Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: a year of struggle

By Jonathan SpollenFirst Published: December 30, 2007
In 2007 Egypt witnessed an unprecedented level of labor unrest as workers from textile factories to public transport to tax collectors went on strike, mainly over low wages and poor working conditions. According to the Egyptian Workers and Trade Union Watch (EWTUW) there were over 580 industrial actions this year alone.The Egyptian and much of the international press were awash with footage and images of angry workers holding sit-in protests, marching through the streets and reading out demands. The various strikes were particularly sensational given the general silence over labor issues in Egypt, where independent trade unions are illegal. Many analysts pointed to the anti-governmental nature of the strikes, noting workers’ demands for the legalization of independent trade unions and the halt of neo-liberal economic reforms, and suggested that they doubled as a form of political protest on a scale that organizations like the Kefaya Movement for Change have failed to achieve.The textile industry saw a series of strikes in 2007 throughout the Nile Delta. By far the largest in terms of size and publicity was at the Misr Spinning and Weaving Company in Al-Mahalla Al-Kobra. Unrest at this factory first began in late 2006, inspiring a wave of similar strikes in the following months. After workers had seemingly succeeded in securing from the government increased pay and an investigation into alleged corruption within the plant’s leadership, their demands were never met. In September this year they walked off the job again and erected a tent-city inside the gates of the plant to support their 25,000-strong protest. For five days groups of employees were televised beating drums and chanting slogans demanding the dismissal of the chairman of the company Mahmoud El-Gebali. The government carried out this demand at the end of November, and also agreed to follow through with the guarantees it had made in December of the previous year about wage rises, bonus payments and improving working conditions. “The workers are very happy, this is a big victory for us,” Mohamed El Attar, one of the leaders of the Mahalla movement, told Daily News Egypt. “But our demands haven’t all been fulfilled yet. This is not over.”Away for the factories, in January railway workers prevented a first-class train from leaving from Cairo to Alexandria, and threatened a national stoppage until the government agreed to their demands. Throughout the strike Metro workers slowed their trains from 55 to 20 miles per hour in solidarity. Metro workers were involved again on May 1, when almost 3,000 transportation workers including bus drivers, ticket collectors and maintenance technicians occupied the Nasr and Fateh bus stations in Nasr City preventing the use of public buses to demand wage increases. The following day 1,000 Metro workers with similar demands joined in. “I can barely afford to feed my family,” one Metro Authority employee and father of three told the press. “My monthly salary, which comes to about $80, doesn’t last 10 days.” Two days of subsequent negotiations resulted in a promise from the transportation ministry that workers’ complaints would be looked into. In early December, Railway safety technicians maintained a protest of about 50 men in Ramses station to protest low wages and working conditions, and blamed station masters and higher management for Egypt’s notoriously poor railway safety record. Some of their demands were metSoon the striking fever reached Egypt’s civil servants. Following a series of strikes that began in April, about 55,000 Real Estate tax collectors, shut down their offices and went on strike. Hundreds of them from all over the country protested outside the Cabinet office in downtown Cairo early December for 10 days demanding increased wages. They demanded that the Real Estate Tax Authority, which is now affiliate to the local municipalities, be returned to the Ministry of Finance, as it was prior to 1974. They also called for the resignation of the head of the Real Estate Tax Authority, Ismail Abdel Rasoul, whom they claim had intentionally misinformed the government with regards to workers’ pay rates. After Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali agreed to demands, and promised them a two-month Eid bonus, the protest was disbanded until early January 2008 to allow the government time to formulate the relevant decree.Away from cold December pavements, in August workers at the furnace section of the Helwan Iron and Steel Mills were appalled to find their already modest salaries had been reduced in the form of a bonus cut of 11 percent. Management claimed there had been a decrease in overtime shifts. Workers didn’t buy it, and 1,500 of them refused to collect their salaries in protest. After successfully resisting pressure to collect their wages by state security officers who were called in, company chairman Abdel Aziz Hafez offered to reduce the cuts to eight percent, which workers again rejected. Eventually a compromise was reached and bonuses were cut by only three percent. Other strikes of note included that of El-Qawmiya Cement Company in Helwan where 500 workers staged a sit-in protest in May when they weren’t paid their promised bonuses. They gathered in front of the office of the CEO Nabil El-Gabri demanding their full annual bonuses, until the arrival of State Security bureau officer Ashraf Shoura who guaranteed their demands would be met. Workers involved in the postal-service, the Suez Canal, telecommunications and garbage collection were all reported to have gone on strikes of varying size during 2007.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"we are all soldiers"

