Lately I have been hard to reach, even when I am surrounded by friends and loved ones. I don’t want to talk or think, my brain is a merry-go-round of ideas and knowledge that I wish were not there. 2 weeks ago I was noticing how everyone around me is falling apart: physically, psychologically, and emotionally. And the worst part is the helplessness you feel, knowing that you can’t offer them any real comfort or solution. We are in the shit. The Dark Days.

This is not an uplifting post. You have been warned.

My helplessness reached its peak when my friend S. came over two nights ago, and she was not alright. Fighting to release the thousands that are getting military tried over the months has been a draining crusade for her, and it only got worse the moment she got involved in trying to ensure that the death reports of those killed in Mohamed Mahmoud do not get forged, which meant she had to be at the Zeinhom morgue the night those bodies would come in, surrounded by wailing families and crying loved ones, seeing dead bodies after dead body come in, and almost getting arrested by the authorities that didn’t want her stopping the cover-up. She told me after wards that she now sees those dead bodies everywhere, and she can’t escape them. But that night, 2 nights ago, she had just come back from Tahrir, where a man , standing inches away from her, ended up getting set on fire due to an exploding Molotov cocktail. She could see the fire engulf him, the smell of burnt flesh and hair, his agonizing screams for help. She was silent. Very calm and silent. She was sitting next to me and I couldn’t reach her, and all I could do is hold her without being able to tell her that things will be alright. Because..how? How will they be alright exactly?

Cold comfort I proved to be..    

I haven’t written in two months. Two months I have spent running for parliament, stopping my campaign to run around all the field hospitals in Mohamed Mahmoud and ensuring they are well supplied, to losing the election and heading to Suez to lead another one, one that I managed to “win”. The things I have seen, on the street, I do not wish on anyone. One day I will write about that experience, but not today. Today, allow me to take you into my fragmented mind a bit. I have been silent, I have been tied up by advisors over what you can and cannot say during an election. This is over. The elections, for me, are over. I am done being silent. I am now loose, and I don’t think this was the desired effect


One of the biggest mistakes of this revolution, and there are plenty to go around, was that we allowed its political aspects to overshadow the cultural and social aspects. We have unleashed a torrent of art, music and creativity, and we don’t celebrate or enjoy it, or even promote it. We have brought the people to a point where they were ready to change. To change who they are and how they act, and we ignored that and instead focused all of our energies in a mismanaged battle over the political direction of this country. We clashed with the military, and we forgot the people, and we let that small window that shows up maybe every 100 years where a nation is willing to change, to evolve, to go to waste. Even the work that was being done, it focused on teaching them their political rights, or superficial behavioral things like “don’t litter” or “don’t break traffic laws”, and nothing regarding respecting the women or the people from other faiths that share this cursed land. Wasn’t a priority back then, because in our arrogance and hubris we assumed that people will change by themselves. That they will act right, despite the fact that throughout the history of humanity, there wasn’t a single proof that people, by themselves, will act right. Sorry everyone, we were arrogant and idealistic. Forgive us.


The parliamentary elections are fraudulent. I am not saying this because I lost- I lost fair and square- but because it’s the truth. The fraud happened on the hands of the election workers and the Judges. People in my campaign were offered Ballot boxes, employees and judges in polling stations were instructing people who to vote for and giving unstamped ballots to Christians in polling stations where they are heavily present to invalidate their votes, and the Egyptian bloc has about half a ton of correct ballots- ones that showed people voting for them- found being thrown in the streets in Heliopolis, Ghamra, Shubra, Zaitoun, Alexandria, Suez and many other districts. The amount of reports of fraud and legal injunctions submitted against these elections are enough to bring it all down and have it done all over again. Hell, a simple request for a vote recount would be enough to expose the fraud, since the ballots were thrown in the street. The people, however, are not privy of this, because it all looked very functional and organized to them. This is very important, because it tells you the shape of things to come.

When you ask the average Egyptian, you will find that they didn’t have a problem per say with corruption, but rather with the fact that things were both corrupt and dysfunctional. How many times have I heard the phrase of “He could’ve stolen all he wanted, and we wouldn’t mind, had he only made the country better while he stole” regarding Mubarak? Hundreds. Well, now we will get our wish. The shape of new Egypt will not be a place that’s free of corruption, but rather more like South American countries: Corrupt, yet functional. People will do their jobs, but they will allow the same level of corruption to exist on the down low. Give us a make-over, a window-dressing, and we will be happy & impressed with the apparent improvement. We never were high maintenance people anyway. You want security? We will place a bunch of cops in the street and you will feel secure, even though they won’t do much to protect you from criminals. You want democracy? We will create a media campaign, organize polling stations, and have you stand in cues and put your ballots in the box, while vote counters can tally the votes in any way they wish, and judges can change the total at any time they choose to, and you will be none the wiser and will believe whatever results you hear. Democracy is brilliant, ain’t it?


Sorry to go back to the March 19th referendum, but there is something that was just brought to my attention: Did you notice that back then we voted yes or no, so we can elect 500 people to the parliament, who will put the rules to choose 100 people for the constitutional committee, who will be chosen by 80 different authorities/syndicates/groups alongside with the parliament, who will choose the remaining 20, so that we can write a constitution in 6 months that will be presented to the SCAF, and if approved by them, will be put into a referendum for another Yes or No vote?

God Bless Tunisia. The only time they went to vote was for the members of the constitutional committee.


There is a disconnect between the revolutionaries and the people, and that disconnect exists in regards of priorities. Our priorities are a civilian government, the end of corruption, the reform of the police, judiciary, state media and the military, while their priorities are living in peace and putting food on the table. And we ignore that, or belittle it, telling them that if they want this they should support what we want, and deriding their economic fears by telling them that things will be rough for the next 3 to 5 years, but afterwards things will get better on the long run. Newsflash, the majority of people can’t afford having it even rougher for 3 to 5 years. Hell, they can’t afford to have it rough for one more month. We tell them to vote for us for a vague guarantee and to not to sell their votes or allow someone to buy their loyalty, while their priorities are making sure there is food on the table for their families tonight. You sell them hope in the future, and someone else gives them money and food to survive the present. Who, do you think, they will side with?


In the past two months I have been both a candidate and a campaign manager, and what you see as a campaign manager is very different than what you see as a candidate, especially when you are a campaign manager in Suez. To make a long story short, in the 10 days we were there, this is what went down: We had one of our campaign workers fall victim to a hit and run “accident”, a campaign operative getting arrested by the military police at a polling station for filming the army promoting the Salafi Nour Party (with a big banner carrying the Noor Party slogan being placed on the side of an Army Truck) and his film confiscated of course, our campaign headquarters got attacked with molotov cocktails by thugs sent by a “moderate” islamist centrist party (hint: It’s not ElAdl) , the hotel we were staying in got repeatedly attacked by thugs till 3 am, with the army platoon leader protecting the Hotel informing me that if I don’t resolve the situation, he will “deal violently” with those outside and inside the hotel, the Leader of the 3rd Egyptian Army calling us looking for me, the Chief of Security for Suez doing the same thing, Lawyers and thugs working for a semi-leftist party filed police reports against us claiming we hired them and owed them money when we didn’t, and the other campaign manager finally going to deal with the situation, ends up getting arrested, and the two campaign members that were with him were left outside under the mercy of groups of thugs, and we managed by the grace of god get them all out unharmed and we escape Suez while Trucks filled with guys with guns going around Suez looking for us.

Oh, and we also sent in one of our campaign operatives dressed as a salafi into the Suez central committee for vote counting, where Army personnel assured him that they have helped the Noor Party and told him that they hooked them up with two seats, while winking.

