Activist Reflections

The memory of the Egyptian revolution is the only weapon we have left

The memory of the Egyptian revolution is the only weapon we have left

Tens of thousands of Egyptians demonstrate in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in January 2011. Photograph: Misam Saleh/AFP/Getty Images Omar Robert Hamilton The Guardian, Monday 25 January 2016 I didn’t take my camera out with me the night Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. I stood in Tahrir Square among tens of thousands of Egyptians and told myself I would enjoy the moment, I would not divide myself from the night’s magical reality with a lens.
Deaths without dignity

Deaths without dignity

21 August 2013, Mada Masr By Sherief Gaber "You want to see the bodies? Ok then, here!" the man working at the morgue said, holding me and a friend by the arm and practically pushing us into a humid room filled with bodies, lying on slabs or on the floor and in various states of decay. We had been at the morgue for over an hour, coming from the tear gas and shooting in Mohamed Mahmoud Street to Zeinhom, Cairo's only morgue, because we had heard that medical examiners were refusing to autopsy the bodies of those shot by the police and military in the clashes.
Maspero and memory

Maspero and memory

09-10-2013, Mada Masr By Sherief Gaber Two years ago today, just after sunset, the Egyptian army murdered 28 people in the span of perhaps fifteen minutes. Many were shot, several were run over by armored vehicles zigzagging up and down the Corniche, and all this took just fifteen minutes. Bodies were carried into the lobby of an apartment building, held there for fear of what would be done to them if they were found by the soldiers outside­ who were seething with rage, hatred and a violent impulse that one can scarcely understand, even now.
Selective memories

Selective memories

Omar Robert Hamilton Mada Masr, 2013-07-10 13:46 I am neither a supporter of Mohamed Morsi nor of the Egyptian military. To place oneself in either camp is to assert an allegiance to hierarchy, patriarchy, capitalism, secrecy and violence. The military and the Brotherhood are not two poles that encompass Egyptian society, they are two elitist organizations with vast domestic networks, international connections, opaque business interests and legions of foot soldiers. And yet, in the international press, readers are being repeatedly presented with this false binary.
Imprisoned activist Alaa Abd El Fattah speaks from Tora

Imprisoned activist Alaa Abd El Fattah speaks from Tora

Alaa and wife, Manal, with new baby in January 2012 On prisons as sites of violations, extremism and boredom Friday, August 21, 2015 By Ahdaf Souief Alaa Abd El Fattah, outspoken software tecchie, blogger and political activist, has spoken to the media for the first time since he began serving his latest sentence at Tora Prison. Abd El Fattah is serving a five-year prison sentence for being at a civil gathering in front of the Shura Council in November 2013 to protest a constitutional provision allowing the military to court-martial civilians.
Egypt: 'I hold both the army and Brotherhood responsible'

Egypt: 'I hold both the army and Brotherhood responsible'

Channel 4 News, 14 August 2013 Actor and director Khalid Abdalla gives his personal response to the deadly violence gripping Egypt following operations to clear pro-Morsi camps in Cairo. I'm disgusted by the blood, and resisting falling prey to a polarised narrative. I don't believe the sit-in should have been cleared, but I'm against what the sit-in stands for. I hold both the army and the Brotherhood responsible for the situation we're in - on so many levels - and unfortunately it's the narratives they are peddling, in blood, in actions and in words, that are currently defining how things are framed, internally and externally.
To Willingly Enter the Circles, the Square

To Willingly Enter the Circles, the Square

[Untitled. Illustration by Salma El Tarzi]by Wiam El-Tamami Jadaliyya, 30 July 2013 We were on the edge of Tahrir Square on Wednesday 3 July when the army made its announcement. The square burst into jubilation. A member of our team checked his smartphone. He shouted over the din of drumbeats and squealing vuvuzelas: “Morsi's gone. They've appointed the head of the constitutional court in his place and suspended the elections.” We watched the celebrations.
Revolution Revived: Egyptian Diary, Part One

Revolution Revived: Egyptian Diary, Part One

Wiam El-Tamami Granta, 6 December 2011 In the first of a two-part diary, Wiam El-Tamami writes from Cairo about the violence that continues to engulf Egypt. Photo by Gigi Ibrahim. Monday 28 November I woke up in a rage about the elections. A violent, sputtering rage, bordering on revulsion. I felt like a dog that had been fed a teething toy to stop his howling about a wide-open wound. I couldn’t get the sign out of my mind, raised by an old man in Tahrir: ‘If Tantawi can’t accept my sowt in a vast square, will he accept it in a ballot box?
Revolution Revived: Egyptian Diary, Part Two

Revolution Revived: Egyptian Diary, Part Two

Wiam El-Tamami Granta, 7 December 2011 The second and last installment of Wiam El-Tamami’s diary of the ongoing turmoil in Egypt. Read the first part here. Monday 21 November On the metro home, a man (one of State Security’s many informants?) was swearing that he’d just been at the midan and that there was nothing going on, that it was all lies. The people sitting around shouted him down, saying they’d seen the videos with their own eyes, police beating and shooting, setting the square on fire, dragging a dead man into a rubbish heap.
This July

This July

Wiam El-Tamami Granta, 31 October 2013 I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where. – T. S. Eliot, ‘Burnt Norton’ I can tell you about my sister’s balcony, overhung with old trees that quiver with birdsong in the morning, a rare treat in this city. I can tell you about her sofa, lump by lump; about the dining table chair she sat in most days to work, an orthopedic cushion strapped to its back.