The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Egypt first!

I have been here in Egypt for very near to three months now. I didn't intend to stay that long but as disturbance started then escalated, I just couldn't leave my elderly parents not knowing what will happen next, and return to England. It since and because of the current situation became a duty that I must stay ... and I don't know for how long more, as long as it takes I suppose ...

The children took it upon themselves to phone in turn so that I get a call from one of them everyday, and on three seperate occasions one of them came to visit for a week. I am very grateful because without this continuous contact, I think I would have ...

And it's that interaction that really sums up what Egyptians are. I don't mean it to be a lesson, but by how I behave with my parents do my children learn how they will need to behave with me if and when I too need support. Indeed, this is an ingrained tradition that has been a feature of Egyptian society since ancient Egypt, and maybe even from beyond that ... that's the respect that is 'a duty' from younger generations to their elders ... and Egypt wouldn't want to lose that ... forever.

... and I never raise my voice [let alone push her to the floor and have her injure her knees as happened to me by some revolutionary youth in Tahrir] on my mother, when it is serious, even though I am mother of young people myself ....

I think this is the main reason for the current divisions between the Tahrir Square revolutionary protesters and those who stand in support of the Army in Abasseya Square, about 1/2 miles away from Tahrir. I was in Abasseya Square the day before yesterday and it was populated by ordinary Egyptians including people of all ages and many families who more than anything else want stability restored in the country, and don't we all. They were there also because they vemently oppose Tahrir's continuous belitteling and the disrespectful name calling of the Army. They feel that the revolutionaries have lost that customary respect and are for that reason not worthy of support. Yes, it is as bad as that despite that what those revolutionary call for is 'mostly' out of love for Egypt too.

Indeed, as everyone keeps accusing and piling blame on the Army asking for the ruling council to be ejected, then there are those who also call for the council to be put on trial for the loss of life, injury and/or the so called 'brutality', that I myself too begin to sway to the Abasseya side. That is because although heart breaking, very sad and regrettable, there will always be victims to confrontations and clashes, let alone as a result of a people's revolution.

That's how I and many Egyptians feel even despite knowing that it may very well be much better if rule is handed over to a 'rescue' civilian government sooner than later.

But then, many of us keep following the economic situation and get this nagging feeling that, well, really, really, the Army are 'protectors' not rulers, and definately not political and/or economic powers able enough to effectively help Egypt safely pass this now very critical phase on their own. We feel that Egypt now needs real change to save her, otherwise the consequences may be horrible for all Egyptians ... and we keep on thinking ...

From very early on, I had a preference for Mohamed AlBaradie for the calibre of man he is, and for his amazing vision for a democratic Egypt. Now, given the current divisions as well as the highly volatile charged atmosphere, the dire economic as well as messed up political situation, I now feel that his appointment has become an absolute neccessity for a safe transition and to put an end to the chaos Egypt is in today ... for the sake of Egypt, or god only knows where will the old girl will go from here! He is the only one who knows about true democracy too ... and can and will teach Egypt!

Only that has to be done properly following our traditions; with our genuine respect and appreciation for each other first, then for the our honourable men, the Army who sided with the will of the people during the January revolution. Who also most probably were the reason why the ex-president left so soon after the rising without causing the major bloodshed we see around the Middle East today. Egyptians are grateful for that. They also have a lot of respect for Field Marshal Tantawi in particular, because he firmly stood against Mubarak's efforts to hand over power to his son Gamal for many years prior to the revolution as if Egypt was personal property to be bought and sold how father and son, and mum too, liked. I will never forget that stand for FM Tantawi, nor will the majority of Egyptians forget it either.

Today, FM Tantawi spoke on TV . He said that the place of the Army in the new constitution must remain the same as is now. I personally agree to that and I am sure most Egyptians would be happy with that too. From the scene in Abasseya Square, I feel that should the Army decide to hand over power to a civilan rescue government, that it is the people's wish that they should do so without fearing they would, for any reason, have blame piled upon them. Most ordinary people feel their Army has done the best they can given the exceptional circumstances. Most people wish that should they hand over power, that all Egyptians should unite and they should be thanked and appreciated as the honourable Egyptians they are. Any new government should take note of that too ... if only because it is the wish of the Egyptian people.

