Linguistic Codification

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An Art Center in Egypt Restricts Freedom of Expression!

Translation of “Hanetkalem” statement: A clear violation against freedom of creativity: El Sawy Cultural Wheel prevents a show from participating in a theater festival.

Urgent statement

The theater group, “We Lessa” (And Still) for theatrical shows, was subjected to clear violation against freedom of thought and expression, during the event of the seventh festival of El Sawy Cultural Wheel for monodrama. The jury objected on a sentence in the show, so the jury stopped it, didn’t allow the show go on and excluded the show from the festival. The organizations and the groups signing on this statement consider this to be dangerous with regards to inspecting the intentions of artists and putting rules for creativity, especially in an independent cultural organization as El Sawy Cultural Wheel which was a haven for creative artists, males and females, especially the youth, which provided a free open space for creativity and innovation.

The details of what happened are: during the melodrama show, “Autobus”, during the event of the festival of El Sawy Cultural Wheel for monodrama, after it was agreed between the actor (Mina Ezzat) and the director of the show (John Milad) to do an improvisation at the beginning of the show, in which the actor would do a role of an actor who is unsatisfied with the show and acting, then he would make nervous acts including displacing some of the decorative pieces, vilify the show and its elements, showing that this actor became bored of acting which he considers as not changing the society, so he is forced to act against his will, and of these emotions he expressed it saying in the Egyptian spoken language, literally: “I’ll spoil the mother’s religion of the show” (which is a common Egyptian expression expressing contempt). So, the jury just stopped the show, apathetic to any exerted efforts after less than the first 3 minutes after making rehearsals continuing for months and preparing for that day since last March, almost a year, after claiming that the actor “slandered religion”.

After many attempts from the director of the show with the jury, they agreed to make the show again, but the administration of El Sawy Cultural Wheel totally refused. Also, some members of the jury tried to make the show again after the director of the show gives a written apology, at the end of the show, but he refused, saying, “I’m not a preacher, I’m an artist, I present art, the audience and the jury have to evaluate this art”.

The organizations and the groups signing this statement, consider the times of confiscation and banning had ended. No one has the right to inspect the artists’ intentions. The space should be provided for everyone to express their opinions freely and by all possible means, without putting limits on creativity under any designation. They demand the administration of El Sawy Cultural Wheel to explain their stance of freedom of thought and freedom of creativity for everyone, with allowing the monodrama, “Autobus”, making an appropriate apology for the ones responsible.

To see the signature of organizations and groups and to sign, please refer to the original post of “Hanetkalem”.

Related links
• John Milad, the director, writes: A Lie and Slanders of El Sawy Cultural Wheel Center. (Arabic)
Interview with the director, John Milad, mentioning the issue. (Youtube video, in Arabic)
• Egypt Independent: El Sawy Culture Wheel interrupts performance for ‘insulting religion’
Coverage of the case in Egyptian media: condemnation by 18 human rights organizations. (Arabic)
• Ahram Gate: “Innovation Front” Criticizes Stopping of the Show “Autobus” and Demands El Sawy to Apologize. (Arabic)
• Civic Egypt: Mohamed El Sawy, the salafi businessman
Intellectuals refuse El Sawy as minister of culture. (2011, Feb, 27; Arabic)

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تعليق على مقالة: حق العودة ليس فلسطينيا فقط – اللى كانت رد على: حق العودة فلسطيني وليس نوبي

