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What exactly is going on in Egypt and what repercussions ?

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 07 Feb 2011 12:42 am

nakatago wrote:I find it astounding that a mistake on my part (the image was too whimsical and I was too lazy to do a fact check) on the post degenerated into an argument about assumptions.

I own up to my mistakes but I wouldn't push my warped sense of morality onto other people in a misguided attempt to look knowledgeable and to cover up my mistake.


I'm not Nak, especially considering who started the fight (again).

I have visited Egypt many times, including in December, January, and February, and I can tell you that I have never seen an Egyptian wearing gloves.

Fleeces in the evening? Woolly hats out on boats, sure. Gloves never.

Plus note the women on the left has a Maple Leaf flag/Egyptian flag on her cheeks, plus the guy looks like he is wearing a hockey shirt.

All in all, there is no way that picture is from Egypt.

edit to add:
p.s
Plus the flag behind, what is it, Austrian or something? Sure march in Egypt with an Austrian flag, might as well crayon 'Attack me now please' on your forehead.

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Postby tyianchang » Mon, 07 Feb 2011 3:52 am

poodlek wrote:
tyianchang wrote:
poodlek wrote:
tyianchang wrote:Good insight but they're Egyptians and hey, this guy might be a coptic christian, or a muslim.


Sorry. This is definitely Toronto. Of course he is very likely an Egyptian expat.

And what the heck does being a coptic Christian or Muslim have to do with wearing a Maple Leafs toque??


Try having some manners if you want to ask a question. Typical of the assumptions you made here - he can jolly well be a Canadian Egyptian.


Try understanding my point before you scold me. (And besides, I was using my manners. If I wanted to cause offense I would not have used the word "heck"). My point was that he IS Canadian, very obviously so. And that this particular demonstration is being held in Toronto, not Egypt as was originally claimed. What we can't tell at all from this photo is his birth place or his religion. We can tell that it is cold outside, and he supports the Toronto hockey team. That is why he is wearing a Maple Leafs toque.

It is also very likely he is just a regular Canadian joe, passionate about world politics and willing to show his support to those overseas. I have my suspicions that this particular demonstration was fueled by a locally notorious group of Sri Lankan rabble rousers. A person doesn't have to be affiliated with Egypt in any way to care about what is going on there.

In any case, the behavior and demeanor of the guy holding the sign is indicative of how protests and demonstrations are conducted in Canada (typically--I'm not talking about G20 or whenever Les Canadiens are in the playoffs), whether they are Egyptian or otherwise. It can't be compared to how people are comporting themselves in Cairo.



Scolding? It's just a reminder that to ask a stranger a question with 'What the heck...? is not exactly genteel, is it? It's possible you don't consider that rude while I do - crosscultural contexts.

The inferences I made about the guy being a coptic or muslim Egyptian, was in relation to the slogan, not to the Canadian emblems. In the context of the op, I focused on analysing all things Egyptian in order to undersatnd the current situation better.

The guy in the picture carries an important message that reflects the suprising pluralism among Egyptians in their country and abroad. It busts my own scepticism and shows an Egypt that rocks.

This fact surprised and perplexed me viv-a-vis the current volatile situation e.g. the claim of most protesters that they stand for democracy, multi-faith, peace and respect for the law - all this was presented in the news yesterday. Hence, my positive outlook about the representation of coptics and musilms in Egypt from the slogan. (In a time like this, any Egytian anywhere represents the change they would want for their country.)

But today, the story's changed and it's reported that the muslim brotherhood has already ruled out peaceful negotiations and wanted the imposition of shariah law. Moreover, theMB is the only party on the negotiation table which does colour the slogan the Egyptian carries.

I guess I take the current political demands for changes seriously and am hoping this to be a truly love and peace kind of revolution. All from my misreading- actual sign from egypt.
No hard feelings.
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Postby JR8 » Mon, 07 Feb 2011 5:41 pm

I wonder what the guy in Canada would think, to see someone reading so much into his placard that is simply a pun on the title of a song by the Bangles...

