Bits and Pieces

There is a question that SCAF had at the beginning of the revolution: Is this a dignity revolution or a hunger revolution? After a while, they decided that it’s a dignity revolution, which is a lot easier to remedy than a hunger revolution. You see, a hunger revolution will tear everything apart, but a dignity revolution? Simple. Just give people some dignity.

” So, you want dignity? Fine, we will give you some dignity. First thing we will do is  create a referendum where YOU get to choose how the country works, even though WE will condition you to vote the way WE want you to. And WE won’t allow anyone to subvert your will or choice no matter how much they protest. Then WE will give you a parliamentary elections that will be totally honest at some point during the year, where YOU get to choose the representative according to a system that WE choose. You would like that, wouldn’t you? Oh, but you have an issue with Mubarak. He robbed you of your dignity. No problem. We will put him on trial in front of cameras, just FOR YOU, even though he will never see a day of prison. How about that to restore your dignity? Happy, huh? Now who is your favorite SCAF?”

Now that would work, if only that hunger revolution wasn’t coming as well….

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Unlike many of my compatriots, I was incredibly happy to see the Sharia Friday go down the way it went. Here is why:

  1. It ended the myth of Leftists-Islamist cooperation: For years I have been telling my leftist friends that any Leftist-Islamist alliance is a stupidly conceived idea on every level and is detrimental to the leftists more than anything, as history has shown every time such an alliance took place (Let’s not use Iran as our example, how about the 2005 Egyptian parliamentary elections? Oh, there was an alliance, and the MB ended up honoring the alliance by voting out every so called “leftist opposition politicians” from the Parliament). But no, please, let’s ignore that the Egyptian left has nothing in common with the Islamic right, neither socially nor economically (The economic programs of every Islamic party are the epitome of capitalism), and that the Left got screwed by the Islamic right repeatedly through-out the revolution, and make such an alliance and then act shocked when they dishonored the agreement. I understand that many people on the left believe in such an alliance because the Islamists used to get tortured in the same cell they used to get tortured in, but sometimes the enemy of my enemy can kiss my ass too. Just saying.
  2. It gave us a great hint to their size and financing: It was estimated to be 1-2 million and to have cost about 20 million LE, and this is all the salafi groups and the MB combined. If we apply a family multiple, let’s say 6, for each one there, then you have maximum 12 million islamists in Egypt, out of 85 million. Sweet. The money thing, however, not so sweet. They have incredible funding, which means this election will get very interesting very quickly.
  3. It scared the living shit out of the moderates: The best part about the whole experience was how alienating the islamist message was to the majority of Egyptians. Egyptians , for the last time, are moderates and this Afghanistan crap doesn’t appeal to them at all. So, the Islamists may have proven they can get numbers, but they have lost the center with this move. Good Job.

So in a nutshell, the Sharia Friday was great. More of this please. How about one every week? I really want them to bleed money.

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Did you watch the Mubarak trial? Didn’t you like how they added the Mubarak Case and the MOI case together for the first day, so you can see all the people you despise in one Holding Cell? Yeah, that wasn’t done to psychologically manipulate you at all.

Also, please watch it every day. It will only take 3 years, and if Mubarak isn’t dead by then, he will face house-arrest until he dies and will never see the inside of a jail cell. His sons, on the other hand, will get 3-5 years sentences topsand then leave the country to retire in Switzerland or something. Habib Aladly will be executed, of course.

Personally, after the first day, I am done with it. What will happen next will be a legal fiasco and a political circus. Not interested in either.

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For some reason, there are some famous revolutionaries who keep repeating the narrative that the Jan25 revolution wasn’t the peaceful revolution that the whole world saw. They cite incidents of violence reported and recorded on videos to support that theory. Incidentally this is the same group that always talks about violent escalation and the such.

Well, I am sorry, but this was a peaceful revolution because we didn’t go to the streets carrying weapons or pushing for violence. When we got attacked, we naturally defended ourselves, which naturally involved violence, because, well, our Police was shooting at us. And I have personally seen countless times when demonstrators around me would prevent people from carrying rocks or sticks in preparation for clashes with the Police on JAN 28th. So, this narrative is simply not true.

And while we are on the topic, I am officially going on record and stating that I am not pro violent escalation of any kind. Totally against it.

Self-defense, however, is another matter.

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One of the Silver-linings of the July 8 Sit-in was that it ended the phenomenon of people being lead by loud voices with no plan out of fear of not appearing revolutionary enough. Yep, that won’t work again.

