The Torture Career of Egypt’s New Vice President

February 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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by Stephen Soldz

In response to the mass protests of recent days, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appointed his first Vice President in his over 30 years rule, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. When Suleiman was first announced, Aljazeera commentators were describing him as a “distinguished” and “respected ” man. It turns out, however, that he is distinguished for, among other things, his central role in Egyptian torture and in the US rendition to torture program. Further, he is “respected” by US officials for his cooperation with their torture plans, among other initiatives.

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Massacre at Tahrir

February 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment
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By Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, February 2, 2011

Pro-government thugs at Tahrir Square used clubs, machetes, swords and straight razors on Wednesday to try to crush Egypt’s democracy movement, but, for me, the most memorable moment of a sickening day was one of inspiration: watching two women stand up to a mob.

I was on Tahrir Square, watching armed young men pour in to scream in support of President Hosni Mubarak and to battle the pro-democracy protesters. Everybody, me included, tried to give them a wide berth, and the bodies of the injured being carried away added to the tension. Then along came two middle-age sisters, Amal and Minna, walking toward the square to join the pro-democracy movement. They had their heads covered in the conservative Muslim style, and they looked timid and frail as thugs surrounded them, jostled them, shouted at them. Read more

Extremism and How to Deal With It

February 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment
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By Nidal Sakr

June 4, 2009 – It is no secret that I love Arabic, perhaps just as much as I despise Arabism. Arabic is the expression of the Quran – the Great Book of Civilization, while Arabism is a reminder to some longest lasting and senseless wars that predated Islam. Today Arab kingdoms, republics, and emirates are none but exaggeration in Arabism, and have no relevance to Arabic except for a name assigned to the country by its ruler.

Some of what I like about Arabic is its precision to differentiate meanings between lingual and referential. Linguistically, “Extremism” is an exaggeration in that which people agree as ordinary. Referentially, extremism is excess in understanding and interpretation of that which is acceptable by people, to that which is unacceptable by people. Read more