Thursday, June 04, 2009

Hossam el-Hamalawy
His last comments were in the Times, this is in the Huffington Post. More here.
Right before he took off from DC, on what the media has been depicting as some “odyssey,” to address the Muslim World from Cairo, President Obama had described the 81-year-old Egyptian President Mubarak as a “force for stability.”This week Cairo and its twin city Giza have been a showcase of what this “stability” cost.
The capital is under occupation. Security troops are deployed in the main public squares and metro stations. [Arabic] Citizens were detained en masse and shops were told to close down [Arabic] in Bein el-Sarayat area, neighboring Cairo University, where Obama will be speaking. In Al-Azhar University, the co-host of the “historical speech,” State Security police raided and detained at least 200 foreign students, held them without charges in unknown locations. Exams were postponed in the major universities fearing demonstrations, and students were told to stay at home. And in several areas in Cairo and Giza, there will be in effect a curfew, where shops won’t be allowed to open, citizens instructed not to open their windows. Almost everyone I know will be staying home tomorrow watching Obama’s speech, not necessarily because they are keen on knowing what the freshly-elected US leader has to say to the Muslim world, but because they know it will be virtually impossible to move anywhere in the city on Thursday thanks to Obama’s force-for-stability host.
And remember please, that M.J. Rosenberg has argued that 'we" need to deal with Arab dictators because Arab democracy is dangerous for Israel.

As'ad AbuKhalil:"What can you say about Obama? It will--and should--be remembered that he praised the "wisdom" of the Saudi King. What is next? Will he praise the public beheadings in the kingdom as example of ideal justice?"

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