FM Tantawi also said many a time that his council does not wish to cling to power and I believe him. I know he is still in place out of his love and sense of duty to Egypt, effectively always putting her welfare first! Indeed, like himself, I too feel that it is the Army's duty as protectors to only hand over to the right people ... but with an equally good and trustworthy man as Baradei now on the scene, I feel the right time is now.

And revolutionaries, maybe those of you who forget should remember our 'suited to all times' Egyptian traditions a bit more, if only to preserve them for the good set of values they are.

Let's unite Egypt!

Let's put Egypt FIRST!

Then together ...

Let's hope ....

Friday, 25 November 2011

Prime Minister's Questions: 23 November 2011

Question-by-question guide

public sector strikes

youth unemployment
the work programme
bonus tax
the deficit
Autumn statement
the economy
council tax
residential over-development
Northern Rock
Enterprise Zones
Arch Cru investment fund
defence budget
Local Authority services
Thomas Cook
cancer death rate improvement
motoring taxes
Chief coroner
Children In Need

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Egypt: Spiders, thugs, and the politically naive

The clairvoyant
قارئة الفنجان

جلست والخوف بعينيها
Galassat wel khouf beaynayha
She sat, with fear in her eyes

تتأمل فنجاني المقلوب
tata'mal fengany elmakloub
Staring at my upside down cup

قالت يا ولدي لا تحزن
Qalat ya walady la tahzan
She said; son, don't be sad

فالحب عليك هو المكتوب
Falhobo alayka howa elmktoub
For love was written in your book [destiny]

يا ولدي قد مات شهيداً
Ya waladi qd mata shaheedan
Son, he dies a martyr,

من مات فداء للمحبوب
Man mata feda'an lel mahboub
He who dies for his beloved,

يا ولدي
Ya walady
My son.

... their PEACE!

بصرت ونجمت كثيرا
Bassarto w nagamto katheeran
I've foreseen, and guessed a lot, with certain insight

لكني لم أعرف أبداً فنجاناً يشبه فنجانك
lakeny lam aqra'ao abadan fenganan yoshbeho fenganak
But I have never seen a cup like yours

بصرت ونجمت كثيراً
basserto w nagamto katheeran
I've seen lots, and guessed with much insight

لكني لم أعرف أبداً أحزاناً تشبه أحزانك
Lakeny lam arofo abdan ahzanan toshbeho ahzanak
But I've never encountered melancholy that resembles yours

مقدورك أن تمضي أبداً في بحر الحب بغير قلوع
Makdouraka an tomdy abadan fi bahr elhob begayr qelou'
Your destiny is to eternally sail,
In love's ocean without sails

وتكون حياتك طول العمر كتاب دموع
Wa takouno hayatak toul elomr ketab demou'
That your life's length will be a book of tears

مقدورك أن تبقى مسجوناً بين الماء وبين النار
Makdourak an tabqa massgonan bayn alma'a w bayn alnar
A destiny of imprionment between water and fire

فبرغم جميع حرائقه
Faberaghm gamee'a hara'ekaho
But despite all the fires,

وبرغم جميع سوابقه
Wa beraghm gamee'a swabeqho
And despite all the recurrences,

وبرغم الحزن الساكن فينا ليل نهار
W beraghm elhozn alsaken feena lail nehar
And desapite all the sadness living within,
in the day and in the night,

وبرغم الريح .. وبرغم الجو الماطر والإعصار
Wa beraghm el reeh .. wa beraghm algao almatter wale'ssar
Despite all the high wind, the rain,
And the hurricanes,

الحب سيبقى يا ولدي أحلى الأقدار
Alhob sayabqa ya waladi ahla alakdar
Love will remain the sweetest and most cherished destiny,
[Like an inviting mirage that leads to a trap]

يا ولدي
Ya walady
My son.

