“I chose journalism to be close to people. It may not be easy to change the reality, but at least I was able to make their voice heard in the world.” -Shireen Abu Akleh, Palestinian American journalist
May she rest in God’s eternal peace, not found on earth, amen 🤲🏻🙏🏻
On Friday, November 18th an organized peaceful protest was held in Tahrir Square to address the dissatisfaction many citizens have of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (also known as SCAF) currently running the nation since Hosny Mubarak’s fall in February. Of course, the main concern is the military trials of civilians, including that of Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abdelfattah alongside thousands of others.
Friday’s protest took place in Tahrir Square, similar to the many Occupy Movement protests happening here in my Bay Area hometown cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. The reaction from police and the military however has turned this peaceful protest into complete violent chaos!
Police and SCAF soldiers entered the square attacking protesters with rubber bullets and tear gas. Many reported that the tear gas used seemed to be more lethal than those used in the past. There were reports of protesters suffering from eye and nose irritations as well as seizures after inhaling these toxins. And surprise, the tear gas is “Made in the USA”!! A company by the name of Combined Tactical Systems (CTB) seems to be behind the latest in tear gases that are more lethal, similar to those used in Yemen. Ironically, the company’s website address is less-lethal.com. We need to call our representatives here in the USA to stop selling or sending these products to SCAF! CTB’s address and phone number can be found at the end of this rant.
This violent attack also saw several protesters being shot directly in the eye, either from close range or trained snipers. One in particular is activist Ahmed Harara who lost his right eye on January 28th. He lost his left eye on Saturday November 19th amongst other activists who were actually in the hospital with him being treated by the same doctor. He is now completely blind but in unbelievable high spirits. He is my hero!
Later a video surfaced of SCAF and police congratulating each other on shooting a man in the eye! Even if one doesn’t know Arabic, it’s just disgusting and graphic to hear these officers cheer on the shooting and possibly killing civilians they are suppose to be protecting!
Thanks to social media and none to the many state-run new stations, Egyptians were made well aware of these attacks taking place in Tahrir Square. Solidarity protests took place in Alexandria, Suez and surrounding counties on Saturday and Sunday. There were reports of protesters sitting in at several police stations, ministry offices and outside SCAF facilities. The only major report came from Alexandria and Suez when riot police responded with tear gas.
Back in Tahrir Square on Sunday, the Imam of the Omar Makram Mosque tried to call a cease-fire between both sides when police on several occasions attacked the makeshift hospital in the square and inside the mosque. Many doctors carried the injured as they escaped the tear gas bombs. It didn’t last long for I received statements from people on the front lines that they were being attacked again after “the truce” lasted maybe 10 minutes! Many took refuge in near by churches, mosques and homes.
At the American University of Cairo (AUC) on the other side of Tahrir Square, several snipers were spotted on the rooftop shooting at the protesters below. Many protesters were able to escape tear gas bombs and bullets, both lethal and rubber. Again, many tweeted how they were having difficulty breathing and irritation in many parts of their bodies. Others saw many shot directly in the eye, head and neck including several dying on the scene. One very graphic photo shows a 23 year old man shot in the neck. Doctors in the makeshift hospital were unable to save him.
As of right now (Monday morning in Cairo, Sunday night in San Francisco), over 30 have been reported dead and at least 2,000 injured. This is with none stop violence since Friday night, almost 40 hours as I write this rant. What is happening in Egypt is not a second revolution because the first one never ended!
To stay up to date on the latest, please follow me on Twitter, Facebook as well as my updated Twitter list of all those tweeting from the front lines of not just Egypt but Yemen, Bahrain and Syria!
Combined Tactical Systems (CTB)
388 Kinsman Rd., Jamestown, PA 16134
Call your representatives today and ask them to stop supporting this company from selling these lethal tear gas products to SCAF in Egypt!!
Below is a message from fellow tweeter Ruwaydah as we try to collect and search for those still missing/detained since January 25th in Egypt. If you have ANY information on ANY missing or detained persons, PLEASE post a comment, email me or send Ruwaydah or myself a tweet ASAP! We’ll assure the information is sent to the appropriate people and news sources to help assist in the search!
