SDB Late Evening News Reads: Egyptian Revolutions #Jan25

Good later evening…

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution…

It may not have been the place where the Arab Spring began, but it sure fanned the flames in places like Libya and Syria.

So tonight we are going to focus on today’s events in Egypt.

Egyptian protesters plan sit-in until army leaves | Reuters

Scores of Egyptian youth protesters marking the one-year anniversary of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak bedded down in Tahrir Square and pledged to stay put until the ruling military council hands power to civilians.

United last year by anger at Mubarak and his 30-year rule, Egyptians were in high spirits on the January 25 anniversary but divided between activists demanding a swift end to army rule and those celebrating the strides their country has taken with its first free elections in 60 years.

The attempt to extend the protest, which the military had hoped to limit to a daytime celebration, raises the prospect of violence. A series of sit-ins in recent months have ended in clashes with security forces and left dozens dead.

“There will be a sit-in until they leave, by any means but they should leave,” said Alaa Abdel Fattah, a blogger who was detained by the army after clashes outside the state media offices, or Maspiro, left 25 protesters dead in October.

Egyptians mass in Tahrir to honour uprising – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

“Down with military rule” and “Revolution until victory, revolution in all of Egypt’s streets” were chanted by one group of mainly youths in an area of Tahrir on Wednesday.

Sherine Tadros, reporting from Tahrir Square, said: “For a section of people demonstrating here, it’s really just about military hijacking the revolution, and about Islamist parties and movements now making the gains instead of those who actually initiated the revolution.”

“But others say it is a rocky transition but it is still a transition pointing out to the fact that Egypt had first free and fair elections in decades and people’s assembly which reflects will of the people.”

Meanwhile, about 3,000 people, who were pardoned by the military rulers coinciding with the anniversary, have reportedly walked out of Tora prison located on the outskirts of Cairo.

The Lens has a series of photographs of today’s anniversary celebrations, marches and further protest:

Egypt and More – Pictures of the Day – NYTimes.com

Following many tweets today about the Anniversary, it was very upsetting to see so many people talking about the sexual assaults women where experiencing.

We all remember Lara Logan: Life is not about dwelling on the bad – NY Daily News

Lara Logan is back on the air, she’s got nine stories in the works at “60 Minutes” and a new show set to launch — but she still battles the demons of a horrific gang sexual assault, even sometimes while she puts her young daughter to bed.

“People don’t really know that much about (posttraumatic stress disorder),” she told the Daily News. “There’s something called latent PTSD. It manifests itself in different ways. I want to be free of it, but I’m not.

“It doesn’t go away,” she said. “It’s not something I keep track of. It’s not predictable like that. But it happens more than I’d like.”

Last Feb. 11, while covering the Egyptian uprisings in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Logan was surrounded by an angry mob of men and ripped away from her CBS crew. She was viciously stripped and suffered a “brutal and sustained” sexual assault.

“I didn’t even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things, because the sexual assault was all I could feel, their hands raping me over and over and over again,” she told “60 Minutes” last spring.

They tried to rip off chunks of her scalp.

“I was in no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying,” she said.

You should read the rest of this article, and then come back and read the various tweets I have copied below:

Ahmed Eltahawy

Egyptians Mark Their Revolution’s Anniversary with Mixed Feelings ..Toppling a dictator but not his regime

6 hours ago

Ghada Shahbender

: Wow. Just, wow. RT : Meet the greatest square in the world. Incredible photo, from AFP#Tahrir ” :))
Ahmad H. Aggour

A year has passed since with 945 people dead, more than 6,400 injured and not one police officer was sentenced.
Retweeted 100+ times
Liliana Segura

So moved by “In Tahrir Square,” a powerful tribute to . Thank you to & all who made it possible to tell the story.
 

Wael Ghonim

Hossam عمو حسام

Today was the biggest march I ever attended in my whole life.. at least 100,000 were marching in Giza
Mahmoud Salem

Everyone is carrying pictures of the martyrs.
Mona Eltahawy

Unless women can march, protest or simply walk in any street/square w/out protection of men then will fail.
Summer Nazif

@
I was groped earlier today in the square but a guy from saw what happened and saved me. Disgraceful.
Noha Hamed

@
sadly on my way home from the sq i was tellin my male friend that it’s hard to be inside the demo without a male..devastating!
Sara Maklad

@
and i’m tired of freaking out inside every time i pass by a group of guys on the street!
Summer Nazif

@
you don’t have time to think when something like this happens, it’s scary how a touch can make you feel naked.
Mona Eltahawy

