Monday, December 29, 2008

The Other Gaza

This post is not about the brutality of Israel. It's also not about the irresponsible acts of Hamas. It's not about the civilians killed here and there. It's not about Gaza, nor Palestine.

The Other Gaza
It's about the other Gaza, the one that lives everywhere here in the Arab world. It's about the governments who use the existence of Israel at our borders as an excuse for the lack of democracy and human rights. It's not the right time for democracy new, can't you see that we've been busy in the last fifty years fighting Israel and we have no time to think about democracy nor development now. It's about the media that loves the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that offers them daily content for free. It's about song writers and movie makers who make living by writing songs and shooting films about the conflict.

Abdel Nasser
In the early fifties and sixties, the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser used the conflict to reach the hearts and minds of the people here in Egypt and in the whole Arab world as well. The Egyptian influence and Soft Power on all Arabs was at its best then. The wholes Arabs use to admire and look up to Egypt as leader country in the region, thanks to our media then, and for sure thanks to Abdel Nasser's speeches that made the best use of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. People across the whole Arab world loved Abdel Nasser and Egypt, although we lost the six days war in 1967, and a significant parts of our countries were occupied.

The following president of Egypt, Anwar El Sadat, fought in 1973 to liberate our occupied land, and he succeeded in getting it back. But he was not as skilled as Abdel Nasser in the Palestinian-Israeli Game. He wasn't skilled in giving speeches to attack Israel in the media day and night in order to appear as a national hero. He knew how to deal with USA and Israel, and failed to deal with his neighbors. And Egypt lost it's leader role then, becuase it focused more on getting its rights back without paying attention to the media game that captures people's minds.

The Media Game
And since then, people everywhere started learning how to play this game. Saudis, Libyans, Sudanese, Moroccans, etc. They all learned how to play that game very well. Even someone like Saddam Hussein was considered as a brave hero by some Arabs only because he cursed Israel once or twice. They all knew that "Israel is the opium of the people". Political leaders learned very well that they are not supposed to focus on solving the conflict, getting the Palestinian rights back, or even show the whole world that we are deprived from our rights. The knew that it is useless to focus on such stuff. All they have to do is to give speeches and portray themselves as heroes and the ones who are sympathizing more with the Palestinians. And be all here, I mean everybody, including Egypt. We all stopped caring about solving the problem and now we are caring more to show everybody that we care about solving the problem.

Some nations now know how to play the game well, while other like Egypt for example are not that good in it nowadays. And though they all are useless and do not offer any real help to the Palestinians, the ones who are skilled less in the media game now, are the ones who are being blamed the most.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kinky Gifts

As you know, there are plenty of useless and sometimes pervert applications on Facebook. And lately, I've received an invitation to an application called "Kinky Gifts". And the problem here is that the one who sent me the invitation is an eight years old relative!

People may argue that it is not Facebook's fault, as they made it clear in their "Terms of Use" that users must be at least thirteen years old.
This Site is intended solely for users who are thirteen (13) years of age or older, and users of the Site under 18 who are currently in high school or college. Any registration by, use of or access to the Site by anyone under 13, or by anyone who is under 18 and not in high school or college, is unauthorized, unlicensed and in violation of these Terms of Use.
But to tell you the truth, no one ever reads those terms of use stuff. And even if they did, do you think it is appropriate for a thirteen years old child to deal with an application like this one.

As you can see, today's technologist aren't stoppable, and if they are now reshaping our present, they are also reshaping the future of our children. Parents now prefer to give their children mobile phones in order to keep an eye on them and know where they are, but it is a double-edged weapon. As on the other hand, mobile phones are giving children a private communication channel with the outside world. It's normal now to see some kids sharing x-rated clips on their mobile phones, or having an intimate conversation with the girl next door.

When we were teens, pornography was so dear and not easy to acquire, but now in the internet age it is few clicks far from today's teens, and children as well.

I think it is really risky for children to be exposed to such stuff in such young age.
"From birth, humans have instinctual sexual appetites (libido) which unfold in a series of stages. Each stage is characterized by the erogenous zone that is the source of the libidinal drive during that stage. These stages are, in order: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. Freud believed that if, during any stage, the child experienced anxiety in relation to that drive, that themes related to this stage would persist into adulthood as neurosis", Sigmund Freud, Psychosexual development.
Terms like "Girlfriend" and "Boyfriend", weren't very common in our society few years ago. I cannot recall seeing any of my classmates having a girlfriend. Later on, it started to be normal to see couples in classrooms, and now I think it is even common in primary schools. In today's world the internet and satellite channels are affecting people everywhere, and children here in Egypt who watch western sitcoms like Friends, Coupling, etc, and chat with people across the ocean who have girlfriends are influenced by their culture, and the effect is spreading more along with the spread of new means of communication. In the western world, it is common for people to have premarital sex, and we have to expect this to being exported to our society soon, unless it is already here. I am not sure how the future here will look like, but I am sure that we are now living in a hybrid society. We are now in the middle of a transitional state, where only the cons of each society are available.

I am now stating this to say that the internet is evil, I am against brute-force actions, and against those who suggest that governments shall control the internet. Let's agree that new technologies are not stoppable, and those who are willing to stop or ban it are in fact harming their own selves. I think what we need here is to give parents more control, they need to be educated more in order to know how to deal with their children in such era as well as to know how to deal with those new technologies. They also need to have more tools to help them monitor and control their children activities. Also sites like facebook have to be smarter, because such dumb policies that either allow or deny people based on their age will encourage more kids to lie about their age. They were supposed to allow those children to create an account there regardless of their age, because we cannot deny how appealing it is to them, but on the other hand they were supposed to have some application rating mechanism in order to keep those rated applications our of the reach of those children.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Interview with Obama

This is the first interview with Mr. Barack Obama after the US Elections:

Me: Congratulations.
Obama: Thank you.