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The Trick that the SCAF is using is simple and genius: Have people focus on the past (Mubarak Trial) and the present (Military Trials/SCAF actions) so that they don’t pay attention to the future, i.e. the parliamentary elections, which is in two months. And to those who say that the elections doesn’t matter and that it’s all about the revolution, well, the SCAF managed to completely screw the revolution for 5 months by a single referendum on 8 articles. Can you imagine what they can do with a democratically elected parliament?

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It’s not good to have demonstrations in Ramadan. It’s better to stay away during Ramadan, rest, strategize and come back ready. Ramadan, on its own, is a counter-revolution. No one is paying attention to anything, people distracted with fasting, eating, prayer than TV, and they have zero tolerance for anything beyond their own objectives in this month, which do not include the revolution. Hell, we have Tamer Hosny on TV, playing a revolutionary on a TV show.

You are playing the game of Public opinion, and your enemies have all the weapons. It wouldn’t hurt to be more strategic.

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A lot of people were shocked by SCAF statement #69 , where they singled out and attacked the 6th of April movement, even though it made perfect sense to me, because it’s all about monitoring the elections. First you get your minister of international co-operation (Mubarak loyalist Faiza Abulnaga) to make a big stink over international funding for local NGO’s , which they would need because election monitoring logistics are very expensive. Then you have SCAF issue an election law that forbids international monitoring of the elections, leaving it in the hand of the Judiciary, the same Judiciary that oversaw the fraud in every single election ever held in Egypt. And finally, they issue a statement against local groups that got trained on election monitoring abroad.

So, if the local NGO’s won’t get funding, international monitors won’t be allowed and internationally trained local groups that can actually monitor the elections are labeld agents and traitors, who will monitor what is only and arguably the most important election in the history of Egypt?

We need to start mobilizing people and training them on election monitoring. We can’t allow this one to get rigged.

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Not everything is a protest, a sit-in or a marsh. There are other tools that allow you to 1) Get all the people who support you to do so without leaving their houses, 2) prove that you have the numbers to back it up, and 3) stay away from fights with thugs.  Here is one: How about collecting signatures? A nice 8 million signature campaign demanding the firing of all Police Officers accused of torturing people, for example?

Do it, and then let’s see them try to downplay that.

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Dear SCAF, mentioning the part about how April 6 got trained in Serbia was a nice touch. People think Serbia, they think Milosevic killing muslims; they don’t think Otpur, the non-violent youth movement that took down Milosevic, and the one 6th of April models itself after.

Well done.

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It’s safe to say that the brand of the “revolution” has been damaged after being relentlessly attacked for months in state-media and by the reckless actions by some revolutionaries. It’s not beyond repair mind you, but what needs to be done to ensure that the revolution is a success has become too big to grasp for the average individual. For example, in the July 8 sit-in there was 7 demands listed, one of which is “cleaning the Media, the MOI and the Ministry of Justice”. Oh yeah, that’s one demand, and it mentions no specifics. And if you give people such a huge demand without mentioning the specifics of how it should be done, you are bound to lose them because, well, start with which one?

And here is the interesting thing : No one is against the demands. They are simply not big fans of the revolutionaries at the moment. Fair enough. Let’s change tactics.

Instead, let’s all pick one or two causes we are very interested in (MOI, Education, Media, whatever) and focus only on that. Do what “No military trials for civilians did”. Stick to the issue, keep pushing and it will become a national issue and part of the debate. Others will start supporting it, including Parliamentary candidates, who will want to be seen as advocating the people’s causes. And voila, you have yourself a lobby. And if you are not interested in lobbying, just monitor their activity and act as a Watchdog. Make sure that they are doing their job the way they should and expose them the moment they don’t. Off the top of my head, a Media Watchdog is incredibly necessary at the moment.

So yeah, let’s create Lobbies and Watchdog institutions on every issue, and work on it. Present solutions and policies and push for them.  Before you know it, they will become a permanent fixtures of our civil society, which will only make it stronger.

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The question of Elections first or Constitution first is irrelevant, because neither provides a solution to the real problem: Who, exactly, should be in the committee to write the constitution of your country?

Should it be constitutional law experts? Or Human Rights Lawyers? Or Sociologists? Or Psychologists? Or religious leaders? Or all of them? And if so, who?

———————————————————————————-

The 1952 revolution was a head without a body. The 2011 revolution is a body without a head. The head is trying to transplant itself on the body, and the body is violently rejecting the transplant.

Never mind that there is a Renaissance of culture taking place in Egypt ever since the revolution: art, poetry, music and humor – forces no army in history has ever defeated.

