‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات Politics. إظهار كافة الرسائل
‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات Politics. إظهار كافة الرسائل




When Egypt's World Youth Forum #WeNeedToTalk backfires #WTF

Many Egyptians on social media have adopted the slogan of an upcoming state-sponsored youth conference to air grievances about the way the country is run.
The World Youth Forum conference will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh from 4 November. Its promotional hashtag #WeNeedToTalk is intended to engage young people, attract world leaders and send a message of peace.
The Forum launched a video on social media on 21 October to promote the issue which has been viewed more than seven million times
Banner image from We Need To Talk video from World Youth ForumImage copyrightWORLD YOUTH FORUM
Image captionThe World Youth Forum video has been viewed more than seven million times
However, activists on Twitter and Facebook have used #WeNeedToTalk to contrast Egypt's aim of freedom expression for youth with what they believe to be an ongoing crackdown on Egyptians' rights and freedom.
At time of writing, the hashtag has been used 72,000 times.
Many of those criticising the government circulated pictures of security forces chasing or assaulting protesters. Others posted pictures of activists or detainees believed to have been detained by the police.


#Nelson_Mandela and His legacy for #Yemen

Nelson Mandela was buried today at his family home in Qunu, South Africa. Over the last few days I have been reflecting on Mandela’s life, his achievements, and how – through the art of forgiveness, reconciliation and the power of dialogue – Mandela brought about visionary and historic change in South Africa. With the change happening all around us in Yemen, I wondered what we could learn from Mandela.
Last Tuesday, more than a hundred current and former heads of state or government attended Mandela’s memorial service to commemorate his life and times. The US’s President Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro shook hands, showing that Mandela could help reconciliation from beyond the grave. As those who spoke at the service made clear, Mandela was an inspirational, visionary leader who became a legend in his own lifetime, and never forgot the values that were important to him.
Mandela’s dream was to see black and white South Africans living together as equals. So as part of the African National Congress Party, Mandela organised a resistance movement against the apartheid government. He was jailed for life in 1964 for his activities. The story could have ended there, but it didn’t.
Whilst in prison, Mandela overcame his own feelings of rage and bitterness towards the government for all the abuses and discrimination black South Africans had suffered under apartheid. But perhaps more importantly, Mandela learnt how to forgive, how to reconcile, and recognised the importance of looking forward, not back.
The lessons of forgiveness, reconciliation, looking forward, unity over a common dream, and the power of dialogue ring very true for Yemen today. They are the very issues that Yemen is grappling with in its transition.
As we saw in 2011, the glue that brought together the revolutionary youth, women and other proud Yemenis was their common dream to create a democratic, accountable and free society. One where there is a basic relationship between a government that listens to the needs of its people (water, security, electricity, health, education), and a people that mobilises civil society and the ballot box to put in power a government that will deliver those needs.
South Africa today still faces many challenges. Even with such a unique leader, Mandela could not change the country overnight – indeed, that was not his role. He was clear that each and every person had a responsibility to do their part. In his own words: “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”
I sense fear in some Yemenis that whatever good they try and do, it will not make a difference. That the price of trying against entrenched interests will be too high. Mandela had some advice for you: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
And in spite of the difficulty of the task, he advised: “it always seems impossible until it’s done.” Sometimes, a successful transition in Yemen seems impossible, but one day, with the efforts of all Yemenis, it will be done.

By jane marriott Ambassador of Great England in Yemen


#RIP Ahmed Fouad Negm (1929-2013)

The Fagomi has passed away :(

Renowned Egyptian Poet Ahmed Fouad Negm has passed away earlier this morning after long controversial life full of revolutionary poems. His funeral will start soon in Cairo at Al Hussein Mosque. I do not know 
what to say now except I represent my deepest condolences to his family especially his daughter Nawara Negm.

Through his life Negm refused to be the regime's poet insisting to be the voice of the poor and the oppressed and I think this is why he will be remembered more than any poet in our time.
Let's respect death for God sake.
Ahmed Fouad Negm has gone but his poems and songs remain as the words of the revolutionaries not only in Egypt but across the world. Here is a collection of his poems translated to English. 
I will be storifying his funeral


by http://storify.com/zeinobia

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                                   أحمد فؤاد نجم 

