8 Year Old Saudi Girl’s Message to Mubarak (Updated)

Check out Juju’s message to President Mubarak to the right. What a smart girl!

Mona Eltahawy:

When people want to know who’s in charge, and when people keep trying to ring the Islamists’ alarm bell, the people answer: “We’re in charge.”

The thousands of Egyptians braving the brutality of Mubarak’s security apparatus are having none of it. It’s about freedom and dignity for them, not about the dictator and the Islamists. It’s the West that’s hung up on that. And it’s hung up on it because for decades the West has sided with “stability” — which has come at the cost of the freedom and dignity of Egyptians, Tunisians and other Arabs.


One of the main demands of the protests is an end to Mubarak’s rule. In presidential elections later this year, he was expected to seek a sixth term in office. I would sincerely love to see Mubarak go, and if he does, those Egyptians who smashed through fear must be the ones to decide who they want to replace him.

They don’t want a Mubarak-lite. They will not sacrifice their freedom and dignity so Western allies can feel better about Egypt — which means a future government must reflect all those Egyptians out there, day after day.

On the Palestine Papers… from the Christian Science Monitor:

Why Palestine papers didn’t spark outrage against Abbas’s government

But the Palestine papers published by Al Jazeera have further dented Abbas’s already low credibility, calling into question his ability to negotiate a lasting peace deal.

This is an Open Thread on Egypt, the Palestine Papers, and the rest of the Middle East…and whatever else is happening this Saturday evening.

To the left: A picture of the human wall protecting the Cairo museum, circulating on twitter.


Stacyx has a brilliant post up calledEgypt: Democracy For Me But Not For Thee — she has said everything I’ve been thinking watching the Western media’s coverage and said it better than I could! Please go over and read the whole thing.


As I watch some of the coverage of what is going on in Egypt it’s interesting to see that some of the biggest supporters of “democracy” and “freedom” have now decided that maybe democracy isn’t such a good thing. At least not when it comes to Arabs.

It’s a rehashing of the theme of ‘Fear of a Muslim Planet’ and quite a few commentators I have seen or heard or read are now offering us all a false choice between a corrupt, oppressive dictatorship in Egypt and crazy, America-hating Islamists, as though there is nothing in between those two things. This is interesting because thus far the protesters in Egypt seem concerned with things like food prices, unemployment, repression, government corruption and nepotism, etc. as opposed to promoting Islamic fundamentalism. We’ve heard a lot about the Muslim Brotherhood in the media over the last two days and while I think that discussing any role they play in these protests or their aftermath is certainly very important, a lot of the commentary seems to be hyping a threat that really hasn’t manifested itself, at least as of yet.

Update II

From the Tahrir demonstrations:

42 Comments on “8 Year Old Saudi Girl’s Message to Mubarak (Updated)”

  1. dakinikat says:

    You have to check this facebook page! Photos of Beautiful WOMEN of EGYPT demanding democracy!!!

    Women of Egypt

    For everyone who has been asking where the women of Egypt are! I´m trying to compile all the photos with Egyptian women in them. A homage to all those women out there fighting, and whose voices and faces are hidden from the public eye! p.s. few of these… photos were compiled by me, the rest were sent by people from all over after I published the album! I´m so grateful for everyone who is sending me photos and links, tagging me..etc. p.s. 2 I´m trying to confirm that all of these photos are from Egypt, if I publish any by mistake, forgive me! All revolutions are one in the end! If you have photos of women during the Egyptian revolution, please send me a link, or a message! The album seems to be picking up quite fast! Let´s pay these women and the people of Egypt the tribute they deserve for inspiring all of us! And here is a collection of photos dedicated to the women of Tunisia (from Le Monde – thanks to Raida) http://ow.ly/3MDyZ Tahya Tunes, Tahya MasrSee More
    By: Leil-Zahra Mortada
    Photos: 49

    • Branjor says:

      Great photos of women in Egypt, very uplifting, especially the one in which they are wearing comfy jeans, no headscarf, and standing atop the vehicle, one with arm upraised.

      The moment of truth for this revolution, however, will come in its aftermath. Women have historically always been right there and participating whenever freedom and democracy are being fought for, however very seldom have the freedom and democracy won been extended to women to the same extent as to men, and often not at all. Witness the French Revolution, the Sandinistas, the American Revolution. Women’s main battle here will be after Mubarak is removed, to get equal representation in the new government and changes in their society. Probably the only revolution which will have any lasting significance for women, however, will be the one in which we throw men out of power.