Me: Can you describe your feelings now?
Obama: First of all, I'd like to thank Allah ... ehm ... God, for this victory, and I want to thank all the voters who lined-up under the rain to vote for me.

Me: As you know, people here in the Arab world are building hopes on you - may be because your middle name or even your tan - to solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem.
Obama: Well, it is not a secret that I am pro Islamists and Arabs. But on the other hand I am a fair person who's looking for the best solution for everybody. Also if I stopped supporting Israel, the media here will attack me 24x7. Anyway, I believe that the reason why the Middle-East problem was not solved during the past 50 years or more, is that we were biased somehow to the Israelis. That's why I'll do my best to treat the two parties equally and will not be biased to one side or the other.

Me: What are your plans for the current financial crisis?
Obama: To tell you the truth, after this crisis I lost faith in our economical and financial experts and their theories about credit default swap and such crap, and I think I will fire them all, and hire some Muslim Clerics from Saudi, Kuwait and Egypt in order to help us fixing it.

Me: Clerics!?
Obama: I know, it may sound a bit strange, but let's be frank. Those guys appear on TV and keep talking about the crisis more than our own experts. They seem to be really confident that the only way to fix this crisis is by applying the Islamic Sharia. So, why waste our time and money on those experts, while there are some others who know nothing about economy and yet can offer solutions to our problems.

Me: Mr. Obama, are you an Ahly or Zamalek fan?
Obama: I used to be a Zamalek fan since I was kid, but in the last few years I was really busy with the whole election thing and I don't think I've watched any football matches in the last 4 years.

Me: Mr. Obama, thanks a lot for your time, and one final word for our readers.
Obama: I am a big fan of "Not Green Data", and would really like to meet all NGD readers in person one day. So please accept my warmest wishes for you and your families.

PS. This interview is fake :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Egyptian Evil Empires

Few days ago, bMighty magazine published a list of the technology companies whom it considered to be Evil Empires. According to the magazine, an Evil Empire is:
"Companies so powerful, so arrogant, and so nasty that they spark intense, emotional reactions".

So, I decided here to publish a similar list for the Egyptian Evil Empires. They can be companies, parties, or even sports clubs.

1. NDP - National Democratic Party

Some will say the party is really evil, and some will not. But at the end of the day no one can deny how this party is dominating the political scene in the country. The ministers, governors, members of the parliament, and even business tycoons, all belong to the party. And on the other hand no one can even tell the names of the other political parties in Egypt, the NDP has succeeded in turning all competing parties into clowns.

2. Al-Ahly Sporting Club

There is a famous saying here in Egypt, that no one is more powerful than the National Democratic Party except Al-Ahly. I think enough is said here.

3. Microbus Drivers

Those are the real masters of the Egyptian streets. No rules can stop them. No car drives can beat are be safe from them.

4. Al-Ahram Newspaper

Al-Ahram newspaper is the most important media outlet in the country. In fact it is more than a newspaper, it has it's own Advertisement agency, printing facilities, dozens of magazines and subsidiaries. If some news is not published there, then it has never happened. But I think now they are losing ground to new media such as Satellite Channels, Blogs, and Independent Newspapers.

5. Egyptian Tycoons

I think we cannot write such list without mentioning businessmen such as Zeinobia's Chucky, et al. who happened to be members of the NDP by the way.

Please feel free to share your own "Egyptian Evil Empires" list with us.

Laila's Survey

It seems that my previous post was more suitable for my recycle bin more than my blog. It's the third year in row and it seems that no one listens and I really cannot understand what are Laila's main issues and problems. She is still screaming in her own language and refuses to speak to me in my language.

But wait a minute, there is one really good thing is this year's campaign, which is the survey the organizers have published on "KL" site. They are in fact two surveys, one for men and the other one for women. I am really excited to see the results of those surveys. It's really nice that the surveys are in Arabic and English as well, as it is really good to know how foreigners and non-Arabic speakers think, and may be compare their answers with the Arab and Egyptian readers.

Laila day - Survey for men.

Laila day - Survey for women.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Laila, and Big Wave Surfing

After one day or even less, Egyptian female bloggers will celebrate the third anniversary of their "Kolena Laila" campaign. The campaign is intended to let the Egyptian Bloggeresses, speak out and discuss their own social problems as Middle Eastern females. But frankly, during the past years, the Egyptian bloggeresses decided to Scream Out instead, and it was hard - at least for me - to really understand what is their problem or what women really want.

Anyway, I may try to write a separate post about the campaign later on, but what I want to discuss here is the Screaming phenomenon in the Egyptian Blogosphere. It all starts when some natural incidents (Doweika Rock Slide, Egyptian Parliamental Fire), or artificial ones (Kelena Laila) happens, then every blogger here finds himself obligated to write about the incident. Now, we have two questions looking for answers.

Why are we obligated to write about those incedents? And why are we also obligated to write about them as soon as possible?

