is also the matter of transparency of the government (financially & operationally and having the country run by civilians instead of a military Junta, a new constitution to be drafted instead of one that gives absolute power to the head of state, political freedoms to all Egyptians, enforceable bill of rights to all Egyptians, equal rights to all women, equal political rights to Egyptians living abroad and/ or born or married to a foreigner, freedom of the media, etc..etc.. I don’t want to bore you, but, yep, lots of work is yet to be done, and it’s taking far too long by those in charge to get done, which is making us unhappy. And Unhappy protesters usually protest. It’s just a fact of life.

But we are hearing that some of you are unhappy with all this protesting. We are hearing that you think we are kids with no purpose or jobs, who are currently destroying the country and the economy by all of our protesting and demands. We are hearing that you just want stability & security, and that we are not listening to all of you or your concerns and that we are no different than the dictator we just toppled. Please be assured, this is not the case here, because you are our people, and your concerns are the same as our concerns. We must admit that we are surprised by such accusations, & some of us are not taking it well, while others don’t have time to respond because, let’s face it, trying to find out whether your friends are killed or not, and trying to free them from being court-martialed in the new democratic Egypt, all the while addressing a the new referendum, and the issue of Copts getting murdered, churches being burned and such other sectarian strife issues that plague us, well, it could become a consuming full-time job. Our sin might be that we are so used to fighting those small (in your opinion) battles that we are not focusing enough on explaining our point of view to you and how we are on the same side. For that we apologize and we hope you forgive us. Now, on to your concerns.

You are concerned about the lagging state of the economy and the losses that were caused by the revolution and all of our protests, and you just want everybody back to work, without asking yourself how is it that our economy was so weak that all it took to destroy it was less than two months of protests, while a country like France has nation-wide protests all the time, and their economy isn’t collapsing because of it. You are also forgetting that that the other main causes of the lag in economy is the complete & total corruption in all government institutions (state, municipal & local), the military curfew that’s completely destroying our logistical operations and Tourism, the absence of Security (more on that later), and the total confusion of (the many many many) foreign investors- who want to come to Egypt now and invest- in regards to who they could talk to in order to come here and invest, given that the civilian government has no power and the military council isn’t exactly approachable.

You are concerned about the thugs attacking and robbing you of your property & demanding the return of the police & security, but you are forgetting that the police (who acted no different than the thugs except having a shiny uniform) used to rob you every single day. And about those thugs who are terrorizing you, who let them out of their prisons in the first place and then refused to arrest them? Oh yes, I remember, the Police. Silly us for demanding that they get held accountable for their actions. We should beg them daily- like you- to come back to work unconditionally after they betrayed their oath to protect us & put us all in grave danger. Our bad.

You are concerned about your kids getting killed by thugs (who, again, reminder, are unleashed by the police), but you were not concerned that they were getting killed daily by the polluted water, the poisoned meats & fruits & vegetables, the completely unsafe roads & public transportation options, the complete and utter catastrophe that is health-care and Egyptian public hospitals, where far more people die than get better and where any Egyptian would rather not step a foot inside if they can afford to go to a private Hospital (which isn’t always incredibly better). Lest we forgot, even the grandson of our former President died in one of them. But yes, the thugs are the problem. Our bad.

You are concerned that the Islamists are going to take over the country and turn it into Afghanistan, and yet don’t seem concerned with taking concrete steps to ensure that this won’t happen without impeding their rights. A good way to do so is to demand the overhaul of the Egyptian education system, the end of bigotry & discrimination against minorities in all job positions (private or public), the removal of hate-inciting Imams or Priests from Mosques and Churches, and in case all of the aforementioned are too much for you to handle, you could simply stand for religious freedom and equal rights to all in Egypt, especially Egypt’s Christians, who in case you didn’t hear are getting attacked and their churches are getting burned and you don’t seem to care. We would recommend you take a small visit to the Maspiro protest and talk to “those people” and understand the issues at hand, but we also should understand that this would take some time from your busy schedule of complaining about us ruining everything. Our bad.

We get it. We see how we are irresponsible. How we are ruining the country. How we are not concerned about you. We are evil. A cancer that plagued this fine and healthy nation. 25 Khasayer. You are right not to like us. You are right to hold protests against protesting and only 500 of you would show up on a Friday and then claim you are talking in the name of the silent majority. Those millions of us who went down to support those demands are only from every social class and religious background and from both genders. We are in no way representative, especially that the majority of people in Tahrir right now are now the poorest of all the protesters, who are told to go home & live on 20 dollars a month salary until we figure all of this out in 6 month to a year, and all of your Korba Festival buddies are too busy to go there anymore. You want the ones who are still there to go home and leave u alone. After all the ones in Tahrir now are poor. They smell. Can’t have that! Egyptian people are not smelly or poor, of course. Shame on them for defaming us all.

So, since we are such a public menace and refuse to listen to reason, I have a proposal to all of you that will surely make you happy: How about we take all those people who took part in the revolution and supported it, and give them a piece of land in Egypt to create their own failed state on? Maybe somewhere in Sinai, on the beach, say Sharm el Sheikh for example? Yes, give us Sharm and some backland and leave us there, so you can continue living your lives in Peace and stability. We will give you back the Mubarak Family (we are not big fans) and we recommend you give us all those people you don’t like in return: you know those annoying minorities, like the Copts, the Bahaai’s , the Shia, the jews, the Nubians even. Yes, get rid of the races you dislike as well. We will take them all. We will even divide the people up fair and square and ensure that none of us remain with any of you. Ok? Let’s start right now.

You can have Ahmed Shafiq as your Prime Minister and we will take Essam Sharaf as ours.

You can have the NDP and its officials and we will have all the new political parties that are starting up all over the place.

You can have Aamr Moussa as your ideal Diplomat; we will take Mohamed ElBaradei as ours.

You can have Zaghloul elNaggar as your top Scientist; we will take Ahmed Zuweill.

You can have Alaa Mubarak, Ahmed Ezz, Mohamed Abu Elenein, ElMaghraby as your businessmen, and we will take Naguib Sawiris and the Bisharas and all the other businessmen in Egypt who want to run legitimate businesses without unnecessary bureaucracy and bribing 18 different entities to open and continue to run one.

You can Have Adel Emam, Yosra and Samah Aanwar, we will take Khaled Abulnaga , Basma and Yousra Ellouzy.

You can have Tamer Hosny and Mohamed Fouad, we will take Mohamed Mounir, Mariam Aly and Ramy Essam (and we will make sure no one tortures him while he is in their custody).

You can have Farouk Hosny, and we will take the artists that the revolution brought out.

You can have the Supreme Military Council meet your demands on their schedule and discretion; we will take the Revolution Trustee Council any day of the week.

You can have a country where women suffer from oppression, sexual assaults, genital mutilation and honor killing, we will have a country where women are in all positions of power, sexual harassment and FGM absolutely not tolerated, and where one gender doesn’t see that it has the right- in the name of honor- to oppress , beat and violently murder the other gender. We won’t tolerate that happening to our women; you can do with yours what you please.

You can keep a constitution that got amended so much in the past 7 years and still discriminates against many Egyptians and gives the President absolute Power, and we will have one that ensures the rights and equality of all of our citizens (no matterwhere their parents come from or whom they marry) and where there are checks and balances against executive Power.

