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Arabisc: Imprisoned Egyptian Blogger Lost in Legal Wrangle!

In my last post, I translated excrepts from a post written by Egyptian blogger Abdulkareem Sulaiman, who is being held in custody for articles he wrote online, describing the unhealthy conditions he is being forced to adapt to behind bars.

Well, his saga seems to continue, in a legal tangle and a tug of war game with authorities, who are ensuring that Kareem is punished even before he goes on trial for the list of allegations against him – which extend from writing blasphemous articles against Islam to defaming the President of Egypt.

Fellow blogger Jar Al Qamar reports a minute by minute breakdown of the eventful day he went to the Public Prosecutor, along with Kareem's lawyers and representatives from human rights groups, to hear what the judge had to say. Surprise, surprise..Kareem was no where to be seen!

خلال هذا الأسبوع تم ترحيل كريم من حبسه بقسم محرم بك لسجن الحضره بناءً على طلبه الشخصي لتضرره من إنعدام الخصوصيه بزنزانة القسم .. يمنح السجن قدرا اكبر منها .. غير ان نزلاءه اكثر خطرا و محاولات الزياره و الإمداد اكثر صعوبه
“This week, Kareem was transferred from the Muharram Baik Police Station prison to the Hadhra Prison, based on his request because of the lack of any privacy. Despite the fact that the new prison allows him a little bit more of a breathing space, it's inmates and much more dangerous and attempts to visit and replenish his supplies extremely difficult,” he wrote.

With the lawyers, Al Jazeera television camera crew and a journalist and other activisits waiting in one court, Kareem seems to have been sent to another place for his hearing.

بالصدفه البحته .. اخبرنا احد زملاء كريم في سجن الحضره ان ترحيله تم الى محكمة شرق الكليه بالمنشيه .. حيث قمنا منذ اسبوعين بمحاولة استئناف تجديد حبسه السابق .. في طريقنا لمجمع محاكم المنشيه , اتصلت بروضه سيده ابلغتها ان كريم في نيابة شرق الكليه .. و اخبرتها انه – اي كريم – اصيب بالقلق عندما لم يجد ايا من محاميه .. فطلب منها الاتصال بهذا الرقم و اخبار روضه بمكانه
“By coincidence..one of Kareem's inmates in Hadhra Prison told us that he was transferred to the East College Court, in Mansheeya, where we tried to appeal the renewal of his detention in custody two weeks ago. On our way to court, a woman called (his lawyer) Rawdha and told her that Kareem was at the East College Public Prosecution ..and that he told her that he was concerned that he didn't see his lawyers there. He gave her the telephone number and asked her to call and inform Rawdha of his whereabouts,” wrote Jar Al Qamar.

And you would think there would be some good news from this wild goose chase? Think again!

اخيرا .. استطعنا الوصول لقاضي التجديد في القضيه .. الذي اخبر المحامين ان المتهم قد تم عرضه .. و انه – اي القاضي – حكم بالتجديد لمدة 15 يوما أخرى .. و ان كريما بالتالي قد تم ترحيله الى الحجز الملحق بالنيابه تمهيدا لنقله الى سجن الحضره من جديد
“Finally..we were able to reach to the booking judge in this case.. who told the lawyers that the accused was seen by court and that he ordered to have him stay in custody for another 15 days and that he was being transferred from the prison at the Public Prosecution back to Hadhra Prison,” he said.

But Jar Al Qamar tries to keep a straight face in reporting this saga – which I cannot translate fully here for obvious reasons – and even attempts to end his post with what I could not so reluctantly call a disclaimer.