... and more peaceful rock throwing

بحياتك يا ولدي امرأة
Behayataka ya walady emra'aton
There is a woman in your life my son,

عيناها سبحان المعبود
Aynaha sobhan almaboud
Her eyes were made by god's grace,

فمها مرسوم كالعنقود
Fameha marssoumon kal onkoud
Her lips painted with the sweetest wine,

ضحكتها أنغام وورود
Dehket-ha anghamon wa wer'oud
Her laughter is music and roses,

والشعر الغجري المجنون
Walsha'ar el'agar almagnoun
And that crazy gypsy hair,

يسافر في كل الدنيا
Yossafero fi kol eldonia
Traveling the entirety of life and universe,

قد تغدو امرأة يا ولدي يهواها القلب
Qad taghdo emta'atan ya waladi yahwaha alqalb
She is far more than a heart's sweet lover,

هي الدنيا
Heya aldonia
She is life!

Peaceful protest ... and amunition

لكن سماءك ممطرة
Lakena sama'aka momterton
But your sky is thundering,

وطريقك مسدود مسدود
Wa tareeqaka massdoudon massdoud
And your road is closed, closed

فحبيبة قلبك يا ولدي
Fahabibato qalboka ya waladi
Because your sweetheart my son,

نائمة في قصر مرصود
Na'ematon fi qassron marsoud
Sleeps in a secure, well guarded palace

من يدخل حجرتها .. من يطلب يدها
Man yadkholo hograteha, man yatlobo yadaha
Whoever tries to enter her room
whoever asks for her hand,

من يدنو من سور حديقتها
Man yadno men sour hadeeqatoha,
man hawala faka dafa'erha
Whoever draws near to her fence

.. من حاول فك ضفائرها
Whoever draws near her garden fence,
Whever tries to undo the pleats in her hair

يا ولدي مفقود .. مفقود
Ya waladi mafqoudon mafqoudon, mafqoud
Will be lost my son, lost, lost, lost!

يا ولدي
Ya waladi
My son


ستفتش عنها يا ولدي في كل مكان
Satofatesho anha ya walady fi kol makan
You will search for her everywhere my son, everywhere

وستسأل عنها موج البحر وتسأل فيروز الشطآن
Wa satass'alo anha mowga albahr
w tass'alo fayrouza alshot'an
And you will ask the sea waves, and the corals,

وتجوب بحاراً وبحارا ..
Watagoubo beharon w behara
And you will travel seas .. and oceans,

وتفيض دموعك أنهارا
w tafeedo demou'oka anhara
and your tears will flow like rivers

وسيكبر حزنك حتى يصبح أشجارا
Wa sayakbero hoznoka
hata yossbeha ashgaran, ashgara
And your sadness will grow to become high treas

وسترجع يوماً يا ولدي
Wa satargo yoman ya waladi
Then you'll return one day my son,

مهزوماً مكسور الوجدان
Mahzoman makssora al wegdan
A broken spirited loser

وستعرف بعد رحيل العمر
Wa satarafo ba'ada raheeli elomr
And when life is about to depart, you will find out

بأنك كنت تطارد خيط دخان
Be'anaka konta totaredo khayta dokhan
That you were chasing a line of smoke,

فحبيبة قلبك يا ولدي
Fahabibato qlbeka
Because your sweetheart, my son

ليس لها أرض أو وطن أو عنوان
Layss laha ardon aw watanon aw onwan
Is not just a land, a nation, or an address,

ما أصعب أن تهوى امرأة يا ولدي
Ma assabo an tahwa emr'atan ya waladi
How hard is it to love [and want] a woman, my son,

ليس لها عنوان
layss laha enwan
Who has no address!
(Because she is mother of 'Life')

يا ولدي
Ya waladi
My son

39 persons complaining that they haven't yet recieved compensation for the loss of loved one or injuries during the 25 January 2011 revolution have been doing a sit-in in Tahrir Square for quite a few days ... the government promises to attend to their complaint and asks them to leave so that life in the square goes back to normal, but they refuse ... and opportunity knocks!

