Strike out!

6th of april was finally here, and the streets of cairo
were a sight to be seen. A flood of people, millions, linning up in the streets
of cairo..busses, cars and taxis loaded with angry people, traveling all across
the mighty city. People were shouting, cars were honking and the music filled
the air.

And my friend looked at me and said "wow, cairo traffic is really as
bad as they say it is"!

Oh, you were expecting something on the strike? What strike? Today's national strike? The Egyptian day of anger? Well…It kind of failed…like miserably. The demonstrations that took place were…ehh..kinda small and symbolic..30 people at the Press syndicate..5 people at Ain Shams university..The MB supposedly showed its great street presence by sending in 40 people. Not really the numbers that strike the fear of god in our unholy government, and totally shy o the projections set by the laughable polls available on the shabab 6 april website. One of them claimed that between 60 and 80% of cairenes will join the strike and protests. They must've gotten stuck in traffic. The 6th October Bridge was murder today, i hear.

While I understand that other bloggers are trying to put some positive spin on things (detailing news items of crackdowns and clashes between the police and the "numerous protestors" to make you feel as if shit is going down, when it really isn't), you don;t come here to hear the positive. You come here for a nice dose of reality, and this is what we will give you. To kind of give you a perspective on it all, check this out: 4 days ago, 2 girls got arrested in Kafr el Sheikh for promoting the protest. 30 of their friends staged a sit-in in front of the police station, and the police- laughing that the "activists" they were going to have to look for today kinda showed up on their door steps- invited them to continue their sit-in inside a cozy jail cell. Total number of people arrested that day, including the 2 girls= 32 people. The amount of people arrested today, in national strike day, the day of anger, from all the governrates of Egypt? 34 people. And again, that's from all over EGYPT. Not Kafr el Sheikh…EGYPT. In a country of over 80 million, the total number of protestors arrested in national anger day is less than 40. And total people arrested for the whole incident..less than 100. It Oh, and the Strike Leader, Saad Zaghloul the second, the man, the myth, the legend.. Ahmed Maher? Nowhere to be found. Probably hiding in a television studio somewhere. Or maybe he too got stuck in traffic.

To sum it up, the national strike day turned out to be a national joke, and that's because its leaders and organizers were clowns and media whores. That is all there is to it. The good news is, those clowns are now exposed. And instead of feeling bad for them, I have a list of names of other people more worthy of your sympathy: Like Ahmed Aly Mabrouk, the young boy that got killed in his own bedroom by a stray bullet fired by the police, And Ahemd ElSayed Nono, who sufferd the same fate, when he recieved a stray bullet in headwhile sitting with his friends at a cafe, a few months before his wedding. Those were only 2 of the victims of the police crackdown on the Mahalla workers, the same crackdown that made the 6th of April leaders famous and fawned over by idiots in the media and civil society. You don't find the names of either Mabrouk or ElNono anywhere in the "6th of april movement's" manifestos or press releases, nor anything on any of those arrested or sentenced in the Mahalla protests. They are collatoral damage, sacrficeable soldiers for the greater goal of making national leaders of 3 imbeciles with a fuckin laptop. Well, motherfuckers, you've asked for anger today, and here you have found it. How do you like it now?

Fuckin Wankers!

6th of April…again!

There is an egyptian word, called "3abbath", and its most immediate translation for it is the english word folly. I have checked the thesaurus, looking for a cooler or a better sounding word, but this is what I got: absurdity, craziness, foolishness, idiocy, imbecility, inanity, preposterous, silliness.The story I am about to tell you embodies all of these words and more, but unfortunately folly remains the one true translation, so we are going to go with it.

The reason behind my infatuation with finding the appropriate word to translate here is due to the arrival of the first anniversary of the 6th of April strike, which so far has proven to embody the very essence of 3abbath. I have honestly spent the past 3 days following the media, reading blogs, facebook group walls, talking to bloggers, journalists, and activists trying to make heads or tails of this, and failing miserably. And I am not alone: The people I am talking- some of them are even participating- to are also confused. So, since it's unfair for us to be confused and for you to be all at peace with the universe, I shall tell you what I know, and you can tell me, in ur humble opinion, what the fuck is going on.