Oh yeah.

In other news, we won a seat there.


So, why would the military be “helping” the Salafi Noor Party get votes? Well, mainly because they invented them. It was a match made possible by State-Security, who probably alerted the military of how reliable were the salafis in their previous “cooperation” to scare the living shit out of the population into submission and supporting the regime. Remember the All Saints church attack, the one that happened this New Year? Remember the documents proving that our very own State Security had arranged it to take place to force the Coptic population to support Mubarak? Yeah, it’s kind of like that. Only on a higher level. Ensuring that the Salafis have a big chunk of the parliament (one that is neither logical or feasible considering their numbers in Egypt) achieves two goals: 1) Provide a mechanism for the security apparatus to keep the Muslim Brotherhood in check if they ever thought of using religion as a weapon against SCAF (As far as the salafis are concerned, the MB are secular infidels) and 2) to really frame the choice in our (and the international community’s) heads between a “Islamist country or a military regime”, because, let’s face it, The MB are not scary enough for the general population. But the Salafis? Terrifying shit. You add to that the piece of news that the average Egyptian duty-free buying alcohol limit over night went from 4 bottles to a single bottle, and that they now have a “women only” cue in the Airport, and you have the Upper-class and Upper-middle class – alongside with the west- pissing in their pants and psychologically ready to accept military rule over Islamic one. A fake and a false choice, especially that new parliament will have no power what so ever over anything.

So why bother with the elections? Well, because this is a fight for the nation’s morale. We know that you don’t know this country, that you live in social and cultural ghettos of your own making and that if we are not competing you will end up with a 95% Islamist parliament and you will believe that this is an islamist country and 50% of you will be booking their tickets out of here tomorrow rather than living in Egyptistan. That we too need to go down and see for ourselves how things work, since this is an election without data, real media coverage, and very few people have the experience or the knowledge of the areas that you would need to win an election in a district. Here is a fun fact: about 40% of the people head to the polls not knowing who they will vote for, and are simply there because they are afraid of the 500LE fine they must pay for abstaining to vote; about another 50% go to the polls with a piece of paper that has the names & symbols of the people they will vote for, people that they don’t know, or their history or anything about them. They simply asked their friends and they told them that these are “good people to vote for”, and this is true across the board in all classes, upper and lower, uneducated and educated. And you can’t blame them really, because each district has over 100 candidates fighting over 2 seats and only 4 weeks to campaign. If you are the average new voter, there is no time to meet or evaluate or educate yourself about all of them in order to choose objectively between them. I know people that voted for me simply because I was the only candidate they met. I am not kidding.


So many times I have met people who are terrified at the electoral successes of the Islamic parties in the election, and while they acknowledge that there “must be a deal” between the SCAF and the Islamists, they sit back with a knowing smile and tell me : “But you know what? The SCAF are not stupid. They will screw the Muslim Brotherhood over. They are just waiting for the right moment and they will destroy them. You just wait and see!”

I tell them that they are disgusting for thinking this way. That they are like a raped woman who is rooting for her rapist to rape the other woman who got away so that she wouldn’t be the only raped one.


I love it when a fellow revolutionary asks me : ” I don’t understand what’s going on. Why are the Police/Military shooting and killing people and prolonging street conflicts in Mohamed Mahmoud/ ElQasr Eleiny? What do they want? What’s the big plan?”

Well, to put it simply, The Big plan is the same as the immediate plan: they want you dead. It’s not that they want to kill opposition; they want to kill the opposition, literally. This country ain’t big enough for the both of you, and they have everything to lose. And they have guns. And the media. And all the keys of power. And you want to overthrow them. How do you think they will react to that? Give you cookies?


One question that keeps nagging me for the past 10 months: Who, exactly, cut off the communications on the 28th of January?

Some people say it was the Ministry of Interior, but that’s not right, because the soldiers and officers on the street had no idea that the communication is about to get shut-off. Most of them were surprised by it as the rest of us, and using their radios was not an effective way to relay a plan or organize a police force against demonstrators. This is why they were so easily beaten. Every Police Officer I met has told me that they woke up to find the phone network down, and none of them were given a plan to begin with. If there was no plan, and no coordination, why would they shut down all communications? And if the MOI is the one that cut-off the communication, how long would it have taken them to realize that they are shooting themselves in the foot and switch it back on to save their soldiers from the epic beat down that they received? Half an hour, maximum? The communication was down for 4 days.

Who cut off the Communications? Mubarak? But the Police were his private army. They existed to serve him. How long would it have taken before he had the MOI chiefs’ informing him that cutting off the communications was getting the soldiers he needed to stop the revolution killed and beaten? How long would it have taken him to execute the order to bring it back on? Ten minutes? Why didn’t that happen?

And if both the President and the MOI both wanted the communications back on, at least the cell phones, who had the power to refuse their orders or stop them?

Who cut off the communications? And why?


I didn’t partake in the events of Mohamed Mahmoud. I was there every day, getting medical supplies and helping people, but I didn’t partake at all. And in the current battle still going on at the Egyptian Cabinet building, I didn’t even set foot on any pavement near Tahrir for the past 3 days. I didn’t go not out of fear or cowardice, but because those two events crystallize to me the real problem in the Egyptian revolution: The schism between the symbol and the cause, or rather how we are always fixated on the symbol, and not the cause itself.

For example, the case of Khaled Said was not about Khaled Said himself, it was about Police brutality and lack of accountability towards those who are paid to protect us and instead have no problem killing us. The cause was to end this, not to try the murderers of Khaled Said. But instead of focusing on that cause, we focused on the symbol, and we ignored the cause. Police killing without accountability still happens to this day, but The killers of Khaled Said received a verdict, so Justice is served. The same goes for Alaa, who wanted- through his bravery- to give the cause of stopping the military trials for civilians the push and international pressure it needed, but instead, and in spite of his intentions, ended up becoming the Symbol that everyone rallies around, ignoring the cause. All got jubilant when Alaa got transferred to a civilian court, all the while, more than 12,000 other Egyptians are still serving year-long sentences they received in military trials that took on average 15-20 minutes for the entire trial. The Symbol and the Cause.

Tahrir became an international symbol, thanks to the foreign media, and everyone believed that the regime was brought down because of the people in Tahrir, even though every revolutionary knows that the regime was brought down because the revolution was at every square in the country, not just Tahrir. But, amazingly, we also believed the Hype that the media created. We believed in the Symbol, and it became a fixture in our thinking. If there is a problem, go to Tahrir. Hell, centralize the entire revolution into Tahrir, and instead of going to every other square and concentrating our bases in the country, we demanded – like the chauvinist Cairiens that we are- for them to come to us. That as long as we have many numbers in Tahrir, we will get somewhere, we will bring down the regime.

But here is the truth: Tahrir is not a magical land, one which if we occupy we can hold all the magical keys of our kingdom and bring down the evil regime of whomever is in Power. Tahrir is a square. A piece of land. A symbol, but a piece of land nonetheless. And just because it worked before, it doesn’t mean it will work again. We are like an old married couple trying to recapture the magic of their early days by going to the same place they went to on their honeymoon, or dance to the same song they fell in love to, and discovering that it’s not working because there are real problems that need to be resolved. Symbols are nice, but they don’t solve anything.

