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IN THIS ISSUE Disclaimer: all publicly displayed photographs are the property of their respective owners.
Chairman Shady Sherif
Editor-in-Chief Louis Greiss
Creative Director Leila Tapozada
Wessam Sherif Yasmine Zohdi
Youssef Saad Eldin
Media Executive Zeina El Alfy Ghada Zayed Ismaeel Khoudeir
Financial Manager Ehab A. Aziz
Chief Accountant Sherif El Haggar
Accountant Ahmed Serag
Office Manager Sylvia Peter
Office Assistants Ibrahim Mansour Mohamed Eid
IT Manager Ahmed Saher
Production Executive Manager Sherif Mahmoud Mahmoud El Araby
Distribution Manager Shazly Eid
Abdelhamed Fathy Ashraf Ramadan Gamal Moustafa Ramy Afifi Ragab Fathy Aly Afifi Aly Fawzy Waleed Gilani Abdel Aziz Abdel Rahman Mahmoud Samir
Art Director Ahmed Saad
Graphic Designers Bassem Raafat Nora El Gazzar Muhammed Abdelaal
Writers & Contributors Ahmed Amin Amy Quotb Hend Ghorab May Kamel Michel Antoun Rania Alaa
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69, Adidas(elmarghany), Africana Café ,Auc C&CO (horeya st- elcorba), Belino Café,Blue Brry (ard elgolf ) Beano's Café (Britich Council – Alkorba – Airport – British University), Café Mo, Cairo International Airport , Coffee Roastery, Colors,Cat, Diwan Bookstore, Desire, Einstein café ,Euro Deli, EveryMans Bookstore,Farah Café , Flower Market , Gelateria Roma Café , Gravity, Harris Café, Gudy, Gallery Bel3araby (elnozha st.) ,House café , Hope Flowers, Hot Pink, Khodier, Rosso Cafe , IIPennello Ceramic Café, Kan Zaman Restauran, Linea, Liquid, ,Makani Cafe, McDonalds, Mobil Mart (elnozha-eldaery), Mori Suchi(salah salem) Musicana, Munchies Café , No Name , Nuts @ Nuts , Occo, Pottery Café Quicksilver,Schatz Café, Smart Gym(sherton Man & women - ard elgolf), Shell Mart elnozha, STR8 , Spicy, Style Gym , TresBon , Up 2 Date, Viking Cafe, World Gym, Zein Café.
Adidas(Genina mall), Aroma Lounge (City Stars), Beano's Café (City stars – Makram Ebeid – Abbas El Akkad) , Calvin Klein Jeans, Casper & Gambini's, Cat, C&Co(city star – Genina Mall),Esprit (city star), Farah Café(Genina mall),Kenoz Restaurant, ISI (City Stars),Madas , McDonalds (Abbas el Akkad), Musica (Abbas el Akkad), Mirror , My Day cafe, Quicksilver(city center), Ravin ,Spicy (City Center - Genina Mall) ,Tata tio , Trio (City center)Virgin Megastore (city stars).
4Get -Me -Not!, Adidas & Timberland(lebnan st,shehab st-Gezert alarab st), Alcott, Beano's Café (Gameat ElDowal st. )Beau jardin café ,Café Mo, Café Nour, Cedars café , C& Co, Ciccio café , Chess, Cilantro,Mohamed El Sagheer, Miss Coco, Cocolina, Dar albalsam Book store ,Diwan, Eventya Flowers , Harrod, Hot pink, Laguna Café, L`aroma Cafe, Makani, Marsh Café, McDonalds, Mori suchi , Multi stores, Non bookstore, Oxygen, Pasqua Café', Quick, Quicksilver, Renaissance library, Ricky's Diner, Royal Nails, Reblay , Safari Café, Samia Alouba, Silviana heach (Gezert alarab) Solitaire café , Show Room , Second Cup Cafe, Spectra café , Spicy, Sports Café , Tommy & Hilfiger , Tornado Cafe, Toscanini café, Café, Volume One, Zarina , zein café . Zee Lounge café .
Downtown & Mokattam
AUC bookstore, Beano's Café (Mohamed Mahmoud st. – Road 9 ) Beymen ,Botry café, CIC (Markaz El Soura El Mooasra),Cilantro, French Cultural Center, Lehnert & Landrok Bookshop, Main, Maktabet El Balad, McDonalds (Tahrir), Sixteen, Ravin, Cinema Ren, Jungle Café,
Beano's Café (Britich Council), Coffee Roastry (nadi elsaid-maka st), International Cultural Center, Mr. Joe, Makani café , Korista Café , Korista Café , Momento Café, Orange café, Quick24 (Gamet eldowel st – el thawra ) , Quick seliver , Retro Café, Spicy, Tabasco Café(mesdak-3man sq), Zein Café, Zarina , Zafer.
Alakhbar Bookstore, Arabica café, AUC bookstore, Bean bar, Beano's Café (Sheikh El Marsafawy Sq) Cilantro, Cocolina , Crave Café, Diwan, Einstein Café, Euro Deli, FDA, 69, Gardenia Flowers, Goal café, Googan Bookstore,Joffrey’s Café, Kodak exepres , Latverna Café, L'aubergine, Makani café Medza Luna, Mex Café , Mobil Mart, Mohamed El Sagheer, Mori Sushi, Munchies Café,Oringett café , Pizza Tabasco, Quick 24,Ravin, Romanci Bookshop,Segafredo Cafe , Sequoia Timberland, WIF Café, Zamalek bookshop , Van Gogh Bookshop , Zafer .
Adidas(Grand mall),adam bookstore, Arthur Murray, Bakier Stationary, Bander Café, Beano's Café (Street 9 – HSBC) Books & Books , Beta Bookshop , Bookspot , Caj, Campus Euro Deli , Cat , Condentti Café , Chilis, Coffee Roastery, Gengra Café , Greco Café , Costa Café (9 st.) , El Shader Café, Dunes Lounge, Emad Beuty Centre, Ghazala Stationary, Green Mill, Gudy, Kotob Khan, Honest Book Shop ,I spot , Makani Cafe, McDonalds, Mediterraneo Restaurants, Quicksilver,Rebok , Renaissance library, Rigoletto , Samia Alouba, Second cup(9 st.) ,Shell Shop Degla , Show room, Spectra café ,The Bakiry Café , Temberland , Volume One.
Beano's Café (MSA – Mall of Arabia )Beau jardin café , café mo, Melounge café , McDonalds, Maxicana café , Morisuchi café , Safary café , Second cup , Shell Shop, Solitaire , Sans soucis café , Traionon café .
Giza & Haram
Beano's Café ( Ibn Arhab st. ) Dar El Shorouk bookshop, Maxicana café ,Polo Shop
24Seven Café, Adidas & Timberland (Syria st, - City Center), Banna Stationary, Beano's Café ( Carrefour City Center – San Stefano Mall ), Cillomo Café & more , C&CO (San Stefano Mall ) Cilantro (Kafr Abdo, City Center), Coffee Roastery, Deekom, Mazaya (City Ctr), McDonalds (Miami-Semouha), Quiksilver (City Center), The Sixties café , Tamarin Center, Rapo Gift Shop.
Axon (Saeed Branch , el bahr st.) Pizza station ( tanta club , El Helw st.) La plato café.
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6 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
ONCE UPON A TAXI RIDE TO THE SQUARE
I had been standing in the cold for almost half an hour, on a seemingly endless quest for a taxi that would take me to Tahrir. In order to avoid any more arguments with the driver about how blocked the roads leading to the square would be, and also to save myself any sort of discussion regarding “el 3eyal ele fel Tahrir dol 3ayzeen eih bezzabt”, I decided to tell the next one I stopped to drop me off by the Opera House and walk the rest of the way to the square. To my surprise, though, this time the driver smiled and asked, “Seyadtek 3ayza terou7y el Tahrir?” I smiled back at him and nodded. “Etfaddaly.”
I hopped in, and instantly engaged in a conversation with the driver about the current situation and the ongoing battle at Mohamed Mahmoud. He told me he made sure he went to Tahrir for at least two or three hours a day, since he couldn’t afford to put his work on hold for more than that. His son – a student in the Faculty of Engineering, he proudly informed me - went every day, too, despite his exams. On the radio, the Field Marshal was addressing the people in a speech that made me alternate between an illogical desire to laugh and an irresistible urge to smash my head against the window. That’s when the driver started talking again, . جنيه46 العداد عمل و، أنا أول ما جبت العربية دي أخدت زبون من السيدة زينب ملصر اجلديدة،صي يا آنسة ّ ّ ُ "ب أقول له حضرتك.و راسه و ألف سيف مايدفعش م ّليم زيادة... جنيه و إ ّداهم لي16 الزبون و هو نازل ط ّلع من جيبه مسكنا في بعض و قعدنا نتخانق حلد ما كفّ رني و واهلل العظيم. جنيه! و هو مافيش فايدة46 دول،العداد بص عـ ّ العداد عشان طول ما إحنا بنتخانق،50 دفعلي، جنيه46بس في اآلخر دفعلي مش بس الـ...تالتة كنت هـضربه ّ ّ كان بس مش. مافيهاش كالم، هيعمل اللي إحنا عايزينه هيعمله. الزبون ده حضرتك بقى هو املشير.شغال و بيحسب يعني هيط ّلع ديننا ال مؤاخذة زى ما الزبون ده. هيعمله غصب عنه ملّا يالقي إن مافيش ُق ّدامه حل تاني،هيعمله مبزاجه ". خ ّليكوا أنتوا بس في امليدان. بس هتفضل طلباتنا تزيد و في اآلخر هينفذها و كلمتنا هى اللي هتمشي،ط ّلع ديني For some weird reason, I almost teared up. The fact that this man - with his old, weary face, his faded ‘galabeyya’, and undoubtedly modest educational background (if any) - managed to put it more eloquently than any of the suits and PhDs on TV ever could, truly humbled me. By then we were almost at the beginning of Qasr El-Nile Bridge. I offered to get out then, since the bridge was packed with cars and throngs of people and I knew it wasn’t the smartest route to take by car. But he insisted to drive me straight to the entrance. “Talama ray7a el Tahrir, ana ta7t amrek.” Now whenever things get to me, whenever I find myself part of heated arguments about where we go from here, whenever I read skeptical comments on Twitter, or ride with other taxi drivers who curse the square with its protesters, I remember this man, and I believe. Never mind the messy elections or the flawed parliament or the big green trucks or senile officials with hair that’s gone just a bit too red. We’re winning, and that’s that. And it’s when I come across random people of such unwavering faith and such brilliant, spontaneous vision that I am most certain of this fact.
8 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
ÂŠ Mohmed Hams/ AFP/ Getty Images
11 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
FOR THE PERSON WHO REFUSES TO STOP FIGHTING.
VICTORY IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE
12 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
THE MOHAMED MAHMOUD EPIPHANIES
By Wessam Sherif
You know we had to overhaul the entire issue? We had to ask for a ginormous amount of favors from our super-fast writers to send us new articles that are relevant to what the country’s going through. Alternatively, you’d be now reading an article about a transsexual cat, I shit you not. Nevertheless, the one subject I actually found gruelingly hard to depict was Tahrir itself; it was either experienced firsthand by a big chunk of people or thoroughly covered by media. Consequently, I questioned the value added of a piece dedicated to the week-long (and hopefully longer) saga. But that was dumb of me, really.
