Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Egyptian Refusenik

Maikel Nabil Sand is an Egyptian activist young man from Upper Egypt , he identifies himself as liberal, secular ,capitalistic,pro-west,pro-Israel, atheist.. anti-mandatory military service in Egypt.Maikel refuses to serve the Egyptian army , his time has come and he had to apply on last 22nd of October but he did not show up and he is ready for the consequences ‘including a trial and jail sentence’
Of course he will not go down without a fight as he launched an international crusade sending emails to international human rights organizations , already he is a political activist so it is not difficult for him to start this crusade. His emails and faxes seemed to catch the attention of the Israeli media and last Sunday we found him speaking in Yediot Ahronot. Of course because this is unusual finding in Egypt , it is translated in English in the Ynet News website. Now his crusade has turned in to a new level , another new level for sure. The Israeli commenters of course are proud and happy that they found someone like Maikel and they even fear on his life from the wrath of the awful Egyptian army especially he is from the Christian minority .. blah blah blah.
First of all no one can deny that there is a debate about the mandatory military service in Egypt just like in all the countries applying this system , especially we are in Peace time and people think that the one year or the three years will make young men lose job opportunities as if there are so many job opportunities in the first place !!  Still all those who are rejecting the military and try to escape it with all possible means “and illegal ones like in the case of Tamer Hosni” are doing it for economic reasons not for political reasons , not for being conscientious objector not to mention for being pro-Israel.
Second of all we do not rally for war against Israel , Maikel speaks as if the Egyptian army was founded for one propose only which is to fight Israel , he speaks as if Israel did not occupy our land twice , I will not go even to discuss this matter because my stand from this case is well known to the whole world as well as his stand. I just want to tell him something this is the Egyptian army that its history goes back to the days of the Ra whom you are proud of. Smearing the army in this way will not make him the hero of opinion and freedom of expression.
Third of all I do not know if he ignores this or what but Israel has got its famous refuseniks movement , who do not want to serve in the IDF because they are really pacifists standing with the Palestinian cause and the two states solution unlike Maikel who justified the war on Gaza.
All those Israelis who praised the stand of Maikel in Egypt in Yediot are the same Israelis who curse the stand of refuseniks in Israel. Of course it is the  vice versa in Egypt, People in Egypt are calling him as fame seeker, traitor , crazy …etc.
Now I would not write this post if it were not for the comments in Shorouk News website , the last thing we need in this sectarian tension in the country is accusation to the other by treason because of people like Maikel Nabil or even that wacko Morris Sadek , it saddened me so much to see people in the month of October forgetting what a man like General Fouad Ghali to Egypt and to the Egyptian army because of Nabil’s interview. We do not need this at all.
By the way Maikel accuses Al Shorouk of changing his Yediot interview presenting it in a biased provoking way in order to make people angry from him . I am sorry but I have read it in English and I do not use how Al Shorouk changed anything. Of course he is accusing the intelligence  of starting its smear campaign against him , in reality the intelligence does not need to start a smear campaign against him , he launched it himself in Egypt with the interview in Yediot Ahronot.
Update : Maikel has sent an angry email to Shorouk news website accusing them of fabricating and changing his interview , he also accused the newspaper of being part of the army's campaign against him


  1. please dont make him a victim or a hero coz thats what he and the israelis want ...

  2. Dear Kareem , if you read the post carefully you will find that I did not make a victim nor a hero on the contrary

  3. Hi Z, you'll like this story: IDF soldiers abusing Gazans. With photos.

  4. Dear Jason I will not allow any fights in my blog or any attempts to start a fight , you have got your blog

  5. As I always said, you can find some true reformers in Egypt, but majority of Egyptians will be humiliating them. It is not the fault of "extremism", "government" or "conspiracy". It has always been the fault of the Egyptians.

    zuzu why you call him a crusader or a christian when he is an atheist? Are you a racist? Course not! Only Atheists and Zionists are allahophobic 8)

  6. Regardless of his views on Israel and the silly son of Ra he has on his blog/website, I support his right to refuse to serve in the army. We arent a country short on numbers and so, I dnt see why we have to have compulsory army service. We deserve to have proper reasons from the army for why we need to keep this system bec other countries have it as well, its a matter of applying a suitable system.

  7. Actually, after checking his blog, he's nothing but an attention seeker. As far as Im concerned, I dnt want someone who doesnt see the value of serving the country to be in the army. Also, its so funny how he posted that Israeli generals have conflicting interests with him bec if Egypt and Syria drops their systems, Israel will also drop her!! He clearly doesnt understand the roots of this system.

  8. hehe, Every single Egyptian-especially those who are in his age group- knows what this kid is all about. It has nothing to do with anti-war or pro-isreal bollocks.

    He is simply a draft dodger. He was unlucky and got conscripted for a 3-year service.. many regard it as an imprisonment sentence but they either run-off or serve it unwillingly only that little fuck made all that fuss and turned it into a human-rights and political thing.

    Probably he wouldn't have any objections if he was to serve somewhere near his hometown but then he found out his service is in a remote place or the desert and he doesn't have connections to transfer him elsewhere so he came up with his 'pacifist' propaganda. Smart, but we can still see right through his lies.

    I am pretty sure if he got conscripted for 1 year-which in reality is about 10 months, we would have never heard of him :D

  9. Ok this kid is a grand stander and isn't worth anyone's time! As for mandatory military service, egypt is not fighting anyone!