You can keep an economy that is plagued with inefficiency, corruption, poverty and Monopoly. We will have one where entrepreneurship is encouraged and supported, our country open to all investments, and our workers are guaranteed a living wage.

You can keep a public school system in shambles and half of the population being illiterate, and be forced to pay for public schools and private tutoring for your children. We will have public schools that are well funded and teachers who are well-trained and well paid.

You can have your healthcare system being a complete and total fiasco where apathy and complete lack of concern for the patients’ well-being is what defines it, while our public Hospitals will be properly funded and staffed and those who due to negligence harm or kill a patient will be held accountable.

You can have a country where people believe that being civilized is to go for one day and clean Tahrir Square up, while we will believe that true civilization is ensuring that our government cleans our street up and as for us, well, we just won’t litter.

You can have Your Internal Security services spying on you, arresting you indefinitely, collaborating with terrorists to attack your churches (if you will continue to have any) torturing and/or kill you, and your Police to bully you and blackmail you. Our internal security service won’t do that to us and our Police will protect us, will uphold the law, and, god forbid, reduce crime and put criminals in jail instead of letting them out.

You can have an Army that dictates orders to you; we will have an army that obeys us.

As you can see, what we are asking for is totally unrealistic and we are completely dedicated to destroying ourselves. If we are truly such a problem, we urge you to help us make that happen, so we can get out of your hair as soon as possible.

But if you are insane and unreasonable like the rest of us, please join us and help us. We don’t want our own state, we want to do this here. We want our Country, Egypt, to be the best country it can be. One where we all can live and co-exist; one where the state is healthy and functions and all are represented and have rights. That’s what we always wanted and called for, and we don’t know when that message stopped being clear to you.

We are not saints. We make mistakes and we are not above criticism of any kind. You have the right not to help rebuild the country, and you have the right to criticize those who are trying to do it, but you don’t have the right not to help and only criticize that things aren’t exactly to your liking. If you don’t like something, change it. That was the lesson of the Jan25 revolution after all, you know?

So please, if you agree with our vision, join us, and if you can’t, simply defend us. We have achieved so much, that it would be a sin to stop now.

Help us! We need you!

Sincerely,

Mahmoud Salem

(A Jan25 Protester)

 

Comments

  1. Riverwand says:

    Well done sandmonkey. Egyptians still have much to do. Please be kind to each other. best wishes from rural Australia.

    • Karim Sedky says:

      well said …this is the way we should all be thinking “if u don’t agree with something change it” and thanx to ppl like you that “the silent majority” are ending their silence.. together for a better Egypt good luck to us all

  2. ahmad samy says:
  3. good work sandy . keep fighting . Egypt needs people like you . good luck…..

  4. Omar Kamel says:

    Well written but I’m afraid most of us are preaching to the converted. Also – turn out in the last couple of weeks has been miserable. The army is now everybody’s carefully chosen blindspot.

  5. DementedBonxie says:

    Very well done. I’ll retweet around Scotland.
    By the way, have a break!

  6. Zsofia Balogh says:

    Well said! Wish it would be printed in around 80 million copies and spread out in every corner of Egypt. Best wishes from Hungary and support from (i think all) the expats of Cairo.

  7. Fuck you and fuck the Muslim brotherhood Sandmonkey!!

    • I think there’s an asshat stuck in your throat. Should fix that.

    • nate van til says:

      Magued you must not be entirely literate if you can attempt to read this letter and still group its author with the Brother Muslimhood. Hope the schools improve and you can rectify this.

    • Magued, you must be a result of the sterling academic system Sandmonkey was speaking of. I see you can spell expletives but have a problem with reading comprehension.

  8. Ur words r music to my ears. :=O

  9. Well written. Wish you all the best of luck in creating a better country. / Magnus, Sweden

  10. Msatonienne says:

    Excellent. It leaves me with a big question for you, though. How do you justify your apparent love of entrepreneurship with your very justified demands for strong public health care and education systems??

  11. Nermeen Negm says:

    Mahmoud…
    Yeslam fommak!
    Please please, I urge you to have this translated into Arabic somehow or else, allow me to do so. You need to be speaking to the mainstream public.

    A long awaited post & so very very right on timing. I wrote about this a couple of days ago while I was having a rant on my silly little facebook account, but purely from an emotional perspective – I called it “Lest not we forget” :)
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=10150111151564719

    I love the comparisons & your friend’s idea for having it done in the form of a table is pretty cool… you know: “Tahrir vs Mostafa Mahmoud for Dummies”

    Thank you for this.
    Cheers to the greatest Sandmonkey of all revolutions.

    • Upon completion of reading this, I was just about to write to you, Sandmonkey, and suggest the same thing. Please have someone translate it, or give someone permission to do this for you, and get it into mainstream media. People in Egypt need to read this. They need to hear this.
      Respect

      • actually if you can get it translated asap why don’t you publish it in al masry al youm before friday? i’ve noticed many a man on the street reading masry al youm the past few weeks… & this friday will need as many ppl as possible & your pt of view is getting lost in the midst of all the distractions happening now :( when you get it translated pls pass along will try to spread coz we need to reach the average person on the street, not just internet users… best of luck

  12. Dear Sandmonkey,

    Thank you for your great article and a boost to many people’s fading energy.

    I want to give you a view from another perspective, not defending but explaining the view from a different stand point. There is a significant amount of fragmentation in the society now, so I guess I am representing only one of those fragments.

    I was on the streets on January 25th, 26th, 28th and onwards. I did not lead, or stand in the front lines, but I was one of the millions who walked the streets, had my share of tear gas and stoning. I have not paid the ultimate price, but did pay my share of demonstrations, of night watching, loss of business, fear, etc.. So, I can’t claim any sort of leadership, but I can claim that I was one of the 8 million or more people who made the pressure possible.

    Moreover, I agree with all the objectives that you mentioned in your blog and I see how the revolution could be hijacked, muted, distorted, diluted and ultimately aborted. I worry about having paid a price for nothing just as much as anybody else.

    Having said that, I think that the momentum that I see right now is in a way, self destructive. I see how the average Egyptian in the street (who unfortunately is not reading this blog) is being lost to other forces and for very good reasons:

    1. 40% of the Egyptian population lives below poverty lines and another 40% are barely making ends meet. A significant percentage of those 80% earn their livelihood on daily basis. Many of them haven’t worked in two months. They are hungry, sick, scared and angry. Loss of income is not an issue for a middle or upper income family. But for those making their money on daily basis, they are getting angrier by the minute. Without some sort of normality we are risking a completely different type of uprising a very ugly one.

    2. The choice to not have any leadership in the revolution’s early days was a fantastic negotiation tool. If the government has no counterpart it has no way of negotiating and therefore no option for compromise. But Mubarak gone, the supporters of the revolution (the 8 million or so people) are now fragmented, they don’t know who is who, what needs to be done nor why. They get their information from the media and without an organized leadership there is no “official” spokesperson or group that can again mobilize public opinion and eventually the protests. And today many people are riding the wave, claiming to be the legal / official face of the revolution, creating even more chaos and more fragmentation.

    3. Media, media, media, media, media.. without the media at this stage, it is impossible to achieve any type of pressure. This goes with my point 2 above.