Let's agree first that we all want our blogs to be read. We may write there for fame, money, or for our beliefs and ideas to be spread. So, regardless of our blogging motive, we do want our posts to be read, and we love to see new visitors coming to our blogs everyday. Yes, we have higher degree of freedom compared to newspapers, and TV channels. We are not enslaved our readers like them and we are free to write whatever we want. Also our readers on the other hand, have higher degree of freedom too. They have all the blog posts in the world for free, and just one click far away. So, they can read my blog today, and then yours tomorrow, and back to mine few days later. They can even add my blog to their News Reader even if they don't really like it that much, because at the end of the day, doing so will not cost them anything.

Now to understand the effect of incidents like Kolena Laila on the blogosphere, let's first have a look on one sport that I always wanted to play, which is big wave surfing. In big wave surfing people rely on waves to move their surfing boards. And by analogy, bloggers also rely on incidents happening in their society to move their blogs' rank up and get more readers. Just wait till the 19th of October and you will be surprised by the number of people searching Google for blogs about Laila, et al. And if you do not write a posts before or even during that Laila wave, the wave will miss you. It's not only search engines, even those who will choose to ride the wave will also look for fresh posts about the same subject to refer to in their posts, so be prepared and have your blog ready to be found. Also in Blog Aggregators like Omraneya, people will be hit by zillions of posts talking about the same subject, and their minds will then be programmed to filter any subjects other than these ones.

So, in brief, my answer is: Yes, you are obligated to write about incidents whenever they happen.

Are we supposed to just write, or shall we think twice about what to be written?

Now, let's see if we can just write anything in order to catch the big wave. If you decided to just scratch on your keyboard and write some nonsense with that day's buzzword in between, people will sure find your post easily by searching in Google, but none of them will save it to his/her blog aggregator, none of them will bookmark it in delicious, or virally send it to a friend. So, it's obvious that you shall think twice about what to be written.

But unfortunately most of us as bloggers - including me for sure - decide to just write. Have a look at last year's Laila's campaign, and you will see that most of the females were just moaning and screaming sometimes, but none of them decided to stop and ask herself if we really can translate her moans and scream to real rants or issues that people can really understand and work on.

Finally ...

Finally, as you can see it is really important sometimes to ride the big wave, but limiting the Egyptian blogosphere to this reactive tidal nature, and also limiting our reactions to just screams and moans, are killing the blogosphere.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Take your McCain & give me my SMSs

Dear Twitter,

I know you may think I am insane, or you may consider me a modern-age caveman. But you know what, I am not interested in the United States presidential elections news. I know it's not only you, it's you, Google, Yahoo, and the rest of the gang. You all are are haunting me with endless news about Obama and McCain - I've just Googled McCain's name now as I wasn't sure how to spell it.

May be it's not your fault anyway, may be it's just us in this part of the world who are not used to that thing called presidential elections. You know what, we are just smarter than you, we do not waste our time on money on such nonsense. And yet we had already experienced colored presidents, Turkish kings, Pharaohs, Arabs, Albanians, Romans, Persians, and even immortal humans ages before you. That's why having colored candidate or female one was really new and exciting topic for you to talk about, but for us it's nothing but boring news. We are smarter than you because your Republican Party's vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palins email was hacked, while we on the other knew that something like this may happen to us ages ago, so we decided not to have a vice president at all.

Also limiting your president to 4 or 8 years only is not fair to both of us. Come on, aren't you going to miss Mr. Bush. This guy is really funny, he makes me laugh anytime he appears on TV. He has his own spontaneous unintended sense of humor, and he even inspired your film makers to produce movies and cartoon characters like Lil' Bush. He's like a real Mr. Bean for god's sake. I really can't believe you are going to replace him with one of those boring guys.

I know you are busy now fixing your XMPP Gateway and some of your scalability issues. So I'll try to make it brief. Please from now on try not to bother me with those presidential elections news, and if you are really my friend, can you serve SMS's back to my country instead, this is what we care about more.

Best Regards.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mice & Clerics

You sure have heard about that Saudi Cleric - Sheikh Muhammad Munjid - who stated that mice are the legions of Satan, and that all mice must die including Mickey Mouse. But wait a minute, let's first agree that nobody on earth is that stupid, and for sure this is not what the Saudi Cleric meant in the religious affairs program broadcasted on Al-Majd TV. I think what he meant was that according to Islam mice are malicious creatures and they must be killed, however the media nowadays succeeded in altering children's minds as they now love characters like Mickey Mouse which in fact is a mouse.

We now hove to answer many questions such as: Why on earth does someone talk about mice and whether they are legions of Satan or not? Aren't there any other important subjects to be discussed in such TV program except those Mickey Mouse matters? Why did the media focus on Al Munjid's speech, and at the end of the day he is just one cleric among thousands or may be millions of Islamic clerics?

First of all, I believe that such kind of Fatwas - Islamic Verdicts - are the product of a much older historic problem. Let's first agree that Islamic rules are mainly based on the Holy Quraan and Ahadith - Statements or Actions of The Prophet Muhammad Peace be Upon Him. And while the Holy Quraan was written during the Prophets life, the Ahadith were narrated and transfered from one mouth to another till they were written about 300 years later. And due to this many of the Ahadith are not that Authentic and to filter the Ahadith a dedicated Islamic Science has emerged which is responsible for studying the Ahadith and those who narrated them in order to tell the valid ones from the invalid ones. Now the problem started when some clerics decided that the Ahadith gatherd in one or two books are all authentic and no one is allowed to further investigate in their authenticity of the Ahadith written there. Also we need to know that the Prophet Muhammad Peace be Upon Him, beside being the messenger of God to humanity he was also a political leader and some of his statements were for the sake of community he lived in. And we can simply guess - I cannot tell by the way whether this Hadith is authentic or not - that such statement for example was meant to warn the people alive then from the harms and microbes rats and mice can transfer when they exist in their homes, and as you know Arabs then were not civilized enough, and even though people nowadays are aware of microbes transfered by mice for example, Arabs then were in need of such statements and such kind of awareness. So now the problem is that some of today's clerics may blindly repeat 1500 years old statements out of their original context.