تعليقى على مقالة ”حق العودة ليس فلسطينيا فقط“, اللى إتنشرت فى بلوج إتحاد شباب النوبه الديمقراطي ”تحت التأسيس“, اللى كانت تعليق على مقالة ”حق العودة فلسطيني وليس نوبي“.
فيه حاجة مهمة الناس بتتجاهلها أو مش دريانة بيها. إن الفلسطينيين اللى نزحو من أراضيهم, كان بسبب الحرب اللى بدأتها الكام دولة اللى كانو بدأو الإتحاد فى الجامعة العربية, ضد دولة إسرائيل الناشئة. و كمان النازحين الفلسطينيين كانو أقل من المهجرين اليهود من الدول العربية اللى إتطردو من مناطق لا كان فيها حرب ولا عدم إستقرار. النازحين الفلسطينيين كانو 600 ألف, و المطرودين اليهود كانو 850 ألف.
منظمة الأونروا لأول مرة و فقط للفلسطينيين, غيرت من مفهوم اللجوء, و بقت بتورّثو لولاد اللى كانو لاجئين من 1948, و اللى الدول العربية العنصرية رفضت تديهم جنسياتها, عشان يفضل فيه مشكلة و تتربا أجيال على الكره و السخط و الحقد على إسرائيل. المهم, اللاجئين الأوائل كانو كام 600 ألف, و دلوقتى تكاثرو و بقو كام مليون. دلوقتى تلاقى أعداء السامية بيقولولك إسرائيل طردت و هجرت ملايين الفلسطينيين. طبعا إنتو فهتمو المشكلة بدأت منين 😀

ڤيديو ممتاز بيتكلم عن إفتعال مشكلة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين و إزاى تتحل. (فيه ترجمة بالعربى)

Summary on “Maikel Nabil Sanad” Case

Important notice: The article isn’t up-to-date and too many developments happened. Refer to http://www.freemaikel.com for the latest developments and updates

The activist, the first Egyptian conscientious objector and the first political prisoner after the beginning of 25 January revolution, “Maikel Nabil Sanad”, has been arrested in 28 March, 2011 at night from his home. He has been militarily tried.
Maikel has been moved to the military court immediately and he didn’t even have a chance to inform his family or friends.
He was only able to call his brother secretly by a phone of a recruit and told him that he he was going to be tried after a few hours and he doesn’t know what exactly is he accused of.
Friends of Maikel telephoned “El-Nadeem Center for Torture Victims Rehabilitation” to send him a lawyer. The lawyer was told that Maikel isn’t there and they don’t know anything about that name. Later the activists and relatives knew that it was a deceit attempt from the Military Court.

Maikel is a pacifist political activist and a blogger who founded “No for Compulsory Military Service Movement” and he wrote later an article to bring the military mask off and show how it is involved in torturing activists and protesters as well as making virginity tests for female protesters.

Maikel was sentenced for three years in prison with hard labor and maximum security for the charge of insulting the military institution, as well as the charge of publishing false information about the army. The sentence was issued after deceiving the lawyer, the activists and relatives that the trial was postponed two days later. The proof for the charges was from the article he wrote. Maikel didn’t insult the Minister of Defense, Tantawi, he only criticized his political role. Maikel wrote about factual incidents made by the army.

Maikel was later moved from the Military Prison to El-Marg prison at Qalyubia. He is being harassed by many means inside the prison. He is denied his right to be examined by a doctor, while he’s in great need for examination because of his weak health and a chronic illness in his blood pressure which affects his heart.

Food provided by prison is very limited and very bad, so his brother has to buy him food on a regular basis and carries it with him each time he manages to visit Maikel.

Maikel’s belongings were stolen from him in prison, his food was destroyed by who work inside prison in order to force him to eat of the prison food which they add drugs on, while it harms Maikel’s blood pressure to eat of the drugged food. Maikel was forced to be locked with serious criminals in a disciplinary ward where terrorists are held. Prisoners there threatened him many times. After making a hunger and a medicine strike, he was later moved to solitary confinement. In the end, he was allowed to be moved to the “public money” ward, locked with less serious criminals. People in charge of the prison warn other prisoners from talking with Maikel, or else they would be punished, making Maikel feel abandoned most of the time.

In El-Marg prison, there exist systematic insults and torturing by the people in charge in prison, adding up to some prisoners’ danger.

Maikel is denied his right to buy newspapers from within prison. Letters sent to him are read by people in charge of prison and almost never given to him. The only way Maikel could know what’s happening in the world is by the limited newspapers which his brother buys for him, giving him them whenever he manages to visit him. Maikel also often asks his brother to get him books. Most of the times, Maikel is prevented from receiving books or newspapers from his brother.