And this is why I didn’t get involved: I couldn’t understand the Battle for Mohamed Mahmoud, because it’s a battle to hold on to a street of no actual significance or importance, and yet some of the best youth this country had to offer died or lost their eyes or were seriously injured protecting it. The same thing goes for the current battle. What is the purpose? What is the end Goal? A battle for the sake of battle? Just like maintaining a sit-in for the sake of maintaining the sit-in, even though a sit-in is supposed to be a means to an end, not an end in itself? I mean, I would understand if the aim was to occupy Maspiro or something, but they are not even attempting that. They are maintaining a fight in the street, because they got attacked at that street, so the street immediately becomes a symbol and we must fight back and not be driven away even as we get beaten and killed. Because it’s all about the Symbol, and not about the cause or the goal, and people are dying.

It’s like reading Bad Poetry….Now what?

There is no solution. It’s the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. There must be a way out, but I can’t seem to find one without more blood getting spilled. There is no panacea here, no exit strategy. Just helplessness, and waiting for whatever it is that will happen next, even though we can rest assured it won’t be good news. I am sorry that I cannot comfort you, but maybe, just maybe, this is not the time to be comforted.

76 Comments on Underneath

  1. yqxo
    December 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    As a foreigner I see a great meaning in the current battle, especially debunking the lies of the SCAF. Bear in mind that most Egyptians are being lied on the State TV. Information spreads rather slowly in country of 20% internet penetration.

    In this context there is a great meaning in current battle. If Tahrir can prove that it is 1. wrong for the state to conduct violence under any excuse, and 2. those in charge must be held accountable, if they can prove these to Egyptian people now then any future government that may be formed will be very cautious to use force against protesters.

    If the Tahrir wins this media war, they might be able to set Egypt to more just path. Since election results are seen somehow representative, the Tahrir should support parliament to take over power from SCAF.

    I hope SCAF-in-the-box can be shut soon enough.

    • karim elias
      December 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      The media war cannot be won because the people simply want to believe the lies, it is the same as the US citizens believing the lies of their politicians about Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. point 1 and 2 cannot be proven, they mist be enforced…

      • Mike Martin
        December 30, 2011 at 5:06 pm

        very true

      • tomcpp
        December 31, 2011 at 7:16 am

        And yet the US military doesn’t kill people in the street. Not a single occupy protester has even been seriously injured.

        Why do you think that is ?

        Not that there’s anyone who has any doubt about it … civilization is many things, but it is not islamic. The day that obvious truth is realized and a response comes, is the day things start to get better.

  2. Sarah Fenwick
    December 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    It’s demoralising to see things falling apart, but if you keep trying and seeing things through, you will succeed in your vision for a better Egypt. Good luck, and remember that your mountain can only be climbed one step at a time!

  3. Noussa
    December 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    my beloved Egypt, my heart is broken when I see what happens in your streets. My heart is broken when I see my brothers die under the bullets with the mute consent of the majority, and my sisters’ clothes torn off and raped.

    I wish I knew what to do, not to comfort any of us here, maybe we dont deserve to be comforted, but to change the things, to turn the horror we are experiencing today into something useful for for Egypt today before tomorrow.

    Is our revolution dead? Some days I wonder if it really existed or if it was but a mirage. I wish I can say it is not dead, it is only waiting for our care and attention, but I don’t know.

    My heart aches for Egypt, and I feel I am selfish to complain about it, because at least my heart still beats while so many egyptian hearts stopped to beat for mine and yours to continue.

    What now?

    • tomcpp
      December 31, 2011 at 7:21 am

      What is wrong with raping any woman you can overpower ? Your prophet did that, selling the woman afterwards to a new rapist. That’s islam’s morality, and it cannot be changed without destroying it.

      Until you see that the problem starts there, you can fight it all you want. What you’re fighting is pitiful little soldiers who merely imitate what they’ve been taught. Until you attack the root of the problem, the very best you can hope for is short lulls in the rapes.

      How many kids are being taught rape is the woman’s fault during the time it takes you to overcome 1 soldier ? 100 ? 1000 ?

      Good luck, you’ll need it.

  4. Omneya Mamdouh
    December 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    One of the best I have read since the begining of the revolution and it indeed put lots of pieces together. You spoke what some of us are thinking down to the dot. However, unless this writing and the like reache the 80% that ygxo is talking about, it is a storm in a tea cup! I wish you would translate it in Arabic and post it on your twitter and facebook.

    On a different note, no, it is not comforting and no, it is not the time to be comforted by any means, but can you see any glimpse of light??!

  5. Dina
    December 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I salute suchnan analysis, yu have voiced my thought eloquently……it beats me why we are loosing all these lives with non strategy or clear plan…..I think I would opt for any election that would lead to a civil govt and perhaps an earlypresidential….this should b the goal…get ridnofnscaf fast and through the ballot boxes ….it’s our only hope!

  6. mycr
    December 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    « […] I show you the land in turmoil,
    What should not be has come to pass.
    Men will seize weapons of warfare,
    The land will live in uproar.
    Men will make arrows of copper,
    Will crave blood for bread,
    Will laugh aloud at distress.
    Every mouth is full of « how I wish »
    All happines has vanished ;
    The land is ruined, its fate decreed,
    Deprived of produce, lacking in crops […] »


    « […] I meditate on what has happened :
    While trouble entered in today,
    And turmoil will not cease tomorrow,
    Everyone is mute about it.
    The whole land is in great distress […] »

    These small extracts of poems come from « Prophecies of Neferti » (written probably in the 3500 years ago) for the first text and « The complaints of Khakheperre-Sonb » (written about 4000 years ago) (as translated by Miriam Lichtheim, in Ancient Egyptian Litterature, University of California Press, 1975.

    They can apply to what is going on today. But from the trouble times before the Middle Kingdom a great civilisation was reborn.

    Your text is a clear and powerful analysis of the situation. Keep writing and speaking. Your voice like a few others are important. And not only important but necessary.

    • amina
      December 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      I’m sorry to dampen your enthusiasm for Dr Zuweil but how he’s tearing apart the research & studies of Nile University is inconceivable for such a great mind. It has taken the students,researchers & profs there 4 years to collect the money to finish the building for research & now he wants to turn it into “Zuweil CIty”.These people are brilliant mostly post graduate studies but manyh of their students&reserachers have won international awards for extra ordinary work, discoveries & inventions,They are in many instances collaborating with other international research units in Universities like MIT,Stanford,Harvard etc they have some researchers working on the use of computers for the medical field, the communications field (Dr Haitham just won another international award for NU) why is Dr Zuweil is insistent on taking over this university when the people there don’t want him to?? He has been offered a large piece of land nearby yet he still placed his name on NU though the students,researchers & profs sat with him to explain the problems they would face.Now they are in a rented building, after they had built thier laboratories to thier specification at great cost to them in time & money(they collected the money from donations to complete building).I do not think that such behaviour encourages trust in such a genius;he should just stick to what he does best & leave the rest to those who do that best.God bless us all

  7. londongirl
    December 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Your best ever, Sandmonkey. Dark and dangerous, the truth of your piece cuts through me like an icy wind.However, could this perhaps be ‘those darkest hours just before the dawn?’ And if we are to live this day, the dawn will surely come. May your spirit rise up again. All respect to you!

  8. Kanaafa
    December 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I am not Egyptian
    Egypt is my home, and has been these past 19 years. My little family is Egyptian, most friends Egyptians. I sometimes dream Egyptian and I believe that I will live and die in Egypt. However I am not Egyptian. So when it comes to commenting on how Egyptians should run their revolution, or their daily lives, my comments are, ultimately, disposable. My views are a product of who I am and where I am from.
    But for all that I will venture to say the following:
    You are right that the opportunity to make the real changes passed – the ‘Junta Shuffle’ in February fooled too many people, people weary of days and nights of fighting, marching, waiting for announcements, and a large swathe of people in midans all around the country ready to believe the army leadership was the best that could come out of the situation – and an even larger population of people pressuring the youth all through the 18 days to “go home, what more do you want?”

