Author Archives: Yasser Kosper

Paying the price of revolution

Artist Ammar Abo Bakr's street image of Alyiaa El Mahdy (center) who blogged her nude picture as a form of freedom of expression challenging cultural norms. Samira Ibrahim (right) fought and won a case in an administrative court challenging the military’s violation of female protestor’s privacy and dignity. The Arabic graffiti compares the media attention the cases have received, Photo (cc) flickr user Gigi IbrahimThe Egyptian online and social media communities together with their international counterparts were abuzz in November with heated debates, sharp comments varied between ridicule, encouragement, resentment and sarcasm, and even social media pages dedicated to support for or against two incidents.

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The long road to freedom and democracy

Mock coffins of Egyptians who died in clashes with security forces earlier in the month are placed in the street of the Egyptian Parliament and Prime Minister’s office, as some protesters continue a sit-in there and in Tahrir square one day before the run-off in the first round of the parliamentary elections, Cairo, Egypt, 04 December 2011. Photo: picture alliance / © dpa

Mock coffins of Egyptians who died in clashes with security forces earlier in the month are placed in the street of the Egyptian Parliament and Prime Minister’s office, as some protesters continue a sit-in there and in Tahrir square one day before the run-off in the first round of the parliamentary elections, Cairo, Egypt, 04 December 2011. Photo: picture alliance / © dpa

Egypt’s Tahrir Square a few weekends ago was not full of scenes of jubilation, but rather those of screams, tears, blood and violent clashes between demonstrators and police. More than 1,800 young Egyptians were injured and the violence claimed 42 people across the country according to Egyptian officials.

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Thoughts on a Fair Trial: Slow Justice is Injustice

An Egyptian man looks at books and magazines with a front page picture of ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak on May 25, 2011, a day after the State prosecutor announced that Mubarak and his two sons would face trial in a criminal court over the killings of anti-regime protesters and corruption, Photo: picture alliance / ap3/ZUMAPRESS.com

An Egyptian man looks at books and magazines with a front page picture of ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak on May 25, 2011, a day after the State prosecutor announced that Mubarak and his two sons would face trial in a criminal court over the killings of anti-regime protesters and corruption, Photo: picture alliance / ap3/ZUMAPRESS.com

On April 10, 2011, Hosni Mubarak gave his last speech (on one privately funded channel) while under house arrest claiming that he’d been deeply hurt and extremely disappointed by the unfair allegations and accusations which have surfaced in newspapers which not only smeared his reputation, but that of his family.

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Before we forget!

Cairo at night as seen from the Cairo Tower on al-Gazirah, an island in the Nile River, Photo: (cc) flickr user Andrew Griffith

Cairo at night as seen from the Cairo Tower on al-Gazirah, an island in the Nile River, Photo: (cc) flickr user Andrew Griffith

“But we don’t hear anything about your country anymore. We thought everything’s alright and that your demands were met once Mubarak was gone. The situation has gone back to normal. Right,” asked the German tour guide after he discovered I’m Egyptian while he was giving us a night tour in the city of Osnabrueck.

I believe that not only he and his fellow Germans, but people from other countries and nationalities as well, share this perspective.  I have to admit that I’ve been hearing such comments for at least two months now,  which came as no surprise.

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Paying the price for our tyrants

A young man mourns his brother killed during the uprising against Lybian leader Gadhafi in Benghazi, Libya, March 12, 2011. Photo: (c) picture alliance / abaca

A young man mourns his brother killed during the uprising against Lybian leader Gadhafi in Benghazi, Libya, March 12, 2011. Photo: (c) picture alliance / abaca

“He should have seen it coming” was a comment I heard from a news anchor about Libyan president tyrant Mommar Gaddafi  after the U.N. voted Thursday, March 18 to approve the resolution “to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack” – that is from an attack by their own president. The resolution, sponsored by the United Kingdom, France, Lebanon and the United States, passed with an abstention from Germany.

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On becoming politically literate

Egyptians queue to cast their vote during a national referendum March 19, 2011 at a school in Cairo. Egyptians flocked to the polls on Saturday in a historic referendum on changes to the constitution, amendments proposed by a judicial committee formed by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Photo: (c) picture alliance / ZUMA Press

Egyptians queue to cast their vote during a national referendum March 19, 2011 at a school in Cairo. Egyptians flocked to the polls on Saturday in a historic referendum on changes to the constitution proposed by a judicial committee formed by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Photo: (c) picture alliance / ZUMA Press

Choices have consequences. It’s a natural law that can’t be argued, but all too often someone is not willing to take responsibility for his or her choices. The previous Egyptian government dominated the decision making process. Whether the decisions they reached were right or wrong, it was we the citizens who suffered their consequences, even though we didn’t chose the government or needless to say actually participate in its decision making. In return, instead of taking matters into our own hands we used to blame the government for its bad decisions. AND THIS WENT ON AND ON UNTIL WE CHANGED IT!!!

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Go Vote!!!

Egyptians abroad followed events closely, supporting them with solidarity actions. Here, Cairo University teacher Arafa Radvan, a doctoral candidate at Kharkiv's polytechnic institute in Ukraine, holds a homemade Egyptian flag Feb. 4, 2011 in downtown Kharkiv, Ukraine; Photo: picture alliance / (c) dpa

Egyptians abroad followed events closely, supporting them with solidarity actions. Here, Cairo University teacher Arafa Radvan, a doctoral candidate at Kharkiv's polytechnic institute in Ukraine, holds a homemade Egyptian flag Feb. 4, 2011 in downtown Kharkiv, Ukraine; Photo: picture alliance / (c) dpa

On January, 15, 2011 – only one day after the Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced on state television the ouster of FORMER president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and that he had taken control of the country – I received a message from one of my friends. It stated “Tunisia chose change and Egypt chose chips with shrimps”, a joke from a famous snack company’s advertising campaign expressing the state of frustration and cynicism our nation had reached after the dramatic events in Tunisia. The joke shows the humor we Egyptians used to express our real frustration and despair about what our country was going though. Once being a leader in the Middle East, we watched the Tunisian Revolution unfold with mixed feelings of happiness for their freedom, and also deep sadness that we were not the first to breakthrough the silence and indifference.

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