Monday, August 29, 2005

The Rape of Baghdad Continues

First, they thought they can break the will of the Iraqi people by pillaging and burning Baghdad…..

Foolishly, they still think they can falsify history and fabricate a proud nation's "constitution"…..

Lest we forget, the physical and moral rape of Iraq is still a daily occurrence.....

Monday, July 25, 2005

Anti-Terror Protest / رفض وإدانة

Submitted by alaa on Tue, 26/07/2005 - 01:25.

دعوة لجموع المصريين من مختلف الاتجاهات والتيارات لإعلان رفض وإدانة الإرهاب بالوقوف صامتين - تقديراً للموقف- لمدة ساعة واحدة يوم السبت الموافق 30/7/2005 ، بلا أي هتافات، وبلافتات تحمل إدانة لكل أشكال الإرهاب في كل العالم، وتدعو لاحترام حقوق المواطن، الساعة السادسة مساء، أمام جامعة القاهرة عند النصب التذكاري لشهداء الجامعة والذي يمثل هو والجامعة قيم الاستنارة والحرية والكفاح الوطني

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Cancer Within: Egyptians, Speak Up!

Our reaction to today's events at Sharm el Sheikh must go beyond just "mourning" the dead. If this is not a big and loud wake up call to all Egyptians, from all walks of life, I am not sure what will it take for Egyptians (and Arabs for that matter) to speak up?

It is time to demonstrate our disgust at what's happening in our midst. We must acknowledge, courageously, that something is terribly wrong. A cancer is growing from within.
Of course there will be those voices that express concern that any form of protest against terrorism is a form of acquiescence with the United States' misguided "war on terror" or the war in Iraq.

There is no doubt that the American war in Iraq (or Afghanistan) is unjust; that American, or other Western governments', actions against Arab or Muslim nations are, sometimes, motivated and guided by intolerable prejudices and blatant double standards. But none of that should create any illusions, or disillusions, about our own share of responsibility. There should be no more excuses or looking the other way, when clearly, something is terribly wrong with few Egyptians, Arabs or Muslims. And "few" is the operative word here.

In modern times and most of the past 200 years, Egyptians' struggle to find their "place under the sun" and among the developed and civilized nations of the world had withstood the test of various bottlenecks and painful thresholds. This, I believe, is one such threshold. And if we do not practice an honest form of inner cleansing, we are doomed to fail. It is not the place here and now to enumerate all the other "negative" habits and phenomena in Egyptian society, and they are not all equally cancerous either.

Clearly times of struggle for independence, liberty and decent living, often dictate a process of prioritization and critical self-scrutiny, and in this case standing up to terrorism and fanaticism is of the utmost and highest priority. It is inextricably linked to the other causes, and not confronting them directly, may even be at the root of some.

To all of those who are, unfairly, giving our culture a bad name, we should be saying: "Enough is Enough." By the same strength and commitment that we are saying it to the tyrant regimes that are robbing us from true democracy, freedom and decent living. Demonstrating and protesting against the virus that is growing from within is not a derailment for our struggle for a fair and equitable society. If the Lebanese were capable of standing up to the evil and cancerous elements in their midst, why can't the Egyptians? Granted the circumstances are totally different, but the parallels are truly applicable to the collective psyche of an entire nation and its capacity in facing its own inner dragons.

On the contrary, if we do not confront our own inner demons, if we do not face our own dragons head on, how could we be healthy enough, strong enough or capable enough, to fight the external dragons, whomever they may be, wherever they come from? Standing up to the sick minds that have decided that killing innocent people is justified on religious grounds or for some misguided Machiavellian ideological constitutions, is of paramount and critical urgency. Uprooting the fertile grounds for hatred and blind inhumane tactics is a responsibility of every sane citizen. The burden of swift action lies on our shoulders.

We need not, passively, defend Islam, Arabs or Egyptians, as God-fearing, peaceful people, we must insist that they are! And show it by our civilized proactive actions.
We must, not only, join the rest of the civilized world in condemning the tide of extremism and fanaticism, we must lead the world in those actions. This should be forcefully and equally expressed whether the victims are "foreigners" or "indigenous', "Muslims" or "non-Muslims". It should be done, period!