It all began one year ago, when a group on facebook called upon a general strike in Egypt on the 6th of April, 2008. The big deal was that over 60,000 assholes have done what we all do when we get facebook group invitations and joined the group. The media paid attention, and working its usual bullshit, suddenly created the most powerful political entity to grace the sands of Egypt : THE FACEBOOK YOUTH MOVEMENT ! Now, mind you, as the time I told you that it's a media fabrication, actually, let me quote myself while I am at it: 

You see, it's kind of hard to predict the outcome of a strike that has
no clear organizers or participants, with everything operating in a
very anarchist manner. In order to combat such uncertainty and
confusion, the media invented a new political entity that is behind all
of that is happening. What did they call it? "The Facebook Youth
movement", I kid you not. So now the Facebook Youth movement is the new
political player in town, with newspapers running stories on how they
are calling for this or demanding that, which is basically them making
a story from any asshole creating a group calling for something on the
Egypt network. This reminded me of when they started running stories on
the new gods of politics, media and activism: "The Egyptian Blogger
Movement". Remember that shit? When they used to run stories on how
"The Egyptian bloggers called for this or organized that", like we are
some sort of monolithic entity that actually agrees on everything and
is organized and has goals and leadership. I kept asking every blogger
I know to introduce me to the coordinator, the supreme leader or even
the spokesman of "The Egyptian Bloggers", but they would be as stumped
as I was.

So, last year, the day of april 6th came and went and we didn't see a single member of the so-called "facebook youth movement" doing anything, because, let's face it, they were probably poking each other on facebook. And the day was going on its way to being a complete bullshit and waste of a day, until the Mahalla Workers actually believed the hype and joined the strike, and rioted when they were cracked down upon by the police. We were then greeted by multiple heart-warming images of people stepping over pictures of Mubarak and stuff, but they were soon replaced by pictures of people getting beaten up, shot at and arrested. The work in leading the workers that day was organized and lead by leftist labor activists such as Karim ElBehery, who wasn't a member of the " Facebook Youth movement", nor were any of the workers. That did not stop the FYM leaders- especially Ahmed Maher- of congratulating themselves and taking credit for the whole thing, as if they were Saad Zaghloul incarnate, and the movers and shakers of the egyptian people. The Media lapped it up, suddenly they were getting interviewed and invited to meetings and conferences, because, and I quote, "they managed to harvest the power of facebook to utilize it as a tool for grass-root activism". And again, I repeat, they accomplished all of this by clicking on the join button. As for the real heroes of April 6th, the poor underpaid and courageous workers who took a stand that day? Well, they were never interviewed by the media, or the satellite news networks, never were invited to a conference, or were the focus of a news piece. What they were the focus on, was the government's vengeance: many lost their jobs, many ended up with jail sentences of 5 years, and they still get paid 20 dollars a month. And since some dick in the comments section will try to make the asinine point that FYM leaders should get some credit because they called for the strike, I shall remind them that they called for another strike less than a month later and NOTHING HAPPENED. You know why? Because the workers figured out the game: The assholes on facebook call on them to strike, they actually do strike, they get arrested and the assholes on facebook get more interviews. So, it became apparent for anyone with half a functioning brain (which doesn't include Freedom House, the US state department, the canadian embassy in egypt's political officers amongst many others) that the FYM people were wankers: Unreliable attention whores who have no problem lying and believing their own lies. And to cement their status as wankers, they changed their name: They are now called the "6th of April Youth", commemorating their day of victory and courage when they stayed home and did nothing, and then took the credit of the work of those who believed their bullshit.