One other problem here is conspiracy theories that are haunting people living in this part of the world. Through out this video it is clear that Al-Munjid is accusing the western media of affecting Muslim children's minds. As if Walt Disney was really aware of every single Hadith and decided to base his cartoon character on mice on purpose to alter Muslim children's beliefs tens of years later. Come on, conspiracy theories may exist but relating every single incident in our lives to them will turn us into the main target of the whole world's jokes.

Finally, Social Media and site like YouTube gave the individuals the appropriate tools to spread such kind of news easily. Few years ago nobody would have cared or reported a statement of a Saudi cleric on an obscure TV channel about Mickey Mouse like now. But now it's easier for such clips to be spread online. And I can imagine a Shiite Blogger in Kuwait or Iran for example writing about such cleric, for him it is a good chance to make fun of the foolishness of Sunni clerics. It's also a good chance for an Egyptian Sunni blogger to make fun of Wahabis or an American writer to make fun of Arabs and their stupidity. What I want to say here is that during the pre-internet era, the selection of published news were based on organizations and governments intentions, while now individuals intentions are a major component of the media game. And those individuals are capable of spreading such kind of news that used to remain in the shadow earlier. And guess what, sometimes those individuals now can even affect the publishing decisions of the major news outlets.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Possible USSA

It seems that the United States of America has got an extra "S" in its name to become the United Socialist States of America. You sure have heard about the major American insurance corporation AIG's (American International Group, Inc) financial problems and expected bankruptcy. And on Tuesday night, the Fed decided to lend AIG $85 billion, and the U.S. government will effectively get a 79.9% equity stake in the insurer. The loan is secured by AIG's assets, including its profitable insurance businesses, giving the Fed some protection even if markets continue to sink. And if AIG rebounds, taxpayers could reap a big profit through the government's equity stake.
The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday, with the full support of the Treasury Department, authorized the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to lend up to $85 billion to the American International Group (AIG) under section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. The secured loan has terms and conditions designed to protect the interests of the U.S. government and taxpayers.
The Board determined that, in current circumstances, a disorderly failure of AIG could add to already significant levels of financial market fragility and lead to substantially higher borrowing costs, reduced household wealth, and materially weaker economic performance.
The purpose of this liquidity facility is to assist AIG in meeting its obligations as they come due. This loan will facilitate a process under which AIG will sell certain of its businesses in an orderly manner, with the least possible disruption to the overall economy.
Source: Federal Reserve Board - Press Release
It's clear that the US government is doing this in order to save their own economy, especially that AIG is considered, according to the 2008 Forbes Global 2000 list, the 18th-largest company in the world. And It's a major component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since April 8, 2004 [Wikipedia]. But what makes them that sure that the bailout is the optimum solution for this.
Like nearly all conservatives, I'm not happy with government bailouts in principle, but I'm afraid that the deal the Fed made to lend AIG $85 billion in exchange for an 80% stake in the company was necessary and prudent. The ripple effects of an AIG bankruptcy would have been enormous.
Source: Power Line Blog.
Anyway, all this makes me wonder, is the Insurance giant being Nationalized!?
My first reaction to hearing the news about AIG: what makes government officials think that they can run an insurance company efficiently? This may help short term, but what will happen over the long term? And what type of signal does this send to capital markets (not a pretty one, if the current stock market decline -300 points is any indication). Lastly, what type of signal does this send regarding government bailouts?
Source: Market Power Blog.
But some other bloggers don't see it the same way:
Is it a bailout? Is it a takeover? To me it looks more like bankruptcy by another name. Effectively it gives AIG some time to sell a lot of its assets--more than just the junk--and reorganize itself. In the meantime, its creditors will be made whole. Equity holders may properly bear some of the cost as the government has veto power over dividends. At the end of the 24 month period...hopefully...the company, in whatever form it takes, can resume something approaching normalcy. Assuming, of course, that it has any reputation left. Perhaps sometime during or after that 24 months a suitable buyer can be found. These are questions that no one can answer now.
Also many Bloggers and Blog Readers were debating if the American taxpayers should pay the bills for AIG executives faults.
AIG has no one to blame except themselves for this matter. The Board of Directors and the Executive Officers should be held accountable for their mistakes in this company. The American taxpayers should not have to foot any bill regarding this company, nor should banks take a risk to lend them money to keep them solvent
Source: Richard @ Blogging Stocks.
Any CEO that puts a business in that kind of debt not only needs to be fired but put in jail. The idea of paying a criminal ceo millions of dollars for destroying a business revolts me. They should have to pay back every cent they earned and the money should go into the pension plans for the employees they screwed.
Source: Rob @ Blogging Stocks.
The US has to let these useless corrupt institutions die take the pain and move on if you want a decent future for your kids. This present US government is the most fucked up corrupt bunch in a century led by a clueless idiot who´s only solution to anything is to bomb the shit out of 3rd world countries. Wake up people its payback time.
Source: Anonymous @ Bonddad Blog.
CDS (Credit Default Swaps) are considered the main reason for the collapse of AIG.
The firm’s sickly financial health was a prominent topic in weekend talks among Wall Street chieftains who gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to discuss the potential collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers. A.I.G. had become one of the biggest underwriters of complex debt securities known credit default swaps, used as insurance for a wide range of products, including the mortgage instruments that have been the bane of Wall Street for the last year and a half.
Source: The New York Times.
And Blogging Stocks wrote about AIG/CDS too.
As I posted yesterday, the reason AIG got into such a mess is that it owed $14.5 billion in Credit Default Swap (CDS) premiums. "[CDSs] pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a country or company fail to adhere to its debt agreements," according to Bloomberg News.
Source: Blogging Stocks.
But, what is Credit Default Swaps, and why did some financial experts expected it to be the next crisis a while ago.
Credit default swaps are insurance-like contracts that promise to cover losses on certain securities in the event of a default. They typically apply to municipal bonds, corporate debt and mortgage securities and are sold by banks, hedge funds and others. The buyer of the credit default insurance pays premiums over a period of time in return for peace of mind, knowing that losses will be covered if a default happens. It's supposed to work similarly to someone taking out home insurance to protect against losses from fire and theft.
Except that it doesn't. Banks and insurance companies are regulated; the credit swaps market is not. As a result, contracts can be traded — or swapped — from investor to investor without anyone overseeing the trades to ensure the buyer has the resources to cover the losses if the security defaults. The instruments can be bought and sold from both ends — the insured and the insurer.
Credit default swaps were seen as easy money for banks when they were first launched more than a decade ago. Reason? The economy was booming and corporate defaults were few back then, making the swaps a low-risk way to collect premiums and earn extra cash. The swaps focused primarily on municipal bonds and corporate debt in the 1990s, not on structured finance securities. Investors flocked to the swaps in the belief that big corporations would seldom go bust in such flourishing economic times.
But as the economy soured and the subprime credit crunch began expanding into other credit areas over the past year, CDS investors became jittery. They wondered if the parties holding the CDS insurance after multiple trades would have the financial wherewithal to pay up in the event of mass defaults. "In the past six to eight months, there's been a deterioration in market liquidity and the ability to get willing buyers for structured finance securities," causing the values of the securities to fall, said Glenn Arden, a partner at Jones Day who heads up the firm's worldwide securitization practice and New York derivative.
Source: Time - Business & Tech.
Finally, to tell you a secret, the main reason that made me write all this is that I was lost in all those financial terms I came across while reading about this issue. So I tried to gather all those posts along with the possible explanation of the financial and business jargon used in them in order understand what those guys are talking about here :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Muslim Massacre