سننتظر الآن قرار النيابه الاسبوع القادم .. اما بتجديد حبسه في سجن الحضره كما هو .. او بتحويل الملف لأمن الدوله .. حيث يتم ترحيله سواء لسجن مزرعة طره .. او الى الحجز بمقر الاسكندريه في شارع الفراعنه
كلمه اخيره : لكل من سأل .. اعقد ان تدويناتي عن كريم نقليه انطباعيه بحته بلا اي اراء او تحليلات لمواقفي الشخصيه .. فلندع السؤال الازلي – معه ام ضده – الى مابعد الهرج القانوني الذي يحدث
“We will now wait for the Public Prosecutor's decision next week.. either to extend his stay in Hadhra Prison or to trasfer his dossier to the State Security..wher he could be transferred to either Mazraa Tara Prison or their Alexandria headquaters on Pharoah's Road.
A last word: For all those who have asked, I think that my blogging of Kareem's case is objective and doesn't contain any opinion or analysis which express my personal believes. Let's leave the eternal question of whether we are with or against him until this legal farce is over,” he wrote.

Still in Egypt but moving on to another disgruntled blogger, Radwa Osama celebrates her 25th birthday by contemplating on political and personal dreams.

اتتمت اليوم خمسة وعشون عام..ربع قرن مضي علي في هذه الدنيا ..يااااه هل عشت كل هذه الفتره، ان تعيش في مصر وتحتفظ ببرائتك خمسه وعشرون عام ..ذلك انجاز كبير..خمسه وعشرون عام لم اعرف رئيسا غيره ….خمسه وعشرون عام من الاحلام المتصله ..ان اكبر..ان تغيب مدرسة الحساب ..يلغوا الابتدائية.. احصل علي مجموع كبير في الثانوية..احب .. اتزوج
“I completed 25 years today…a quarter of a century for me in this world..Wow..For you to be living in Egypt for 25 years and still maintain your innocence is a great achievement…25 years and I have not known a president other than him. 25 years of continuous dreams..that I would grow up..that the math teacher would be absent..that primary schools would be dissolved..that I would graduate from high school with flying colours.. that I would fall in love…and get married..” she wrote.

From Egypt, we move to Bahrain where Layal has an interesting post.

حاولت ان اعرف ما يدور ببال من هم بقربي علي اتمكن يوما من تحقيق بعض امانيهم
لذلك قمت بأرسال سؤال بسيط عن طريق الهاتف
لو طاحت ليال علي كنز وقالت لك طلبي اللي تبينه -شنو راح تطلبين ؟؟
( عذرا السؤال كان باللهجه البحرينيه وكذلك معظم الاجابات )
مع العلم اني اخبرتهم انه كنز ولو ان البعض اعتقد انه مصباح علاء الدين
-اقول للزمان ارجع يا زمان
متزوجه وحانه للعزوبيه
-أبي انتقل للشهر التاسع
حامل بالشهر الرابع
-ابي مليون
-ستر الحال وبس
اجابه تأثرت بها
-قهوه ساخنه من كوستا كوفي بس عشان المقاطعه , وبيت صغير لي بروحي
تعيش العزوبيه , ويسقط ستاربكس
-ما عليك امر 5000 دينار سلف
-ابي الكنز اللي طحتي عليه كله, ولا ناقص منه فلس
-واو , اهم شي تكوني بصحه وعافيه عشان تقدرين تفرحي بالكنز وتفرحي غيرك بعد
“I tried to find out what was going on in the minds of those around me to see how I can help them achieve some of their dreams. So I sent them all SMS messages on their cell phones with a simple question: If Layal finds a treasure and asks you to choose what you want, what would you want most. I specifically told them it was a treasure and not Aladdin's magic lamp. Here are some of their answers:
– I want time to come back (someone married but yearning for her days as a single woman)
– I want to be in my ninth month (a 4 month pregnant woman)
– I want a million
– I want to live in comfort
– Coffee from Costa Coffee and a house for me on my own
– 5000 dinars if you don't mind
– I want the entire treasure without a cent missing from it
– I wish you enjoy a long and healthly life to make the most out of the treasure,” she wrote.

The list goes on and on but certainly shows how much she means to those around her and how they care for her.

Meanwhile, just like in every blogging community, there is always a site run by a computer geek, which offers the latest breakthroughs, information and tips in computer technology.

