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May 25, 2005


Mona Eltahawy

I am dismayed and sickened.

The strong turnout by women at the Kifaya demonstrations of the past few months was great. It was wonderful to see men and women side by side at the protests. This is what these sick thugs are attacking.

Are they plain stupid, beside being thugs? Don't they know that all this is bieng watched around the world?


More photos here.

the aardvark

mona - yes, they could be that stupid, don't you think? I wonder.. is the world really watching? Do they care? We'll find out soon...

prak - those are great pictures, thanks for the link.


read alaa's story:

Mona Eltahawy

Yes, AA, you're right - they could indeed be that stupid.

Their thuggery always amazes me but it really shouldn't shock me. The Arab world is definitely watching - and just as it watched the Iraqi and Palestinian elections and the Lebanese demonstrations - weren't these after all the great inspiration for Arab mobilization - it's watching Egyptians being beaten over a referendum.


Is it just me, or has the AJ coverage of this been fairly mild?

the aardvark

prak, see the post directly below this one. Al-Jazeera's coverage has been mild, they don't seem to have much footage nor are they getting interviews with Egyptian opposition figures. I'm not sure why, but I hope to find out.


I saw one clip that looked like a VNR from the NDP, and then there was a brief pan of a street scene (protesters?) and one those big black trucks.


Prak - my family in Cairo told me they saw the protests and people getting beaten up on al-Jazeera.


Abu Aardvark, This is the most vivid picture I've seen so far. Via Hazem


WaPo is now frontpaging the AP story.


Awful. This is life in a police state in all its ugliness. What's sadder yet is that everyone - and I include myself in this, for feeling glad that I passed the demonstration before it got violent - gets scared off by brute force, wants to avoid trouble and as a result pretty much gives up on the possiblility of things being any different. I really hope that the pictures, on the satellite channels and so on, will arouse at least some outrage.


since the police was not protecting the press anymore most members of the press kept a great distance.

al jazeera's reporter spent a few hours in police custody, might explain why it took time.

Mona Eltahawy

Here's what a very good friend of mine who is a journalist in Cairo and was one of the many women assaulted today wrote to me:

"i just thought they would keep it for later, or further down...NOt today..But the amount of it too was very frightening...i never was near collapse like today...because of how helpless i was before the SSI (security forces). One woman took me in her arms (in the middle of all the harassement) to say "this is the beginning of the end". I couldn't believe my ears..she was strong. (she fainted afterwards...but hey, she was reassuring).


She goes on to say when I replied to tell her how sorry I was and that I shouldn't be surprised because they are thugs:

"they were not all thugs, as in from at a distance agents. No, they were men of security..u know, like the mokhber and agent of SSI..blatantly..god, i shiver at the fact that i had to just give in at the end and stop fighting it and let them grope me"

Nur al-Cubicle

Calling Costa-Gavras...we have a sequel to "Z".


So is Alaa Yves Montand or Jacques Perrin?

Mona Eltahawy

Ok this is me one last time before I go and finish the oped I'm supposed to be writing about this shameful day in Egyptian history.

I quote Condi Rice:

"If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society...We cannot rest until every person living in a 'fear society' has finally won their freedom.

Someone remind me - was Egypt one of the "outposts of tyrrany"?


Unbelievable lies.

AlAhram newspaper 'reported' about the demonstration in page 26, saying that there was a demonstration from both, those who opposed and agreed on the referundum, anouncing their views transparently. 700 NDP joined in expressing their views, and 80 from Kefaya. Both groups exchanged words, and even fists, until one of the ladies tore her clothes and claimed that one of the NDP protestors did it, which prompted the police to escort her to the police station to file the incident. The protestors started throwing rocks and stones, which pushed the security forces to close the street for the safety of the passers by. In front of Saad's tomb there were 500 NDP members expressing their support for the amendment.

I'm sick to my stomach.


Excellent quote from Condi Rice on the fear society. Now if only she would see it in inconvenient places.


Don't miss Josh Stacher's fantastic up-close photos of the protest and the NDP goons, posted on Arabist.net. I've posted the link to the photo site, hope he is OK with that.

underbelly of truth

If only there were more pretty women in Egypt...so that freedom and democracy could flourish more better!

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