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#30June: I’m busy going back in time!

Back in 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi ignited the first spark of the Arab spring when he set himself on fire in protest of police corruption and ill treatment.

Mohamed Bouazizi

I remember watching the news and then noticing how some fellow Egyptians decided that enough was enough. See, Egypt has been going through a lot for the past 30 years and the recent murder of Khaled Said due to police brutality was the breaking point. Followed by the bombing of the Saints Church in Alexandria on new years eve which was obviously an inside job by the government. Nonetheless, the Egyptians were determined to say “enough”! Calls for peaceful demonstrations were spread all over with the aid of Facebook and Twitter and the rest is what we all know as the 25th of January: the Egyptian revolution. I must say that 2011 was one of the best years of my life. Regardless of the amount of pain I went through watching and spreading news of martyrs in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain; I learned a lot. I met a lot of wonderful people, fought along with many revolutionaries, organised protests, signed petitions, been on BBC (phone call.. I’m still not THAT famous!), and even a couple of years later, I still have people tell me that I was pretty known for my online activism during the revolutions and that everyone knew where to head for news. A couple of friends and I wanted to help and we set a crisis map to spread urgent calls for help and reports about missing people, needed and available aid and such. The spirit was high and it was my calling. I lived for the revolutions and the people and any dictator was my target.

Today, 2 and a half years later, things seemed pretty bad. Syria is dying, Bahrain’s revolution was smothered by false claims and the people were silenced (watch this wonderful documentary) and Egypt was still struggling.. my efforts were going in vain and the people who once feared to take a stand are now struggling with their past decisions and wishing they stood up for the people. Most of my Syrian friends who once asked me to keep my mouth shut are now activists! I was shunned for standing up for others’ rights and the reason was “stability”. But when the same person accusing me of being the reason behind all the rumors lost their homes and even their loved ones, I was finally right. But I lost my drive and preferred to defend individuals one at a time. This was still my calling and I wouldn’t ever fail a fellow human being regardless.

Throughout the past couple of years, Egypt was struggling as I said. SCAF and the police and now the Muslim brotherhood. All the promises of reform and justice to the fallen martyrs were demolished. Egypt was becoming more corrupt and now, anyone opposing the president is an infidel. Everything the people fought for during 25Jan was not being accomplished and Egypt is now heading to the dark ages!

But not today. Today marks the new Egyptian revolution and I.. I am living it and loving it. 🙂 The people are finally united against injustice and tyranny. Those who yesterday accused the 25Jan revolutionaries of being traitors and agents of Israel and Hamas are now hand in hand with the rest of the people. Even the police are in! People finally realized that you can’t be neutral towards injustice and sooner or later, your turn will come and you will have to take a stand.

I am however skeptical. Those who yesterday killed their brothers are now with them. Nonetheless, I have faith. I have faith that this will be a lesson to many of those and hopefully, Egypt will get what it truly deserves. The people will always make sure of that. 🙂 I’ll leave you with some pics of the Egyptian revolution, take 2!

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Protests in Alexandria

tahrir2

A panorama of Tahrir square

with Islam

With Islam, against the Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian flag

Egyptian flag

tahrir1

Tahrir square

minia

Protesters in Minya, upper Egypt

march

March to Etihadiya palace

alex

Protest in Alexandria

tahrir

Tahrir square

australia

Egyptians in Australia

paris

Egyptians in Paris

Port Said

Port Said

Leave, Morsi!

Leave, Morsi!

Egyptians in front of The White House

Egyptians in front of The White House

Doctors in Egypt are in

Doctors in Egypt are in

Egyptians in Washington

Egyptians in Washington

Egyptians in London

Egyptians in London

Heliopolis revolting!

Heliopolis revolting!

Beautiful pic from Tahrir

Beautiful pic from Tahrir

Egyptian ladies holding shoes!

Egyptian ladies holding shoes!

Egyptians in Vienna

Egyptians in Vienna

Old lady marching

Old lady marching

Protesters on their way

Protesters on their way

Etihadya palace!

Etihadya palace!

Power to the women of Egypt!

Power to the women of Egypt!

This is EGYPT!

This is EGYPT!

This should be the next cover of Time!

And it’s time to GO.

ارحــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــل

 

PS: many thanks to the lovely people of planet Twitter for the images. 🙂

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If I ruled the world..

If I ruled the world, I’d remove borders and flags. No more national anthems and religions. We would all get along.
Music and dancing will replace prayers and the only crime would be a bad dance! Prisons will be dancing schools and schools will only teach you how to sing, play instruments and dance even more.
Children will be taught according to the best dance and music curricula. Every famous artist, singer, DJ and dancer will be a teacher. No one will be “a bad dancer” forever! No more weapons, no more tanks.. guitars, drums and disco balls will be everywhere! Pens and papers will be replaced by art supplies and more music instruments.. and dancing shoes! We will breathe, eat and pray music, dance and art. There will be no hate because there will be only love for art, music and dance. There will be no money.. only confetti. You will dance for confetti and pay in confetti.. or dance! No cars, ships or planes.. we will commute by dance! And everyone will sing all day, all night and sleep to the sounds of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and all those awesome mentors! Religions will be music genres and sports will be dance styles. You just have to find whichever one suites you. And everyone will revert to art for communication.
If I ruled the world, I would use music, art and dance to make this world a better place.
Come join our party, see how we play! 🙂

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Killing in the name of God – The “Religions are like farts.” sequel

If you haven’t read Religions are like farts, I urge you to do so to understand the reason why I am writing this post.

