We All Egyptians



‘Muslims, Christians we are all Egyptians’: Scenes from a revolution as told by one eyewitness

Jan 29, 2011


Parvez Sharma



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A cross-section of Cairo residents formed a human chain on Saturday to help guard Egyptian antiquities at a national museum. (Photo: Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse via The Lede)

My friend Yousry is in his late twenties. He and his wife would be considered affluent because they live in Zamalek. But like so many others, because all barriers of class have fallen away—he has been on the streets for the last 48 hours. He just returned home in Zamalek after patrolling the streets of the neighborhood with his prized Syrian sword that used to just hang up as souvenir in their living room. He had never thought he would have to take it off the wall and actually try to use it to defend his neighbors and his family. He did like to show it off at our late night parties in his apartment.I have spent the last half an hour with him talking from his landline at home. This is his powerful account un-edited by me of each and every moment of the last 48 hours as he experienced it. For a moment I wished that he was live on air on Al-Jazeera or CNN saying all of this—but then I realized that it is better for him to talk to a trusted friend and he perhaps would not say all of this to mainstream news media hungry for sound-bites. I am not going to provide his phone number or his real name to any journalists. He needs to get up in the morning, if he can sleep tonight and go back out.
To me what he describes is more powerful than anything I have heard on television with the endless parade of pundits or the unfortunate tendency of even Al-Jazeera (which is doing some great reportage, no doubt) to have their reporters climb up high in tall buildings to show us wide shots of the immensity of the Egyptian revolution. Yousry is one of those citizens in the middle of the chaos who reporters are not talking to as much as they need to.
Here he is in his own words, un-edited and certainly not talking in soundbites. (I have spent some time cleaning up my hurried note taking and as much grammar/punctuation corrections I could make to that). His voice sounds very hoarse-I feel guilty but press him on anyway. It sounds like he has inhaled way too much smoke and tear-gas.
Me: Yousry how are you and please if its not asking too much can you just start talking about everything you saw and are feeling. Pretend that you are on my couch or something and that I am some New York shrink.
Y: Ha Ha! That is funny. OK here goes. BTW I am having some Scotch now. I think I need it Yaani. I was in the protest all day yesterday and I started at 6th of October bridge—you remember? You were here so many times—it’s just a short walk from Zamalek?
Me: Of course I remember and btw yesterday all day the Al Jazeera reporter had his cameraperson focused on the bridge-so we basically saw it all live. He had a running commentary throughout.
Y: Ha Ha! He should have come down and talked to us Yaani. But I am glad that they showed it to the world. I have had no time to watch TV. It’s a luxury—you can either stay at home and get drunk and stare at the TV or you can join everybody out there!I was shocked at how diverse the turnout was. There were so many people from Zamalek and you know how people from Zamalek usually are.
Me: Ha! Like drinking and having all night parties?
Y: Yes yalla! No one from the Ikhwan was there or any of the organized political parties. It was about 1:30 pm or so I think. Even if any of us picked up a rock to throw at the police everyone yelled Selmya! Selmya (*Selmya is peaceful) and Parvez believe me that till before this bastard gave his speech yesterday that was the word I heard most often on the streets. We were peaceful till 4 or 4:30 I think. Then these police fuckers started shooting these pellets and it suddenly became very difficult to control the injured protesters or their friends. I think the violence must have started around 5 pm–I was not keeping track of time—was not wearing my watch and phone was in my pocket, not working anyway
Me: Were you hit?
Y: Almost but Inshaallah it just went by me. And then these guys pretty close to me and hurt started throwing molotovs. I didn’t even know till then that they had them. They started stopping cars…
M: And the police?
Y: You must understand this…its important because its been a mix of these thugs and cops since yesterday—most of the thug types who are doing most of the attacks are prisoners who have been released by that bastard Mubarak in return for their services to beat up civilians
Me: And the army?

Y: Till then there was no army—and then when finally they came and people cheered this one tank—it looked liked they were hesitant to use force. I actually came back home after the violence started—just walked back on 6th of October past these guys setting a police van on fire. I have a wife, family to think of.


Me: I know. I am so glad you are still OK man…today?

Y: I went to tahrir today with other friends at about 11 am and by 2 pm or so we were by the TV station near the Corniche…

Me: Yes, I remember that. I once stayed at the Ramses Hilton right next to it. There was also a small shopping mall there. That’s the one right?
Me: Hey a lot of guys here have been saying that this revolution is all about the success of social networking? I mean I guess up to a point they are right because someone like me sitting here is tweeting obsessively with updates I am getting from anyone I can reach on a landline really—but is this true?
Y: Its bullshit…I mean I agree that in the beginning around the 25th twitter did play some kind of role because people were able to throw around ideas on it—but come on—even that! How many fucking people in Cairo you think would know how to use the damn thing or even the damn internet—and even if they knew how many do you think would have easy access to a computer with a reliable internet connection? I mean, its bullshit…
Me: I am so glad you are saying this. I thought I am the only fucking idiot repeating this like a fucking parrot
Y: You said it? Great man! I have no fucking idea anyway about what you are saying? I haven’t bloody seen Facebook or twitter in a fucking while now…
Me: Man this is all so fucked up.
Y: Tayyib ofcourse yaani—you see now since yesterday and even Thursday actually after they shut it all down—it is self explanatory– it doesn’t matter anymore—twitter and all that shit—no one has it anyway. I guess maybe some journalist types can still do it? I have no idea on how to get on the fucking internet and I am pretty good at this shit—so if I don’t know—how can others be tweeting–so everywhere u go Parvez today there are thousands of people now its come to that…All of Tahrir has been filled with so many people—I have never seen so many people—Tanks were standing at the entrance of Tahrir facing each other as I walked towards it today—All I could hear was this amazing chant that made me so fucking happy—“Alshab Aldesh Eid Wahada” you know…it means “The people and the soldiers are one…”
Me: Alhamdullilah
Y: You still haven’t given up your religious bullshit I see…and then as we walked closer these soldiers on these tanks were holding like these small bouquets of tube roses I think…some of them were giving like a thumbs up to all of us…I even took photographs which of course I cant fucking email you—but some of the tanks had “Yasqut Hosni Mubarak” spray painted on them…You know Yasqut is like Fall…
They were holding small bouqets of tube roses
Me: I don’t remember if I saw any images of that? But I am sure there must be…
Y: Yes and then people started clapping in Tahrir and as we walked deeper into this crowd— and Parvez it was amazing…they were people who were carrying an army officer on their shoulders he was holding up his fist…the soldier and people started chanting….because the army officer was chanting….
Me: What was the soldier chanting?
Y: I couldn’t hear him…there was just so much noise and smoke and then we started chanting you know the slogan of the last few days…The people will the fall of the government…and we were chanting that and this group of older guys stopped us! And said no the chant has changed now it is The People will the Fall of the President. Amazing man, do you get it? They are making sure that there is no ambiguity anymore after his scam speech from last night…and his fucking new “government” lies…
Me: wow…
Y: and ya today you know I felt Muslim Brotherhood presence for first time—these are what we call the beards you know—they made their way to the front of the protest near me where students were leading—and this elderly man in his 60’s was holding up a flag–he started chanting Allahu Akbar—and the students started
“Muslameen Mesiheen Kolina Masreen” you know… “Muslims Christians we are all Egyptians”
Me: I cant believe it—everyone is saying that the Copts have been looking after the backs of the Muslims when they are praying in mosques man…its just fucking unbelievable especially after all that drama a few weeks ago…
Y: yes! And then we heard fire shots from distance— and these two bodies covered in shrouds were carried in like a ganaza procession, you know…
Me: I think I saw a youtube video of that…ya they were reciting the Salatuljanaza…the funeral namaz…
Y: Yes. And then this ambulance kind of pulled up and the guy in it yelled out…that he had another martyr and that all 3 had been killed while they were at that fucking Ministry of Interior which you know everyone has been trying to occupy…you know Parvez how much that bloody MOI is hated in this country…
Me: I know…I know and now second only to Mubarak I guess
Y: And yes then all these guys were carrying 3 bodies through the crowd and everyone was praying the Genaza…literally everyone….even me…
Me: Ha! So you know the Genaza and you are calling me mr. religious bullshit!
Y: Ha ha! Well I was taught well man…anyway I left Tahrir by 4:30 or 5 I think…You know Parvez…you must understand this…people were initially happy it was Omar Soliman who was going to be a vice president you know…he does have a lot of respect…you know…but then after he made that bloody Ahmed Shafik the PM…you know…I think we realized then you know…that something is very fishy…its like he has appointed these two guys who are very close to him you know…there is so much anger….
Me: I know…I almost feel its like he will step down maybe by tomorrow but then make sure that he can run the country by proxy through especially this Soliman guy and maybe long distance…because god knows he will not be safe in Egypt!
Y: I cannot believe that President Mubarak is still so tone deaf and clueless trying his same old tricks you know…
Me: Hey Yousry–Why are you still calling him the president, man?
Y: Parvez–Because he has not left the seat yet—its important that people are reminded he is not gone yet…it is important to say President before his name constantly….he is NOT gone yet man…I am so worried Parvez….people cannot feel tired… they cant feel they somehow won and maybe we should settle for this…because really man none of the demands of the people have been met man…at the end of the day President Mubarak needs to go… this-because this was none of the demands that people were met
Me: I should let you go soon man….you’ve had enough of this shit already…but quickly what about all this looting now?
Y: The looting in my view is so fucking disappointing man…and then to see how quickly the cops who are still wearing uniform disappeared…I mean, you know that so many of those bastards are now pretending to be civilians and walking amongst all of us…bloody traitors….My theory is simple really…The Army and Police have left the country wide open you know—I feel it was deliberate—they are proving that if you guys want democracy and you want the President to go— then this is what will happen without us…only we have protected you all these years…without us and him you are not safe and will never be safe…This is political blackmail…Everyone is sure that the police is doing all the looting…Egyptians are not stupid and I know that there are so many rumours…I hear a new one every 5 minutes…but I am sure that the police are behind the looting…
Me: So fucked up
Y: You know about the secret service police guys were citizen arrested at the museum and handed over to the army? You know so many of the protesters held hands man and formed like this long cordon around the museum so that these police pretending to be looters could not go in and destroy our history…and then they found out that these secret police guys were already inside and even damaged some Mummies…I mean people were so furious and they just handed them to the army… and handed to army
Me: Yousry it must be getting fucking late there man…what time is it…
Y: Maybe 12 or 1? I don’t know…its ok…I feel better saying all of this man…its like just letting out all this negative shit man…Parvez tell me this…In the 80’s revolt you know…military could secure Egypt in 2 hrs—here it has taken them 2 days and they still have not—Is it because they are protecting civilians or are they proving that this is what will happen if you want the President to go
Me: Listen man…its really fucking late…what about Zamalek?

