February 10, 2012

A day not forgotten

 Tomorrow morning will be the first anniversary of the resignation of Moubarak, the revolutionary forces in Egypt are still not at rest and the all powerful military are still trying to keep their own losses to a minimum but they seem to be losing both momentum and support. Even the state (read military) sponsored media let discordant notes go through. The temple seems to be shaken. But somehow my thoughts are back into

a year ago, Feb 10th 2011 at 19.15 I wrote a note on Facebook describing the mood in the Square  "
Tahrir Square  has been celebrating for a long time. Actually celebrations started since the morning, but by now even the most politicized are also celebrating. Although actually nothing happened. The whole thing continues to be surrealistic.
The Square though is bubbling with the sweet taste of victory.

Even if all the news are real, which I still doubt we had too many moments when the Victory seemed so clear. And then some new person would come and say that everything was fine and they will send us bonbons, or other really unbelievable bullshit.

I personally still demand the disbanding of the NDP, National Democratic Party. And immediately. Again this is my personal opinion for a chance to build an Egypt that I would be happy to live in and proud of being Egyptian for ever after.

 With Love to all from Midan El Tahrir. :)"  Then a bit later I added a second note at 20.27 continuing to describing the atmosphere the way I perceived it
"There are millions in the Square. and the news from and around  the Square are getting more and more worrying. I believe that many of the celebrators are getting ugly. Some of the women already are leaving the square . The situation is electrical and some use the crowd for behaviors that can only be described as sexual harassment. There are too many people in the Square right now. Maybe is there some who will be trying for a last gap for the regime trying to turn the celebrations into some kind of blood bath. On the other hand, there is also a wedding ceremony going on somewhere else on the Square.

Incertainty continues and nothing is really clear. Some Rumors say that Mr. Sillysillyman will stay on which is also completely rejected by the kids of Tahrir Square. I really wonder what is going on. I also do not want any more "Free officers" and the such"  By 21.30, I stressed  my pessimistic tendencies writing 

 
"Everyone is here around either a radio or a television waiting for the victory however some of the signs are kind of disappointing. It can be a technique so that if the victory is done then the Egyptian people will be fine and celebrations must occur.
But for some reason I am still quite pessimistic  as the way I read the news, I kind of feel the same as in 1967 when the information ministry back then was controlled by the Army and made an amazing brain wash while hiding the shameful defeat until when they announced the truth ... people came out  chanting "A7a A7a La Tatanaha"

I am so afraid that we are getting Mr Sillyman as a goodbye present.

let's hope it is only my worrying ."

By 22.00 hours, the TV room being completely  stuffed I listened to Moubarak on line and while he was talking I typed away my feelings and reactions to his what turned out to be his last speech as president and I uploaded it instantaneously at the moment he finished that speech. it went that way: 


"
He doesn't understand at all. WE need to be 80 millions in the streets. This is just crazy, he does not understand. And I was kind of right worrying. THE HARDHEADEDNESS IS JUST INCREDIBLE I THINK HE SHOULD JUST UNDERSTAND THAT 60 Years are maybe too much , he should get his pension and go.
What he said today is the most incredible bullshit I've ever heard in my life. As I expecte4d it is still another 1967.
 I believe the fight will be going on .
I believe that Mr President just can not understand that he is one of the main problem , but on the other hand I thank him because this is maybe the only way we will be able to topple all the dirty rests of a regime that corrupted us all.
 Is it so difficult to understand that the Egyptian people want now to try and be proud of themselves and free of this brain wash they had been using for the last 70 years,
  The dissolution and disbandment of the NDP, I believe it is them who call him and tell him not to go. We are all behind you. Please don't go we will defend you. I wonder though how can he believe that unless he listens to news that are different that to those we hear. He still believes that he is important to keep the peace of the region.
 I want to warn all those who think that his keeping might keep the region in hand are really wrong. This is a disaster.
  In any case, we want to thank Mr President for his lovely career but why can't he understand that the people have decided that he must go. And the people is the boss of the president. Do they have a syndicate for presidents to defend him?
 We also have to remember that Hosni Moubarak has acted in a movie... Maybe he believes he is a good actor or a convincing one. Why isn't the Oscar given to him ?"