I was planning to write this at my own convenience but what happened today in a small village in Giza, Egypt called Abu Muslam was my sign to start typing ASAP.

As I was going through my twitter feed, I noticed some disturbing tweets coming from a young man named Hazem (Twitter account @7azem122) regarding some incident in Abu Muslam.

According to Hazem, the villagers set fire on some houses in and that there were casualties. Reading those tweets was something I was used to since things are quite unstable in Egypt and every other day we hear about crazy and unfortunate incidents taking place.

But the story doesn’t end. The houses belonged to one man named Hassan Shehata and several others. Shehata and several other men were beaten up and stabbed then dragged around the village by around 3000 men while most of them cheered and a very few tried to prevent this tragedy by either asking others to stop or even shielding some of those who were attacked. The security forces were even there watching this massacre unfold without even shooting a bullet in the air to separate the crowd or perhaps one of those tear gas canisters they so willingly used during the many protests throughout the past 2 and a half years.

They just waited for those hooligans to finish their business with the victims, enjoy their little victory dance (more like dragging the body while chanting Allahu Akbar!) and then drop those bodies by their vehicles to later be stacked like trash.

The reason why this happened? Those men were Shiites.

Let’s go back to the times when religion was first tainted by politics. When the whole argument about “who deserves to lead the Muslim nation” after the departure of prophet Mohammed sparked what seems to be the main reason why Muslims don’t mind blowing up each other in the name of religion nowadays. They all agree on the essence of Islam but disagree on who should have lead them after that.

Brilliant.

Yup.

As the hate and sectarian divide grew between Sunnis and Shiites throughout the years, millions were brought up to believe that “the other” deserves to go to hell for not choosing their way. Insults were thrown back and forth. Many other things that I choose not to include in my post as my purpose is not to discuss those views in particular rather than the fact that it is truly a big shame to see such division and such hatred between people who are eventually called Muslim.

But let’s not forget that behind all the ignorance are more ignorant and highly influential individuals. Many of the so-called “Sheikhs” and “Imams” in Egypt are willing to label anyone “infidel” for going against the regime. Protesters are being called infidels. Reporters are also called infidels for expressing their opinions which are clearly in no favor to the ruling party. Women are regarded as whores and infidels if they decide to voice out their concerns regarding sexual harassment, rape or even female circumcision. It is somehow “Halal” to kill those who “stand in the path of Islam and and an Islamic nation”.

It’s no wonder when the Muslim Brotherhood and most “Islamic” political parties use those sheikhs to impose their political agendas by influencing the poor and naive masses. Shiites would automatically be infidel #1 on the list of those to be killed even though President Morsi made it clear that he is willing to sell his mother to the devil for the MB. Morsi who a couple of weeks back announced he’s cutting ties with the Syrian regime in an attempt to polish his tarnished and almost non existing popularity check here, ironically forgot that a few months back, he actually got down and funky with Assad’s BFF click for steamy photo!

The Sheikhs were always there to lead by example. On many occasions, they would be around quoting out of context verses of Quraan, asking people to denounce the infidels as well as threaten to abolish whoever stands in the way. National TV was now a podium to men with shaggy beards and poor communication skills calling the opposition infidels, asking people to take action against them as well as sucking up to the president and the rest of the “Islamists”. They are shameless and disgusting yet never too shy to lie or even say complete nonsense on national TV. They had their fans and it was sad but no one could do anything about it.

Those Sheikhs tried the “Christian VS Muslim” game to keep the people distracted but a country of old history and solid ties between its people crushed all attempts. Well, not all. Some people fell for it but the majority of the people stood against it and sooner than later, it wasn’t going to work anymore. The Copts were not a minority as they -the “Islamists”- tried to insist and the Muslims (moderate, normal, HUMAN ones) made it pretty clear that there will be no such rubbish in 25Jan-Egypt. This trick was once used by the Mubarak regime on new years eve of 2011 when they decided to play the “religion” card to maintain some control over the exploding situation since the neighbors in Tunisia were working on their freedom. (Check here). As the anger and resentment towards Morsi’s failure to comply to what this position demands grew bigger and bigger, the regime will no doubt resort to any trick to distract people from the 30th of June. Nonetheless, those attempts are clear enough and the extremists are being shunned by everyone and they all thought they lived happily ever after until today.