And now one year has passed, and they are calling for another strike on this 6th of April. And to combat the notion that they are a group trying to extend its 15 minutes of face by capitalizing on a victory that was never theirs, they proposed to change the name of the strike, and demanding that the 6th of April would be known in the egyptian lexicon as "the national day of anger". Anger over what, exactly, we are not told, but since Egypt is so fucked up, they figure everyone has something to be angry about, so why the fuck not. They do have a list of demands (they prefer to call them abrogated rights), which include the government providing more jobs, a better future, better schooling, better hospitals, lower prices, higher wages, linking all salaries to inflation, abolish the state security apparatus, the removal of Hosny Mubarak and stopping his son from becoming the next President, a new constitution, stop the selling Gas to Israel, stop receiving US aid and for our country to withdraw from the GATT. Nice list, huh? I wonder why they stopped there? Why not demand that the government provides all 80 million egyptians free housing, free utilities, the promise to find them their soul mates and peace on earth while we are at it? That's al that this list is missing. I guess they were afraid the government won't take them seriously if they added the peace on earth demand. Everything else is totally realistic and achievable though. Anyway….

What brought them to my attention, however, was the news stories on them. There was one news item where they were complaining of receiving threatening SMS messages from State Security, because, as we all know, when the egyptian state security wants to intimidate someone, they send them an SMS. This was followed by news of a competition started by the 6thof april youth, for "best poster calling for a strike", "best video calling for a 6th of april strike by an individual". "best video calling for a 6th of april strike as a group"," best 6th of April strike inspired work of literature" (including poetry, novels, plays and moviescripts-kid you not) , and "best 6th of april srike inspired cartoon". The winners will get "valuable prizes" and "certificates of appreciation". Who is issuing such certificates? No one knows. You know what no one also knows? WHO THE FUCK IS JOINING THE STRIKE!

You see, at first it was the 6th of April youth, and that's it, which was fine, because it meant it will be a bunch of kids sitting on their asses at home watching facebook again. They were then joined by the Karama party (which is basically the 20 nasserites who go to demonstrations), the Ghad party (which is also basically the 30 liberals that go to demonstration), the democratic front party (which has no street presence what so ever), and  the Kefaya movement (which is Geroge Ishac and Abdel Halim qandil at this point). The Muslim Brotherhood at first declined to join, and then changed its mind and decided to join but not really. They are "in solidarity", which is the same as saying "our hearts are with you, but our asses is staying home". When I asked my leftists friends if the worker movemnets are joining the strike as the 6th of april website says they are, they responded by saying and I quote :" Don't say strike…say demonstration…and while they are not participating in it, but they are in solidarity with it." 

Hmmm….

So, if the workers are not going to do anything, and the muslim brotherhood are not going to do anything, and the other parties have proven to have very limited to none street presence, who is doing the strike? How will we unleash the anger? Why is anyone taking this seriously?

Well, because our paranoid government kind of is taking it seriously: they are calling for a state of emergency, and they are arresting "6th of april activists". The arresting started two days ago, when two girls: Omneyah Taha Ahmad, and Sarah Ibrahim,  were arrested for distributing flyers calling for the strike at their university. When the state prosecutor decided to jail them for 15 days "pending investigation", their friends did a sit-in in front of the police station, which the police took as an excuse to arrest them as well, all 30 of them, and they were all labeled , you guessed it, "6th of april youth". And god knows who is next on their list. Last time they arrested anyone who had a political history and happended to be walking on the street that day, you know, as a precaution. I wonder what kind of "precautions" they will engage in this time.

Also taking this seriously is Ayman Nour, who is apparently jealous of a bunch of facebookers overshadowing his status as Egypt's #1 dissident, so he is preparing to capitalize on their "work", which is all kinds of ironic when you think about it.  You see, Ayman is planning a major declaration after the passing of theglorious "national day of anger" to publicize something he is calling "The Cairo Declaration for Democrcay", where he will probably declare that we need democracy. It should be very exciting. It's the cutting edge of politics in the most boring and childish of ways.

But don't think I am predicting the failure of the 6th of april protest. Au contraire, mon cheres. You see, what they wnat people to do, is to stay at home (That's how they are asking the people to participate in the strike). So if no one does anything, and stayed home, that's their definition of success (Now do you get my 3abbath refrence? Does it get my 3abbath than this?). So I will do my part, and stay home. But don't doubt for a second that they won't get my support: I will be in solidarity with them, every step of the way, from my couch!