Despite his countless requests, his friends and relatives’ demands, Maikel is always denied the right to be examined by a doctor.
In the last visit to Maikel by his family and friends, they learned that his body is full of allergies because of mites in prison where he sleeps and dirty water in which he showers. Also, Maikel seemed to be extremely fatigued.

After the 18 day-protest from 25 January which led Mubarak to step-down, the prisons allowed prisoners who didn’t flee to have weekly visits, instead of one visit per two weeks. That was being applied to all new prisoners. Maikel was later prevented from having one visit per week and instead one visit per two weeks, for no reason. His visitors weren’t even warned or informed and they once tried to visit him, only to be surprised after hours of interrogation that they are prevented and that Maikel visits have become limited to once per two weeks.
Maikel knew that he may be transferred to a farther prison leading to disallowing him from having visitors.

The Military Court prevented Maikel from making an appeal, by claiming that they didn’t receive the announcement from prison for almost a month wasting Maikel’s chance for an appeal in a period of no longer than 60 days after the ratification of the ruling. The Military Court asked his brother to get the announcement from prison while the prison was commanded by the Military Court not to give the announcement to him. After activists announced making a stand-in in front of El-Marg prison, the Military Court allowed the prison to let an officer go with his brother to the Military Court with the announcement, in order to ask for the repeal. Up till now, after weeks from asking for an appeal, the Military Court didn’t set a date for the session.

In 30 July, 2 journalists were arrested at El-Marg prison because they were covering Maikel’s story. They were only released after burning their film and forcing them to sign a document that it’s a militarist area, while prisons in Egypt are civilian areas!

Note: The military intelligence arrested Maikel Nabil many times before and threatened him because of his conscientious objection to compulsory military recruitment, because of his pacifist beliefs which prevent him from holding a weapon.
A few months ago he had been given his exemption certificate after a very wide publishing of his case nationally and internationally, after he was arrested in a kidnap style from his home.
The last time he had been arrested was by the army in 4 February 2011 while he was leaving Tahrir Square.

Related links
• Official website for the campaign to free Maikel: http://www.freemaikel.com
• Official Twitter account for the campaign to free Maikel: @freeMaikel
• A compilation for video about Maikel’s case on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/freeMaikel
• A compilation of everything Maikel wrote while imprisoned: http://maikel-nabil-in-jail.blogspot.com
Free Maikel Nabil Sanad Campaign (Facebook page)
We’re all Maikel Nabil because they didn’t stop after Khaled Said (Facebook group)
• Maikel Nabil Sanad: The Army and the People were Never Hand-in-Hand
• Amnesty International: Egypt blogger on hunger strike must be released as health fails (also available in Arabic)
• Amnesty International: Egypt prisoners beaten, denied medical treatment

Some Thoughts on Egypt’s Military and Politics

Some thoughts regarding that article (Egypt’s military seeks future political role)