the american adminstration claims that the attacks on its forces in iraq is winding down, but yet this report by aljazeera sheds some light on the real status of the iraqi resistance

also in this report, a different image is rpresentd for iraqi women , a image you rareley see on us corporate media

Sunday, December 2, 2007

who are we?

Ibrahim Mousawi the editor of Al Intiqad, Hezbollah's newspaper , speaks in the world against war conference that was held in london on decemver 1st , trying to explain the reality of this struggle and the people involved in it

Monday, November 19, 2007

"A few bad apples"

How many times have you heard this expression"a few bad apples"it the term that the bush administration uses whenever the atrocities committed by its forces in either Iraq or Afghanistan is exposed to the public.The term indicates that no matter how many Iraqis are tortured in Abu gharib, or how many Afghanis are killed in bagram air base, or how many "detainees" are abused in guantanamo bay, the torturers and the murderers are simply "a few bad apples".In other words, every case of torture or murder is done by individuals don't represent the us as a whole.Well, using the same logic, wouldn't be appropriate to say that the members of alqaeda are just "a few bad people" who don't represent Islam or Muslims in general?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

what abou the refugees?

the fire in california left around a million american citizens homeless,it also created a new media frenzy for the corporate tv networks in the us,almost each network is now covering the story of the homeless americans, some are even concerned with their pets!
but a 4 million iraqi refugees is a figure that is not even worth mentioning in american media
why? it is simple,the american audience should always be kept with the impression that everything is going well in "liberated' thanks to the american "presence" there!
it is an attitude that is not only self delusional, it stands on the edge of racism.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

consider the source

no wonder american audience believe that women in the muslim world are opressed when their source on muslim women is Ayan hersi ali!

it is no surprise that they beleive they are threatned by the so called "islamo-facism" when their source on islam is christopher hitchens!

it doesn't surprise me at all that they did beleive that iraq had weapons of mass destruction when their source on iraq is simply "fox news"!

you always need to consider the source.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

british general: our enemies are not "bad people"

a uk genaeral decribes the iraqi "insurgents" as "iraqi nationalists" and says that mainly they are not "bad people"

thanks for lenin tomb for this video

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

too much for a democracy

i saw this video today at an anti-war website , it shows a student at folrida university asking question to senator john kerry, when he gets to a point when asks about impeaching bush, the police came in to arrest him , and later , even worse,they tasered him!

now if this happened in my university , i wouldnt have found it strange , we are living in a police state, but in the us? too much for the land of the free

the good news is the students at folrida university are already moving against what happened