                     الأعمال الشعرية الكاملة

الكتاب يحمل جميع قصائد الشاعر الكبير أحمد فؤاد نجم
من الطبيعى ان تتعرف على تاريخ مصر عن طريق مؤرخ او كاتب ولكن من المميز ان تتعرف على تاريخ مصر عن طريق شاعر كبير مثل أحمد فؤاد نجم 
القصائد تحكى قصه شعب على مر النصف الاخير من القرن الماضى مرورا بثورة يوليو والنكسة والانتصار ، ستحزن كثيرا فى بعض القصائد الى ان تكاد تبكى وستفرح كثيراً فى بعض القصائد الى ان تكاد تطير من الفرح وهذا احساس طبيعى حينما تقرأ لـ أحمد فؤاد نجم


Watching #Cairo from #Sanaa #Yemen #Egypt

SANAA — The protests in Egypt have not only ignited unrest in Cairo, they've unleashed a flurry of debate across the rest of the region. It's not just about where things are heading in Egypt, the most populous country in the Arab world, or what the current uncertainty means about the country's post-Mubarak transition. It's about their resonance in the whole of the Arabic-speaking world and the potential spillover effects. From Sanaa, all that's truly clear at the moment is that Yemenis are watching a nearly absurd amount of Egypt coverage on TV..

Local Muslim Brothers and sympathizers watch Al Jazeera with trepidation. Politicians from former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) party watch Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya with a newly awakened revolutionary fervor. Leftists watch al-Mayadeen, the year-old Beirut-based "alternative" to Gulf-funded channels, wondering aloud whether the tide may have shifted against political Islam.
It can feel at times like they are looking at Egypt for cues for where things in Yemen could be heading; over the course of the past two and a half years, events in Cairo have tended to feel a few steps ahead of those Sanaa.
--> While large-scale protests aimed at the Yemeni dictator's ouster began almost immediately after Mubarak's toppling, Saleh didn't formally cede power until the following February. Demonstrators stayed in the streets in months-long protest encampments across the country, but the voices of Yemen's revolutionary youth were soon eclipsed. The military split between supporting the government and the protestors, and Sanaa erupted into urban warfare on two separate occasions. Al Qaeda-linked militants seized control of a series of towns in the south, and, all the while, opposition politicians engaged in a series of on-again, off-again negotiations with Saleh and his allies. In November 2011, the two sides finally reached an agreement, inking the so-called Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative, an internationally backed power transfer deal granting Saleh immunity in exchange for his ouster. The deal set Yemen on a two-year long "transitional period" presided over by longtime Vice President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and formed a compromise government split between the GPC and the opposition. Presidential and parliamentary elections are tentatively slated for early 2014.

There's plenty of heady talk about the building of a "new Yemen," but in Sanaa it often feels as if things are paused. Some things have moved forward elsewhere in the country: Once the target of a series of devastating wars, the Houthi movement has carved out a virtual state-within-a-state in their base in the far north, while rising secessionist sentiment has made it seem almost as if the only thing preventing the south from regaining its independence is a series of brittle divisions among the separatist leadership. The ongoing Conference of National Dialogue may have forced politicians in the capital to recognize the Houthis as a legitimate political force, while providing for a comparatively open forum for the discussion of southerners' grievances, but its deliberations often feel like rehashing long-running factional squabbles.
Even if new parties have been formed, the post-2011 political map often feels indistinguishable from the old one. Discussions in Sanaa tend to devolve into debates over the divide between the GPC and the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), an ideologically fractious coalition of leftist and Islamist factions dominated by the Islah Party, which incorporates the bulk of the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood, and the Socialist and Nasserist parties. In that sense, there's been little change since 2005, when the JMP was initially formed.
The activists who spurred the former president's ouster -- and, for that matter, many politicians here -- have been open about their misgivings about the shape of Yemen's post-Saleh transition. But it has generally been accepted as the only option aside from further violence and instability.
Gathered around watching news coverage with activists on June 30 and July 1, however, it seemed the scenes in Cairo and other Egyptian cities had provided a potential course of action.