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Postby tyianchang » Tue, 08 Feb 2011 7:05 pm

Judgiing by the news reports from Egypt, the protesters do not fully represent the country. Behind Tharir (? )Square, were a totally different group of Egyptians, sipping cafe at roadside cafes and waiting for the heat to subside so they can get back to work. Elsewhere, there were pro and anti Mubarak groups that set up barricades to protect their areas. There seems to be civil unrest in the city due to the protesters and the clash that happened later. 1 foreign journalist and about a 100 Egyptians had died so it's hardly a peaceful protest.
It was wrong of the media to concentrate their presentation of the protesters only, esp in the first few days and I assume that affected many of our perceptions of what's going on in Eqypt. Which might account for the sudden change of policy from the USA.
My impression is that the source of the problem might come from a hiatus created by the haves and the have-nots so it's crucial for the govt to improve access to self achievement in all areas for the underclass.
We hope the army continues to play their all important neutral role in helping to get the country back on its feet and whatever changes to be made constitutionally to come in due time.
Peace and love to all Egyptians in the current testing time.
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Postby tyianchang » Tue, 15 Feb 2011 2:15 am

So the protesters have forced Mubarak out though it doesn't mean that there're no proMubarak Egyptians as well. But of what percentage, we'll never know now. We would know, if he stayed till the next elections which the protesters could have demanded that it be brought forward. Obviously, it's none of my business as a non- Egyptian but it's the democratic and constitutional issues, as well as the future of a great country, that draw my interest.
Is democracy an evolutionary hold of temporary power or is it a revolutionary power force? How can it still be democratic when it's not based on elections and the counting of votes? It's a bit like a gamble to me in this sense.
As the papers reported, Mubarak and the constitution went, which leaves the country in the hands of the army without a constitution. Would that mean that there would be no legal proceedings of any kind until a new government is voted in together with its new constitution?
It remains to be seen -
- if Egypt can be leaderless and remain democratic and peaceful throughout this interregnum
- who would call the shots for the election and
- can the army guarantee that a truly democratic election can represent the status quo of all the diverse groups in this huge country?
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Re: What exactly is going on in Egypt and what repercussions

Postby AstroGal » Tue, 15 Feb 2011 7:40 pm

tyianchang wrote:
I have not been to Egypt or read much about its politics. But from friends and collegaues who'd been there, they love it. It is one Muslim country that embraces diversity and orthodox Christian Egyptians. It comes as a shock to find it in the gridlock between diverging groups.
What exactly did Mubarak do wrong and what was his political inclination? More than that, what triggered the recent mass protests in Tunisia, Algeria and what seems to be spreading over the ME in states like Jordan and Yemen?


No offence, but Egypt doesn't exactly have very good 'religious' relations.
There is massive discrimination and oppression of minority religions. Churches fire bombed, Coptic Christians (especially women) harrassed and raped, the list goes on.

Just a decade or more ago they had quite a substantial percentage of minority Coptic Christians but as the Middle East moves slowly but steadily towards Wahabi (Hardcore Saudi style Islam) influence the percentage whittled down to a single digit percentage as they migrated to other, particularly, European countries, became refugees, etc.

Example, most women didn't wear hijab (headscarfs) back in the day. Today you see it alot. I don't have anything against hijab - more power to the woman if she wants to wear it.

But the wearing of it symbolises the pressure women face to have to 'objectify' their religion to a single act of wearing the hijab. Women who don't are harrassed.

My sister visited Egypt and told me that men propositioned her on the street, and she got groped lots. She's not exactly a flashy dresser, if you consider jeans and long sleeves (no cleavage) scanty.

I think the whole uproar seems a little too coincidental.
The whole 'ripple' effect is strange. First Tunisia, then other countries. Just seems very staged.

Middle Eastern people have always thrived in dominion. Many of my Mid-East friends have said, its better to have a cruel leader in a 'stable' country rahter than 50,000 Arab tribes or Islamic parties shedding blood and jobs fighting over a piece of pie in perpetual war.

