Egyptian Aak: Week 12

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him.” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov)

Moqattam( Photo Reuters, via ahramonline )

Main Headlines








A Few Thoughts:

The frivolous violence continues to unfold in Egypt; this week’s episode took place in Moqattam, near the main headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is hard and painful to comment on such a sad day but there are few points that are worth mentioning:

  • Moqattam’s Brotherhood headquarters is a symbol of their intriguing journey from an underground, unlawful movement to the most powerful group in the country. However, Friday’s violence reflects the Brotherhood’s fast decline and the contempt that many have for the group that has begun to behave like Egypt’s high commissioner.
  • Violence was expected: Any one claiming that the intention was peaceful demonstrations or peaceful defenses of the Brotherhood Headquarters is either naïve, has unrealistic expectations, or is simply not telling the truth. Both sides were willing to fight if attacked and both did not trust the police to restore law and order.
  • The difference in this episode is what were seemingly pre-emptive attacks by some non-Islamist protestors on the Brotherhood’s buses (that usually bring their supporters from other provinces), parked away from main building in Nafoura square; this seemed to take the Brotherhood by surprise, and hence, there were several casualties among their ranks. On the other hand, many opposition figures like Ex-presidential candidate Khalid Ali were also injured.
  •  Although many groups called for Friday’s protests, the National Coalition Front (NSF) did not call for Friday march to the Brotherhood headquarter, therefore, it is unfair to classify the NSF as “spoilers” in the current  complicated  scene in Egypt. Nonetheless, their silence is morally and politically damaging, as it can cost them their integrity and credibility among the public. Therefore condemnation of violence by the April 6th Movement, and by opposition figures like Amr Moussa, and Sabbahi should be welcomed, although it came a bit late.
  • On the other hand, some activists still justify the violence as understandable, as this quote from Egypt Independent: “If you think our moves should respect the rule of law, or at least seek the rule of law, then you will have to find a way to pressure the state, the regime and the Muslim Brotherhood to respect the law.” The activists who label the Brothers as “sheep” and “nodding dogs” to their masters are behaving like wild bulls. This “quid pro quo” attitude is not the most progressive sort of behavior, and it is dangerous and destructive, to say the least. Two wrongs do not make a right; it will only drown the country in a reckless cycle of revenge.
  • The use of Takbeer and religious slogans in Friday’s fight is another example of disgracing religion. The Islamists should stop pretending it was a holy fight; this was a fight for a group and not for God.
  • The Brotherhood and President Morsi were silent when violent erupts on several occasions in the past, yet they were both swift in condemning the violence against their own  people.
  • President Morsi’s speech on Sunday with his implicit and explicit threats to the opposition is probably a response to the apparent growing resent  among the junior cadres within the Brotherhood. It also indicates that he accepted the Brotherhood’s narratives as the whole and complete truth.
  • In short, both side systematically mix many cards with detangled collection of truth and blatant lies. What is more dangerous; they both have started to believe their own lies.

 President Morsi met Mr. 10%:

Many Egyptians may not know that the PM of Pakistan’s nickname is “Mr.10%”; the controversial political figure has spent several years in jail on charges of corruption, which is precisely why it is baffling to see Morsi keen to reinforce his relationship with such corrupt leadership. Morsi’s speech at Pakistan’s National University of Science & Technology (that included many factual errorsmay shed some light on the aim of the visit; it was simply propaganda. For Morsi, creating a perception that he seeks to resurrect the “Muslim Ummah,” even if it means allying with a corrupt leader and inviting his elite to invest in Egypt, is more important that its actual benefit. His tour of the Indian subcontinent and his hope for Egypt to join BRIC one day are  mediocre attempts to revive the non-alliance movement. It won’t work, even on the economic front; BRIC’s success story is based on two key elements that Egypt lacks—stability and reforms.

Egypt and Libya:

The relationship between the two neighbors seems to be going through a rough patch recently. This week’s arrest of Ghaddafi’s cousin in Cairo is another interesting development; Ghaddaf el-Dam was not hiding in an unknown destination but in the upmarket district in Zamalek, which poses an important question concerning his legal status in Egypt in the last 2 years. Why did the Egyptian authorities not arrest him before and why the change of policy now? The government version that suggests a possible  prisoners swap was not be the whole story, particularly following Sunday’s news of a possible US$2 bn from Libya to Egypt. Many immediately linked the two stories, and Tom Gara had the best comment on Twitter.


The leakage of the name of Hamas’s members who were allegedly involved in the murder of 16 Egyptian soldiers in 2011, and by a government-owned newspaper like Ahram, has apparently rattled Hamas. This week’s meeting between their leader, Moussa Abu-Marzouq, and Egypt’s Sabbahi seems to be part of a new charming offensive to regain some of their popularity among the public that plummeted recently. The symbolism in their choice of a Nasserite like Sabbahi indicates a sense of desperation. Ironically, Nasser would be staunchly anti-Hamas if he was still alive today.

Gamal Saber blindfolded:

The photo of the Salafi Gamal Saber blindfolded during his arrest has created uproar among the Islamists. Many cited their humiliation at the hand of the ex-regime’s notorious security forces.  This is a valid remark that should be considered but it is outrageously hypocritical coming from the same groups who were quiet when police were shooting at the eyes of protestors in Mohamed-Mahmoud, and when the police officers who committed that despicable act were only convicted with a light sentence of 3 years in jail. Don’t our Islamists think that losing sight is a graver crime than temporary blindfolding?

Rand Report:

 After analysing post-revolution voting in Egypt, RAND, a US think tank, reports that Islamists are losing ground in Egypt. It also reveals that Islamists showed their strongest performance in Upper Egypt, North Sinai and the “sparsely populated” governorates in the west, while non-Islamist parties proved popular in Cairo, Port Said, South Sinai and the Red Sea governorates. You can read the full report here

Good Read:

Also, please read this tragic account: “I was raped in Tahrir.”

The problem in Egypt is not just sexual assault; the country is now being raped by everyone—from its elite to its thugs. Post-revolution Egypt is a tragic tale of hypocrisy, bigotry and shortsightedness. The truth has been lost among tales, spins and mixing cards, with many have started to believe their own lies. In Egypt, there are many losers, but no winners.

Finally, here are Jayson Casper prayers for Egypt

About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues. The only practising doctor who write in Middle Eastern politics in UK.
This entry was posted in Diary of Aak, Egypt and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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