Thursday, September 12, 2013

Curfew dosen´t suit Cairo

This is a must read by Sarah Carr on Egypt during the last month or so.

On curfew in a city that normally never sleeps , never shuts down , and never ever turns silent..

Life in Egypt has mostly shrunk, politically, geographically, socially. For two long weeks, Egyptians in governorates affected by the unrest were under a curfew from 7 pm till 6 am. A frenzied scuttling began in Cairo around 5 pm, as shop shutters were banged shut and commuters began to head home. Daredevils who left too late faced the wrath of unpredictable army officers at checkpoints.
And then, from 7 pm, the terrible stillness. Curfew doesn’t suit Cairo, a city whose élan derives principally from its inhabitants and which is used to stretching and coming alive after the sun has set, in the cool of the evening. Without them there is nothing to see but the city’s decline, an ordinary face without the disguise of transformative makeup, the clear blue eyes of the river its only untouched feature.


On going back to old tactics , on how to make the situation much worse than it could have been. Simply put the Rabaa massacare , the blood , the people , their cause and the chaos , and aftermath , the effectiveness of how to clean away , a place that until August 14th was full of life. The effectiveness of cleaning away evidence , restoring normallness and earie empty silence.

A principal reason Egypt is in its current political mess is that successive regimes—like regimes of poor governance everywhere—have equated shutting down the physicality of dissent with addressing this dissent. The best example of this was the August 14 dispersal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s sit-ins in Cairo. Conservative figures put the death toll at nearly a thousand, with many more injured.
I went to the Rabaa El-Adaweya area of Nasr City in Cairo, the site of the biggest sit-in, the next morning. It was a post-apocalyptic scene. Bulldozers roared up and down the street carrying away debris at great speed. The air was filled with the dust from their tracks. Donkey carts trundled between them and the smoldering remains of fires. Waste pickers worked over what was left: clothes, medicine, shoes belonging to the dead and to those who had fled. The image of deposed President Mohamed Morsi peeked out from posters trapped in the piles of waste that the pickers could not convert into profit.
In less than twenty-four hours, it was as if the sit-in—which had acquired the proportions of a small but developed village, with barbers, a children’s playground and even two-tier housing—had never been. It is the same story with the smaller Nahda Square sit-in in Giza, another patch of land that had been appropriated by supporters of deposed president Morsi. I went through an army checkpoint there after curfew a week after it was attacked, and all that remained was some graffiti and scorched land where tents—including the people inside them—had been set on fire.


She goes on to describe the way the general public has reacted to the clampdown on the MB and their media outlets , with silence , but clapping hands to the march of al Sissi and Muhammed Ibrahim in their fight against "Terrorism" Almost all media goes in the same direction. She ends like this:

In one of Cairo’s public squares, there are badly produced posters for sale depicting Sisi holding a knife slaughtering a sheep with Morsi’s head. “This is what happens to those that don’t do as the people say,” the poster warns grimly. The general public, in its desire to see the Brotherhood destroyed, agrees with this sentiment, and it is this that is most dangerous about the current state of affairs. The regime has succeeded in hoodwinking citizens into believing that by physically removing the Brotherhood from the picture, it has neutralized the threat, real and imagined, from Islamists. The attack last week on the interior minister’s convoy, and the simmering insurgency in the Sinai, shows that they have failed. What is even more problematic is that the general public has once again accepted, so uncritically, exactly the tactics that it took to the streets to oppose on that dreamy day of January 25, 2011, so long ago.


Are we back at square one ? The contours of a Mubarakesque state without Mubarak is right in front of us, and the only way out of it is to snap out of this collective amnesia and turn back to the togetherness of the 18 dreamy days of #Jan25.

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