    It is a form of indentured servitude to keep a standing army of butlers, drives and construction works on hand!

  10. @Sayed Kotb , you alway amaze me !!

  11. We might disagree on policy and the future direction of our country zeinab, but one needs to call a spade a spade, the army is a horde of domestics and brick layers for fat over fed generals!

  12. I always know that Gamal Mubarak supporters hate the army
    But is not the policies of the regime the one that to be blamed for making the army as you say ??

  13. Well it is an archaic ottoman system, that moved the khaddam/hasham in the early 50's from the mansions of the nobility into the army which became the de facto class of note up until the 90's.

    It is endemic to our culture and needs to be eradicated! Just like we had the privatization of the public sector in 90's, we need to reduce the army down to a few skilled fighting divisions.

    But unlike the 'mewazaf el hekooma' the army has tanks and rocket launchers so our government has always been reticent when acting with a sound economic policy as far as the army is concerned.

  14. Exactly Sayed, using his own argument, since he claims to be a pacifist and will not participate in wars; then what is the reason for that kerfuffle? this isn't the war-crazed U.S army or isreally army declaring new "preemptive" wars every year. It's been more thab 2 decades since the Egyptian army went to war(Gulf war 1) and since his all argument is based on "isreal-right-for-existence" then what's his problem..there;re no wars between Egypt and and even if that changes, the army is very unlikley, if not impossible, to send a a specialist(vet) conscript like him to war.

    Butlers and chaufeurs are reserved for high school grads not university or under-grads and when the army drafts a college graduate for 3-year service, it actually means they need his profession and he will be serving as a vet. That's why the army sometimes exempts an entire graduate year from service because they don't have a need for them.

    He will probably serve in the chivlary or camel-riding forces, tending to animals. He is an idiot to refuse such service, he will be working in his field, gaining very good experience with pay and by end of his service and as a professional officer, he will be eligible for promotion to 1st lietenant PLUS the benefits of being in the army in premium subsidised housing and special discounts when buying a new car. But this idiot rejects all that and prefers to spend the next 3 years looking for jobs on diary farms and as Z already mentioned as if there are many jobs to start with and vets in Egypt are a dime a dozen.

    If you ask me, he's arrogant and stupid in refusing such an opportunity and his whole argument is just as stupid.. the army shouldn't allow him to serve anymore, he doesn't deserveit. Let him waste his life writing a meaningless blog and get his 15-minutes of fame on zionist media.. couple of years from today he will banging his head in the wall.

  15. Zenobia , thanks for the reply , i really didnt mean you or your article , i was talking about the media and people in general .

    im afraid they start talking about him on TVs and then he make a victim of himself .

  16. FROM: www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3974091,00.html

    "Recruitment goes against my conscience. I don't want to act against my conscience, whatever the price. I also am not willing to be a pawn on the chessboard of an arms race, struggles and bloodbaths in the region. I don't want to point a weapon at a young Israeli, recruited into obligatory service, defending his state's right to exist. I think obligatory service is a form of slavery and I have worked for years for my freedom."

    After stating this he goes on to say that he blames Palestinians for conflict and feels for the Israeli soldier - I mean I am not negating his right to conscientiously object (to anything really) but you object ARMY RECRUITMENT yet sympathize with one of the most highly militarized society's in the world? Bit off his knocker in my opinion (and strikes me as an attention seeker)... Not saying you can't disagree with Egypt's draft policy, but at the same time you can't say you disagree with it due to your pacifist nature and then support a state that drafts all males and females to the army for 3 years and jails those who do not...

  17. @Zeinobia, If both of the president's sons did not serve in the military, why anybody would blame him for not wanting to serve in there?
    The sad part is that he describes himself as a pacifist and at the same time he is pro Israel and blames Arabs and Palestinians for provoking the Zionist entity and forcing them to fight!!!

  18. I think he wants to serve in the zionist army. I hear they have great au naturel parties by the pool, maybe that's his incentive

  19. He sounds like a hippie, hashish must be really cheap in Assiyut

    Hazem, both those pricks have dual nationalities- their mum being half-British and according to the constitties, they are exempt from military service. Similarly, as dual-passports holders they are not entitled to run for certain gov offices- one being the Presidential office but no one ever mentions this fact! Elbaradei on the other hand is a Swede of course..as we all know :D

  20. @ Anon: apparently they have permanent entry not citizenship. El Baradie doesnt have any other nationalities, except for NDP fools who have imagined a Swiss passport that doesnt exist :D

  21. Dear Zainab
    As usual, I truly thank you for your covering of the story, reading the text in Ynet and the translated one at Al-Shorouk.
    I was amazed with his accusations regarding my translation of his interview, and more with his putting the links of the Hebrew and English text on Ynet News cause I felt like he didn't really read them!

    His allegations are mere attention seeking and nothing more, when they wanted me here at Al-Shorouk to reply on his angry statements, I only wanted to copy the English text of the interview of Ynet and paste it without further words!

    Actually now, I regret translating such interview about such a sick person, I only wanted to do my job, and the only thing I added to the translation was the exclamation mark!

    Anyhow, thanks again about your objective view.

  22. Dear Malaka , please do not thank me , it is you whom we should thank you for exposing him , his reaction was another proof on what he really wants : Attention
    We all read the original articles even in Hebrew and we know that this is what he had said.
    Thank you again :)


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