Today's gaming consoles such as Playstation, Wii and XBox along with skilled game developers make use of the latest trends in computer graphics to come out with eye-candy and fun to play games. But wait a moment, what about those developers who are only skilled enough to create lame games with poor graphics that gives you the feeling of a twenty years old obscure game.

In fact, these guys only have two choices. They can shoot themselves dead, or give their tasteless games a controversial name such as "Muslim Massacre", and a mission to kill as many Muslims as you can including Allah Almighty. And instead of creating a respected piece of code, they can create a controversial piece of sh*t that is capable enough of attracting the media and like-minded gamers.

Here we go again, one more member of the chain reaction that started with those famous Danish Cartoons. But let me ask you, why do we really care!? Come on, how many one of you have ever heard about this computer game before!?

The issue here is not the game itself, it's that endless chain reaction that really scares me. The media, circumstances and fundamental Wahabis deeds started it a while ago, and they all succeeded in brainwashing peoples minds and created that evil Muslim stereotype in their minds. Then people like the Danish Cartoonists and this Computer Games Developer started to reproduce this stereotype and feed it back to the media and people around them. And frankly I can't tell how this endless loop will end. In fact some reasonable newspapers and TV channels in the west started to exert some efforts in order to stop all this, but it's now like an imp, once you get it out of its bottle, it's really hard to get it back there again.

Some people out there, even non Muslims, believe that there must be some regulations in the Internet, and even in this very case, some people are calling for the game to be banned and taken offline. But on contrary, I believe in the free Internet and the new Social User Generated Media. In fact, our only way to break those awful stereotypes is to make out voice heard. Many people here for example used to believe that Indians put on those ancient Maharaja clothes and use elephants for transportation and they also believed that people in central Africa live on trees in the forests and know nothing about modern technology, but now after today's communications evolution, it's only retarded people who still have such beliefs. I remember ten years ago that I met many ones from USA and Europe who used to believe that we live here in Egypt in tents and use camels for transportation. But I am sure that such image has gone now, and hope that the evil Muslims stereotype will vanish soon too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Love Battery

A friend of mine wanted to have her own blog, but she was afraid that people may not like what she writes. So we had a deal to publish one of her posts here and see people's reaction on it.
"I read an article that says that love is caused by some brain signals which gives us this feeling.
And a scientist discovers that these signals have a life time of 3 years. After that your love battery will be empty, and they still can’t find a way to charge it again.
But that made me wonder is it always 3 years. I can believe that 3 years issue these days, but I don’t think that was it in the last century. If so, why we had a movie like The Seven Year Itch?
Was it 7 years before? If so what happened to our batteries. Why it keeps running out of time!?", Toomy

Friday, August 1, 2008

Messy Design

Is it only me, or do you also think that Facebook and Delicios' new design are messy and crowded!? Is it the new hype of Web2.0 sites to be ugly and messy!? Come on, adding as many links as you can in people's home page isn't always the best way to make their life easier!