The sanctity of human life has no passport and should have no religion.

In death, we should all be dignified humans, as we should be in living!

Egyptians, stand up to the cancer within!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

..the truth......a truth....

To Hanna Grace,

Say not, "I have found the truth,"
but rather, "I have found a truth."

Say not, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
For the soul walks upon all paths.

The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

Gibran Khalil Gibran, The Prophet (on Self-knowledge)

Friday, June 17, 2005

Ché… Camus

Che Guevara, 1963 Havana Posted by Hello

".....Absolute revolution, in fact, supposes the absolute malleability of human nature and its possible reduction to the condition of a historical force. But rebellion, in man, is the refusal to be treated as an object and to be reduced to simple historical terms.

It is the affirmation of a nature common to all men, which eludes the world of power...."
Albert Camus, The Rebel (1956)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A mouth is not for talking

Forget the world, and so
command the world.

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder
help someone's soul to heal.
Walk out of your house like a shepherd.

Stay in the spiritual fire.
Let it cook you.

Be a well-baked loaf
and lord of the table.

Come and be served
to your brothers.

You have been a source of pain.
Now you'll be the delight.

You have been an unsafe house.
Now you'll be the One
who sees into the Invisible.

I said this, and a Voice came to my ear,
"if you become this, you will be That!"

Then Silence,....and now more Silence.

A mouth is not for talking.

A mouth is for tasting this Sweetness.

Jalaluddin Rumi, Ode # 3090 (translation by Coleman Barks)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Crime and Punishment

to wa7ed mn masr


And as a single leaf turns not yellow but
with the silent knowledge of the whole tree

So the wrong doer cannot be wrong
without the hidden will of you all

Gibran Khalil Gibran , The Prophet (on Crime and Punishment)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


[ . . . . . . ]

And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that you may become free?

If it is an unjust law you would abolish, that law was written with your own hand upon your own forehead.

You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing the foreheads of your judges, though you pour the sea upon them.

And if it is despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.

For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their own pride?

And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.

. . . . . .

Gibran Khalil Gibran, The Prophet (On Freedom)

goats rammimg the fence

to Mubarak and his thugs.......

Being without high moral standards is like
dusting one's clothes in dust
and washing one's feet in mud.

There is no way to escape from trouble.

Not knowing when to retreat is like
moths swarming on candles,
and goats ramming the fence.

How can one find peace?

from the Chinese "zen of vegetable roots"

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Questions About Devastation

To Lebanon and her people, who are courageously "facing their dragons"..

On the way to an upcoming blog:
.....Lebanon & Egypt: Who's Facing the Dragons?

Questions About Devastation

A man was breaking up the soil,
When another man came by,
"Why are you ruining this land?"

"Don't be a fool! Nothing can grow
until the ground is turned over and crumbled.

There can be no roses and no orchard
Without first this that looks devastating.

You must lance an ulcer to heal it.
You must tear down parts of an old building
To restore it, and so it is with a sensual life
That has no spirit in it.
To change,
A person must face the dragon of his appetites
With another dragon,
the "life-energy of the soul."

When that's not strong,
The world seems to be full of people
Who have your own fears and wantings.

As one thinks the room is spinning
When he's whirling around.

From Rumi's "Mathnawi" (II, 1180-1183)
Translated by Coleman Barks

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

To Take a Step Without Feet

To ArchMemory

To Take a Step Without Feet

This is Love: to fly toward a secret sky,
To cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.

First, to let go of life.
In the end, to take a step without feet;

to regard this world as invisible,
and to disregard what appears to the self.
Heart, I said, what a gift it has been
to enter this circle of lovers,
to see beyond seeing itself,
to reach and feel within the breast.
My soul, where does this breathing arise?
How does this beating heart exist?
Bird of the soul, speak in your own words,
and I will understand.
The heart replied: I was in the workplace
the day this house of water and clay was fired.

I was already fleeing that created house,
even as it was being created.

When I could no longer resist, I was dragged down,
and my features were molded from a handful of earth.
Jalaluddin RUMI
(translated by Coleman Barks)

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