The butterfly is a flying flower, The flower a tethered butterfly

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Who would you trust? ... with Peace?

Democracy and VETO ... and yet more .... 'Peace' negotiations

President Barack Obama: No short cut to Mid East peace [video]
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Talks are only option [video]
Europe's diluted solution to Palestinian aspirations [click]
Tony Blair: 'Time for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations'[video]
Israeli president: 'Peace is possible [click]

You know, I would've trusted him, the majority of his people would've trusted him with Peace too ... and it would have most probably happened by now , but then he was killed ... by his own fundamentalist minority, who will never approve of peace ... is it then a good idea to have yet another religious state in the world? ... instead of convincing those who are to separate religion from politics to aid global harmony, tolorance and understanding ... or 'PEACE'?

Rest in peace Yitzhak ...

And how come that a whole people can not gain state status in the 'United Nations' instantly despite satisfying all the criteria and enjoying the support of the majority of the world?! All because a few countries still have a dictatorial power to override the majority, or in this case, the world's wish!

At a time when 'democracy' is the order of the day, such dictatorial powers need to be abolished, if only so that the 'United Nations' becomes what she's meant to say on the tin; ' true representation of a world striving for fairness, prosperity, and real Peace!'

... This UN building in New York looks ooold and feels ooold and dilapidated ... it needs a face and substance lift; reform ... if only to bring it out of the dark cupboard and into our modern times ...

Meanwhile, let's wait and see how united is the United Nations ... and how fair ...

hope ....

President Abbas receives ovation at UN [video]

Netanyahu calls for 'peace' .. before a Palestinian st
ate' [video]

Israel to Speed Border Fencefor Peace

The end of a new beginning? [click] and [more]
Tony Blair's Middle East adventures [click]

Israel 'spits in Obama's eye' by announcing new settlements in east Jerusalem [click] and [more]
Western powers 'angered' as Israel agrees settler homes [click]
UN review of Palestinian bid for statehood could drag on
[click] and [more]
Why Obama has turned towards Israel [click]

UN veto system: Saudi Arabia calls for reforms [click]
Israeli occupation hitting Palestinian economy [click]
Pope Shenouda: Modern-day Jews not 'God's chosen people' [click]
Obama's Palestine problem, and ours [click]
Viewpoint: Mid-East peace needs fresh US approach [click]
Palestine's UN bid: Hopes and speculations [click] and [more]
From Haaretz: Jon Stewart lampoons Obama’s stance on Palestinian statehood [click]
Benjamin Netanyahu: 'Negotiations without preconditions [video]
PM: We may not have enough voices in the UNSC to stop vote [click] and [more]
Unesco clears way for Palestinian membership vote [click]
US warns UNESCO to stay out of Palestine debate [click] and [here]
Palestinian anger rises at US for UN veto threat [click]
Israeli forces state to change "Jewish" classification [click]
Sarkozy called Israeli PM Netanyahu 'liar' [click]

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The afternoon in Cairo ...

I am sitting in my balcony in Cairo. It has two doors, a small side door leading to my exactly as I left it all those years ago pink bedroom, which has the same big old bed I slept in since I was a child ... then there is another main double doors in that old balcony with shutters, as is the normal in Egypt. That opens onto the main living room, through which and if I bend down a little and look through, I can see my mother sitting on her favourite armchair reading a local newspaper. Nobody is allowed on that chair even if she's asleep, or else ... I like to sit out of her sight a bit because otherwise she'll be telling me who died as she reads that 'deaths' page which she reads everyday now almost as a religious commitment and duty ... and there will always be somebody we once knew or met from near or far to tell of! She'll then elaborate and tell me about their whole life and how they were related to us or someone we know/knew from near or far ... and she has amazing memory; " You know the husband of my cousin Ameera's grand daughter, this is his father; he used to be a very well known engineer and a good man too ..." Then we'll both have to sit and say a prayer for his soul and wish him eternal peace in his final destination and t he same plus lots of patience for the families and loved ones - and that can be quite a lengthy process with my mum! Depressing? No, I actually find it funny, bless you mum ... but better if she doesn't see my head through that door just right now!

You see, I've been living in the very fast lane for the past three weeks nonestop since I arrived to Cairo and so, I decided, or have been forced, to take it a bit easy today - and so, I am home, for a change, and I don't want to see anyone, or go out anywhere, I just want to sit under that clear sky as limp as I can be and enjoy the breathe gently blowing in this balcony with that clear glass cup of Egyptian coffee and a bowl of fruit ... doing nothing else but watch the tree tops and all the sparrows living within upon it's dense branches. This for me is enough noise for today ...