Never mind that there is an entire society being shaped as we speak, from political parties to underground media to empowered human rights activists, putting seeds that will change the future of this country forever.

Never mind that Independent unions have now jumped from 3 at the beginning of the revolution to 90 now. If each one has 20,000 members, welcome to a whole new player and force in the Egyptian political arena.

But never mind all that, remember when I said that peaceful protesting, that what we were trying to do, was nothing but being a safety pin for this country? That the moment we fail, other forces will look at peaceful protesting as futile, and will start using more radical means?

And did you pay attention to what went down in Suez, Sinai, and Gerga lately?

These are not isolated incidents, and they are not planned either. It’s an allergic reaction to a transplant operation that could never work.

Now imagine what will happen the moment the Delta rises, and it will, thanks to SCAF’s insistence on still appointing generals as governors instead of letting people appoint their own, or because of lack of serious land reform, or due to lack of services, or any of the other reasons that fueled those people to revolt. It will happen, because, as always, it’s only a matter of time.

And when that happens, well, God save us all.

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Food for thought: People cheered when the few remaining members of the sit-in were attacked by the Police and the Army. The reason? The people were mad that the Protesters were blocking things in Tahrir for 3 weeks, and intended to stay there for the duration of Ramadan, which they believe that no one should have protests during at all at the Square to facilitate and not block the insanely blocked Ramadan traffic. So they cheered.

Now, after the Police and the Army broke-up the sit-in, they stayed in Tahrir, arresting and terrorizing anyone who looked like a protester in order to ensure that no more protests or sit-ins take place. And they are doing so with gleefully violent abandon, because, well, they finally took back the square after 6 months. So they are out in force, being agressive and rude to people, and causing daily traffic jams and blockage. During Ramadan. And will probably continue to do this until its last day, at least.

Can you see where this is going? :)

65 Comments on Bits and Pieces

  1. Tallulah
    August 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Monkey, are you losing your faith in the future? I hope not because the future of your country depends on people like you to keep waving that banner, spreading that word, and doing all the grunt work that will bring about a New Egypt.

    I know this is completely intangible, and maybe doesn’t even matter, but there is an enormous segment of the world’s population that is watching Egypt with anticipation, and a whole lot of hope, that you guys will really manage to create a free, democratic, secular country, and do it peacefully. No pressure.

    If we can do anything to help boost that flagging spirit, just say the word. Seriously! If you guys need help, you have but to put out the word and I know there will be many who will answer your call. But please don’t tell us to bugger off and leave y’all alone because, well… we’ve all kind of become Egyptian since Jan25, and we can’t turn that off now. You’re stuck with us, watching, cheering, and believing in the power of a people who peacefully removed a dictator. Your journey has become our journey by osmosis, and we know you guys can make this happen.

    Two months to a New Egypt. Yalla!

    Btw, another amazing post, sir. Will share this with others.

    Reply
    • Tallulah
      August 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      Just to quickly clarify, my first question about losing faith in the future was based on your comment “And when that happens, well, God save us all.” which sounded rather ominous. I forgot to say that in my post.

      Reply
  2. ِAgirah
    August 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Changing tactics is one smart development to the revolution. Many people will need step by step guidance on lobbying though. Generally, brilliant piece.

    Reply
  3. Mohamed Hussein
    August 11, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I like your articles because they are smart, give me hope and you are one of the very few people who offer solutions, not just criticizing

    Reply
  4. Abby
    August 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I think this is a great post and the key thing you propose overall is strategy, goals which provide a distinct direction. Many people who are pro-Revolution whom I know are anti-protests because they don’t see enough specificity or solutions in the demands. They are too general and lofty and often then are not seen as realistic. Give people something specific and tangible and then they may be more likely to support a sit in. But you need to be strategic WHEN and WHERE you have it – which is your point about traffic at Ramadan etc.

    Beyond Sinai etc, don’t forget Arish – al Qaeda is talking about Egypt and is becoming present with some Palestinian influence as well thanks to the open Rafa border. This is a concern as well – as they are more than happy and ready to move in with violence and reckless abandon if given the chance. So people need to keep on thinking of EGYPT not just CAIRO.

    Reply
  5. Ahmad
    August 11, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Feels like several posts rolled into one, guessing you’ve been too busy to post lately?
    Content-wise though, enlightening as usual!