Because you see, unlike our initial 18 day battle, this time we had Mohamed Mahmoud. That changes a lot; the second I stepped into that street I was struck by a myriad of epiphanies that I believe to be well worth sharing. So bear in mind while reading this that this is simply me reflecting on the entire experience from beginning to end. But before delving deeper into my theories on the subject, I’d like to note that I don’t claim to be in any way objective, because that would be a blatant hypocritical lie. I do promise, however, to be empathetic. Causes are defined and honed by struggle As of the 11th of February, we haven’t had an actual fighting front. True we’ve had our skirmishes with the authorities in which heroes were lost, but this time, dumb as they usually are (and fortunately for us), they’ve re-instigated the Jan 25 Tahrir spirit by giving us a front; a place where you can actually head to for battle. They’ve given us a place where exceptional individuals went to happily give their lives in order to resurrect Tahrir. Sadly, sacrifice brought Tahrir back. During the months that followed ousting Mubarak, people had grown accustomed to Tahrir; traffic was no longer affected by sit-ins, the socalled wheel of production was no longer spoken of. The shocker that was Jan 25 had sunk in too well. Add to that our military friends’ sleazy antics, and you’ve got yourself a clusterf*ck. In short, Mohamed Mahmoud re-shocked our collective system into survival mode, and it all snowballed its way to glory from there. St. Fear Every time I approached MM I got the chills, man. It is freaking scary; all you can see is a dark road that echoed incessantly of explosions, plus of course the stench of gas that has grown on us. And every time we set foot in Tahrir, that question loomed, yet again, in the horizon: “Do I go into MM, or do I stick around here where it’s safe?” Brilliant.
I don’t know about you, but to me, that is as brave as man (mankind ya3ny, mesh dakar) could get. The fact that people actually think of Tahrir as safe goes to show how far we’ve managed to push our threshold of fear! No matter how much you feel at home when you’re in the square, you’re subject to significant risk and the recent gassing of the square is a prime example. But we don’t give a f*ck do we? We just go and do our thing, and not only that, we look for tougher challenges! I might sound very testosteronish, but I honestly believe that the thought has crossed all of our minds. But once you actually muster up the will to walk in, you automatically become part of such a strongly interwoven community. Fear cowers away from that community. What makes a Tahririan to me is not bravery; it’s stepping up to the challenge, and doing what needs doing, even if that means being extra, extra, brave. And honestly, the second adrenaline kicks in, not a single f*ck is given! On the other hand, I still am scared shitless of my mother; I had to keep my MM chronicles a secret from her, lest she whoops my ass. Khalty selmeya matet? Recently, people have been making noises about the futility of peaceful demonstration, and at first, I wholeheartedly agreed. But then again, that was dumb. The revolution should follow the superhero code; never kill. But here’s the catch (el trekka), in my humble opinion, peaceful demonstration must always be the end, but not necessarily the means. Because if it weren’t for the frontliners defending the square, we wouldn’t have even had the luxury of peaceful demonstration. Those ass*oles needed to know that we can fight back, just like we did back in January. And by the way, they got their asses whooped now, just like they did back then.
All roads lead to Mohamed Mahmoud You know how wars boost their nations’ economies? MM did just that with Tahrir; everyone had a role to play, we communicated almost telepathically, and it all fit together like masterpiece coming to fruition. People showed an astonishing level of proactivity that even superseded its January predecessor and amazing initiatives showed up. Tahrir was once again a self-sufficient community. MM wouldn’t have survived if it weren’t for those delivered supplies on a daily bases, the field hospitals or the legendary motorcycle saviors. But you know what the best part of this whole deal is? A new culture is being formed; there are people who used to oppose Tahrir who willingly hopped on the revolution locomotive. I guess the perseverance of Tahrir is de-feloolizing the country! The revolution that learned On the last day of MM battle I was trying to get in when I was stopped by the human shield that blocked the entrance to the road. One of the guys said “if you want to go in, I won’t stop you, but do think that as of this moment, we’d rather not lose more people than we already have. We can afford to stop fighting, and you won’t be any less of a man if you stand here with us and help us stop the bloodshed.” He spoke to the childish testorone-ish male inside, and he made perfect sense. MM has showed that we’re brilliant at trial and error; we do learn and we’re not a “misguided uprising that repeats old mistakes”. No, we have a collective awareness that grows and guides the course of the revolution. There’s one thing that we haven’t done yet, and I don’t know if we ever will: playing politics.
The thug syndrome Get this, mid-writing this article; I got a phone call from a friend who, according to common conceptions, could be labeled as a felool. Anywho, the dude was checking up on me to see whether I was ok, and then talk of MM came up. He was like “el nas elly fe MM dol saww, mashoftesh 3ayyel nedeef!” Naturally, I would’ve gone into debate with him with the intention of tearing him a new assh*le, but I didn’t this time because I couldn’t really blame him. You see, on one hand, media has capitalized on the social sector that most of the frontliners come from; people of poorer societies and have been subject to humiliation by the police and accordingly hold a protracted vendetta within. So, they were called thugs, because they looked the part. On the other hand though, when we’re all in there, dusty, dirty, beat up and heaving rocks; don’t we all look like thugs? To those who believe that thug nonsense, cut the crap. If that’s the definition of a thug, then I’d gladly be called one. F*ck the police? No. I hate their guts, every last one of them, especially that piece of shit who aimed at the protesters’ eyes, but I can’t really blame them, I really can’t. Starting from the most gullible, the soldiers, to the top of the food chain, the ones who are supposedly most aware, they’re all brainwashed. And trust me on that one, I have relatives who are in the police; they religiously follow a chain of command to the extent that they even get spoon-fed what to believe. So, they do think we’re paid to wreak havoc, or that we’re simply Iranian spies and they also believe that they’re do-gooders by annihilating every last one of us. They genuinely do. Also, only movie villains are self-aware and realize that they are, in fact, evil. Real ones don’t. That is not to deny that there’s a hefty number of officers out there who know exactly what’s going and still choose to act the way they did, but still, there’s a rotten culture within the ranks of the Ministry of Interior that needs to be demolished and restructured.
In short MM’s Tahrir was not representative of Egypt; it was an Egypt that I personally wish to see in the future. The week spent there has literally changed my life the way Jan 25 did and I do urge those who’ve managed to miss out on Tahrir up to this point to give it a visit and experience the glory firsthand. And if they don’t like it, Abbaseya is not far away! C
ALEXANDRIA, BECAUSE TAHRIR IS EVERYWHERE. REVOLUTION ENCORE? (FRIDAY 18TH – THURSDAY 24TH) By Ahmed Amin
Friday the 18th
Sunday the 20th
The situation in Alexandria started out just as every other place in Egypt, there was the Friday protests against the supra constitutional agreement “Al Selmy Agreement” along with the anti-Mosheer chants. It was just another Friday of protests in Alexandria at the Qa2ed Ibrahim Mosque then in front of the military’s headquarters in Alexandria (Al Mante2a Al Shamaleya) then people went home.
This tragic turn of events was not received well, from noon revolutionaries went out to bid the new martyr farewell and followed his body from the morgue to the burial ground then they prayed for him before they buried him according to the Islamic traditions. Then they marched on not knowing where to go next, some decided to go to Al Mante2a Al Shamaleya and some decided on Modereyet Al Amn as that’s where the bigger problem is, the police, who are still brutally killing protesters.
Upon returning from the protests the news of the brutal evacuation of Tahrir travelled fast. Saturday the 19th Alexandrians went out the next day to voice support and anger at what the Ministry of Interior and Central Security Forces were doing in Tahrir. In Alexandria the protesters take advantage of the small horizontally divided city and capitalize on their ability to simply “march”. Several of these marches start from one point in town to another and then have a sit-in. During the 18 days there were several spots so it’s not as centralized as Cairo’s Tahrir. Some famous protest spots are the Qa2ed Ibrahim mosque area and Al Mante2a Al Shamaleya. On Saturday there was a new spot in relevance to the current events, around 200 protesters went to Modereyet Al Amn, which is the central and biggest police presence in Alexandria. As things escalated Baha2 Al Deen Al Snousy got killed by some form of bullet as most witnesses confirm.
14 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
Each went their respective paths, and both were still in contact. Those who went to Modereyet Al Amn got beaten and chased and fired upon, so many from the other protest/march at Al Mante2a Al Shamaleya went to support those under attack, at this point it was the same as Tahrir and the battle at Mohamed Mahmoud street; CSF went far -around a kilometer or more- from their supposedly under attack headquarters to the Victor Emmanuel square in the heart of the Smou7a area. At this point it was very similar to the Jan 28th feel, police trying to make a statement as to who’s in charge and trying to forcefully disperse the crowd using tear gas with the protesters falling down but holding ground. Monday the 21st The same scenario was repeated, people went out on marches which ended in the same previous destinations and those at Al Modereya got beat and some of the Mante2a Shamaleya went to help those under attack.
Tuesday the 22nd Very sorry to say, the same exact events happened again, but this time the beating was even more brutal and the field hospitals were always occupied with many severe injuries, even the field hospitals would get hit from time to time as if someone was aiming for them, they were in very tight and hidden alleyways between a mall complex or a residential building. Wednesday the 23rd Between Tuesday and Wednesday it felt a little different, things seemed odd, something was out of place, some protesters talked with the CSF officials and agreed to make a truce and hold the protests at the Victor Emmanuel square and stay away from Modreyet Al Amn. And as sign of good will, some of those arrested in the previous day’s events were released and the clashes were starting to cool down and turn into a peaceful protest. Somehow the fighting was reignited and as we noticed on Tuesday and Wednesday the firing wasn’t started by the CSF but rather by protesters and I won’t label them with the shallow “baltageya” just because they’re poor or look poor and don’t dress well. They have as much of a right to protest as anyone else and a criminal is innocent until proven guilty. Yet the fact still stands, someone strongly instigated the clashes on Tuesday and Wednesday and things went from the CSF standing still doing nothing to naturally returning the attack and increasing it since the fight was in a very crucial position next to the main headquarters which no one could afford to lose. So as of Thursday the 24th, the situation is as follows; the same Alexandrian routine is taking place, marches heading to the same destinations of Mante2a Shamaleya and Modereyet Al Amn with hopes of a peaceful protest and staying away from the Modereya to avoid any clashes. Some fair unbiased observations. The CSF forces had “Baltageya” or men in plain clothes with rocks and Molotov cocktails attacking the protesters on their side. Check YouTube for videos. The protesters on Tuesday and Wednesday might’ve been too driven to start the clashes. As of Thursday the 24th, many protesters expressed dislike towards the situation and were trying to find a way to prevent clashes. There wasn’t one instance of looting. After being distraught on Wednesday the 23rd, people decided to just hold down the Victor Emmanuel square and have a peaceful sit in there away from the Modereya to avoid the clashes, but the CSF forces advanced at midnight and made everyone run away in fear while showering the area with tear gas or whatever vicious tool they use. There was strong support from the community. A friend who was one of the doctors at the field clinics put his number up to receive donations and got back 23 volunteer/donation calls in less than an hour. Many people are against any protests in the Modereyet Al Amn area and can justify to themselves the police brutality -if such a thing is possibleby saying “well, if you go looking for trouble you’ll find it; if you came banging at my front doors I’ll probably beat you like the police did when you approached their headquarters”. Things now are unclear and everyone is meeting up to think and decide and the current sit-ins/protests are just one big area for political and social discussions, with each person trying to lay out their point of view and hopefully have everyone reach a sane decision. C
ÂŠ AP Photo / Tara Todras-Whitehill
19 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
! مش مسؤولني...إحنا كمسؤولني 20 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
2011 Roundup Theory vs. Practice
We had initially planned to do a normal roundup of 2011. You know, the whole what event happened when thing. But we kinda thought this we would be far more interesting….