I still appreciate Jaiku and Twitter's minimal design pattern. Google became my browser's home page instead of Yahoo, a long time ago, just because it's lighter and cleaner, and not because I believe that Google is a better search engine than Yahoo.

Just remember that sometimes less is really more, and more is a real mess.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What About Our Kids!?

Excuse me, I decided earlier not to post any technical stuff here in this blog. But the video above made me wonder, is there any chance to find 12 or even 22 years old kids here in Egypt like that one!?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Lebanese Crisis and The Media

You sure have heard about what was going on in Lebanon, when the government there wanted to get rid of Hizbullah's communication system, and the Hizb's response by seizing control over the streets of Beirut and its airport. Anyway, I am not going to talk about the Lebanese crisis here, since thousands of articles were written about this subject everywhere here in the Middle East during the previous month. What I want to shed some lights on, is how the Media here dealt with this issue.

Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya News Channels

Let's face it, these two channels are considers the only two news channels in the region. Some people may follow channels like Al-Hurra, BBC-Arabia, Nile News, etc. But still Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya are the two major key players here.

They both have their own Web Sites as well, but for me, following Al-Arabiya's site is much easier than Al-Jazeera because of their News Feed service.

Let's first focus on Al-Arabiya. Al-Arabiys is owned by Saudi Businessmen, and as you know Al-Hariri family have strong relations with the Saudis. And that's why Al-Arabia was biased towards Saad Al-Hariri and the rest of "14th of March" coalition.
"In 1978 Hariri was made a citizen of Saudi Arabia by the Saudi royal family as a reward for the high quality of his entrepreneurial services, and became the kingdom's emissary to Lebanon", Wikipedia.
"After his father's assassination and the Cedar Revolution, Saad Hariri returned to Lebanon and took up his father's political path rallying behind him the biggest political movement in Lebanon. He ran for the Lebanese parliament on an anti-Syrian coalition, working for the sovereignty, independence and freedom of Lebanon as part of the 14 March coalition. Like his father before him and he favors negotiations to disarm Hezbullah, withdrawal of Israel's military forces from Shebaa Farms, and has become resistant to Syria's longstanding influence in Lebanon", Wikipedia.
Al-Arabiya's headlines during the crises were mainly against Hizbullah's. They sometimes portrayed the Hizb's act as a Coup D'etat in order to overthrow the legitimate government, they also focused much on Hizbullah's arm and how they pointed their weapons towards the civilians, and they forgot that the "14th of March" coalition do have their own guerillas and their weapons that were used during the crisis too. Some other times they portrayed it as a sectarian struggle between Shiites and Sunnis. As you know, Hizbullah is a Shiite party, and the Saudis always like to play the role of the Sunni elder brother who bare the responsibility of protecting the Sunni majority in the Arab world.

Al-Jazeera on the other hand know how to capture the hearts and minds of Arab viewers. They know that the more they attack USA and Israel and praise the resistance the more people will like them. So they tried their best not to be biased, in fact I felt their confusion, on one hand they know that the Arabic street is with the resistive and anti-Israel movements, but on the other hand the majority of the street are Sunnis, and this is sometimes enough reason for them to be against Hizbullah. But to some extent the way Al-Jazeera dealt with the Lebanese crisis was far more reasonable and somehow fair compared to Al-Arabiya.

The Egyptian Blogosphere.

The blogs are - at least for me - the second source of news and information beside the Satellite News Channels and Newspapers. And to some extent, I can divide those bloggers who wrote about the Lebanese issue into three main groups.

The Salafi/Wahabi Bloggers, those guys have two main reasons to be with the Hariri et. al. against Hizbullah. First of all, the Salafism/Wahabism is the product of the Saudi clerics and regime. In fact Saudia uses the religion most of the time as a way of Soft Power beside their Economical Power, thanks to the Saudi Oil. And they helped in spreading the Wahabi thoughts as a mean of shaping the minds hence the decisions of the peoples of their neighbouring countries. The wahabis also consider the Shiites infidels and they even consider them their major enemies and even more dangerous than Israel!

The Muslim Brotherhooders Bloggers, those guys like many other Sunni groups are subject to the Salafi effects, however as a political opposition movement, they sometimes consider Hizbllah as a role model for opposition and resistive movements. The MB's are also more pragmatic than the Salafis, and that's why they were with Hizbullah.

The third group is those Secular bloggers who were somehow divided into sub-groups. The pro-western pro-American ones were mainly with the Lebanese government, while the pro-resistive pan-Arabists were mainly with Hizbullah.

The Government-Owned Media

Finally, there is the government-owned media, such as Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar newspapers and the Egyptian government-owned TV channels. In fact, we needn't to be that smart to know that the governmental media supported the Lebanese government and attacked the opposition, even before reading what they wrote. The government here have their own opposition parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and they have experience Strikes and Demonstrations few days before the Lebanese crisis, so they don't want the opposition parties in any of their neighbours to achieve any kind of success that may encourage the local opposition groups to follow their steps.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stupid Shareٍٍٍٍٍ

I came across a very nice blog called We Love Music today. But you know, their only problem is that most - if not all - of the music there are stored on Stupid Share, aka Rapid Share.

Rapid Share is a big maze of human stupidity, you have to follow one link after the other in order to reach the file you want to download.


And during your journey there, you will meet stupid counters, where you have to wait for them to finish in order to get promoted to the next level ... ehm ... page. Then you have to face their evil CAPTCHA's where zeroes look like O's, and some letters are just hidden.

