Point Zero (by Yazeed Sayed)
This is so beautiful — dancing joy and pain in a time of civil war.
Sisyphus goes on demonstration (by Sadik Kwaish Alfraji)
“You are to suffer,
to carry your burden and the weight of your existence on your back forever. And on this rough road you are to travel.
You walk, with blackness round your eyes blocking your entire vision, and a hole in your head preventing you from knowing.
You are not to learn, to see or to understand.
You are to travel the path Sisyphus,
this is your fate and this is how you are destined to exist.
Note 1: We are all Sisyphus.
Note 2: Sisyphus, at this moment, has the face and the tongue of an Arab.
Note 3: Sisyphus can go on a demonstration and cry out loud against his destiny.”
Brave New Voices finals 2012 in the Fox Theatre in Oakland. Heart wrenching poem on Syria.
martyred babies martyred babies martyred babies martyred babies martyred babies martyred babies martyred babies martyred babies martyred babies martyred babies
Houla, anywhere, I am not very good at wanting to live through a world with massacres like extreme weather events we don’t have warnings for.
Omar Offendum ~ #Syria
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Murals by artist and professor Alaa Awad on the wall outside of the American University in Cairo’s downtown campus on Mohammed Mahmoud Street.
From “500 words” on artforum.com - Alaa Awad discusses the murals he designed in collaboration with artists Ammar Abu Bakr and Hanaa El Deighem on Mohammed Mahmoud Street (as told to Claire Davies):
“I took a break from teaching and came to Tahrir Square earlier this month because of the February 1 massacre in Port Said that followed a football game. We started painting the mural that day. I have no plans to leave now, and so I keep working on it. The mural is a memorial to the shuhada [martyrs] who died in Port Said. The paints are cheap; we buy them with our own money. I painted the ancient Egyptian compositions, Ammar did the martyrs’ portraits, and Hanaa painted the decorative elements. It’s structured like a story: The work begins with scenes painted in an ancient Egyptian style of people bringing offerings to the ruler, who is depicted as a mouse. In the next scene we see the Mubarak family on trial for crimes against social equality and justice. Suzanne Mubarak is depicted with her suckling son, preparing him to take power. Then there’s a scene of a women’s march. It’s an image from the Ramesseum and dates to the time of Ramses II. The original is now mostly destroyed.
“We wanted to recognize the key role of the women whom we respect very much––like Madame Ghada Abdelkhalaq, Nawara Negm, and Alaa Mahfouz––in the struggle. Here you see women as the ancient Egyptians depicted them. They are climbing a ladder that symbolizes the revolution. They must break through where the ladder meets the sky. The women are nude; they are beautiful. They are not covering their bodies. We are Muslims but we don’t believe in the Wahhabi style of Islam that has been imported to Egypt. Egypt has a long, long history and its own traditions.
“The portraits of the martyrs are next. Here the women are mourning the deceased. They are carrying black flowers. There is the door of Osiris, which you pass through on your way to the land of the dead. At the funeral procession the women are wailing and smearing themselves with earth. This is a very old Egyptian tradition. The goddess of the sky, Nut, is rendered above, and the martyr’s soul is being welcomed into heaven with a lit candle.
“We just began work on another mural located on the same street. Ammar is painting portraits of those who died in the clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street and at Maspero last year. Many people come to look at them. Sometimes visitors write things on the mural or add small drawings or stencils. I don’t mind at all. The murals might disappear soon; we might find them covered up as soon as tomorrow. We’ll just paint them again.”
حمص القصور جمعة سننتفض لأجلك بابا عمرو 24-2-2012 ج1 (by Syrian2011X)
Homs. Syrians continue to dance and sing their revolution while Assad brutally assaults and murders them. I have to look away too often from the still and video images of blood and death and torture - but I cry every time I watch Syrians dance.
حمص القصور مسائية 22-2-2012.flv (by waseemov1)
Syrians dancing and singing for their dead, dedicating their protest to the two foreign journalists Remi Ochlik and Marie Colvin, who were killed yesterday.
