I attended a demonstration in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Egypt in their quest for a better, safer, and more democratic future without the geriatric octogenarian Hosni Mubarak. The demonstration took place on Friday afternoon at 4pm and was attended by a few hundred sympathisers. I took the opportunity to record a few interviews with a few people and influencers. I hope that through this short video you can get the feeling of being there, and more importantly feel also the passion of those present for the reason of them being there demonstrating right across from the Egyptian embassy in Manama.
A demonstration has been called for this afternoon – Friday 4 Feb 2011 at 4PM – in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Manama in solidarity with the great Egyptian people for their legitimate demands to live with dignity and under democratic constitutional rule.
I’ll be there and consider this an invitation to you too to attend as well. If you can’t physically, you may wish to leave a message of support in a comment to this post.
Click here for directions on how to get to the Egyptian Embassy.
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Courtesy of totallycoolpix.com. I hope the protests do carry on indefinitely until Egypt gets rid of the dictator, rescinding the emergency laws and starts repairing its way back to greatness under the full respect of human rights and freedoms of expression.
With the collapse of dictatorial rule in Tunis and the running demonstrations in Egypt since 25 Jan with Friday the 28th culminating in the biggest series of demonstrations for decades, which other country could follow this popular domino effect?
The regular culprits and the most shaky governments seem to be Algeria, Morocco, Jordan and Yemen, most of which witnessed significant demonstrations since the Tunisian popular uprising. Whether those demonstrations would be sustainable is anyone’s guess. The Egyptian situation certainly seems to have taken the officials there by utter surprise. I’m not sure why; with 30% illiteracy and some 50% of its population living with under the equivalent of two US Dollars per day, the massive amount of human rights variations visited upon them, they should’ve really expected it.
As I watch Al-Jazeera at the moment with it declaring the government issuing a curfew from 6PM – 7AM Cairo time, it seems that they now got the message, but they certainly didn’t read the situation on the ground very well.
With Egypt taking the opportunity of the first celebrated date after the Tunisian uprising to start their demonstrations, I can’t but postulate that others might use the same technique to illicit support for their causes and start the process of toppling their particular domino piece. A quick search of possible “flash dates” in the Arab world resulted in one very close to us; the commemoration of the declaration of these very islands of Bahrain to be a Kingdom. That date of course is Feb 14, just a couple of weeks away.
A smart government would tone down its celebrations at this particular time. A smarter government of course would immediately engage its populace and show them that the long promised reforms are immediately introduced in tangible forms in order not only to momentarily ameliorate their citizens’ senses, but to simply make good on its promises.
What do Bahraini citizens want? Live in dignity and have their basic human rights, and intellect, respected. Translating that into practical terms, I personally think the very first thing that should be enacted is the declaration of an impartial truth and reconciliation committee with all relevant powers, the rescinding of contentious laws, particularly 56/2002 and the enacting free press and respect for freedoms of association and speech.
Will the government be cognizant of these feelings and acquiesce to these reasonable requests? Especially when you consider that these very factors will strengthen their position and perpetuate their rule?
I don’t know. After ten years of promises, I feel its high time that those promises are enacted.
The last thing we need is even more strife in this country. We’ve had enough.
Some good news for a change!
The State Commissioner Committee in Egypt has rejected the request made by the judge Abdel Fattah Mourad to block 51 websites and blogs deemed insulting the state’s dignity and threatening Egypt’s interests. In the meantime, the investigation on blogger Amr Gharbia, who was charged for defaming Judge Mourad, has been suspended: “PC Police declared that Gharbia’s blog had merely hosted comments insulting the judge; as the comments did not come from him, he was absolved of the charge,”Â said IFEX in its statement issued yesterday.
I am glad that this case is being resolved to the benefit of freedom of expression and hope that HRInfo will continue to sue the plagiarist judge and call from his removal from office.
As importantly, a precedent has also been set in that the investigative committee ascertained that a blogger is not responsible for comments entered on his or her site as we have no reasonable control on those comments or commentors.
Congratulations to Amr and the bloggingÂ community on this good news. May we get more of its like.
Abdelkareem first received international attention in early 2006 when he was kicked out of Al Azhar University for posts he wrote on his blog. During that first incident, he was detained by police but eventually released. Despite his first arrest, he has continued to speak his mind on women’s rights, religious freedom, and academic freedom.
On November 6, Abdelkareem was again interrogated over his blogposts. A human rights lawyer from the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information was present to represent Abdelkareem. But the police still decided to arrest him.
Please sign the petition directed to the relevant Egyptian authorities to demand Abdelkareem’s immediate release.
A “FreeKareem.org site has been created to act as a central point to disperse information about Kareem’s case.
Thank you very much for supporting the freedom of speech in the Middle East.
That’s what was on the brochure that sold the story to donors, the reality of course is much different. What Egypt is, is simply a police state headed by an octogenarian refusing to give up power, still deep in the belief that He is doing his country good, and to hell with the people.
Not really that much different from the other 22 Arab countries. We’re just thankful that in Bahrain demonstrations no longer look like the following pictures.. at least, not yet.
Have a look at these lovely posters of a democratic Egypt that deserves over $2 billion in aid from the USA alone.