Archive of ‘A.P.U.’ category

The Rafah crisis

Things are not going well for the egyptians living there.

Hammad and many other residents of Egyptian towns along the Gaza border
are increasingly disgruntled, not only with the Gazans and their Hamas rulers but with their own government. They are warning that chaos is brewing and demanding the crisis be resolved quickly.

[...] 

On the Egyptian side of Rafah, a town that the border had divided,
many gas stations have run out of fuel and grocery stores are short on
food.

Hammad, 26, said he restocked his store twice this week but ran out of items to sell Tuesday.

"They are buying everything," he said of the Palestinians. "God
forbid, they will also buy the air and we will not be able to breathe."

Gazans spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past week,
cleaning out the stores in Egyptian Rafah and the nearby town of El-Arish.

They scooped up just about anything they could get their hands on —
diesel fuel, cement, cigarettes, washing powder, electrical appliances,
car batteries, medicines and even exotic birds for pets.

The Egyptians were eager at first to make a buck from the Palestinians but now they want the crisis wrapped up.

Some Egyptians complained the Palestinians drove prices up sharply
and bought their goods, at times turning around and reselling them down
the street at much higher prices.

Others even claimed they had been robbed.

Standing in the middle of a Rafah street in mud-covered sandals,
wood collector Khamis Abou-Fares complained to anyone who would listen.

"After blinking for a second, I could no longer see my pile of
wood," he said. The Palestinians "destroyed our town and now they are
stealing from us. Is this the way to return a favor?"

Nooreldin el-Goneus, 25, said some Palestinians offered to buy the
sheep he was selling to get cash for his upcoming wedding. But he
declined because their offer wasn't good enough. Half an hour later,
his flock was gone from outside his home and he says his brother saw
some Palestinians load his sheep onto their truck.

"We took you (Palestinians) in and gave you everything we had, and now you are slapping us with those thefts," he lamented.

I will start a campaign to send humanitarian relief to our Sinai brothers under siege between Hamas and the Egyptian government. Support the Brave Sinai people in their hour of need against the palestinian occupation. :P

Not Welcome

As a sign of the messed up times we live in, the egyptian leftist activist scene is arranging a protest against Bush's visit to Egypt on Monday:

وقفة إحتجاجية بنقابة الصحفيين

تدعو لجنة الحريات بنقابة الصحفيين كل القوى الوطنية و الناشطين لوقفة إحتجاجية
يوم الإثنين 14 يناير 2008 الساعة الخامسة مساءا بنقابة الصحفيين
من الأجل الإحتجاج على زيارة الرئيس الأمريكي جورج بوش لمصر و الإحتجاج على السياسة الأمريكية و الإحتلال الأمريكي للعراق

The committee of freedom at the Syndicate of Journalism call all Egyptians and activists for a protest
Monday 14 January 2008 at 5 PM at the Syndicate of Journalism
to protest against the visit of the American president Bush and to the American occupation of Iraq

Not to be outdone, the Muslim Brotherhood issued their own statement condemning the visit:  

S President George W. Bush, due to visit
Egypt on Wednesday as part of his Middle East tour, was branded a
murderer not welcome in the country by the main opposition party on
Sunday.

‘We
say to Bush Junior—whose hands are not just bloodstained but soaked in
our blood—that neither you or your American administration assistants
are welcome in our land or under our skies,’ the Muslim Brotherhood
said.

A
statement, entitled ‘No welcome for the murderers’, quoted the
movement’s supreme guide, Mohammed Mehdi Akef, and said that
destruction and devastation followed Bush.

Akef
said Bush was unwelcome because he incited Ethiopia to occupy Somalia,
supported Israel, stirred up disagreement among the different political
factions in Lebanon and was responsible for the destruction of
Afghanistan and the occupation of Iraq.

He also was after me lucky charms. Damn this Bush. 

I for one will miss him when he is gone. Hate him or love him, the man shook up the region with his push for democracy in arab countries, especially Egypt. The fact that the people making the so called "opposition" hate the US too much to ever give him credit, let alone capitalize on the pressure he provided, well, that just tells you why they are politically insignificant.

Oh well…

Ping Pong

First Livni says that Egypt is not doing enough to stop weapon smuggeling to Israel and hints that it may be on purpose..

Then Mubarak says this is ludicrous and warns that Livni has "crossed all the red lines"…

So Barak goes and says (at least according to egyptian papers) that Mubarak is getting too old to control all the security institutions in Egypt…

And the next day the egyptian papers declare the finding of an Egyptian soldiers mass-grave in Sinai.

I love the middle-east! 

Hershed!

So yesterday I went to the AUC to hear Seymor Hersh speak. I must say I had only heard of the man in passing, and knew that he was the guy who broke out the Abu Gharib story, but beyond that I had no prejudices going in. And then I read who was presenting him, and those Prejudices went right out of the window. You see, the man was brought to us by the Heikal foundation for Journalism, as in Mohamed Hassanein Heikal. For those unfamiliar with the man, he wrote the book on crony journalism and regime propaganda. This is the man who crafted the image of Nasser for the egyptian people for over almost 2 decades, creating and crafting his personality cult, and then spent the rest of his days as an advisor, a writer, and occasionally a weapon's dealer. But in essence, he is an apologist for an authoratarian regime and a proagandist per excellence. So to hear mr. Hersh talking about how he is glad and optimistic regarding the future of egyptian journalism thanks to institutes such as the Heikal Foundation for Journalism, well, you can understand why I felt like crying at that moment.