SCAF Statements February 17th – Statement 1 Affirms the right to peaceful demonstration and guarantees protecting peaceful protests.
February 22nd – Statement 9 Affirms that SCAF is running the country, that the presidential palace is closed and that Sharm El Sheikh is an Egyptian city like any other that receives no preferential treatment.
February 23rd – Statement 13 Denies attacking Anba Beshoy Monastery or attempting to bring it down, and affirms that only the walls that were built on land that belongs to the country were torn down.
February 24th – Statement 18
November 23rd - Statement 83
Affirms that SCAF is watching the Egyptian scene closely, includes new terminologies like “counter-revolution”, and assures people that the council will take all necessary measures to deliver its commitments and that there “shall be no return to the past”
SCAF denies that it used tear gas against protestors in Cairo, Alexandria or any other regions, and reassures the people that it will never use any kind of arms against Egyptian citizens.
February 26th – Statement 22 APOLOGIZES for the violence that took place on the 25th of February demonstrations and affirms that it was due to “unintentional” encounters and that no orders were given by the council to attack the people. The statement also mentions that all necessary measures will be taken to ensure that no such incident takes place again.
February 26th - Statement 24 Makes mention of “3anaser madsoosa” that aim at creating trouble through attacking military personnel by throwing “rocks and bottles” at them.
March 3rd – Statement 26 Accepts Ahmed Shafiq’s resignation and appoints Essam Sharaf in his place.
March 27th – Statement 28 Denies allegations made by media of delaying presidential elections set to take place in 2012, and affirms that they shall be held on time. The statement also mentions that SCAF are doing their best to deliver power to a civilian authority as soon as possible.
March 28th – Statement 29 SCAF will look into the incident of “torturing detained female protesters during the last sit-in” to verify whether the allegations are true.
April 12th – Notification SCAF welcomes the efforts exerted by activists and revolutionaries to reopen Tahrir square allowing everything to go back to normal.
April 13th – Statement 35 Armed Forces personnel present at Tahrir till this day aim to protect revolutionaries from any aggression against them.
April 27th - Statement 42
November 24th – Statement 84 SCAF apologizes and expresses sorrow at the loss of lives in recent events and builds military field hospital in Tahrir to provide health care to November casualties.
Events Meanwhile February • Arrest of Amr El Behiry during the February 25th demonstrations. He was referred to a military court and received a five year sentence for thuggery despite contrary testimonies of eyewitnesses.
March • Arrest and torture of Ramy Essam. Ramy was detained among 100 others who were arrested when the army stormed the square. • Arrest of blogger Maikel Nabil, and he was sentenced to three years in prison for insulting the military. • Virginity checks for female detainees during the March sit-in.
May • 180 arrested during the Israeli Embassy protests (including Tarek Shalaby, and Mosa’b El Shamy) and they all faced military trials. • Graffiti artist Ganzeer arrested for posting a poster that offended the military. • Reem Magued, Hossam el Hamalawy and Nabil Sharaf El Din summoned for military prosecution after Magued hosted El Hamalawy on her show to discuss the role of military police, holding them accountable for torturing activists.
Media in Egypt has absolute freedom to publish and discuss any events and is accountable to public opinion.
• Arrest of Loai Nagati and he faced a military trial. •El Fagr Editor in Chief Adel Hammouda summoned for military prosecution due to publishing an article detailing the meeting between SCAF and the No to Military Trials campaigners.
May 21st – Statement 44
SCAF confirms that it’s taking all necessary actions to contain any sectarian disputes.
• Abbasseya ambush, resulting in around 200 injuries.
May 3rd - Statement 45
SCAF denies any arrest campaigns against activists and revolutionaries and reaffirms that it’s a safety net for them.
• Arrest of Asmaa Mahfouz due to tweets that “incited people against SCAF”. • Maikel Nabil goes on hunger strike.
May 17th - Statement 52
Egypt is suffering economic difficulties due to turbulences, sit-ins and lack of security.
• Israeli embassy clashes resulting in three deaths and over a thousand injuries.
May 18th - Statement 55
SCAF denies using live ammo to disperse protestors, and stated that it never did or will use “force” against shabab el thawra
• Maspero Massacre, leaving 28 dead (including Mina Daniel). • Yosri Fouda suspends his show due to pressure from SCAF. • Arrest of Alaa Abdel Fattah due to his criticism of SCAF for its investigation into the Maspero Massacre.
July 16th – Statement 68 Military trials will be constricted to: assault, possession of fire arms, rape and attacking authorities while doing their jobs.
July 23rd - Statement 69
• Revolution, round 2. • Arrival of 7 tons of tear gas canisters at the Port of Suez.
States that some of the positive steps taken to fulfill the legitimate demands of Jan 25th revolution contradict with the agendas of some political movements, and claims that the rift that 6th of April movement is creating between the army and the people is only one of their many goals.
Results, not honesty, is how you evaluate a minister By Wessam Sherif
First off, I’d like to make clear that, in principle, this article shouldn’t even exist. Because one would assume that debating the presence of a Mubarakite minister at the top of the revolution cabinet is nothing short of absurd, because the man is simply not welcome. Not to mention that he’s practically a zombie. Alas, there are those who do believe Mr. Ganzouri to be a decent choice, because he’s an “honest and decent” man, and believe that he was one of the better Egyptian Prime Ministers. I’d rather not go into the man’s integrity, because there’s somewhat of a debate about it, but so long as I don’t have tangible proof, I’m not passing judgment. Nevertheless, I still don’t think honesty is how a minister should be evaluated, and I think that it’s simply unrealistic for someone of this generation to know for sure whether he was actually good or not. I mean the oldest of us was around 18-19 years old during Ganzouri’s time, not to mention that politics weren’t that big back then! Consequently, the only way to actually rate Mr. Ganzouri is through his performance during the time he was in office, which without any documentation, is a daunting task. Super luckily though, during research I came across an article published in Al Ahram Weekly in the issue of the 18 – 24 February 1999, titled “Slammin the Bare Facts” by Gamal Essam El-Din. The article discusses Mr. Ganzouri’s government policy statement, highlighting its numerous defects. The statement was taken very well by the NDP members in the parliament (big whoop), which says a lot. Anywho, the statement was mainly criticized for hardly making any mention of political reform and democratization, and that’s fine, I don’t care for that statement. What’s worrisome however is Mr.Ganzouri’s reply to the critique: “This statement covers mainly economic and financial issues. As for political issues, they are left to the president’s speech…” Why this worries me you ask? If back then, at less turbulent times and with evidently less of an authoritarian figure, politics were not under Mr. Ganzouri’s jurisdiction, do you think they would be now? So, I’d rather not hear him talk of “powers and jurisdiction”; he was a second man then, and he we will be now. Not convinced? I don’t blame you, but do keep reading, please. It is no secret that the government back then forbade demonstrations and strikes, and here’s what our friend Ganzouri had to say: “It is better to devote our efforts to production and development. Public marches and demonstrations will never ensure the stability needed for development and production.” I could swear I’ve heard that exact same sentence before. Still not convinced? Mashy.
22 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
In his statement, Mr. Ganzouri mentioned that the government had allocated a sum of 48 billion pounds to improving services provided to citizens since 1981; that’s a hefty sum. On the other hand, the United Nations Human Development Report of 1999 mentioned that that 48 per cent of Egyptians live under the poverty line and that 10% of Egypt’s richest people get as much as 26.7% of the national income while limited-income brackets take in 25.1%. That’s back in 1999, with a much smaller population and almost 8 years of economic reform, supervised by Mr. Ganzouri himself. I’m not trying to make Mr.Ganzouri look like a bad prime minister; I’m just trying to show that he was in no way different than the others that headed the cabinet. He’s definitely not the fluke Atef Ebeid was, but he’s certainly not the “one honest minister that defied his own government in favor of the underprivileged”. He follows the culture of all the Mubarakites; taking orders.
• • • • •
ÂŠ Mohamed Hossam
25 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
be the change
You must you want to see in the world.
26 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
the timeline of terror By Youssef Saad Eldin
It would be very unfair and unrealistic of anyone to deny Twitter or Facebook any of the huge parts both played during the Jan 25 revolution, or the November events (which, at the very least, could be referred to as an uprising). Personally I don’t believe that the revolution would’ve taken place if it wasn’t for Facebook. And despite that Twitter isn’t as popular as Facebook, and that the number of its users in Egypt is significantly less than that of Facebook’s, it was and still is a very effective tool in the hands of most of the political activists and protestors. However, and like everything that exists in this world, social media has a dark side! This dark side could be seen in the negative ways it affects society. One of these negative effects is mass panic. Anyone who has ever taken part in a lagna sha3beya during late January to early February, must remember this random asshole who comes up yelling “3arabeya 128 7amra feeha 2 regala w set ma3ahom sela7” or “Motocycle el 3ezaby masroo2”. It wasn’t till a couple of weeks later when I found out that the same vehicles we were told to look out for in Maadi, were also being warned of in Zamalek and Nasr City. The exact same thing has been done on Twitter during this uprising; you’d check out the timeline only to find some really horrific tweets. Some of my friends who live abroad use Twitter as their main source of news. Those friends called me during the uprising and told me “what’s going on; we’re hearing that it’s just like the 28th of January”. Not to undermine how violent it was in November, but still, it was nothing like the 28th of January.
Here are some tweets that would certainly help induce a mass panic:
هجوم شديد علي املتظاهرين في شارع محمد محمود ضرب متتابع لقنابل الغاز والرصاص احلي #egypt#tahrir#nov22#Noscaf سقط بجواري االن شهيد برصاص حي عند مكتبة اجلامعة األمريكية #Egypt#Nov22#Tahrir عاجل التحرير | أنباء عن قطع اإلتصاالت مبيدان التحرير# Egypt#Nov18#Tahrir سالحا كيماويًا الغازات املستخدمة ضد املتظاهرين في مصادمات التحرير: الواليات املتحدة ً #Egypt#Nov18#Tahrir ، طلقات رصاص في الرأس والصدر، رؤوس مدهوسة،ستة واربعني جثة فى مشرحة زنهم وبيمضوا أهلهم غصب انهم ماتوا طبيعي عشان يطلعو اجلث#Tahrir #Egypt
Keep in mind that not necessarily all those tweets were pure fiction; some of them may very well be true. However when you’re out there, and you hear a couple of gunshots in the air, you’ll get over it pretty soon, given the adrenaline rush and everything else you’re dealing with. But when you read a tweet that says “live ammunition being fired at Tahrir” you’ll automatically visualize the police shooting down protestors. And that’s as far as real information goes, but when you read tweets that say “news of cutting off communication in Tahrir” and “we’re being hit by nerve gas a*a…” then you’ve got yourself a recipe for mass panic alright. Another negative thing that Twitter had to offer is that anyone could practically say anything (although it’s also part of its beauty). During the uprising some people decided to tweet stuff like:
إشاعات عن تهريب حسني وعيلته وكالبه من طره#Nov21#Tahrir#FuckSCAF عمر سليمان يلعب دورا أساسيا فيما يدور في مصر حاليا: معلومات مؤكدة The least to say about the first tweet is that it’s complete and utter bullshit; this is something completely unrealistic, why would you start or spread a rumor like that? To quote a wise friend of mine “meen mostafeed?”. The second one states that there is confirmed information suggesting that Omar Suleiman is playing a major role in what’s happening in Egypt now. Personally I don’t find it that hard to believe; what I find hard to believe is that he knows it! Keep in mind that Suleiman was once called the most powerful Head of Intelligence in the Middle East. If someone is on to him, it’s definitely not some random dude on Twitter. As absurd as some of those things may seem, some people out there tend to believe all sorts of stuff they hear, and of course spreading false information and creating misconceptions at times like these won’t do any good. The last type of tweets is provocative rather than being harmful. While some people try to play heroes on Twitter, they unintentionally help inducing mass panic. Some people tweeted stuff like:
ترجيع الدم رجع تاني انا شكل رئتي اتخرمت يا رجاله هع هع هع بالشهداء قد نلحق هو افضل وارقى واريح بصراحه#Nov21#Tahrir#FuckSCAF ا*اااا احنا بنموت بالكيماوي مئات من حاالت االختناق ا*ااا امليداان بيضيع ا*ا ا*ا بيضربونا بغاز االعصاب ا*ا#Nov21#Tahrir#FuckSCAF احلقونا احنا بنتمحى هنا#Tahrir This type of tweets really gets on my nerves, because whenever somebody tries to make himself look like a badass, he directly contributes to spreading mass panic along with false information. And what really pisses me off is when some naïve dude replies and tells him how much of a hero he is, and he retweets it! The lack of responsibility some users of social media have does in fact pose a threat on society and on the direction we’re going. However you’ll never be able to control everyone’s behavior, and again, the beauty of Twitter and Facebook is that anyone could express himself. For better or worse, I for one am glad that social media was out there to help the protestors out.