all my respect and solidarity goes to andrew meyer and his coleagues

Friday, September 14, 2007

Civilian Death Toll in Iraq May Top One Million

By Tina Susman The Los Angeles Times
Friday 14 September 2007
A British survey offers the highest estimate to date. At least 4 die in a Sadr City car bombing.
Baghdad - A car bomb blew up in the capital's Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Sadr City on Thursday, killing at least four people, as a new survey suggested that the civilian death toll from the war could be more than 1 million.
The figure from ORB, a British polling agency that has conducted several surveys in Iraq, followed statements this week from the U.S. military defending itself against accusations it was trying to play down Iraqi deaths to make its strategy appear successful.
The military has said civilian deaths from sectarian violence have fallen more than 55% since President Bush sent an additional 28,500 troops to Iraq this year, but it does not provide specific numbers.
According to the ORB poll, a survey of 1,461 adults suggested that the total number slain during more than four years of war was more than 1.2 million.
ORB said it drew its conclusion from responses to the question about those living under one roof: "How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003?"
Based on Iraq's estimated number of households - 4,050,597 - it said the 1.2 million figure was reasonable.
There was no way to verify the number, because the government does not provide a full count of civilian deaths. Neither does the U.S. military.
Both, however, say that independent organizations greatly exaggerate estimates of civilian casualties.
ORB said its poll had a margin of error of 2.4%. According to its findings, nearly one in two households in Baghdad had lost at least one member to war- related violence, and 22% of households nationwide had suffered at least one death. It said 48% of the victims were shot to death and 20% died as a result of car bombs, with other explosions and military bombardments blamed for most of the other fatalities.
The survey was conducted last month.

It was the highest estimate given so far of civilian deaths in Iraq. Last year, a study in the medical journal Lancet put the number at 654,965, which Iraq's government has dismissed as "ridiculous."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ramadan kareem

Happy Season's greetings for all of you, It is the holy month of Ramadan. Back again to spiritual reclamation and meditation. Always with this time of the year clear conscious and lovable hearts are aiming for God's forgiveness. So let's get back to what our human nature supposed to be. Let generosity bound our community, love fill our hearts and forgiveness spread among us all Muslims, Christians and all human being.
This is my wishes to you
Happy Holy Month of Ramadan

Sunday, September 9, 2007

support this lawsuit

the american civil society seems to be taking action while we arabs are still off the scene,the american civil liberties union has filed a lawsuit against the american ministry of defence demanding that it comply with a Freedom of Information Act request to release documents regarding civilians killed by coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

i think the least we should, and whatever it outcome may be, is to support the union in this lawsuit.

it is not their cause alone, it is also ours

read the press release here:

to contact and support

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


finally ,someone in hollywood stood up and said the truth about the situation in iraq.

director brian de palma who is no stranger to controversial issues shocked the audeince in venice film festival when he represented his new film "redacted" that tells the true story of the rape and murder of 14 years old abeer alganabi on the hands of 5 american soldiers.

the 66 years old director siad that " The movie is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq to the American people"

he also talked in a recent interview about how amazed he was with the similarities between the iraq war and vietnam which tackled in other films like "casualities of war".

thanks for this film palma , can't wait to see it in thatre.

Monday, September 3, 2007

dictatorship? what dictatorship?

whenever faced with questions like "where are those wmd's you told us about"? or "what are acheiving in iraq"? the neocon adminstration would repeat the same argument "arent you glad that we've rid the iraqi people and the world from a brutal dictator"?
a dictator? hmmm,that's weird ,because for someone who knows as little about history as i do , i can recall the following:
this us backed and still back a neighbour of iraq named saudi arabia, the prison state, a corrupt monarchy who just happen to be this president as well as his dad's business associates.
and just to the north of iraq there's another dictatorship called the jordanian royal family who is also backed by the us for a clear and simple reason , they are best friends with israel.
not to mention ofcourse the dictatorship in egypt that receives the second largest us aid.
on the other hand, the same adminstration that was so concerned with democracy to the extent that it invaded a soverign country in order to impose it , engineered a coup d'etat in 2002 against an elected president called hugo chavez.
not to mention its ongoing demonization of another elected president , iran's ahmedi najad who got 60% of the votes of his people (that's more than george bush ever got, even by an election fraud)
some people may call this "selective morality" i call it what it is : hypocrisy and double standards.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the simpsons vs fox news

when you have a right wing media channel as racist and "conservative" as foxnews , who is better to face them than america's most "liberal" family

