Thursday, June 01, 2006

I Never Thought Of Myself As Subversive

Asthmatic bronchitis and travel to see kids abroad have a way of keeping a person too busy to follow up on friends and the usual internet contacts. My eye was caught today by a USA Today blog post to the effect that it was dangerous to blog in Egypt today. Whoa Nelly! I had to follow that link.

The story that followed is one that is familiar to us here without the mention of the blogging so much. Alaa Seif al-Islam and a number of other young activists, many of whom happen to blog, were arrested (kidnapped is a more descriptive word of the process) in conjunction to demonstrations in Cairo for the independent judiciary and press. These young people have been very badly treated and with the resilience of the young are willing to keep at their activities. Americans of my generation will recall similar stories with regards to demonstrations against the US government during the war in Viet Nam. Many of the young people then were also subject to some pretty rough treatment by police who were more sympathetic to the military than the demonstrators. I point this out lest people are too quick to say, "But that would never happen here!" It did and it does. Government machines work to protect themselves everywhere.

There are links in the story that am posting from to Alaa and Manal's blog from Cairo and many other blogs, including templates for protests of the treatment of the demonstrators. Do follow and read. Do not imagine for a moment that you are free of the possibility of this happening to you, no matter where you live. This can happen to anyone.


Robin said...

Well,it is good to see you writing again. You have given me much to think about as I further investigate this subject.

I hope that you are doing well and enjoying yourself. When will you be back in Egypt?

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you posting comments of substance instead of mere fluff..Egypt may be a beautiful interesting country but hard to ignore its denial of freedoms to its citizens. Good on is more than pleasant evenings and picnics ...some are suffering in egypt and they deserve to be heard.

m said...

salaam, i read on your blog evey now and then, and i've just started commenting on it, spurred by the very previous comment. hey, anonmymous, for me, and for many egyptian bloggers and blog readers, Living in Egypt is of great importance and value (i.e. substance), no matter how politicised it is. i'm afraid "fluff" could be applied to a fair amonut of egyptian blogs that you can deem political and pro-reform.

Virginia said...

We are surrounded by people worrying the big picture, philosophizing the grand problems of the world. Frankly, it gets rather tiresome - rants again big problems when the ranter doesn't look at the smaller things they can do to make the world a better place.

I read Maryanne's blog for the FLUFF, for the everyday hurdles, the CULTURE. How better to experience the culture of a different country than by someone's everyday tales - as opposed to tours of monuments that gloss over the lives of the current citizens.
And the nicest surprise was to learn more about a wonderful woman, and to come to like her, and to care about her, and come back to her blog to see how SHE is doing. I don't understand why Anonymous has returned if the reading was not their style in the first place.

Patsy Terrell said...

People are suffering in many places. Maryanne has no responsibility to publicize the plight of anyone. She is writing a blog about her life. Life is in the details and pleasant evenings and picnics are essentials if one is to make a life.

I'm always amazed that people think because I have a blog it's my responsibility to cover one thing or another. I'm just chronicling my life.

If you want to take on the causes of the world, please start your own blog and have at it. That's the great thing about the availability of the internet - anyone can do it.

But please respect the rights of others to do as they wish in their blog space.