From the world to Tahrir While politics and borders divide, humanity unites us. How many times have people wished to help in times of crisis but didn’t know how to? I guess it’s safe to say that this time whoever wanted to help, did so. And it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for groups like @TahrirSupplies. @TahrirSupplies is an account on Twitter that coordinated and organized providing Tahrir with whatever supplies were needed; be it medical supplies, food, drinks, blankets or even gas masks. Those people coordinated between Egyptians who wanted to help and the field hospitals in Tahrir, to make sure that the flow of supplies kept going. They even raised money to buy power generators for the field hospitals in Tahrir! And yes, there were those who took them as a joke; such as that tweet we came across from a smart-ass that said “@TahrirSupplies We need at asr el dobara أكواب ومالعق شاي+ ”للشاي, yet it never held them back. We decided to interview the people behind @TahrirSupplies and get to know more about their work. Since they wished to remain anonymous, we agreed that we will refer to them by their initials, because the group believes that the real heroes are those who actually responded to their calls for help, and that the majority of the credit should go to them.
28 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
CAMPUS: What first gave you the idea? AH: As an Egyptian abroad who does not often get to help during major crises or events in the country, I was sick of following the news and just worrying; speaking and screaming my opinion out but never offering any real help. The day before we started this project on the 21st of November, I was inspired by a friend of mine. I had some doubts that this friend fully believed in the demands of the protesters in Egypt, yet that night she came to me and told me that she had just used the money she had been saving up for a year to buy medical supplies to aid those in need. I was in awe. If someone could be motivated in a time of crisis to provide humanitarian aid, even to those they do not agree with, then there is a good opportunity that lives can be saved on a regular basis. I didn’t think of making anything of it, though, until I looked at my Twitter timeline and I kept seeing calls for supplies, help, medicines and equipment. It was all disorganized and scattered and hard to spot. I decided in a few minutes that I would create an account, and that I would tweet without using hash tags (#) or mentions (@) all the required supplies by the location of the field hospital where they are required and hopefully people would use that as an easier tool to send at least a few boxes of supplies. I created the account, pulled a logo out of the worst design skills ever in 10 seconds and set up an email address, then I started relaying one message to so called “twitter celebrities” and actual celebrity accounts. The message was: “This account was created to deliver the supplies needed from the world - to #Tahrir. Help spread it please”. I found a good response and this message was retweeted hundreds of times during which I found our follower count increasing in tens by the minute then hundreds by the hour then thousands by the hour. Within five hours I found myself sitting there; communicating the needs of the field hospitals in Tahrir to over 6000 followers!
YA: The idea wasn’t mine actually. I was on Twitter translating Arabic tweets from Tahrir to English in order to spread the message about what was happening. There and then I saw a tweet from @TahrirSupplies basically saying what the point of it was and that they needed volunteers. Seeing a chance like this, offering a more effective way to help, I could not have missed it. And so I contacted AH and told him that I was more than willing to help.
I believe in the power of social networking in stringing people together. Aside from the example of January 25th, I have seen it work with businesses and magazines I support and with many other campaigns. I knew that regardless of their political views, Twitter users in Egypt were very active and that they can be very easily mobilized for a good cause. It was just a matter of reaching out to the right people with the right message. Luckily our message did not need much communication. At TahrirSupplies, we did not need to explain why we wanted medicines sent somewhere, or that there was tear gas fired excessively at people or even portray pictures of those who had given up their eyesight for a cause; the media had already covered that. Our message was simply, “From the world to Tahrir. While politics and borders divide, humanity unites us.” People gathered around that message and endorsed it and used it to believe that they can make a difference. They retweeted (shared) every request we made on behalf of the field hospitals or the doctors and each message we posted spread like fire. We found ourselves going from a small attempt to provide some of the field hospitals with just some supplies to treat a few people to hospitals begging and pleading with us to hold off the supplies; as they had stock of everything they needed to run a full hospital! In fact they would even go on to refuse offers of extra blankets, food or drinks. To be honest, the only real heroes are the vast numbers of people that collected from thousands to hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of supplies or purchased them and took them down to those in need. This is how it happened and we were just a liaison in between.
AR: My first interaction with @TahrirSupplies was a while after it went live. It got Twitter-jailed. AH was tweeting that, so I replied offering to help him out. Later, we had one Skype call and everything magically fell into place. I honestly do not remember any details now. Those past few days have gone by so fast, yet due to the intensity of the work and its dynamic nature it feels we have been doing this for years. We all started talking, brainstorming, dividing work…etc. But the main reason it worked is that the people believed, as strongly as us, in what we were doing. Something had to be done.
C: What made you think you could actually be able to pull it off and string people together? AH: Well a few hours later a team was created. Luckily for me and for the target I had, these people came and offered their help saying they were also either estranged from Egypt or in Egypt but really hoping to help out too. I communicated my idea to them in a few words and then heard their suggestion and we continued to work. Without a full team we wouldn’t have had the 24/7 outreach we had and our effective set of ideas and strategies.
C: Do you rotate on the account? And do you have correspondents in Tahrir? AH: We rotate tasks at times and we rotate time shifts at others. Generally though, most of us have done one thing or another to help deliver supplies to Tahrir even when not running the twitter account; at least 16 hours per day each throughout the past few days, one of us would reach out for people to email us if they were heading to Tahrir and were willing to carry volunteers or supplies to the field hospital then we would sort this into an online database. Others would make regular calls every two hours to contacts we newly made in every field hospital via the brilliant #RescueTeam; which is a team that goes around distributing excess medicines from one hospital to another, helps loading and unloading of supplies reaching Tahrir as well as coordinates the rescuing of those injured in the square. We would ask them what exactly they need and what they have an excess of. I was personally very interested in organizing the information and the contacts we received and archiving it in a database in both Arabic and English so we can tweet it immediately when requested without retyping it, and somehow we have reached a good system. The entire group always had its eyes on the account on twitter and an unwritten agreement was made that we would let no questions directed at us go unanswered. And yeah, of course we have contacts of doctors manning the field hospitals which we trust based on experience or recommendations from friends or family in the square or based on the word of the #RescueTeam.
C: Does any of you guys have any experience in aid/collecting donations/ networking? AH: I don’t know about the others, I mean I’ve
We also found it notable that without reaching out to anyone except donors and volunteers, we found local and international media supporting us in getting the message out. We also found various celebrities in Egypt not only endorsing; but USING our service by mentioning us on twitter asking us to send certain supplies to field hospitals in Tahrir. We were also flattered when we heard that non-Egyptians across the world say that this is an example of why they respect Egypt. They said that we find a way to change any application or social networking website into benefiting ourselves, and now there is an account coordinating all supplies from medicines/food/water/gas masks/goggles/blankets/ jackets/cleaning equipment to the field hospitals saving the injured. They said that while others are tweeting about what they will wear tonight; Egyptians are tweeting to save lives.
C: Would you consider turning Tahrir Supplies into an onground institution/NGO? AH: Isn’t being five days old too early to consider that? Well, we were all
The only real heroes are the vast amounts of people that collected from thousands to hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of supplies or purchased them and took them down to those in need. This is how it happened and we were just a liaison in between
known most of them for five days now! But I’ve personally participated in several aid initiatives and donation collecting campaigns. The interesting thing is that @TahrirSupplies is neither of those. We refuse to handle any financial donations personally and we suggest all those willing to donate to purchase the supplies themselves and we will coordinate delivery to Tahrir, or if they are abroad we suggest that they send it to family or friends which they trust to do the same. We do not personally receive any of the supplies or aid or machinery or equipment sent to the field hospitals and hence cannot claim any ownership over them; they are bought by the people and sent directly to those in need.
YA and AR: For us, it is the first time. C: What were the most notable experiences you guys came across? AH: First of all - around 10 hospitals went from urgently requesting supplies to thanking us and saying not a single thing is needed and that they are well supplied for a month at least. We considered the crazy idea of asking people to put together the money for a generator for the field hospitals at night and suddenly we had two sent down!
AR: I’m so lucky that I get to handle emails and it’s always good news. I cried when a donor (who asked to stay anonymous) gave two generators for the FHs to use. They were delivered the same day. I cry often ever since...tears of joy. @TahrirSupplies represents what social movements can do, what you; you and I can achieve together. The Egyptian people are the fourth pyramid in this country and if you ask me, the most important one. We campaigned with someone in Qasr Al Aini Hospital to buy an anesthesia machine worth over 100,000 pounds for eye surgery and we found out that the people we reached out to put their efforts together and bought two of them! We tweeted about a pet-shop in Mohamed Mahmoud, the owner of which couldn’t reach it, and honestly I was expecting comments
30 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
reprimanding us and telling us it’s inappropriate and that if people are dying I should not be so concerned with animals. Everyone proved me wrong and in less than an hour ESMA had gone with the shop-owner, fed the animals and arranged transportation for them. Amazing!
so inspired that we might have discussed this, and something may be in the works!
C: Have you encountered resistence/ harrasment by the authorities? AH: The authorities don’t resist or harass. They keep a folder with your name on it :) Am I sure that we are all kept a tab upon... Who isn’t? Thing is, we are also confident that out of all of those that can be of interest to an oppressive intruding authority - those that only aim to save a life or more are of no danger. The question of whether we have been contacted yet by authorities or resisted by those in power might just drive others away from such initiatives, remains unanswered.
However, when they see us working with determination and see that 14,000 or more people are helping out, they lose some of that fear. From there we have seen a Facebook group being created for us, a website, and many other similar accounts covering Alexandria and other cities.
YA: Not exactly but of course there were a few incidents that got my parents suspecting it.
AA: No and I don’t think we should’ve had any; since this is strictly about saving lives, we keep our own personal political views to ourselves and we do not urge protests. Can you believe that some of us don’t even know the other’s point of view?
AR: We operate outside the realm of institutions and our aim is humanitarian. We each, of course, have our own political views but @Tahrirsupplies is about human values. We did get the occasional feedback from volunteers that “7abayebna el7elween” merakezeen and are making their own lists as well. Though we have complete trust in our volunteers, it’s only hearsay and in any case that’s one list we‘d be honored to be on.