Y: Well at 10:30 when I was out with my sword…remember the sword?…a few army commandoes came to protect the American embassy compound you know…you know its just walking distance from here…it was a fucking joke…here we are all walking around barricading ourselves…and these guys arrive to the American compound to save the Americans? And guess what… I was standing there so I asked the guard outside if there were any Americans inside…and guess what man…he said they had all left between Thursday and Friday! What a fucking joke! There are no Americans left to protect and they show up to protect them while they have abandoned us?

Me: Disgusting…so fucking disgusting…

Y: I know man…so I asked the commandoes…whats up guys? And one of them says…don’t worry Zamalek is secured…there are so many neighbour guys out there you know…everyone is doing it in shifts…none of them are going back home…I mean what is this one mini van of stupid commandoes going to do?

Me: Hey Yousry…please sleep man…and if phones are still working please lets keep calling whenever you are awake and before and after you go out man…sleep now man…if u can…have any pills?
Y: Well you are the pill supplier usually! I think this Scotch will help…My father in law only keeps the best Scotch..ha ha!


Close U.S. ally and new Egyptian VP Soliman ‘keeps the domestic beasts at bay’


Jan 29, 2011


Alex Kane

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appointed Omar Soliman, the country’s head of intelligence, as vice president in Mubarak’s first big move following continuous days of protest that are threatening to end his regime.  But Soliman’s appointment will not placate the Egyptian demonstrators–Democracy Now! producer Sharif Abdel Kouddos, who is on the ground in Egypt, reports that Egyptians have begun “chanting against Omar Suleiman.”

Cables written by U.S. diplomats released by WikiLeaks over the past two months point to why Soliman’s appointment is looked at with disdain by Egyptians: he is extremely close to President Mubarak and the United States.  Furthermore, Soliman is closely linked with the U.S. “extraordinary rendition” program, in which the CIA abducted suspected terror suspects and sent them to U.S. allies to be tortured, as well as a key player in Egyptian policy towards the Palestinians, according to various WikiLeaks cables.

A dispatch written in 2006 from the U.S. embassy in Cairo reports that Soliman “wields enormous influence over national security policy and is known to have the full confidence of Mubarak.”  A 2007 cable titled “Presidential Succession in Egypt” similarly notes that Soliman’s “loyalty to Mubarak seems rock solid,” and raises Soliman as a potential successor to Mubarak. 

U.S. officials see Soliman as an indispensable ally in the region, and hold meetings with him regularly.  Cables released by WikiLeaksshow that Soliman met with Admiral Michael Mullen in April 2009; Congressional delegations in January 2008 and May 2008; and with General David Petraeus in July 2009.

Tellingly, a May 2009 cable classified by the U.S. ambassador to Egypt says that “EGIS Chief Omar Soliman and Interior Minister al-Adly keep the domestic beasts at bay, and Mubarak is not one to lose sleep over their tactics.”  These tactics, as outlined in variousreports written by human rights organizations, include arbitrary detention, torture a clampdown on political dissidence. 


Jane Mayer’s award-winning book The Dark Side details Egypt and Soliman’s cooperation with the U.S. “rendition” and torture program, which began in 1995:

The United States offered its rich resources to track, capture and transport terrorist suspects globally–including access to a small fleet of aircraft.  Egypt embraced the idea immediately.  “What was clever was that some of the senior people in Al Qaeda were Egyptian,” [Michael Scheur, former head of the CIA’s “Bin Laden Unit”] said.  “It served American purposes to get these people arrested, and Egyptian purposes to get these people back, where they could be interrogated.”  Technically, U.S. law required the CIA to seek “assurances” from Egypt that rendered suspects wouldn’t be tortured. 

But even during the Clinton Administration, this obligation appears to have been little more than a sham…

Each rendition was authorized at the very top levels of both governments….The long-serving chief of the Egyptian central intelligence agency, Omar Suleiman, negotiated directly with top Agency officials. [Former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt] Walker described the Egyptian counterpart, Suleiman, as “very bright, very realistic,” adding that he was cognizant that there was a downside to “some of the negative things that the Egyptians engaged in, of torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way.”

Alex Kane blogs on Israel/Palestine and Islamophobia at alexbkane.wordpress.com.  Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

The Egyptian revolution threatens an American-imposed order of Arabophobia and false choices

Jan 29, 2011


Philip Weiss

I’m thrilled by what I see in the Cairo streets, but when I turn on American television I see only grim faces. Robert Gibbs looked frightened during his long-delayed press briefing yesterday afternoon, he stumbled and didn’t know what to say. Obama’s comments last night were equivocal and opaque: I’m with Mubarak, for now. This feels like Obama’s 9/11– the day Arabs blindsided a president.

I’d thought this is what he wanted for the Arab world: democracy! But the market dropped, and the cable shows teem with mistrust of the Arab street. The talking heads can’t stop going about the Islamists. Chris Matthews cried out against the Muslim Brotherhood and shouted, Who is our guy here?– as if the U.S. has a role to play on the streets. While his guest Marc Ginsberg, a former ambassador to Morocco whose work seems to be dedicated to finding the few good Arabs out there, said that forces outside Egypt are funding the revolt– an insulting statement, given the homegrown flavor of everything we’ve seen; and when Matthews pressed him, Ginsberg said, Hamas… Iran.

Matthews’s other interpreter was Howard Fineman. Why aren’t there more Arab-Americans on US television? I give PBS credit forgathering Mary-Jane Deeb and Samer Shehata (along with the inevitable Steven Cook of CFR) to speak of the real political demands of the protesters (and not galloping Islamism!)– but when CNN aired Mona Eltahawy saying that the protesters are not violent, the moderator stomped on her and said, what about those burning vehicles? As if eastern Europe changed without similar destruction. 

So racism against Arabs is shutting down the American mind once again. And my friends turn to Al Jazeera English to get the soul of the story: these events are electrifying to Arabs everywhere, a heroic mobilization. And not only to Arabs. When ElBaradei says, I salute the youth for overturning a pharaonic power, lovers of human freedom everywhere must be thrilled. We are seeing a dictator dissolve before our eyes. These are the events we cherished in history books and Shakespeare; so let us embrace the Egyptian movement.

Why is America so afraid?


Because we are seeing a leap in Arab power, in which the people of the largest Arab nation demand that they be allowed to fulfill their potential. This change portends a shift in the balance of power in the region. For the U.S. has played only a negative role in the Egyptian advance, supplying the teargas, and it seems inevitable that Egypt will cease to be a client state to the U.S. And thereby threaten the order of the last 30 years.

