The Way We Are
"I come from a small country".
Here is a declaration that could get me in all sorts of trouble with the Egyptian fascinista.
Watching the evening news on Egyptian TV, or reading the state owned newspapers, you get the feeling that
(Americans: stop me when it gets too familiar)
Without going into much details let me give you a quick round up of Egyptian politics during the last century (yeah!). The British were occupying
So we're now in this situation, where Mubarak has been ruling for over 25 years and he is gleefully grooming his son to succeed him. Happy ending? Nah
Thousands of miles away, a certain president Bush undertook the holy mission of dropping 'the shimmering lights of freedom' on the middle east. He places a call to Mubarak down in
Some judges smelled a rat. Well, smell is an understatement. They actually saw one...a huge one indeed. Polls were rigged by police, voters were prevented access to polling stations, and some candidates were even arrested on the night of the elections. A list surfaced with the names of the judges who were in cahoots with the government to fix the results in favor of the NDP (ruling party). The NDP won around 80%, while the Muslim brotherhood (the islamist 'banned' party that is gaining the most support in the street, I'll have to admit) won around 20%. Anyways, when the list went out, a couple of judges ( Mahmud Mekki and Hisham Bastawisi) asked that those judges be investigated to either clear the side of the judges, or punish those responsible to maintain the credibility of a whole branch of the government. So, what do you expect to happen? The minister of justice (appointed by the president) orders the two judges (who demanded the investigation!!) to face a disciplinary committee (and eventually be ejected!)
The judges (all of them) decided that that was too much, and decided to strike back. They decided to strike in the 'Judges Club' (their semi-formal professional association), and to press for more Judicial freedom from the executive (how can a minister (executive) be able to eject a judge?!). Their voice was heard in the street.
Demonstrators from all different political inclinations, took the judges' club as a symbol of resistance to the oppressive regime, and as a scene for lots of anti-Mubarak demonstrations. This time the police was true to form. Excessive violence was used against peaceful demonstrators, hundreds were arrested, and the judges were denied access to the court house where the disciplinary committee sessions took place.
Some people attribute this backlash to the fact that the US is reliving the regime from pressure, now that they know that the Muslim Brotherhood will rule if a democratic elections took place in
Well, where does that leave us now?
On the micro level, the showdown continues; the Judges' Club is still under the siege of very aggressive security forces, and all is set for a magnificent showdown on may 25th (anniversary of the constitution amendment that allowed multi-candidate elections, and which the opposition thinks that it places too much restrictions on the right for anybody to run for the elections) between the judges and protesters on one side and the government police, and plain clothed thugs on the other.
On the greater scale however, this is a very decisive battle for the whole region. It is a battle for the clear definition of authorities between the different branches in government.
What do we need from non-Egyptians out there? I think we can't ask for more than the assurance that there are other people in the world who support our struggle. Who think that we deserve more than just being a factor in an intricate balance of power in this region. We need to know that their are people out there who support our movement, because it makes sense, and not only political convenience.
I have written about NSA wiretapping, and Bush's imperial powers, not because of some sort of fascination or attachment to