The dirty tricks are on a whole new level. They managed to shock a whole nation when they turned a somewhat quiet village into a scene from a horror movie. The men were attacked for stating their beliefs which obviously insulted some people. 3000 of them.

In a normal situation, away from the killing and the dragging, I would have included this man in the list of people I’d verbally bash but since this guy got more than a bashing, I will refrain from doing so. I only support verbal bashing and killing someone for saying something you might not agree with is NOT OK.

The extremists stepped their game up by directing the spotlight on the Shiites of Egypt instead of the Copts. Considered a minority to a majority of Sunnis, it was about time. Last month, the hate speech towards Shiites started to spread. Posters and signs in villages, streets and even malls stating “Shiites are infidels” were everywhere. There was no shame in it since they made it very clear to add their logos.

Together against Shiites
They insult Sahaba
They alter the Quraan
They kill Sunnis
Please note Al Nour party’s logo (an ultra-conservative Islamist political party)

So-called sheikhs were also in whether on national TV or even in the presence of a president who is supposedly from the people and for the people. The campaigns by the MBs & Salafists were “in the name of” supporting Syria.

The brilliant Bassem Youssif was somehow looking into the future when he pointed out the obvious threats of such acts which took place right in front of the president of Egypt on this week’s episode of El Bernameg.

I wish there were English subtitles but for those of you who don’t understand Arabic, it is pretty apparent that all the filth was being said in the presence of a man in charge of 80+ million individuals with different religious beliefs. (Skip to minute 17).

If you decide to search youtube for videos, there is an abundance of hate filled videos of old and bitter men in beards and turbans (or not) yelling at infidel Shiites/Sunnis. It’s just pathetic.

There were also reports that groups of men roamed around some villages telling people through speakers to announce Jihad on Shiites and that it’s time to get them out and clean the country once and for all.

And there was it. The attack and murder of 4 Shiites in Abu Muslam. The videos I’ve seen are so graphic, it left my stomach in knots. The fact that 3000 men just stood there watching and cheering others beating helpless men to death was beyond barbaric. The fact that anyone justifies this shameless act just for the fact that those men have different beliefs or even insult the Sahaba is even more sickening.

And believe me, the responses on Twitter were more sickening. Some actually went to the extent of congratulating the Umma on that achievement and wishing the rest would join the victims. I wonder how Muslims denounce Islamophobia while THAT is what they present to the world. And the funny thing is that each “Muslim” separately will proudly announce that Islam taught them how to respect all religions. Well, how about respecting your OWN religion first!?

As far as I know, prophet Mohammed and the Sahaba endured far worse than a couple of bad words and they managed to deliver their divine message very well. No one was instructed to kill someone even when things like throwing stool and trash on the prophet was a daily routine that the prophet learned to tolerate to deliver his message in peace. The Quraan never stated that it’s OK to kill people for having different beliefs. The Quraan was also very clear about the fact that two Muslims fighting each other would go to hell regardless of the reason. The fact that Islam has been tainted by all those extremists is the reason why I wrote this post.

Why is it that we must -as human beings- have someone dictate what’s right and wrong and follow it blindly? When someone claims to be a scholar of Islam and starts spreading hate and ignorance that only reflect his upbringing and lack of knowledge and tolerance towards anything defined as the other whether it was a different religious belief, gender, race or even political views. It is pretty evident that people still don’t understand the purpose of religion since some clearly miss out on the fact that we are “allegedly” superior beings and that piece of shit on our shoulders covered with hair (if you’re lucky enough) and other vital organs also harbors a tool that separates us from animals. It’s called a BRAIN. And yes, you need to use it to be qualified as a superior being.

You don’t need someone to point out that someone else insulting your mother is not enough reason to kill them although it might be considered a major no-no. What happened to turning the other cheek? Insulting any religious figure is a no-no but you don’t necessarily have to kill people for it. Why don’t Muslims get offended when Jesus is mocked in cartoons, movies and youtube videos? Where is it mentioned in any holy book that it’s OK to kill in the name of God? And if religion was supposed to be your guide through life, why do you choose a dark and bloody path to go to heaven? God gave you many ways, choose the nice and pleasant one for a change?

How people choose to portray their faith in God and their means to heaven are so twisted.

And those who choose to look the other way just because “well, their leaders provoke such actions and they’re also murdering our people somewhere else!” have a special place awaiting..

And to those who don’t even bother:

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. – Dante Alighieri

This.. is a moral crisis.

***DISCLAIMER: This post is neither in favor of Shiites, nor Sunnis. I am HUMAN. Something you should consider being if you choose to misinterpret the above. If you favor butthurt over common sense, SELF EDUCATE!

PS: Stay tuned for part three. 😉
 
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What is Happenning in Istanbul?

In solidarity with the people of Turkey.

Love and peace.

İnsanlık Hali

To my friends who live outside of Turkey:

I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because at the time of my writing most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.

Last week of May 2013 a group of people most of whom did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and yoga students. Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least…

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