Whatever government replaces the current one in Egypt, it will not serve American interests, which have been largely defined by Israel, the American-Israeli “imperium,” as Helena Cobban put it. Since the 1970s (as Joel Beinin shows here), Egypt has been the lynchpin of a US strategy of supporting Israel. The special relationship with Israel has steered our foreign policy, encouraged the destruction and occupation of Iraq, and even fed American Islamophobia. Key to preserving this order has been our ironclad support for the Arab dictatorships in Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere– by providing out policy with a “moderate Arab” seal. Look: Egypt was a bulwark against the Islamists, and Egypt was crucial to the peace process, as the correspondents tell us over and over on American TV.

The danger to America and Israel is that the Egyptian revolution will destroy this false choice of secular dictator-or-crazy Islamists by showing that Arabs are smart articulate people who can handle real democracy if they get to make it themselves. And when they get it, they are likely to strip the mask off the peace process. On Al Jazeera English, they don’t mind talking about the Palestinians. One commentator said that the “humiliation” of the Palestinians is feeding the Egyptian revolt. I know; I will never forget how Egyptian construction workers put down their tools to stand and applaud the Code Pink buses as we left El Arish for Gaza in June 2009. And in his beautiful statement calling on Mubarak to serve his country by leaving it, ElBaradei said a government responsive to the will of the people would turn soon to the Palestinian issue.

This is the great fear, in Israel and in Washington, too: that revolution in Egypt will reveal the despotism of the existing order for the Palestinian people, who have seen their rights and properties and security and water taken from them during an endless peace process that Egypt has helped sustain. 

The grimness on the faces of American Establishment figures reflects the greatest threat to any authority, the crumbling of the existing order. Support for Israel has defined order in this region for decades and required us to support dictators. Ever since Truman defied the State Department in 1947-48, we have been committed to maintaining a Jewish state in the Middle East despite local opposition. This has required great American expenditure, and probably cost Bobby Kennedy his life, but it has been an order. That order has meant frequent lip service to Arab democracy, but hey, Mubarak is better than those Islamists.

Now that true Arab democracy is finally coming on stage, the moral structure falls apart. I say morals, because support for Israel has always had a moral rationale. The American establishment could feel good about supporting Israel because it seemed like the right thing: We had helped to solve the age-old Jewish Question of Europe. We had ended Jewish persecution.

Israel was the answer to Never again! If you doubt that this is the moral calculus of our policy, step into the Center for Jewish History in New York this month. There must be four or five exhibits that touch on Jewish persecution in the Middle East and Europe. The destruction of Italian Jews. The destruction of Berlin businesses that provided the finest linens, photography, interiors… The persecution of Moroccan Jews. It never ends, along with an exhibit dedicated to the “miracle” of Israel’s creation with American Jewish support. 

Thus the Jewish community has hunkered down in an anachronistic identity of victimization– secure in the completely-contradictory knowledge that the American power structure will support Israel.

All this is changing in Egypt. An Arab liberation story is forcing itself into world consciousness. “The vast, vast majority of protesters are peaceful people, mostly middle class, and they are showing great solidarity. People are still defending the Egyptian Museum,”Issandr El-Amrani reports, inspiringly. There is bound to be great suffering in Egypt, we pray for a smooth transition, but if the Egyptians are only left to handle their own affairs, who doubts that the polity that will emerge from this chaos will be more responsive to human rights, and will strike a blow against the fetters of anti-Arab racism that have chained the American mind.


Egyptians believe Mubarak instigated looting to show only he can protect them from chaos

Jan 29, 2011


Parvez Sharma

Editor: We are deeply grateful to Pulse for posting Parvez Sharma’s piece while our site was down all morning.

American television networks and an endless parade of mostly white men pundits (brought out and dusted off with their cobwebs) should take lessons from Al-Jazeera in live reportage, in not having pundits talk over the chants of a mass of humanity, in having Arab reporters covering what they know best, in remarkably evocative and courageous camerawork and in just being able to cover history like no other television network has ever been able to do before. And yes, I also mean that CNN during the first Gulf War was not as good as this.

It is so important to remember that the vast MAJORITY of those on the streets around the country do not have the time, the ability, the resources (including smartphones) and certainly no access to working mobile phone service. This revolution is JUST NOT BEING TWITTERED by the people who are actually protesting.

The only people tweeting are either reporters with huge bureaus and live cameras to back them or people like me reporting from the cyber-frontlines talking to the few friends in Cairo we can reach on their landlines.

To tweet this revolution and Egypt’s complex back-story in 140 characters or less is impossible.

Interestingly Al-Jazeera which is doing a stellar job is also more interested in covering the revolution (amazingly) in what is essentially wide-shots to show the extent of the chaos. Ayman’s camera is focused on the thousands in Tahrir. Not many correspondents are able to get to neighborhoods like Rihab, Mohandasin, Zamalek, Maadi—which cyber-reporters/tweeters like me are able to do by talking only on landlines (mobiles are not working) to our friends—ordinary citizens. Hopefully this below, is an example of that.


I must mention that some amazing independent reporters like Ahmed Moor (who is writing for Mondoweiss and sometimes Al-Jazeera English) and  Sharif Koudouss (of Democracy Now—who just flew  into Cairo) are doing remarkable reportage, even though they are not necessarily backed by major news bureaus

My friend Fouad was able to get on the landline again. His body and soul are still bruised and yet he has never been more hopeful. His severe anger at Hosni Mubarak’s speech full of lies and his ambivalence about the appointment of Omar Soliman, the head of intelligence as the new vice president.

It a fragmented conversation on a still functioning landline. And as bullets do rain all around him, here are his bullet points. The thoughts and experiences of an ordinary citizen, not a reporter.

Mohandaseen is burning—we are surrounded by looters, and the army is just watching

·         –They are looting houses and we have no idea who these looters are

·         –My parents asked army tank guys and they said we cannot intervene!

·         –Everyone here is saying that Mubarak is being spiteful-he wants looters so that he can say-Look I gave you calm for 30 years? OK now you want to get rid of me? Well see the chaos my going can bring-Enjoy the unrest and the looting. Only I could have protected all of you!

·         –I was driving and 3 men with knives attacked me near Sudan street—I had to sort of run them over

·         –Big rumor that Mubarak is releasing prisoners and arming them so that they can infiltrate neighbourhoods and loot them

·         –Maadi, Street number nine-huge vandalism happening—There is looting everywhere in Rihab city, in Mohandasin, in Shubra. In Heliopolis there are plainsclothes police

·         –My parents are organizing all the baobabs in our street and making blockades to stop the looters

·         –There are Balkageyah (thugs) everywhere—all rich neighborhoods are being attacked

·         –I think he is fucked up yaani–He didnt resign—his speech instigated the violence—now looters and the poor think that when you know there is no hope you might as well get as much as you can as long as the chaos lasts–people were hopeful that he would go

·         –Maybe in other governates–people are more organized and closer to each other as community members…so they will organize better, perhaps—In Cairo it is difficult to control the chaos and disorder—there are 19 million people in this city who often don’t talk to each other and are so separated by class and money—I am wondering how they can organize together?

·         –The people in Cairo are fighting two things–they are fighting police forces but also now fighting looters

·         –People prayed the Salat ul Genaza, the funeral prayer after the evening prayers in Tahrir—we carried a body through the crush of thousands—I was crying, so many of us were crying

Over 100 dead so far during the Egyptian revolution, is the world watching?

Jan 29, 2011



Here is a livestream of several twitter accounts from people who are sharing on the ground reports:


And more news from Today in Palestine:



Egyptian Revolution
Army protecting Egypt protesters from police (video)
If the Egypt protesters succeed in driving Hosni Mubarak from power, moments like this will be remembered as crucial.

Egypt’s military in a quandary
Al Jazeera’s senior analyst Marwan Bishara sheds light on what the military is likely to do.

Egypt riots escalate; political prisoners shot
Riots break out at Egypt jail holding political prisoners, including Muslim Brothers members; eight detainees reportedly killed. Meanwhile, protests in Cairo, Alexandria rage on, demonstrators try to break into Interior Ministry headquarters

Hospital says police shooting to kill 
A resident doctor at the hospital who was assisting with surgeries yesterday told Al-Masry Al-Youm today that most of those admitted were not wounded, but dead. He estimated the number at more than 50.

Over 20 bodies in Egypt’s Alexandria – Jazeera
DUBAI, Jan 29 (Reuters) Al-Jazeera television said on Saturday its correspondent had seen more than 20 bodies in the Eguyptian city of Alexandria, following massive demonstrations and clashes with security forces on Friday.