    So yes, the revolution was caught off-guard; hoodwinked, bamboozled and quickly turned into a spectacle of patriotic and commercial flag waving and genuine relief on the majority of people’s part.

    So overwhelming was this, coupled with multiple distractions (referendum on the national level) and the willingness of activists to be distracted by Coptic rights, Palestine, women’s rights that the momentum on the revolution was lost. It stumbled. Its leading youth pulled into TV appearances, invitations to appear in conferences abroad and show other countries how Egypt unseated a dictatorial regime in 18 days. Yes hubris there was, aplenty.
    And the cracks in the beautiful picture began to appear – people started to be tortured, thrown in prison, molested – by the glorious army.
    Protests were still being violently dispersed. The old regime’s killers and their masters were not brought to swift trial and justice was not served.
    The revolution was taken away. The families of its martyrs abused and beaten. The old guard was very much the new guard – and the specter of the jihadi bogeyman was paraded as killers were let out of jail and allowed to form political parties and appear on talk-shows.
    And the elections – the big distraction of our time – all the political forces – and there are many now – agreed to participate, so shiny was the bauble dangled in front of them – and the silent majority whispered loud that the hope was in elections.
    And a week before those elections the army/police attacked Tahrir’s last remaining stragglers so brutally and so unexpectedly that people – people of conscience – woke up and said here is the red line you cannot cross.
    I don’t agree entirely that it was the symbol of Tahrir that sent people down in November, but the symbol of state oppression – which is also the cause.
    So here I disagree – the symbol is not Tahrir, or any building, or street. The symbol has become the injustice, brutality, callousness and disregard for Egyptian people’s rights. The symbol is therefore very much aligned with the cause, which is/was eradication of a corrupt, oppressive, brutal and morally bankrupt regime – regardless of where the do their dirty work or who the victims are (Copts in Maspero, women in Tahrir, kids in Alex, Moslem brotherhood in Assiut).

    If the cause is to be taken anywhere, symbols of brutality will be opposed, resisted.

    The cause is a long-haul. Years. But until the cause is realized people will continue to resist oppression and injustice wherever it appears. And they must, or the cause is lost.

    However, while resistance is necessary and protests, marches, strikes and other acts of civil disobedience will continue, those working towards the cause need to be on the front foot, not just a reaction to the next inevitable escalation by the regime. Someone needs to say “today we protest, tomorrow we go home” and here I agree with you that people, for all the reasons we know – loss of friends and family, outrage at injustice, feelings of impotence and helplessness, get sucked in to protracted battles and play into the plan of the regime, which is to wear them down, pick them off, reduce public sympathy for them.

    Somebody has to say, “objective achieved” and take people out of the street when THEY say so – make it consensual if it pleases – and not let it run into a protracted battle that implodes or is routed.

    Blood and eyes and teeth and bones are not easily replaced and should not be thrown away – and lives even less so.

    The talk about withdrawal being either cowardice or somehow less important for the cause is what gets people killed for no reason – and this needs to be stopped – and someone needs to remind people that there is a cause – and here I am in total agreement with your well written and timely piece.

    Thanks ya monkey

    • hkhalifa
      December 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      Kanaafa I totally agree with your point that the cause and symbol are one. Why should the ppl stop fighting for their main cause? to get to point where the SCAF is out of power? was this the real cause behind the revolution? did we revolt for demcracy for the sole purpose of democracy? what if we didn’t fight for our freedom and against humiliation and killing in Mahomed Mahmoud and Magels el Wozara just to avoid the clash until we have SCAF out and then the new government humiliated us? did we achieve anything?

      The cause is the symbol…human dignity is one of the main causes for the revolution and this is why were supported/symbolized Khaled Said case…So fighting for those who get killed, beaten and tortured in the recent confrontations is in the core of our goals.

  9. A German from Berlin
    December 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Up to last weekend I had the impression that SCAF was succeeding in keeping their hands clean, while at the same time dismantling the revolution. Since then showed their true ugly face. Especially the brutality against women was all over the news world wide. So don’t give up! Keep on fighting for your freedom. Especially keep on protesting and never let them shut you up again. Often when everything seems all hopeless, it is just short before victory or at least a major improvement.
    When they do something wrong the need to know there will be people on the streets.
    On thing I find remarkable is the patience you have with the military trials. As Alaa’s case proves, the military can’t try civilians. Therefore all these prison sentences are void and the army is holding people against the law. Try to get them out. Whoever is in power has to serve the people and be accountable to the people.
    You have many people in your population with the ancient egyptian slave mentality. They have never know anything else. So when Pharao Tantawi speeks they follow. They can only learn about democracy by following examples. They even have to learn a whole knew view of life. You have tens of thousands of young man who have the men/women = predator/prey relation raised onto them from childhood on. So there are a whole lot of people who fear to take responsibility for their own actions and rather follow some in their view legitimate leader.
    And just now the women march is going on and the tides are turning again. What can SCAF do now? Send thugs and start shooting? Even the dumbest people would understand, that an army who attacks women, especially if they are part of the people they are supposed to protect, doesn’t deserve any respect. So either they give in in some way and at least agree to fulfill some of the demands or they speed up their own downfall.
    At some point there will also be army people who have some honor left and speak up.
    So you just keep on protesting and you will get everything , even though it might cost more blood. You focus on a goal until you reach it, then you choose a new goal. This continues until the people who are in power stop using violence and then you have democracy. Ordinary people everywhere are with you. If you succeed, the whole world we be a better place and even though you were not the first, you will be the leader.

  10. Khaled Tantawi
    December 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Chapeau, I agree we focused on reforming politics at time when the average Egyptian wanted a social reform, He won’t go home to feed his kids “freedom” and “democracy”..and when some people tried to do something about their economic status, ask for a better pay, people attacked them, and asked them to wait..so yes I don’t blame whoever sold his voice in the parliamentary elections..
    However, I never lose hope as long as the persistent hardcore revolutionaries are present..things will get better, just in time..

  11. Sherif
    December 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I don’t recall reading such crap in a long time, about two months to be exact. You are full of shit.

  12. TheInquisit0r
    December 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks for connecting the dots for me Mahmoud. I was confused as to who were the sides fighting recently and why. I thought that the Salafists were a tool used by Saudi Arabia against Egypt to keep them from leaving the Sunni-Zionist Alliance. Nonetheless what you saud makes more sense, but don’t you think that the salafists could backstab the military at some point and climb to the top?

    From my research, the MB is a ‘moderate’ version of Islam endorsed and created by the West as a force created to covertly support their agenda. – http://www.redmoonrising.com/Ikhwan/MB.htm –This is an excellent article that connects all the dots, an eye opener – Their purpose is to pose as the saviors of the Islamic people and nations by appealing to the religious minded and those who harbor anti-globalist sentiment. The army and MB’s jousting for power is nothing new and is an ongoing conflict.

    So it would only make sense that the Army creates a counter Islamic force or bogeyman ally to counter the globalist endorsed MB faction.