    4. Having continuous protests gives them a pattern. This pattern makes it easy to infiltrate any effort, distort it and sabotage it. Moreover, many people who want to support the revolution are unable to maintain protests for such long periods. They have families to provide for, work to attend to, etc..

    5. There is a “you’re either with us or against us” spirit that is circulating among a lot of activists now which is making a lot of people shy away. So, whereas the end objectives are the same, the choice of the means is again dividing people and the accusation of lack of patriotism because of a difference in approach (not in objectives) is yet another reason why people are fragmented.

    The revolution succeeded when 8 million people hit the streets, not 50’000 and not 300’000. The success of the next phase relies on those 8 million again both as individuals as well as institutions. That’s what broke the system and brought the regime to its knees. If the revolution can not mobilize those numbers again, it will not be able to complete the next phase.

    I therefore suggest the following:

    1. Unification of political forces again: we’ve lost the MB, the old crappy opposition and some of the activists as well. Need to put them back together in one front. Even though some of those fragments have the same demands they obviously have different opinions on how to achieve them. You might want to include other new comers (Hamzawy, Sawiris, etc..).

    2. Having an organized front will give you legitimate and official access to the media. Which again is a key player in the coming phase. Especially with regards to the constitutional amendments and following elections. A key at this stage will obviously be to remove the state media heads but that can only be achieved if you have enough support.

    3. Give the army a safety plan, unless your objective is to escalate confrontation with the army with the objective of creating divisions within its ranks, you need to gain the support of the army. That will not be achieved if it’s threatened. Without confirmations to the army that it will retain its position (or majority of that position), it has no interest in a democratic and fully civilian state. It’s a tough choice to either escalate or negotiate. Either way without a united front this will again be difficult.

    4. The average Egyptian needs to be reached and he needs to understand an feel optimistic and hopeful. People in the street need to know that this is for their own good. Because as far as many are concerned, they’ve achieved a miracle and think that the rest is just people being greedy and upping their demands. They need to understand better. Especially that there are many people who are very excited about rebuilding the country and feel that the protests are just slowing them down.

    5. Use other means of pressure, not just protests (due to their nature of being easily infiltrated and sabotaged). Here is a comprehensive list of other means of putting pressure: http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations103a.html

    Finally, every Egyptian is proud of what has been achieved so far. Every Egyptian knows that we were going from bad to worse and that’s why almost everyone participated in the revolution. But not every Egyptian understands the facts above, not every Egyptian agrees to the methodology, not every Egyptian can contribute the same to the cause. That does not make people traitors because not all of them are dealt the same cards.

    Salamat

    • @Kasey156 says:

      Salamat, you have some excellent thoughts.

      I have said repeatedly – Strength in unity.

      I have tweeted endlessly – media must be accessed which will reach the ordinary citizen. You say the state media heads must be removed in order to accomplish this goal. Are you certain that is the only way? Many uprisings throughout history have been achieved by individuals going out IN FORCE – yes, by the millions – to distribute newspapers and flyers.

      Can the citizens gain control of even one radio station, television station, or newspaper? Is there any way at all to reach the average citizen? Again, history shows that people in the past have found ways to broadcast their views – one way or another.

      It’s true that many of the strongest revolutionaries are idealists, dreamers – but without them, there would have BEEN no revolution. You want everyone to come together – but in order to do that, we must embrace the idealists – just as they must embrace ALL citizens, whether they agree or disagree. The revolution has given Egypt the freedom to express – to have a voice. In that, you can unite.

      When it started, it was a nice dream, with a good purpose – and even now, the name speaks a great deal – the radio stations “Voice of America.” Why not a newspaper, radio, tv station/show called “Voices of Egypt”? Something that would include news about everything, political, economic, cultural – points of view, liberal, conservative, centrist – and “call-in” shows, where the average citizen on the street would have the opportunity to speak and know that they were being heard?

      I am sure there must be a way. I hope everyone can work together to find it.

      Kasey

  13. Dear Mahmoud;
    Greetings from Cairo and thanks for the effort done in writing this piece, and of course for protesting. I will not start by praising you as you do not need to hear this, but just in case, you wrote a great piece. Hope you have the time to read my comments:
    In your article you split the Egyptians to 2 distinctive teams, Pro & Against. Even though this might be a fact, but it is not 2 teams against and pro. It is two teams with 2 point of views of how to take this immensely GREAT achievement one step further.
    There is a general tone of degrading the other in your writing. To be honest, I did not take it well. I felt offended in some parts of your article, specially the part where you kept repeating you can have and we can have. In this, once more you divided us to those who want corruption and those who want freedom and democracy.
    The part of you can have and we can have has only one good point, it summarizes some of our many troubles. So thanks for this. It is a good reminder of where we have been and where we want to be.
    Regarding Copts rights, I do not think anyone would disagree on this point, whether pro or against. By the way, I come form a mixed family where Copts are married to Muslims. So we got both sides of the coin in the same house.
    The 25 JAN had achieved the impossible. There is another achievement that has to be done by the great youth that we all love and adore at this point, educate the ignorant. I do not think we should spend the time protesting anymore. We should spend the time educating. The future is in the hands of the illiterate, simply because they are so many. I do not mean educate in schools, I mean educate people about constitution, what they should ask their future MP to do for them. On what basis should they elect this person over another, and so on.
    Finally, the economy and its weakness. Im an entrepreneur but am no an economist. What I can say is people have to go back to work. We should begin producing and working. A simple example is my micro-business; I will not be able to give salaries after end of May if tourism is not restored. I know Wael Ghonim is on to something as he mentions in his tweets, I hope it works. The path to democracy is harsh. We will not get it over the weekend, but what we should work on is minimizing the damages along the way. I do not think anyone in Egypt wants the clock back to 24 JAN, except those few, that you, me & everyone knows.
    If you reached this line, I thank you for reading.
    @basemsmile

  14. Ahmed Mahfouz says:

    Great post sandmonkey, but I’ve got three comments:
    -how about translating this to arabic and get ibrahim 3esa (for instance) to publish it.
    -the gig right now is about fear and as much as I’m into hard love it usually doesn’t work with people who are afraid. Security and stability and organizational changes and the unknown are legitimate fears.
    -We’re behind you 100% percent, think that all you’re going through is for the quality of some people not the quantity of all people, people will always bitch and complain but you (we) will still stay strong
    Thank you

  15. A German from Berlin says:

    This whole point that protest would be a problem for the economy is complete nonsense. Especially in Egypt the real reason for the huge impact on the economy are government actions only. They closed the banks, the stock market, imposed a curfew, take the police from the streets to impact security, release thugs to worsen the situation, shot people and terrorize everyone who just wants to move from one point to the next.
    If Tahrir is blocked by tens of thousands of demonstrators, how does that have any impact on the economy? Does all business in Egypt happen on Tahrir Square or is this not more than a traffic issue, which you would have otherwise as well?

    If you opened a business before and you have success, what would have happend to you before? You can work on increasing your success and expand? Or does the government come by and opens their hands to claim their share? You refuse to bribe them, they find some regulation to stop your business. Or someone from the goverment copies your idea opens the same business and keeps you from advancing. Not to even talk about the money they play in each others hands, to squeeze the last drop out of the country to fill their own pockets.
    And if the pollice is free to beat you up if they feel like it, is that stability?

