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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Moved on! Check TheCairoCalls

I've been thinking a lot about this recently, and the rapidly developing events in the Sinai peninsula are only confirming my doubts: 2006 is 1981 all over again.
In case you don't know, 1981 was the year during which, on October 6th precisely, president Anwar El-Sadat was assassinated in the middle of a military parade commemorating the 6th of October victory of the Egyptian forces against Israel in 1973.
Somehow lesser known events, are the mass arrests of September 1981. Under the pretense that Sadat wanted to make sure that nothing will go wrong before Israel completed the last stage of withdrawal from Sinai in April 1982, hundreds of politicians, journalists, professionals, activists, artists, etc.. were arrested. Some historians think that these arrests were perpetuated by some elements which infiltrated the regime in order to agitate the different groups, and divide the blame of his subsequent murder among many different parties, so that the state would be helpless in retaliating (There is a saying in Arabic which translates to "His blood was divided among the tribes").
If you watch close enough, you'd find out that what we have today is a somewhat similar situation. Everybody is pissed off at the regime, and each group for its own reasons. Here is the rundown:
  • Muslim Extremists: The regime, after tolerating them for a very long time, decided to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood, just out of the blue sky. Hundreds of MB members were detained during the last couple of weeks.
  • Copts: Copts feel that the government didn't protect them (and even some go as far as saying that it facilitated) the April 14th attack on three churches in Alexandria.
  • Reformists: Kifaya members are detained almost daily during the numerous protests that take place in different parts of Egypt. (But are more frequent nowadays in support of the judges movement)
  • Judges: Judges are pushing for more autonomy, but are being paid back by suspending two of them from work, and asking them to appear before a disciplinary committee, for exposing elections fraud during the last parliamentary elections. Some judges are even physically abused.
  • Bedouins: The natives of Sinai, and most of the Egyptian desert. They see themselves as outcasts of the Egyptian political system, with meager share in any sort of development happening anywhere in Egypt. And if that wasn't enough, hundreds of them were hurdled and arrested after the Taba and Sharm attacks last year. They were treated so badly, that some believe they are actively participating in the recent attacks as some form of retaliation.
Plus, external parties:
  • Sudanese: Because of the inhumane way the Egyptian police dealt with the Sudanese refugees striking at the middle of Cairo.
  • Shiaa: Because of Mubarak's less than diplomatic comments about their loyalty to Iran.
  • Hamas: Because Egypt has withdrawn all sorts of support for the Palestinian government, and its foreign minister even refused to meet his Palestinian counterpart.

It will be completely plausible that any, some, or all of those groups would take part in any action that is aimed at toppling the current regime in Egypt. It is only a matter of time.
Following the recent pattern of Sinai attacks (October 6th for Taba, July 23rd for Sharm, and April 25th for Dahab; all national days), the next appropriate slot would be Revolution day on July 23rd.
Or could it be May 4th??

Moved on!


You can add to the internal List, the Southerns "El Sa3eid", Feeling neglected and left out all those years. In the 90s they were treated like the Bedouins now after the mid 90s attacks on touristic places. And finally most of the people who drowned last month in the Ferry accident were from the south, and we can all see how the governement is dealing with the case.

By Blogger Amino, at April 26, 2006 9:05 PM  

scary times!

By Blogger Memz, at April 26, 2006 10:01 PM  

It won't be the Copts, despite the recent violence. Christians, of any stripe, find murder abhorrent and a sin. Self-defence in a fight or a war is one thing but the casual bombing or execution of another is a terrible sin. Plus when was the last time the Copts bombed anything?

By Anonymous foreign devil, at April 27, 2006 2:30 AM  

muslims do too...as i am sure jews, budhists, and any followers of any religions...it is always the crazy, radical tyoes that is to be feared...
so, please no self-congratulatory remarks

By Blogger Tomanbay, at April 27, 2006 2:51 AM  

Nice post TB. I enjoy reading your blog.

The poor Egyptian people, from top to bottom have had to endure a quarter century of Muburak's rule. It's not working and it has to change. I hope and pray for Kefaya to work. It seems like they're one of the only groups who have a clue but, unfortunately, they have no grass roots support. Now,
I know Hosni has no clue on how to run a country but what about his son. Is he just like his father? Could he be way more progressive and liberal or does he share the same dismal mentality of his father? I know he loathes the MB like his dad, which of course, is a good thing. But I don't know too much more about him.

Anyway, cheers to a better and brighter Egypt.


By Blogger Egypeter, at April 27, 2006 4:45 PM  

Good analysis.

By Blogger Ximo, at April 28, 2006 7:15 PM  

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