A Day later he was forced to hand in his resignation. A Year later, the Egyptians now demand an end to the military hold on power . Since the 1952 coup, renamed "revolution",  the whole of Egypt has become Military possessions and has been completely mismanaged, throwing Education and Health on a slide that has never stopped. Economy is also destroyed with not much hope of recovery as the successful at the time agricultural based economy into a badly organized and shaky at the best "Industrial" economy , actually it has become a Service Based economy as the Industries were more political than actual. 
The way some Egyptians think it is possible to get rid of the hold on power by those who have armaments is by trying to boycott military companies and their products .  Another strategy that has followers would be a Civil disobedience movement. Both these strategies will take time until it gathers momentum and starts having an effect on those who will not relinquish power without a vicious fight.

February 5, 2012

Politics and Football in Egypt Historically

I haven't been much of a Football fan for years. I actually got disinterested last time Egypt qualified for the World cup after a dismal performance on the pitch that many considered as an historic achievement. My expectations, heightened by a good game against the Netherlands, were completely bashed . I could have recovered and maybe keep watching or even supporting Football but for the rise of Al Gohary to absolute Stardom and even as a regime symbol. That probably gave me a stroke that closed down my brain towards Football. All that is left is a heavy dislike of media that portrayed a lost campaign as a great achievement to be proud of and pity for those who fell for this brainwash. The regime has been using Football as leverage to keep crowds under control the last year of the Royal regime the league championship was not held. After all, stadiums are a crowd attracting magnet  out of which demonstrations can erupt uncontrolled.
Since the beginning of the military coup later renamed 1952 revolution, Football was used as a symbol of return to normality. Then in the coup within the coup of 1954 , the regime cancelled the Championship while it had started. Probably again out of fear from anti-regime and anti-military protests, the league championship was cancelled in 1967 and kept being cancelled till 1970 when a trial of restarting it failed and had to be discontinued, in 1972 though the Championship was played and the title went To Ghazl El Mehalla - in a trial to keep the workers happy and ready for a war effort I suppose. In 1973, it was once more unfinished, having been halted in October for the war. Since then though it went on a nearly uninterrupted run but for the 1990 season when again it was halted officially on Al Gohary's request  for preparing for the above mentioned World Cup. Once again, however, I suspect it was out of fear of anti Gulf War demonstrations erupting in the stadiums, as the Egyptian military had excellent relations with he US and probably knew for a fact that the War was going to be launched.
In another obvious marriage between Football and politics, the regime tried to use the seemingly easy game against Algeria in 2009 as a PR operation, sending along with the team a delegation headed by Gamal and Alaa Moubarak. Unfortunately, the Egyptian team was not up to the task and the whole lift-up operation went in complete disarray when, adding insult to injury, the Algerian supporters beat up the Egyptian delegation after their team won the game. It was then that for the first time Alaa Moubarak got out of the shade and was interviewed in many a media outlet .  The unrest that followed took a couple of weeks to calm down.
A small History of the Ultras The Telegraph  

 The Ultras whose demands since they were organized was mainly the right of  supporting their teams the way they saw fit. The refusal by the authorities to yield to their demands and the use of undue force against them  has developed a blood feud between ultras and regime forces. At the beginning of the events in January 2011, the  Ultras joined the protesters and were the main reason why the people succeeded in breaking the police cordons and finally on Jan 28 to overtake the Square for good. As shown in the linked article, Some now believe that this was the reason of the Port Said massacre and claim that the police looked the other way and did not interfere because of that feud. Some even claim that the Police and their informers were instrumental in the heating up of issues and that they had a dirty hand into the matter. If proven, I would not be surprised.

Football in Egypt is the secret but tumultuous lover of  Bolitics.