For a few brief days, there was talk about building a Yemeni Tamarod (or rebels, as the Cairo protestors called themselves). There were unofficial discussions between activists from across the political spectrum; the date for massive protests aimed at "correcting the course of the revolution" was tentatively set for July 7. Even at the speculative stage, though, disagreements about everything from demands to acceptable protest slogans foreshadowed that things would eventually come to naught. July 7 came and went with only street protests in the south, as secessionists marked the anniversary of their defeat in Yemen's 1994 civil war. The closest thing I witnessed to an outburst of discontent came a few days prior. Driving with a friend past the home of Yemen's embattled prime minister, Mohamed Basindowa, he rolled down his car window, stopped briefly, and shouted "Leave, Uncle Mohamed!"
The absence of Egypt-style protests hardly means people here are happy with the way things are going. Hoped-for improvements in the stagnant economy and the tenuous security situation remain largely elusive: kidnappings of foreigners have increased in frequency, while security officials continue to be targeted in a string of assassinations. The recurring sabotage of power lines has left even residents of the capital at the mercy of disgruntled tribesmen. Even if Hadi has held on to much of his tenuous public support, Yemenis from across the political spectrum have condemned the unity government as a failure.
Still, it seems, no one is willing to make a move. Chewing qat with a collection of GPC politicians on July 2, their enthusiasm for the protests against Morsy was palpable; Yahya Mohamed Saleh, the former Yemeni president's nephew, had already stopped by Cairo's Tahrir Square to show his solidarity with the "revolution against the Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood]." They watched as revolutionaries and remnants of the Mubarak regime joined together against a common foe, and I wondered if they thought they felt they could pull off a similar feat here, capitalizing on the longstanding misgivings many Saleh opponents hold regarding the Islah Party. 
"The question is no longer ‘with the revolution or against it,'" an activist had told me a few days before. "The stage has changed. What matters now is who is truly for or against building the state."
Comments like that are music to the GPC's ears. But that enthusiasm among revolutionaries and the regime's old guard seems distant from the current political reality.
Complaints over Islah's increased influence in post-Saleh Yemen notwithstanding, the power the party currently holds is in no way comparable to that of Morsy's Freedom and Justice Party. In the event of any possible shakeup, all parties would almost inevitably be affected; while plenty may raise issue with the current balance of power, few seem willing to take the risk of upsetting it.
--> Perhaps, however, it's the way things have gone in Egypt that has ultimately doomed any real aftereffects here. The violence and uncertainty since the July 3 coup has led many to quiet their misgivings about Yemen's own post-Arab Spring transition. It may be far from perfect, the argument goes, but things could certainly be worse.
There were certainly plenty of Yemenis who celebrated the military's overthrow of Morsy; plenty of others cast it as a far from ideal, but necessary step. But even many Yemenis with little sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood have expressed a deep discomfort as events have unfolded, wondering if it's all a message about the fragility of the tentative gains made in the wake of the Arab Spring.
"I don't like Morsy, but it's hard not to see the army overthrowing an elected president as a negative step -- a step backwards," an activist told me. "It makes me nervous about where Yemen is heading: Wherever Egypt was [before June 30], it was far ahead of where we are now."


#30June Get ready for A revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood #Tamarod

 Tamarod ,the rebellious mother movement of the upcoming 30 June protests launched today the 30 June Front. That front is an attempt to have a political cover for the protests despite the founders of that front made it clear in a press conference that they do not represent all revolutionaries or political powers.
Now the 30 June Front presented a roadmap for Egypt after Mohamed Morsi as Tamarod believes that it is going to oust him on 30 June through petitions. The 6 months transitional period roadmap is as follows after getting rid from MB and Morsi :

  • To appoint an independent Prime minister that represents 25 Revolution.
  • To assign this prime minister with all the executive powers of the president and he will head a technocrat government whose main mission is to fix economy and adopt social justice policies.
  • To assign the head of supreme constitutional court with the President’s protocol missions.
  • To dissolve the Shura council and to suspend the current constitution.
  • To form a new constituent assembly in order to draft a new constitution.
  • To have presidential elections by the end of the 6 months followed by parliamentary elections monitored by judges and surpervised internationally. 
  • The National defense council is responsible for national security.
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    It is worth to mention that the boys and girls of Tamarod have met with Heikal, the old fox twice in the past two weeks. Politically speaking this roadmap is perfect or rather was perfect for Egypt on 12 February 2011 if people were honest in having true democracy. There is one missing detail is how to reach this roadmap already.
    Now there are too many players with other roadmaps and agendas.
    The 30 June Front is founded by a number of revolutionary and political activists like Israa Abdel Fatah, Amr Salah, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, Ahmed Harara , Khaled El Belshy and other others.
    The press conference was attended by many of the famous faces from activists like Ahmed Harara, Karima El Khafny, Hossam Eissa , Khaled Dawood , Hossam Mounis, Mazhar Shahin and Nour El Huda Zaki.
    Here are couple of photos I took from the press conference.