Everything is amazing, nobody is happy

You need to see this!

On Facebook Status warfare

Beyond the Blame Egypt crowd and their cheerleaders, beyond the images of dead babies and the money being raised through them, beyond the stupidity of Israel's leaders statements on the winability of this War and those who believe them, the most recent, most annoying and most retarded by-product of the current Hamas-Israel conflict has to be the flurry of people who have donated their facebook status to whichever side of the conflict they thought is more righteous. If you don't know what I am talking about, or if you don't use facebook, well, dear friend, you are one lucky bastard, because you don't have to endure it.

You see, this is what's going on: On the Pro-Ghaza side, there are the "Donate your facebook status to count the dead people in Ghaza" people, which wouldn't be so annoying if it wasn't for how fast it gets updated.  I mean, Thank you for letting me know by the minute how many have died so far. I mean, what a way to reduce the casulaties from humans to numbers. Oh, 50 more died today you say? Must be Monday.

And then you have the Pro-Israel side, who are even sillier than their Ghaza counterparts. See, they know that they can;t really play the body count game, because the palestinians would win this handidly, and it would backfire in case anybody who cares enough to keep  track on the tally of death on both sides. So what did those geniuses do? They started a "donate your status to count the Qassam rockets fired on Israel" cause, as a way of "putting the war into perspective" by showing the number of "rockets" that get launched on Israel every day. Now if only those people whose public opinion is swayed via facebook statuses could understand the psychological implications of having rockets sent your way that most of the time don't kill anyone, support for Israel in this war would sky-rocket (no pun intended).

You know, the first week I came to the US as a dew-eyed 18 year old egyptian, I saw a flyer for a "Walk for Cancer". I asked my american friend what's that about. He told me that people would solicit donations from other people to sponser them in a "walk marathon" in order to raise funds for Cancer. And when I asked him what was the point of walking then, when you can just raise funds and send them to the bank account of the cause, he told me "It's a way for our people to feel as if they are doing something while really they are doing nothing. We americans like to do that. It makes us feel good about ourselves!"

I suspect something similar is afoot here. A form of masturbatory self-congratulating cyber activism that doesn't really cost you any time or effort. I mean, it doesn't even require you to update your facebook status yourself, because the whole thing is freakin automated anyway. So, what's the point exactly? Can someone let me know? And what's next? A facebook game? Something Like  the Vampire vs. Werewolves game, Hamas vs. Israel maybe? Oh, I can see it now: you start as a soldier/suicide bomber, and the point rate will be 1 kill for the palestinian side to 1000 for the Israeli side, and with every stage you go up you either get to throw a shoe at an egyptian embassy (if you are Hamas) or kick a few palestinians into Sinai (if you are Israeli), and whomever wins the game becomes the new elected leader of his people. Now how about that for art imitating Life? Very web 2.0 if you ask me. 

As for me, my facebook update will remain the way God intended it to be: a summurization of whatever latest inane thought I've had or stupid thing I've done or planning to do. And I intend to keep it that way until this war is over. Or maybe if you really think that this shit works, I could rent it to whatever side you represent. I have 570 people on my friends list, and I bet at least half of them are stupid enough to be swayed by Za Power of Za facebook status (ironically the exact amount who have donated their statuses. You figure if they believe in its power, they must be susceptible to it. No?), and my status-rent rate will be 50 dollars per head per day. If you interested, have your people call my people. We will be huge dahling. We can turn this whole thing around. ;)

Sigh… 

A 50 Billion dollars Ponzi scheme

Sigh, another Investment Banker perpetrating a huge fraud, probably causing the markets to go even deeper into hell. At this rate, negative sentiments about my career of choice will rival those towards lawyers. Why didn't I just become an accountant? Sigh..

Mugabe, I am confused!