The following day, thugs move into the square armed with loads of stones under the pretence that they are showing solidarity with their 'brothers and sisters' who were being harshly treated by the authorities. The police asks them to stop hurling stones, but instead, they break pavements and hurl more stones at the police. Now, a sea of stones, lots of police personnel fall injured ...

In retaliation, police soldiers cover themselves with their shields and throw back the stones that was aimed at them, but that doesn't stop 'the protesters' ... and they keep the assault on the police ... two people die and loads of injured indiviuals, to include police personnel as well as 'protesters' ... at this stage, tear gas is also used by the police in an attempt to disperse the protesters ... but they don't, and their numbers swell further ...

Egyptian media now in full swing, they display a picture of 'police brutality', but not 'protesters' brutality against the police! However, pictures speak louder than words on the many TV channels and people see for themselves the reality of what's happening ... and people across Egypt are now not only very concerned, but are also very afraid, and are also witness to the media's one sided reporting, the people do not approve of the violence they see before their eyes, and blame the violent protestors for starting the confrontation ...

'Experts' are now aplenty, some blaming the government and the army for the killings and the injury ... but they don't blame the 'protesters' who started the chaos in the first place ... and tempers rise higher and higher amongst the now much fuller square with many new protesters, now including university students forming a large group, and others coming to show sympathy with those injured and killed and ... to blame the Army. The following day, while the original crowd keep throwing their 'peaceful' ammunition at the police, and the police retaliates with same and tear gas, the for real peaceful students and 'other' protesters numbers increase further and the chanting to topple the Essam Sharaf government as well as the Council of the Armed Forces headed by FM Tantawi gets louder and louder ... some more 'protests' erupt in more cities chanting the same slogans ...

As numbers swell further and the tempers are high, the total of those killed escalates and way over 1000 people are injured ... the media now sends mixed messages of both; trying to reason with the protesters, and to vemently blame the army and the government ... everybody so loud, control is lost ... and opportunity knocks for the 'protesters' again ...

By now, instead of the one small tent, there are loads of brand new tents in the central roundabout ... and I saw myself many cars piled high inside with blankets inside their plastic wrappers and on the roof being allowed into the square by 'ify' looking drivers through the checkpoints manned by 'the protesters'. This was the checkpoint close to the Egyptian Museum ... there supposed to be no entry to cars inside the now 'occupied' square!

Now, as the peaceful gather in the square, the real 'proterstors' move on to a side street leading to the Ministry of Interior and try to break in. They are now armed with Molotov [petrol] bombs, guns and knives ... We could hear the guns 2/3 miles away ... and on TV ... about 30 gather on top of the American University, make and throw Molotoves at the police too ...

Killed now are 34 people, and loads more injuries ... PM Sharaf resigns ... and Tantawi gives a televised speech confirming that the Army does not want to hold on to power, thet Dr Sharaf's government resignation had been accepted, that, as the protersters demand, a new 'Rescue' government would be formed, and suggests a referendum asking the people of Egypt if The current supreme Councl should go, and that they would go if the people say yes ... but 'the protesters reject the offer straight away and outright, still demanding the removal of Tantawi and the Army! They now insist that the Army must go NOW!