Look at Saudi Arabia. Its the pits for lots of people. And many people's version of hell - no mixing of the sexes, etc etc. But Saudis are relatively happy there. They prefer their corrupted, excessive fat cat Royal Family there than the decrepit self styled Mullahs hunched by the sides of the Royals with their disdainful, disapproving snarls of the 'unIslamic' ways of the Royal Family. Why? Stability. Wealth.
At least, better prospect than being ruled by ultra conservative Mullahs.

I'm not saying they SHOULD be ruled by dictators. Its basically them having to choose between a rock and a hard place.

Middle East has always been a very turbulent place. Its not going to be fluffy cream cheese and pink candy floss just because they tossed some tosser into the bin. Another will rise to take his place, put in by those with 'interest' or just some charismatic twit, or a Islamic party waiting to inflict some serious Taliban sh!t on them.
-- AstroGal

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 15 Feb 2011 8:48 pm

^^^^^

+1

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Re: What exactly is going on in Egypt and what repercussions

Postby tyianchang » Wed, 16 Feb 2011 9:10 pm

AstroGal wrote:
tyianchang wrote:
I have not been to Egypt or read much about its politics. But from friends and collegaues who'd been there, they love it. It is one Muslim country that embraces diversity and orthodox Christian Egyptians. It comes as a shock to find it in the gridlock between diverging groups.
What exactly did Mubarak do wrong and what was his political inclination? More than that, what triggered the recent mass protests in Tunisia, Algeria and what seems to be spreading over the ME in states like Jordan and Yemen?


No offence, but Egypt doesn't exactly have very good 'religious' relations.
There is massive discrimination and oppression of minority religions. Churches fire bombed, Coptic Christians (especially women) harrassed and raped, the list goes on.

I 've read of cases of those wretched bombs and tourists being hurt, some fatally, by extremist groups. That didn't give me the impression though, that Egyptians are extremist. Perhaps they're from outside Egypt.

Just a decade or more ago they had quite a substantial percentage of minority Coptic Christians but as the Middle East moves slowly but steadily towards Wahabi (Hardcore Saudi style Islam) influence the percentage whittled down to a single digit percentage as they migrated to other, particularly, European countries, became refugees, etc.

Example, most women didn't wear hijab (headscarfs) back in the day. Today you see it alot. I don't have anything against hijab - more power to the woman if she wants to wear it.

But the wearing of it symbolises the pressure women face to have to 'objectify' their religion to a single act of wearing the hijab. Women who don't are harrassed.

A decade and few years ago, my colleague went to Egypt on a coptic mission. He said there were great number of coptics. Recently, there was a documentary 'On the trial of Frankincense' from which I learned that there're a great number of coptics in Alexandria today.
The point is that there are Christians in Egypt which is a country closer to biblical history and which also has an ancient system and beliefs of its own before the arrival of Islam. Such diversity in a majority Muslim region is unique and sacred as a source of civilisation in the history of the world.

Traditionally, there were Egyptian queens like as Nefertiti and high priestesses. Such a glorious past cannot be covered up by the present increasing pressure for Egyptian women to be covered up with burkas.
I haven't been to Egypt so I 'm not entirely sure about security for females; but, Outside Egypt, I've heard stories about sexist comments made by local men from colleagues who went to Morocco and Tunisia two decades ago which put me off.

If it makes your sister feel any better, a man tried to touch me in Turkey when a fight broke out between the train passengers and my friends. Also in Iran and Northern India, some men tried to pinch our bottoms. Dirty lot!
We decided to turn around and scream at any man who looked like a culprit. They should be shamed.
Egypt's not the only country where there's an increasing number of women wearing the hijab. It appears to be similar in most countries where there're Muslims - Malaysia for instance. Is there an underlying connection?


My sister visited Egypt and told me that men propositioned her on the street, and she got groped lots. She's not exactly a flashy dresser, if you consider jeans and long sleeves (no cleavage) scanty.

I think the whole uproar seems a little too coincidental.
The whole 'ripple' effect is strange. First Tunisia, then other countries. Just seems very staged.