And please keep in mind that you are not allowed to download more than one file at the same time, and after downloading the first file, they may see that you have to wait for an hour in order to download another one.

They also have never heard about "Searching" features before.

In fact, Rapid Share is a perfect example of how technology can turn people into real assholic dumb maniacs.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pangea Day - Cairo, Egypt

Let's start by the official introduction to the Pangea Day event, the one that is printed in their Media Guide and Press Releases.
Pangea Day is a global event bringing the world together through film. On May 10, 2008, live events in Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro will be linked to produce a 4-hour program of powerful films, live music, and visionary speakers. The program will be broadcast live to millions of people worldwide through the internet, television, and mobile phones.

In 2006, filmmaker Jehane Noujaim won the TED Prize, an annual award granted at the TED Conference, which honors three individuals with the potential to change the world. She was granted $100,000 and more important: A wish to change the world. She wished to create a day in which the world came together through film. Pangea Day grew out of that wish.
Ok, enough about the official stuff, as you can find more information about the Event in their site.


As as author in Global Voices Online, they offered to give me a ticket in order to attend the Pange Day event, in fact it was a Press Pass. To tell you the truth, I wasn't really sure that I'll attend the event, may be because most of the fellow bloggers were not going to show up, and also I thought that it's going to be a small not well organized event, at least here in Egypt. But you know what, what am I going to loose!?


I reached the Pyramids, at about 8:00 PM. There I realized that it is not going to be a small nor a not well organized event at all. There were Egyptian policemen organizing the flow and showing people the way using some hand held lights. And after seeing my Press Pass, they put a VIP sticker on my car, that gave me access to the VIP area later on, thanks to GVO ;)


The Egyptian actor "Khaled Abu El Naga" presented the event, he started by giving an introduction about the event, and Jihan Noujaim, the documentary film director who have a mixture of Egyptian and Lebanese origins, and how TED (Technology Entertainment Design) made her wish come true. He also described the word "Pangea", which is what our World was called thousands - or may be millions - of years ago when it wasn't divided into continents yet, and hence came the name as a symbol to bringing people from different countries and cultures close to each other. Then after this short introduction it was time for the Egyptian band "West El Balad", which means "Down Town", to get on the stage.


Let me tell you something, I've never been to any of "West El Balad" concerts before, especially that many of my friends have attended their concerts especially those they used to give in "El Sawy Cultural Wheel". Anyway, I listened to many of their songs before, but I never really liked them that much, but you know, it seems that when you listen to them in a live concert you are going to like their music, also you know, the scene of the pyramids in the background while they were singing was really magnificent.


By they way, Noujaim's parents were there attending in the first row.


Later on they started to air scenes of those concurrent events taking place in the other four cities. I liked that expression, when one of the hosts shown on the screen compared the event to a "Huge Camp Fire". Then people such as Christiane Amanpour, Queen Nour of Jordan, and many other gave short speeches.

As you know, the main part of the event, was those 24 films that were going to be shown.
The 24 winning short films have been selected from an international competition that generated more than 2,500 submissions from 100+ countries. They were chosen based on their ability to inspire, transform, and allow us see the world through another person's eyes. The winning films will be announced in late April.
So they started to show them, one after the other, with various people giving shot speeches in between. During that the waiters started to put food on the tables.


In fact, I didn't like the movies that much, they were some how, ehmm, too amateur to my taste. And may be that's why after a couple of hours I started to get really bored and decided to leave.


But before leaving, I wanted to have a look at the non VIP area, it was almost empty compared to the VIP one, may be more than half of the seats were empty. But may be it wasn't there from the beginning and people decided to leave in the middle. One more thing that I noticed was that big percentage of the people there were foreigners.


That's all folks for today, and you may find more photos of the event on my flickr account here. You can also read Ricardo Jordão Magalhaes' impressions on Pangea Day from Brazil here.


P.S. While writing this post there is a show on the TV called Creature Comforts, I really want to know how can someone create something that silly and ridiculous!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Egyptians, You've Been Punk'd

Egypt - You've Been Punk'd

"Egypt's parliament endorsed Monday a government bill to raise taxes and fuel prices less than a week after President Hosni Mubarak announced a 30 percent salary increase for all government employees", Associated Press.

I am waiting for Ashton Kutcher to appear on the TV now and say:
"Egyptians, you've been punk'd"!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Great Wall of Egypt

It's getting more and more fishy everyday, the Newspapers are attacking what they call "The Dark World of the Internet", you may read Al-Ahram Newspaper's article here [Ar]. They are blaming the Egyptian people because they use the internet to ... ehm ... spread rumours, call for strikes, and post videos that may harm the Egyptian National Security!

You know what, I am getting more and more confident now, that the Governments next move will be filtering the Internet. I already had similar suspicions a long while ago, but now I am really afraid that they may start filtering the Internet here in Egypt very soon, they may block sites such as Facebook, because what's said that the April 6th General Strike was organized there. They may also block YouTube, and who knows what will they block next.

Seems that the Great Firewall of China is on its way to Egypt.

Friday, March 7, 2008

From Cairo To Amman

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page", St. Augustine. I've been on business trip to Jordan recently, and I'd like to share with you here those few pages I read of that book called "The World".