    I really think that you need to go to the people, shop owners, taxi drivers …. You need to explain this to them. Argue and make your point. Even if you don’t convince them, maybe you can leave a seed to grow. You don’t reach everybody here. You have to go out and spread the message. I wish you and your country the best.

  16. yasmina Maher says:

    Wonderful work Sandmonkey, it shows Rev. Jan25 has all leadership qualities it needs and can can put the demands of the revolution into reality. You have all our support for this vision of new Egypt.
    That said, I agree also with the aspects Karchaf and Basem Salah mentioned in their comments. It is not always black and white and to spread the message of Jan25 among the ordinary people is crucial for the ongoing success of the movement. Thank you for all you did to free Egypt!

  17. robin yates says:

    I have read your comments on Twitter since the Egyptian Revolution started. I am impressed young man. A country which has overthrown the oppressor Mubarak needs assistance if required. Good luck to all you Egyptians

  18. Noha Zaki says:

    Very well said; it isn’t easy erasing years of slavery.

    Thank you

  19. Sam Moustafa says:

    In response to Msatonienne who Says:
    “Excellent. It leaves me with a big question for you, though. How do you justify your apparent love of entrepreneurship with your very justified demands for strong public health care and education systems??”
    You’re assuming basic social responsibility by the state for its citizens hinders capitalist drive and innovative creativity? You can have a socialist democracy consisting of a strong public health care system and a strong public education system alongside enterpreneurship and a capitalist economy…. Look at Canada as an example. The two goals don’t necessarily contradict each other… and in fact in theory they would even go as far as to compliment each other. Don’t you think?

  20. You say everything I want to say just perfect as usual!!!

  21. A scholarly and passionate piece Mahmoud, well done!Matt

  22. First of all, thank you for all your effort and it’s great to see someone who cares about their country and wants to improve it so much. I hope their are more people like you.

    BUT what you wrote was basically a BIG FUCK YOU to anyone who doesn’t agree with you.

    If i’m correct you are fighting for democracy, meaning you are fighting for freedom of speech meaning, are you fighting for anyone and everyone to have their own point of view but here you blatantly attack anyone who disagrees with you even if they are in fact in the wrong.

    I do not support Baradie, nor amr moussa, nor shafiq, nor mubarak! In fact I don’t support anyone until i see all the candidates and their plans for the country… But what I’m trying to say is that if someone decided to support the devil or (dare we say, and i pray to god this wont happen) gamal mubarak, THEY HAVE THE FREE RIGHT BECAUSE IT IS THEIR OPINION that falls under democracy that we’re all fighting for.

    Also We are not enemies, this is a very dangerous line… like rudyard kipling once said “All the people like us are We,

    And every one else is They.

    And They live over the sea,

    While We live over the way,

    But-would you believe it? –They look upon We

    As only a sort of They!”

    Please forgive this part, because i’m not trying to act pretentious or even show of, not at all. All I’m saying is we are all EGYPTIANS and we are all one and even if we disagree I will fight for your right to say it! I think that’s a famous quote also.

    You don’t have to agree with these people but you have to accept it and respect it. Then we truly can be free.

    But that’s my opinion and I might be wrong… Again Thank you for your hard work though and I hope you appreciate my point of view as I do yours.

    • I have to agree with this. While we appreciate all the hard work and effort you are putting into this cause, you must realise that so many will have differing opinions. Your condescending tone betrayed your contempt for those who do not agree with your point of view, which is a shame. While I am a fan of this blog in general, I feel that you sold your self short this time ’round.

      PS. all those people who are apparently ‘against’ what you are saying are probably folks who love Egypt just as much as any of us. It is out of love for their country that they have a differing opinion. Many are poor and don’t know better, and simply want to get a job and food on the table, while others are of an older generation who are skeptical of change, not because they do not support your cause, but because they are simply set in their ways. To frown upon/ridicule them for being of a different opinion goes against the very ideals that we all wish to see in our country: freedom of speech, expression, and the media…

  23. RESPECT!!!! Summed it up perfectly!!

  24. JOHN MCLEOD says:

    Egypt, Canada is proud to call you a neighbour! Live free!

  25. excellent article. I guess a revolution needs idealists and needs a shake-up from time to time, but I also understand some of the well reflected answers you’re getting. That’s the joy of democracy-debate!
    I can understand your frustration, I guess most people agree with what you want, except they lack to vision to see how it can be obtained. And most want the other to change- change in society can’t come if it doesn’t come from the personal change of each and everybody- be the change you want to see in the world, said Gandhi, and everybody in Egypt is called to change from
    his ‘usual’ way of doing. If there isn’t a common good will and the feeling that you’re all in this together, it won’t work.
    This article needs to be translated and spread and maybe you should consider getting into politics. New politics needs ideals and new faces.

  26. My wife and I visited Egypt in 2009 from Canada. We were in Cairo for 4 nights and cruised the Nile for 7 nights on an organized tour. I was primarily interested in ancient Egypt but, with the few free hours that we had, I broke away from the pack and visited the Al Azhar Mosque, the Hanging Church in Old Cairo and the Nubian village of Koti on Elephantine Island. Despite our hotel cautioning me against taking the Cairo subway, I rode it alone before and during rush hour. I felt safe at all times. Unlike at the tourist places, no one asked me for money on the subway. I left Egypt with a huge respect for the resourcefulness and good nature of the Egyptian people to add to my huge respect for your history.

    I am disappointed that the Canadian Broadcasting System (CBC), the Canadian equivalent of the BBC and the least biased broadcaster in this country, has dropped their coverage of Egypt. Considering the magnitude of what Egyptians achieved and the complexity of making progress from where you are now, this event deserves more than the usual short-attention-span treatment from the West’s fickle press. I joined Twitter to follow your events in real time, and, without social media, I would be clueless about what’s going on now.

    The arrests and torture at the Egyptian Museum (what sacrilege!), the attacks on Coptic churches and the effects of the unrest on tourism are worrying. Having been a tourist there and having followed up with research, I am aware that tourism is by far the most important source of income for the country.

    Another problem: Few outside Egypt are watching. Essentially, you who fought and are still are fighting for changes are the ones who are going to have to make it happen. That is not news for you, I know. You did this shocking first part alone. Obama, in charge of the declining American Empire, is firstly concerned about Israel and a large part of his electorate. Given the huge negative effect of the revolution on the economy, it will necessarily get worse before it gets better. The result of these balance of trade problems will be as serious as if Egypt were placed under sanctions and I suspect there are those inside and outside the nation who would like to see security return, no matter what the cost to your hard-earned progress towards democracy.

    Egyptians must remain united and address each other with frankness – and respect – for all. The fellahin who have lost their land, livelihood (and even their lives) to the overrated “market economy” pressures and resulting corruption must be an integral part of the change. I have hardly heard anything on Twitter about them. Tinkering with the economic status quo and running to the IMF and the World Bank (agents of the market economists and the rich nations) will not solve things. Selfish interests inside and outside will use the crisis to get even richer than they already are unless the changes become truly fundamental enough to challenge the current global economic sophistries.

    I recommend that Egyptians read Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” and become familiar with what you are up against. It is available in Arabic at http://www.naomiklein.org/node/702.

    Good luck. You might be on the leading edge of a new world order, but the path from here gets narrow and treacherous. I hope that the cycle of Egypt as described by Naguib Mahfouz, in his great 1959 novel, Children of Gebelawi can be broken.