I thought so too; but then, it could jolly well be true. The protest seems to have spread to Iran, Bahrain and elsewhere. In the case of Iran, it might well be the case of protests for more liberal politics as a woman's life was involved last year when (and where) the protest movement started.
I was in Iran in 1974 - a time of transition. I can't forget the beautiful Persian woman who sat at my table in the cafe outside Tehran. She was in a nun's garb but when she turned up the face cover, she smiled and winked. A shame that with the burka, one can hardly see her eyes.

I can believe the protests are real and are organised by young intellectuals who support the down trodden in the Arabic world. This, plus the rising costs in all commodities one needs to live. It seems to me like protests for the improvement of life at the moment and I tend to think that their goals might slightly differ; but one should be worried about the outcomes.


Middle Eastern people have always thrived in dominion. Many of my Mid-East friends have said, its better to have a cruel leader in a 'stable' country rahter than 50,000 Arab tribes or Islamic parties shedding blood and jobs fighting over a piece of pie in perpetual war.

She must be referring to Iraq! In fact, that was what I intuitively thought but then the Kurds were hurt. I had Kurdish students in school and they were such lovely people... but I could still sense they haven't lost the tribalism for good. It's deep seated and families have their codes of honour. In the light of this comparison, I would regard Egypt to be an entirety on its own, a more civilised country with one of the earliest judiciary systems in the world, an early civilisation which was spiritual and supported by a developed hieroglyphics and where women had equality with men. Somehow, I don't think this golden standard for civilisation can be changed by a whim of faith.

Look at Saudi Arabia. Its the pits for lots of people. And many people's version of hell - no mixing of the sexes, etc etc. But Saudis are relatively happy there. They prefer their corrupted, excessive fat cat Royal Family there than the decrepit self styled Mullahs hunched by the sides of the Royals with their disdainful, disapproving snarls of the 'unIslamic' ways of the Royal Family. Why? Stability. Wealth.
At least, better prospect than being ruled by ultra conservative Mullahs.

I'm not saying they SHOULD be ruled by dictators. Its basically them having to choose between a rock and a hard place.

The mullahs must have developed from converted chiefs of tribes? I think the middle classes are relatively happy but if I remember right, there is a rising number of the subclass for whom survival is a mean thing in the Saudi. It's this group who are in the protests?

Middle East has always been a very turbulent place. Its not going to be fluffy cream cheese and pink candy floss just because they tossed some tosser into the bin. Another will rise to take his place, put in by those with 'interest' or just some charismatic twit, or a Islamic party waiting to inflict some serious Taliban sh!t on them.


Since the time of Lawrence... I can just see the same psychology among the Bengali boys who always love a fight among themselves, unlike the girls who love domestic things and a good chat.
I think it's a mistake to lump these countries as the ME - today, they stand as different nationals e.g. a Tunisian's very different from an Egyptian, a Yemeni, a Jordanian and definitely a Saudi.
Are they all of Arab genealogy or are they really from different Semitic tribes such as the root that also embraces the Jews?
As in Egypt, there is diversity and no common yardstick can keep them all oppressed. So if that's the case, democracy can be an ideal platform for them if they can accept their differences and talk through a fair constitution. This could well be a new dawn on Egypt.
However charming the royals are with the disposal of their immeasurable income, they can't seal the lid of the gnawing needs of the underclass who must want to move forwards rather than backwards like the Talibans.?
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Postby ksl » Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:24 am

Tunisian's very different from an Egyptian, a Yemeni, a Jordanian and definitely a Saudi.
You can now add Libya! There are many common factors you are overlooking!

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Postby tyianchang » Sun, 20 Feb 2011 7:34 pm

ksl wrote:
Tunisian's very different from an Egyptian, a Yemeni, a Jordanian and definitely a Saudi.
You can now add Libya! There are many common factors you are overlooking!


It's the upholding of the tenets for pluralism underpinning the protest movement in Egypt that caught my attention.