I think that the militarist rulers made a deal with Islamists, that they would release some of their prisoners, empower their voice, so that they would in return ensure that militarists keep being above the law, ever since 1952 coup d’etat.
I’d say, forget about freedom if militarists aren’t held accountable for their actions. Bastawisi’s suggestion won’t free us.
The militarists (or their endorsers) always propagate that they want a Turkish model of militarist intervention in civil life, while Turkey is moving towards restricting these militarist powers because of its apparent harm to civil life, here in Egypt they propagate that this would help civil life. But, there’s another thing, our militarist rulers are not even close to being secular 😀
“Any political role for the military will hurt democracy,” said Mustafa el-Naggar —— I totally agree.
Yes, uprising against Mubarak threatens the militarist rule and the regime since 1952.
Military’s intervention in economy hurts it so much. Because they are immuned against fair competition in the market.
Ever since Mubarak was ousted, the regime loyal media (including state newspapers like Ahram) kept on making propaganda for militarists and whitewashing their reputation and even for militarists involved in 1952 coup d’etat.
Lies: the military didn’t stand with the revolutionaries. Many things prove that, including the Camel Battle on the second of February, when it allowed thugs to attack and kill protestors. I think that the over 11000 prisoners who were arrested after 25 January (mostly starting of 28 January) up till now, were presented as thugs and framed-up charges for them, when in reality they were of revolutionaries. If that number were really thugs, how come they are still hired to attack opponents? Also, how come they (along with Islamists) do the job of thuggery, for example, against a symposium made in Embaba, against military trials for civilians.
That number of 11000 is close to the number of arrested Syrians 🙂 Do I see a correlation? 😉 Except that the Syrian regime didn’t pretend to stand with the revolutionaries.
Moreover, in Egypt, Maikel Nabil Sanad said it, as well as colonel Omar Afifi (living in exile in US) that the Egyptian army was commanded by the US that they shouldn’t use the American weapons in oppressing protesters because that would harm the American weaponry business.
“The junta is not different from Mubarak,” says another Tahrir banner.——— I totally agree, in fact, Mubarak was the one to appoint them, also they warmly greeted him in one of their statements (one of the very early statements 2nd, 3rd or 4th, I can’t remember).
I feel very scared after Omar Afifi, along with Al-Diyar newspaper and Al-Masreyeen said that the Egyptian army sent Sami Anan to US to take permission of them to be allowed to end the sit-in by force in Tahrir and other places. Especially because 23 July, the day of the coup d’etat, is near. Ruling militarists are concerned that it would be the end for their power. Similarly to the start of 25 January protests, when they were chosen to be at the date of the police holiday. US gave the green light to EgyArmy. :S

Related links
Egypt army moves to secure key role in country’s future

Response to: Anne Frank a ‘fake,’ says ‘liberal’ Egyptian leader

I made that article as a response to a Jerusalem Post article (Anne Frank a ‘fake,’ says ‘liberal’ Egyptian leader).

First, I object describing Wafd political party as influential. Second, those are the political parties which were allowed to survive in Mubarak era. To be able to work at Mubarak era you must be not influential. Third, it’s the first time for me to know about “Ahmed Ezz el-Arab”.
The stupid stories he was saying are those stories long propagated by Mubarak regime. His views are common because as I said, they were propagated in the media and the state-sponsored information during Mubarak era who some consider Mubarak as a friend of Israel and a preserver of peace!
Amr Bargisi claim about the vast majority of Egyptians isn’t true. There are many people, but definitely not the vast majority. Who is Amr Bargisi, anyway? Is he a famous person in order not to at least mention who is he? What was his stance on the 12 days of 25 January protests? Did he follow it? Did he see that it wasn’t the making of sectarian groups!
I also suspect the claim of powerfulness of Muslim Brotherhood. If it were true, why did 27 May big demonstration succeed while they kept on defaming it and who called for it as well as challenging their patriotism and honor and appeasing to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces calling it the Friday of subversion between the army and the people (the exact quote of militarists of SCAF!)
No political party in Egypt is influential and 25 January proved so, because none of them called for demonstrations and some of them (including Muslim Brotherhood) spoke against 25 January protests 🙂
It’s not a surprise that a veteran is in favor of Islamism. Oh, did you think militarists (and SCAF) are for secularism? 😀 It was clear that SCAF and the Muslim Brotherhood made a deal, since the early days of the revolution, Muslim Brotherhood were the first to accept negotiations with Mubarak.
All of the minor Islamist demonstrations happening in Egypt, especially after 11 February, were 100% staged and allowed by SCAF and were never touched or harassed, while all the other demonstrations were harassed. Examples on Islamist demonstrations, as the Menya demonstration objection on a governor because he is Christian, demonstrating for a Camelia Zakher, a Christian who was made a fabricated picture for her, claiming that she converted to Islam, while she has said numerous times that she never converted to Islam, even in 2010 in an interview for her and another 2011 interview with her husband and son. I heard that she emigrated to Australia.

