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Monday, May 23, 2011

Why I stopped believing SCAF

This is a translation of the Arabic version of this blog entry in support of May 23, NO-SCAF day:

   This is the first time for me to write a blog entry in Arabic and the only reason is that I truly want my words to reach as many of my Egyptian brothers and sisters as possible.Today I am writing to tell you the truth about SCAF, which rules us now.

Let me start by admitting that I was one of the millions of Egyptians who, for a while, believed in this idea of "El Geysh wel Sha3b Ed Wa7da," or the Army & the people are one. Why, you might ask?

Because I was raised in a household that had the utmost respect for the Egyptian armed forces. My father is a former army general and he would always tell us great stories about the army's victories during wartime.And so, I had absolutely no doubt that the army's first and foremost role was to serve and protect the people.

But, bit by bit, I slowly started to come out of this coma. I believe it all started on the night of February 26 when the army attacked protesters, beating them up, electrifying them with Tasers and insulting them.

That night I was so shocked; I couldn't for a minute believe that our dear army would do this. And then SCAF came out with a statement denying their involvement and I felt so relieved. I convinced myself that the attackers were pro-Mubarak thugs who dressed up as army officials so as to break the trust between the people and the army.

But the same tragedy repeated itself on March 9. Only this time, the humiliation of protesters was far worse. In fact, many of us have watched the YouTube video of singer & activist Ramy Essam, where he explains and shows us evidence of the brutality of the members of our beloved armed forces.

Things went downhill fast after that and army brutality and humiliation became a normal part of life in Egypt. Everything from virginity tests on females to offensive insults & name-calling, to military trials of civilians and even the shooting of civilians with live ammunition, as we all witnessed during last week's protests outside the Israeli embassy.

And this is nothing compared to what is happening in the political arena. First, we find our respectable SCAF leaders appearing on various Egyptian television networks, promising the people that all corrupt officials, including Mubarak and his family, will face fair trials. The next thing we know is these same corrupt officials are being released one after the other!

Isn't it enough that several of Mubarak's corrupt officials still hold government posts today? And then of course, there's the governors appointed by SCAF all across Egypt; indeed something we should all be so proud of!

What else? Oh, I almost forgot to mention our dear Salafi brothers, who miraculously appeared out of no where to instill religious strife across the country. One time they cut off a Christian man's ear, and then another time they want to invade a church to save princess Camilia, followed by the burning of yet another church to rescue madame Abeer! All of these attacks take place as the police and army stand idle, watching! Why dear SCAF do you exercise brutality & military trials with some people and not with others who really deserve it?

I'm sure I could sit here till tomorrow morning listing other accounts and examples of SCAF's wrongdoings. But I'm sure that those who were in Tahrir on Jan25 and others who truly love Egypt know what I am talking about here.

I'm truly heartbroken SCAF, because you are slowly stealing away our pride and dignity that Jan25 finally restored after years of humiliation, oppression and terror.

And I would love to ask SCAF members and all of those who blindly defend SCAF, who is benefiting from all of these events? Who is benefiting from the chaos and lack of security all over Egypt? Who is benefiting from the lack of seriousness in the trials of Mubarak and his corrupt officials? And, who is benefiting from the humiliation and degrading of the Jan25 youth who restored our pride and allowed us, for the first time, to feel that an Egyptian person's blood is worth something?

Unfortunately I have no more confidence in SCAF. I no longer believe their empty promises and I have completely erased from my mind this joke that the army & the people are one! The people's path has been clear all throughout Jan25; they chose to bring down the corrupt regime. But the army's path has been mysterious and dark. Seriously, I fear that if I walk the army's path, I will find myself under the rule of a new Mubarak, or worse, Mubarak himself!

ليه بطلت اصدق المجلس العسكري

انا اول مرة اكتب مدونة بالعربي والسبب الوحيد اني قررت اكتب انهاردة بالعربي هو اني حقيقي نفسي كلامي يوصل اكبر عدد من اخواني واخواتى في مصر. انا انهاردة بكتب علشان احكيلكوا حقيقة المجلس العسكري اللي بيحكمنا الان.

في البداية لازم اعترف اني واحدة من الملايين اللي اتخدعوا في المجلس وفضلت فترة طويلة مصدقة فيلم الجيش والشعب ايد واحدة! ليه؟

 علشان انا اتربيت في بيت بيحترم ويقدر القوات المسلحة اشد احترام. ابويا لوإ جيش سابق وكان دايماً يحلكنا عن امجاد الجيش وقت الحرب. فبالتالي ماكنش عندى ادني شك 
                ان الجيش هدفه الاساسي هو خدمة وحماية الشعب..

بس وشوية شوية ابتديت افوق من االغيبوبة دي. البداية كانت يوم ٢٦ فبراير لما الجيش هجم علي االثوار بالضرب وصعق الكهربإ ووالشتايم.

انا كنت مصدومة الليلة دي، لكن لما المجلس نفي ان له اي علاقة بالي حصل انا ارتحت اقنعت نفسي ان اللي عمل كده اعوان نظام مبارك متنكرين في زي جيش علشان يوقعوا بين الشعب والجيش.

وباعدين اتكررت نفس المأساه يوم الأربعإ ٩ مارس. بس المرة دي الأهانة للثوار كانت اسوإ. كثير مننا شاف الفديو بتاع الفنان رامي عصام وهو بيحكي ويوريا عنف وبلطجة رجال جيشنا العظيم.

