Thought Archive

Thursday, March 17, 2016

No title - many years passed.

Wow - looks like i have not been posting for ages. Well I can understand.. Since I posted last i had 2 children born, so you can gather how difficult it is to maintain...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Unbelievable France, shame on Turkey and Egypt!

There is ABSOLUTELY no justification for a Western Country like France, compromised on all levels in her dealings with North Africa, to interfere in Libya. Sarkozy have just commited a worst possible offence. Offense of colonialist intervention. It must stop immediately!

There is also absolutely NO justification for Turkey and now Egypt to take position which undermines future interests of the Middle East by allowing West to take a moral high ground. They perhabs can not feel their new found power, but they must and they must do it for the sake of humanity. It is not too late now, in the name of Arab brothers and sisters fighting out in the streets of Benghazi. Erdogan must apologize for sucking up to Ghaddafi and interfere to save Muslims of Benghazi from mad colonel and Sarko.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What Future Holds

There is a new World Order which demands a completetly different intervention - no intervention at all but a the greatest pristine revolutionarly narrative of brave men and women liberating themselves.

Since I came back to Egypt I sensed a change in the air, palpable change. It is with great pleasure I report on Egypt coming back from the dead, rising from ashes. First in national phsyche, putting behind it years of humiliation, defeat and corruption. People are happy and relived but concerned.

Hope it will lead to a better tomorrow, where it will lead to real changes in economics, soceity and politics. It must take a long time and will not be without set-backs but leader of the Arab world has now arrived. Egypt is a true star and along Turkey and Iran is the country which defines what Middle East will be like in next decades. As they said, future of the region is not decided in Tripoli or Tel-Aviv or Riyadh, it is being made in Cairo.

Democracy has been delayed in the Middle East for years due to several reasons but history should become normalized now - as Friedman puts it - the Arab world will return to history. I will not list these well known reasons, but just note how critical this change is.

"No leaders should think that they could rule forever" - this is another new idea, dawning on Muslim world for probably the first time.

All the while, western myths - and I for years argued and described them as such - about Middle East were put to dustbin of history. Europe now stands humiliated and confused, paralyzed by fear of the post-crisis future and incipient racism, United States also stands compromised and indecisive. Both of them will be unable to master a responce to the Arab spring, neither raising to the challenge nor able to fight the outcomes. And yet the values these regions represent to the world, others still hold dear - not western phenomena, really.

So who will lead the Arab spring from beginning into fruition. What is the journey to be undertaken, a journey which FOR THE FIRST TIME in 100 years will be wholly unique.

There are several key elements to how this can play out:

1. Democracy and advance of human social rights across region must push the policies of regional integration. It can not be that the potential of region is stifled, it can not be that they trade with Europe more than each other. Arab block was a sham, now it must become a region of common trade and visa-free travel.

2. Liberalization of economies of the region and free trade between countries in the region.

2. Flow of ideas and people across the region must be unhindered, this process must include translations of foreign books en masse, many educational projects and nurturing civil and religious activism into a force for good different in tone from western concepts, but related to them.

3. Infrastructure, education and science projects financed by rich Arab surplus money - this money has to be wrestled out of the useless Gulf monarchies.

2. Turkey, now banished from European Union. must play a key role in shaping the new middle East. Iran must not play this part, unless it stars playing constructively

3. And finally Israel must abandon its protector and attempt reconciliation and join regional integration in good faith. It must do so by abandoning its current protector and putting trust into her current enemies. No more unwinnable wars- just trust, or otherwise it will be left out of the region forever.

The unity which will reconcile such irreconcilable entities will be another bold step which I term New Eurabia. This will- with a leap of faith - involve integration of Europe and Muslim Middle East into a single entity.

How? We will talk about it in due time.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Egyptian Nation, We salute you..

The spirit of Egyptian revolution is making air in Cairo cleaner, and it is easier to breathe. The nation of Egypt has risen from ashes and while there is still lot more to do but I have no doubt that Arab nations are undergoing the profound change, which will not be easy and there are many tough years ahead. All possibilities for derailment exists, but we should also be admiring possibilities of change for the better.

Economic reforms can not come soon enough; if all Arab countries can start on the road for the unified economic zone with free movement of labour, ideas and goods, anti-corruption drive and real market, only then we can define revolution as success. HOW this will be achieved I do not know, for there will not be any helpers to Arab nation in this quest.

For those who are not here and want to understand the spirit please look at the video we have uploaded during the Revolution Festival last Friday...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Grave mistake and blunder

Turkish prime-minister was too slow to condemn Ghaddafi, and in fact appeared to defend him. I find this outrageous. I think this is one of the first, but most significant strategic blunders by AKP. The West was caught red-handed but fixed their act together, but Turkish goverment should have known better and used Islamic sensibilities to condemn tyrannical nature of the regimes it had to deal with.

Some old-lived anti-Western cliches have been used for too long - now it is time to retire hem and come out not as victim and and a voice of downthrodden, but as a trendsetter and a role model for future societies of the Middle East. There can be no place for such role model in the new order, if it betrays Libyan people in their hour of need either in defense of billions invested into Ghaddafi regime or in some misguided search for Islamic solidarity.

We must move on quickly towards Turkey adopting pro-active chance suggesting physically taking out Ghaddafi and his cronies and providing rebels with ammunition. It should beat Western countries to their own game and go one step further. Turkey must appear to be as stroung on Libya as it is on Israel, there is no time to wide.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

US should stop supporting extreme Islamist states

Nir Rosen
Best Defense guest media critic

Saudi Arabia fears "the U.S. is opening the door for Islamist groups to gain influence and destabilize the region"?