C: Is there anything that you’d want to add? AH: We don’t want to sound egoistic when we say that five days in, we consider this project a success. We want to be clear that no one can foresee what comes next with the current events, and so we keep an eye on the news and we are on a 24/7 availability/standby to treat anyone injured or attacked or funnel excess supplies to hospitals around the country that offer free treatment to those in need. In the middle of this great political mess, one thing keeps me going and I am hoping it will always keep our volunteers and followers going and that is: If people knew how good it feels to do good; the world would be a better place.
ÂŠ Reuters / Amr Abdallah Dalsh
ÂŠReuters / Goran Tomasevic
37 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
JUBRAN KHALIL JUBRAN
may be the shortest cut between two minds.
A DISAGREEMENT 38 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
DEAR REVOLUTIONARIES, I don’t want to live in a country where you rule! By Amy Quotb
This article represents my own opinion as Amy, and some other people I know. Again, an OPINION. You don’t have to agree with me, but please, don’t start swearing at me either. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and you’re not God, so stop judging.
Drumroll It was just another day at work where – like everyone – my Facebook is open all day in a minimized window. I check it when I need a break, or come across something I find worth sharing. I got invited to an “event” so I check it out, out of pure curiosity. Call me a snob but if the event title is in Arabic, I’d dismiss it, because those are usually “7abibi da2eman, el 2oloob el mawgoo3a” or “Mokata3at al montagaat el amrikeyya allaty taktol e7’wanna fe falasteen”. This one wasn’t too different; it was calling for a protest. And since I’ve seen some protests back in college, and how “6 April” went. I clicked “Not Attending” and forgot about it. For days, several videos were being shared about the event. And excuse me for not remembering the details there, because when I watch a bad movie, my memory kinda blocks it out. The ones that stick are the really good ones, and they leave a mark. Anyways, every day the talk about “mozahret 3eed el shorta” was getting both more frequent and intense. Like most people, I didn’t think anything was gonna happen. I underestimated the whole thing and always gave my reckless response “ya gama3a battalo habal, mozahra 3ady, hayet2ebed 3alehom w hayetse7lo shwaya w hayrawwa7o.” Most people I know happened to agree. What the hell? The 25th of Jan came and went; quite honestly I don’t recall anything significant about it. So did the 26th and 27th. The 27th was a Thursday, and that night we went out with a married couple of our friends who were planning to go to the beach the next morning (hi, Dee!) Around 11 p.m. Dee got a call from her parents telling her that being on the road
was a bad idea, and something else about cell phone communications being disabled (What the f*ck?)
One minute you wanna go to Tahreer, the next you’re accusing some third party of fooling you into going there and getting beaten to death.
She hung up and gave us the “oh great!” look. And as we all sat there, messages and calls started pouring about internet and phones goofing around, and a possible communication blackout.
One minute you ask international entities to get involved, but once they do and you don’t like what they have to say, you go all “la noreed al tada7’ol el 7’aregy”
Adrenaline was starting to rush in, and I didn’t know whether to be happy about the fact that “they’re finally gonna send those protestors home” or be mad about my geeky pleasures being taken away from me. How will I go through the day without my internet, bbm and cell phone?! (mashy ya7’wanna ana farfoora bel talaata!) On Friday the 28th we turned on the TV, nothing much was happening. They were still in Tahreer (with a double “e”) and we didn’t feel any difference. We went to the weekly dinner at my in-laws’ place, came home around 6, AND HELL BROKE LOOSE! That was the first time – in my whole life – where I cried out of FEAR. I shit you not. The Wrong Time. The Wrong Place. The Wrong Person. As you may have noticed, I wasn’t gonna go and protest, and I’m not about to. I’m known to be a pessimist; so I sure as hell didn’t think that a couple of million people were gonna change the way 90 million lived. I’m an eternal hippie inside; I don’t believe in yelling, forcing, or attacking anybody (I don’t even yell when I argue with my husband, I calmly make my point.) I’m a city girl, and even though Cairo isn’t on my top ten list of favorite cities, I cried as I saw it burn. I’m a workaholic, so being forced to stay at home with nothing to do but watch retarded TV was UNBEARABLE. It drove me insane. I stayed in my PJs for days, sleeping all day and up all night as my husband froze to the core in “el legan el sha3beya”. Hearing gunshots and people screaming downstairs was becoming the norm. I felt like I was living in some ghetto with East Coast VS West Coast massacres taking place. Reaching my friends was almost impossible, none of us knew each other’s landline numbers (duh ya3ni!) so in the middle of it all, I was painfully lonely. My complete detachment and lack of understanding of those in Tahreer suddenly transformed into sheer hate. There, I said it. I hated their guts. The Aftermath There’s no aftermath! It’s still going on. I’m gonna sound like a big fat Fella right now (mofrad Feloul), but I don’t mind. There. Our economy is sinking, people are losing jobs (no no, don’t disagree with me here, I KNOW PEOPLE WHO DID.) Security is below zero, and again, I know people who got robbed in the middle of a busy Heliopolis street at 12 p.m. We don’t have a president, or even a shadow of one. Tourism is f*cked, even my own family members refuse to fly in. And whether you like it or not, tourism is your bread and butter in this country. There are no plans whatsoever! I’m living the most random phase of my life, whether work-wise, family-wise, money-wise, country-wise, everything-wise!
Bipolar much? You’ve been messing with the lives of almost 90 million people for over 9 months now, and you still haven’t figured it out. It’s about time you admit that you’re clueless and ask for help. Acknowledging the problem is half the solution (excuse my old doctor self, she takes over sometimes.) But this is not a freaking game, and we’re tired. And I’m sorry to tell you this, and you’ve heard it before a thousand times, but you’ve been put on a pedestal and were made to believe that you’re somehow superior to the rest of the population (who, by the way, if decided to send you back home, you won’t see the end of it.) And the cherry that tops it all? When you hear someone like me talk, you start attacking them; you yell, you swear, you badmouth in public, online and every way you can. Do you realize that people only raise their voice when they’re in a weak position? “7’odoohom bel sot la ye3’lebooko!” I’m sorry, but if this is who you are, then I would hate to live in a country where you rule. Outro Now that I wrote all this, I don’t know how many people I’ll anger in the magazine. And whether or not they’re gonna edit it down to a cooler tone. But I feel so much better. I’m one of a zillion whose opinions have been dismissed since the beginning of this sh*tty year. And I’m just glad that someone out there cared enough to know what we thought. I have no agendas, no secret plans, nothing. I’m just a girl who wants to have a semi-normal life and I feel like I’m being punished for something I didn’t do. If I had your problems, I may have understood, but I don’t. I’m not judging you, after all, I believe in freedom of speech. But when your freedom of speech ruins everything around me, then I’m entitled to being angry. My friends in Tahreer; feel free to block me on Facebook and delete my number off your phones, at this point, if you’re not insightful enough to practice what you preach – democracy – then I don’t even want you in my life. Over and out. C
When Will it End? Dear revolutionaries: do you even know what you want? In the beginning you wanted the president out. Then you want him dead (c’mon, he’s dead already!) Then you wanted some protection, now you want the protectors to leave. Then they keep assigning temporary “managers” to just get us through this until you guys figure out what you want – you don’t even want those.
“I WILL NEVER LEAVE THE SQUARE UNTIL ALL OUR DEMANDS ARE MET.” A pledge I made last January that I renew today.
By Rania Alaa
For the past few years, I took on a habit where every December I list the main “achievements” I accomplished throughout the past year and pledge a number of resolutions for the New Year. They mostly used to be about getting a better job, losing a few pounds, saving up for a long-dreamed of sabbatical, visiting a certain country for vacation or things of the sort. Nothing radical; nothing serious.
To be quite frank, I never dreamt of anything for Egypt or Egyptians, because I was always in a constant state of anger and frustration at the level of deterioration we reached as a nation. I kept it personal, hence thinking that by consciously alienating myself from the majority of people, I will no longer feel “Egyptian”! I mean, what would’ve been the point? I thought maybe if I were born Swiss, I would’ve been in more harmony with myself and with my fellow-Swiss. On January 24th, a friend of mine asked me if I will be “attending the January 25th event” announced on Facebook. Although I was following events in Tunisia very closely (which was not like me; as I used to stay away from politics for fear of getting ulcers or a brainstroke), I decided to give my friend that answer: “Egypt is not Tunisia” (which was inspired by a statement by Dr. Amr Al Shobki on TV), and “No, I won’t attend a revolution online, I am sure not more than 500 people will show up.” Yet, I was up all night thinking; could Shobki and other analysts be wrong? Could we really revolt? Us, Egyptians, who take zero risks in our lives? Could we unite, although we are divided between Fundamentalists, a fragmented middle class, a modern Westernized upper middle class, a 50%+ of citizens under poverty line and illiterate, and an elite that couldn’t care less about this country and who only think of their own interests, and Copts who feel targeted as a minority? Is this a formula that could work under any circumstances, in a uniform manner? On January 25th, seeing all those people on the streets shouting “AlSha3b Yoreed Esqat El Nizam”, I knew it could. I joined by 5 PM and there was something in the air that got me addicted to a place that had never been of any significance to me before, but later became a reflection of who I wanted to be. I was ashamed to think that I ever wanted not to be Egyptian. I was ashamed to not have participated in public life before then.
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And there was my pledge, right then right there: “I will never leave the square until all our demands are met.” But during the months that followed our victory, I realized that although we managed to unite and forget our extreme differences for a select 18 days, until Mubarak stepped down as a ruler on February 11th 2011, politics divided us again. Right on February 11th, political powers that “supported” the revolution began clearing the square for “There will be elections!” Excuse me, but what elections? Going head to head in our fight over Parliament seats with symbols of corruption that lives were lost in January/February to remove and clear the country from? Going into elections where the propaganda of all powers was based on naming and shaming the “other”, hence leaving the country a mess in the hand of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (i.e. SCAF)? And to giving it “legitimacy”, SCAF ran a referendum! This was the ultimate blow to our unity. This divide was flagrant during the incidents of the Maspero Massacre. Instead of all of us uniting to try SCAF generals that gave orders to slaughter protestors under Army vehicles, we started getting differing feedback: “Why did they go in the first place?” “Copts have always been trouble-makers” “There are external forces trying to hinder elections”…And so nothing happened. A few thousands were angered and “political powers” condemned the use of force! (Back to condemned, a word that reminds me of the so-called “opposition” during the rule of Mubarak!) Now really late in the year, on November 19th, a new, muchneeded wave of our glorious revolution has come about, through the provocation of Central Security Forces to a number of people – who actually happen to be injured victims from the January/February uprising - that were sitting-in in a corner on the square, not blocking any roads, merely expressing their right to sit-in.
My own personal tendency shouts out, before elections, we MUST have certain demands met: · SCAF and the Ministry of Interior need to account for the losses in lives that occurred since January 25th, 2011 until the moment this is published. Through expedited, transparent, and fair trials. · Maspero needs to be re-structured (and quite honestly sanitized with detergents to stop the germs they produce) before they can participate in covering the electoral process with their usual biases. · The “Exclusion” Law needs to go in effect and those who participated in corrupting political life in the pre-revolution period must be ousted and excluded from participating in Parliament for 5 years. · Civilians and Activists must be released from military jails immediately and no more civilians should be tried before a military court. · Trials of the symbols of the old regime must take place more effectively, and for the right charges (e.g. try Adly for ordering the killing of protesters, not embezzling money for the sake of our sanity) · There needs to be a group of people, that can gain the consensus and trust of the majority, who can run the coming 6-12 months smoothly, getting us out of this economical fix and political mess. Some sort of a revolutionary government… definitely civilian. And so I have decided that my pledge for the year 2012 will be the same as it was in January 2011: “I will never leave the square until all our demands are met!” C
Confessions of a Cynic - Part 2:
ALL By Youssef Saad Eldin
If you happened to read my article in the anniversary issue titled “Confessions of a Cynic”, then you probably know that I explained how much of a cynic I am, and how much I’m not your typical pro-revolution or pro-democracy citizen, due to my distrust in human nature.