At least 35 reported dead in Egypt as protests continue for fifth day
Protesters were undeterred by President Mubarak’s morning address, where he promised reform but gave no sign that he would resign.

Egyptian security: 12 killed in Bedouin skirmish at Gaza border
SINAI PENINSULA, Egypt (Ma’an) — Palestinian sources say 12 people including Bedouins and Egyptian police officers were killed Saturday in clashes in the Sinai Peninsula, in what appeared to be an attempt by tribes in the region to take control of the swath of land south of the Egypt-Gaza border. 

Dozens of Israelis flee Egypt on emergency flight
The Israeli embassy in Cairo has been closed since the riots broke out, and will remain closed on Sunday; Netanyahu has not yet voiced a political stance on the protests. 

Matthew Cassel sent me this from Cairo:  “i just drove by what used to be the israeli embassy in cairo. it’s now completely empty, the staff has fled. there is no longer an israeli flag hanging in cairo or anywhere else in egypt.”

Egypt swears in Shafiq as prime minister; Suleiman appointed vice-president
Former air force commander Ahmed Shafiq named prime minister while Omar Suleiman assumes vice-presidency position vacant for 30 years after cabinet forced to resign.

Mubarak appoints vice-president
Protests continue as Egyptian president appoints former spy chief as vice-president as well as a new prime minister.

Flash: `Umar Sulyaman vice-president, As`ad Abukhalil
This just in.  The chief of Egyptian intelligence, `Umar Sulayman, has just been appointed vice-president for Mubarak.  As is known, Mubarak has resisted for decades naming a vice-president.  The announcement reveal two things: 1) that he is officially and in a subtle way informing the Egyptian people that Jamal Mubarak is no more his successor. 2) that reveal a US coup at the top.  The US and Israel want a continuation of the regime but without Mubarak.   The rest depends on the Egyptian people, and how hard they will press.  I tend to think that they won’t be fooled, even if the process of change take a while, a year or more.

All you need to know about the THUG Sulieman



Egypt cannot ‘shuffle the deck’ and ‘stand pat’-US
WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – The Egyptian government cannot simply “shuffle the deck and then stand pat,” the U.S. State Department said on Saturday, pressing for political reform after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s decision to dismiss his Cabinet.  “The Egyptian government can’t reshuffle the deck and then stand pat,” department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a message on Twitter.  “President Mubarak’s words pledging reform must be followed by action,” he added, echoing U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for reforms by the long-time Egyptian president. 

Amr Moussa endorses protesters’ demand for regime change
“I respect all people’s demands,” Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa,  told Al Jazeera on Saturday.  The people’s main demand during the last four days of protests has been to oust the current regime. After President Hosni Mubarak’s public address to the nation–in which he pledged to sack the current cabinet–people continued protesting on Sunday, but modified their demand to “The people want the president to go.”  “Reforms have to take place immediately and they have to be sustained. The message of the people is clear,” said Moussa.

Anger against Hosni Mubarak 
Mubarak is hanging on, promising reform but the protesters feel the momentum is with them. Just two weeks after a revolution in Tunisia could Egypt be next?

Mubarak promises reform, but defends crackdown on protesters
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak dismisses his Cabinet and addresses the nation, defending the crackdown and urging calm. His speech comes after a day of intense protests that drew thousands to the streets of Cairo. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak dismissed his government but gave no sign in a defiant national television address early Saturday that he would be driven from office by widespread protests that have shaken his security forces, killed at least 25 people and left spirals of smoke across the capital.
Egypt cabinet formally resigns amid anti-government protests
Pro-democracy leader ElBaradei calls on President Mubarak to resign as protesters continue to demonstrate, saying Mubarak must go along with the cabinet.

Top Egyptian dissident says Mubarak ‘must go’
PARIS (AFP) — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak “must go,” top dissident Mohamed ElBaradei told France 24 television on Saturday from Cairo, vowing that protests against his rule would intensify.  “President Mubarak did not understand the message of the Egyptian people,” ElBaradei said. “His speech was totally disappointing. The protests will continue with even more intensity until the Mubarak regime falls.”

Mubarak refuses to step down, dismisses Egyptian government
Egyptian President acknowledges calls for change but maintains that order must prevail in his first public statement since massive protests began four days ago.

ElBaradei joins protesters in Cairo clash with police
A Cairo street erupts, as thousands of protesters, hurling stones and shoes, clash with police. Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, drenched, his eyes stinging, is hurried by friends into a mosque.

Egypt Protests Cause Major Flight Cancelations, Changed Plans
NEW YORK — An increasingly unstable situation in Egypt forced cruise companies, tour providers and solo U.S. travelers to cancel trips and change plans Friday.  New Yorker Zach Honig, 25, currently traveling in Israel, said in an e-mail that he “was planning to go on to Cairo after this trip via bus, but decided to go to Italy and France instead.”

Cairo: Israeli embassy may close
Though Foreign Ministry has no plan to evacuate tourists, El Al tries to arrange special flight.

Egypt military chief appears to cut short US visit
WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – A senior Egyptian military official aims to return home on Friday from the United States, a top U.S. general said, apparently cutting short a visit for defense talks as unrest sweeps his country.  The Pentagon had said earlier on Friday that Lieutenant General Sami Enan, chief of staff of Egypt’s armed forces, was leading a delegation in defense talks set run into next week. “He is still in the United States. I believe he intends to return today,” General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. 

Obama called on Egypt’s government to refrain from violence
DEVELOPING… In his first address on the political unrest in Egypt, President Barack Obama called on the Egyptian government to refrain from committing violence against peaceful protesters. “The people of Egypt have rights that are universal,” Obama said.

Obama urges reform in Egypt
US president calls on his Egyptian counterpart to take concrete steps towards political reform.
I received this message about Egypt, As’ad AbuKhalil
The source wants to stay anonymous but I cant evaluate the credibility of the source:  “A source from within the Presidential Guard has claimed to my friends in Cairo that the army intends to end the protests on Sunday, by any means necessary even if it meant violence and bloodshed. Junta goons are causing chaos in Cairo to claim an unstable situation which will extend until Saturday. Then under the guise of bringing back order, they will “crush them with any amount of force needed!”. The sources are unsure of the American role but believe the Americans will go with it.”

State Department Travel Warnings: U.S. Travelers Urged To Avoid Egypt
WASHINGTON — The State Department is urging Americans to defer any non-essential travel to Egypt because of the large anti-government protests and warning U.S. citizens already in the country to stay put until the situation stabilizes.

Human Rights Watch: Egypt: Nationwide Internet Blackout Endangers Rights
(Cairo) – ­The Egyptian government’s unprecedented blackout of the nation’s internet and most cell phone networks poses a major threat to basic human rights, and should be reversed immediately, Human Rights Watch said today.

Keeping Al Jazeera on air in Egypt
Internet and mobile phone services have been blocked in Egypt since early on Friday morning. Many viewers also had trouble watching Al Jazeera Arabic’s Live Service. Ayman Gaballah, head of Al Jazeera’s Live service, spoke about the ongoing black-out being experienced.

Egypt shutdown worst in internet history: experts
The scale of Egypt’s crackdown on the Internet and mobile phones amid deadly protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak is unprecedented in the history of the web, experts said.

Saudi stock market drops 6.5-percent amid Egyptian unrest
RIYADH – The Saudi stock market, the largest Arab bourse, dropped 6.43 percent to 6267.22 points on Saturday as tensions soared in Egypt where deadly anti-government protests continued for a fifth day.  The market has been gripped by severe anxiety because of the events in Egypt, traders in Saudi Arabia told AFP, expressing fears that other Gulf markets, due to open on Sunday, will be similarly affected.

Saturday Protests

Egypt police open fire on protesters at ministry – Al Jazeera TV
CAIRO, (Jan 29) Reuters – Police opened fire on 1,000 Egyptian protesters trying to storm the Interior Ministry in Cairo Saturday, Al Jazeera reported.

AJE Egypt picture slideshow 

Egypt Protests Continue as Military Stands By
While some protesters clashed with police, army tanks expected to disperse the crowds in central Cairo and in the northern city of Alexandria instead became rest points and even, on occasion, part of the protests as anti-Mubarak graffiti were scrawled on them without interference from soldiers. 

Demanding change in Egypt
Tens of thousands of Egyptians ignored the nighttime curfew and took to the streets of Cairo for another day of protests, setting fire to police vehicles and the ruling party’s headquarters. A population generally viewed as being apathetic seems to have finally found its strong political voice. But with President Mubarak’s recent pronouncements unlikely to quench the thirst for change displayed on the streets, the outcome of Egypt’s protests remains to be seen. Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford reports.