    The only truly tragic outcome was that the most educated and rational activists have been squeezed out and are being slaughtered. If it wasn’t for their efforts, the country would have maintained the status quo

  13. Dahlia
    December 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I definitely agree with symbolizing things…its part of our culture….alot of my friends after all the killing and torturing happening in the past days, wrote 25-1-2012 is the solution? So ikept asking them why specifically this date? Why not now? Why not the day the violence started…? No one had an answer….its just commemorating a date and not really thinking why not now……i think the reolutionaries lost the support of the egyptian population sometime down the line of their sit ins which some i wasnt supporting at all…..probably those lower income people who need their bread and butter more than anything else…..then those revolutionaries who lost alot of thier close friends or saw them get tortured from military became living in their own bubble….they only listen to the voices in their heads and maybe to those who say the things that support those inner voices….they are making the cause of their sit ins personal and not onlyfor egypts good…..i sympathise with tjem and support their vision but not the means they wnat to achieve their goal with…..and then this scaf who keep building walls to keep the 2 sides apart? Is this some sortof joke? For me its a symbol f ekhbato rasko fel 7eeta and protestors keep doing it and keep dying in vain…….and all this happening and still tahrir which is the biggest symbol of ur revolution is still empty….?? We have to find the missing link between the protestors and the rest of the egyptian population or we all Lose……i have no idea what i just wrote…..mixed up feelings of mine……

  14. Mark Malone
    December 20, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Heres some info on how the communications got cut

    State Security had planned it in advance as was discovered from some of the documents recovered from the HQ is SSIS


    Here a Vodafone spokeperson describes the role played.

    I have a little bit of research on it here

    Love and solidarity

  15. Sarah
    December 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    1st : this land isn’t cursed ya Mahmoud! well, at least we shouldn’t say it out loud 🙂

    2nd: it is never too late. I think building on the cultural change should be a priority regardless how tight the window seem to be. The real problem with the revolutionaries is that they want everything right now. You can’t see change in a country like Egypt instantly unless it is a catastrophe. So you build & you wait.

    3rd: the salafis thing … hmmm

    4th: there is a way out of this without blood. but all what is needed a little self control from the revolutionaries side. As long as u have groups calling for violence & acting upon those calls bloodshed won’t stop.

    5th: this is Egypt, we don’t fly we fall in style. we will get out of this, maybe not in the way we thought we will. but sure it will be magnificent. it is all over history.

  16. Victoria
    December 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    It’s very sad and dark days for Egypt and it’s people. I wish Egypt will see bright days sooner,then later. Remember French and Russian Revolutions,it’s took years to change country,regime,mentality of people. Egypt is a great country with rich history. Yes we hoped by removing Mubarak,we will change country in few months? Illusion,beautiful dream. The reality is cruel! But solution will come in own way and in own time. Never give up Sandmonkey!

  17. DippyFreeman
    December 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Your writing is terrific.. this is what Scaf wants to do wear people down until they are discouraged, don’t let them do it!! They want the locals to get fed up and turn back to the army for security etc.

    Follow the money.. ad campaign? radio time? street festivals.. something to get grass root support back. I know it sounds not to bad from where I am sitting.. my heart goes out to you and your colleagues in the campaign.. the election accounts are shocking..

    Is there any way to attack that angle of the Military trying civilians as mentioned above?? International Court? something? Where is the judiciary in all this?

  18. Amin
    December 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Change the symbol, the revolution symbol. The Egyptian flag red white and black is the military symbol of the last 60 years. How about the old Egyptian green flag with the 3 stars? For symbolizing the revolution, a civil and just government.

  19. Faisal
    December 20, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Salamtak ya sh2ee2.


  20. michael george
    December 21, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Thanks for the post. It is a dark time, i think the revolutionaries need to survive; disperse, and retrench, Standing in the street just gives your enemies a chance to kill you. A opportunity will come when the other principals army, MB, salafi, people, will be fighting with each other and new alliances are possible. The revolutionaries cannot win without allies.
    If the traditions of elections continues and they can be cleaned up, there is the possibility of peaceful change democratically.
    Endurance over heroics.

  21. Gale Shaheed
    December 21, 2011 at 5:29 am

    It is wonderful to wake up and read this article this morning sandmonkey after not hearing from you for so long. When I heard you were running for parliament I was so excited as I have been following your blog for 5 years.
    I am a 56 year old British woman who has just moved to Egypt this summer with her retired Egyptian husband to settle here. I am so confused about everything and do not understand what is going on half the time. However your opinion on many things has at least given me some clarification on some issues.
    Even amongst our closest friends people are arguing about the topics you have raised and there is lots of criticism of the people who want stability at the cost of the revolution as they are worried about the economic situation and want to protect their families. We need people like you to represent us. Don’t give up and never forget their is a higher power out there .

  22. Tallulah
    December 21, 2011 at 6:22 am

    First, no apologies ya Mahmood. There is nothing to apologize for. Everyone who has followed this revolution, both inside and outside Egypt, wanted to believe that miracles do happen and that a monumental change in Egpt would happen with the toppling of Mubarak. We wanted to believe it so badly, that we overlooked the reality that revolutions take time, sometimes years, to really take root. It takes that long to change mindsets, to expose the rot within the system, and to show people that change will be a good thing.

    So there is much work to be done in Egypt before the revolution is over.

    Reading your words I can feel the helplessness. I wish I were a stratagist to come up with a new plan, for that is what is needed now. A change of action, to keep SCAF off balance. The protests are not working because they’ve become old news, and people want some kind of stability, even if it’s built on shifting sand, and it is.

    You are right that people who are unable to feed their families won’t be interested in the ‘follow us’ mentality of the revolution. So, how do you gain their support? Maybe you could try what the Salvation Army does here in Canada: they feed the poor, and tend to their needs as best they can, and while doing this, they preach a little to them. In some cases, at soup kitchens, they preach first, then feed. What I’m suggesting is to find a way to gain the trust of those who are most in need. Show them kindness, compassion, and they will follow you. While you help them with the immediate issues, like jobs and food, use that time to educate them to the truth of what’s happening, and show them how that is affecting their life right now. And educate them as to how things can improve with change. That’s what good leaders do. Revolutionaries need to morph themselves into good leaders.

    All this takes time, of course, and there will be people who say that this isn’t acceptable, but it can’t be avoided. Protests can only do so much before they lose their effectiveness, and support. Change won’t happen overnight. It will take time, education, and winning the people’s trust. All while covering your back, because SCAF will be gunning for you, and anyone else who dares to hold up a mirror to what they are doing and expose their crimes. Unfortunately all of you who oppose SCAF at the moment are now really public figures and I fear for your lives, I really do. SCAF seems determined to rid itself of any nay-sayer, and will do so at any cost. So please, watch your back, and take whatever precautions you can to be safe.

    With regards to S, (if it’s the S I think it is) she is truly an amazing woman, with such dedication and compassion. At some point she will need to get help with PTSD, because you can’t have experienced all she’s seen without it having an effect. I think many revolutionaries are experiencing PTSD at the moment, and it can cloud their judgement. Wish we could arrange group counselling for everyone.

    Some are saying that the revolution is dead, but it isn’t. You can’t open the jail door, show them freedom, let them taste and experience it, then try to imprison them again. They won’t let go. So the revolution will continue, but it is time to find another way to win.

    Don’t give up five minutes before the miracle happens. I know it sound trite, but it’s true. The change is happening, but it’s small, slow, almost imperceptible. It’s happening and that’s why SCAF is attacking so vehemently. They know it’s happening, and are fighting to maintain their grip. The more people who are made aware of just how dangerous SCAF is, the less grip they will have on the country.

    So don’t give up, any of you. Just regroup, re-evaluate, make new plans, stay focused, and learn from the mistakes made. You’ve come too far to give up now.

    As for you, sir, keep writing. Keep holding that mirror up to society, showing the hypocrisy, the lies, the mistakes, the successes, the passion and the commitment of Egyptians. You have a talent for getting to the point and smacking readers in the head with it. Useful, indeed, but keep in mind that your words need to reach the masses and you may need to temper your words to reach some people. You can do that, easily.