بعد كدة بأه العنف والأهانة بأقة حاجة عادية، اشي كشف عذرية للبنات علي حبة شتايم حلوين كدة، للمحكمات العسكرية واخرها كان الضرب بالرصاص زي ما كلنا شفنا وسمعنا يوم تظاهرات السفارة الأسرائلية.

كل ده كوم بأه واللي بيحصل علي الساحة السياسية كوم ثاني! الأول يطلعوا قادة المجلس الموقر علي كل القنوات يوعدواالشعب بمحاكمات عادلة لكل رموز الفساد وبعد كده كل 
 يوم نسمع عن واحد جديد من المسجونين بيفرجوا عنه!

وكفاية ان لسة في ناس كثير من حكومة مبارك الفاسدة في الحكومة الحالية. وخد عندك  
المحافظين اللي المجلس عينهم في جميع انحإ مصر، حاجة تفرح وتطمن بجد!
وايه كمان؟ اه نسيت افكركوا بأخونا السلفيين اللي ظهروا كدة فجأة وبعدها مصايب الفتنة
 الطائفية ابتدت تهل علينا واحدة وري الثانية! اشي مرة يقطعوا ودن واحد ماسيحي ومرة يهجموا علي كنيسة يدوروا عي السنيورة كامليا وبعدها يحرقوا كنيسة علشان مدام عبير. كل ده والجيش والشرطة ساكتين. يعني العنف والمحاكمات يا عزيزي المجلس له ناس وناس لأ؟

اكيد في بلاوي ثانية ممكن اقعد احكي فها للصبح. بس اعتقد اي حد شارك في الثورة وبيحب وبيخاف علي مصر بجد عارف انا بتكلم لي ايه

.بجد انا حزينة يا مجلس لأنك واحدة واحدة بتسرق مننا الكرامة والأعتزاز بالنفس اللي 
الثورة رجعتهولنا بعد سنين من الأرهاب و الذل والقمع.

ونفسي اسأل المجلس وكل اللي بيدافع عنه اللي بيحصل ده في مصلحة مين؟ مين المستفيد من الفوضي والأنفلات الأمني؟ مين المستفيد من عدم الجدية في محاكمة مبارك واعوانه؟ ومين المستفيد من اهانة وذل الشباب اللي رجعلنا كرامتنا وخلانا نحس لأول مرة ان البني أدم المصري دمه مش رخيص؟

انا للأسف معنديش ثقة في المجلس خلاص. مقدرش اصدق وعودهم ثاني وشلت من مخي تاماً اكذوبة الشعب والجيش ايد واحدة. الشعب طريقه كان واصح من يوم ثورة ٢٥ يناير واختار اسقاط النظام الفاسد. لكن الجيش بأه طريقه غامض ومخيف وبجد خايفة لو مشيت في طريق المجلس الاقي نفسي محكومة بمبارك جديد ولا مش بعيد يبقي مبارك نفسه!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

SCAF unveils its true colors

I think I can safely say that SCAF is beginning to reveal its true colors! Bit by bit, the military council is withdrawing away from the revolution, and breaking promises that were made to unveil the true faces of our current men in power!

Let's start with today's article in Al Masry Al Youm where a military official announced that SCAF is backtracking from a previous decision that would have given Egyptians abroad the right to vote. What is more mind boggling than the sudden change of course is the justifications offered. This military official explained that: 1) it would be challenging and almost impossible to collect votes from Egyptians abroad as they reside in 139 countries; 2) given that these Egyptians are abroad, they know little about the candidates and, therefore, their votes can be bought by people with other interests.

How ridiculous is that? More important, how humiliating and frustrating for all of us Egyptians abroad to be perceived in such a narrow-minded way? This official is practically saying that we are ignorant of our own country and that we have no clue what's going on and who's running for what!

I know I am not the only Egyptian abroad who is practically glued to her TV, laptop or cell phone, in a daily struggle to keep up with events and developments back home. There are millions of Egyptian men and women, young and old, Christians and Muslims who do the same. I see them on Facebook & Twitter; they exchange ideas and dreams for Egypt; they discuss the pros and cons of potential presidential candidates, among other important issues.

So how can this so-called official generalize and oversimplify and claim that we are all a bunch of clueless idiots who are willing to sell our rights to vote for some quick cash?

Personally, for me, this was the last straw. I've been watching events unfold in Egypt over the past few weeks, and I wasn't happy. The Imbaba attacks of Sunday were a clear sign that there's more to SCAF and the government than what meets the eye. I mean, how can a group of thugs attack and burn a church amidst the absolute absence of our police force? More so, how come SCAF has not announced military trials for those arrested?

SCAF has been pretty swift with military trials when it comes to Tahrir protesters, who's biggest crime was trying to cleanse Egypt from 30 years of filth and corruption. Isn't it obvious that something's wrong when people like Michael Nabil are sentenced to 3 years in prison for merely criticizing the army, yet groups of thugs who destroy a house of worship, killing over 20 people and terrorizing scores of civilians get no such sentencing?

Honestly, I hate to say this, but I think it's time we hit Tahrir Square once again to redeem our dignity and demand our rights. SCAF has unveiled its true face and we as Egyptians need to tell the military council that we get it; we can see through the acts and broken promises and we've had it.

Afterall, if we truly want to cleanse our country from all traces of the Mubarak era, we can't do so if SCAF continues to control and govern our every move.