    Egyptian Shias keep low profile in face of defamation

    "Have a look upon us, have a look upon us... you who were given the precious knowledge."20130418 egypt shia
    Thursday marked the birthday — Mulid — of Al-Sayeda Nafisa, wife of one of Prophet Muhammad's grandsons. The air was filled with eulogy poems, music and Quran recitations by thousands of her devotees from across the country who travel annually to her mausoleum in Old Cairo. They ask her for guidance and to grant the wishes they whisper to her tomb.
    Hundreds of large tents were erected around the mosque to accommodate the visitors. Each tent carries a banner that shows the Sufi sect that manages it and the governorate it comes from.
    One tent in particular, with a sign reading, "The Khalilia Sect — Giza" was quieter than all the others. It catered food and beverages for the poor and needy, but offered no music nor dhikr dancing.
    "Of course not all those who are celebrating the Mulid are Sufis, many of them are Shias," said Khaled Alatfy, editor-in-chief of "The Arabic Family" newspaper, who was sitting inside the Khalilia of Giza tent. "But most of them don’t wish to be identified."
    Sufism and Shia Islam share many characteristics, including the deep love and glorification of Prophet Muhammad's bloodline, Ahl al-Bayt.
    "Many Shias prefer to practice their faith under the umbrella of Sufism," said Alatfy. Sufism, he said, provides a tolerant safe haven while carrying a more socially and politically acceptable label.
    Hundreds of Shia were hunted, imprisoned, and persecuted under the rule of the toppled president Hosni Mubarak.
    There is no law that prohibits one from being Shia, but police and prosecutors have chosen from a variety of "disrespecting religion," and "disrupting the social harmony" charges that can be stretched to fit anyone who belongs to a non acceptable faith or ideology. 
    Alatfy spoke in a low voice; he didn't want to attract attention. Media were not welcomed inside the tent, and photography was strictly prohibited.
    Many members of this specific sect, Alatfy explained, had been arrested and subjected to constant police surveillance and harassment. In 1996, Hasan Shehata, an imam in Giza, gained notoriety for publicly preaching Shia Islam. He was frank and spoke up harshly and satirically against Sunni Islam.
    It wasn't long before he, hundreds of his followers, and many who were suspected to be followers were arrested without charge under emergency law.
    One of the strictly Sufi members of the sect, who wished not to be identified, said that he spent five months in prison and was summoned several times for security checks for no apparent reason.
    "I had some friends who happened to be among the audience of Hasan Shehata, and that was my only crime," he said.
    The agonizing past of Egyptian Shia in the past two decades is not the only reason that keeps many reluctant to speak.
    Mohammad Al Hussieny, a Shia primary school teacher, grabbed from his pocket a leaflet distributed in the streets of Cairo few weeks ago. It read: "Shias are the enemy of God and the spies of Iran. They are more dangerous to the Islamic Nation than the Jews. Shias must be expelled out of Egypt."
    The Salafist rise after the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt evoked an unprecedented anti-Shia wave of hatred. The new Egyptian constitution has an article that limits the interpretation of Sharia law to the sources and jurisprudence of the Sunni doctrine.
    That article is viewed by Shias as a gateway to ban the celebration of Al-Sayeda Nafisa's birthday, and hundreds of similar Mulids commemorated in every corner of Egypt, and enforce more hostile policies against their freedom to express their faith.
    In September 2012, the Supreme Administrative Court rejected granting a permit for Al Tahrir Party, a socialist party founded by several Shia figures, because it was "based on religious principle." This wasn’t an obstacle for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, nor for the Salafi Al-Nour party, both of which have strong declared Islamic affiliations.
    Since Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Egypt last February, Salafist movements have initiated an ongoing campaign against Shias. They have called for marches to counter the "Iranian-Shia tide," and organized conferences about the "dangers of Shiism."
    Two weeks ago, there were clashes between Salafist demonstrators and the security forces surrounding the house of the head of the Iranian mission in Cairo.
    The reasons for the Salafists’ hostility are not merely religious, but also political, according to Khaled Saeed, spokesperson of the Salafi Front, one of the hardliner Sunni groups who took part in the latest anti-Shia campaign.
    "Look at the east of Saudi Arabia, the south of Lebanon, and what's happening in Bahrain and Iraq. Iran spreads havoc everywhere they reach," Saaed said in a phone interview.
    Saeed claims that Egyptian Shia are not the target.
    "As long as they are fully integrated inside the Egyptian society, they are not an enemy,” said Saeed. “It is a different story if they tried manifesting the Iranian agenda."
    Saeed asserts that some Salafist groups are using the anti-Shia rhetoric for political gains.
    "It is a way of attracting more followers and strengthen[ing] their unity in front of a common enemy," he said.
    Saeed added that it is possible some Salafist forces are using the Shia card to pressure the Muslim Brotherhood regime trying to normalize diplomatic relations with Iran and allow Iranian tourism, which has been suspended since the seventies.
    It is hard to draw a strict line between where religious motives end and electoral strategies begin. The results are the same: the majority of Shia are keeping a low profile, and continue to practice their faith with a great deal of secrecy and caution, yet with a strong belief that their community shall survive the difficult circumstances.
    "Isn't it ironic to see leaflets calling for kicking Shias out of Egypt, while they were the ones who built its capital?" asked the teacher Al Hussieny bitterly.
    Cairo was built during the Fatimid Shia dynasty that ruled Egypt in the 10th century. Shrines and holy sites like that of Al-Sayeda Nafisa are spread everywhere in the historical parts of the capital and remain a source of comfort and strength to Shia and Sufis.
    "We built it, we will stay in it, and so will our sons and grandsons," said Al Hussieny in a resilient tone.


