February 11, 2011

On "Out of Touch, Out of Time"

The following comment was submitted online for Thomas L. Friedman's "Out of Touch, Out of Time":

What heart-warming and reviving stories from Tahrir Square! One could only imagine how proud these millions of Egyptians are these days, and as the world awaits to celebrate their victory, it is important to remind of the many martyrs and sacrifices that the Egyptian heros have given for the pursuit of freedom. Therefore, no one should seize that away from them! No intervention is acceptable in the name of support, peaceful transition, or stability -- Not from Israel, not from Saudi Arabia and certainly not from the US. 

Let us be straightforward, no one is 'out of touch or time' here, Mubarak is in fact very in-touch and he is merely standing his ground, illustrating how a Pharaoh legacy lives on. Not to mention the many parties with interest in him remaining in power and ensuring to pass it on to Suleiman, namely: the US and its allies: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, UAE, to name a few. 

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Obama has managed to refrain from taking sides meticulously since the inception of the Egyptian revolution. His language has been misty and mysterious --On the one hand, he cannot (boldly) support Mubarak and loose (more) credibility in the eyes of the world for not supporting democracy, a tool exploited in the last US intervention in the ME (Iraq). On the other hand, he could also not (boldly) support the Egyptian people and risk loosing the other dictator allies in the region, because the control of the region is too valuable to squander.

One cannot miss the perfect symmetry which characterizes both sets of speeches: always an hour apart and always in harmony, where Obama has mildly set the scene for Mubarak; for example: Mubarak not running in the next term in the second speech, and the importance of a 'peaceful transition' in the third speech. It is unclear as to what both Obama and Mubarak mean by a "peaceful transition" and how long such a transition would last, it seems that it may, after all, be five months. 

Obama's use of the word "support" for a peaceful transition signaled a possible inevitable intervention, and his misleading phrase of "witnessing history" does not necessarily signal any possible stepping-down. In fact, a revolution in-the-making is in reality a history in-the-making. 

By his vigorous statement that no Western intervention has ever been agreed to in the past, nor will it be acceptable today, Mubarak attempts to announce a 'rally around the flag,' which has clearly gone astray. In short, Mubarak has indeed 'rented' Egypt to the West over the past three decades, will he not do the same in this defining moment? 

February 10, 2011

What is the future of capitalism in the world economy?

Page 42: What do you think?
Youth Roundtable Discussion
Think magazine Q3 2010
A SAGIA Publication.

February 9, 2011

جدة.. من جديد

أمطار وسيول
أنهار ووحول
عروس كهول

يد طغت
فم صمت
سنة مضت

فساد وبطر
انهمر المطر
اندلع الخطر

سقف وقع
سيل هلع
شق بلع

طفل بكى
شاب شكى
طاعن حكى

ومن جديد
خسر العديد
وغاب الشهيد

غرقت جدة
هددوا بشدة
توعدوا بحدة

دمع يفيض
وخزي عريض
 فخائن بغيض

تقص الحقائق
تعيق العوائق
تمر الدقائق

حقوق دفينة
وتبقى المدينة
هلكة حزينة

On "Up With Egypt"

The following comment was submitted online for Thomas L. Friedman's "Up With Egypt":

Tom gets it right this time apart from the fact that he undermines Arab/Muslim solidarity. When BouAzizi set himself on fire in despair, his legacy eventually ignited the 'Jasmine Revolution' of Tunisia which has then toppled their President Ben Ali. Arabs everywhere followed the revolution (then, in the making) with much enthusiasm and aspiration to follow suit. After all, Arabs have been suffering for decades under quiet similar dictatorships and oppressive regimes and therefore demand, more or less, the same kind of freedom, dignity and liberty.

The 'dominoes effect' takes place and further spreads the 'Jasmine scent' to other Arab countries, we saw protests in Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Sudan, and even Saudi Arabia (50 protested in Jeddah angered by repeated catastrophe from rain and floods) - were quickly contained by governments. The Tunisian heros fueled bravery and abolished fear, Arabs became fearless for the first time and their governments became fearful. People demanded their long-lost rights with roaring voices that have always been suppressed. Egypt's uprising took us all by surprise, have quickly developed and was embraced wholeheartedly by all Arabs with the same kind of enthuse and thrill. "We were Tunisians last week, we are all Egyptians now" defined the revolutionary mode of Arabs. 

Arabs have a sense of belonging and a fiery passion for solidarity that has long been silenced and immobilized by the forceful nature of power dynamics in the Middle East: namely, the US vested interests to ensure stability and security for Israel and oil, and the Arab-ally "puppet leaders" backed by the US.

More specifically, Tom gets this bit wrong: "Egyptians are not asking for Palestine or for Allah. They are asking for the keys to their own future, which this regime took away from them." --Arabs/Muslims will always ask for Allah (albeit not as a tool for exploitation but for pursuing God-given rights of liberal democracy values and beyond), they will always fight for Palestine and they will always say "down down" to the US for as long as its unconditional support for brutal Israel is sustained.