Over 70 football fans have died following violence in the aftermath of a match between ElMassry (of Port Said) and ElAhly held in Port Said, whose result was 3-1. This is a series of tweets I have translated, as written in Arabic by @EsraaFehead , explaining the Port Said massacre and who is responsible for it.
“Protesters in Port Said identified one of the thugs and he has been handed over to the Truth Investigation Committee. He has confessed that AlHussaini Abu Qamar is the one who paid him.”
“The information I have is that ElHussaini Abu Qamar, Gamal Omar and ElMiniawy were at ElArousa (stores) four days ago, and paid the thugs that day.”
“ElHussaini Abu Qamar, former member of parliament of the disbanded NDP, his name appears in every disaster, and those who get arrested always confess to [his involvement].”
“Meaning, those who were arrested in the acts of bullying/ thuggery immediately after the revolution have said that ElHussaini was the one who paid them.”
“Why, after an entire year, has he not been arrested, considering he has escaped outside of Port Said?”
“Who does he have at the Ministry of Interior or related to the Military Council who makes him not get arrested whenever someone confesses [to his involvement].”
“The deal was with thugs – that they get 600 thugs from ElMatariyya and nearby villages from Port Said to complete the number (600).”
“Samy ElRashidy is the fourth accomplice with ElHussaini Abu Qamar, Gamal Omar, and ElMiniawy; He [ElRashidy] was a parliamentary candidate in this year’s elections.”
While protesters were losing their eyes and gaining permanent disabilities, at the hands of SCAF, today’s parliamentarians and former lower house candidates chose to ignore the eyes and lives lost and focus on their task, or rather goal: to gain votes, to gain power. Not many took a stand against SCAF’s attack of Mohamed Mahmoud Street, Those who did have an opinion decided that the weeks of elections are not appropriate for protesting. Therefore, protesters should have exercised self-restraint and engaged in a peaceful form of self-expression.
SCAF has bestowed us with the terms of agreement for elections of a civilian representative parliament, even the presidential elections (coming soon to a theater near you). How can a parliament supposedly legitimized by people’s votes but more so by SCAF’s will (which decided the rules of the game in the first place) hold its main sponsor accountable for its responsibilities, let alone its crimes?
How can a parliamentarian commit to an oath that includes promising to abide by a constitution and a set of laws brought to us by SCAF and a non-elected cabinet?!
In the opening minutes of the first session of parliament, there was a salute to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, of course before a salute to the martyrs could be made.
What we need is a civil council. It would hold the highest form of authority (derived from the people) that speaks for the revolution. It would be independent, “civil”, and representative of the revolution. Yes, I wrote it twice.
Isn’t the parliament civil and representative? Civil yes. Representative no. Why? Few to no candidates were genuine in addressing concerns of the revolution. Also, it cannot be representative if 10 of its members are appointed.
Any building with weak foundations will inevitably fall, with or without winds blowing through it. How can speaking of moving forward without mending our past and its foundations?!
How can we begin to discuss (possible long-term solutions to) poverty, unemployment, shortage of affordable housing, health care, outdated curricula in educational institutions, etc when those have have had blood on their hands from January 25, 2011 to this day have not been held accountable for the bodies of the revolution’s martyrs?
On March 19, a referendum on recent constitutional amendments as devised by a committee of judges and lawyers will take place. In all optimism, this may be the first time Egyptians experience democracy. For this reason, I find it unnecessary to cancel or postpone the referendum as it will give Egyptians an opportunity to feel involved in the affairs of their country. It will instigate the sense of belonging that has been wiped out over the years. This is what Egypt needs rights now – democratic activity. Whether you support or oppose amendments, your points are valid and must be respected by others.
I, however, would vote no (if I were to vote).
This immediately brings me to my point. The approximately 7.5 million Egyptians living abroad, nearly 60,000 of whom reside in Canada, are excluded from voting for or against the referendum since there are no voting stations set up at Egyptian embassies or consulates, thereby depriving them from their right to enjoy a democratic Egypt. Also, the amendments de-qualify Egyptians with dual nationalities, or ones who are married to Egyptians with dual nationality, or ones whose parents have acquired a nationality other than the Egyptian from holding the office of President, a civil service position.
The concern about Egyptians with dual nationality is understandable and may be valid. However, the response to this concern must not simply be exclusion. Excluding the nearly 7.5 million Egyptians hinders the sense of belonging that a new democratic Egypt desperately needs. Excluding them is a direct way to doubt their loyalty to their country. In fact, if their loyalty is questioned, then the fact that they hold the Egyptian citizenship should be questioned as well, which does not coincide with principles of freedom, democracy and social justice, the key ideals that the January 25 Revolution stood for.
Egyptians abroad are in no way less loyal or less in love with Egypt than any other Egyptian. There is no rule to that. What about the corrupt Egyptians we all know who have lived their lives with behaviors and activities that have only harmed the country disastrously? How can Egyptians abroad be treated as second class citizens, while corrupt Egyptians are still freely roaming the streets of Egypt?
Priorities need to be reorganized and made clear. A constitution must protect the rights of all its constituents, regardless of their present location, religion, race, ancestry, etc.
This is one reason why I will vote no to the proposed amendments.
It has been 21 days since the historical day when the Egyptian people overthrew their now former corrupt “democratic” dictator – February 11, 2011. It took a swift 18 days, from January 25, for this revolution to finally start having concrete outcomes. The ouster of Mubarak. The drafting of constitutional amendments that cater the people’s demands (pending referendum result). The Resignation of former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik and the appointment of revolutionary academic former Transport Minister Essam Sharaf. And there have been indications that more is yet to be achieved.
All that aside, there have been significant changes within Egyptian society, most obvious is the shift from nearly absolute political apathy to a newfound interest in politics. For many many years, as long as I can remember, the one most notable characteristic that I believe has described a vast majority of the Egyptian people is political apathy. If not a vast majority, then quite a considerable and dominant number.
From a class perspective, lower classes were politically apathetic possibly because they were more concerned with day-to-day issues or rather, daily survival. People belonging to the tiny middle class remaining in Egypt had their worldly concerns, just like the upper class. School children were censored from politics in one way or another. Students had their school and university social lives and studies to worry about. And so on. Many Egyptians always had an excuse or a reason to refrain from being politically informed and/ or from being politically involved. More often that not, political involvement was discouraged. And the reasons for that are the very reasons why the Egyptian people have called for dismantling Egypt’s 30+ year old corrupt regime.
A decrease in political apathy is definitely a positive outcome of Egypt’s revolution, but not without challenges. In fact, it has proven to be quite problematic. Egypt now hosts millions of citizens who are forced to be engaged in politics, at least mentally – whether they really like it or not. Many of them have attempted to be involved in political discussions and arguments, and many have often failed miserably at either formulating a logical argument or expressing it. Friends have been lost, families split, etc as a consequence. To me, it is the system to blame, the system that had worked to keep its constituents far from any light that could lead them forward.
This sudden revolutionary shift from political apathy to its opposite is certainly a challenge that must be brought into light and must soon be overcome. In the most basic sense, being well-informed (and well-exposed) is the key. And this is a request to all Egyptians:
If you are passionate about something. If you (and/ or others) consider yourself an expert in a field, do tell us. Politics or not. Do tell!
(written on March 5, 2011)