  2. dakinikat says:

    and you must have heard me send up wishes for a great open thread!!! thank you!!!

  3. dakinikat says:

    and some thing from brother Cornell!!!

    CornelWest Cornel West
    Shame on Pres. Obama & Sec. Clinton for their centrist rhetoric when we all should be extremist for #LOVE & #JUSTICE!

    CornelWest Cornel West
    @monaeltahawy Long live the dignity & decency of my Egyptian brothers & sisters in their quest for a democratic Egypt!

    • I agree with Cornell, even on Hillary. I know she’s between Barack and a No Woman’s land place on all this, so I take that into consideration of course (and on CNN yesterday I noticed a weird but nonetheless unsurprising tendency to blame everything on Hillary when it’s Obama’s foreign policy she’s carrying out), but anyway– I am just hoping she has much stronger things to say tomorrow on all the Sunday shows she’s scheduled to be on.

      • zaladonis says:

        I agree with Cornel West as well, but it’s more complicated than that and I’m sure in a conversation longer than a tweet he’d say so as well. I mean, unless the US is ready to go in there with troops or something to physically remove Mubarak and fill the void that creates, it is not helpful to make pronouncements that could exacerbate a situation that’s growing more volatile and dangerous.

        The government of the United States, any government with any power, at this point, has a responsibility to large concerns like law and order. As much as I cheer what the people are doing, and obviously I cheer their effort in any way to get rid of Mubarak and bring in a healthy Democracy, it’s just not as simple as we all should be extremist for love – I mean what does that mean in practical terms?

        Some government, some authority, needs to deal with this in a decisive way or this whole thing could lead to unintended consequences.

        For instance:

        Looting Engulfs Cairo, Other Egyptian Cities

        CAIRO — Cairo residents boarded up homes and set up neighborhood watches of citizens armed with guns, clubs and knives Saturday as looting and violence engulfed the capital.

        With the police absent from the streets, the army deployed tanks and armored personnel carriers but mainly around government buildings. As dusk fell and the chaos continued, the military spread out to neighborhoods across the city in a bid to quell the lawlessness.

        Residents reported gangs of youths, some on motorbikes, roaming the streets, looting supermarkets, shopping malls and stores. Some of the gangs made it to affluent residential areas in the suburbs, breaking into luxury homes and apartments. The crackle of gunfire could be heard in the city center as well as outlying districts. …


      • Nobody is saying it’s simple. But, Hillary and Biden on behalf of Obama have not been on the right side of this story or of history yet, imho. I mean what’s been going around is a quote from 2009 of Hillary calling Mubarak family friend…that combined with her statements when the Egyptian protests erupted just isn’t strong enough on the side of the people… and Biden saying Mubarak isn’t a dictator?! Obama didn’t even mention Egypt in the SOTU! All three of them need to get on the right side of this. All I’m saying is I think Hillary has had time to evolve her/their rhetoric and I hope to see that reflected in her appearances on Sunday.

      • zaladonis says:

        First of all, Biden’s an ass.

        Secondly, I think Obama doesn’t have a clue about what’s really going on; he’s never personally been challenged by the situation Egyptians are protesting and he has no empathy so there’s no way for him to get it. Additionally, his choosing to go to a basketball game rather than meet with his top advisors about this yesterday only tells me his interest is on a par with his understanding. Nil. He doesn’t care.

        Hillary’s a different story. Yes, her 2009 comments are not helpful now. But they were made at a time that Mubarak was in power and the Egyptian people were accepting that. I believe it isn’t appropriate for the US to go around the globe telling people who their leader and government should be. I thought it was wrong to go in and topple Saddam Hussein for that very reason. That’s not to say I approve of anybody helping Mubarak maintain power, and I take Hillary and the US to task for that. But right now that’s not the primary issue.

        Hillary is not saying the same thing today she said in 2009, so anybody who pulls out those old quotes is not looking for a solution. I think unless the US is prepared to send in troops or whatever’s necessary to help oust Mubarak and take over control of their government, her statements have been appropriate. I mean what do you want her to do, stand on a podium with her fist clenched in the air and shout out Power To The People? Mubarak remains in power. Until the Egyptian people get him removed, or we decide we should do it for them, it doesn’t help to throw fuel on the fire that’s already raging out of control.

