Saturday, January 29, 2011

POLITICS: Egyptian intifada

It's times like these that speaking and reading Arabic would come in handy. Still, we'll make do with English-language sources and translations.

[01] The Washington Post describes one Egyptian revolutionary.

IN CAIRO Abdel Zaher Dandarwi does not look like a revolutionary. At 53, his hair is graying at the temples and his eyes betray more fatigue than fury.

But it was fatigue - with the daily corruption, the detached ruling clique and the rot permeating this once-proud nation at the heart of the Arab world - that drove him to the streets this week to voice a revolutionary thought: "Down with Mubarak!"

... "There's a suffocating atmosphere in Egypt, and I'm tired of it," said Dandarwi, a lawyer dressed impeccably in a dark blue pinstriped suit, who quietly sipped coffee Thursday afternoon as he waited for the next protest to begin. "The elections are fraudulent. The people in power monopolize all the resources. There are no jobs. There's no health care. And I can't afford good schools for my children."

Why do people like this join a protest march?

The protesters in Egypt have been largely middle class - lawyers, doctors, university students and professors. They have something to lose if this nation of 86 million descends into anarchy, but they also say they may not have much left if Egypt does not shift course.
[02] Thanks to SC for pointing out this lengthy and relatively frequently updated blogpost from the left-leaning Mother Jones website. Some good links.

[03] Watch live AlJazeera English streaming with brave reporters as well as eyewitnesses on the ground.

[04] Police left streets of Alexandria, now patrolled by ordinary citizens protecting their neighbourhoods. Apparently advice like this is being spread among them.

[05] AlJazeera English (AJE) reporting on protests after Friday prayers (around 12am, 05 Feb). In Alexandria, Christian groups set up a cordon around Muslim worshippers performing their Friday congregational prayers.. For more details from Tahrir Square in Cairo, follow Shirene Tadros' tweets.

[06] One of my fans has recently posted this item on his blog. Here is an excerpt from the comment posted by one of his regular readers:

I would like to invite the islamic community to explain why we should not exterminate it.