Monthly Archives: May 2012

On Egyptian Presidential Elections

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Egypt presidential elections posters and billboards.By gr33ndata

Egypt presidential elections posters and billboards.By gr33ndata

The country is facing the approaching elections dilemma. The first presidential elections in god-knows how long. People have doubts and yet are excited about this event. Some of the people I know have already prepared their ways out and are ready to pack their suitcases if the shit hits the fan. [meaning: the wrong candidate will take over and Revolution 2.0 will be on]

There are a lot of candidates running for the office, they are all different from each other and have polarized opinions on the country’s future. Among the participants of the race one might find extremely religious Salafi leader, socialist leader, moderate liberals and an ex Muslim Brotherhood chameleon [so some people believe that this candidate will turn back to the Brotherhood if elected]. Salafis are not very known for their knowledge on economy and stuff like that, yet they would like to impose Sharia laws and force veils on every woman [the biggest fear of the liberals here]. However, let’s not forget that Egypt is not Saudi Arabia and Egypt has no oil, so even if they try to impose Sharia law on everyone economic development and growth will be in question. I believe politicians cannot just outlaw the tourism as this industry brings some profit to the country’s budget.

Some other people fear that alcohol and bikinis will be banned in the country. Well, it also seems unlikely since all local alcohol producers are already in politics and their businesses are closely tightened to the political elites. So it will be highly problematic to separate the two.

Many candidates promise a lot of positive things for the society, but they don’t offer a real strategy in achieving these goals. How are they going to help the poor and make everyone equal? the answer remains silent.

Well, in the meantime, the poor are getting poorer, women rights are in question [parliament does not have that many women, Female Genital Mutilation might get legal [!] again] and Copts fear the Muslim rule in the country.

And here is a useful web site for the elections: http://www.qomra.org/en

It has some info in English and a poll on the presidential race, however, the sample is too small: only 71 people voted so far.

I might be wrong in my conclusions but this is how it all seems to me so far.

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love-hate relationship Cairo

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No Harassment By Gigi Ibrahim

No Harassment By Gigi Ibrahim

My life is like a swing here: major ups and major downs. It is a strong love-hate relationship between me and Cairo. I am getting more and more annoyed by the levels of street harassment. When I came here in September I tended not to notice this and everything seemed so fresh and new. Right now I am incredibly annoyed by that.

I feel like I lost my ability to move around on my own: I cannot really use public transportation since there is no convenient system of public transportation. Metro lines are limited and are highly filled with people and sexual harassers. Once some group of guys were taking videos of me standing in the metro. Well those men were also cowards not to look back when I noticed them and they preferred to pretend that they did nothing and nothing was going on.

At the same time, I can have a great time in Cairo: by the pool in some nice club or having shesha at night in a nice restaurant. I believe I would enjoy this country more if men behaved in a better way and I would not need to restrain myself from going out.

I still cannot figure out how this nation came to such an incredible amount of sexual harassment. And it has nothing to do with religion, as Islam does not tell them to go and yell all these ugly things they say to women on streets. To the contrary Islam encourages a nice treatment of women. How come these men grow up and their mothers never tell them that it is wrong to harass women on the streets? How come other men pass by me as I get harassed and say nothing? What is wrong with you people?

What do you think? Why it happens here and how to make it stop? I became a member of a group trying to prevent sexual harassment, but I honestly don’t think it is possible as the population remains incredibly uneducated.