All posts in Politics


By Mahmoud Taji

There are times in one’s life when the official rhetoric no longer satisfies your quest for truth. The overwhelming feeling that you are being duped, tricked, and lied to becomes too insistent to register as merely your day to day paranoia.

As a study of this phenomenon lets take a closer look at the recent “Clashes” between the Palestinians and the Israelis. The word “clashes” in and of itself is misleading. It would give you the impression that these are two armies of equal or near-equal strength deciding to go head to head in a ‘fair’ fight that eventually one of which will emerge as the victor.

Except the Palestinians we are talking about have been under siege in their little 25 mile strip of land by the Israeli government with no Aid, no port, no airport and no permission to go to and from the other part of Palestine, the West Bank. Read more…


By Islam El Shazly

Conservation in Egypt is a sketchy thing; back when Mohamed Ali Pasha was in charge, it was reported that he wanted to use stones from the Pyramids to build his Nile barrages! He was trying to be thrifty: why go through the trouble of quarrying when you have some perfectly pre-cut stones right there! Thank God he was dissuaded by his accountant on the account that it would actually be more expensive to do so.

For all we know this might be an urban legend, but this very kind of indifferent attitude towards our nature and heritage is very rampant in Egypt, but only really became apparent over the last 60 years; and a phenomenon over the last 30. Read more…


By Islam El Shazly

It has been a little over 11 months since the January 25, 2011, ignited to culminate into the ouster of one of the worst rulers in the Arab world in modern history, Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, right on the heels of his brother-in-arms Bin Ali from Tunisia.

A lot has changed since then, some to the better, and some to the worst. We’re not going to get into either of them; they both have long lists.

What we’re going to be talking about is something that has managed somehow to divide the people, mostly triggered by a media that still plays by the pre-Mubarak days of divide and conquer for the sake of the person who is in charge at the time, SCAF (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) at the moment. That something is “Tourism”. Read more…


By Islam El Shazly

In 1260 CE the Mongol horde under Hulagu ravaged Syria, The Great Mosque and the Citadel of Aleppo were razed and most of the inhabitants were killed or sold into slavery.

In 1400 CE Timur, also known as Tamerlane or Timūr-e Lang, the Turco-Mongol conqueror, invaded Syria, sacked Aleppo then besieged and captured Damascus. The Umayyad Mosque was razed and most of the inhabitants were massacred, the rest were sold into slavery. The lucky ones were the artisans; they were spared and sent to Samarqand, the capital of the Timurid Empire. The unlucky ones had their heads piled up in a field outside the north-east corner of the walls, where a city square still bears the name burj al-ru’us, literally “the tower of heads”. Read more…


Libyan opposition flag with tags generated from ( By Mohammed Shamma.*

February 17, 2011. It was Libya’s turn to rise against the sociopath that has been ruling them for the past 42 years, Qaddafi’s time is almost over, and soon, insha’Allah, he will be joining his brothers Bin Ali and Mubarak in the trash bin of history.

The day of the Libyan uprising has arrived. Read more…

Alexandrian Graffiti

by M. Butcher

We have all seen it in our travels, on the sides of the road, on bridges, buses, and overpasses. Almost everywhere a spray can may reach. As with art, graffiti is subjective, what some consider to be art, others consider it to be trash. Our modern idea of Graffiti has changed and we are seeing more beauty in the designs on the street.

Graffiti is the name given for images or letters scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any method on public property. Graffiti and graffito come from the Italian word graffiato meaning scratched. It has existed for long time going all the way back to Ancient Greece and even the Roman Empire. Read more…


Opposition supporters wave flags amid the crowd in Tahrir Square in Cairo February 9, 2011. Egyptians counted the economic cost of more than two weeks of turmoil on Wednesday as re-invigorated protesters flocked again to Cairo's Tahrir Square to demand President Hosni Mubarak quit immediately. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

by Islam El Shazly

For the first time in history a revolution has been organized as a public event with an open invitation, more like a date between two lovers, the time and the place was known almost two weeks in advance. Without further confirmation, people from all over Greater Cairo started converging onto Midan Al-Tahrir – Tahrir Square – and it was not just left at that, people started gathering at major squares in every governorate in the country. A new day was dawning on Egypt. A new era that no one saw coming. The date was January 25, 2011. Read more…


The flag of Tunisia. By gablackburn, Flickr.

By Islam El Shazly

Since Tunisia gained independence from France and it has been known all over the world as a beacon of freedom and economic stability in the Arab world; it was more liberal than Lebanon and with a stability that Lebanon cannot achieve in the near future.

But that was an illusion, the “freedom” that Tunisia enjoyed was not real. The stability it revelled in masked a different reality. When France moved out, they left behind a group of people bred to rule in favour of their masters in Paris. Read more…


Egypt: Partly submerged palms above Nile dam, Upper Egypt. Lantern Slide Collection, Brooklyn Museum.

By Islam El Shazly

The people of Egypt are for the most part gentle emotional people, they have been deprived of their right to participate in the way this great country is being governed. From the time of Mohammed Ali Pasha, through the British occupation then the calamity that was the Coup d’état of 1952 and its disastrous after-effects, the people have not been able or allowed to voice their concerns about their country. Read more…


Surah Al-Israa (The Night Journey). Also known as The Children of Israel.

by Islam El Shazly

Everyone has been following the news lately, and they have been following one thing Freedom Flotilla; unless of course they were otherwise following something more important such as soccer or the latest Star Academy.

A refresher; Freedom Flotilla carrying about 679 peace activists from over 50 different countries, Prominent passengers include some European MPs, and writers and journalists.

The Cargo included toys, school supplies, wheelchairs, medicines, food, clothing, cement, prefabricated homes, paper, and water purification tablets. “There is not even a razor, knife or jack-knife on board,” one of the organisers said, referring to the non-threatening nature of the cargo. Source

Read more…