The people of Egypt are now wondering who gave those unelected 'protesters' of Tahrir Square the right to represent them then speak on their behalf?! They wonder how can those 'protesters' act in auch dictator like fashion and impose their will to reject Tantawi's offer without consulting the people first, when the majority of the people like what they hear?! They wonder, how and why are those 'protesters' chanting the removal of the Army and attempting to invade the police while also complaining about the lack of policing post the January revolution?! An irony! They wonder how are those 'protesters' neglecting, on purpose because nobody is that naive, the economic hardship that results from their actions and the terror they are causing? They wonder, why are those protesters causing such huge damage to the 'reputaion' of the country at such great time of need thus hindering investment, crashing the stock exchange until it had to close, hindering tourism, disturbing their everyday life? Why are they deliberately breaking pavements and damaging public property expecting the already struggling people of Egypt, who saw the value of their money being halved as neccessities and food prices kept on rising since the revolution started be expected to accept this hooliganism? The people also wonder who will foot this criminal bill too because of this disturbance?!

These are no peaceful protests, these are organised violent clashes, criminality and thuggery! Whose fault was it? Who was really responsible for the cause of all the death and the injury?

The right to 'Peaceful protest' is a democratic right, but one that is lost once protesters turn to violence ... They turned to violence! So, why are the rights of those violent protersters being preserved over and above the rights of the peaceful peoples of Egypt?!

There are no 'sides', there are 'People' and there are 'Spiders and thugs'!

Who will you stand by, who will you support?

Egypt's friends around the globe, support the Egyptian people!

The terrorised people of Egypt, over 80 MILLION of them not only strongly disapprove of the current chaos in Tahrir Square, and the criminal activity still trying to overwhelm the authorities and break into the Ministry of Interior as well as other police departments in other cities under the guise that they are 'protesting' in solidarity with the families of those injured and/or killed during the January revolution, but are Deeply Concerned that the who is who of the world as well as international organisations are preoccupied with the so called 'rights' of the 'protesters' and not the legitimate rights of a whole people numbering 80 million man, woman and child; the peaceful people of Egypt! ... They now urge the international community to show solidarity with the people , not the spiders with a 'mission'who pay the thugs to prey on the politically naive young people of Egypt and get them to rise when there is no need to do so ...

Please call for the clearance of Tahrir Square and denounce any and all similar criminal activity!

When I went to Tahrir Square, there were lots of predominantly young people, including loads of school age 12,13, 14 year olds and above! What do they know about politics?! I spoke to a group of about 20 decent looking young people and was able to convince them to go home. I also spoke to a major international TV station voicing the people's as well as my rejection and deep concern at what's happening in the square and in Egypt and it's economy as a result. I don't know if that interview was broadcast ... because straight after, I was intimidated by another group of 'youth' and was harshly pushed to the floor from behind 'as if it was an accident' injuring both my knees, although the right one swelled and is hurting more than the left ... it was some members of the group I spoke to who then shielded me from further attack and accompanied me out of the square from the exit by the river and into a taxi ... Until then, a few other 'protesters' were following us making the sign of crazy with their hands, and it was directed at me!

All that 'Freedom of speech' and 'Democracy' talk! ... my knees are still swallen and painful ... and I mean painful!

Tahrir Square is still in full swing ... and so are the 'protestors' trying to break into the Ministry of Interior' ... the tear gas, the ... you name it ... and the 'experts' on TV on the Egyptian channels ... and everywhere too ... but more and more ordinary people like myself are voicing there Deep Concern now ... and they too, are everywhere!

Hope with the people of Egypt ... and with me ....

... on learning [click]

S&P downgrades Egypt sovereign rating [click]

Sekhmet, the Egyptian godess of war

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The spider within ...

"Thousands of people have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir square to voice their anger about a lack of change in Egypt since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak in February.

The BBC's Jon Leyne said that the protesters had "deep concerns" that the interim military authorities wanted to cling to power rather than allowing free and fair democratic elections."

But unlike on the 25th January 2011, the people do not support what is happening in the square this time. Today I met with some friends at their social club and they all do not like or approve of these protests or the demand of removing the Council of The Armed Forces from power as those protesters are demanding.

Then again, the people I mix with in general are aware that what's in Egypt now is a 'transitional' governmant, and hence, it's sole duties should only be just to keep the country stable until it hands over to whoever will be elected. soon as it is possible to do so. They realise that a transitional government does not sort out low wages or economic inequalities, etc. Lots of other people can not or do not want to realise that.