... but then this is Cairo where life never stops - and so, there are a few car horns here and there that I can hear in the distance on the main road close by - or even the sound of a bus rushing by, and they do rush! ... and few kids playing on their bikes below, and a neighbour or two sitting in their balconies with a cup of tea or something chatting while the rest of their families have their customary after big lunch kip ... and there are three doormen playing back gammon by the front entrance to another house, and they can get very loud those! ... and you can hear that familiar banging noise of a rug being beaten clean by the home help of a neighbour somewhere, because you wouldn't want to rely on electric vaccuming alone in Cairo, would you! With this sort of noise, I can never tell the direction of where it is coming from ... Ah, and here is a little girl smiling at me ... I can't see but the top of her hair and her smiley eyes because she's too little to reach that balcony's ledge so she holds tight to that bit of iron work on top and pus
hes herself up to smile at me, isn't that just nice ... hi to you too little one :-)

Life ... the Cairo way ... and that's very quiet by the way ... well, it is quiet ... in a sense ... in a serene way ... and those birds, they are noisy, you know! ... and of course, there will be some music too ... it's part of the picture!

This, is a very old and very rare song you can almost see and feel the passage of time as that gramophone plays for yourself , well over 100 hundred years ago ... it's about a little girl telling her mother about how her pet white pigeon flew away ....

يمامة حلوه
Yamama helwa
Beautiful dove
ومنين أجيبها
w meneen ageebha
Where do I find her

طارت يانينه عند صاحبها
Taret ya Nina, 'and sahebha
She flew away mother
from her friend
[Nina: old slang for Mama]

وخدها البلبل وطار وياها
W khadha elbolbol w tar wayaha
The nightingale took her side
And they flew together

قصده يانينة يعرف لغاها
Assdo ya Neena, ye'raf loghaha
Because mother, he means to learn her language

شعرها يهفهف وعلي ترفرف
Sha'raha yehafhaf, w alya terafraf
Her hair dances in the wind
and her wings flutter close by

وأنا بدي أعرف مطرح ماهيا
Wana bedi a'raf matrah mahya
... and I want to know where she is ....

Ah! The telephone is ringing ... but I won't answer ... or ... maybe I should, it may be important ....


House sparrow [click]
New sparrow species pinned down [click]
Sparrows identify 'troublemakers' [click]

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Prime Minister Questions 14/9/2011

Unemployment figures and the economy were on the agenda at today’s PMQs.[click]

David Cameron campaigns to put the Great back in Britain [click]

Saturday, 10 September 2011

I am in Cairo ...

I have been here since late August. The evening of the following day I arrived and having heard there were protests by the Israeli Embassy around 10-15 minutes walk away from where I am, I went for a walk on Gamaa Bridge, but there was nothing except for extensive Army presence by the Embassy and 3 young protesters with a microphone talking about how there should be speedier convictions for all the ex-ruling officials and how Mubarak was very bad, etc. They were surrounded by around 20 or so simple citizins who probably stopped to listen out of curiosity rather than interest in what was being said. I asked one of them where were all the protests and was told that they left a week of so before ...

Then the young man with a microphone standing on a low wall at the end of the bridge in front of the Embassy switched to talking about the Army and how it was not speeding the arrest and detention of everyone who was a member of the ex-ruling National party. I asked him about the point he was trying to make since loads are on trial already ...

- Speed is what we want, speed!

- But you want a fair trial for those, don't you?

- We want speed

- Meanwhile, why aren't you at work if you say you care for the country, and your friends too?

- And who will take my place?

- No need, let the courts do their jobs, and you go do your duty, work!

- I am an engineer, you know ...

- [to myself as I walked away] my foot you are an engineer! We then went to Tahrir Square, again large Army and Police presence but traffic was normal and nothing untoward except that all the green spaces on that once beautiful square were bare, and soldiers were placed so that the main roundabout is protedted from tent dewellers and the like to allow for the easy flow of traffic. I walked about with friends for a while, then we just went and sat on the Nile terrace of a nearby hotel for coffee and cake ... and life went on as usual ....

As I crossed the bridge the following day in a cousin's car on the way to the North Coast, there was a big number of labourers building the guard in that picture above to protect the Embassy and no protesters at all.