This position is held by Abdulla Al Mehairi, who runs Serdal, from Abu Dhabi, in the UAE. I am not sure whether he really is the supremo, but from what I had read in other blogs, Abdulla (born in 1979) seems to be very popular.

This week he comes down to Earth and shares with his readers the joy of having designed a page from scratch - without any mistakes from the first go!

لم أفكر بالأمر إلا اليوم، القصة أن شخصاً ما طلب مني إنشاء موقع له، الموقع كان بسيطاً وصغيراً، عندما بدأت في كتابة صفحاته لم أفكر بالمعايير القياسية، لم أفكر في أن أكتب أوامر HTML بشكل صحيح، بل حتى لم أتحدث مع صاحب الموقع عن أي شيء سوى المحتويات.

بعد ساعتين من العمل أنجزت الموقع، قمت باختباره لكي أتأكد أن صفحاته لا تحوي أخطاء HTML أو CSS ولم أجد أي خطأ، قمت باختباره على متصفح إكسبلورر 6 و7 ولم أجد أي مشكلة، وبالتأكيد ليس هناك أي مشكلة في فايرفوكس لأنني طورت الموقع لكي يظهر بشكل صحيح في فايرفوكس.

قمت بكتابة كل شيء بنفسي، بمعنى آخر لم أستعن بأي برنامج يساعدني على كتابة الصفحات، المحرر النصي الذي استخدمته هو محرر نصي عادي، مثل Notepad الذي تجده في أي نسخة من ويندوز، لم أستخدم أداة غيره، مع ذلك استطعت أن أنجز الموقع بدون أية أخطاء أو مشاكل ومن أول مرة.

“I didn't think of this matter until today but the story is that someone had asked me to develop a site for him. When I started work on it, I didn't think of any criteria and didn't evn talk to the site owner about anything except for the HTML contents. I didn't think of writing commands. After two hours the site was up and running and I tested it on both Internet Explorer 6 and 7 and it was fine and it also worked on Firefox with no problems because I devloped it to work on Firefox. I didn't use any program to develop it except for something like Notepad, which is available on any computer's Windows program. Despite this, I didn't have a single mistake in the site,” he wrote.

But if you think Abdulla was boasting when he wrote this, then think again.. for he had a more noble goal in mind.

هل كان هذا صعباً؟ بالتأكيد لم يكن صعباً، حتى أنني لم أنتبه للأمر إلا اليوم، في الماضي عندما كنت أقوم بعمل أي صفحة كنت أحتاج إلى وقت أطول بكثير فقط لكي أصحح الأخطاء، والآن لم أعد أنتبه لما أقوم به ومع ذلك يخرج العمل صحيحاً بدون مشاكل من أول مرة.

ما أريد أن أصل إليه بهذا الموضوع هو قناعة لدي بأن من يريد تعلم أي شيء وممارسته سيفعل ذلك بدون إثارة الكثير من الضجة، قبل ثلاثة أعوام كان مجرد طرح فكرة تعلم تطوير المواقع بالمعايير القياسية تثير ضجة ويعترض البعض بشدة لا بل يحاربون الفكرة، والآن هناك الكثير من المواقع العربية التي تستخدم المعايير القياسية، وبعض المنتديات افتتحت أقساماً لمناقشة مواضيع استخدام المعايير القياسية وهناك عدة مواضيع تسأل عن كيفية ظهور الموقع بشكل صحيح في مختلف المتصفحات، هناك فرق كبير بين اليوم والماضي.

“Was this a difficult task? Of course, it wasn't. In the past, I used to spend more time to develop a site amd ther used to be a lot of mistakes. Now I don't pay attention to what I do and despite this, the product comes out correct and with no problems from the first try. What I want to say here is that if you are convinced that you want to learn something, then you will learn how to do it without fussing. Three years ago the mere idea of having to learn how to develop sites would cause a lot of problems for people, who would strongly resist it. But today there are a lot of Arabic sites which use optimal criteria as well as online forums which discuss them. Ther are also sites which show yuou how pages come up properly using different browsers. There is a big difference between yesterday and today!” he noted.

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