        I think Hillary is right to be a voice of reason and calm. Or we should join forces with the protestors, pull together an international coalition of support, go into Egypt and take care of business. Seems to me you’re suggesting some kind of middle ground between those two, and in practical terms I don’t see how that would help.

  4. dakinikat says:

    LEBANON: Protesters at embassy support Egyptians against regime

    “It’s the least we can do,” said Seif Hisham, a 30-year-old college professor. “I think we’re witnessing a new dawn in the Arab world, and its not a false dawn.”

  5. madaha says:

    and by “world” I mean the people in power, who’d better start doing right by us.

  6. I updated the post up top with a link to a most excellent post from stacyx.

  7. The New Yorker, from April:

    “Gamal spent his life in palaces,” Osama al-Ghazali Harb, who is the editor of a foreign-policy journal in Cairo and an acquaintance of the Mubarak family’s, said. “He never walked the streets, he never took a taxi, he had no contact with Egyptian culture. He lived as a prince, surrounded by generals and millionaires.”

  8. Sannri RT @raljowder: #Egyptian women announcing: they will lead the demo today as men were protecting them at night and need to rest #Egypt #Jan25

  9. Retweet from Mona

    ahmed @monaeltahawy can you please tell @CNN to stop pumping up the fear factor on the anarchy and looting in Egypt? #Jan25

    • dakinikat says:

      Wolf is still on CNN. They seem to be obsessed more with covering the damage to buildings than the oppression of people. Its like they have a stake in keeping the frame that the Egyptian people aren’t ready for self governing. They didn’t mention the role of the state police in the chaos and the release of criminals and that the military have no orders to keep the peace in the complete absence of police. So disingenuousl

      • This is why I had to stop watching CNN and really all of the cable networks on Friday. The Western media bias is so obvious. What is happening in Egypt has thrown their entire narrative/script on the Middle East off.

      • Sima says:

        Isn’t this just an indication that our news people are only mouthpieces for their owners? What would their owners care about? Destruction of their property, not freedom, not the bursting forth of new opportunities, not the opening of new horizons. They only care about that if it’s the opening of a new bank or the buying and subsequent pillaging of a new company.

        It’s amazing how blind these people are.

      • zaladonis says:

        I don’t watch CNN anymore so I can’t comment on them, but I’ve watched MSNBC and I think they have a couple of good reporters on the ground in Cairo.

        If you want to understand what’s happening and what’s going to happen, it’s a good idea to listen to as many points of view as you can stand. Concerns about anarchy and looting are not unjustified. Something you all don’t seem to be getting is that this uprising has no leader and that’s a big problem. Saying we want Mubarak out is one thing, replacing him with something that will maintain law and order, and establish a Democracy is something else entirely. Online social networking, which initially organized this uprising, is fine and dandy but a bunch of people typing on computers is not the same as a leader or organization with a plan and the wherewithall to see it through.

        Kat rightly pointed out yesterday that this was initiated by middle class educated youth – well are those middle class educated youth prepared to intervene in the looting? And if not who will? Is there some kind of advantage to allowing the looting and lawlessness to continue?

      • I get that there’s no leader –I just don’t fear that first and foremost at this juncture.

      • Sima says:

        Actually many of the tweets I’m reading mention the looting and lawlessness. They speak of neighborhood watches being formed, gangs of young thugs going around looting stores, etc. So I would say that the middle class educated youth (actually I’ve seen many older people in the photos) are trying to protect things. They don’t seem to be especially effective in protecting shops, etc, but perhaps their primary objective is to protect their homes?

        I agree about paying attention to lots of sources, but after 20 + years of not regularly watching the news in this country, it’s really hard to stomach because the bias is so obvious and I’m so sensitive to it. It’s easier to watch foreign news because the bias is not so grating, e.g. I’m not that sensitive to it. I’ve read some good reports on WSJ and the NYtimes, and my local news website seems to be doing a pretty good job of being level-headed about all this. But Blitzer asking about Al Quada was pretty stupid. Perhaps it’s just network anchor stupidity, I don’t know.

      • zaladonis says:

        Wonk, what do you fear first and foremost at this juncture?

      • There’s a picture right up there in my post of the human chain people made around the museum to protect it from the looting and vandalism. Our press is emphasizing fear. They seem really afraid of the Egyptian people and unable to give them any credit to be able to pick their own leader.

