Ahmed Mohamed, the young inventor, and Malala Yousafzai, the young women rights advocate, both have a story. However, each story has a different narrative and a different ending. Ahmed and Malala are both Muslims and were both victims of ignorance, bigotry and a self-righteous mindset, and they both became household names. Ahmed was a victim …
Notes from America: Killing an Arab! … the tragic journey of Aylan Kurdi
Killing an Arab!
“Standing on the beach
With a gun in my hand
Staring at the sea
Staring at the sand
Staring down the barrel
At the arab on the ground
I can see his open mouth
But I hear no sound…”
The song for the British band “The Cure” was inspired by Albert Camus’s novel “The Stranger” published 1946,sold millions an it caused a lot of controversy because of its title. ”Killing an Arab. However in Camus’s novel, he was dealing with existentialism, and the title “killing An Arab” was taken to reflect emptiness of life after killing a man on an Algerian beach. This how millions around the world felt after they first saw the photo of the Syrian 3 year old boy Aylan’s lifeless tiny body, washed up on the Turkish beach, his red T-shirt, blue shorts with his small shoes still intake on his tiny feet and his face down rested on the sand. Camus’s book tells the story of senseless killing of an Arab on Algerian beach. It explored what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd. Now, ” We all that man, we all guilty in the killing of this young boy found on the Turkish beach, his photo explored our nakedness and emptiness in our lives. This single image has captured our attention and kept millions of people very busy on social media and TV networks. The photo of Aylan has stirred public outrage and embarrassed political leaders as far away as Canada; there, the authorities had rejected an asylum application from the boy’s family, humanity was dead on arrival at the landscape of our ambivalence. The photo was like a drop of pain constantly knocking on the roof of our conscious.
These are, of course, not the first photos of suffering to carry this kind of gripping emotive outrage.
One thinks of Nick Ut’s image from 1972 of a naked nine-year-old girl fleeing from an American napalm attack on her village in Vietnam.
More than 40,000 political prisoners are detained in Egyptian jails as a result of politicizing the justice system.
My nephew, Hassan, has been detained for more than two years–away from his family, friends and familiar places.
Please sign MoveOn petition to release all political prisoners in Egypt.
Notes from America
my special thanks to Egyptian Ambassador
“The control of information is something the elite always do, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people,” explained American writer Tom Clancy.
If information were power, then Google would be the most powerful institution on the planet. No other organisation had changed the way we think, the way we behave, the way we look at authority the way Google has. Not just through its ever-present search engine, but Google is building a series of products that run our lives – like Gmail, Google Maps, Android, Chrome – and now the company is developing products like driverless cars and surgical robots that promise to transform our lives. Information shapes our behaviour, it defines how we should live, and it decreases our uncertainty about our environments to make informed decisions.
No wonder the dictator Al-Sisi shuts down opposition media, criminalising any dissidents in Egypt, leaving only the government narrative and Al-Sisi’s fatwas allowed. “The Internet, an immeasurably powerful computing system, is subsuming most of our other intellectual technologies. It’s becoming our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV,” said Nicolas Carr in his article in The Atlantic.
On my last visit to Egypt, as I landed at the airport I noticed that Egypt has changed. Security were screaming the names of VIPs or travellers who have connections. I went through the check out. “Do you have anything in these bags,” asked the airport security?
“Not really a few gifts and my underwear,” I joked. Go ahead, he ushered me through the gate with a smile. This was the last smile I saw in Egypt throughout my trip. I asked the taxi driver to take me to Tahrir Square.
“For what sir? Nobody goes to Tahrir Square anymore, only Al-Sisi supporters,” he whispered.
Take me there anyway, I requested. I wanted to see the place where the revolution started, where the Egyptian popular uprising that erupted on 25 January resulted in the birth of a nation. The place where millions of Egyptians found out that Egypt is their own country and not Mubarak’s and his family’s.