Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

Egypt: Change The Channel Initiative Kicks Off

Yesterday was the first day of 2009, and it was also the kick-off day of “Change the Channel” initiative. Many bloggers responded to the initiative, even more than I expected.

Che Ahmed – One Man Show – decided to write about the Egyptian writer, Bahaa Taher.

قعدت كتير اوي بفكر ف حاجة حلوة ف مصر اي حاجة تعبت كتير اوي بس ف الاخر افتكرت العبقري بهاء طاهر واحد من اروع من قرأت لهم حتى الآن .
النهاردة مش جاي اتكلم عن بهاء طاهر سيته الذاتية او تاريخ حياته ، لكن من منطلق انى قارئ بيحب كتابات الراجل العظيم دا ، اول ما نزلت واحة الغروب كنت لسه بدأت اتعرف علي بهاء طاهر ، كانت علي طول طبعاتها بتنفذ اول بأول روحت بدور عليها مرة ملقيتهاش لكن لقيت نقطة النور لسه فاكر التاريخ جبتها يوم 5 ابريل وخلصتها يوم ستة ابريل 2008 كانت اول علاقتي ببهاء طاهر وظلت العلاقة حتى الان .
نقطة النور بالنسبة ليا هي اروع ما قرأت في حياتي ، وكانت المدخل الاروع لعلاقتي ببهاء طاهر كمية الحزن والروحانية ف الرواية رائعه للغاية وتناسب شخص حالم زيي كتير ، الرواية اللى فيها الناس بتغلط وبتداوي الغلط بالحب وابو خطوة الصالح اللى علي لسانه يُجري الكاتب ينابيع الحكمة .
I kept thinking about one good thing to write about in Egypt. It was really hard for me to find something to write about untill I remembered the genius Bahaa Taher. He is one of the best writers I've ever read for till now.
Today, I am not going to talk about his biography, but I am going to write about him from a reader's perspective. When his novel “Wahet El Ghoroub” (Sunset Oasis) was released, I was just getting to know Taher. Successive releases of the novel were being sold out in no time, and when I did not find it, I bought another novel by him entitled “Noktet Nour” (A Point of Light). I still remember the date. I bought it on April 5th, 2008, and I finished reading it on April 6th. This was my first time to read any of his books, and I am still attached to him since then.
“Noktet Nour” is one of the best novels I've read in my entire life, and what I really liked in it was the sorrow and spirituality in the novel, which are really attractive to a dreamer like me. It's about people who cure their sins with love. And in it, words of wisdom are presented to the readers through characters like “Abou Khatwah”.

Tarek Amr wrote in his blog – Not Green Data – about the Internet, Social Media and Web 2.0 applications and how they are improving and changing the Egyptian society to the better.

Meanwhile, Jessyz – Chocolate Mints in a Jar – on the other hand decided to write about Changing the Channel literally.

These are sad days, the situation in Gaza keeps getting worse, people are being killed, starvation and other catastrophes are hitting the world hard.
You have two options, you can either glue your pretty little eyes to the TV, drive your blood pressure up Mount Everest or you can do something about it.

And then she offered her readers a list of good stuff they can do instead of watching bad news on the TV.

Nermeen Edrees – Nerro – who is also a Global Voices Online author, wrote about a Furniture Store in Heliopolis that decided to take the responsibility of turning a common garden in front of their premises into a beautiful garden.

Fascinated at seeing this, I joyously stopped the engine, walked out of the car and started walking around the garden. At this point I came to find that the owner(s) of Decomara decided to take the responsibility of turning the common garden in front of their premises into a beautiful garden, a pleasant view for passerby’s and residents. I was really moved by the endeavor and notion.
I personally think there is a message behind this attempt, not only promoting beauty but also to direct people’s attention and let them realize that common areas are not Government’s only responsibility; it is our responsibility as well. How beautiful our streets could be if each building, store, company or organization took the responsibility of revamping their neighborhood. I know this sound ancient and kinda repetitive, but believe it or not seeing it happening would get you all up and running, excited at the thought of waking up the next morning having breakfast on your balcony. Seriously, we are in dire need for some beauty in our streets and neighborhoods.

Nermeen then targeted her Facebook contacts by publishing the following note there.

Today is the kick-off of the change the channel initiative; to cut the long story short this initiative is about focusing on the positive sides of Egypt (being an Egyptian, living in Egypt, improvement, etc). Not that we are in denial of all the negative sides, we are simply are aware of them and our shortcomings as well, and can easily pin-point the black spots, however, lets see what good stuff can we come out with together.
So my friend, can you list down only one positive thing about this country?

Marwa Rakha then commented on Nermeen's Note.

I am proud of our president for not giving in to ignorant pressure … I admire his courage in facing all the rage and blows aimed at him by emotional masses of Egyptians and Arabs … I am happy he did not open the Rafa7 crossings … I am happy he said that he would only allow the wounded … I am glad that he is not dragging us into a war that is not ours … I am glad that he could see through the hidden agendas of Hamas, Fatah, and Israel … These three parties are the ones who are using civilians as live targets in their own dirty wars .. Yes .. I am proud of Hosny Mubarak.

Eyad Harfoush also commented on the note:

Sorry ya Marwa, what I am proud of is totally different
I am proud of the massess went out to streets in my home city Tanta and other cities in Delta and Upper Egypt. Proud of the feelings of Egyptians who can still feel rage and hatred against Zionism despite of all the sedative pills! I am proud that my people understood the tricks of history more than our leaders, president included. Understanding that Charles De Gaules was called once a man who plays on the emotions of French people.. Petain called him so, now where is Petain's name? Only limited to Petainism? and where did history put De Gaules?
The native Egyptians are the best values in Egypt. Those who are neither Saudized nor Americanized.

Emans Mostafe also commented:

I feel happy when I am in the gardens/deserts of Egypt, we have wonderful places that we don't appreciate its value. Same goes for the places in old Cairo.
I feel happy that I go down to the streets after 11 pm, and I can still find everywhere is so lightful and noisy and crowded, Cairo is ALIVE till morning. In few words, I love Egypt at night.
I feel happy when my aeroplane is landing to Cairo Airport, becasue from the sky Egypt is the best.

Heba Jaouni also commented:

I feel safe in Egypt … I feel warmth in Egypt … I feel alive in Egypt … Nobody will appreciate this place (piece of heaven) unless they really try another place … I want to die in Egypt and be buried in this land.
I Love you Egypt and I do strongly agree with what Marwa said as well … I am with you Hosny Mubarak

Mohamed El Gohary wrote about his home town, El Mansoura, and added some photos of the it here.

Mansoura is one of the quietest places you can live in.
Walking by the Nile in Mansoura is one of the best experiences you can have :)

Jean Pierre, who is besides being a blogger here is a talented photographer, decided to publish an awesome photo of sunset in Maadi here.

Deee – Pressure over Cappuccino – also published a stunning photo of Cairo. And so did Lasto Adri here, and Yahia Muhammad – Hawamesh – here, featuring Alexandria.

And finally Zeinobia added a photo of the innocent smile of Egyptian children whom she meets everyday in the streets of Cairo.


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Love reading Global Voices?

Help us understand our readers by completing a quick survey »