    Reply
  6. Sarah Gheita
    August 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G Job and One more Note SCAF will not let the elections go untampered no matter how much we monitor and expose because they want a puppet government and puppet president it’s a matter of life and death to them

    Reply
  7. Daniel Neun
    August 12, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Just wanted to say – you have readers in Germany, and Austria and Switzerland, were intellectuals admire the Egyptians fighting for something people here throw in the garbage can: democracy.
    Proceed and stand your ground.
    Best wishes from Berlin.

    Reply
  8. DementedBonxie
    August 12, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Very well said! I can see how you got frustrated with yourself, finding it hard to write it down. It is an good reflection on what’s been happening, and a good pointer to the way ahead. ‘Bits and Pieces’ is hardly an adequate title for an important strategy statement.

    Keep going, keep reflecting.

    Reply
  9. Axel Hinze
    August 12, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Enjoy all your posts tremendously. If I read sandmonkey I believe all is well and the revolution is going well in spite of all the opposition. Patience nothing is lost.

    the clever Egyptians will prevail even if it takes a while. Foreigner living in Sinai , Egypt since nearly 30 years. Continue your great work and distribute your brilliant mind sandmonkey. This country will change to the better.

    Reply
  10. Mahmoud Saber
    August 12, 2011 at 9:11 am

    well said, i believe next elections will have funny deals that will be covered by the scaf! (i heard that MB already offered some seats to some C-revolution youth)
    will be kinda interesting to have the liberal forces, Islamists and some Scaf member on the same table with a big map and agreeing who will run where!, also they won’t forget to save some seats to ” the youth” and others! so the elections will be tre chique and well organized! which i believe not very bad and maybe better for the new liberal parties!
    -
    No, attacking April 6th wasn’t the smart action from the scaf! right now there’s already two April 6th the original one and the gabha democrateya one, one having election sometime before eid and the other is having election after eid.. see? they really need to be attacked?
    i think the thing is irrelevant to elections mentoring, they better had to attack some others centers that really working on the election mentoring! and you know, they can easily find the weak point that can be attacked in each one of them!

    Reply
  11. Sarah
    August 12, 2011 at 9:45 am

    After the 1952 revolution, Nasser & co had lots of problems controlling Egypt.

    Not only that there were groups trying to assassinate him, but Upper Egypt for instance were a big source of trouble. Allergic reactions to the transplantation of the head over the body were there. Nasser started to have a full grip on the country with the nationalization of the Suez Canal & the war that followed.

    Egypt got internationally isolated, but the bi-polar world served him. He got slightly to the left, made his Yugoslavia/ India ally … etc. He managed to get public support & we became the legend & the symbol he was.

    I can’t tell whether it was luck that served Nasser with the Suez Canal crisis, or was it him who decided to manage Egypt by crisis. But in both cases it worked fine.

    But right now, unless people become aware of how a crisis will eventually lead to a full control to the army (which btw many inside the SCAF personally deny is on their agenda) this is my main concern now.

    My main concern is the state of shock on the “twitterville” & consequently the related media (ONTV). The SCAF 69 communique came out in the time there was enough public readiness for it. In 6 months the public had the pleasure of watching revolutionaries fight on TV shows, they had the pleasure to see 1st hand how all players are fighting over the cake.

    The public was ready to one more time take a side. & once more not the side of the revolutionaries. Which for the general public now seem to be more addicted to the act of revolution than anything in life.

    It isn’t that SCAF is made out of angels. But it isn’t that the revolutionaries are angels either. & each of us will have to choose at one point between who seem to be opportunistic person manipulating the public opinion with lies & rumors and a person with a strong record of silently serving the country. A person who seems disciplined & will promise discipline in the time of chaos. If things are to be put that way. I think it is time to change strategy.

    It is time to make sure we get to the elections phase & be ready for it. Because lots of things could happen in a month. Given the stupidity of some & the addiction to the revolution & the calls for violent escalations. This all could lead to a very dark place.

    & always remember, when it was time Nasser didn’t mind getting in a war. Nasser didn’t mind an international isolation. & the world isn’t really a single power world as it seems. It is half step away from the 1930s economy. New giants are fighting over resources.

    We should always have the international factor in mind. & I see a change in tide in the Egypt’s tone with the Americans. We are playing Mubarak’s favorite game that maintained him 30 yrs of peace with Israel, yet a population ready to die if Israel once decided to get into a war.

    So you are still friending the Americans in the news, but systematically turning the already hating public against them.

    The xenophobia isn’t against all foreign nationals. It is mainly against the Americans & consequently the Brits & other allies.

    This too shall be taken into consideration.

    I really liked reading this post.