However, I was immedietly distracted by the group masturbation session that followed those words as mr. Hersh started his speech. I was wowed by this man's ability to verbally give every single member of the audience a handjob. It was exactly everything they wanted to hear and nothing more. Simply amazing. This is a man who knows his audience and how exactly to bullshit them. For example, he mentioned- with the disclaimer that he has no proof of this- that the UN owed Iraq approx. 9 billion dollars for Oil sales in escrow, which was later on claimed by the US government when it took over Iraq and then simply dissappeared and vanished. He of course has no proof or sources to confirm this, but his audience is not one that needs proof in such matters. After all, we live for this shit.

What was slightly surprising was how pro-Shia the man was (the man apparently could see no harm coming from Iran, syria or hezbollah), which was later on explained to me in the context that this man is a member of the new Left, and the new left believes that any enemy of the USA is a good person and needs to be supported, because the USA is a very bad and naughty country. But the dude was stretching thing a little bit. I mean when he decribed the March 14th movement as "The US backed Sunni dominated Seniora government" I started heaving, but when he described  Hezbollah as "a member of an opposition coalition with Christian catholics" I knew I was in the presence of greatness. This is a man who could distort shit so well that he could disprove gravity. And just so you know, the US is backing a "Fitnah" amongst muslims that is trying to get sunnis to fight the Shias, who apparently before the US moved into Iraq never fought before. Oh yeah, and it's all the saudis fault. If you removed the Saudis and the americans, the region would be peacefull with rainbows, butterflies and choclate springs sprouting all over. It's not like the Iranians are equiping shia militias in Iraq, financing Hezbollah in Lebanon,  trying to detsabalize the government of Bahrain and occupies part of the UAE. Not gonna mention that, no way. The Iranians are cool after all, because they hate the US.

You know, I am willing to listen and accept his version of how the americans are to blame for everything in the middle-east if he would just mention the other asshole players and assign them blame as well. I mean, yeah, the sunnis are asshole extremist fanatics and Saudi is filled with crazy wahabi and mutawaeen, but so are the Shia, and Iran has the religious police and almost executed a girl for killing someone who wanted to rape her. Yet somehow, in Hersh's world view, what Iran does is not a problem, the Saudis are. After all, they are cozy with the US. Dude, this is the middle east. The devil's asshole. Everybody here is guilty. We all have blood on our hands. Sunnis and Shia. Christians and Jews. Arabs and Persians. It's just how things are around here, and it's not gonna change if the Saudis ran out of Oil or the US lost its power and status. Sorry. Any undergrad Junior International Affairs or middle-eastern studies student will tell you that it's a tad more complicated than that. But not as far as mr. Hersh is concerned.

All in all, it was lovely. People had the same blank happy look on their faces that they had after watching Fehrenheit 9/11. They didn't come up with anything new, just everything they have believed and heard a thousand times before just rehashed and repackaged and told to them by an anti-Israeli jew. And, after all, in a country like Egypt, the moral authority of anti-israeli jew is absolute.

So yeah, it was a fun hour. I love me a good bullshit artist. Maybe that's why I always had a soft spot for Bill Clinton. He was, after all, the master of Bullshit artistry! However, if you are not a critical thinker, you left this place with the satisfied face and shit-eating grin of someone who just got exactly what he wanted and expected, faith rewarded. Good for you. Keep it up. Your world will always be a simple one.

Lucky you! 

The 4th grade poetry Egyptian-Israeli war

This is pricesless:

An international grade school poetry contest
quickly deteriorated into an aggressive cyberspace battle for Middle
Eastern honor when word got out on the Internet that a nine-year-old
Israeli girl had pulled ahead of an Egyptian competitor and threatened
to take first prize.

Sharon Livneh, a fourth grader at Ma'aleh Adumim's Sde Hemed
elementary school, had no idea when she penned a poem about her
sister's bat mitzva that she had set off a chain of events that would
lead to a fierce Arab-Israeli confrontation on the Internet.

Livneh was the pride of her school and hometown when she became
the only Israeli to be chosen as one of six finalists in a British
Council-sponsored poetry contest.

Just a few hundred kilometers south of Livneh's home an
Egyptian school boy named Youssef el-Kattan was also celebrating his
success.

The two children's poems along with their names and countries
of origin appeared on the British Council's Web site. Whoever received
the most votes via the Internet would win.

You can see where this may be going.. 

Almost immediately it was clear that Livneh and
el-Kattan had attracted a disproportionately large amount of attention
on the Web. While most children had received dozens of votes, Livneh
and el-Kattan had accrued thousands.

"All along she was in second place," recalled Sharon's mother, Adina. "Youssef from Egypt was in first place.

"But around 2 p.m. on Monday, Sharon pulled ahead with 3,475
votes against his 3,445. I admit that I and Sharon's grandfather were
doing some serious campaigning among friends and family.

What happened next was truly funny! 

"All of a sudden they dropped a bomb on us. At 5:40
p.m., Sharon had 4,171 votes, while Youssef had 39,538. Two-and-a-half
hours later the results were 4,476 and 43,347."

So, the mother of Sharon complained about possible foul-play and the Council suspended the voting. You wanna know what the final count was?

Before the British Council suspended the voting, Youssef was leading with 70,000 votes to Sharon's 5,000.

LOL…

I love the Middle-East! 

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