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Entries in Hosni Mubarak (127)


US Feature: How #OccupyWallStreet Became #OccupyEverywhere (Schneider)

It all started with an e-mail. On July 13 Adbusters magazine sent out a call to its 90,000-strong list proclaiming a Twitter hashtag (#OccupyWallStreet) and a date, September 17. It quickly spread among the mostly young, tech-savvy radical set, along with an especially alluring poster the magazine put together of a ballerina atop the Charging Bull statue, the financial district’s totem to testosterone.

The idea became a meme, and the angel of history (or at least of the Internet) was somehow ready. Halfway into a revolutionary year—after the Arab Spring and Europe’s tumultuous summer—cyberactivists in the United States were primed for a piece of the action. The Adbusters editors weren’t the only ones organizing; similar occupations were already in the works, including a very well-laid plan to occupy Freedom Plaza in Washington, starting October 6.

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Egypt Feature: After Sunday's Deaths in Cairo --- "The Beginning of the End of Military Rule" (Ahmed)

The people who were violently clashing were regular citizens, Egyptian vs. Egyptian, with no army or police forces in sight. Needless to say one couldn’t tell the Muslims from the Christians (because we all look alike), and neither could the people fighting each other. After engaging in a street brawl where not a single person could tell who is with who or against who, they stopped and started chanting. One team started chanting “The People and the Army are one hand” and the others started chanting “Muslims and Christians are one hand”, thus providing us with the choices that we as Egyptians were told to make yesterday. And then, strangely, both sides at the same time changed their chants to “One hand”, and both sides started chanting that fiercely, stopped fighting each other, and joined each other into one big march chanting “One hand, One hand”, and thus showing us that they made the right choice.

They were presented with the choice between the Army and National Unity, and they refused to make that choice and collectively and organically made the only correct choice: Each Other. Egypt. In the midst of the battle, they realized on a very basic level that they can’t chose one over the other, and that , even if they have prejudices, they really do not want to fight each other. There is a lesson in that incident for all of us, and it may just hold the key to our salvation.

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Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Punishment and Protests

Protest in Anadan in Aleppo Province tonight, chanting about Syrian President Assad, "Bashar is a traitor"

See also Syria Video Special: The Friday Protests
Yemen Interview: President Saleh "I Will Retire When There Are Elections"
Syria Special: #MediaFail --- It's Not Yet a Civil War
Bahrain 1st-Hand: "48 Hours in Sanabis"
Thursday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A Showdown Looms?

2010 GMT: An EA source in Bahrain reports blocked roads in many villages, some blocked by protesters to prevent police getting in, others blocked by police to prevent protesters getting out. The source continues, "There are clashes between protesters and police in many of the villages. On my round now I passed on at least seven protests/clashes."

2000 GMT: A lower-than-expected turnout --- at least for protest organisers --- in Tahrir Square in Cairo today.

Thousands came out for the rally, with most stages set up by leftist and revolutionary youth movements, chanting against the ruling Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and its head, Field-Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi: "Tell the truth! Will you nominate yourself for the Presidency?" demonstrators shouted in reference to SCAF chief Field-Marshal Hussein Tantawi. Many protesters wore shirts with stickers reading “No to SCAF” and carried signs bearing anti-SCAF slogans. One banner depicted a turtle, reflecting popular frustration with the slow pace of change during the post-Mubarak transitional period.

One bright spot amidst the disappoointment: Hollywood actor and political activist Sean Penn, waving an Egyptian flag, put in an appearance.

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The Real Net Effect: Social Media and the Changing Middle East (Murphy)

Dedicated users of social media are a small vanguard in the Arab world, where access to the Internet and digital literacy levels are still low. But the number of people flocking to social media in the region is rising rapidly. This trend accelerated in the first quarter of this year, most notably in countries where protests occurred, according to the ASMR.

Facebook is the most popular social networking tool in Arab countries, with 27,711,503 users as of April 2011. That is almost double the 14,791,972 on Facebook in April 2010, the ASMR found. In the first four months of 2011, Facebook users in the Arab world grew by 30 percent, with Egypt accounting for most newcomers in this time period (2 million). Egypt’s 6.5 million Facebook users comprise about a quarter of all users in the region.