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

get the troops home now

whenever faced with pleads to withdraw its troops from occupied iraq, the bush adminstration raises the famous banner "support the troops" to silence any call of that kind.
but what if all the "support" that the troops really want is to get them out of iraq ? to get them back home to their families and loved ones?
what if they are already cheering for a call like that?
p.s: the soldiers want to come back home "alive", not in coffins.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

the iraqis dont deserve us, so we betray them

..By Robert Fisk
08/23/07 "The Independent"
Always, we have betrayed them. We backed "Flossy" in Yemen. The French backed their local "harkis" in Algeria; then the FLN victory forced them to swallow their own French military medals before dispatching them into mass graves. In Vietnam, the Americans demanded democracy and, one by one - after praising the Vietnamese for voting under fire in so many cities, towns and villages - they destroyed the elected prime ministers because they were not abiding by American orders. Now we are at work in Iraq. Those pesky Iraqis don't deserve our sacrifice, it seems, because their elected leaders are not doing what we want them to do.Does that remind you of a Palestinian organisation called Hamas? First, the Americans loved Ahmed Chalabi, the man who fabricated for Washington the"'weapons of mass destruction" (with a hefty bank fraud charge on his back). Then, they loved Ayad Allawi, a Vietnam-style spook who admitted working for 26 intelligence organisations, including the CIA and MI6. Then came Ibrahim al-Jaafari, symbol of electoral law, whom the Americans loved, supported, loved again and destroyed. Couldn't get his act together. It was up to the Iraqis, of course, but the Americans wanted him out. And the seat of the Iraqi government - a never-never land in the humidity of Baghdad's green zone - lay next to the largest US embassy in the world. So goodbye, Ibrahim.Then there was Nouri al-Maliki, a man with whom Bush could "do business"; loved, supported and loved again until Carl Levin and the rest of the US Senate Armed Forces Committee - and, be sure, George W Bush - decided he couldn't fulfil America's wishes. He couldn't get the army together, couldn't pull the police into shape, an odd demand when US military forces were funding and arming some of the most brutal Sunni militias in Baghdad, and was too close to Tehran.There you have it. We overthrew Saddam's Sunni minority and the Iraqis elected the Shias into power, and all those old Iranian acolytes who had grown up under the Islamic Revolution in exile from the Iraq-Iran war - Jaafari was a senior member of the Islamic Dawaa party which was enthusiastically seizing Western hostages in Beirut in the 1980s and trying to blow up our friend the Emir of Kuwait - were voted into power. So blame the Iranians for their "interference" in Iraq when Iran's own creatures had been voted into power.And now, get rid of Maliki. Chap doesn't know how to unify his own people, for God's sake. No interference, of course. It's up to the Iraqis, or at least, it's up to the Iraqis who live under American protection in the green zone. The word in the Middle East - where the "plot" (al-moammarer) has the power of reality - is that Maliki's cosy trips to Tehran and Damascus these past two weeks have been the final straw for the fantasists in Washington. Because Iran and Syria are part of the axis of evil or the cradle of evil or whatever nonsense Bush and his cohorts and the Israelis dream up, take a look at the $30bn in arms heading to Israel in the next decade in the cause of "peace".Maliki's state visits to the crazed Ahmedinejad and the much more serious Bashar al-Assad appear to be, in Henry VIII's words, "treachery, treachery, treachery". But Maliki is showing loyalty to his former Iranian masters and their Syrian Alawite allies (the Alawites being an interesting satellite of the Shias).These creatures - let us use the right word - belong to us and thus we can step on them when we wish. We will not learn - we will never learn, it seems - the key to Iraq. The majority of the people are Muslim Shias. The majority of their leaders, including the "fiery" Muqtada al-Sadr were trained, nurtured, weaned, loved, taught in Iran. And now, suddenly, we hate them. The Iraqis do not deserve us. This is to be the grit on the sand that will give our tanks traction to leave Iraq. Bring on the clowns! Maybe they can help us too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

the war on democracy

iam a big fan of the works of award winning journalist and film maker john pilger, throughout his career he made about 55 documentaries , he is one of few journalist in this world who try to dig hard for the truth and unfold realities no matter how ugly they may be.

in his latest film and his first major film for the cinema "the war on democracy", pilger who reported from palestine, vietnam,south africa and else where,returns to a part of the world that has long been called "the backyard of the united states", now it is called by leftist british writer tariq ali "the axis of hope".

