In this week's round-up from Egypt, jailed blogger Karim Amer sends a letter from prison, Wael Abbas gets intimidated by security forces over the phone, a new Baha'i rights website is launched, and a belly dancing festival concludes in Cairo and more.
Imprisoned Blogger Karim Amer Sends a Letter from Prison:
Karim Amer was sentenced to four years in prison for his writings on his blog. He is the first ever Egyptian blogger to be jailed. Wa7damasrya received a letter from Karim. He wrote from prison in a letter that he is worried that he could be a reason that bloggers won’t be as encouraged as before to blog. He says that he has a special position because he was writing with his real name and he did not blog anonymously which made it easy to condemn him. He says that his only reason why he did not want to be anonymous is that people with backward and retro ideas are not shameful to hide them. They try in every means to impose their extremist ideas and sometimes through violence and terror. He says also that he would not have been in prison if he did not admit that he wrote what he wrote. He believes that the fact that he was a student from Al-Azhar (a religious Sunni institution) was the main reason for his imprisonment. Al-Azhar was the reason of accusing him of insulting Islam in which he is spending three years in prison and one year for defaming the President of Egypt, which are highly controversial issues. At the end he concludes by saying that he does not want other bloggers to be afraid or think that they could face his destiny. It is worthmentioning that Karim Amer has progressive ideas regarding women's rights.
Free Kareem is encouraging readers to send him letters in prison to let him interact with his supporters. Free Kareem has been adopting a worldwide campaign to free Kareem.
Phone Threats Against Bloggers Continue:
Arabawy reports a new intimidation to blogger Wael Abbass. He says that Abbass succeeded in recording the phone call that was meant to threaten him. Several bloggers have been following what happened to Wael. Ahmed Sherif is one of them and he provided an English transcription.
Wael Abbass is an activist blogger who does not spare an effort to expose irregularities. Among his famous campaigns are the anti-torture ones that bring to the surface how some police officers torture innocent helpless citizens.
New Site for Baha’i Rights:
Baha’i Faith in Egypt blog reports the creation of a new site called “The Muslim Network for Baha'i Rights. The authors of this site are “Muslim interfaith activists who are deeply concerned with the treatment of Baha’is within the Middle East.” Baha’is in Egypt are still struggling to issue official papers acknowledging their faith and identity. They face numerous problems related to the fact that their ID papers are incomplete or not issued.
Egyptian leading intellectual Taha Hussein curtailed from Education System:
Taha Hussein is the first visually impaired minister of education in Egypt. He is one of the leading intellectuals who brought an enlightenment era to Egypt through his books, his battles to give access to all Egyptian citizens to the education system at a time when some Egyptian where only privileged to complete their education for their social status. He believed in the empowerment of women. Blogger Ashraf Nasr in his recent blog post is exposing a “scandal”. He reports that some of those who are deciding on high schools curriculum are omitting some parts of Taha Hussein biography book, “The Days”. His biography is a masterpiece. Hussein was not only a a highly-educated intellectual but an amazing writer with an extraordinary life story. The blogger is so surprised that those officials are saying that Hussein’s book will spoil the manners of students. The blogger is thinking that dropping the book will be much better than deforming its rich text.
Belly Dancing Festival Concludes in Cairo:
7rnksh attended the annual Egyptian festival for belly dancing in Cairo. The blog reports that more than 1200 dancers come from all over the world. The festival is accompanied by an exhibition for all sorts for dancing suits and accessories. The blog applauds the seriousness of all participant dancers when compared to current commercial singing in the Middle East. 7rnksh had the chance to talk to one of the visiting dancers. She happened to have a PhD degree in belly dancing and owns a dancing school in California. Something he thought is very impressive!
I will leave here with this entertainment news until I see you next week!