Ok, Mugabe, out of curiosity: If you are going to arrest your opponent in the upcoming election and his second man in charge, Impound the buses he uses to campaign in the country, send hired killers against Human Rights activists, and state that the opposition will never govern in your lifetime and that you would rather go to war than cede power to them even if they did win , then..ehh…why even have an election? Why go through all of that trouble? Or are you just doing it for attention, you attention-whore you?

Regular service will be resumed shortly

Disclaimer: Dear readers, this is simply my response to S&H post about me. If you think the whole thing is stupid, and who could blame you, then please ignore this and await my Obama post, and why him winning might actually be the best thing to happen for the American right. If you wanna read it anyway, be my guest, but don't you dare complain. You've been warned!

Holy Cow!

I didn't know that my post on you would cause such debate in your comments section, even though the word "debate" might be an exaggeration to what's going on here. Either way, Upon finding this, I figured why not respond to what's being said and all? I mean, even Amy Mowafi responded (more on that in a second) so I guess I should put my two cents in as well.

Now, the first thing I've noticed about your post is the parts you edited from mine. And while I can understand you taking away the references to the other two blogs, there is one line you removed from the final paragraph in that post, and I guess you removing it says volumes about you and your intellectual honesty. Here it is:

"No one cares. And if you truly live in Cairo and know the intrusive nature of its people, then you would know that most people would love to go anywhere without being seen or heard by 10 people that know them."

Now, why would you remove that specific sentence dear S&H? Any specific reason? Or is it because you know how true it is, and it just hit too close to home? Oh, I wonder.

Now , that aside, I am glad that you are doing this as a business venture, and not because you lead some empty existence where your only entertainment is the lives of others. Although, I am not really sure how this Business model operates exactly. Do people actually pay you to write stuff about them? If that's the case, how "hot" and "happenin" could they be? Does that mean that everything you post about is paid advertisement? Does that include your opinions as well? I am just asking because I have encountered a poor soul whose main beef with you was that you never mentioned her, and maybe if you guys are for sale, she could buy your love or attention, or something. But then again, what kind of socialite gets bought? What kind of Socialite needs money?

As for your questions, emm, let's see. Age: 27. Interests: Many many many things. Why do I hate people like you with social lives: Ehh..whomever said I was hating on you for your social life? Do you really think I care who you meet or hang out with or totally loathe? And do you really think that where you go is soo exclusive? I've been to every place you go to, I know every single one of your friends and we probably even drank together. But the main difference between you and me is this: I have this strange tendency to actually have fun when I go out. Yes, for real. Wanna know something crazier? If it's not going to be fun, I just don't go out. Yeah, really! That concept, for some reason, is lost on most of you, who go to Jazz club on Wednesdays (Or 35 on Fridays, and let's not forget La Bodega the rest of the freakin week, except Thursday of course, because that's when the bee2ah people go out) because it's the thing to do and "what else are we gonna do? Stay home?". And you go out with the same people as the night before, you discuss the same topics you discussed the time before and you spend lots of money on drinks that don't end up even getting you drunk or buzzed and you go home mabdoneen because your life is so very fuckin boring, and you go to bed counting the days until you head to Hacienda to "have some real parties", with, surprise surprise, the same people you meet in cairo, only this time everyone is showing off the results of the latest plastic surgery they've had. So no, this isn't the rant of some social recluse who is envious of you. There is nothing to envy there.

I am not even gonna address the Paulo Coelho issue. You've done a fine job on that one all by yourself.

Now, allow me to quote one of your posts, to show you why exactly you do piss me off. This is a post you wrote a couple of days ago, and I believe the topic was about "social climbers". Hmm, let's dissect that one for a second, shall we?

"You see them at La Bodega…35…AND Sangria, ALL IN ONE NIGHT!! They are called…THE SOCIAL CLIMBERS."

Color me confused, but isn't it true that in order for you to see them, don't you too have to be there at those 3 places that same night?

Now, what are the other signs of social climbers?

"The one's who say hi to anyone and everyone…"

Oh no, you mean they are being nice to people? How dare they?