    In ardent admiration I wish you well.

  27. Great post basha can you plz include Atheists, Agnostics and deists when you refer to minorities always feel left out really :)

  28. Your post is immature and illogical to say the least. You mock and belittle those who disagree with you instead of trying to listen and understand different points of view.

    You don’t offer a plan or any solutions. Your only “plan” is more protests, which will only lead to more chaos. How will these protests help the 40% of the population that have no work, no money and no food? How will these protests affect the country’s security issues? You may not have children to worry about, but a lot of us do.

    The recent protests have been disruptive and divisive. We were once united during the Revolution but now different groups are only looking out for their own interests. We have a lot of issues to tackle, but first, we have to stay strong and united as a country.

    You go through the trouble of telling us what “we can have”. We are fully aware of what Egypt can be. But how? Please don’t tell me your plan is to achieve change through unorganized and aimless protests.

    Egyptians have the same goals but our approaches might be different. There are different ways of achieving the same goals. If people disagree with your methods, it doesn’t mean they don’t want a better Egypt.

  29. cyberstorm says:

    Sandmonkey, very well done. Very thoughtful and insightful.

    Could this be also made into something to pass to others who are not as tech savvy? Perhaps something a Conscious Statement, passed around?

    You have a way and the mindfulness of that Conscious – it should be spread to everyone possible. You are a good sturdy man.

  30. samy okasha says:

    you are a divisive ass hole, as these revolutionary idealists who like

  31. Ahmed Akram says:

    fantastic article man :) very well said.
    god bless u :)

  32. It was einstein who said “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”

    Unfortunately, I am sure about the latter! Ukh reading your post was painful!

    shoghl farafeer…

  33. Well, you got rid of the man, but the army is still in charge. I have no idea how you are going to build a democracy there. There are so many undemocratic forces and traditions involved. I just don’t see how it can be achieved. But anyways, good luck.

  34. Loulia Damerji says:

    Dear Egyptian citizen of tomorrow,

    I thank you for this piece of yours i have sent it to be read to my contacts i also believe it should circulate in Arabic and in English and published in a daily newspaper too.
    Ask and evaluate the needs of the country,it should be immediate in the administrations,National Education needs to be unbent,reformed launch a national subscription with monetary donations that every Egyptian can do outside financing state budget,mobilizing people in the whole society financing will come from the people,”i have the right to request since i paid”;Suggest to factory owners to give shares in the market to the workers who deserve it.update human resources,digitize government offices, computerize administrations;protect social security from corruption and racketing and fraud from social insurances;reduce and assess social divisions.Create a Union of the Suez Canal and make a bid to enlarge the Suez Canal to generate more profits to the country.Establish a creation of material aid funds that will pay for priorities like help for the unemployed until they find a job instead of inciting them to stealing and help them become a better citizen to serve their country.

  35. I wish I could say otherwise, Sandmonkey, but the behavior of your online folks has been appalling. And that’s in English, so I can only imagine what kind of hate filled and psychopathic rantings they issue in Arabic. If you are claiming the only barrier to getting a better Egypt is lack of popular support for the positions of your online revolutionaries then I’ve got to disagree. I personally don’t want to see what Egypt would be like under their stewardship. I have never in my life seen such reactionary and hateful people describe themselves as “liberal”, and I hope I never do again. I’d rather people just get honest about where they’re really at with their ideology. I recognize the need to at least pay lip-service to western ideals when you want western backing but the disconnect between what the western press has been selling and the product that’s actually there in Egypt would be grounds for a fraud prosecution if we were talking about commerce rather than politics.

    I’m not talking about you specifically. I’ve always had nothing but respect for you. But you’re hanging with some pretty disreputable folks and I’m not as convinced as you are that they are preferable to what came before.

  36. PeaceGalaxy says:

    Hey! Well-put, as usual !
    Watching from afar & sending best wishes for the Egyptian Revolution as it continues on numerous, logical levels.
    Tons of communicating to do!
    Hope it can be fun rather than tedious.
    Keep turning it round!

  37. Mohamed: I do not support Baradie, nor amr moussa, nor shafiq, nor mubarak! In fact I dont support anyone until i see all the candidates and their plans for the country

    Does that mean you don’t live in California anymore? Because if so, then there was at least one good thing about the revolution and that’s America getting rid of you! Mabrook USA!

  38. Loved it ..you speak the truth ..hope u r feeling better

  39. Great post; I reposted it on my site, twitered and fbooked it. Congrats and best wishes to Egypt

  40. The usual sarcastic rants that I stopped reading long time ago. Someone posted your crap on another site and I made the mistake of reading part of it thinking, hey it’s a new Egypt. Big mistake.

    Do you have anything constructive to say? Any suggestions? Any solid movement to help build a diseased society with so much potential?

  41. Someone from Holland says:

    A very well written post. You summed up a good list of what needs to be done. On the other hand, I think KarChaf has made some good points too in his comment (13). Need to be considered. Joined effort.
    You guys are doing a great job! Hope some day we can all read about what you have finally achieved.

  42. God bless the Free People of Egypt. People of Egypt, be the hope of humanity.

  43. mangar (israel) says:

    You have already proven that when you stop ranting and take action, almost anything can happen.

    I believe that the most fruitful way to ensure that your vision for Egypt will be as you described is for you, and other symbols of the revolution, to be part of the process – i.e. a jan25 political party with you, Ghonim and other leaders/ high profile protesters as members.

    You only have about 6 months to mobilize for elections – this doesn’t allow enough time for unknown political players to gain recognition.

    btw:
    This is more or less what Sherif Hashim (Neurosurgery prof. from Ain-Shams University) wrote:
    http://tidypub.org/AfWKp
    his twitter account:
    http://twitter.com/sherif_hashim

    btw2:
    Having you in the parliament will surely make things more entertaining, that’s for sure.. :)

  44. Ingy Alireza says:

    As a non-Egyptian and complete outsider, why would I support you when you have inconsistencies in your article? You say take such and such minister and give us people like Naguib Sawiris; unlike the author of this article, Sawiris has the moral maturity to see that those people that have been outright blamed for all the corruption of Egypt and thrown in jail without proper trial might be scapegoates. He himself has defended the rights of these people to be judged in a just court of law and not in the media. You are polarizing people, grow up and get a more mature world view. Just my advice..take it or leave it, my hunch is that you will flippantly dismiss it as you have dismissed any form of constructive criticism. Looks like you only want to hear that you are infallible; I guess thats what you mean by saying “help us” and “support us”. Wish you develop the emotional maturity that Naguib Sawiris displays when he stands up for what is right even when it isn’t popular since shock horror, there may actually be honest people on every side.

  45. I was waiting for that article! Mahmoud, well done!

    Now, how will you spread that word to the masses? Time to re-educate, seeing as the country has really only had one political system for so long. They are afraid, and when afraid, people will stick to what they are used to. KarChaf hightlighted that in his point #4.

    Maybe it’s time for a re-education public relations plan? Utilize the social media tools, the public media, to show people where things are at the moment, what to expect in the coming months, how they can contribute, what systems are set up to help them deal with the new changes to their lives. Use the tools to keep the momentum of Jan25 going, to keep people enthusiastic and looking forward. When fear rises, counteract it with calm voice of reason.