Protesters back on Egypt streets
Regional ruling party headquarters is torched amid renewed protests, as death toll from unrest crosses 90.

Egypt’s anger spills into the streets for a 5th day
Cairo protesters chant: “Mr. Mubarak, wake up — today is your final day in power!” The Cabinet officially resigns.  Thousands of protesters returned to the streets of central Cairo on Saturday morning to demand that President Hosni Mubarak leave power on the fifth consecutive day of civil revolt that has rocked the country to the core and left dozens dead and hundreds injured.

Egypt protesters: Mubarak, you’re not hearing us
The Egypt uprising is rolling on with protesters crawling on tanks, hugging soldiers, and insisting that Mubarak must go.
Egypt tense after bloody protests
Army deployed in key cities while curfew fails to deter protesters calling for the president’s resignation.
Pictures of Saturday protests

Egyptian Intifada

Other pictures

International Protests & Solidarity with Egyptians
Egyptian Embassy in Venezuela Briefly Taken Over, Chavez Says
Demonstrators briefly took over Egypt’s Embassy in Caracas today in a bid to show support for protests taking place in the North African country against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said. The protesters entered peacefully under the pretext of collecting documents and once inside took over the building, Chavez said. They were persuaded to leave after speaking with Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, he said. 

Lebanon: Protest in Support of Egypt 
A solidarity protest in support of the demonstrators in Egypt is taking place next to the Egyptian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. Similar protests are being reported around the world, as Egyptians continue to rally against the 30-year rule of president Hosni Mubarak. 
Picture from Lebanon

Solidarity in Jaffa

Egypt supporters rally worldwide
Protests held across globe in a show of solidarity with Egyptian demonstrators attempting to oust president.
Protesters demonstrate at Egyptian embassy in Dublin
Reaction to unrest in Egypt has spread internationally, including the United States and Europe. In this amateur video, Egyptians demonstrate in front of their country’s embassy in Dublin.

London Protest

Exclusive — Egypt protest at White House 

Columbus, Ohio demonstrations for Egypt

Emergency demonstrations in solidarity with Egyptian people

Videos from Friday Protests (for news on today look at the top of this post)

BBC journalist arrested and beaten by Egyptian police
A BBC journalist has been beaten during riots in the Egyptian capital.   Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters demanding an end to President Mubarak’s 30-year rule took to the streets after Friday prayers. BBC Arabic reporter, Assad Sawey, told Lyse Doucet that his arrest by the police had been “brutal”.

Egyptians defy curfew: this is not a demonstration, this is a revolution
The total upheaval of Egypt happened with alarming speed; Friday afternoon, the government was still able to monitor and control the protests, only to have the calm shattered that evening.

Egypt protesters defy curfew despite brutal repression
CAIRO (IPS) – Tear gas and smoke wafted through the air of the Egyptian capital on Friday as police moved swiftly to disperse anti-government demonstrations throughout the city.

Cairo Dispatch: Diverse Crowds Demand Changes
The following is a set of edited notes from a conversation between myself and IPS’s correspondent in Egypt, Emad Mekay, who was filing dispatches for LobeLog until the Internet went down. He was on the streets of downtown Cairo today until just after the curfew, when he returned home and we chatted by phone. Slow-building protests started out with diverse crowds, including children
On the streets
Egyptians seem to lose their fear with direct challenge to president.

Fresh protests erupt in Egypt
Protests have erupted in cities across Egypt following Friday midday prayers, with angry demonstrators demanding an end to Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year presidency. Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across the country. Al Jazeera continues its coverage of what many say are unprecendented protests.
Egyptian army enters the streets of Cairo
Egyptian protesters appear to be welcoming military on the streets of Cairo.

Egyptian military protects state TV in Cairo
Mubarak’s presidential guard unit head towards state TV station in Cairo.
Riot police clash with protesters in Cairo
Protests have erupted in cities across Egypt following Friday midday prayers, with angry demonstrators demanding an end to Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year presidency. Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across the country.
Police use force to quell uprising
Egyptian police escalates the use of force against largely peaceful demonstrations.

28th Jan. 2010 – Storyful – Egypt Clashes Police Kasr Al Nile Bridge Cairo Mubarak

Protesters in Suez call for regime change
Protests have erupted in cities across Egypt following Friday midday prayers, with angry demonstrators demanding an end to Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year presidency. Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across the country.
In Alexandria, Protesters Rout the Police, for Now
Alexandria was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting in the country on Friday as riot police officers fired tear-gas canisters and rubber bullets and protesters hurled paving stones.
Map: Cairo’s ‘day of wrath’
Violent protests have spread across the Egyptian capital, Cairo, and other Egyptian cities as tens of thousands of demonstrators intensified their campaign to oust President Hosni Mubarak. Protesters have been pouring out from mosques after noon prayers on Friday and clashing with police who fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse the crowds. This video explains the geographic spread of Cairo protests. Al Jazeera is mapping Egypt’s ‘day of wrath’ – visit our website: http://english.aljazeera.net – for more information.
Protestor run over by a police van in Egypt
Egyptian protesters defy Cairo crackdown – in pictures

An eyewitness account of the Egypt protests
We have come together to stop the looting of our country by this regime, writes Ahdaf Soueif in Cairo.

In pictures: Anger in Egypt
Egypt’s Uprising in Pictures

The Egypt Protests

AP: An Egyptian anti-government activist shakes hands with riot police officers. 

Egypt Cables

Wikileaks [38]: “NDP INSIDER: Military will ensure transfer to Gamal Mubarak
 Comment:  Dessouki is an NDP insider who has held a number of key positions.  His assurances that the Egyptian military and security services would ensure a smooth succession to a civilian (by implication Gamal Mubarak) were unusually straightforward and blunt.  The idea that the military remains a key political and economic force is conventional wisdom here.  However, other observers tell us that the military has grown less influential, more fractured and its leadership weaker in recent years (reftel).  They suggest that in a succession scenario in which President  Mubarak is no longer present, outcomes are less predictable. End comment. 

WikiLeaks Cables Show US Toned Down Pressure On Egypt
LONDON — The U.S. ambassador in Cairo warned Washington to be less confrontational in its dealings with Egypt, toning down human rights pressure to avoid jeopardizing relations with the Middle East ally, dozens of U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks Friday showed. The release of the cables came on a day of major anti-government protests in Egypt, with police firing rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds after demonstrators threw stones at officers. The cables have the potential to aggravate the situation further because they offer specifics on police brutality and unease about the jailing of dissidents.

(C) Summary and comment:  On December 23, April 6 activist XXXXXXXXXXXX  expressed satisfaction with his participation in 
the December 3-5 “Alliance of Youth Movements Summit,” and with his subsequent meetings with USG officials, on Capitol Hill, and with think tanks.  He described how State Security (SSIS) detained him at the Cairo airport upon his return and confiscated his notes for his summit presentation calling for democratic change in Egypt, and his schedule for his Congressional meetings.  XXXXXXXXXXXX contended that the GOE will never undertake significant reform, and therefore, Egyptians need to replace the current regime with a parliamentary democracy.  He alleged that several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011; we are doubtful of this claim.  XXXXXXXXXXXX said that although SSIS recently released two April 6 activists, it also arrested three additional group members. We have pressed the MFA for the release of these April 6 activists.  April 6’s stated goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections is highly unrealistic, and is not supported by the mainstream opposition.  End summary and comment. 

Egyptian Collaborators

Vodafone confirms role in Egypt’s cellular, Internet blackout
An executive at London-based Vodafone Group PLC explained Friday morning that it did indeed have a role in the phone and Internet blackout affecting Egypt since Thursday night, confirming speculation that the firm had cooperated with the regime to close off protesters’ communications.

Egyptian telecom and Israel’s dirty hands, As`ad abukhalil

Hani sent me this: “It might interest you that a company named Narus – A company based in the US but founded by Israelis is known for “creating NarusInsight, a supercomputer system which is allegedly used by the National Security Agency and other entities to perform mass surveillance and monitoring of public and corporate Internet communications in real time.”  Egypt Telecom is a user of this service.  The company is currently owned by Boeing.  Here is a link to a recent Huffington Post article.”


Usama Saraya, As`ad Abukhalil
Saraya is a talentless Egyptian journalist.  He has been a propagandist for Mubarak.  Today, he was on Al-Arabiyya TV (the station of King Fahd’s brother-in-law) and he described the protesters as gangs.  The anchor of the station that has been loyal to Mubarak (as loyal to Mubarak as House of Saud), bristled at him and uncharacteristically protested saying: these are thousands of people.   How can you say they are gangs?