    Erfaa rasak foa’, enta masry. You will win, insha’allah. Allah yekhaleek.

  23. Yosra
    December 21, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Asalamu Alaykom,

    It’s good to hear from you. I won’t say that you speak 100% of the truth because, as you know, the truth seems elusive these days in Egypt. I will say that you speak YOUR truth and for that I am grateful. We need more voices not less. Somehow we will struggle through the falsehoods and come up with what we need to rebuild Egypt.

    What you wrote about the conquering of a street really made sense to me—in that it was nonsense. Dying for a cause? No. Those people really did die for symbolism.

    I don’t understand everything that’s going on and I hear that you don’t either. What helps me is knowing that God is All-Knowing and All-Seeing. I’m not sure how strong your faith is but now is a good time to admit weakness before Allah. Seriously? You aren’t strong enough to go through this without Him. May Allah guide you.

  24. A Questioner
    December 21, 2011 at 8:21 am

    As it was as it ever shall be.

    Be safe, Sandmonkey. Your self-immolating society will soon feel the fires of Islam once again rearing its ugly head to conquer. My hope is that God will stop it this time. Arabs have suffered enough.

  25. 2face
    December 21, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Don’t occupy a street or a square. Go directly for a symbol of power. Ie. a presidential palace or a parliament building. That is how you do it. Haven’t you guys read any history at all? Russia, France, Cuba, Germany….. anywhere… Take down the symbols of power and they’ll crumble like stepping on an old dry cookie.

    Learn how to organize elections without fraud. I live in a country that has been democratic for 150 years. We haven’t had a single incident of fraud at a single voting spot for at last 70 years. Why? Because of a good system to hold elections, store ballot boxes and count ballots. I would be more than willing to explain the system to anybody who would like to listen. Once you know what a good system is, use all your energy to get that system in place. What is the point of having elections, if they are not fair?

    Third: No religion in the constitution. If there is even a shred of sharia or any other religious doctrine mentioned, you’re screwed and will end up like Iran.

    Fourth: Full protection of the minority in the constitution. All laws are equal to everybody. Unlike what all beginners of democracy think, this is actually the most important function of a democracy.

    If you haven’t got these 4 down, you’ll lose no matter what you do. And you WILL probably lose. To many people in your part of the world don’t get third and fourth point. But then at least, you’ll know why.

    • 1face
      December 21, 2011 at 10:43 am


      The street that the fighting was in is in front of the parliament building! And Islam has always been part of the constitution and Egypt has not become Iran.

      Don’t tell us what to do when you don’t even know what the facts are in the first place.

      • 2face
        December 22, 2011 at 9:29 am

        I’m not talking to you.

  26. @masrawi2050
    December 21, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I admire your truthfulness…

    Personally I believe that you have reached the next level of the game. How many levels are there? Dunno, but a level up is good. Realizing the core issue on hand is the key; even the mother of all rocks can be cracked.

    Hold your head high, people (including me) are searching for integrity and character, the two you master.

    I’d like to recommend a book by Donald T Phillips called “Martin Luther King, Jr. on Leadership – Inspiration and wisdom for challenging times”

    Allah ye7rosik ya Ard Al Kinana!


  27. Kristina
    December 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Sandmonkey, glad to see you back saying your mind freely. Sorrier that things are so devastating in Egypt. A moving post. May the force be with you.

  28. Leah
    December 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Excellent analysis – you are indeed in dark days. Yet I find myself more hopeful overall on your behalf than you do at this point. Perhaps it’s just my being middle-aged (47) and having seen and participated in political and social change movements as they play out over decades.

    Points of hope:

    1. You all changed the world with what you did in Tahrir. Never forget that, no matter how entrenched the regime’s apparatus continue to appear. If there had not been Tahrir, who knows what would have occurred in Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Syria. You rang a bell that cannot and will never be unrung – no matter how strong the backlashes and crackdowns are. You rang the bell of hope, of dignity, of people power, of freedom.

    2. God only knows how any of you all are still up and functioning at this point. I cannot imagine how many of you suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (like your friend S), other types of anxiety and mood problems. You’ve seen things no human is meant to see, you’ve existed under stress that is meant to be tolerated only as acute (temporary) but has been chronic for almost a year, and the vast majority of you are sleep deprived. It’s HIGHLY important that you take care of yourselves and of each other – be gentle with yourselves while you recover from the stress and metabolize the immense changes of which you have been a part. Permanent social and political change takes DECADES. There is time. You need to tend to yourselves and each other with the same empathy you bring to those who are even more poor and powerless. When you do, your tender yet resilient brains will recover and you’ll see possibilities not apparent right now. Trust me.

    One of the most important statements you made needs to be reiterated: SCAF WANTS YOU DEAD. Not just the opposition, but ALL opposition. How will they accomplish this? By targeting leaders. It’s what the CIA did in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s – it targeted and assassinated or imprisoned the most charismatic and knowledgeable members of political change groups.

    This is why Alaa is in jail. This is why I pray every night for Hossam elHamalawy, you and many others in both Egypt and other countries.

    So I repeat: Take care of yourselves and of each other. You are not only in dark days, you are likely in true danger. Meanwhile, I and many others outside of Egypt will continue with our work of solidarity and watchfulness on your behalf.

    With love and respect –

    Leah a/k/a @alphaleah

    • Sonia
      December 27, 2011 at 3:08 am

      Very well said, The one person whi goes though the wall first always get hurt, but opens up a way no one can deny.

  29. essawi
    December 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Dude, El Nour is an army inventions sounds like el baradei is an Israeli Freemason agent. I believe you are loosing it, Hard luck with the elections anyways !

    • Sadie
      December 23, 2011 at 11:17 pm

      Go away, you add nothing to the dialogue by creating propaganda to suit your own agenda.

  30. naz
    December 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    “Our priorities are a civilian government, the end of corruption, the reform of the police, judiciary, state media and the military, while their priorities are living in peace and putting food on the table. And we ignore that, or belittle it, telling them that if they want this they should support what we want, and deriding their economic fears by telling them that things will be rough for the next 3 to 5 years, but afterwards things will get better on the long run. Newsflash, the majority of people can’t afford having it even rougher for 3 to 5 years. Hell, they can’t afford to have it rough for one more month.”
    Thank you for saying this. The condescending attitude that people with this mindset are being treated with is depressing to say the least. Just because they’re less fortunate financially, doesn’t mean that they’re evil or soulless.

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    December 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

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  33. Dalia
    December 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I am proud i made the right choice and voted for u mahmoud in my district. I am sure you will still play an active role in our society thru the party even if u have not won independent seat! In contemplating siuation i am solutionless kaman, and i know i will sound unscientific when saying this bas my faith is that masr will be mahrousa!!! My love to this country is beyond belief and know that are many more…and my only hope for now is to believe in that.

  34. Bonoboche
    December 22, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Just some short remarks from Berlin:

    Symbols are powerful and substantial to any communication. They also function as examples. If there is some kind of consensus or solution regarding to the symbol, this is at least a step, and possibly a major step, to catch up with the general and more abstract problem that the symbol stands for.

    The rise of the MB seems somehow well earned and prepared. It still reminds me of the Christian Democrats in earlier stages of German post war history. If the MB would not be a major force in the next parliament they would possibly see themselves as betrayed which might have lead so very harsh and maybe very bloody conflicts. As it is now, they may develop together with large portions of the Egy population whom they really represent, as far as I can judge from outside. One of the most fascinating phenomena in Western societies that I observed is how much the big leading parties really reflect the development of society. Often they are some steps behind, but they are really means to implement social and cultural developments without too much of crackdown, destruction and violence.

