Bring back Sadat! (the metro station, not the president)

Interim President Adly Mansour rides a train taking its first trip through the new metro line

Interim President Adly Mansour rides a train taking its first trip through the new metro line

The amount of time it took me to get sardined into the ladies’ cart made it obvious; this would be a special ride. But … it was just way more special than I had calculated. Continue reading

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The rise of the Sisists

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One protester holds a poster of Gamal Abdel Nasser side by side with a poster of Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi in a demonstration in Tahrir square delegating the armed forces and the police to fight violence and terrorism on 26 July 2013
Rana Muhammad Taha

It starts with a military general whose membership in the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) constitutes one of the most brutal military regimes Egypt has ever witnessed. The same military general who finds no fault in admitting that the armed forces indeed subjected female protesters – arrested on 9 March (2011) after a peaceful sit-in in Tahrir Sqaure was violently dispersed – to virginity tests to “protect the girls from rape as well as to protect the soldiers and officers from rape accusations”.

Only two years after this controversial confession, the same man, general Abdel Fatah Al Sisi becomes the most popular man in Egypt, proving to be a direct threat to army strongman Gamal Abdel Nasser’s throne. Continue reading

On purse-mirrors, ice-creams and sweet-potatoes

Omar, shot dead

Omar, shot dead

The metro slowly came to a halt as we reached the ‘Opera’ station. The little girl gave out a loud, hysterical laugh as she tried to break free of her mother’s grip. The laughter intensified as her mother slapped her on the face. I was surprised to find the mother laughing too.

I remembered the time when I was a little girl, sobbing as my mother dragged me from my tiny hand around the club because she refused to buy me the helium balloon I fancied. All that this memory brings back to me is the intense feeling of humiliation I suffered as I pondered on the thought of being refused a wish; in front of the whole club.

How could this girl feel so at ease with her mother’s public slaps? I raged within at the question, soon to be interrupted by the entrance of some 12-year old boy into the ladies’ cart. Continue reading