    To counteract the negative, you’ll need a constant flow of positive. Old habits die hard, and you have a lot of people there with some very old habits. Change won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Jan.25 proved that!

    I will share this article with every person who speak negatively about the Egyptian revolution, and will post the link on my blog and facebook. Everyone needs to read this, both inside Egypt and outside.

    Keep speaking your mind, Mahmoud. The world needs that. Allah yhfazkom.

  46. European says:

    SandMonkey.
    Your “rant” is excellent. You also will learn that in a democracy you have different “streams” not everyone is following or even seeing the same goals. But you have to do with all those sensibilities. Once democracy and rule of law will be established all the people will start to comprehend what they will not wish to lose again.
    I wish that Egypt will at last get again what it lost a milenia ago : to be proud of whom you are!

  47. You mentionned Farouk Hosny. Do not forget Zahi Hawass. They can stay together. All of them should be accounted for what they did and tried.

    All our best wishes for a free Egypt.

  48. Stefano Zucchiatti says:

    great piece!! Well done…

  49. This is gold! :D

  50. Keep fighting SM. You guys are doing good. It’s gonna be hard, but the progress you’ve already made is astounding. This will not be quick or easy, and in some ways the farther you get the harder it gets, as freedom means that people can make the wrong choices as well as the right ones. But I think with people like you looking out for it, Egypt’s gonna turn out OK.

  51. very well written, frank, insightful and persuasive work by one of the strongest voices of the Arab uprisings – congratulations :)

  52. @Kasey156 says:

    Wow!

    When you finish saving Egypt, will you please come and rescue America? And when you’re finished with us, there are many more countries …

    If only the world were composed of about 25% emotional, idealistic, yet strong activists, it would be a much better place.

    It took you a long time to post since your last … but I believe this one was worth waiting for. Hope all is well with your leg.

    Kasey

    • Kasey: If only the world were composed of about 25% emotional, idealistic, yet strong activists, it would be a much better place.

      I grew up in the US when it was like that. It wasn’t a “better place”. And our hippies had their shit together a hell of a lot more than Egyptian revolutionaries do, so please tell them to stay in Egypt. The US would become a hellhole overnight if it was populated by primarily by Egyptians, of any variety. If you want to fawn all over Sandmonkey that’s fine, but please try to find a way to do that isn’t at my country’s expense. I don’t want what Egypt has and if you do, you’re crazy.

      • Craig, can you please fuck off? this issue is of no interest to you and your ignorance and arrogance are astounding. will you stop trolling? can you?

        • Excuse me, AF, but the person I was replying to insulted my country and suggested that my country could benefit form Egyptian revolutionaries coming here to spread their ignorance and idiocy in the United States, so that very much does have something to do with me. How’s about YOU fuck off, asshole?

  53. Interesting idea of separate state in Sinai.
    I am sure Israelis would’ve helped with water, gas, electricity, commerce and even with defense.

  54. Almost forgot – does this piece exist in Arabic for in English it is kind of … useless.

  55. Writing from India- loved this post- very John Galt.

    • My thoughts exactly.

    • There were newsreports earlier about engaging with India for operational support for the elections- particularly our electronic voting machines. Wonder if that’s still on the table…

    • Nermeen Negm says:

      Perhaps you haven’t met any of the people Sandmonkey refers to – but I have. & they believe that Egypt didn’t really need a revolution & that the people could have done the cleaning up themselves (giving reference to the day after toppling Mubarak at Tahrir) & that the people could have donated to & helped educate the poor majority without humiliating our government/former President. So his point made about being civilized is actually relevant to that particular group of people & hence should not be taken as hostile to the rest of the population.

      With regards to your comment that Sandmonkey’s tone should not be patronizing or condescending, I totally agree, but the problem here is that everyone that seems to be opposed to the ideology behind the revolution – which is really what this rant is about – is being over sensitive because their own personal point of views are actually – indeed – pretty mockable.

      Now I’m not saying that people should not disagree or debate their differences, am just saying that at this stage, this revolution really has turned into black or white. You can’t stop now – & you can’t continue half asked just because the silent majority are having a difficult time coping.

      At this stage, perhaps we really do need to be shaken up by straight-tell-it-as-it-is blunt honesty. Unfortunately, everyone just goes on to take offense, meanwhile missing the whole point of the discussion. Kinda like the whole hate mongering campaign unleashed on Alaa El Aswany only for ranting the truth in Shafiq’s face & completely missing the point the man was trying to make.

      I urge you & everyone that did not find this blog post enlightening & motivating to re-read it again but from a less defensive position. Open up your mind like you are sitting with a friend who is indeed ranting & trying to get across through people’s crippling fear.

      Moreover, this blog is called “Rantings of a Sandmonkey” & anyone who’s ever followed the Monkey should expect wit & as you eloquently put it: “his sharp tongue” because really – that’s what he is all about.

      No sissies here.
      There are other mediums in which people are gently taken by the hand to the light of understanding, this forum – is definitely not one of them & you should have known that yourself.

      Cheers,
      N

      • Nermeen; I have been reading and commenting on the Sandmonkey blog for roughly five years and fully understand his snarkiness. But now he must realize that he has a different readership and a different role to play. He is now one of the leaders of the movement and thus one of the leaders of the country and must consider his new role in his writings. Leadership has its responsibilities and one must embrace them or cease being a leader.

        I will make further comments at the end of the thread as soon as I complete reading the comments.

      • Sandmonkey; been reading you for years and always loved it but I was disappointed with this post. While you make many good points, you seem to be very frustrated and angry. No doubt you are in a difficult position in difficult times but as a leader of the movement, you need to show strength, not anger. Striking out at the people that disagree or are even just impatient will not win anyone over or aid in reaching consensus on major issues. And saying that you will leave for Sharm, even though I know you would never do that, just emboldens the enemies of democracy.

        And as I stated earlier, you are now one of the leaders and have a different readership than before. They may not understand you as your long time followers do. You need to adapt to this new role of leader and take the reigns or quietly step back.

        Of course the people are impatient. They have suffered greatly and now expect a better society. And as other have stated, many people are on the edge and don’t have a lot of time for things to come together. They are scared of the unknown future they face. Give them that. feel their pain and make it work for you.

        The Muslim Brotherhood is organized by neighborhoods and will use that to steel your country if you are not careful. They are probably even be the source of some of this discontent. And reacting emotionally will just play into their hands. Remember how you sensed weakness in Mubarak and how that encouraged you.

        Point out the progress you have made. Invite them to the people to the table, get them more involved. Organize throughout the country to counter the MB. Have the people elect a representative from the neighborhoods and towns and villages so that they know their voices and concerns are heard. The MB has gained power b y doing just that. You need to out do them on having the people feel connected to the process.

        Be strong, my friend. A better Egypt is just around the corner. The elections will be momentous and joyous. Win or lose, rejoice in the freedom they bring and embrace the people.

    • As a non-egyptian, outside observer, I read sandmonkey’s blog post for what it was: a rant. Generally speaking, when I rant, it often isn’t pretty, or even nice. It is a chance to download frustrations and spew forth in a safe forum: one’s own blog.

      Sandmonkey is sarcastic, but that isn’t a bad thing. Playing Devil’s Advocate can stir the pot and make readers see other sides to an issue. It might rub some people the wrong way, but it also incites dialogue, and as long as people are discussing the issues, things won’t stagnate.