      • zaladonis says:

        Sima, I don’t agree that tweeting is doing much to protect homeowners and storekeepers from looters. But a fuller picture will emerge over time, and maybe tweeting is more effective than it seems to me right now. I’m old school and believe that an intimidating physical authority needs to be present to keep hoodlums from looting.

        And I’m with you about US news coverage. I’ve been mostly listening to BBC and AJ. And when I put on MSNBC it’s to hear reporters on the ground, I keep the remote at hand to mute fools like Thomas Roberts (who’s dumb enough to have a show with Rick Sanchez) as fast as I can – often not fast enough and I end up muttering or shouting at the TV set. But I do think that the more sources you listen to, the better informed you are – as long as you listen with a critical ear.

      • Zal,

        Tough to say. If anything, the revolt being squashed and the will of the Egyptian people not being expressed is something that I come closer to “fearing,” but I am not in a fear mode. I worry for the safety of people there, but I think fear = paralysis in situations like these. I don’t like it when the pundits and partisans here try to shush dissent by overemphasizing the bad examples as representative of a whole, even though there is reckless and irresponsible rhetoric that goes on.

        What’s going on in Egypt and elsewhere in the ME is obviously on an infinitely higher stakes scale, but it’s the same principle for me, that dissent not be squashed.

      • I guess to me the Administration’s and the media’s emphasis on caution and stability and restraint against a backdrop of people who have reached a tipping point and are revolting is a muddled message at best. I don’t want our leaders to approach this with a devil may care attitude either, but I don’t know. I’m just not impressed. For all the championing of democracy, they seem awfully afraid of it happening from the bottom-up (instead of top-down by our invading and having control over it.)

      • zaladonis says:

        Wonk @ 3:18 – well as I said I don’t watch CNN, and I’ve muted the state-side anchors on MSNBC for the most part so I haven’t heard much of that. What I’ve heard are reporters in Cairo reporting about the size of the crowds, their determination, the various different groups coming together for a single cause (though some are also reporting that separate agendas are beginning to emerge), looting, Egyptian people bonding with police and climbing on tanks, dancing and making peace signs while some members of the military have joined them.

        I’m by no means pleased with US news, and the anchors are, for sure, celebrity preeners at best, but there is some decent reporting and I think it’s important to distinguish between the good and the bad. The way I see it, people doing good work deserve their due.

      • zaladonis says:

        Wonk @ 3:29 – they have good reason to be worried. Democracy is messy but revolution is destructive. Sometimes we need to destroy in order to rebuild something better, and I think what’s happening in Egypt is potentially great, but the process is deadly and unstable, and governments should not be in the business of encouraging destabilization unless there’s something stabilizing waiting in the wings.

        That said, these things progress quickly and the US response has to progress along with it. I expect Hillary is working with all those top advisors to come up with strategies for the different possible scenarios, like to be prepared to immediately respond with assistance for the Egyptian people if Mubarak agrees to leave. But until the Egyptian people force that, IMO it’s not our Secretary of State’s job to announce who she wants to win this fight. I like that she’s showing support for them and telling Mubarak to stop the violence and listen to the Egyptian people.

      • zaladonis says:

        Wonk @ 3:23 – I guess we’ve been listening to different reports because I haven’t heard Hillary or reporters on the ground (forget American anchors!) say things that sound to me like they want to squash dissent or that the protesters should stop. I’ve heard concern about escalating violence, and that’s something I’m also concerned about. But I don’t see that concern for people being hurt or killed is inconsistent with supporting the people’s right to dissent and protest and overturn an oppressive regime.

      • I’m not mad at Hillary at all, if that’s the way it’s coming across. I do think the Administration is being too timid and that she’s sandwiched between that difficult spot as always.

        I’m also not saying there aren’t any good correspondents in the field–it’s usually the case that our best reporters are there–but there’s a narrative being pushed on CNN and Fox that’s all about how we should fear who will come in place of Mubarak, as if the people can’t govern or pick for themselves. I give the people of Egypt more credit than that.

      • zaladonis says:

        I understand what you’re saying about the administration’s response being timid, and coming from fear, but what I don’t understand is what you see as a better alternative so far. I mean, I do think there may come a moment when the US has to stand for one side or the other, and absolutely we better stand with the people and Democracy, I’m just not convinced that time has come yet. This is their revolution, not ours, and they need to take or lose power.

      • It is their revolution, but I think there are things the US can do to show better solidarity. I just added updates to my Al Jazeera post with more info on that.

  10. Dwayne says:

    Where is the facebook like link ?