And the Army has stated, on many occasions, that they do not want to cling to power and will hand over to a new elected civilian government. The people I meet believe that, although some say that the Army favours a Turkish style of government because that gives them a bigger role in governing, and they don't mind that, because they think this would be better than getting certain powers to govern unchecked, whoever and whatever they are.

I returned home early and a neighbour came shortly after and we sat to watch the chaos unfold on TV. Soon, the room became full of neighbours and we all sat in disbelief in front of the TV watching the protesters breaking and throwing stones at the police and the police throwing same back at them, and tear gas, in retaliation. They report that soldiers and civilians alike have been injured and some critically, with one death. A few minutes ago the reporter said there was now a fire in that huge office building in Tahrir Square. They say it's on the first floor. Now the protest has escalated into total chaos in 'Tahrir Square' and a few other cities are reporting similar incidents too!

Only, as the BBC reports, these are the actions of 'thousands' and not the 80 or so Million ordinary people of Egypt who are now fed up with all these disruptive protests by god only knows who and for what purpose, they wonder why are the authorities, including the Army, whom the majority supports until a new government and president are in place don't do something to stop it's spread and the resulting damage. Most are grateful for the Army's restraint as well as efforts since January, although they criticise them for not being firmer right from the start, and that that would have made the scenes on TV now not possible.

The neighbours now have gone back to their homes but I bet they are still awake watching the TV, some not knowing whether to go to work or send the kids to school in the morning. In general, people not only disapprove, but are afraid and uncertain about what will happen next, or even tomorrow. On TV though, the 'experts' are plenty, by the bucket load, and everybody has a different opinion ... I am no expert, so I have none, I just don't like what I see ....

Freedom of speach and protest, is it right that the will of the few, whoever they may be, overrides the will of the huge majority?! ... because that huge silent majority do not like what is happening now ... not-at-all!

For me, I wish I understood, but I don't ... just like the neighbours who came to watch my TV tonight.

And for me, it feels like what I am watching is a huge spider walking about Tahrir Square ... so many ugly hairy legs, some you can't even see ... and each is so sticky, it's pulling those it touches each in a different direction ...

... it's 3am Cairo time and I am still watching ....

... and all I have is hope ....

....and it's all I need at the moment ....


Egypt: Doubts cast on Turkish claims for model democracy [click]
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood says end to military rule is 'top priority' [click]

Saturday, 19 November 2011

SMS Romance ...

She sends an sms ....

"My love

If you're sleeping, send me your dreams,

If you're smiling, send mee your smile,

If you're crying, send meee your tears,

I love you"

He Replies :

"I'm in the toilet!"

Pilot stuck in toilet triggers mid-air emergency

19 November 2011


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Prime Minister Questions 9 November 2011


PM's House of Commons Liaison Committee meeting 8 November 2011

UK to 'abstain' on Palestinian statehood bid

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Eid in Cairo :-)

Noisy lot, aren't they!

Sooo, come on, join right in ...

Relax, enjoy, be happy and celebrate ... with Egypt ...

... cos nobody knows how to celebrate better than this old girl ....

Happy Eid El-Adha :-)

Upper Egypt peasant folklore song:

Salam alay 'He saluted me'
Lama gabalny 'when we met by chance'
w salam alay, walady ya walaady ' and when he said hello, oh boy oh boy!'

Egypt investors 'positive' [ video]
Arab nations aim to win back tourists [click]

Thursday, 3 November 2011

PM Questions 2 November 2011

"At PMQs on 2 November 2011;

Opposition leader Ed Miliband asked David Cameron if he thought the latest growth figures pointed to "success or failure of his economic plan".
Mr Cameron said the 0.5% growth was "better than expected" and criticised Mr Miliband for not welcoming the news. The prime minister added: "There is a global storm in the world economy today and it is in our interest to help others confront that global storm but we have also got to keep the British economy safe."