It is latin america and its people who are engagged now in a struggle for the oldest human purpose :to be free

you can watch it on line here

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

modou: music that unites the world

Modou Le Joueur de Hang

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a few days ago, i was invited by modou gay, a musician from sengal and a personal friend of mine to watch a documentray about his journay made by a french director , the film focused on the kind of music modou is trying to make : a rare mix of traditional "sufi" music with modern jazz, to do so , modou travels to countries like :egypt,switzerland and france.
his musical instrument "the hang" fits to almost evey musical style we see in the film , wether traditional oriental music , nubian or jazz.
after watching the film and talking to modou about his journy , i remembered what i was told in my childhood about music "it is the only language all humans can understand"
it is probabley people like modou who can run a "dialogue" between different cultures far better than any politican

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

american facism

You really have to excuse Mr. Bush for describing his so called "war on terror" as a "crusade" because that's really how he sees it and how he divides the world: us "the good guys" against them "the bad guys"
But what I really don't get is that phrase he uses so often "islamo-facism"!
Whenever Mr. bush or any member of the newcon gang uses this term I really have to laugh.
what does Islam has to do with fascism ? a western made ideology whose very first victims were Muslims ?
probably Mr. bush doesn’t know this because he missed his history class back at school , but thousands of Muslims in Libya were killed and maimed by the fascist occupation of their country.
General Graziani, the fascist governor of Libya and one of Mussolini favorite generals used to kill the Libyans in very "unique" style, by tying them up and throwing them out of Italian airplanes while shouting at them:" let Muhammad save you now"!
And probably Mr. Bush doesn’t know this either but it was Muslims who fought against this racist ideology.
During World War II, France deployed more than 200,000 soldiers from its colonies in North Africa into the "free French forces" led by general de Gaulle, and most of those soldiers were Muslims, and thanks to them, France achieved it s first victory in World War II since its defeat in 1940.
So, to conclude, for the people of the world today in general and the American people in particular, there's only one fascist that they should really fear and work hand in hand to red the world of.
The one who resides in the white house.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

george galloway on hizbollah

a year after israel's savage and barbaric attack on lebanon and the defeat of that attack on the hands of the lebanese resistance, let's take a look back at what british mp george galloway had to say about that war

Boycotting Israel, both necessary and justified.

George Bisharat
Wednesday, August 15, 2007

When does a citizen-led boycott of a state become morally justified?

That question is raised by an expanding academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel. The movement joins churches, unions, professional societies and other groups based in the United States, Canada, Europe and South Africa. It has elicited dramatic reactions from Israel's supporters. U.S. labor leaders have condemned British unions, representing millions of workers, for supporting the Israel boycott. American academics have been frantically gathering signatures against the boycott, and have mounted a prominent advertising campaign in American newspapers - unwittingly elevating the controversy further in the public eye.

Israel's defenders have protested that Israel is not the worst human-rights offender in the world, and singling it out is hypocrisy, or even anti-Semitism. Rhetorically, this shifts focus from Israel's human rights record to the imagined motives of its critics.

But "the worst first" has never been the rule for whom to boycott. Had it been, the Pol Pot regime, not apartheid South Africa, would have been targeted in the past. It was not - Cambodia's ties to the West were insufficient to make any embargo effective. Boycotting North Korea today would be similarly futile. Should every other quest for justice be put on hold as a result?

In contrast, the boycott of South Africa had grip. The opprobrium suffered by white South Africans unquestionably helped persuade them to yield to the just demands of the black majority. Israel, too, assiduously guards its public image. A dense web of economic and cultural relations also ties it to the West. That - and its irrefutably documented human-rights violations - render it ripe for boycott.

What state actions should trigger a boycott? Expelling or intimidating into flight a country's majority population, then denying them internationally recognized rights to return to their homes? Israel has done that.

Seizing, without compensation, the properties of hundreds of thousands of refugees? Israel has done that.

Systematically torturing detainees, many held without trial? Israel has done that.

