Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blogging Egypt

I have recently come across very interesting blogs by Egyptian citizens. Each blog tackles a different subject, yet, all of them radiate the same impressions: boredom and rebelliousness. Boredom from the socio-economic situation in Egypt, boredom from the tantalizing state, boredom from the lack of freedom. And a rebelliousness against the omnipresent state security service.

I have lived in Cairo for almost a year and learnt to secretly hate and despise Moubarak's regime. A regime that lets its citizens fall into an overwhelming poverty, a regime that controls the media, a regime that despises inclusion. A regime that lives in outrageous luxury while citizens are starving. Citizens are so busy gaining their livelihood that any other consideration, such as freedom, critical thinking, principles, etc, is considered a luxury, a non-essential feature of human life. I have thus frequently wondered about the state of comfortable numbness of the Egyptian people.

This is why I was pleased to discover a set of interesting Egyptian blogs, having the ambition to bypass state control of the media and self-censorship. Many are pro-reform, others coordinate demonstrations and other forms of civil action. Many have become important sources of alternative information for domestic and foreign journalists.

I so wish that the power of the blogosphere could lead to political reform, that some mechanisms will emerge whereby online discontent is translated into real political change. But, realising the influence of these blogs, the regime is increasingly controlling the cyberspace. Last summer Internet café owners were told to start collecting the identity cards of all users. In March this year the government began prosecuting bloggers for the content of their blogs.

I do believe though that blogs and Internet journalism have the potential to galvanize, inspire and organize. I hope this potential will be seized before its too late.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I *heart* Susan Boyle

Because she's got an angel's voice
Because her voice takes me back to childhood
Because she's got a dream
Because she pursued her dream
Because she triggered a debate on the importance of appearance
Because she reminded us that inner beauty is not an obsolete concept

Check her out:

Monday, April 20, 2009


Empathy is the ability to emotionally connect with people, to understand and sympathize with other persons' emotional state of mind. It is the ability to know how another feels. This ability comes into play in a vast array of life arenas, from jobs with management position, to parenting, relationships, romance, etc.

In several psychological tests of thousands of people, the benefits of being able to read feelings in others included more popular, outgoing and sensitive persons. Concurrently, the lack of empathy, the failure to register another's feelings is a tragic failing in what it means to be human.

Yet, isn't too much empathy a handicap? Isn't being hyper alert to the emotions of those around us a curse rather than a blessing? Too much empathy does get in the way of emotional stability and decision making; Can you feel empathy with a person that is too empathic?!?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jouzour el Amar

Cosa Sia, by Maalesh

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Un vieux bijou donné...

"Dans les paniers d'osier de la salle des ventes
Une gloire déchue des folles années trente
Avait mis aux enchères, parmi quelques brocantes
Un vieux bijou donné par quel amour d'antan

Elle était là, figée, superbe et déchirante
Ses mains qui se nouaient, se dénouaient tremblantes
Des mains belles encore, déformées, les doigts nus
Comme sont nus, parfois, les arbres en Novembre

Comme tous les matins, dans la salle des ventes
Bourdonnait une foule, fiévreuse et impatiente
Ceux qui, pour quelques sous, rachètent pour les vendre
Les trésors fabuleux d'un passé qui n'est plus

Dans ce vieux lit cassé, en bois de palissandre
Que d'ombres enlacées, ont rêvé à s'attendre
Les choses ont leurs secrets, les choses ont leurs légendes
Mais les choses nous parlent si nous savons entendre

Près des paniers d'osier, dans la salle des ventes
Une femme pleurait ses folles années trente
Et revoyait soudain défiler son passé
Défiler son passé, défiler son passé

Car venait de surgir, du fond de sa mémoire
Du fond de sa mémoire, un visage oublié
Une image chérie, du fond de sa mémoire
Son seul amour de femme, son seul amour de femme


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Poetry and Soul

Isnt he great?!?