Saudi Arabia? The most extreme Islamist state in the world (now that the Taliban are removed), the sponsor of extreme Islamist movements from Africa to Europe to Asia? The opponent of Arab and Muslim progressive and liberal thought for decades?

The Saudis are worried about Islamist groups? No. The Saudis used to import Muslim Brothers from Egypt to teach in Saudi Arabia, and that was only after the Wahhabis relaxed a bit and were willing to accept the more moderate Muslim brothers.

This is not about Islamism; this is about regional alliances. Whether it's the Muslim Brothers or the Communist Party of Egypt who takes over after Mubarak, we can be certain that the new regime will be less of a puppet and less part of the American, Saudi, and Israeli alliance in the Middle East than Mubarak was. This is what the Saudis fear, that the architecture they have carefully crafted with the Americans is crumbling -- with Iraq ruled by the hated Shiites, Fatah in Palestine a joke, Iran ascendant, the Saudi proxies in Lebanon a failure. This has nothing to do with Islamism. The authors have it all wrong.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Our Escape from Egypt

ell - what to say... first of all i am probably lucky that escaped one day before - or rather just at - the uprising began. As a family i think we did pretty well, and avoided the horror of leaving next few days as BP expat families, whom I hope to see tomorrow can attest.

First of all - i would like to break that news to you in circumstances - my wife is expecting. So our life in few monthis just prior to this revolved around this simple but unavoidable, and pleasing fact.

The week started slowly with a news of a demonstrations increasing in both power and number, whilst we were holed in the office for a week long oerformance review, for which i prepared and worked hard on. All my thoughts were on the deliver, - others dismissed the events as an insignificant challenge to Mubarak's rule. We have been there before they said, in 2005 the most recent. Arabs do not deserve the representative government, they should be governed. We agreed - perhaps there are excpetional countries - but on average a Muslim is a docile creature, whose only instinct is to earn enough for a loaf of bread and vegetables for a large family. He will agree to a tyrannical rule which guarantees that.

I have planned a visit to London some days before. - this was to be a short medical check up trip for us as well as opportunity to unwind before another heavy week of work. Our mothers were planning to visit on February 5th. Both sets of tickets already purchased. On Wednesday we had a visitor - an Azeri boy who brought us some home cooking from our mothers. He wavs staying in a hotel in downtown - more precisely Sheraton Cairo on the Corniche. I have also decided to change the date of the departure from January 29th to January 28th for no apparent reason beyond a desire to increase our stay in London. So much for an absence of an intuitive nature in men. Or maybe a have certain prophetical qualities i do not know about.

Thursday was a last day of our review, all were perhaps relaxed and inattentive to events outside, although i have sensed a certain unease in Egyptians from the office. We were watching events on our computers when there was some free time: my Arabic is rudimentary so i have missed a majority of what people discussed in the office. Thursday i went home safe and sound at 6 or 7 pm.

Thursday night mobile phones went sporadic, a frantic cry from my wife informed me about Facebook shut down - we are a heavy users. Few hours into the night the whole internet was shut down. This has made her nervous and I then have tried to calm her down as much as could in a assuredness that we will be leaving next day. BP advised us not to leave our homes.

Meanwhile the heaviest demonstration was expected the next day, just as we were escaping to the airport. My driver agreed to come over at about 1pm, and my last call to him went at about 11am, just before the shut down of mobile network. I went to the office to check emails, which still worked there, and found out that BP advised us to stay put. Our driver arrived at 1.30 pm and we set off from our flat at about 14:40, with full expectations that we will be coming back, however as we watched news, our expectations diminished by the minutes. The demonstrators were battling the police in earnests, deaths were declared. The city was becoming a warzone.

On the way, we encountered 3 check points on the main road to the airport - some streets were cordoned off in view of approaching demonstrators. Our heroic driver found a back route and we were in the airport in no time. There was no chaos and everything was orderly, in fact it felt we were a planet away from all of the disturbance, which we could observed from TV screen in the airport. We managed to book 2 separate seats on a full flight of mostly relaxed people. All went without excess and our landing in London was nothing but a normal experience. Back in London I realized - while glued to the TV screen in the hotel room - what we have just escaped. 40,000 people stranded in the airport and BP evacuation of worried families. We avoided the worst.

The demonstrations continued growing from strength to strength and now Tahrir Square is full of thousands of people demanding Mubarak to go. There is Million Man March going on - a people power, benevolent, inclusive and hopeful. Women medics saving and treating wounded in makeshift hospital in mosques, young men forming chain to protect the Cairo museum from looters, vigilantes protecting their neighborhoods and businesses, locals and patients beating back looters back from the cancer hospital - this heroic scenes were abound in this often berated city. Arabs were taking back their dignity.

The actions of police and police-ordered criminals did not stop Egyptian people from defending their dignity and their rights. The Arabs, Muslims and the World as a whole is indebted to them. I know it will be difficult, and sometimes may descend into chaos, but the Egyptians need to persevere. Genie of freedom is out of the bottle, it can not go back in without a meaningful political reform.

Now we are holed up in the hotel waiting anxiously for news from BP on what to do next in our refugee like situation.

I know one thing - it will take sometime. I know something else - I am missing a pivotal moment in the history of the long suppressed Muslim World for this I am a bit sorry. Which way things go we do not know. In geology past is a key to the present. History is more complicated - we can be pessimists but we can also have hopes that things will improve.

Egypt, 2011. Is it Iran in 1979, Russia 1in 917 or is it Eastern Europe of 1989. I don't know, but I suspect it will be something in the middle (just to avoid the issue). Sometimes cynical sceptics have to be superseded by dreamers, for without dreamers no revolutions are made, when revolutions are cried for. Without realists, none of the fruits of revolutions survive for long.