I’ve constantly and openly discussed my political views that may not seem too popular or acceptable. But the fact remains; I’ve always had doubts regarding the outcome of the long series of sitins and strikes that took place after the revolution.
revolution; after the taboo of protesting and defying the authorities was broken. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that they are any less brave, but the difference is that this time they didn’t see it coming.
On more than one occasion, I thought to myself that most of the people in Tahrir are dragging us down with their unrealistic demands or, more specifically, with the non-realistic timeframe in which they expect their demands to be met.
But that wasn’t it, there was more to it than this. However, keep in mind that the following applies only to me; it may or may not apply to other people!
Nevertheless, I had a considerably different take on the uprising that took place in November. As far as I was concerned, on Friday the 18th of November, there was another one of those seemingly endless “millioneyat”. And as usual, not a single f*ck was given that day from my side. Then there was Saturday; there were news of protestors being violently attacked by the police. I was hanging out with a friend later that night. At some point my friend suggested that we go to Tahrir to check things out. To tell you the truth, ever since the infamous Maspero massacre in October I had developed a considerable amount of contempt towards the army and towards how they’re handling things and I was sort of waiting for an excuse to express my anger against them. Add this to the news of peaceful protestors being violently attacked, I thought to myself “that’s that, Tahrir it is”. It had absolutely nothing to do with political stances or affiliations; it was a matter of principle. Will I stand by doing absolutely nothing while peaceful human beings (they are human beings before being protestors) are being violently attacked, suffering severe injuries and in some cases death? Then it hit me; why didn’t I sympathize the same way when people were violently attacked and killed during the revolution? First I thought it was because whoever protested back then knew what they were getting themselves into. They knew the amount of risk it had and they were willing to risk it all for whatever they believed in, unlike the protestors at Maspero and those who were in Tahrir on the 19th of November, who went out there after the
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It all was a result of my inability to accept that innocent people get hurt and there is nothing I can do about it. For example, whenever I hear that someone passed away in a car accident, I immediately think to myself that he was probably driving too fast and that he partially shares the responsibility for his fate. So what if my perception of the people who died in the revolution is based upon the same defense mechanism that doesn’t allow me to accept that innocent people get hurt? And more importantly what if people who are against Tahrir, who believe that people in Tahrir are thugs, or simply stupid, think in the same fashion because they’re unwilling to accept the fact that peaceful protestors are getting killed? What if all of this is a form of emotional detachment? I’m not judging whoever wasn’t in Tahrir, or whoever is against people in Tahrir. But I condemn those who are not sympathizing. Whether you agree or not (I for one do not entirely agree), you have to value human life, you must sympathize when innocent people are getting killed. The time for this form of emotional detachment is long gone; we can’t afford to detach ourselves from what’s happening around us anymore. The November uprising had nothing to do with politics; it had to do with being human! Most of the people I met in Tahrir explained that the only reason they went there is because they refused to stand by and do nothing while peaceful protestors got killed. I still stand by most of my previous political opinions; I’m still against the strikes and the sit-ins (not as much as I used to, but I still am against most of them)… I’m still a cynic. But I’m human after all, and I will no longer fail to sympathize with other human beings. C
ÂŠReuters / Goran Tomasevic
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like a little humor, goes a long way.
A little perspective, To Revolutionary
Relationships By Leila Tapozada
• THAWRAGY + THAWRAGEYA If you and your ‘other’ are on the same revolutionary page, then you’ll find that this year was full of amazing highs and devastating lows for the two of you. The highs come with everything that’s revolution-related; if you could have a freaking honeymoon in midan Tahrir, you would. A protest is now your ideal date and you staunchly support each other’s views, no matter how radically revolutionary they are: “kan nefsi amoot fel thawra!” … “w kan nefsi amoot ma3aky fel thawra ya habibty!” But the problem is, the two of you took it so much to heart, that your ‘regular’ lives now have a kind of malaise to them; life seems bleak and you start to take it out on each other. But never fear, O Revolutionary Romantics, the upcoming years promise to be chock-full of political strife, so no doubt midan Tahrir will reignite your love once again.
• THAWRAGY/THAWRAGEYA + APATHETIC SO WE HAD OUR REVOLUTION (STILL HAVING IT, SOME WOULD SAY; BUT THAT’S A DEBATE FOR ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE, AND ANOTHER WRITER). AND UNLESS YOU WERE TOO BUSY LIVING UNDER A ROCK OR MILKING A COW, BETS ARE THAT THE REVOLUTION IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER AFFECTED YOU, WHETHER OR NOT YOU WERE A HARDCORE TAHRIR-IAN. Now I don’t want to get into the deep implications of the revolution on your psyche and morale –let’s just leave that to your therapist- but I do want to cruise on the happily shallow surface of relationships. I mean, let’s face it, keeping your relationship intact in normal circumstances is hard enough as it is, but when you a throw a revolution into it? Freakin’ Mubarak and his 5-million-year regime couldn’t handle it; could your relationship?
This is a tricky road to walk. Resentment is a dangerous element for this kind of relationship; the thawragy person resents the fact that his/ her apathetic partner doesn’t understand or is uninterested in how important this is, and the apathetic person feels like the revolution is now a third party in bed with them. A lot of compromise and understanding is needed in this kind of relationship, rabena ma3ako.
• APATHETIC + APATHETIC Mafeesh mashakel. Kamelo zai manto. But no matter what kind of relationship you’re in, or what ‘label’ you and your significant other have, I’ll close up shop here with some very basic revolutionary do’s and don’ts in relationships that will hopefully smooth things over into 2012, and then God and destiny can take it from there.
TAZBEET IN TAHRIR
REVOLUTIONARY RELATIONSHIP DO’S
I know of many a romance that bloomed from the strangely fertile relationship breeding ground that is Tahrir. For those who were in the square, the bonding, camaraderie and running from the tear gas handin-hand seemed to have worked as a powerful aphrodisiac. Even for those who weren’t in the midan, the atmosphere of panic and confusion worked as a great scapegoat for people to call each other hourly (“bas 7abeit atamen 3aleiky!” … “khod ballak men nafsak wenta fel legan el sha3beya!”). So whether you were already in a relationship or still in the purely tazbeet phase, the revolution seemed to strengthen bonds… IN THE BEGINNING AT LEAST.
• Try to understand that no matter what idiotic words are coming out of your partner’s mouth, you should try to understand, and if understand is too much of a stretch, then at least try to respect them. Meaning, try to refrain from screeching “Are you f*cking out of your mind?!” when he/she is talking about something revolution-related. • Try to keep an open mind about things (well, that rule really works for just about anything in life) • Do try to make an effort with the other person, for example, if protesting in the midan is really important to them, go with them once, if not out of support for the cause, then support for the person. •If your partner is SICK TO FREAKING DEATH of everything politicsrelated, then make it a point to sometimes talk about stuff they want to talk about or go out and pretend like the revolution didn’t happen for a night.
PARTY’S OVER, PEOPLE The confetti was thrown, the champagne was drunk, the zamameer were blown and ding dong, the wicked witch is dead. After the euphoria of Mubarak stepping down started to settle in, the dust of the monumental event started to settle along with it, coating friendships and relationships with an extra layer of a certain something that was never there before. Friendships were dissolved over Facebook and Twitter; fights with family members began to pop up like daisies, and we started throwing around terms like ‘feloul’, ‘thawrageya’, ‘shabab tahrir’ and other adjectives that would be used as just another way to segregate and judge one another. Now, I’ve made up a little (but highly scientific) chart to represent your relationship’s standing with your significant other, depending on your ‘political leanings’ (and yes I use this term very, very loosely):
REVOLUTIONARY RELATIONSHIP DON’TS • Don’t tell your girlfriend “walahy ha3adi bas 3ala Tahrir abos bassa, 5 minutes that’s all, and I won’t go anywhere near Mohamed Mahmoud!” and then start tweeting 30 minutes later things like: “Fighting taking place over barbed wire and gas is stopping us from advancing #mohamedmahmoud” • Don’t threaten to tell your partner’s mother if they are engaging in any possibly dangerous endeavors as a form of blackmail • Don’t lose sight of what’s important. Whatever that might be. • Don’t let the revolution be a reason why your relationship didn’t work out.
No, I am
not objective. By Yasmine Zohdi
I dreamt they were hunting us down. I dreamt all of Downtown was a war zone, not just Mohamed Mahmoud. I dreamt I walked through the debris and ashes on the ground after the battles had subsided, covering my face with my hands for fear they would recognize me and arrest me or beat me to death. I dreamt I was scared for my Grandma, alone in her cold apartment, lest they found out she was related to me and kidnapped her. I woke up in a cold sweat that Friday morning, more relieved than I’d ever been that it was just a nightmare. I hadn’t realized that what we’d been through those five fateful days had shaken me so much. As my heartbeats slowed down, I turned on the TV next to my bed. And there they were, thousands gathered in Abbasseyya, chanting for them to stay, carrying their officers on their shoulders; shamelessly celebrating those who had ruthlessly murdered us. And when I voiced my anger at what I had seen out loud, I was actually accused of not being ‘objective’. I’m sorry, but what is ‘objective’? What does objectivity even mean at times like this? Does such a value really exist? Hell, yes, I am not objective! And for the sake of my sanity, do not ask me to be. Not after what I’ve seen…and not when it’s absolutely nothing compared to what others have.
Not when I’ve stood helpless amongst chaos in the square at night, ambulances wailing all around me, my eyes glued to the entrance to Mohamed Mahmoud, like a gateway to hell, stepping aside every two minutes to make way for an endless string of bleeding or suffocating young men carried by frantic protesters or on one of those now notorious motorcycles rushing to get the injured to the closest field hospital. I could hear some scream in pain, while others were silent and still…and I was left to wonder whether they had already sighed out their last breath, or were merely unconscious. I go home, I come across the name of a young man who died today, and my mind starts playing that cruel game with me, trying to put a face to the name. Could it be that boy in the red sweatshirt? Perhaps it was the one with the curly black hair and a line of blood trickling down his chin, or the man with the checkered scarf…but I will never know.
“I could hear some scream in pain, while others were silent and still…and I was left to wonder whether they had already sighed out their last breath, or were merely unconscious”
Not when I’ve marveled at the guts that took me halfway through Mohamed Mahmoud amongst toxic fumes of tear gas that made it impossible to breathe, only to discover the true limits of my courage on the very same day, when out of nowhere they attacked and chased us all the way down to Talaat Harb like rats. And although I had managed to stand my ground for a minute, it had passed like an eternity…and all the while my feet were begging me to run. “Ethbat!” protesters around me shouted above the commotion, “Ethbaaaat!”…But I could hear the savage drum of their boots against the ground and the blast of bullets in the air, the gas burned my eyes, my lungs, my skin, I saw the tank approaching, the black-clad soldier in a firing position on top…and I gave in to my feet. I gave in when I saw them charge at us, dark and deadly, lashing out at anything in sight, with an unmistakable intent to kill. “Ethbat!” they were still yelling. But I ran. I ran with those who ran, and at a distance I could see others swallowed by the brutality I had managed to escape. Do not underestimate the bitter taste of fear, it is torture in itself. Not when later, I burst into tears on an empty side street as I realized that we – after being crowned heroes only months ago - were now all alone, that we’d been abandoned, and had nothing left to hold on to but a belief they were doing everything they could to kill. That night I wept as
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I watched videos of what they did to those who had been only seconds slower than I was. I remembered the people’s faces; defiant in the face of pure force…I remembered their voice, the chant, echoing off the walls of the Mugamma’ all the way to the Museum…“El sha3b yoreed isqat el mosheer!” - at the top of their lungs, even as his demons struck them down – terrorized them, burned their tents, dragged women by the hair… and dumped dead bodies onto piles of garbage. “El sha3b yoreed isqat el mosheer”…It shook me, it shook the square, and I’m sure that – even as they killed and destroyed – it shook them too.