U.S. Support of Mubarak

US company provides tear gas to Egyptian police
The tear gas being used by police to disperse protesters in Cairo, Egypt was made in America, according to a television news report. The labels on canisters say that the tear gas was produced by Combined Systems International (CSI) of Jamestown, Pa., Egyptian protesters with photographic proof told ABC News Friday.

Hillary Clinton on Mubarak, As`ad Abukhalil
“”I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family. So I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the UnitedStates.”
Jeffrey Feltman on Egypt, As’ad Abukhalil

Today, Jeffrey Feltman was asked for his analysis of Egyptian developments.  He said:  “What happened in Egypt strikes me as uniquely Egyptian.”  Tomorrow, Jeffrey Feltman is expected to announce that what happened in Yemen strikes him as uniquely Yemeni.


Obama and Mubarak, As`ad Abukhalil

“Yesterday President Obama welcomed President Mubarak of Egypt to the White House for the first time since taking office. The Presidents first met in Cairo where President Obama delivered a speech on America’s relationship with Muslim communities around the world.  The President emphasized the longstanding partnership between the United 
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/01/obama-and-mubarak_28.htmlStates and Egypt and the work that must be done together to “help advance the interest of peace and prosperity around the world.


Obama on Mubarak in 2009, As’ad Abukhalil
“Justin Webb: Do you regard President Mubarak as an authoritarian ruler? President Obama: No, I tend not to use labels for folks. I haven’t met him. I’ve spoken to him on the phone.  He has been a stalwart ally in many respects, to the United States. He has sustained peace with Israel, which is a very difficult thing to do in that region.  But he has never resorted to, you know, unnecessary demagoging of the issue, and has tried to maintain that relationship. So I think he has been a force for stability. And good in the region. Obviously, there have been criticisms of the manner in which politics operates in Egypt.  And, as I said before, the United States’ job is not to lecture, but to encourage, to lift up what we consider to be the values that ultimately will work – not just for our country, but for the aspirations of a lot of people.”


Bush on Mubarak, As`ad Abukhalil
“Our friendship is strong. It’s a cornerstone of — one of the main cornerstones of our policy in this region, and it’s based on our shared commitment to peace, security and prosperity.  I appreciate the opportunity, Mr. President, to give you an update on my trip. And I appreciate the advice you’ve given me. You’ve seen a lot in your years as President; you’ve got a great deal of experience, and I appreciate you feeling comfortable in sharing that experience once again with me.  I really appreciate Egypt’s support in the war on terror.


George W. Bush in praise of Mubarak, As`ad Abukhalil

“President Bush offered his unqualified support for Egypt’s political reform process Wednesday. “He said this is a very good move and it’s what we expect out of Egypt,” Prime Minister Ahmed Nazief said after their White House meeting.  “He didn’t question it, like so many skeptics around,” Nazief said in an Associated Press interview afterward.  “He said, ‘Make sure your elections set an example for other countries in the region,’ and I think that is good advice,” the prime minister said.”


Laura Bush on Mubarak, As`ad Abukhalil
“First lady Laura Bush on Monday praised Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s controversial plan for elections this year, which some opposition groups say would prevent them from participating.  “I would say that President Mubarak has taken a very bold step,” the first lady told reporters after touring the pyramids here. “You know that each step is a small step, that you can’t be quick.”  Bush’s comments amounted to an endorsement of Mubarak’s plan to hold Egypt’s first multi-candidate presidential election this year.”


Israel and its American friends want to stop the Egyptian ‘earthquake’, Alex Kane
The Israeli government and its many friends in the U.S. media are rushing to support the brutal Mubarak dictatorship as it copes with the most serious challenge to its rule.  As I noted yesterday, Israel is worried about a reliable ally being toppled next door. The Israeli government recently told journaliststhat there is “an earthquake in the Middle East … but we believe the Egyptian regime is strong enough and that Egypt is going to overcome the current wave of demonstrations.”

Zionist Support of Mubarak

Israel fears radical takeover in Egypt
Extremist takeover in Egypt would put Israel in ‘wholly different position,’ security official warns.


Ben-Eliezer: Mubarak regime, peace will endure
“I have no doubt that the situation in Egypt is under control, our relations with Egypt are strategic and intimate,” Labor MK tells ‘Post.’  “I have no doubt that the situation in Egypt is under control,” Labor MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. “The intelligence services, which are sophisticated, expected this after what happened in a different situation in Tunisia. [Mubarak] is allowing people to let off steam. He hasn’t used police. It’s all under control. I believe in complete faith that it won’t be a problem.” Ben-Eliezer, a former defense minister, is considered the Israeli politician closest to Mubarak.


Israel Has Faith Mubarak Will Prevail
With a deep investment in the status quo, Israel is watching what a senior official calls “an earthquake in the Middle East” with growing concern. The official says the Jewish state has faith that the security apparatus of its most formidable Arab neighbor, Egypt, can suppress the street demonstrations that threaten the dictatorial rule of President Hosni Mubarak. The harder question is what comes next.

PM Netanyahu: Israel will monitor but not comment on Egypt protests
The Foreign Ministry is conducting status updates on Egypt every couple of hours and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has been maintaining close contact with Israel’s ambassador to Egypt.


Israel fears radical takeover in Egypt
Extremist takeover in Egypt would put Israel in ‘wholly different position,’ security official warns.

Iran and Egypt: a Zionist explains the difference, As`ad Abukhalil
“I asked Elsner about the Israel Project’s previous support for a “Stand for Freedom in Iran” rally in September 2009, held in the wake of the Green Movement protests, which emphasized lofty ideals of human rights and democracy. Why is the group not supporting the same ideals in Egypt?   “There is a huge difference between the governments of Iran and of Egypt. The government of Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel and has observed it,” Elsner said, also noting the antagonistic view of Iran toward Israel.  He said the Israel Project is not to his knowledge planning any programs in support of the Egyptian protests, saying it will likely “be regarded as an internal matter for the people of Egypt.”
Arab & Other Support for Mubarak

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called Mubarak and “affirmed his solidarity with Egypt and and his commitment to is its security and stability,” according to the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa.

Saudi king backs Mubarak
Saudi Arabia’s king told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he stands with the Egyptian government. In the statement reported by the Saudi Press Agency, King Abdullah said in a Saturday phone call to Mubarak that he condemned people who have attempted “to destabilize the nation’s security and stability.”

Tariq Alhomayed
Now is not the time to recall mistakes, but rather to learn the harshest and most important lessons. This does not just apply to the Egyptians, but to the entire Arab world that is addicted to stagnancy to the point that there are not only slums in our cities, but also media and intellectual slums, and more. The Arab world – which has also become addicted to making promises and holding onto centralization [of power] – is not taking heed of the disasters that are occurring all around us. As Dr. Mamoun Fandy wrote in his article “we are not the people of Tunisia”, the answer to this is always “we are not Iraq”, “we are not Lebanon”, “we are not Somalia”, and “we are not Yemen”, and the list goes on. 

TARIQ ALJOMAYED ANGRY ARAB IS TALKING ABOUT YOU! Saudi propagandists are on full alert: support Mubarak
Read the editorials in the mouthpiece of Prince Salman and his sons (Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat): they have received orders to stand with Mubarak and to warn of doom and gloom in the case he is toppled.

Egypt not trending in China
Beijing blocks searches for “Egypt” from microblogging site following protests there.


The US and Egypt, As`ad Abukhalil
Of course, the US is now trying to capitalize on the situation and to feign identification with Egyptian popular sympathies when in reality the US has supported AND funded every crackdown on the Egyptian people since 1975.  That won’t change.  The US won’t to control change and replace a puppet with another puppet (preferably someone with a better hair dye).  But there are limits to US ability to control: Tunisia and Egypt will be undergoing a revolutionary process.   Tunisia a year from now will be very different from what it looks like today.  You have to a Jeffrey Feltman, or a toddler, to think that Tunisia will freeze in time as it is today.  And the people’s pressures will produce demands for free elections (something the US has thus far NOT called for for obvious reasons–the US never favor free elections–or it did until Bush discovered that people favored Hamas to his puppets in Palestine).  And elections in Tunisia and Egypt are not as easy to control as they were in Lebanon with the sectarian factor.  I read that Kenneth Pollack was talking about the Egyptian army (and he knows about the Arab military), and that he said that top rank of the Egyptian Army are all loyalists who favor Egyptian foreign policy or words to that effect.  But Pollack needs to realize that loyalties are so easily shifted and radically altered Especially after a regime change.  Are you aware how many of the top rank of the Egyptian revolutionaries in 1952 had expressed loyalty to King Faruq in previous years (I am sure that comrade Kamal would provide me now with names and details).  The US, if it is led by intelligent experts on the Middle East and Shapiro at the NSC and Feltman at the State Department are far from that, to  put it mildly and charitably, would realize that there are limits for US imperial powers at a time of revolutionary transformation.  Things will change in a way that would surprise the US, and would surprise you and me too.  Now there is a race between the various political factions to assert control.  Expect to hear of new groups that we have not heard of before.  