Assassinating its opponents, including those living in territories it occupies? Israel has done that.

Demolishing thousands of homes belonging to one national group, and settling its own people in another nation's land? Israel has done that. No country with such a record, whether first or 50th worst in the world, can credibly protest a boycott.

Apartheid South Africa provides another useful standard. How does Israel's behavior toward Palestinians compare to former South Africa's treatment of blacks? It is similar or worse, say a number of South Africans, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, U.N. special rapporteur in the occupied territories John Dugard, and African National Congress member and government minister Ronnie Kasrils. The latter observed recently that apartheid South Africa never used fighter jets to attack ANC activists, and judged Israel's violent control of Palestinians as "10 times worse." Dual laws for Jewish settlers and Palestinians, segregated roads and housing, and restrictions on Palestinians' freedom of movement strongly recall apartheid South Africa. If boycotting apartheid South Africa was appropriate, it is equally fair to boycott Israel on a similar record.

Israel has been singled out, but not as its defenders complain. Instead, Israel has been enveloped in a cocoon of impunity. Our government has vetoed 41 U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Israeli actions - half of the total U.S. vetoes since the birth of the United Nations - thus enabling Israel's continuing abuses. The Bush administration has announced an increase in military aid to Israel to $30 billion for the coming decade.

Other military occupations and human-rights abusers have faced considerably rougher treatment. Just recall Iraq's 1990 takeover of Kuwait. Perhaps the United Nations should have long ago issued Israel the ultimatum it gave Iraq - and enforced it. Israel's occupation of Arab lands has now exceeded 40 years.

Iran, Sudan and Syria have all been targeted for federal and state-level sanctions. Even the City of Beverly Hills is contemplating Iran divestment actions, following the lead of Los Angeles, which approved Iran divestment legislation in June. Yet the Islamic Republic of Iran has never attacked its neighbors nor occupied their territories. It is merely suspected of aspiring to the same nuclear weapons Israel already possesses.

Politicians worldwide, and American ones especially, have failed us. Our leaders, from the executive branch to Congress, have dithered, or cheered Israel on, as it devoured the land base for a Palestinian state. Their collective irresponsibility dooms both Palestinians and Israelis to a future of strife and insecurity, and undermines our global stature. If politicians cannot lead the way, then citizens must. That is why boycotting Israel has become both necessary and justified.

George Bisharat is a professor of law at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle East.

This article appeared on page B - 9 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Saturday, August 18, 2007

barghouti :Israel turned Gaza into world''s largest prison

a palestinian mp describes the situation that israel and the us have imposed on gaza strip as a punishment to its people for supporting hamas as "far worse than the former apartheid in south africa"

Army suicides highest in 26 years

when you have a president who sends his troops to die for a bunch of lies

when the rich of the united states send away its poor to kill and get killed by the poor of the muslim world

when a defense minister tells his soliders that they will be showered with roses , and then they find out that they will be showered with everything and anything but roses

when an adminstration privatizes every single service in the army to please the giant corporations

this is probabley what the outcome would look like

Friday, August 17, 2007

Poll: Californians Want Troops Out of Iraq

mr.bush and the rest of the new -con gang has just received a new blow ,california which used to be a base for bush's supporters is now having a change of mind , according to a recent poll, most of the inhabitants of the state want a pull out of the us troops from iraq

bad news for you mr.bush , it seems california is no longer a "red state"

Thursday, August 16, 2007

who is the real terrorist?

"the term terrorism came into use at the end of the 18th century , primarily to refer to violent acts of governments designed to ensure popoular submission .That concept plainly is of little benefit to the practitioners of state terrorism who ,holding power, are in a position to control the system of thought and expression . The original sense has therefore been abandoned , and the term "terrorism" has come to be applied mainly to "retail terrorism" by individuals or groups"

our right

"we declare our right on this earth
to be a man
to be a human being
to be respected as a human being
to be given the rights of a human being
in this society
on this earth
in this day
which we intend to bring into existence