Not when I’ve spent five sleepless nights in a row, worried sick about those who were still in the square…my brother, friends and loved ones, many of them fighting at the frontlines. Countless reports of live rounds being fired and people dropping like flies…and the tweets. Oh, the tweets. “F*ck, shot in my arm”… “Beaten, arrested”… “They’re murdering us”. I’d chase after everyone I know on the phone to make sure they’re alright, and my heart would sink to my stomach each time I got ‘call failed’ or heard ‘the number you have called is unavailable...’ Yes, I knew the networks were horrible, but I couldn’t help but imagine the worst, when I had been there myself only hours earlier and the sounds of battle were still ringing in my ears. Not when a fearless, resilient, graceful man who lost an eye on January 28th still radiated positivity and still injected everyone around him with enough courage to join the fight …until he lost the second eye on November 19th. He’s still fearless, still smiling, still visiting the square day after day, still dreaming, still counting on every one of us to see the battle through to the end…and I will not let him down.
Not when I still have such nightmares. Not when they still lie to the world on TV. Not when the smell of tear gas still creeps up on me even in the warmth of my bed with my head against my pillow. Not when mothers are still aching over dead children who have not yet been avenged. Not when I still wake up to news of more people being run over ‘by mistake’. Not when they take our eyesight and find no remorse in it, but rather pride. Objectivity, when blood has been shed, is a myth. Objectivity, when faced by a clear battle between freedom and injustice, is a not a virtue – but a vice. Objectivity, in such cases, is a synonym for insensitivity. Objectivity, when the right stance requires a stubborn fight, becomes a refuge for the coward. There comes a point in time when the truth is on one side; and one side alone. The truth, today, is in Tahrir. And if fortune favours the brave, well, the brave, too, are in Tahrir. So, yes, I am not objective. And I’m glad I’m not…it only means I am still human.
ÂŠAP Photo / Tara Todras - Whitehill
51 DECEMBER 2011 CAMPUS
ops, They Did It Again! By May Kamel
THE WORLD HATES ON BENETTON BOOSO FE BO220!
IN A WORLD WHERE THE UNDERTONE OF MOST ADVERTISEMENTS HAS SEXIST, RACIST OR DEEPLY BIGOTED VIBES, ONE WOULD IMAGINE THAT IT’S POSSIBLE TO GET AWAY WITH JUST ABOUT ANYTHING. WRONG ANSWER; YOU DON’T. Earlier in November, Italian clothes chain, Benetton, tried to drum up attention for its flagging brand with ads featuring world leaders in a liplock in what’s known as the “Unhate” campaign! In no time, those digitally manipulated smooches took the internet by storm, along with a video of people fighting, partying, having sex, falling in and out of love and rioting, that are equally provocative to say the least. Between the company’s deteriorating state, its provocative new campaign and its history with shock advertising, Benetton sure got the masses talking. The question is, was it for the right reasons? Unhate
CE NS OR ED
Drawing from a famous painting on the Berlin Wall depicting Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing his East German counterpart Erich Honecker, Benetton created their controversial “Unhate” campaign. As soon as it was launched, hell broke loose. “Unhate” consists of a series of print advertisements that include, among others, images of President Obama kissing Chinese leader Hu Jianto, Obama kissing Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas kissing Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope Benedict XVI kissing Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed El Tayeb of Al Azhar. And with such a provocative campaign came an even more stimulating launch plan, with the billboard showing Pope Benedict XVI kissing Sheikh El Tayeb, for example, hung from Ponte Sant Angelo in Rome, a few meters away from Saint Peter square and the Vatican. In no time, Benetton was forced to pull into a humiliating climb-down after the Vatican denounced it as an “unacceptable provocation”.
Benetton had claimed that the campaign was aimed at fostering tolerance and ‘global love’, although they have known how much trouble they were likely to stir up. They said that the ads were “symbolic images of reconciliation - with a touch of ironic hope and constructive provocation - to stimulate reflection on how politics, faith and ideas, when they are divergent and mutually opposed, must still lead to dialogue and mediation.”
If You Shock Them, Will They Buy? Expectedly, people seemed divided on whether or not they liked the campaign, with many dissing the company and threatening to boycott it, and others claiming it was a stroke of genius.
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Political stand aside, what I’m questioning is the aim of the campaign rather than the offence to political figures. I’m no marketing genius, but as far as I’m concerned, you don’t need to shock people to get them to buy cardigans!
With all the open-mindedness there is, I can understand the campaign’s message; regardless of race, orientation or creed, people should not hate. Okay, coolness. What I fail to understand, however, is the connection between hate and homosexuality on one end, and hate and liplocking on the other. Also what does any of this have to do with Benetton, or any other clothes store that is? Are they really going to make consumers feel that Benetton clothing inspires equality, or will the jarring nature of a Pope-Imam kiss deter buyers? Did Benetton create this campaign to ignite legitimate conversation, or to sell more sweaters?
NS OR ED
No Stranger Given the history of Benetton in advertising for its clothes, I guess we all know that they’re no strangers to shock advertising. In fact, they have always been known to use socially-conscious messages to sell their products and they have always been not even slightly related, yet they somehow did the trick.
With its “United Colors” moniker, Benetton has always made some bold choices regarding its advertising strategy in the past, but in my opinion, nothing rises to the heights of the shock value related to its latest “Unhate” campaign. Truth be told, Benetton’s campaign has served at least one pertinent purpose; the whole world noticed it. Also the timing could not be more appropriate with the Occupy Movement gaining fervor across the world. Marketing-wise, it sure is a hit; a mission accomplished. This is all well and good for them as a brand that’s trying to gain ground again. But with this much provocation they sent our way this time, it came across like they are trying to make a larger statement than they could support. Yes, people fight. Yes, people fall in love and have sex, and not necessarily in that order. And yes, there are parts of the world, if not most of it, where you’re given more or fewer rights depending on who you love. But to me, all what ran through my head was: who the hell would turn stomachs in a yet so brilliant way, all for the love of cardigans? Benetton, that’s who.
E7na El Haters
Amid the shocks and blows that have been exchanged ever since this campaign was launched, one very crucial side remained characteristically lenient; Al Azhar. While the ad depicting the Pope and Sheikh El Tayeb didn’t sit well with the Vatican, who instantaneously issued a statement of condemning, forcing Benetton to immediately withdraw the ad and threatening to take legal action, Al Azhar’s reaction didn’t measure up. The Institute’s spokesperson described the advertisement as “irresponsible and absurd” and that was all there is to it! Even the radical Islamists who have lately started gaining more ground in Egypt post revolution, and who are repeatedly fighting for applying Sharia’a and forcing Hijab and long beards, haven’t reciprocated regarding this matter.
Worth mentioning as well is a previous ad depicting a nun and a priest kissing as part of the 1990 “United Colors of Benetton” campaign, which, despite the rage it unleashed, was not met with a harsh reaction from the Vatican like this time around.
Between 1982 and 2000, Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani shot several campaigns to fight racism, the death penalty and raise awareness about AIDS. Among those out-to-shock ads were some audacious HIV/ AIDS posters; one with an arm branded with “HIV Positive” and another of AIDS activist David Kirby’s final moments before passing away. This image campaign did stir a buzz, and the aforementioned posters in specific dropped jaws and provoked the strongest objections. Countries like Germany and the Netherlands even declared them illegal. Since only advertising that is “contra bonos mores” is regarded as illegal, the German Supreme Court could only qualify parts of the campaign as illegal, and not all of it. The Court even saw the HIV positive- branding motif as a “violation of human dignity”.
The billboard showing Pope Benedict XVI kissing Sheikh El Tayeb hung from Ponte Sant Angelo in Rome, a few meters away from the Vatican. In no time, Benetton was forced to pull into a humiliating climb-down after the Vatican denounced it as an unacceptable provocation
FishMakan SEAFOOD BY THE NILE, IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS! Fish Makan, a new seafood place in Zamalek, is located at the new “33 Abou el Feda” dining-out destination - also home to Grizzly Diner, Abd el Wahab and Coffeeshop Company. And while you might think any restaurant on the Nile would be a chilly option in the winter months, Fish Makan’s heaters give it an edge over most other places. The staff was very friendly; they welcomed us with a smile and had the “we’re glad to be of service attitude” which instantly warms you to the place. They also did their homework; they knew every single item in their menu and were more than glad to elaborate when we asked. The cherry on top however, was the minimal waiting time for the food after we ordered - these guys are fast! The general mood of the place was great; the setting went along very well with the view, and the choice of music was perfect, although it may have been compromised by the noise coming from feloukas in the Nile, but that’s always a risk when you decide to go to a place right on the Nile-side! The food itself was cooked perfectly, and there was a wide variety of options on the menu. We ordered a combination of grilled and fried fish, and it was served with bread, tahina, and pickles. But don’t worry - even if you’re not really a seafood person, you’ll still fancy a thing or two on the menu! The pricing’s also very convenient; less than 100 LE per person, which is pretty good for a seafood place! And let’s face it, whenever you’re in the mood for fish, you know you’ll be spending some money, so you might as well do it classily!
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An Interview with Zamalek’s Hammouda: Egypt’s Own E-bay
By Hend Ghorab
There isn’t an Egyptian alive who hasn’t heard the word “Robabikyaaaa” echoing, whether at home, in our cars, or even at work. This traditional profession hasn’t died out yet, and you probably wonder who buys this junk or has the time to stop and look through all those old items. Well a lot of people do, including myself. You wouldn’t believe the things that this man has once owned, from vintage bags, Arabic watches, used cameras, and that perfectly scratched up painting you want to hang over your TV at home giving that “vintage” touch to your living room. If you have ever taken the time to walk into the mini mall that exits inside the building of Metro Zamalek, then you will have seen the man who lies there, unlike any other man you’ve met before: Mr. Hammouda, the face of quintessential robabikya. Here is an interview with Zamalek’s best hidden secret.
How long have you been in this trade? It began in the early 1970s, I started in Mohandeseen for about 10 months and then moved around several areas nearby. In 1975 I had my first shop in Shabrawiya, and then finally in 1993 I came to Zamalek and settled here since then. How do you manage to collect all these objects? I have guys who work with me, they go around Cairo, to different dealers and markets and they know what I like and what I don’t; they’ve been with me for decades.
Fakhredine, and when I came to Zamalek Madam Samya El Etribi was one of my regular customers and she even interviewed me once. What is the most valuable item you ever possessed? This Iranian bracelet that was exquisite. The stones were molded into one another; it looked like something I have never seen before. What are the objects you enjoy collecting most? All types of accessories.
Where do you get your best pieces? You’d be shocked, but from tax collectors. They always come across priceless objects. Also other robabikya dealers, because they are capable of going from area to area and home to home, you have people’s parents passing away and leaving them things and they are not aware of how valuable they are.