Israel and change in Egypt, As`ad Abukhalil
You can only gloat now about the fortunes–sorry misfortunes–of the terrorist state of Israel.  What do you say about a state that based its strategic posture on the preservation of dictatorial regimes all around it.  Do you realize why I always had confidence that Israel’s years are numbered, and not only because they should be numbered.  This is a historic necessity that can be analyzed in historical materialist terms.  Do you now understand why Netanyahu has ordered silence about Egypt among all his officials?  Their panic and nervousness equal that of the Mubarak family.  I really doubt that there is one Israeli official left in the Israeli espionage embassy in Cairo.  I really doubt that now.  Do you think that if the Egyptian people were to freely choose their representatives they would impose a siege on Gaza? That they would invite Netanyahu for Ramadan iftar?  Just look at the Iraqi political scene which is a puppet government jointly controlled by a kooky Ayatullah (Sistani, the cleric of occupation) and the US occupation.  Only on–ONE–elected (in a puppet election) guy, Mithal Allusi, dared to speak for peace with Israel.  And how popular is that is even with Israeli and American money allegedly showered on him?  Do you know how many assassination attempts he has survived over the years? Two of his sons were assassinated.  You would be surprised if you think my categorical rejection of Israel is not shared by the Arab people.  I met a young Saudi couple on their honeymoon in the summer in Lebanon: you know what was their first destination in Lebanon? Not the regular tourist sites, they donned Kufiyyahs and went to the Resistance Museum in Mlita.  Comrade Amer yesterday wrote me that he never felt Palestine closer.  I can’t disagree.  The picture will only get bleaker for Israel and for Israelis.  This has been the doing of a century of terrorism against Arabs.   The US run Pakistan and when I went on a speaking tour there 4 years ago, the Pakistanis told me that US congress pressured Gen. Musharraf, or Busharraf as Pakistanis liked to call him, and he just could not because he know how explosive that would be in Pakistani public opinion.  The US will continue to pay the price for its decades of wholeheartedly embracing Israeli occupation and terrorists interests over all else.  All for the state of Israel. The US has alienated millions and millions of Arabs over its policies for Israel (and of course over its embrace of Middle East dictatorships and that is part and parcel of its support for Israel).  That was what US Secretary of Defense, James Forestal warned against back in 1948 when Truman was considering to recognize Israel.  This is not to say that the US has imperialist interests of its own: of course it does, and there is oil but the Zionist lobby in Washington, DC has really put all policy considerations under the headline of support for Israel.  On the long term, Israel will also prove to be a big boost for anti-Semitism around the world, especially when Israel goes under.  And for that, you may also blame the Zionist state of Israel and its decades of terrorism against Arabs.  

word of caution, As`ad Abukhalil
Comrade Joseph sent me this (I cite with his permission):  “I am very worried that the Americans have taken over the direction of the Egyptian revolution. Let us remember that all possible candidates to replace Mubarak that even al-Jazeera is mentioning today are all handpicked by the Americans, including Barad’i, as well as Army chief of staff Anan, or anyone else for that matter. Obama has proven once more that the biggest anti-democratic force in the Arab world remains the United States, and the biggest enemy of Arab democracy since WWII till now remains the US. This has to be constantly repeated and the Egyptian people must be very cautious in what happens next. The United States wants to mortgage the freedom of all Arabs, including 84 million Egyptians to Israeli security and American profits. This is the crucial game being played today in Egypt in preparation for the maintenance of US power and influence in Egypt. Al-Jazeera must make this the main topic of discussion today.”   I am not as worried; there is so much that the US can do to control the situation.

Threat of sabotage & Islamophobia re Egypt, Helena Cobban
As Pres. mubarak desperately hangs onto his last threads of power, he and the many Egyptian and international forces who have supported him can be expected to engage in damaging sabotage and ‘delugeism’– and of course, also to try to stir up in the west the ever-lurking tides of Islamophobia. In this regard, we all need to learn a lot, very quickly, about the positions and history of Egypt’s large Muslim Brotherhood movement. I don’t have normal internet access right now, or else I could delve into the JWN archives here and bring out some of the reporting I’ve done on the movement. (feel free to do so yourselves.) The MB’s own websites, in English and Arabic, would be another obvious resource, though they are largely disabled right now. I did however findthis interesting article on the Ikhwanweb site, dating from last summer. It’s a discussion of the MB’s views on democracy.

Analysis: Upheaval in Egypt
Experts speak to Al Jazeera about the situation in Egypt on Friday’s “day of wrath” that saw protesters face rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons from the police.

Egypt’s Military Is Seen as Pivotal in Next Step, NEIL MacFARQUHAR
It is difficult to predict what role the military might play in quelling protests or easing the president from power.

As night falls in Egypt families begin looking for missing loved ones, Parvez Sharma
I have been blogging, texting, skyping, twittering, gmail-chatting, fb-chatting for 72 hours now. I have not slept. I do not intend to– as long as my many friends– are out there in the streets of Cairo not daring to sleep either.  Now I am getting messages from folks who have missing relatives in Cairo’s chaos.
In Suez, anger turns into anarchy, Leila Fadel
SUEZ, Egypt – Alaa el Haddad watched from his balcony as the street below turned into a war zone Friday.
Egyptian President Mubarak has never hesitated to use force against challenges to his rule, Janine Zacharia
CAIRO – For three decades, President Hosni Mubarak has relied heavily on a robust, repressive security force to ensure his rule. The unapologetic message he delivered on state television early Saturday gave no sign that he was shifting course.
Human Right’s Watch: Egypt: Demonstrators Defy Riot Police, Censorship
 (Cairo) – Thousands of protesters in Cairo and Alexandria defied a heavy deployment of riot police and other security forces and government warnings not to participate in demonstrations on January 28, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The government shut down access to the internet and most mobile phone networks and ordered the army onto the streets of Cairo ahead of a curfew.
Human Rights Watch Egypt: The View From Liberation Square
(Cairo) – As students our dream was to demonstrate in Tahrir (Liberation) Square in the center of the city, the site of the 1977 bread riots that brought political consciousness to the human rights movement in Egypt.

Human Rights Watch: Watching a New Beginning in Egypt, Peter Bouckaert
(Alexandria) – For much of Friday afternoon, this city teetered between hope and fear. We knew the army would come – the question was when. About 7:30 p.m., six armored personnel carriers with mounted machine guns arrived at the main square. Then something extraordinary happened: The soldiers were surrounded by hundreds of people – and after several minutes, welcomed. As I write this, ordinary citizens are walking up to the two vehicles stationed at Ramleh Square, and photographing each other flashing victory signs. The mood, tense for so much of the day, is turning festive. 

Mohamed ElBaradei: “If Not Now, When?”
Pro-democracy leader Mohamed El Baradei is calling for Western leaders to explicitly condemn Egypt’s current President Hosni Mubarak. (Photo: Lukas Beck / The New York Times)  If Western leaders, who have backed the dictator Mubarak for 30 years, cannot stand before the Egyptian people today and say unequivocally, “we support your right of national self-determination,” when can they do it?  That’s the question that Egyptian democracy leader and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei has put before Western leaders today.

Aftermath, Issandr El Amrani 
I don’t have much time to post thoughts here. I landed in Cairo around 4pm and had to pay a lot to get a driver to go a roundabout way to get home in Garden City. My street was full of rocks and cars bashed in. I saw the NDP office a block from my house get looted and then burned. Some shops were looted and destroyed nearby too. The NDP HQ building has burned down, many were horrified that the fire could spread to the Egyptian Museum next door, which protesters and later the army protected from looting. Central Cairo is a mess, with barricades made out of burned out cars blocking major streets.