Related links
• Monday, 21 February, 2011 The Egyptian Army attack on a monastery which they denied (Youtube video) and another higher quality Youtube video

The Military Judicature… A Song and Dance!

The original article was posted at Free Maikel Nabil Sanad in Arabic

* Some of my friends asked me to write about the statements of Lieutenant “Adel Morsi” the chief of the Military Judicature Body, which was published in Ahram on 1 May, 2011… However, after a while I decided not to make the standard of my writings down to that extent; before I was arrested by days, I was writing an article criticizing in it Shimon Peres the president of the state of Israel and Binjamin Netanyahu the Israeli Prime Minister. At that period, also, I was publishing sensitive information about the American Central Intelligence Agency, which was the information in which the American Minister of Defense came in a quick visit to Egypt to prevent its circulation… So, why would I occupy my mind with a person who we didn’t hear about before the revolution and is going to disappear from sight forever as soon as the army gets back to its barracks?
* Maybe the only comment I have on the “Adel Morsi” subject is, I laughed out loud while reading it… The man says that the army doesn’t try anyone because of his ideas or opinions, then he said that no one was arrested from his house, then continues the comedy strongly saying that I was tried for my charged “slandering the armed forces and disrupting the public security” even though I was tried for my charge “publishing rumors and insulting the army”… Man, you made me laugh!

Translation in process. Check again later…

Maikel Nabil Writes from Prison: How to Help Maikel Nabil in Prison?

The original article was posted at Free Maikel Nabil Sanad in Arabic and is also posted in English

The best thing at crisis times is that they make you clearly see your loyal friends. Every crisis I passed through in my life exposed to me the core of people around me… I can say that I’m very happy with the loyal friends who are standing by me in my battle, from various nationalities, ages, religions, ideologies and types. All of them are exerting almost daily efforts so that I be free again… I thank them all and I’m aware that words can’t express my appreciation to their loyalty, but I’m sure that after I get out I would earn a new big family that I belong.
The points that I would talk about now are some things which people can participate with, so that we would be able to manage a successful battle, contributing in a way to my freedom and in another way to prevent the military establishment from repeating the same suppression with anyone else.

1- Helping me to distribute my articles
Help me to deliver my articles to the largest sector of readers… Since I was arrested, I wrote 15 articles. Deliver them to all of your friends’ circle… You may help in translating them and deliver them to all local and foreign newspapers.

2- Demonstrate for me
Join the page “Free Maikel Nabil Sanad” with their stand-ins at Tahrir or in front of the Military Court or Ministry of Defense… Get with you a banner against military trials for civilians and refuse imprisonment in cases of publishing.

3- Write about me
Write about me on your blog and on Facebook. Say your opinion frankly, even if you disagree with me… Keep on writing so that the case won’t die.

4- Mail
You may send post mails supporting me, to someone of the following:
a. Ministry of Defense (Obba Bridge/Kobri El-Obba). Tell the Minister of Defense that you object the ruling against me and ask for the unconditional immediate release for me.
b. Minister of Interior (Lazoghli square). Ask for the improvement of the circumstances of my detention at El-Marg prison.
c. Letters to me to the address of the prison (El-Marg General prison). Those letters give me a big psychological support. However, those letters are read before I receive them and sometimes they don’t give them to me, but the letters make the prison management feel that they ought to treat me better.
d. Letters to me through the page “Free Maikel Nabil Sanad” and those are going to reach me without someone reading them, as well as, I would answer you as soon as the letter reaches me.

5- Talk to journalism about me
Talk to Egyptian and foreign journalists who you know and stimulate them to write on my case.

6- Nominate me to a human rights award: That would make a good pressure in favor of my case.

7- Come to visit me in prison: after co-ordinating with the page “Free Maikel Nabil Sanad”.

I thank again all who are struggling for my freedom and I believe that we are going to celebrate together soon for our country, free of militarists’ suppression.

                                                                          For freedom
                                                                          El-Marg General prison – Qalyubia
                                                                          The Experimental Ward – 18th cell
                                                                          3/6/2011