    Reply
    • Karim
      August 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      “It isn’t that SCAF is made out of angels. But it isn’t that the revolutionaries are angels either. & each of us will have to choose at one point between who seem to be opportunistic person manipulating the public opinion with lies & rumors and a person with a strong record of silently serving the country”
      There’s nothing democratic about an election, in the end we are given a choice between several candidates with similar background and similar beliefs, who will make similar promises and fail to deliver on most of them. Realistically, we must choose who to be manipulated by, may the best Machiavellian win

      Reply
  12. ahmed zaki
    August 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I think this will lead to more clashes in the future

    Reply
  13. The Mellow Jihadi
    August 13, 2011 at 5:39 am

    “It ended the myth of Leftists-Islamist cooperation.”

    Yes! The islamists knew what they were doing, the leftist were in la-la land. . .

    Reply
  14. perlova
    August 13, 2011 at 11:56 am

    A great mind stands behind a great post!!! i loved reading it and smiled all the way through the article. i can’t predict what the future holds but i enjoy looking the present. learned a lot from you and you unique point of view ;-)

    Reply
  15. yogi
    August 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Your calculation of the number of islamists is baseless. Who knows how many Islamists/families those who were at the demonstration actually represent?

    The number could easily be twice as high as your estimate.

    And even 12 million Islamists is nothing to sneeze at.

    In the end, the only thing Egyptians will be able to agree about is to hate someone else – the Copts, the liberals, and then the rest of the Non-Islamic world, starting with the US and Israel.

    In short, Egypt is still an extremely immature society.

    Reply
    • Friedel
      August 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      “Immature Society”?
      And what does that mean – should they leave the elections to the Islamists, until they are “mature” enough? Should all the demonstrations and actions by the democratic movement stop, until better times? And what might a “mature” society be … one that is happy consuming consumer products and is happy with all teir democracy, while their wealth is built upon starvation and dictatorship, civil war and lack of basic human rights in the rest of the world?
      I really wish there were some more juvenile societies like those in tunisia and egypt, that have revolutions without bloodbath and show such a potential for the future. Maybe then they might show those limp old toothless societies how it might be done: with idealism and energy, criticism and realism.

      Great post, sandmonkey.

      Greetings from Berlin!

      Reply
  16. Scotty
    August 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    “…Habib Aladly will be executed, of course….” now that one I doubt. Aladly will not go down silently and let Mubarak & family enjoy retirement in Switzerland. Once he will feel the noose tightening around his neck he will implicate Mubarak & Co. and that cannot be allowed. So Aladly must be saved.

    Reply
  17. Islamist
    August 14, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    For me as an islamist, the coming elections are not so important.

    For me as an islamist, the coming elections are not so important.

    For us is the right of free speech more important.
    That includes:
    - the right to learn our religion,
    - the right to educate our childrens with our religion,
    - the reight to make dawa for our religion,
    - the right to build mosques
    - and the right to make takfir to all the obvious Kuffar, Mushrikin and Munafiqun from our understanding

    If a new Constitution can guarantee us those rights without implementing the full shariah laws, then i think we can live with that. We have time and can wait another 10 oder 20 years before a complete victory will come, inshallah.

    If a new Government uses a Constitution to save it full from islam, but in the other hand they use it to controll the personal understanding and practicing of islam, with cutting our rights like i wrote before, then we will get a big problem, because such atatürk tactics will led us not to an civil state, but to an civil war.

    The funny things about sandmonkey is the fact, that he wants to join a party, which is coming to an end in the origin western nations. I am living in europe and in all perspective its going down. Social, economically, demographical, morally, ethically. He is similar to someone who wants to join the Eastern Bloc in the last 80s.

    Reply
    • Gehan
      August 16, 2011 at 9:51 am

      “There is no compulsion in religion”

      I really wish you exercise the right to learn about Islam!

      Reply
    • Omri
      August 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      “and in all perspective its going down.”

      Hah! Egypt imports half of the food she needs. To keep the food coming, Egyptians need to develop an economy that exports enough in valuable goods and services, or get enough in foreign aid, which generally involves asking for it nicely.

      You Islamists are incompetent at anything involving economics, and you’re not good at playing well with others, so asking nicely for aid isn’t going to happen either. If you lot come in charge, Egypt will sink into the muck.

      Egypt needs you like it needs hookworm.

      Reply
  18. hummingbird
    August 15, 2011 at 1:01 am

    hi! so very, very good to see you back at the keyboard!

    we see some in england have given up on peaceful demonstrations. these are tough times all around. stay focused, the world needs an insider view. THANKS!

    linji

    Reply
  19. Muslim
    August 15, 2011 at 1:22 am

    That was a highlight in Al Jazeera:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkKzo93HL0A

    It shows all the falseness of the arab secularists.