As for Twitter, the ASMR estimates there are about 6.5 million users in the Arab world, of whom 1.5 million are frequent tweeters. The countries with the most users and tweets are United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. In Saudi Arabia, tweets went up 400 percent in one year (the average increase in the same time period in the rest of the world was 90 per cent).

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Egypt Opinion: What Have We Achieved? (Al Malky)

No matter how cynical we are about the indications regarding the final outcome of these trials [of President Hosni Mubarak, his sons, and members of his regime], we must admit that had it not been for the colossal events of the 18-day uprising, such a scenario would have continued being a figment of our wildest dreams.

But beyond the trials, has anything in Egypt really changed?


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Egypt Opinion: "Lest We Forget" Why the Revolution Is Worthwhile (Salem)

There is a general feeling of malaise and melancholy affecting Jan25 protesters, for they feel as if they have accomplished nothing: that the SCAF [Supreme Council of the Armed Forces] has halted the revolution and ended it, and it was all for naught. Now this kind of talk infuriates me, not because of its self-pitying whiny nature from otherwise strong people, but because it’s categorically not true. Let me count the ways....

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Libya, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Preparing to Fight for Bani Walid

Al Jazeera English's assessment of the fight for Bani Walid in Libya

0125 GMT: Activists say Syrian security forces have killed at least nine people and arrested dozens in the central cities of Hama and Homs and in the northwestern province of Idlib.

A spokesman of the Local Coordination Committees said dozens of troops backed by at least 30 military vehicles and security forces raided Hama, with a similar operation in Homs that caused the nine deaths, while about 100 people were rounded up in Idlib Province.

Activists based in northern Lebanon also reported sounds of heavy shelling in the Wadi Khaled, an area facing the Syrian town of Tal Kalakh.

The operations occurred as the Syrian regime granted access to the International Committee of the Red Cross to the Damascus Central Prison, in the suburb of Adra.

1856 GMT: Two videos show a Syrian sniper on the roof of a building, preparing to shoot. According to someone on Twitter, the translation is as follows:

Someone off camera asks the sniper, "could you shoot her? If you shoot her you are a real hero, but if not you are a coward." The sniper then said yes, and he takes the shot.

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Libya (and Beyond) Special: Paradigm Shift --- What the Experts Get Wrong Tells A Much Bigger Story

There is a larger problem with the way the West is approaching this issue. The old power structures still exist, but all evidence points to them fading. Regimes are falling apart, though remnants remain. Tribalism is giving way to unity, though old divisions still threaten that unity. Al Qa'eda, in almost 20 years, has failed to do what the Arab Spring has done in 250 days. Iran, Israel, weapons of mass destruction, Western imperialism...all of the old bugbears have proven false alarms. They still exist, but their importance, and influence, is fading quickly.

Problems persist in Tunisia and Egypt, and questions remain about Libya, but what is unquestionable is the dedication and spirit of the youth of these countries, a brave and defiant youth that will not sit down while the old powers hijack their revolutions. Perhaps there are still forces that wish to co-opt the Arab Spring, but the indications are that these forces are weaker than their predecessors. Yes, these movements are rooted in a new way of thinking, or at least a new embodiment of an old way of thinking --- through the persuit of equity, freedom, democracy, and unity, the people will triumph, not the power- hungry.

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Iran Interview: Full Transcript of Ahmadinejad's Remarks to EuroNews --- "Situation in Europe is Much Worse than Iran"

Yesterday we posted an extract from the video and transcript of President Ahmadinejad's 33-minute interview with EuroNews. That in itself was striking, with Ahmadinejad's dismissal of the strict house arrests of opposition figures Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, "There are prisons in every country".

However, the full text --- now available from EuroNews --- is even more compelling for its presentation of Ahmadinejad's claims. Problems in Syria are "due to the interference of others". In Iran, "a completely free election" was followed by just treatment of opposition, in contrast to the situation in Britain where students "were beaten up in the streets of London" and in Europe where "no one [is] listening to them". And economic difficulties? The situation "is much worse in Europe" than in Iran.

In short, "freedom is at its highest level in Iran".

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Syria, Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Trying a President, Cutting Off Hama

2215 GMT: Mass rally in Homs in Syria tonight:

2100 GMT: Two clips of tonight's protest in Harasta, northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus, demanding the fall of the Assad regime:

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