Amy Goodman and Sharif Abdel Kouddous, “People ‘Want a New Government’ in Egypt: Interview with Ahmad Shokr, Editor, Al-Masry Al-Youm”
There are a variety of grievances that are being expressed in these protests. You know, people are fed up about a lot of things. People are fed up about the emergency law, the state of emergency that has prevailed in Egypt for the past 30 years. They’re fed up with corruption. They’re fed up with unemployment and with the deteriorating economic situation of the country. There’s been a movement in Egypt for the past couple of years to demand a national minimum wage, which currently sits at a pathetic 35 pounds a month, which is roughly the equivalent of seven or eight U.S. dollars. So there are a variety of grievances that are being brought to the streets. But gauging by people’s chants and conversations with people on the street, the unifying demand, the common demand that’s being articulated right now, is that people want the regime ousted. I mean, that’s sort of become the slogan of these protests over the past few days that people have been chanting over and over: that they want the regime ousted. They are fed up, and they want a new government. . . . We’re seeing all kinds of different groups coming out. We’re seeing workers. We’re seeing opposition political parties, who had at first been reluctant to support these protests, coming out in full force. So, I think what we’re witnessing is a transformation from what started as a youth-led movement, a movement of Egyptian young people demanding change, to a popular uprising.
A people defies its dictator, and a nation’s future is in the balance, Robert Fisk
It might be the end. It is certainly the beginning of the end. Across Egypt, tens of thousands of Arabs braved tear gas, water cannons, stun grenades and live fire yesterday to demand the removal of Hosni Mubarak after more than 30 years of dictatorship.

Al Jazeera Covers Protests Despite Hurdles, ROBERT F. WORTH
The channel has provided exhaustive coverage of Egypt’s protests despite repeated efforts to block its broadcasts.
Egyptians’ Fury Has Smoldered Beneath the Surface for Decades, MICHAEL SLACKMAN
Egyptians have demonstrated over the years about low wages, poverty and the election process, but never in such a widespread fashion.

Robert Fisk: A people defies its dictator, and a nation’s future is in the balance
It might be the end. It is certainly the beginning of the end. Across Egypt, tens of thousands of Arabs braved tear gas, water cannons, stun grenades and live fire yesterday to demand the removal of Hosni Mubarak after more than 30 years of dictatorship.

In Cairo, Egypt, a street-eye view on a day of ‘revolution’ and high hopes
Cairo witnessed extraordinary scenes of protest today. One Egyptian demonstrator consoled a sobbing young policeman, saying, ‘You are one of us now.’

Al Jazeera, “Military Coup or Popular Revolution? Egyptian Presidential Guard Head to State TV Station, Cheered On by Protesters”
“The presidential armed guard units, through the streets, headed towards the national television station, the state-run television station. A bit of a confusing picture there in Cairo, because we are seeing protesters cheering the presidential guard, happy that these troops are arriving.”
Egyptian unrest may set off vicious economic cycle, further weakening state
CAIRO: Fueled by fury over financial deprivation, the unrest roiling Egypt threatens to undermine the country’s economic growth and further weaken the government. The third straight day of protests sent the stock market plummeting Thursday, rattled investors and clouded what the government has portrayed as its crowning legacy: rising gross domestic product.
Dyab Abou Jahjah, “Egypt: Can the Army Neutralize the People?”
General Sami Annan (chief of staff of the army) was in Washington and is heading home; maybe he is carrying with him the secret American card to play now. This is dangerous for the uprising, as dangerous as the respect the people in Egypt have for the army. The army is viewed by the average Egyptian as an entity that sacrificed for the fatherland in several wars against Israel and also as the only functioning and modern institution. It is similar to the position the army has in Tunisia. Nothing is less true: the Egyptian army, just like the Tunisian army, has organic ties with the Pentagon and the CIA — it is not to be trusted. The only difference in this case is that in Tunisia the army took to the streets when the regime fell and not before, so a coup scenario was already a difficult option. The Egyptian army may be a hurdle in the way of the people in toppling the regime. . . . The challenge now is for the people to be determined and persevere while making it clear to the army that the word now is power to the people, not to the army. Otherwise, the regime will just recuperate and regenerate with Mubarak or another American puppet at its head.

Mubarak’s speech, As`ad Abukhalil
You may compare this speech by Mubarak to the last speech by Bin `Ali. It just made things worse.  He talked as if the people are merely blaming prime minister Nadhif for their misery.  How dictators fight to the last second. I personally think that Mubarak probably would have surrendered power today but the US pushed him to stay in power. I am speculating but I have a feeling I am right. I received information that the US is trying to install the Egyptian Army’s chief-of-staff as the new leader. 

Young Egyptians in the US, As`ad Abukhalil
Many young Egyptians in the US are packing and leaving to Egypt to join the revolution against Mubarak.

Mubarak may go to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, As`ad Abukhalil
Mubarak is very close to the Sons of…Zayid.  Mubarak goes there every two months and the UAE ruler offers him a blank check and Mubarak specifies the amount. 
yaskoot Hosni Mubarak!, Max Ajl
Egypt is aflame. Reports are that there are 500,000 people on the streets in Alexandria, where “security forces appear overwhelmed” (AJE), and where they just torched a government office. Riot police have withdrawn from Suez after they were forcefully repelled by the people. 100,000 Egyptians are on the streets of Mahalla. From the footage, the air in Cairo looks drenched in tear gas, and tens of thousands of protesters earlier took over the Qasr al-Nil bridge in downtown Cairo. Overwhelmed, the Egyptian government has deployed army vehicles on the streets, where they are being welcomed by protesters. The Egyptian internal security forces have killed at least 18 protesters, while the army has strangely re-occupied the Rafah crossing into Gaza. Egyptian army vehicles have “secured” the Radio and TV Building (from the images it looks like they’re mixing with the protesters), and a curfew has been announced: 6 M to 7 AM. The state has unleashed its army on its people, but it’s not clear that people are returning the favor: apparently police who were injured in Alexandria were treated by the protesters to show them they are on the wrong side of the struggle. People are still out on the streets at 1 AM, defying Mubarak’s curfew. It’s dusk on the dictatorship. The question is how it will play out.

Egypt: A pivotal moment | Editorial
Mohamed ElBaradei must be free to give political leadership.  It was the day on which Egyptians lost their fear: of green armoured personnel carriers, which swayed and toppled before the unstoppable tide of human wrath; of plainclothes thugs who had plagued their lives; of the ruling party’s headquarters, from where elections were rigged and parliamentary seats managed – it too went up in flames; of military curfews; of the entire apparatus of a regime which had crushed all political dissent for nearly three decades.“Even if the dogs could speak,” one of the hundreds of thousands who flocked the streets told our reporter, “they would tell you that they are fed up with [Hosni] Mubarak. We have to have change.” This was a transformative day. The Arab world’s largest power had just lost control of the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Giza, Suez. The regime shut down the internet and unplugged the mobile phone network, a desperate move to stop the protests. It only propelled thousands more on to the streets. As darkness fell, shots were heard in Cairo and tanks were seen in Suez. And still the roar of protest continued.

Egypt: Mubarak’s Defiance Makes Life Harder for Obama, Tony Karon
“America doesn’t have friends,” Henry Kissinger once observed, “America only has interests.” By that logic, the Obama Administration may have been tempted, Friday, to cut President Hosni Mubarak loose — nothing personal, you understand, but the Egyptian president has become the focus of such intense hostility from his own people after 30 years of authoritarian rule that backing him in the face of a growing democratic rebellion could jeopardize long-term U.S. regional interests in Egypt.


Larry Magid: Mubarak Can Cut the Net but Can’t Stem Information Flow, Larry Magid
No matter how many plugs he pulls or cables he cuts, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is not going to completely suppress information flowing within his country or between Egypt and the rest of the world. Information has a way of slipping out and despite an apparent Internet blackout, some people have been able to Tweet and post updates to Facebook, Tagged.com and other sites.

The Egyptian Revolution: A Very Fine Thing, Gary Leupp
I’m watching live coverage of the Egyptian revolution on Al-Jazeera TV. Cairo is swarming with hundreds of thousands, defying the curfew, hurling stones at the police. The images recall the Palestinian youth waging their Intifadas. The National Democratic Party headquarters is in flames. Downtown Suez has been taken over by the people, two police stations torched. The security forces are out in strength and shooting into crowds. But the people have lost their fear.

Arab states: a quagmire of tyranny | Soumaya Ghannoushi
Arabs are rebelling not just against decrepit autocrats but the foreign backers who kept them in power. We are witnessing the breakdown of the Arab state after decades of failure and mounting crises. The Arab political establishment has never looked weaker than it does today. It is either dying a protracted silent death, corroded from within, or collapsing in thunderous explosions. Tunisia, which toppled its dictator through popular revolution two weeks ago, is by no means an exception. The symptoms are evident throughout the region, from the accelerating movement of protest in Egypt, Algeria and Jordan, or the increasing polarisation of Lebanon’s sectarian politics, to the near-collapse of the state in Yemen and Sudan, and its complete disintegration in Somalia.


A Great Al-Jazeera Cartoon

O Mubarak! O Mubarak! Saudi Arabia is waiting for you!



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