    For the english speaking people:

    The first funny thing:
    The secular men wants to quote a quranic verse but mentioned a quranic chapter that does not exist in the Quran.

    Then the shaikh heared the first time that he is debating with a secularist (3almany).
    Instantly he asked him directly “Are you a secularist (3almany)?
    He answered Yes! The shaikh said, ok then you are not a muslim.
    The secularist said No i am a muslim,…
    The shaikh: A secular Muslim is totaly impossible…
    and then the secularist does not let the shaikh to ask him another question.
    After all at the end the shaikh get the chance to ask him “What do you say if someone said he is a jewish muslim? The journalist starts to laugh and asked him too: “or a catholic muslim?” The secularist is completly weirded out and do not know what to say.

    Haha :)

    That is truly the biggest hypocrisy of the most arab secularist. They want to argue with Islam although everybody knows that they have no knowledge about islam and nothing to do with islam. At the same time they know very well that nobody will listen to them if they are not pose as muslims and appending islam. Only idiots or people with the same hypocrisy can buy this. The most arab people see only weakness in such a position. They will never give off their own nation to such weak faceless people.

    Sandmonkey is better than them, because he does not pose as a muslim. Not even a little bit. But that makes him for the majority of the egypts like an alien from the andromeda Nebula, his analysis from out of space, and his wishes for egypt like an illusion from Hollywood.

    Maybe that is the main reason why he is so hip for western people. The today’s western generation grew up with Star Wars, Star Trek and so on… and forget how to cut the reality from illusions. Here, they actually belief sandmonkey have something to do with egypt, but that is not surprising because most of them also belief till today that their money in the pocket have a real value. That is truly amazing.

    Reply
  20. Beth
    August 16, 2011 at 3:28 am

    sometimes the enemy of my enemy can kiss my ass too. Just saying.sometimes the enemy of my enemy can kiss my ass too. Just saying.

    So. Am. I. Good call, amigo. Good call.

    Reply
  21. IrishAlexandrian
    August 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

    In the weeks that lead up to Jan 25th I followed you on twitter and prepared myself for the impact of what was to come. Throughout the revolution I continued to follow you, for i knew your reports would be factual and not exaggerated. Months after the revolutions, I am still following you. I find your honesty and bluntness refreshing. Although I am not politically fine tuned and regretfully am not very knowledgable in Egypts past political history we share similar view points and ideas. I agree a change of tactics is necessary if the revolution and change in the country (for the better) is to succeed. If protests and sit ins continue, the people will become immune and resentful towards them. The SCAF are as always doing their job well in creating smoke screans and playing the PiedPipers tune in leading many to believe the contrary to what is true. I think media is their ulta mate source of reaching the masses. if the local media is out of their grasp, they will have difficulty in spreading their words. Isn’t that what Gaddafi did during the Libyan revolution? He took over the raido station. I love your analogy of transplanting the head on to a body. There is much resistance being met, those who have held power in their grasp are not willing to let go so easily. Their way of thinking and doing things is a cancer that has spread through out the nervous system of the body and having a ‘new democratic head’ may be the cure it does not want.
    Always a delight reading your blogs SandMonkey, I hope we have the chance to meet again in the near future.

    Reply
    • Mike Martin
      August 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      Loved the post and loved this comment. Time is on your side Monkey. “The wind always blows from the left.”

      Reply
  22. Publicola
    August 17, 2011 at 6:08 am

    - SM: sometimes the enemy of my enemy can kiss my ass, too -
    - IA: I find your honesty and bluntness refreshing
    - MM: Time is on your side, Monkey

    I have no other choice but to agree.

    Reply
  23. The Mellow Jihadi
    August 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    @ Muslim: “Maybe that is the main reason why he is so hip for western people.”

    You write this as if it is a bad thing. . .

    Reply
  24. nfl jerseys
    August 18, 2011 at 7:36 am

    berserk to claim some pride in supporting their time and cheap NFL Jerseys is an acceptable idea Heat significantly increases the chance that

    Reply
  25. 传奇私服
    August 19, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Say, you got a nice article.Much thanks again. Will read on..

    Reply
    • Mona
      August 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Behind this article a great Mind..!! I read plenty of ur articles but cause you are living abroad and travalled globally , you are exposed to different perspectives and express your thought outside the box.I hope you can really initiate a party and gather EGYPTIAN YOUTH and can articulate the coming future for our Beloved Country EGYPT.You are a plus to Egypt..Step Forward and try to apply like Khayrallah Project and fund that was raised in a week time.. Good Luck..