      I agree that serious PR is needed now, to keep everyone in the information loop. With a country unaccustomed to democracy, there needs to be a large PR process to assuage the fears of many people who haven’t had the benefits of an elightened education. Fear breeds fear, but if you can relieve those fears, can encourage participation and understanding, there is every reason to feel hopeful for a fabulous new government for Egypt and a bright future.

      Sustained change doesn’t happen overnight, but with time, education, patience and perserverance, that change will happen.

  56. YEAH! The monkey is brilliant again. Well said!
    (p.s. um, did like your previous blog design much better though – more zip, more pizazz, more memorable, more cool eccentricity and good times – and that absolutely priceless opening line about taking tea or sodding off – please bring it all back, the old design is very much missed.)

  57. Get up and stand for your rights. Don’t lean or depend on somebody else to do it for you. You guys, go ahead and make a political party by yourselves! Act Now! And educate the streets. The Revolution Party. The others are already trying to kidnap the revolution. So what are you waiting for? Stand up for your own party! Six months or five, it can be done especially when you guys toppled a mean dictator in just a few weeks. Get in control! Who are you waiting for? Miracles happen when you believe it from the heart.
    Peace.
    Plus I am proud of you guys, for now I am proud to be an Egyptian.

  58. Peter Norton says:

    Great article. Thanks for all your work sandmonkey!

  59. V r wid Tahrir says:

    may ur drmz cm tru … Egypt.

  60. Thank you for your excellent contribution to the debate on the course of the Egyptian revolution.

    You are right – the political revolution is far from complete – and the social one hasn’t even started! Too many people are relying on the army to carry things through which, in my view, could prove quite dangerous in the longer term.

    This is not a ‘People’s Army’ but an army led by officers who served not just Mubarak but the interests of the US and Israel too. The army also needs its own revolution, with the removal of the corrupt and quite reactionary senior officer caste and their replacement by a new group loyal to the revolution. It was the conscripts and middle-ranking officers who made the overthrow of Mubarak possible – not the men at the top.

    A new democratic state system needs building asap and the army is not going to do this. Clearly many senior generals do not mind the divisions now appearing in Egyptian society about the course of the revolution. Divide and rule is not peculiar to Egypt as you are aware.

    IMO, freeing up Egypt for inward investment and entrepreneurship is not a way forward either. This is what we have in Britain and elsewhere in the advanced capitalist countries. And we have a global recession, financial chaos , inflation, mass unemployment and attacks on workers’ rights. Our dictatorship is made up of investment banks and transnational corporations and hopeless governments who are in their pockets.

    Your revolution has inspired people in every country by showing that it is possible to get rid of oppressive regimes through mass action and imo is a stage in a global revolutionary process that will sweep countries like Britain and the US too.

    In solidarity,

    Paul Feldman
    Communications editor, A World to Win (http://www.aworldtowin.net)

  61. Sandmonkey, I started to read your “rant” here and wondered if I was one of the people who drove you to writing it! I have been on your case and some other leaders, so to speak, on Twitter – mostly from frustration. There is a phrase that says “If you are in the wood you can’t see the wood for the trees” meaning if you are too close to a situation you can’t see the overall picture, and I believed you all were not seeing the “Big Picture”.

    I am an “older”, educated, intelligent woman and have been watching the revolution from inside Egypt, indeed Cairo most of the time, but as a foreigner not part of it, as indeed in the beginning I did not fully understand all of it!

    As it progressed I understood and became part of it. But then my logical brain kicked in and I began to look for the direction the revolution was going – it was chasing police stations, saying “No” to everything and everyone without appearing to be saying “yes” to anything, without appearing to put forward any positive suggestions, ideas as to where it should be going after Mubarak left. Let me say also that I am NOT saying it was unnecessary to go for the police stations.

    As a business person here, as the days passed I became more and more frustrated – there were unending days of protests and nights of sit-ins at Tahrir – indeed it had a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie and was the place everyone wanted to meet. This is where the lines of protest, politics, economy and direction became blurred and merged with a social, celebratory and party aspect. This is where dis-satisfaction among those with economic, business, legal, investment etc. set in. This is where I became one of the people tweeting you about the future of the revolt and what you were doing. You, and the others mentioned above being those I could identify on Twitter as “Leaders” and your refusal to interact with me or even reply to my concerns under the excuse of it being an “organic” movement insulted my intelligence and frustrated me even further. I am quite sure that I was not the only one feeling like this either on line or among the population in general.

    Speaking with people in the banks, shops and online made me realise I was not the only one very concerned that it was all going down the toilet at this stage and fast!

    There have been two further devastating events for me personally in the past few days. The first was a conversation via Twitter with one of you which ended at 5am on the morning of the 8th March. A conversation I had to badger him into having with me to begin with. At the end of this I was shocked and horrified and empty to realise that all you wonderful twitterers and movers of the revolt actually had no firm concrete ideas, goals, plans in mind at all for what was to come next. I could see you were being played and manipulated from outside/inside (I don’t know) but you were now running all over Cairo in small numbers like headless chickens and the police and army appeared to be getting the better of you. You had no cohesive voice, your following was gone and so was the media – they could also read the situation and had nothing positve or interesting to report to the International News desks on your behalf.

    From the conversation I gleaned that you (Tahrir sub set) had picked the new PM Shareef and were now going to leave it up to him and his committes to follow through on the ideology demanded by the revolt because you were divided on issues. He thought someone was working on the economy but didn’t know anyone himself. He suggested we go off ourselves, form our own groups, put our ideas forward and work by ourselves for whatever we wanted. One of the other people and myself actually wanted to get involved in a concrete, contributive way but were not being welcomed. In fact the opposite.

    The second devastating event was the 8 March when I went to the Women’s March – which I am not going to go into here. All I am going to say is that I felt it was a complete set-up for what it turned out to be. But the real thing I didn’t get was the almost TOTAL SILENCE that day on Twitter from the people I considered the movers of the Revolt. Again the biggest thing that hit me that day apart from the TOTAL ABSENCE of support was the TOTAL ABSENCE of organisation and common sense. How many were there? No more than 300 out of which 225 approx were men about 75 women and half of those were not Egyptian. Of the men that were there – they were totally ineffective in any way.

    By the time I went home around 6pm the square and streets around it were filling with men and I have to say that during the latter days I would not describe many of those in the street that are described as “thugs” as I would define “thugs” in my country. The men hassling the women’s protest were ordinary Egyptian men. It seems to me that the word “Thug” is now for anyone who opposes the Revolution as it stands today. I would not say they are all police nor all Mubarak supporters.

    The conversation on Twitter with one of you coupled with the disaster which was Women’s Day in Tahrir have left me confounded and silent. I have not written a blog entry myself since that date, nor posted my photos from that day. I feel I am not the only one feeling like this.

    I am now, as many others, trying to get on with normal life apart from what is or is not going on in Cairo. I hope for a better future for Egypt but since, like most of the population, I am not getting any information, nor direction from either government, army nor the Revolt Movement I do not know what to think. I do not know what to do. I do not know if the country will slide back into the pre-Mubark routines just with different faces – I get no indicators of hope that it will do otherwise. I get no sense of the interim government nor the Army being watched, monitored or checked from outside these units -= how can you monitor from outside anyway?