    And that leads me to my last point. I instinctively detest violence and surely a continued exchange of violence cannot lead to anything good. This must be stopped by some kind of moral consensus. But nevertheless the scenes on the day of the battle of the camel or during the Libyan uprising made me think what I would have decided in that place. And isn’t the situation of the battle of the camel more or less repeated in the violent incidents of the last months? Isn’t it somehow justified to suppose that there would have been a much more heavy crackdown even on people like you if the attempts to draw the wheel back would not have been met with such a huge resistance, at a very huge and utterly regrettable price?

    What I just tried to say: my thoughts and my heart are with you (plural).

  35. shireen
    December 22, 2011 at 1:57 am

    The sit in Mohamed mahmoud or Tahrir is for a great reason .. our lives is what we are ready to give to get our complete uncompromised freedom and respect .. not all people only care for food on the table i have been with many in Tahrir who are willing to die to have a sense of reason respect and role in their lives and in this country which suddenly made life revolve around z food on z table whether literally or symbolically. People now want to feel like human beings who can get angry and express it and hope and work for it ask for respect & insist on it!!! the stay in the streets is a stay on peoples hopes it is light against corruption.. they wont give us a cookie but we wont give up either!!!! i understand your sadness but hey come back to the streets we will all bring light back together..

  36. Anita Hunt (@lissnup)
    December 22, 2011 at 2:40 am

    I’m being called a liar for repeating what you wrote about seeing a Salafi Nour banner on an army truck – by users on Twitter who are not even in Egypt! I don’t lie. But I also don’t have a photo to prove it. If you do have one, please post it. Thanks!

  37. DownToEarth
    December 22, 2011 at 3:25 am

    I’ ll tell you why the liberals failed in Egypt. They are too idealistic living in a vanilla world, with the belief that democracy is the answer. Well I hate to it break to you, democracy is an ideal and abstract concept that doesn’t exist anywhere whether here in the west or in the middle east.

    Everywhere in the world, people who have real power are unelected and are greedy by the very nature of the human condition. The difference however is relative, here in the west they allow people to prosper marginally better than in the middle east, they allow people to waste their time over bullshit election campaigns in a national pastime that takes place every four years. Corporations run this country to the detriment of everyone else.

    Liberals failed in Egypt due to 2 kinds of reasons, one set attributable to their strategy and the other due to external forces. Although well educated and moderate in thinking they forget that THE MAJORITY of Egypt are not this way and do not think along those lines. You forget that you are dealing with a people who have large numbers if illiterates and uneducated people who are looking for religion as the solution to their woes. The only leadership figure they look up to is the one preaching the Friday sermon in the local mosque, not you: the western educated, clean shaven activist. They don’t understand you and they don’t trust you. Instead of appealing to the populace ways they can relate to, you asked them to accept esoteric and alien concepts. Maybe if liberals attempted to ally themselves with moderate Mosque shei5s it would have been a more logical move. Maybe if you were also willing to compromise and accept the SCAF’s dominant position in return for them cutting you some slack and helping you out, you could have succeeded in the elections – albeit in a fraudulent manner, but who cares? The ends justify the means and if you don’t know this then politics isn’t for you.

    This would have given you a leg up and a chance to run through the badly needed reform that would have improved the country, rather than wasting your time and blood fighting for the real power that could never be attained. Any power in the decision making process is better than none at all. Life is about picking between the evil and lesser evil – but there will be evil no doubt.

    The second set of factors are the external ones. The west has a great many interest in Egypt whether you realize this or not. They don’t care about real democracy and wouldn’t have it if it opposed their interests. Ask yourself where was their support when Bahraini and Saudi protests were mercilessly crushed? Was there any coverage of this? – Hint – no. The main objective is to have a cooperative entity installed in power no matter how oppressive. One that ideally doesn’t allow the country to become prosperous and powerful as to not be an actual regional threat. So as it lies now, Egypt is a ripe fruit for foreign interest. In the near future you’re going to see an ever growing influx of arms and financing from the west to internal opposing factions and a civil war will be inevitable. Do you think the MB will tolerate a castrated political position? No they have been fighting for this for the last 90 years and won’t stop now at anything. So even if they do win the election, they won’t be content – they want the real thing. The army will continue to arm their goons and Salafists if they have to. Foreign arms dealers win, foreign politicians win, Egypt loses.

    I do commend you for your valiant efforts nonetheless, but the problem is, people like you don’t fit in or belong in Egypt as it stands due to the very fabric of its society and political history.

  38. w
    December 22, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Fools. Don’t you get it? Did you really think things would improve? I’m so disappointed and really mad right now that I can’t even say more…

  39. Marwan el tounisi
    December 22, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Assalamoua lykoum from Tunisia,

    I think that this article will be the base of the secular atheist conspirationist theory in Egypt.

    According to you the army created the Salafist ( and they prepared them by torturing them for the last 30 years).

    According to you the elections are a fraud and the people who voted (maybe 2%) for islamists did it because they wanted to escape a fine (lol).

    According to you you were chased down the street in Suez ( Suez voted 80 % Islamists) so Ibelieve you there, they must really hate internet bloggers who popped champagne when Mubarak left while Suez were still burying their dead.

    You’re the real fraud here, like in Tunisia you’re just part of some kind of “elite”.

    You think that you’re enlightened and you have to guide all these stupid Egyptians to the good( atheist occidental) way.

    You’re pathetic and almost nobody likes you, just look at the comments almost all your supports are europeans or Americans, I think you should go and campaign in California or France, if they dont kick you out because of you skin colour you may win some kind of prize, they love Arab traitrors.

    Shame on you
    Shame on you
    Shame on you.

    I do not salute you.

    • Wahib al Maghrabi
      December 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      From the first day when i saw this guy on his blog, i knew that we have here a dreamer, who is drunk in his own illusions (and beer)

      I am totally happy that such westernized globalization victims became the losers in egypt.

      He laughs loudly about muslims now he become the biggest joke.

      He will never accept that Muslims and Islam (in any case and domain) are better than him and his atheistic ideology.

      Without a doubt this century will be an islamic one and it begins now, inshallah wal hamdulillah

      • 2face
        December 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

        Does that mean you will stop whining about how the poor poor Muslims are being persecuted. You can’t be both “poor victims” and and “victorious conquerors” at the same time. Which one is it?

      • Fr. J
        December 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm

        Wahib, Your kind of Islamic century would be a true dark ages of pain and suffering for humanity. You are drunk…on hate and violence. Your brand of Islam is barbaric and destroys everything it touches. We just saw you burn down a library of ancient texts that are part of the human cultural heritage and your own nations history. Who really destroyed the library of Alexandria? The Islamic invaders. Know that we look at you with contempt.

      • Omri
        December 29, 2011 at 10:03 pm

        You Islamists sure are doing a wonderful job in Somalia, aren’t you?

        Just beware, buddy. You’re not going to get virgins when you die. You’re going to BE one of those virgins. And it will hurt every time.

  40. Hani Riad
    December 22, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Very original thinking on a very complex situation. I’m glad you don’t connclude with a recommended course of action. Rather let’s think about this one a little, lest we make even more mistakes. Very thought provoking. Thank you Sandmonkey.

  41. Mohamed El Sharkawy
    December 22, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Excellent piece. Such intellectual power should not be wasted by allowing the old fashion tactics to win. Do not give up ….am talking to your generation. Yes old regime won few battles but the future is yours and the war is still going on. I like the symbol vs. cause analysis. Any future move should focus on the cause. In my madness at old age , I have proposed few days ago that any future protest should be carried out in the desert to evade the old tactics of intruders , protecting properties , Tahrir people are not representing all the Egyptians,stopping the production wheel….etc. Most important now is to define the CAUSE. I urge you please do not give up.