Our revolution isn’t just against fascist regime; it must also be against misogynistic attitudes. We will not be silenced!
Mona Eltahawy

Tell me what happened. Are u ok, Menna? RT : It was ridiculous today. Absolutely disgusting.
Mary AwadAllah

@
my americn & swdish frnds wre badly harassd tday,pants,tops,&bras torn.all bruisd now.so frustratng
Mona Eltahawy

Today we made it v clear continues but I’ll be damned if I stay quiet about sexual assault so that the revolution doesn’t “look bad”.
There is a website: HarassMap that has been keeping track of sexual harassment and assaults since 2004…
 

Have a good evening, and just a side note…we changed our twitter account name…if you have been following us, you don’t need to do a thing.


Sky Dancing Blog
We just changed our Twitter handle from  to Stop by the blog & join the conversation:

Late Night Drift: Women of Egypt

CAIRO, EGYPT - JANUARY 29: Egyptian woman shout out during a demonstration against President Hosni Mubarek in Tahrir Square January 29, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Unrest continued in the Egyptian captial as President Mubarek said he would form a new government but remain in power.

The Daughters of Hatshepsut take to the Street.

There seems to be a narrative in some fairly strange places that the women of Egypt are not behind a move to democracy and that they will suffer if Mubarak is removed.  I thought I’d share some photos and stories on the role of  Women in Egypt’s struggle for democracy.

From Slate:Women Are a Substantial Part of Egyptian Protests

An unprecedented number of Egyptian women participated in Tuesday’s anti-government protests. Ghada Shahbandar, an activist with the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, estimated the crowd downtown to be 20 percent female. Other estimates were as high as 50 percent. In past protests, the female presence would rarely rise to 10 percent. Protests have a reputation for being dangerous for Egyptian women, whose common struggle as objects of sexual harassment is exacerbated in the congested, male-dominated crowd. Police hasten to fence in the demonstrators, and fleeing leads to violence. And women, whose needs are not reflected in the policies of official opposition groups who normally organize protests, have little reason to take the risk.

One of the protest organizers is a woman: Political activist Esraa Abdel Fattah, whose 15-day detention in 2008 for her activism made her a symbol of resistance. But Abdel Fattah’s position at the helm of the movement did not previously mean a large female presence. In 2008 Abdel Fattah tried to mobilize all of Egypt around labor conditions in El-Mahalla El-Kubra, north of Cairo. The male workers in the industrial town constituted the majority of the original protesters, and subsequent protests organized by the movement likewise failed to draw as large of a female crowd as seen on Tuesday.

Whoever is running this narrative can’t possibly be watching what’s going on unless they’re spending a huge amount of time on Faux News waiting for a pronouncement from Snowflake Snookie.


Women on the front lines in Egypt

Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy has emerged as one of the most prominent representatives of the movement on Western news media. Yesterday, she successfully got CNN to change their headline from “CHAOS IN EGYPT” to “UPRISING IN EGYPT.

Eltahawy, whose Twitter feed has been essential reading for those following the events in Egypt, has been circulating a link to a Facebook album filled with inspiring pictures of women on the front lines of the protests. (Le Monde has a similar gallery for the protests in Tunisia.)

Why is it important to draw attention to this phenomenon? Because we know it’s in the The West’s playbook to exploit concern for women’s rights to justify its imperial ambitions. That’s one of the many ways that the war in Afghanistan was sold to the public, from the CIA’s Wikileaked cable on manipulating public opinion in Europe to the propagandistic cover of Time magazine depicting a woman disfigured by the Taliban.

Culture warriors have cynically co-opted feminist rhetoric to push for bans on the Islamic veil throughout Europe, despite evidence that such prohibitions might actually make women more isolated and less safe. In 2009, Switzerland actually banned the construction of minarets, supposedly in response to feminist concerns.

I would not be at all surprised to hear US leaders, media pundits, and even some liberals defend the Mubarak regime by underscoring the potential threat of newly-empowered Islamists to impose restrictions on women’s rights in Egypt.This possibility certainly exists, but we should not pretend that the United States is sincere about these concerns, nor should we ignore the tens of thousands of Egyptian women taking to the streets to demand change.

“Bravest girl in Egypt”

Mona Eltahawy to CNN: Call Egypt an Uprising

Do these sound like women that are going to be put behind some kind of  iron veil?    I’m not buying the narrative that a nation that produced Cleopatra and Hatshepsut is going to suddenly find itself promoting the Muslim Version of the Hand Maid’s Tale.

What is behind this sense of false chivalry?