Thursday, January 31, 2013

Egypt Erupts Again: More from Amnesty and Alaa Al Aswany

Amnesty researcher Diana Eltahawy gives an on the ground report on the current unrest in Egypt in the video above, passing on concerns about impunity for police who commit human rights violations. If an action becomes available, we will pass that on.

This brought to mind that Alaa Al Aswany, activist and author of The Yacoubian Building has given a couple of interviews about the progress of the Arab Spring revolution that are worth your time. A short one from BBC Newshour here, and a longer podcast from Radio Open Source here. In a wide-ranging discussion, he talks about his public confrontation with Mubarak-appointed Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik during the uprising and dispenses advice for moving forward.
What we are expecting but never had from the Western governments is just to leave us alone. We are going to do our democracy for ourselves. But do not support the terrible dictators! That’s what happened with Mubarak. He has been supported by the Western governments for decades, right? Everybody knew what kind of dictator he was. But this question of ‘interests’ — he was ‘okay’; he was doing what Israel wanted; and there was another assumption that he was the barrier against Islamism; but he was not the barrier, he was the reason for the fanaticism in Egypt. That’s clear in my novel… The point here is that what we need from the Western governments is not to support Arab dictators any more…
Wikipedia suggests that another novel is forthcoming.
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