We were away for 4 great nights by the turqouise sea with my stay up all night friends and family ... and crossing the bridge on the way back, there were loads of police and Army personnel on foot and in specialist armoured vehicles ... and no protesters. That evening three days ago, I crossed the bridge on foot to meet cousins in one of the Nile cafes very close to the Embassy. What I noticed was an increase in the number of street sellers and their clientale, and as one side of the bridge was unlit, I just took a taxi instead of walking. We were at the restaurant until it closed at 2.30 am, and cousins drove me back. Nothing untoward at all as live goes on all over Cairo ... and Egypt ....

Yesterday, and having heard on the news that there was going to be mass protest, and against the advice of my cousins, I took a family member and went late evening to Tahrir Square out of curiosity to see what was going on. The square was pedestrianised with all traffic diverted to side roads, and loads of streets sellers selling flags, sauvenirs, food, soft drinks ... etc, which was very unusual, but I bought a flag ... and a flag rippon to tie around my head too ... as you would do in a revolution :-)

... and because there was no anger, and not as many people as I had thought there would be but a few hundreds eating and drinking here and there and some standing on a platform with popular 'we love you Egypt' songs blasting out of their huge loud speakers ... and a few 'Hyde Park' style speakers with small groups trying to listen around them, so we went to hear what one speaker was saying but it was impossible to understand because of all the music, to which by then, a group of tourists together with some of the locals were dancing in front of the stand ... by which time, cousin gave an order that enough was enough and that we must go elsewhere ...

- Seen the revolution? Well now, come on, let's go!

You see, ALL who were there were of the same caliber as that 'engineer' protesting at the bridge ... mainly young less affluent men and a few young women in little groups ... and a few simple families with their children who seemed to very much enjoy their face painting and all the large variety of very cheap food and drink on offer ... I wanted to try a plastic tub of couscous with purified butter and suger and a plastic glass of tamerind with loads of ice drink ... but I wan't allowed ...

... and so we left waling across the square and into down town Cairo where I bought a more comfortable pair of shoes and matching bag [all for £20 pounds :], then off to one of Cairo's most famous diced fried liver, spicey sausage ... and fried brains sandwich shops ... served seperately of course ... and it was deeeelicious ... and clean ... and they do this sweet rice drink called 'sobya' which I always thought was made of coconuts, and it's amazing! I wish I can learn how to make it so that I can make some for the kidz and their friends in London ... but my cousin is hopeless ....

... but that's where our waiter, seeing my flag and ribbon on my head, asked if we'd seen any rioting in the square, and when I said no, he told us that there were riots and burning on Al Gamaa Bridge!

- By whom?!

- All the thugs, who else!

- So you don't agree with those protests?

- Of course not, nobody does. We no longer want Egyptians to be treated as if their lives are cheap and with disrespect, but no one wants what those criminals are doing, all the shouting and the destruction, this is not Egyptian, nor are those the same people who started the revolution!

... and yes, this is 'NOT' Egyptian! Nor have I so far met anyone from either my family, nighbours, friends, or their friends, want the 'protests' or agree with those 'protesters' ... and this is not only the view of the more affluent, but as you can see from the simple waiter's reply, it's a view held by the very vast majority of Egyptians! A member of a group of friends sitting at a table nearby even said; " What was that revolution for, it's September already and Mubarak's term in office would've now come to an end anyway - we could've forced hime to leave and his family peacefully without all the harm done to the country instead" ...well ... I folded the flag and the ribbon and put them away in my new bag ... on the way back just before midnight, the square was open again and traffic flowing as normal and all those protesting had dispersed ...

Those 'protesters', even the ones protesting peacefully, are Not Egypt, nor do they represent the Egyptian people ... and it is now time for those who cause trouble to be arrested and tried for the destruction and chaos they are causing!

A 'Firm' stand ... exactly as we did with the criminals who burned, looted and caused havoc to some parts of London!

... around 3-4 am today ... I heard a few bangs, and I thought they were fireworks by the Nile as usual ... but it seems they were gun shots being fired by somebody ... god knows who, not the Army though as those have machine guns ...

I haven't been to the Bridge today ... but I hear and see on Egyptian TV that the newly built guard fronting the Embassy in the picture above was dismantled and there was burning too ...

God save The Army ... God save the people ... and god save EGYPT

Egypt's minister of information: Emergency law revived after ‎yesterday’s clashes [click]
Eye witness account [click] and [here]
Egypt to try those behind Israel mission violence in emergency court [click]
Giza governor promises not to build another wall around Israeli Embassy [click] and [here]
Minister: Attack on Israeli Embassy was a crime [click]
New round of arrests for Israeli embassy attack in Cairo [click]
Egypt increases security after Israel embassy violence [click]
Israel discussing return of ambassador to Cairo [click]