      Reply
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  27. Karim
    August 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I only just found out about this blog, and I honestly didn’t expect much from it- but here I am admitting that I was wrong. I’ve been here since Jan 25 and I’ve slowly found myself refuting the myth of this “revolution”, no I never went to Tahrir- not because I never agreed with the purpose of the movement, but simply because I had no faith in people’s ability to execute it. Some might see that as me being passive or apathetic, and I’ll give them that, but what started as movement against repression mutated and grew and turn into a huge machine with ridiculous destructive power and, what I see as, no head. Like you said ” a body without a head”, I’ve gotten into huge debates because of this belief, with some people claiming I’m some kind of member of the old regime and an asshole. I am an asshole, I tend to spot the flaws in things and rarely appreciate the things that are done right, but what really gets me angry is idealism. Idealism is irrational, its poisonous and, as far as I can tell, it’s what subverted this revolutionary movement. I can no longer see where this ‘revolution’ is going, there’s no real leadership- and by god Egyptians needs leadership… No they’re not stupid ( I am Egyptian technically but trying to act like I have anything common with the average Egyptian would be simply ridiculous), but they certainly aren’t capable of dealing with the whole scope of a revolution without some guidance, and idealism has absolutely no place in any serious political movement. Egypt will never be truly democratic, will never be free of corruption and, most importantly, it will never be just- nor will any country ever be. The Jan25 ‘revolution’ ( I hate calling it that) politicized a huge number of people who had been previously passive, a huge number of people who are under the illusion that this movement can solve all their problems, it won’t. Millions of people under the illusion that the MB and other religious parties are on their side, and will make things better in the long run, they won’t. I’m a firm believer in secularism, religion and government are oil and water. They can’t mix. As for the SCAF, any military body is unsuited for governance; but it’s the only thing in the country that is still standing. Do I trust them? No. But I sure as hell have more faith in their ability to maintain something that vaguely resembles a government than I do in the hundreds of political parties that are actively engaged in this nationwide shouting contest.

    Reply
  28. diana
    August 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    so, one of the elements of a democratic reform is respect for the law……

    WHEN ARE THE ATACKERS OF LORA LOGAN BE PERSECUTED. THEY HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CRIMINALS……………..

    Reply
  29. rebecca kaminski
    August 21, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I’m so glad you’re okay. I have four boys around your age. My prayers for your safety.

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  30. 传奇私服
    August 22, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Great post . I appreciate you bringing this forward.

    Reply
  31. MF
    August 23, 2011 at 4:50 am

    You can forget about the moderates winning in the elections. This is going to be Algeria 1990.
    And since you wanted freedom you dumb ….. you all will see the freedom of this corrosive thing called Islam. I’m waiting for the Islamists to turn this great civilization into another basket case like Afghanistan.

    Reply
  32. Scotty
    August 25, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Reading the comments by our Islamist ‘brothers’ (which is of course haram, because Muslims shall not befriend with kafireen, so how could they be my brothers?) I found the view interesting that Europe and the West is going down the drains.

    Of course the West has a problem with values, or is struggling to redefine them. But you see, this is exactly the secret of success: being open, flexible and tolerant. Someone who issues death fatwas against Mickey Mouse is not.

    Then you must admit that any of those Western problems (drugs, sex (hm … is that a prob?), crime, corruption) are flourishing in Muslim countries too – so the issue of decaying values is not limited to the West. If you feel that your ways are so much better, would care to name just one Muslim country only, just one, that is truly successful. You can’t. For a long time I thought Malaysia could be that country. Unfortunately the ruling Muslims did succumb to corruption and decadence too – another failed state.

    There would be nothing wrong to run a country based on religious values, however, you cannot run a country by religion. Not even Prophet Muhamad did that. Even more, the big problem is that Islamists have the strange urge to impose their DIY Islam on others, although as it was mentioned above and as it is written in Qur’an “There is no compulsion in religion”.

    Finally the question whether there can be a secular Muslim. That was of course a trap. Of course the answer is: “No!” However, that does not make a point for the Shaikh, because there is not such a thing like a secular Christian too. Depicting one as a secular Muslim/Christian is a contradiction in itself.

    There are only good/bad Muslims/Christians both, however, can live in a secular state as long as “There is no compulsion in religion”. This is why you have churches and mosques in Europe and in the USA and until now in Egypt. There are no churches in Saudi Arabia, though. The Swiss cannot even fly their flag over there, because it has a cross, which offends Muslims so much.

