Arabisc: Rebellious Behaviour and the Quest for Intellectuals

With the festive season wrapping up in the Arab world, Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer has decided to ‘come out of the closet’ and drop a bombshell – making some of his readers happy and others not so!

The Alexandria law student doesn't mince his words when he announces to his readers that the Holy Month of Ramadhan was the month of hypocrisy.

Unhappy with the practise, he says he decided and successfully managed to stay away from the Islamic ritual of not eating and drinking from dawn to sunset for a good month for the first time in his life.

While many Muslims may frown upon the public announcement, Kareem seems at ease with it.

للمرة الأولى منذ أن كنت فى الخامسة أجد فى نفسى الشجاعة الكافية لرفض صيام شهر رمضان هذا العام ، على الرغم من كافة المصاعب والعوائق والتحديات التى صاحبتنى أثناء تنفيذ هذا القرار الذى أعاد لى قدرا من إرادتى التى كانت مسلوبة منى عندما كنت أجد نفسى مضطرا للقيام بممارسات وأعمال عن غير إقتناع كامل بها لمجاملة من حولى ليس إلا .

ولقد خرجت من هذه التجربة الناجحة بتصورات جديدة عن مجتمع الفاترينات الذى نعيش فيه والذى يحتم على المرء أن يبدى قدرا من من النفاق للمجتمع الذى يعيش فيه حتى يحظى برضا من حوله حتى وإن كان من داخله مختلفا معه تمام الإختلاف .

For the first time since I was five, I find the courage in myself to refuse fasting Ramadhan this year despite all the problems, obstacles and challenges which I faced in implementing this decision. This has given me back a sense of achievement as I am now in control of what I do rather than having to do things I am not totally convinced of just to please those around me. I have come out of this successful experience with a new insight to the society of fantasia we live in and which imposes upon people to be hypocrites to win the satisfaction of those around them – even if what was inside them was totally different.

Also from Egypt, Bint Masreya (Egyptian Girl), is drumming up support for readers to vote for a blog on Torture in Egypt for the Reporters Without Borders Award.

نهى هى المسئولة الوحيدة عن المدونة.. هى اللى بتجيب الاخبار وهى اللى بتنزلها.. وانا بصراحة كنت متصورة فى الاول ان المدونة دى وراها مجموعة من المهتمين بحقوق الانسان وكده.. وان جيش من المحررين ورا الاخبار اللى بتنزل تقريبا بشكل يومي

صوتوا لصالح مدونة نهى.. مش عشان كل اللى انا قلته ده.. لكن لأن التعذيب فى مصر قضية محتاجة نلقى عليها الضوء.. .. ودا هيشجع نهى تستمر لما تلاقى مننا رد فعل او صدى للى هيا بقالها شهور بتعمله

فى كمان اصدقائنا المدونين فى قسم “افضل مدونة بالعربى” هتلاقوا مدونين عرب ومصريين جامدين اوى.. ادخلوا صوتوا لهم.. بصراحة الاختيار بينهم صعب اوى :) ربنا معانا ومعاهم

Nuha is the only one responsible for the blog. She digs up the news she posts. I really thought that the blog, which is updated daily, was run by a group of human rights activists or an army of journalists. Vote for Nuha not because of all I have said about her but because torture in Egypt is an issue which needs to be highlighted. This will encourage Nuha to continue when she sees positive reaction to her labour. There are also great Arab and Egyptian bloggers vying for the award. Go there and vote for them. The truth is choosing a blog is difficult. May God be with them.

Away from the Nile and to the heart of Green Tunisia, where Subzero Blue has an interesting post about how people in his country swear.

The hilarious post starts with swearing by the Almighty, down to the Prophet, people and even fruit! Variations include “By Allah,” “By the head of Prophet Mohammed” and “By the head of this fruit.”

Humour aside, Batir Wardam from Jordan, is compiling a list of the 100 most influencing intellectuals, researchers and writers in the Arab world in the last 25 years. So far, his list has 90 names and he is desperate for the remaining 10 names. But to become part of the club, Batir has strict criteria.

القائمة تشترط أن يكون المفكر والكاتب متحليا بالصفات التالية:

1- لم يدعم اي نظام دكتاتوري عربي.

2- لم يدعم السياسة الأميركية أو ينغمس في التطبيع مع إسرائيل.

3- لم يدعم نشأة الفكر الأصولي الإرهابي التكفيري.

4- لم تؤدي كتاباته إلى إثارة النعرات الطائفية والدينية والعرقية.

5- حقق تأثيرا بحثيا وفكريا إيجابيا في العقل العربي

Those included in the list should enjoy the following:
1. Has not supported any Arab dictatorial regime.
2. Has not supported American policies or normalised relations with Israel.
3. Has not supported extremist and terrorist movements.
4. Has not spread sectarian, religious or ethnic divisions through his writings.
5. Has achieved a positive impact on the Arab mentality.

Good luck Batir!

At last but not least I will leave you with a post by Palestinian Osama Alessa, who has uploaded amazing pictures of a river making its way from the mountains, across the desert, to the Dead Sea.

محمية عين فارة..نهر لا يمكن وصفه يفجر الصخر ويخترق الجبال ليصب في البحر الميت..

الاحتلال الاسرائيلي يسيطر على المنطقة التي اقام عليها المستوطنات والمعسكرات

This is the Ain Farah reserve..a river impossible to describe, which bursts from the rocks, cuts through the mountain to make its way to the Dead Sea. Israeli occupation controls the area which is now used for settlements and army barracks.


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