Egyptian Chronicles: Welcome to the real life 1984

Monday, November 10, 2014

Welcome to the real life 1984

Earlier today the ministry of interior distributed a press release on Egyptian newspapers and websites like Al-Masry Al-Youm , Dot Misr , Sada El-Balad and Masrawy. According to that press release a Cairo University student was arrested outside it by security forces carrying a bag and the following seizures were officially documented : A notebook includes paragraphs about the Islamic Caliphate , two mobile phones without batteries, flash drives , hard drives , memory cards and "1984" novel which criticizes the military regimes.

Yes this was what mentioned in the official seizures report and this is how the novel was described along the notebook with paragraphs about the Islamic Caliphate allegedly praising it.

The news was among the top read today in Egypt thanks to Al-Masry Al-Youm website. It had to because the headline of the news was " A student got arrested because the possession of 1984". Al-Masry Al-Youm changed the headline later.

Mada Masr's Mai Shams El-Din called the head of Giza security directorate who denied that the student was arrested because he got the novel "which the police general ignores and actually I am not surprised that he did not know it or know George Orwell or the notebook". The police general also added that the student was arrested after filming the security forces at Cairo University "CU". It is worth to mention that the CU witnessed two attacks against security forces in the same location using handmade bombs.

It is worth to mention that the official seizures report issued by the ministry of interior early Sunday did not include any camera and it stated the two mobiles reportedly found with the student got no batteries.

Officially I have not seen a statement about the reason behind the arrest aside from that phone call my dear friend Mai made to the Giza security directorate. Also I wish there is attention to the student himself like the attention to Orwell's masterpiece.

The Pro-Police/Pro-Military attacked Al-Masry Al-Youm accusing it of fabricating the news despite other websites including cheap Pro-Police websites like Sada El-Balad copied the ministry of interior's statement making no change what so ever to it. They also claimed that the police in Egypt would not arrest people for trivial stuff such as carrying books like 1984.

Well I hate to remind them that the police in Egypt actually arrest people for trivial stuff like pins, rulers, posters , t-shirts and even teddy bears. The examples are many yet here are some of them to refresh the memory of my fellow Egyptians :

  • Mahmoud Mohamed, a student who has been in detention for nearly 11 months because he was wearing on the last anniversary of the 25 January a t-shirt that says "Against torture"
  • Sarah Khaled , the faculty of dentistry student "Future University" who was arrested , detained , beaten in detention and then released after appealing against 2 years in jail sentence because she was wearing a Raba'a pin in her veil.
  • That young school student who was arrested for having a Raba'a ruler.
  • A group of Non-Islamist Pro-25 January revolution activists who were arrested while sitting at a Cafe in downtown Cairo and according to their official seizures report they had a Che Guevara poster
  • From a week ago a student at Al-Azhar University was arrested for carrying a teddy bear with Raba'a sign.
Anyhow I really thank the ministry of interior because now " 1984 novel"is most searched words in Egypt today according to the Google trends.

People are sharing it online whether the English version or the Arabic version or the film.

Needless to see I look to Egypt now as mix of Animal Farm and 1984. Of course now it is leaning towards 1984 more and more especially when it comes to the media. Facts are being changed in front of us , facts we have all lived.

Anyhow this is a regime that arrests people for wearing pins , t-shirts and carrying rulers with signs so I won't be surprised that people get arrested later for carrying books like 1984 or Animal farm.

 

6 comments :

  1. Just a thought: why would you think that a police officer, let alone an Egyptian one, should know about Orwell's 1984? I bet if you ask an American or British officer if he is aware of the novel, he would be baffled.
    Let's not exaggerate our expectations.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Under the new authoritarian junta of Thailand, individuals have encountered problems with police, the military, and other advocates of fascism due to having the 1984 book, for using a three finger salute from the Hunger Games series, and even for consuming sandwichs (came to be associated with coded political dissent).

    There are notable parallels between the ludicrous political scene of both countries.

    A look at them:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/thailand/11090565/Sandwich-eating-and-1984-8-things-that-can-get-you-arrested-in-Thailand.html

    Trouble is, Egypt lacks as powerful, will financed, and cohesive an opposition as Thailand has. Various iterations of the red shirts have swept to ever growing majorities in every single free election that has been held in Thailand. Once the junta meets its forlorn and inevitable end, they will do so again.


    Some political "leaders" desperately need to learn that this is the 21st century.

    A government which lives in fear of works like 1984 has trouble hiding what it secretly knows to the obvious truth.

    Supporters of fascism might as well remove all keys from their keyboards except for "M and "B." To them, the answer to everything is the MB, the MB causes everything, and almost everyone is a member of that organization. Many of them probably even believe that either George Orwell was a secret Muslim and a covert supporter of the MB or that his name was an alias for a real MB member.

    Kind of like how South American dictators accused Christian Democrats opponents of being Communists and claimed that only communists could possibly oppose their often civil war and genocide inducing regimes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You and Hamid Yousef: STOP ! STOP! STOP !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too bad for you that you support the failing system of one-man rule. You made the choice to support it, so don't blame Zeinobia or anyone else. Enjoy as your dreams crumbles away :)

      Do not stop. Move forward.

      Delete
  4. Good article, Zeinobia.

    I've not encountered Mada Masr before. A little left for my taste but a new source of Egyptian news in English is always welcome.

    Orange Ketchup, here's your link all dressed up and ready to party

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/thailand/11090565/Sandwich-eating-and-1984-8-things-that-can-get-you-arrested-in-Thailand.html,

    and here's how to do it.

    Azza Radwan Sedky, The word "Orwellian" is in common usage by most people including cops, I think. The books Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm are frequently on assigned reading lists in American high schools.

    Anyone seen Hamdy Youssef lately? He's probably run off to join ISIS and fight for a global Caliphate. Keep your eye out for drones, Hamdy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1984 is a dangerous book because it has a "brother" in it. It describes an absence of love and truth in a future world. A world where it is dangerous to be a human. A world where the leader watches everyone and his face projects out everywhere and at all times. Egyptian police should arrest this book and imprison it whenever they find it. The book should prosecuted severely and anyone reading it.

    ReplyDelete

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