"then you'll need to understand that we won't consider you "cool" if we know you been to every hot spot..and hung out till unearthly hours"

Ok, so the S&H rules in order for you not to be categorized as a social climber are: Don't go to three places in one night and be seen there, unless you are a part of the Scene & Heard Clique, because they are exempted from that rule. Don't be nice or say hi to people; sneer at them, growl if possible! And don't stay up late in one place. A good socialite leaves the party while it's happening, not when it's over, because the ones who stay till the end are losers, and they end up being stuck with the check (double losers). Did I get that right?

You know, I come from old money. Not touting that as an achievement or anything. It's simply a fact. My grandfather was the Egyptian royalty, my grandmother is such an old and known "socialite" (back when the term had something to do with charitable work and love for this country), whose donation to charity is now estimated to be worth billions and who actually has a square in Heliopolis named after her. She raised me, and she thought me the difference between old money and the nouveau riche. You know what the difference is? Manners. Old money comes with manners. You are polite to all people, and you never have to make a scene, because you know who you are and where you come from. New money, on the other hand, have inferiority complexes: so they mistreat their maids, they insult the wait-staff, and they act snobbish, haughty and rude to people, and they say shit like "entah 3aref entah betkalem meen?", because they believe (from watching bad TV shows and movies) that this is the way you act if you are from the upper-class. Only a true nouveau riche social climber would care about who they are seen talking to in clubs, who shows there, and how they will look in the eyes of others. Old money doesn't give a crap about that, but they will see fit to remind the nouveau riche of their place if they do cross the line. That's all there is to it.

Now, I don't know which are you, nor do I care that much. But you should know that the attitude you are exporting is that of the nouveau riche, and god forbid you guys get labeled as that. As for anyone who is reading this and actually wishes to be considered a socialite, well, my dear friends, it's really much easier and simpler than they portray it here. You wanna be a socialite? Well, it's really really easy. All you really need are two things: 1) Money, and 2) Time to waste. Because trust me, you will waste a lot of time and money getting in, and you will waste even more the moment you are in. Don't worry, they will let you in their circles, because they are bored of each other more than they would like to admit, even to themselves.

As for Amy, well, my beef with her book is very simple: Being a single woman at her late twenties is not an achievement, nor is her stating that she doesn't care how that makes society views her makes her a rebel and someone who breaks down walls. It's simply the case of society placing retarded rules and norms on girls and women, and the key word here is retarded. Not following retarded rules doesn't make you a rebel; it simply means you are not retarded. Congratulations, here is a cookie. The fact that the majority of other girls in Egypt seem to obey and follow those rules still doesn't make you a rebel; it just means that they are…let's say it together…RETARDED. There you go. Now you get it. There are very good reasons to like or even admire Amy: She is a strong and independent woman who managed to make a name for herself in the world of magazines and writing. Bragging about giving her mom ulcers because she "still hasn't found a good man" isn't one of them, because quite frankly, if your mom, after all that you have achieved, still looks at you as an incomplete object because you haven't found a suitable Penis to marry, well, then maybe she does deserve that ulcer. Not wishing your mother harm or anything Amy, Just saying.

And finally, yeah, god forbid I would be considered a socialite, especially if it means abiding by the set of rules and behavior that are being advocated here. The Socialite scene is filled with people who will swear up and down that the movie "Cruel Intentions" was "like, totally, my highschool" and who seem to think that "Mean girls" was an accurate portrayal of the struggles they face in their social life. Yeah. Not me. It wouldn't necessarily be "haram", mainly because I detest people who even remotely use that term to justify anything, but it would suck being lumped in that group, mainly because of their intellectual level. It really would.

So this is the end of that S&H, and you can make of this what you wish. I am glad that I have given you more traffic, and if that's how you make your money, then please send me my cut. This is, after all, a business venture, no? As for your generous offer to write for you, I would have to respectfully decline. Nothing personal. Just don't have the time to keep up with every little thing the people in your circle of friends do. Best of luck with that!