    Arab Spring Time in Saudi Cyberspace

    Not more than two years ago, the concept of reform in Saudi Arabia would have been as much an oxymoron as business ethics or airline cuisine. In recent months, however, the Arab Spring’s uncertain winds of change have finally begun to sweep into the world’s last forbidden kingdom. Finding themselves alone in a crowd (of revolution) in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s monarchs are quickly realizing that their secret police and petrodollars may be no match for their citizens’ technology-driven empowerment.
    On March 1, Saudi security forces cracked down on a woman-led protest in the city of Buraidah, known as the nerve center of Saudi Arabia’s ultraconservative Wahabbist ideology. Over 160 people, mostly women and children, were arrested after erecting a tent camp to pressure the government to free their imprisoned husbands whom they claim have been detained for years without visitation or access to legal counsel. The Saudi government claims that the detainees are part of a “deviant group,” a term given to suspected Al Qaeda sympathizers or Islamist political opposition groups across the Gulf.
    News of the arrests spread like wildfire. Protests in support of the Buraidah women were called for by activists from the Shiite minority in the Eastern Province and liberal reformists in Riyadh and Jidda. The mobilization of Saudi conservatives, liberals and minorities against the government’s repressive policies bore a dangerous resemblance to the red-green alliances that toppled governments from Cairo to Tunis. While turnout at the demonstrations was limited due to the government’s ban on political gatherings, the Saudi Twittersphere was teeming with anger.
    Two weeks later, the government-sponsored Arab News daily published a cover story condemning what it deemed “abusive” actions by Saudi Twitter users. The story mentioned that the authorities were mulling over a plan to link Twitter accounts with their users’ identification numbers. Soon after, the story was pulled from the online version of the newspaper without explanation.
    For one of the most Internet-privy societies on the planet, any move to link Twitter accounts with personal ID numbers would result in a mass exodus to other online forums that are not monitored. Saudi Arabia ranks number one in the world for Twitter users per-capita, with an estimated 51 percent of all Saudi Internet users maintaining an account with the social media network. Analysts suggest that any such move would result in a 60 percent reduction of Twitter usage in the country — a true window onto how many Saudis are voicing dissent against their government.
    Still, on March 31, the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission instructed Skype, WhatsApp and Viber to comply with local regulations or risk being shut down. These applications are Internet-based communications services that are both free of charge and not subject to the kingdom’s telecommunications regulations.
    The Saudi government has a strong interest in limiting social media and online communications services. Protests are being increasingly organized through use of the WhatsApp messaging application. Political dissidents are able to use Skype to communicate with human rights organizations and foreign media networks without fear of government monitoring. Some government employees and those with ties to the royal family have begun to exploit Twitter to disseminate information regarding corruption in the kingdom.
    The Saudi government is, however, becoming increasingly hesitant about limiting social media and other communications because of the potential for a political backlash. Freedom of speech and communication were a hallmark demand of popular uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world, with attempts to cut online activity serving to fuel discontent rather than mitigate unrest. Saudi Arabia is already a favorite target for civil rights activists across the globe, and a ban on social media would only add to a long list of reasons for further divestment and isolation campaigns.
    As an alternative, the Saudi government has begun encouraging loyalists to condemn and pursue those suspected of online dissent rather than close the outlets altogether. In recent weeks, a Shura Council member filed a lawsuit against a critical Twitter user, while the government-appointed imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca dedicated his Friday sermon on April 5 to condemning the social network, calling it a “threat to national unity.”
    As the government remains confounded by its inability to control online dissent, there is no doubt that the rising tide of anger across Saudi cyberspace has begun to spill over into physical reality. Unwillingly, the government has been forced to wrestle with undertaking previously unimaginable reforms with regard to women’s rights and employment opportunities for millions of young, educated citizens. With social media as their vehicle, Saudis are threatening to take control of their country’s destiny for the first time in history, and there may be nothing their government can do about it.