دمشق المزة مشهد مهيب في التشييع 18-2-2012 (by beautifullife902)
Thousands protest in Mezze, Damascus, during a snowstorm.
To apply for membership in the Syrian Writers Union and in solidarity with the Syrian people It is our honor, as Palestinian writers and signatories to this statement, to request as a group to be inducted into the Syrian Writers Union, which has been recently established by the free Syrian writers and intellectuals who stand with the people as they climb the ladder of freedom which has been smeared with blood by the hand of the tyrant. The establishment of the Syrian Writers Union constitutes an essential pillar of the Syrian revolution and places the true intellectual in his or her rightful place beside the people as an effective partner in building a new Syria free of dynastic authoritarianism–a diverse, democratic, civil system based on the rights of the citizen, one that embraces the rights of expression and creation, a system incapable of falsifying the free Syrian intellectual’s will through hollow structures that arrogate the potentials of culture, usurp the role of the intellectual and falsify his or her will, always a device in the hand of the tyrant and his apparatuses.
Now more than ever, Syria needs a mature voice that speaks from its very heart, a voice which strengthens national unity and derives strength from the diversity and richness of Syrian society […] [which will serve as] the basis for building a democracy.
We have recently heard a representative of the Syrian regime at the UN Security Council use the Palestinian cause and its painful and honorable course as cover for its terrifying crimes in Syria. We say to the Syrian regime and its representatives: not in our name, not in Palestine’s name, will these crimes be committed in our beloved Syria, oh killers. Do not make our just cause a mask for your inhumane crimes against our Syrian brothers and sisters. It is the Syrian people who have historically adopted our cause, and sacrificed martyrs for its sake, not your regime, of which we have painful memories. We will never forget its role in the massacre of Tel Az-Zaatar in 1976, nor in the terrible assault on the Nahr al Bared camp near Tripoli in 1983, nor the siege of the camps in Beirut in 1985, nor any of the other acts which have bitterly weakened Palestinian national unity. Do not use Palestine’s name, for it is no longer your winning card.
A unified, free and democratic Syria is what Palestine needs, and this is the Syria that is being born today from the womb of a bloody revolution ignited by a great people. We are confident that Palestine’s name will remain in the heart of this courageous, revolting people and its cultural elite.
Queen of girls
(Roughly translated phrase, but the meaning comes across). This is a graffito of a female protester wearing a mask to protect against tear gas on Mohammed Mahmoud Street in downtown Cairo.
Women have been pivotal participants and activists in protests and political activity since and before the uprising in Egypt began in January 2011. Here is great video report on the role of women in the anti-Supreme Council of Armed Forces protests in Tahrir Square from November 2010 by Bridgette Auger and Raphael Thelen.
Free Syria demonstration at Parliament House Canberra, Australia.
Image I found online; a tribute to those who died last night at the Port Said stadium massacre. “UA” stands for Ultras Ahlawy, a group of football fans who support the Al-Ahly team.
Over 70 people died and over 300 were wounded last night in clashes between rival supporters of the Al-Ahly and Al-Masry football teams. The unprecedented violence has sent a shock-wave throughout the country, causing many to blame security forces and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) for a disconcerting lack of security in Egypt. While some Egyptians have blamed the violence on hooliganism and thuggery, others believe the event was planned to justify the SCAF’s maintenance of the Emergency Law in Egypt (the abolishment of which has been one of protesters’ main demands since the beginning of the uprising).
“Activists, politicians see more than hooliganism in football violence,” one of several articles from the Egyptian Independent, Al-Masry Al-Youm’s English language edition that explains and describes reactions to the massacre.
Nothing is sweeter than honor
Famous quote from the Egyptian film “Hassan, I Love You” (1958), said by actor Tawfik al Daqn (who is pictured here). This particular graffito is on Owli Street in downtown Cairo; the same graffito is on a wall on the street parallel to Owli Street in the Borsa cafe area.
Egyptian protesters lift an obelisk with the names of those killed during last year’s uprising, at a huge rally in Tahrir Square on Jan. 25 marking the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak as a debate raged over whether the rally was a celebration or a second push for change. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)