For the retarded amongst you

I have tolerated the existence of the Scene and Heard blog for a while now, mainly because I think that the crowd they target don't really read or are big Paulo Coelho fans (same thing), so for them to read anything, well, that's just a positive thing. They are the same people I hated hanging out with right after I came back, whose topic of conversations range from who got photographed in what magazine, who married/left/cheated on/sleeps with who and debating the color yellow. Riveting shit, I tell ya. I kept my distance but didn't really hate them, because that's like hating a retard for making stupid decisions.I mean, they are fans of Amy Mowafi for god's sake, so they can't really be blamed for their choices in life. They simply don't know any better.

However, they did join my shit list when they actually lead to the spawning of other egyptian gossip blogs, mainly two that got sent to me today and immediately made my blood boil. The first one targets AUC students, and it's called "Gossip Girl in AUC". Yes,after the CW show targeting 12 year old girls. Seriously. They even do the whole "XOXO" shit at the end. I keep trying to think of ways to insult them, but, why bother? I would be wasting brain cells. There is an actual post about how the writer heard someone say "that's huge? how did you manage that?" and the really funny punchline is, they were talking about a bubble gum. No, for real. Can you believe it? It's Crazzzyyyyyy!!!!!!

And then for those of you who go to the second rate GUC, well, they have one for you as well, and it's called GUC Insider. Now, I am actually quite impressed by that one, because it managed to suck more than the Gossip Girl one (oh gossip girl, I said suck, imagine? That's soo funny. Giggle and blush), which I think is quite the achievement. And the sad thing is, the writer of that one quit, not because he found out that he is a lame writer, but because the GUC people got mad at him. For real. They actually got offended and thought he should discontinue. Thank you GUCians. You are not as lame as everyone says you are.

So yes, S&H, I blame YOU for this. This shit didn't happen until you people came along with your fantastic posts about nothing and people only you know and care about. I get that you attacked those other gossip blogs yourself, but that's not enough. You people have to repent or something for the shit you unleashed on the unsuspecting population. Think of the innocent bystanders. Some people who actually have a brain might stumble upon your website one day without being warned about its nature beforehand -unlike me- and end up getting a brain aneurysm from the your self-congratulating masturbatory so called writing. So please, stop, before anyone gets hurt. Think of the Children who will read this shit and actually think that being a socialite is, like, important. Because it's not. No one cares. And if you truly live in Cairo and know the intrusive nature of its people, then you would know that most people would love to go anywhere without being seen or heard by 10 people that know them. But then again I am talking about people with no insecurities and who don't give a fuck about whatever spring-fling- fuck-me-I-am-famous shit party your faggy metrosexual friends throw and invite you to next. So you might not relate. Nevermind.  

The Game is on

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People who read this blog know that I am not the most enthusiastic supporter of today's protest for both political reasons , and for the fact that I am not quite sure what it would achieve. It's hard to take a protest seriously that gives u the choice between being apathetic or participating by staying at home and doing nothing. However, the government seems to be taking it very seriously, so maybe I should to, especially that they arrested Malek and a number of activists yesterday, forcing a number of other bloggers and activists to spend last night in any other place but their homes. I just took a cab ride to Dowtown and the streets are crawling state security and they are stopping young men who are walking by themselves on the streets and checking their ID's and forcing them to get off the streets as soon as possible. 

On the other hand, the government is going for an entire media blitz to stop the strike: The cover of government mouthpieces AlAhram and Al Akhbar are filled with headlines that both deny the existance of any strike , following the line of "What strike? That's just a bunch of hype started by a number of illegal and shady movements and individuals who want to ruin the country!", and yet detail the amounts of legal punishment and trouble that anyone who participates in a strike would receive "Losing your job, Fines, 3 months to a year in prison, being on the government's shit list forever, etc..etc..". Uber government presswhore RoseAlYusef published a headline asking people to calm down, go to work and not worry because everything is working fine and there is no strike , and life is rosy. In Rosealyusef's world, reality is what you make it, which must work really well for them.