As things stand, it's all beginning to seem like coup d'etats more than democratic protests. Who knows what the much abused word means anymore nowadays? So a struggle for power is inevitable in our volatile world of economic needs and diminishing resources; but if true democracy were to be maintained, there should be a peaceful means of transfer of power based on fair elections rather than the use of force, be it from the majority or minority. In that way, Mubarak would have to face trial and be judged fairly by a fair representation of Egyptians. It's up to the Egyptians to show the world that they stand for law and order.

Democracy is supposed to guarantee our aspiration to have a fair and peaceful world based on free speech and non-violence. Most of all, a democratic country will guarantee our sense of security that justice prevails and is as unshakeable as the country itself.

The denominator of common factors must be the revolution trigger. If that's the case, the differences are the mainstay in the balance of power.
Surely, what's needed is a good discussion and an urgent need to look into the setting up of structures to provide for the needs of those deprived and help develop the aspirations of the marginalised. If the unrest continues all over the ME region, nothing purposeful can be achieved. They need to rein in their anger, talk sense and negotiate the implementaions of new provisions. Rome wasn't built in a day.

The unwelcome outcome of the Egypt protests is the effect it all has on the man in the souk and those whose livelihoods depend on normality and tourists; and needless to say, the spin offs already impacted on the spiralling prices of commodities all over the world. History can be a cruel irony.
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Postby ksl » Tue, 22 Feb 2011 2:06 am

That's a bit like asking The Hells Angels to share their wealth with the rest of the gangs :lol: or the Mafia to distribute their wealth to the people.
Last edited by ksl on Sun, 27 Feb 2011 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 22 Feb 2011 2:22 am

ksl wrote:I'll bet you didn't know that Brits were also operating in Vietnam too, and so was mainland China


[Ooh ooh! Me Sir! (arm skyward!) ] :)

In fact I did know this. And I also had quite a memorably animated discussion about it with the British though Francophile father of a friend of mine many years ago, who simply would not accept it as true.

But in summary, at the end of the WW2 'war in the Pacific' Vietnam was occupied and administered by the Japanese. It was the British who took their surrender and were subsequently responsible for the administration of the country. In something of an ironic twist, not having the required number of men on the ground, the British temporarily re-employed an element of the surrendered Japanese Army to assist in carrying out the task.

So in summary, for a period of time (some years? - (I haven't time right now to go back and re-learn about this period to be more precise)), the British were to all intents and purposes the administrators of Vietnam.

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Postby ksl » Tue, 22 Feb 2011 1:34 pm

:-|
Last edited by ksl on Sun, 27 Feb 2011 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 22 Feb 2011 4:30 pm

You meant UK special forces during the Vn war?

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Postby tyianchang » Tue, 22 Feb 2011 9:36 pm

ksl wrote:That's a bit like asking The Hells Angels to share their wealth with the rest of the gangs :lol: or the Mafia to distribute their wealth to the people.

Libya will take it all the way, watch and see....once the terrorists are in power it will not be given up so easy and although the ageing ruler agreed to stop terrorist acts...he's not going to let power slip away. Egypt is another matter that involves not only the local people but also US and UK, unofficially of course, As Israel is the neighbour! The brotherhood could be a problem for the whole Country and Egyptians know this too, a balance must be found otherwise war will be on the doorstep that's for sure and that is very sad. I have worked 3 years with refugees so I know the suffering of many families.


Will life ever get back into law and order in Libya now? There seems so many weapons about, it's bound to be a long and violent struggle with much unnecessary suffering.
Gadafi should issue an armistice and a blue print for talks to begin instead of raining bullets down on the protesters so that they're all tearing their own country to pieces.
I don't think democracy is about armed uprisings either. The protesters' demand for changes should be accompanied by their capacity to negotaite and that should be met with a dialogue from the ruling authority. That's what I would see democratic protestst to be all about - for a peaceful transition with all loose ends to be resolve by a new government, if that's meant to be, in the hearing of a full judiciary enquiry. That is the way any democratic country will win our respect, not by force or arms and the killing of one another to take over.
What's going on in Egypt, Libya and Bahrain can show the world how to end wars if they're serious about democracy. For what's the point of having democracy if it's not meant to resolve differences and move the nation forward to a higher level of peace and a good life for all?
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