    Like most of the population of Egypt I feel neither informed nor involved. I have skill I could contribute but contribute how? You, Sandmonkey invite us to help and support you – but you only want our support in the street. You don’t want to listen to other’ people’s ideas – so now instead of including everybody and using all the skills you can from those outside your little group – there are divisions springing up all over the place – how many different political parties do you think there can be before it becomes a farce? In fact, how do you even set up a political party in Egypt???

    Anyway that is how I feel and why I have badgered you and the others. You and your comrades did a wonderful piece of organisation whether you admit to it or not, that was what gave me hope (as you can read in some of my blogs prior to 8 March). You are human and young as everyone else (outside of existing politicians and gvt members, army) in Egypt. Young in the game of politics, manipulation, debate, public relations, economics, global politics, global economics and so much more needed in an emerging democracy. I realise you are doing your best and also that you have been hurt by some of the comments (not just here), actions, attitudes etc. directed at you and your colleagues. I am sorry you have to endure the pain of this but it goes hand-in-hand unfortunately with being a figure in the media.and public eye. It is something you all need to consider if you intend continuing in what we call “Public Life”

    I agree with all said above by Karchaf, Basem Salah, Yasmina Maher, Mohamed, Dalia, Ingy Alrega and Adham.

    We are all human, we all want to belong, we all want to contribute, we all want a better Egypt.

  62. Nour Kamel says:

    Very well said. This is by far the best Eenglish piece I read on the current Egyptian situation. Thank you Sandmonkey!

  63. Very well said. I agree. Please read my blog anenglishgirlincairo.wordpress.com

  64. Catherine says:

    Thank you, sandmonkey. I’ve been debating the inclusion of human rights in a new Egypt or Libya at every turn with those who would treat women as chattel and homosexuality as a crime against the law, nature, god, religion, etc. I will send them to this page for further reading. Thank you again.

  65. Wow, Sandmonkey. Thank you for your blog and thanks to all “commenting contributors”. This is democracy in action.

    Remembering the +martyrs+

  66. Red Tulips says:

    Sandmonkey,

    You had me until you mentioned ElBaredei. The man is linked with Iran and has praised the Muslim Brotherhood. If he is your guy, I have to question what you hope to achieve. It is impossible to have male/female equality, human rights, and peace in the region if you have someone in charge who is a patsy of the Brotherhood. In fact, it is ElBaredei who gives people such as myself grave doubts about the Egyptian “democracy.”

    I think you are well meaning, but I disagree with your conclusions, and I think you might want to rethink who you are backing and what you hope to achieve.

  67. A mina fahmy says:

    This is the best article I read since 25 Jan.I congratulate you.good luck for Egyptians with your support.

  68. Well said :)

  69. Justice4All says:

    Yo,

    I am glad you are alive and apparently well. keep fighting the good fight.

  70. Abu Sa'ar says:

    This raccoon commiserates, ya SM. I don’t know if you’ve read “Homage to Catalonia”, but I think you probably should if you didn’t.

    May you succeed.

  71. Ooh snap. Nice work. Its sad that people are complaining just because their cushy existences have been shaken. but then revolution is gritty, back breaking and mostly thankless work. Dont lose hope sandmonkey. You and the others out there like you will be remembered as heroes by future generations even if the current ones are acting like ingrates!

  72. nahid Mohamed says:

    You have said it all. May Allah be on your side to bring back the Egypt we strive for.Living abroad showed us tru freedom that Egypt and Egyptians deserve. Ta7ya Masr!

  73. Nelle Chan says:

    Firstly, Mahmoud, I like your new website. It looks good, and best of all, I noticed there are no more spammy “posters” fake posts that are really just useless spam.

    Not much news of Egypt has reached Canada lately. I’ve been depending on your Twitter page, Al Jazeera, and other internet sources for news of Egypt.

    You and your cohorts have done great work so far. Although Mubarak is no longer in charge, the army still is, and has not intention of letting go of any of that power. The uphill battle is under way. I hope and pray that you the democratically-minded Egyptians will prevail.

  74. Well said, Sandmonkey, and thanks for writing. You are at a stage that is less exciting than the demonstrations, but it’s also where your cause could be lost. So, there is a need to persuade the people who worry about the future that there is something to be gained.

    At this point, I think that Egypt has the most hopeful situation in the Middle East. That is because of the mutual respect expressed between the protestors and government members. If enough senior and mid-level government and army officials accept the legitimate demands of the protesters, and the protesters show respect and love for their country, then a country can be reformed. Reform is SO much better than revolution, because reform is a way to improve a country without destroying it.

    I was very pleased to see that suggestions for the changes in the rules for your society are being collected and discussed, and that the Army requested an outline for a Constitution, and your lawyers responded. It’s clear to me that a lot of people have been thinking carefully about these issues for a long time, and that many of them seem determined to build a strong foundation for the future. Success of course is by no means assured, but you can look to Iran, and Syria, and Lebanon, and the West Bank, and know that you have something to lose. If the Egyptian people hold each other tight, and protect one another, all will yet be well.

  75. Modernjan says:

    Good to see the Sandmonkey back on his feet. This letter is brilliant and I’m glad you survived the uprising (your website was down for several weeks and your identity had become public so I feared the worst).

  76. Sandmonkey,

    Purim, a joyous Jewish holiday recounting the rescue of her people by Queen Esther, begins tomorrow. And, those miserable bastards currently in control of Iran are lying their heads off to their people, in an effort to whip up hostility against a non-existant enemy. Obviously, the Iranian government needs enemies because they have unwisely spent all their beautiful oil money on killing their neighbors instead of building a home for their own people.

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2011/03/purim-20115771-in-iran-a-call-for-the-world-to-do-something-new

    I know a number of your regular readers have great hostility toward Jewish people and to Israel, so I thought I would post this, to let them know they’ve been fed a pack of big, fat, hairy, whoppers by evildoers as a distraction. This has been going on for decades, and the result has not been good for the people of any of the countries of the Middle East.

    I hope that the Egyptians will build a great future for their country, with liberty and justice for all their citizens.

  77. You words are nice, keep writing, keep dreaming, until the Islamists ban your website, and show you what “freedom” really is.

  78. Having found your “rantings” during the jan25th protests, I spent a few hours reading through most of your blog … and some of the blogs you linked.
    Egypt suddenly grew very close and very dear, and I hope to be able to visit some day soon.
    Having read your last post, I wonder wether you have seen this article on CNN website:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/02/25/maria.ressa.protests.philippines/index.html
    that I think wraps it all up quite well: you will have to find a way to use existing structures to change your country. While of course reforming those structures as soon as possible to get rid of corruption … but a country cant be changed into a democracy without all those bureaucrats and institutions.
    Remove those and the country will end up in the hands of another dictator.
    So what lies ahead of you ist a time of too slow changes and compromises, but I hope you will not be frustrated and always keep in mind what you have written in this post: your idea of a free country with free citizens, a better Egypt.
    Keep ranting!

  79. You are awesome!!!!!!! Keep doing what your doing friend- Egypt needs to get out of the dark ages!!! Thank you- American friend, Lori

  80. Dina daoud says:

    Would love to help in the new Egypt.. We support the revolution

  81. monalfouad says:

    although i did no participate unfortunately physically in the revolution i would love to live in your paradise !!! i really wish you the best of luck !!!

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