What are your least favorite objects to sell? Big objects, I just don’t like them. They take up space, and I like intricate details, it’s always been what attracted me to this profession.
Do you have regular customers? Of course. Both Egyptian and foreigners. There are kids that I have seen grow up. Not only that, famous people, like when I was in Giza, Mariam
What name would you call your store? Basque. I’ve always been intrigued by French artists, and the French mindset and way of life.
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How come you chose a store in a hidden location? (smiles) I like to test my customers.
Who were your favorite customers from Zamalek? Russians, even though I can’t speak the language. They are fun shoppers, they take their time, and they know their stuff. So tell me where are you from originally? Giza. Giza Square. Are you going to vote in the upcoming elections? No. Why not? (He gives me a look that is pretty self-explanatory). What’s your favorite trait in your customer? To me a customer is one that gives me a hard time; they are the ones who understand the value of what I have to offer. The ones who come pick up one piece easily and leave, rarely ever come back. Like they say, “El 2ot bey7eb khano2o”. Hammouda then proceeded and said: “Kefaya kalam; khalleeny awarreeky el ma7al. Kotr el kalam ye2el el ma3refa.” (the saying usually goes as ‘kotr el salam’; I loved the twist he added). And he continued to show me around the store, where I finally left with two beautiful bangles!
ÂŠ Mohamed Hossam
السادة الصيادلة، تعلـن شركـة جالكسـو سميثكـالين كونسيومر هيـلث كـير المحـدودة عن تـوافـر مستحضـري بـانـادول وبـانـادول اكسـترا لدى شركـات التوزيع الكبرى.
تصنيع شركـة اإلسكندريـة لألدويــة والصنـاعــات الكيماويــة بتصريح من شركـة جالكسـو سميثكـالين كونسيـومـر هيلث كـير المحـدودة ،ايـرلنـدا. PANADOL is a registered trade mark of the GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies. For full prescribing information please write to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, PO Box 23816, Dubai, UAE.
coffee for the By Amy Quotb
THIS HIPPIE, GYPSY-INSPIRED SONG BY BOB DYLAN IN THE TITLE IS INTENDED TO POINT OUT SOME KIND OF IRONY. PUT A PIN IN IT.
The Only Cup That Looks Good On Me… Is Starbucks! It wasn’t until recently that we had the pleasure of seeing Starbucks around Cairo. Starbucks opening here was the highlight of every coffee-lover’s conversation for months! And then it began…
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On my way to work every morning, in the busy neighborhood of Mohandeseen, I started spotting fashionable chicks with their expensive formal office wear, high heels that say “flats are for quitters” and fully-branded accessories, seeming to complement their professional look with the famous Starbucks cup. Businessmen (or businessmen-wannabes) in freshly ironed suits and sunglasses that remind me of England’s most lethal weapon (or Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible) had a briefcase in one hand and a cup of Starbucks coffee in the other. One morning I had to rush to a meeting with a coworker (who fit the profile above) and as I started the car, she said in panic, “Oh god, I haven’t had my coffee yet!” I spontaneously replied, “we can have coffee when we get there,” to which she exclaimed: “leh ya3ni? ma Starbucks 2orayeb!” Starbucks was indeed a few blocks away, but with the morning traffic of Mohandeseen it took us 20 minutes to get there and 5 minutes in the cashier line… Needless to say, we were late to our meeting. Curious as I am, I had to observe the victorious look on her face as she came back with her coffee. And as it was steaming hot, she only had her first sip halfway through the drive. But as she walked into the client’s office, holding that magical cup of coffee, her whole attitude was transformed from panicky, clumsy “I-haven’t-had-my-coffee-yet” into a fresh, fully awake “I’m-in-it-to-win-it” vibe. As a coffee addict, I can understand the influence coffee has on people’s performance. But this wasn’t it. For one, the caffeine hadn’t even kicked in yet! Let alone insisting that the coffee had to be from Starbucks. What the what?
I’m... Too Sexy for This Party! Cut to a star-studded Hollywood evening. On the
red carpet, we see oh-so-glamorous celebrities with their perfectly groomed faces, sprayed hair-do’s and shiny smiles… We see their mesmerizing tuxedos and designer dresses. “Who are you wearing?” no longer needs to be shouted out, for once they step into the spotlight, they spill it all. You hear a full report on who designed their outfit to who powdered their nose. It’s all out there, and they know you can’t afford it.
Folks on TMZ Got Nothin’ on Me!
Who Are You Drinking? Mentioning names like Gucci, Mercedes-Benz or Louis Vuitton instantly brings to mind “the beautiful people”… The pretty, successful trendsetters. Those who always look like they walked right out of a catalogue. That’s a yummy piece of eye candy, and Starbucks wants a bite.
How often do you see them advertise? Not as often as Cut to me sitting at my desk, a few weeks later, Googling “haircut trends” (what? I needed a new look!) “e3lan gebna bretto”… A dozen celebrity gossip websites popped up... And as But what do they actually do? I clicked away, something clicked! For years now, we’ve been stumbling upon piles of candid images of celebs doing their thing. Somehow it’s more interesting to look at a photo of Megan Fox as she steps out of the gym all messy than dressy, or to know that the perfect Eva Longoria is not so perfect after all (have you seen her face without all the makeup?), or to see Rihanna walking out of the salon, and witness her latest crazy-looking hairdo for the first time. That’s why celebrity gossip gods like TMZ and Perez Hilton are major hits. Human beings like us want to know that those Hollywood creatures are in fact human too. But even then, with their sweaty hoodies, bad hair days and ungraceful mishaps, they are still being worshipped and mimicked.
Everybody Loves Coffee Someone had to realize this, and sooner or later, make use of it. There’s a Starbucks at every corner, but that’s not all. There’s a dozen other coffee places in every block as well, but none of which sounds as glorious as Starbucks. Ever wonder why?
They get endorsed. They make sure that everybody who’s somebody walks around in public with a cup of Starbucks in their hand. Sooner or later, the trend will catch on… After all, this is a trend you can afford! The people who tell you what to wear, how to do your hair, what color nail polish is in, what dance music is hot and what diet you should go on this month, are the same people who are now telling you what coffee you should be seen drinking.
You Know It’s Sad but True Remember the irony with a pin in it? It’s time to pull the pin out. My inner hippie admits that the best coffee in the world is the one I make myself, because I know exactly what to put in it and how much, but the marketing geek in me tells me that the daily habit of drinking coffee has become yet one more fashion competition. The insatiable public desire to look “cool” and fit into a subconsciously validated social category has been recycled – for the millionth time – this time to be sold in a similarly recycled paper cup that screams out; “Handle with care.”
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 0100 66 87 667 E-mail: email@example.com
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 0100 66 87 667 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 0100 66 87 667 E-mail: email@example.com
out there! By Michel Antoun
YOU KNOW HOW AS A FOOTBALL FAN, THERE ARE PLAYERS YOU LIKE, PLAYERS YOU APPRECIATE, PLAYERS YOU HATE BUT STILL APPRECIATE THEIR TALENT, AND THEN YOU HAVE THE PLAYERS THAT YOU DON’T EVEN GET WHY THE HELL THEY’RE BEING PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THE CRAP THEY PRODUCE ON THE FIELD? I’VE COMPILED A SHORT LIST OF PLAYERS WHO I BELIEVE TO BE INCREDIBLY OVERRATED, BUT I WANT TO CLEAR UP THE FACT THAT I DON’T NECESSARILY THINK THEY COMPLETELY SUCK; THEY JUST SUCK TOO MUCH FOR THE ATTENTION THEY’RE RECEIVING OR THE TEAMS THEY HAVE MAGICALLY MANAGED TO PLAY FOR.
LUCAS LEIVA The 24-year-old Brazilian defensive midfielder, who plies his trade for English club Liverpool FC, is certainly a player with immense energy on the pitch. Energy with which he does nothing with for most of the 90 minutes but run around in circles. In his defense, he is quite similar to a pit-bull in the manner in which he continuously runs after the ball for the entirety of the game, but the problem is that he never really manages to get it. On the rare occasion in which he does get it, he regularly gives it right back to the opponents.
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DIRK KUYT JOHN OBI MIKEL Before anyone starts thinking I got his name wrong, his real name is John Michael Nchekwube Obinna, commonly known as the name I wrote above, or even Mikel John Obi or John Mikel Obi. (Seriously you can’t even make this stuff up!) The 24-year-old midfield enforcer for Chelsea and the Nigerian National team really hasn’t impressed me at all since his notoriously controversial transfer to the London-based side back in 2005 after having initially joined Manchester United, and oh how happy was he! But later, after legal issues, he terminated his contract with United and joined Chelsea, which apparently was his dream come true. After that quaint beginning of his rise to fame, his performance was poor enough to make you think that he would never amount to anything. And about 5 or 6 years later, I’m still waiting.
Still sticking with Liverpool, their 31-yearold Dutch striker turned winger is certainly not the one to watch if you’re looking for beautiful football. Perhaps not the worst player to have on your team because he does work harder than most football players out there, but he simply does not have the skill nor the speed necessary to play as a winger. It baffles me that both Liverpool and the Netherlands continue to deploy him in that position. Liverpool really need to re-examine their team if they hope to return to their previous glory.
IGNAZIO ABATE The 25-year-old AC Milan right back, who just received his first Italy call up in a friendly against Poland. Why? I mean the guy can’t defend, can’t cross, can’t shoot and can’t even pass to save his life. His only good attribute is that he’s fast, just not with the ball at his feet!
ENGLAND NATIONAL TEAM That one is not really about the players, but I felt I just had to add this to the list. Since I started watching football in the early 90’s, the English team has been hyped by the press as a powerhouse nation. I learned pretty fast that they’re not. Quarter final exits at the last 3 World Cups, failure to qualify for the 2008 EURO’s, and a humiliating loss to their fierce rivals Germany 4-1 at the last World Cup are all but a small summary of what the English fans have been witnessing over the last decade. And they’re still being considered contenders for the next European championship next summer! I’m at a loss for words.
While all the previously mentioned players are in no particular order, the following player is undoubtedly my number one choice for the most overrated player I personally have ever had the displeasure of watching, and I’m sure a lot of people would agree, and some would strongly disagree.
SERGIO BUSQUETS The 23-year-old Barcelona and Spain defensive midfielder is a player who does not deserve to play in such great teams. His cover of the backline is poor, his tackling sucks, his passing is nonexistent, and to top it all off, he shames his team with his acting; a blight on the beautiful game. I’d say the only reason Busquets plays for this club is because he is a graduate of the legendary “La Masia”, or farmhouse; Barcelona’s training academy. Guardiola, Barcelona’s manager, has previously underlined his determination to field players who are Barcelona through and through, but unfortunately for him, Busquets was the best he could find. As for the Spanish National team, it seems that Barcelona players get called up regardless of their form, not to mention the lack of good Spanish players in that position. It pains me that he gets to win medals just for being on the same team with so many great players who do everything that needs to be done on the pitch. Oh why god why, does he get to make millions playing football while I’m stuck at a desk job working for peanuts while wearing a suit?! Okay that may be a bit overdramatic. He’s really not that terrible a player, but certainly nowhere near the quality required to represent either the Barcelona or the Spanish jersey.
Well people, these were my thoughts on the most overrated players. I’m sure many would disagree with some, if not all the choices I made, but you have to at least give me the England one, right? 889 65
ÂŠ Mahmud Hams / AFP / Getty Images
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Published on Dec 6, 2011