  42. yehia abdelnour
    December 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

    What a far cry for your post in july called “Tahrir : An exercise in nation building” where you were ranting about ( I am quoting you ) “The fascinating social experience that the sit in was creating ” , The opportunity to create in Tahrir a new nation , alongside everyone else , from scratch” , “The learning experience in governance unlike the world has ever seen” , “the extraordinary experiment that allowed the activists to have a great learning curve “…..
    I am glad you are back from Lala Land and into the “ugly’ world of politics….We liberals have lost way too much time in “those fascinating social experiences” while the religious parties were getting ready for the race of the ballots…
    As per the silence that was imposed on you during election times by your advisors , i wish they would have given the same advice to the founder of your party…a very respectable person indeed but that is really not political savy and that has harmed tremendously the campaign….Each of his appearances on Talkshows have been a disaster….We dont care to know whether he enjoys his whisky before or after dinner or that his wife fancies St tropez style dresses …Egypt has far more important issues to resolve then booze and fashion !!!!….
    I really hope that he would start taking a back stage role as he really appears to people as being extremly arrogant and is starting to be a heavy burden on your party rather then an asset.
    By the way i am a kotla masriya voter and have contributed financially ( albeit modestly ) to their campaign..

  43. Yehia
    December 22, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    While I agree with your general thesis. I do not think the salafists, or the Islamists in particular have won the elections by “Fraud”. Since the election turnout was very high, and if fraud or any other illegitimate means has occurred, it was few and not the main issue since the this elections is a far cry from what used to happen in the past. A lot of NGOs and political activists and participants were also monitoring the elections and the general consensus is that it is fair elections with some minor problems.

  44. Melekper Toussoun
    December 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    What you masterfully describe is certainly – chillingly – right. Then again a revolution is a process , a process of trial and error over a long, bloody period: in the whole history of Humanity, nothing worth fighting for ever came easily.
    It is easy for me to give advice, for it is not I who will pay the price. Nevertheles never, never, never, NEVER GIVE UP !
    From one who has never ceased to be an Egyptian, my heartfelt wishes go out to all of you. You Will Prevail.

  45. Unnnooo
    December 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Getting rid of TYRANT REGIMES through revolution is only half of the job. The more important half is WHAT comes after the revolution. And unless this half is not properly handled, TYRANTS will find their way through cracks. History has ample lessons. The way “democracy” is being implemented, it is making a mockery of the people’s vote.

  46. Unnnooo
    December 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Just being allowed to visit a ballot box does not mean you are getting FREEDOM.

  47. Ken
    December 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    It sounds like you are saying your real darkness was the Egyptian military all along. You just didn’t recognize it. You forced out Mubarak who was putting pressure on your military leaders to divest themselves of certain businesses. That would have weakened them. The Military pushed back against Mubarak and used your “revolution” in Tahrir Square to oust him from power. Even if you needed Mubarak out, maybe you should have let him remove the old military powers first. When titans fight, it’s best to get out of the way.

    If you pushed the wrong guy out of power, real darkness will follow for a long time. I followed your earlier accounts of Tarir Square and quite frankly, you sounded like a kid in a sandbox. I didn’t think you knew what you were up against. Now you do.

    The USA gives 3 billion/yr to the Egyptian army to keep the Suez canal open. The canal is the key to that money. The Egyptian military would eventually fall apart without that money and what they can get from canal fees.

    The USA is quickly spending itself into a financial hole that it won’t be able to climb out of. When our situation is fully understood by the American public, the Egyptian canal money will stop flowing. I think Egypt will then have to wait ten more years before a successful revolution could remove your military from power. Egypt will have another chance in about 15 years. You’ll be an old man by then.

    Good luck. Be kind to your fellow countrymen. And know this, western society isn’t perfect either.

  48. Hanan Badr
    December 24, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I did not connect that it was you Mahmoud salem who is sandmoneky until now..why didn’t u run with the elthawra mostannera…ya3ni propabaly the outsome would have been the same, but it fits more ur thoughts i guess..
    besides one major big mistake bloggers are doing is acting in an arrogant way towards ordinary ‘unconnected’ citizens…this must e tackled..bloggers MUST find time to react to people if they want to be elected or even build up a base for the next elections..it is a great thing that u r still young and can run again and again and again….good luck next time

  49. مصري ينصح
    December 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    للاستاذ كاتب المقال
    يا اخي انت ترغب في تمثيل المصريين
    المصريون لا يفهمون الانجليزية

  50. Jack
    December 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    SM, you got what you asked for, and took down a what? An 80 yr old dictator, who would have died anyway. If I understand your post correctly, you believe that the military will end up in control, if they aren’t already. But there I think you are wrong. It is the Islamists who will end up in control.

    My prediction, and it appears yours as well, is that you will look back upon the Murabak govt. of 2010 as the “good old days”.

    I laugh because you believed the Main Stream Media. You believed the hype of the “Egyptian Spring”.

    • Seldom
      December 29, 2011 at 5:28 am

      Agree! You got what you asked for! What did you really think would happen after you ousted Mubarak? That Egypt would become this oasis of democracy and secularism? With all due respect, you were naive and inexperienced at best. If you didn’t know that Egypt would end up in the hands of Islamists, then you really are out of touch with reality, and it’s not surprising at all that you lost in the elections (assuming they were fair; which I am pretty sure they weren’t for the simple reason that the military and Islamists refused international monitoring of the elections). I suggest you keep to your “English” blog, and next time you decide to do the Islamists’ dirty work (i.e. Revolution), please think twice! (though unlike Mubarak, they will behead you before you think about doing it!).

  51. Sonia
    December 27, 2011 at 2:57 am

    LISTEN standmonkey. Although we try to change or revolution this Goverment in this earth CHANGES will never happen as we want, we got war etc in front of our own eyes, the only thing we can do is to LOOK for JESUS, he is the only WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE,. And he will have a perfect kingdom when he comes back to earth with those who belieaved in him. I really wish I could change Egypt and many placees as well, am i saying give up? NO, but remember that God loves you and wants to give confort, and peace in the middle of all this to ur heart and to those aroun u. its not in our hands to change the goverment, but we can have the kingdom of God in our hearts and the hope of the future with him.
    I will pray for you , love you in Christ.

  52. Fr. J
    December 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I am sorry you didn’t win the election. I was afraid from the beginning that this would happen. I believe the Islamicists will take power and that many Egyptians will vote for them. It happened in Iran. That could well lead to another war and massive destruction all over the region. Christians are already fleeing the ethnic/religious cleansing. In the West we are becoming ever more inclined to not accept Muslim refugees fleeing places that they themselves destroyed. We fear they will do the same here and those fears do not seem to be misplaced. I think you are quite right that the problem is cultural and dare I say it, religious. Islam needs serious reform. There are Muslims who follow a moderate and sane form of Islam, but they do not seem to be the ones who are calling the shots. I sincerely hope that you and those like you will continue to fight the good fight.

    December 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I couldnt be happier that Egypt and its “people” are going down the drain

    5 minutes after your so called revolution started, you all shit on Israel and the Jews

    and you “people” didnt learn from teh Exodus, that GOD WILL HURT/KILL YOU

    Death to you all

  54. Westin Jeets
    December 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    It’s all Israel’s fault.

  55. Kierra
    January 10, 2012 at 6:35 am

    With all these silly websites, such a great page keeps my itnerent hope alive.

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