Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Demonstrators Arrested, Opposition Ready to Resign

Abu Aardvark is reporting that the opposition is prepared to resign en masse to protest the ruling party's constitutional reforms.

The Arabist is reporting from a police clampdown on demonstrators. More than 30 were arrested, bloggers included.

Global Voices has a lenghty report as well, quoting blogger/activist Alaa Abdulfattah and many others.

Says Aardvark:

I've been writing often about the costs of America's abandonment of even the pretence of caring about Arab democracy. These are summed up very well by Amr Hamzawy and Dina Bishara (of Carnegie) today:

The Mubarak regime is taking advantage of an opportune international moment. With Washington's attention diverted from the democracy agenda, the regime can resort to outright repression of the opposition without risking its close ties with the West.... By resorting to outright repression of the Brotherhood, Mubarak is making a mockery of the American push for democracy in the Middle East. Turning a blind eye toward the ongoing crackdown undermines the credibility of an already shaky American commitment to democratization in the Middle East. It also cements the perception among Egyptians that Washington blesses autocratic regimes.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lawsuit to Block 21 Egyptian Blogs

A lawsuit to block a number of Egyptian websites, including blogs who participated in a discussion about Internet Freedoms, is on its way says Human Rights activists in Egypt.
Judge Abdel Fattah Morad, head of Alexandria Appeal Court, has started a lawsuit against the government in Egypt’s Administrative Courts in order to block a number of Egyptian websites. The list, 21-websites-long, includes the blogs and sites that took part in the discussion around the book the Judge has written, and the wide plagiarism evident in the book copying HRInfo’s report on Internet Freedoms in the Arab World, and a how-to-blog guide written by blogger Bent Masreya.
Read more: The Arabist. Arabawy. via Global Voices.

Also: US Dept. of State Egypt Country Report on Human Right Practices.

Question is, how are they planning to block the websites? Is it access to the blogs who are going to be stopped, or are they also hoping to shut the sites down?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Osama bin Laden

– But Shari'a Doesn't Recognize Western Birthday Celebrations. Via Memri.

The London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that tomorrow is Osama bin Laden's 50th birthday. Egyptian Islamist Hani Al-Siba'i, director of the Al-Maqrizi Center in London, said that bin Laden and his deputy Ayman Al-Zawahiri did not celebrate birthdays because the custom was a Western innovation not recognized by shari'a. He added that the Western media's preoccupation with bin Laden's turning 50 was aimed at provoking him into releasing a new film, which would help them track him down.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, March 9, 2007

Is he really a pious man or could he, as I expect him to, be celebrating his birthday in an orgy of hashish and paid female company?

Read what Jane's weekly and Robert Fisk (gasp) has to say about the bearded man turning 50.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

On Gods, Presidents and the Muslim Brotherhood

Oxford Professor Timothy Garthon Ash has visited Egypt and is writing about the presidential succession, Gods, Islamism and the future of Egypt.

Those who take the legitimating religion or ideology too seriously — be it Osirisism or socialism — are missing the point. The gods come and go; what endures over the millenniums is men's lust for power and wealth and their vain quest for immortality.

Changing Gods in Egypt - Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Did 650,000 Iraqis Die Becuase of the War?

How is it possible that a new report is showing that the number of deaths in Iraq are more than ten times higher than everybody thought?

Because the new report is not true, possibly even a fraud, says the The Times after discussing the issue with the experts who should know and failing to get answers to questions about basics from the authors.

Professor Spagat says the Lancet paper contains misrepresentations of mortality figures suggested by other organisations, an inaccurate graph, the use of the word “casualties” to mean deaths rather than deaths plus injuries, and the perplexing finding that child deaths have fallen. Using the “three-to-one rule” – the idea that for every death, there are three injuries – there should be close to two million Iraqis seeking hospital treatment, which does not tally with hospital reports.

“The authors ignore contrary evidence, cherry-pick and manipulate supporting evidence and evade inconvenient questions,” contends Professor Spagat, who believes the paper was poorly reviewed. “They published a sampling methodology that can overestimate deaths by a wide margin but respond to criticism by claiming that they did not actually follow the procedures that they stated.” The paper had “no scientific standing”. Did he rule out the possibility of fraud? “No.”

Link to article.