Saturday, January 28, 2012

A snapshot of 27 January 2012

Most parts of the country saw more demonstrations yesterday against the SCAF and for an immediate handover of power to a civilian transitional government. SCAF is openly denounced as “liar” and activists show videos as footage because the “couch party” (the “silent majority”) still trusts the SCAF’s slogans. The Muslim Brothers gave in to the protestors’ pressures and removed placards for the celebration of 25th January. There is actually nothing to celebrate. Nothing at all.

There were no brawls, no stone throwing and no gun shots, but there was violence. Violence against women: an unknown number of women were individually surrounded by a group of men, their clothes were pulled down and they were sexually harassed! This seems to be a further strategy of the democracy adversaries and the protectors of the regime to intimidate protestors. They don’t seem to have understood that this strategy does not work: the more there is pressure, violence and intimidation, the more the activists will make themselves heard.

In the meantime, I had a chat with a friend. Inevitably we also spoke about the country’s situation. This friend decided in December 2010, short before the uprising, to open his own shop with cotton scarfs designed and handmade by himself. Since then, he is looking for a shop. Hurghada has quite a number of empty shops, even in good locations. Yet unbelievingly the rents are still absurdly high. This is why my friend still could not bring himself to open his own shop.

„Sometimes, I would like to leave Egypt“ he told me. It would be easy for him: he has relatives in the States and in Canada. But he does not want to because “I love Egypt, it’s my country!” He is worried about what there is to come. He thinks as well that the elections have been forged and there is an agreement between the SCAF and the Muslim Brothers. According to his opinion, there is no difference between the previous parliament and the present one: both are dominated by one power (before it was the NDP, now it’s the Muslim Brothers’ party) and the minority just shuts up. I am not sure if this is now the case. We’ll soon see.

His mobile phone is ringing for the fifth time. It’s his brother: a chance for a shop. We leave the café and walk for about half an hour along the promenade under a wonderful starry sky to his brother’s shop. He will come after the football match… Life must go on, even here.

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