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It’s all fun and games until someone storms the Israeli embassy…كل أمتاع ولعبات حتى يقتحم أحد السفارة الإسرائيلية

After taking a break for fasting, celebration, and ‘charging up their faith’, the liberal and leftist groups resumed their obsession with contentious politics (sit-ins, demonstrations, protests, etc.) Despite the failure of a month-long sit-in of July to achieve anything more than the annoyance of the shopkeepers in the downtown area, the liberal left organized yet another demonstration yesterday under the banner of “Correcting the Path” Friday during which they presented the same list of demands:

1. The cessation of sentencing civilians in military trials.
2. The resignation of Prime Minister Sharaf and his cabinet
3. The imposition of minimum and maximum wages in the public sector
4. The cessation of diplomatic relations with Israel.
5. The amendment of the electoral law favoring الفلول the fulul (remnants of the National Democratic Party).

As in July, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Salifists, and other members of Islamist political movements declined to participate in this protest. Instead, the liberal and leftist groups were joined in their endeavors by the Zamalek and Ahly Ultras (think European soccer hulligans) fresh off of violent clashes with the Central Security Forces a few days prior.

Chanting سلمية، سلمية salimiyya, salimiyya (peaceful, peaceful), tens of thousands of people marched from throughout Cairo to Tahrir Square. Once there, banners were hung while a smaller march departed to the Interior Ministry. When I arrived around 4:00, the square was filled with various groups of people discussing politics and chanting for the resignation of Field Marshall Tantawy, while others (myself included) gathered along the fence line to take in the spectacle. By 6:00pm, those in the square had began to disperse satisfied with reminding SCAF that the liberal and left had not dissolved into nothingness over the course of Ramadan.

A couple of thousand individuals, however, were not done and began to march the four miles to the Israeli embassy. Keep Reading

It’s Good to Be Back…قد رجعت سعيدا

Having yet to pay the electricity, internet or water bills since arriving in Cairo, I nervously returned to my apartment a week and a half ago to discover that not only were all the utilities in fine order but there was enough water pressure to take a four minute shower. The Haram-adan Turkey tour finished up in fine fashion with… Keep Reading

Greetings and Salutations from Turkey تحايا من تركية

Much has happened in the last week or so. SCAF violently repressed the remaining protestors in Tahrir Square and replaced them with armored personal carriers and Central Security Forces. Husani Mubarak appeared in court on August 3 on a hospital bed (his trial has since be postponed until August 15, 2011. And, I continued to wander around Turkey. (I’m currently in Doğubeyazıt.) Keep Reading