This link has a list of those missing. Please check it to see if you know the whereabouts of any of those.
Thank you kindly, in solidarity
Ms. Hala & Ruwaydah
This is a sincere call to all activists in Egypt to collectively help our Brothers and Sisters. In the past few days we have been united, Christian, Muslim, Atheist and agnostic towards a common goal to bring democracy, freedom and liberty within our society.
In the process the Government has responded harshly, many dead, injured and dozens kidnapped. In order to help those kidnapped and in particular their families we are trying to get in touch with them. Unfortunately we don’t have their contact numbers, so we can’t get in touch with them.
If you know someone who is missing and is willing to talk about it to news channels, we urgently need you to get in contact with us. It is essential that those arrested/kidnapped are helped and not left alone.
Please leave a comment, or send an email. We are here to help those detained/kidnapped and we want to get them out.
The following link below showcases an unidentified martyr from the Egyptian protests. If you or someone you know recognizes this person, please let us know so that we may try to assist. http://bit.ly/g1iKc2
.الرابط التالي يعرض علينا شهيد مجهول الهوية من الاحتجاجات المصرية. إذا كنت أنت أو أي شخص تعرف هذا الشخص، واسمحوا لنا أن نعرفه حتى نتمكن من محاولة مساعدة
I’ve been deemed a news junkie by family and friends for many years. In one seating, I’ll switch between CNN and Aljazeera while reading local news and news blogs online while getting alerts on my Blackberry for specific stories I’m following. Almost every day, another news media has showed its biased ways. This time around belonged to CNN.
Octavia Nasr has been with CNN for 20 years as the Middle Eastern Affairs Senior Editor. She was the reason behind CNN’s ability to report on Iran’s elections last year. She has always been the primary go to person for Rick Sanchez, Anderson Cooper and others on CNN whenever reporting on anything Middle East arose. The importance of her work and friendly demeanor has granted her a mass following on Twitter, Facebook and blogs.
Last weekend, Nasr tweeted:
“Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah… One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot. #Lebanon”
That tweet has since been removed and replaced with:
“Regret tweet about Fadlallah death bc I didn’t explain specific respect for standing up for Muslim women. http://bit.ly/adrp95“
The link takes you to her CNN blog where Nasr not only explains why she had some “respect” for Fadlallah but also apologizes for her “error in judgement” when it came to her former tweet. However, that blog came in response to the anti-anything-pro-Arab-and/or-Muslim-without-any-form-of-understanding right winged fanatics who immediately bashed CNN over her “biased” tweet. They seem to have forgotten her work and contributions to the American and international media on the issues involving the Middle East. They also seem to have either forgotten or cared less to remember that Fadlallah was not part of Hezbollah. He was pushed out by the group for his “moderate” views and disagreement on many of their ideologies. Nasr’s feelings was simply in relation to the things they did agree on, especially when it came to women’s rights.
Of course, that doesn’t matter. Just like it doesn’t matter that the Lebanese people voted for Hezbollah in their parliament; the Palestinian people voted for Hamas to govern Gaza and are now suffering the consequences of acting upon their right to vote.
Personally, I don’t agree with either group or most of their ideologies. However, who am I to tell a people how to vote, how to believe, what to speak or what to think? The line between speaking your mind (with respect of course) and being politically correct has some how vanished.
The fact is, if we don’t like them, we deem them as terrorists and forbid anyone to think of them as otherwise. Yet if we like them, we deem them as friends and forbid anyone to think of them as otherwise. Now that’s what I call, “freedom of speech!”
According to CNN’s internal memo posted by Mediaite yesterday, it was agreed that Nasr is “to leave the company”. For CNN to advertise that they are a network that showcases all points of views, firing Nasr contradicts just that. To basically do to Nasr what Hearst did to Helen Thomas is absurd and simply stupid. Just like the Hearst lost me as a reader, CNN has lost me as a long time viewer.