    As a foreigner I can leave a fundamentalist Egypt any time (and for sure I would). For Egyptians it is their home. So I do understand, why most Egyptians want it to be secular without compulsion in religion.

    Reply
  33. Mostafa Nasr
    August 25, 2011 at 2:38 am

    you are simply brilliant more than amazing
    i totally agree wth everthn u said EVERYTHING yet i c the solutions u offered unpractical because the people are getting more and more frustrated everyday and the SCAF is working relentlessly to destroy evrthn and and u ddnt mention the SCAF-islamist alliance which is by far the strongest alliance this alliance is working evryday most of the solutions u said are great but they need time and time isnt on our side although i agree en e7na l mafrood nehda keda f ramadan w ba3d ramadan nshoof ray7een 3ala fein
    bsara7a i cant think of a normal effective solution to start fixing things
    all of ur solutions are great but we need a masterkey first to open up a path or maybe a time window to apply ur solutions honestly we need sth divine to just give us the tiny dim light to follow isA keda rabena yebteli l magles b shwayet ghaba2 keda zay mubarak 3ashan l share3 yrga3 at least compassionate ma3 l revolution aw at least not despising it
    just waiting l 2ay ghalta kbeera lel magles 3ashan neshtaghal 3aleiha this is the closest thing i could get to reality and the closest to PEACEFULNESS
    i rlly liked that u mentioned the VIOLENT consequences of what’s happening
    so i guess its one of two wait for the last chance to strike and if it doesnt come violence shall erupt whether we wanted it to erupt or not

    Reply
  34. 传奇私服
    August 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I was just analyzing your post it is extremely well crafted

    Reply
  35. diana
    August 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Sorry to insist:

    so, one of the elements of a democratic reform is respect for the law……

    WHEN ARE THE ATACKERS OF LORA LOGAN BE PERSECUTED. THEY HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CRIMINALS……………..

    Reply
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    August 27, 2011 at 7:13 pm

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  37. Yaeli
    August 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    From where we are sitting things look very grim for Egypt and for the entire region. You’ve got huge demonstrations going on to end the peace treaty with Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood wants to end your 13 billion dollar a year tourist industry by banning bikinis, mixed-sex beaches, and alcohol. And the secular, educated and normal people like you, Sam, who sparked this revolution are massively outnumbered by the ignorant and the extremists and have little voice. It is looking more and more, as I feared from the beginning, like Iran all over again. Just promise that if, like in Iran, they start hunting down and killing the young, pro-democracy, seculars who started Iran’s revolution that you will get the hell out.

    Reply
    • Muslim
      August 29, 2011 at 12:42 am

      “..the Muslim Brotherhood wants to end your 13 billion dollar a year tourist industry by banning bikinis, mixed-sex beaches, and alcohol.”

      First: There are things which are unsalable.
      If you do not accept it, then sell your little daughter and sister to Vladimir
      That would also bring money from Vladimir.

      Second: Such a tourist industry brings not only income, it also costs.
      The social costs are astronomical.
      Exactly this morality created in the west millions of children without a father.
      The state must pay for them and for their single mothers.
      Broken families, wayward children,… everywhere.
      I think egypt dont need that way and egypt itself is in need of new purification.
      So Go to Hell with your alcohol and bikini sluts.

      Third: A new tourist industry with Muslims as the new target group will fill the hole. Muslims from araound the world are better then bitches from Ukraine and alcoholics from Russia. Maybe not for you, but i think for the majority of the egyptians.

      Reply
      • leo
        August 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

        “A new tourist industry with Muslims as the new target group will fill the hole.”

        Why would they be compelled to come?
        What do you have to offer that they do not already have?

        “There are things which are unsalable.”

        Yes, there are.
        The only one question remains, whether the things that are unsalable for you are just as unsalable for others.

        BTW, ”unsalable” may not necessarily mean things are so dear to your heart that you will never part with them. It may also mean that nobody wishes to buy what you are selling.

        We shall see soon enough what it is.

        Reply
      • Scotty
        September 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm

        There is no such tourist industry with Muslims as targets. The only one that does exist are Hajj and Umrah (badly managed by the Saudis btw).

        No, you are definitely NOT representing the majority of Egyptians and it is high time to tell all those millions of Egyptians who work in tourism industry that voting for islamists means losing your job.

        Reply
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  41. 传奇私服
    September 5, 2011 at 2:27 am

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  42. Ahmed
    September 6, 2011 at 1:32 am

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