The interesting thing is, no one knows really which political powers are with or behind this protest. I mean sure, AlWasat, and alKarama parties are in, and so is whomever is representing Kefaya these days, and some factory workers. The Muslim Brotherhood have announced they won't participate, but they are supporting the protest "with their hearts", whatever the fuck that means. The Pro-government other parties like Egypt;s Youth and the conservative party and their many counterparts are all saying that they support freedom of expression, but are against such shady political stunts that achieve nothing and only hurt the country. The Democratic Front, the Nasserite party are in solidarity with the strike, while Al Tagamo3 and the Wafd party are not joining because "they weren't invited to join" (Awwww……). And Al Ghad , on the other hand, enjoys the most unique position of being For and Anti the strike at the same time, thanks to the fact that there are two factions claiming to represent it now: The Musa faction, which is anti joining, and the Ayman Nour faction, which is all about joining, and naturally AlAhram quotes Musa , while Al Masry Al Youm quotes Gamila Ismael, Nour's wife! It's beautiful!

As far as the people go, they have various reactions: Nawarah Negm's maid thinks that the people will destroy the Bread Bakeries, Haisam tells a story about the driver of his friends' father who is striking today, because he believes that the strike is against the Dutch Fitna movie, the Taxi drivers I took eysterday and today assure me that they have heard of the strike and that people are all worried about it, because whomever doesn't show up to work today will go to jail, even if they were sick. He also told me that the local souq (markets) were open till midnight last night, with people buying lots of goods in anticipation for today. Many of the private schools, afraid of…ehh..I don't know..something..have canceled schools today, and thus the streets of Cairo are empty this morning. Al Dustour newspaper is also reporting that Egyptian movie Star Ahmed ElSaqqah is joining the protest by halting production of his new movie for the day. Saqqa the revolutionary. Who knew?

Anyway, the people behind the strike have created a special blog to document it (can be found here ), and are urging the people on the streets to send their pictures, posts and stories to them , using this e-mail 6april08@gmail.com. They even have a hotline: 0118361000 or 0119423496, so don't hesitate to call it. if you witness something, even if you don;t agree with the protest or the ideology behind it. Look at it the way I look at it: It's a way to flip off the government who won't just allow protesting in the streets, but won't allow people to stay home either. It's the least we can do, no?

Update: They have also arrested Mohamed Sharkawy and Kefaya's leader Mohamed Al Ashqar from their homes, and they have arrested Mustapha Khalil at a Fabric shop in Al Mansoura, out of fear that he might purchase fabrics that could be sued to make protest banners. Oh yeah!

Update: ALMahalla strike is canceled. I repeat, Al Mhalla strike is canceled. All Eyes are now on Al Tahrir square! 

Update: Just spoke to Jano at Mahalla. It seems that Mohamed Al Attar and the other strike leaders had reached some kind of compromise over "food allowance" that prompted them to cancel the strike. The other leaders who didn't want to cancel the strike, like Karim Al Bheery, are reportedly sieged into their offices and not allowed to leave or talk to the workers or do anything. 

Update: Mohamed Abdel Kuddous got literally kidnapped in Downtwon while buying a newspaper. And yes, it is Mohamed Al Sharkawy- from Mlameh publishing- who got arrested from his finace's house in Sheikh Zayed. The Fun just keeps on rolling! 

Update: Kafr Al Dawar workers also abandoned the strike plans, proving once again that egyptian political activists excel at nothing but creating hype. Sweet!

Update: We can probably spin this as a success if we want to. It will go something like this:  This call for people to stay at home was so successful no one went to the streets and protested! 

Update: People, don't despair! We are victims of our own success. Our campaign to keep people at home was so successful, that no one showed to the protests. Really, we should be applauding ourselves. Job well done people, Job well done!

Update: A demonstration erupted next to the Lawyers sydnicate. The Police is trying to squash it and isn't allowing anyone access inside the syndicate's building! 

Three Popular myths debunked for the day

The HPV vaccine doesn't really protect you from HPV..

Mobile Phones don't cause Cancer…. 

and Marriage doesn't get better with time!

Have a lovely day! 

A PSA

 

Ladies, double goes to you, cause you have no Idea where he's been either.