The trip from Cairo to Amman is slightly more than an hour, however their local time is the same as that of Cairo. I took a taxi from the Airport to Holiday Inn, where I stayed. It costed me about 20 Jordanian Dinars, which is a bit expensive when compared to the prices here in Egypt, as it is about 150 L.E. By the way the people there sometimes call it Lira instead of Dinar. I then went to my room and started unpacking my bags when I found this:

Holy Books

A Quraan and a Bible sitting side by side in one of the drawers there. It's a bit odd scene, however it may summarize how people with various beliefs visit or even live in such city.
It was a bit late then, so I decided to wander around the hotel and in El Madina El Monawara street.

The next day I woke up early and took my camera to have some shots of the streets around the hotel. In fact I was expecting Amman to look like Damascus or Cairo Down Town where building are a bit old, and streets are not that wide, however El Madina street was more like a highway with modern buildings.

Amman - Western Amman

Ok, there aren't many skyscrapers like those found in pseudo-Arabic cities such as Dubai, but still I couldn't smell the essence of an old city there.

Amman - Skyscraper

Each Arabic city may have its own characteristics, but they all have many things in common, at least people there speak Arabic, and Nancy Agram phosters are everywhere in the streets.

Amman - Coca Cola

And one of the main characteristics of Amman is that is is built upon hills and mountains and that's why there are a lot of ups and downs in the street, and also that's is why I was tired then and decided to take a taxi to my destination instead of walking. Also one other unique thing there is that many houses and buildings there are built using some kind of white rocks that is really beautiful and doesn't need any painting.

Amman - Western Amman

As I said earlier, I prefer walking to having a taxi, especially in new cities as there are some scenes that you can never see while in a car, such as this funny funeral sign:

Amman - Funeral Sign

Later on I realized that what I've been to was just western Amman, which is the newer extension of the old city that's called Eastern Amman now. So I decided to go to the Citadel which is located on a mountain in Eastern Amman. I went there at the evening and the Citadel was close, however the view form that mountain was really cool

Amman - Quosour

By the way, the huge flag seen in the above photo is the king's palace, or what they call there "El Qosour".

I then went down to a street called "Saqf El Seel", which is very similar to Cairo Down Town. Even the people in the shops there were listening to Egyptian music. It was really strange to see stores there dedicated to cracked DVD's. As you know such stuff are not legal, and people here just display them on the pavement or so, but not in stores. And yes, there were many Egyptian movies there for sure, even those very recent ones. Also the books displays in the street there are a good mean to know what topics people are interested in there.

Amman - Bookshop

As you can see in the above picture, many books there are about politics, and mainly the American invasion of Iraq, which is one of Jordan's neighbours. There are many other books about nutrition, diet, and horoscopes. And there are some religious books as well, however they are not as much as those seen in similar shops here in Cairo.

Amman - Street

Even the cars in Eastern Amman streets are a bit older than those you can see in Western Amman.

Malls, oh yeah, it's hard to visit a city without going to the malls there, at least to get some souvenirs to your family and friends. There are a couple of malls located somewhere between Down Town and Western Amman, Mukhtar Mall, and Isteklal Mall, both of them are suitable for getting your daily grocery and wasting some time, but the best mall in the city is Mecca Mall. It's a bit like City Stars here, where you can find all those well known brands. But take care, the prices there are not that Egyptian-Friendly ones.

By the way, whenever they know that I am Egyptian in mobile stores, they ask me if I'd like to buy Nokia N95. It seems that everybody knows that such mobile phone is banned here in Egypt because of the GPS capabilities in it.

On more location that you can visit in Amman, is the Roman Theatre there.

Amman - Roman Theater

I also wanted to get photographed in front of king Abdullah's Mosque. Coz you know, whenever there is Al Jazeera reporter reporting anything from Jordan, that mosque is seen in the background.

King Abdullah Mosque

Finally, I believe Amman is having many huge construction projects, and I guess it getting modernized more and more. And they may not have enough resources, but still they may have the will to follow Dubai's modernization model. And with projects such as Abdali's New Down Town, the city is going to be totally different in the next few years.

Amman - DAMAC Abdali

P.S. This is a Flickr Set that contains all those photos I took in Jordan, including those ones in Petra, and I think I may write a separate post about my trip to Petra soon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Three Years Blogging

My first blog post was in the 19th of February 2005, and since then I've met many bloggers and read different blogs. However the Egyptian blogosphere is always more interesting to me than any other blogosphere, and that's why I always dreamed of writing about it's ... ehm ... history, and the various blogging movements there. And here I am celebrating my blog's third birthday, and I think it will be good to start writing such report on this occasion.

The Technosphere

The first time to hear about blogging was when I installed Google Bar in my browser, and saw the Blogspot icon there. I guess Rami Sidhom (Ikhnaton2) was introduced to blogging the same way. Then I found Manal and Alaa's Bit Bucket, which was a Blog Aggregator created by two married Linux and Programming Gurus. As you can see, at that part of the Egyptian blogosphere history, many blogs were into computers and IT, such as JPierre and Mohamed Sameer's FooLab. And even now, when there is diversity in blogs topics, away from the technical ones, you can still notice that many of today's bloggers are Engineers.

Bloggers Without Borders

One of the main advantages of blogging is that you can choose whatever pen ... ehm keyboard-name you want and write anything you want. Most of the media here also is owned or even controlled somehow by the government, and sometimes we have the feeling that the people who work in the media belong the the Jurassic Age. That's why gays, lesbians, and those who don't believe in Allah started to have their own blogs, where they anonymously write stuff they cannot say anywhere else.

Manal and Alaa's Bit Bucket was really very famous then, and for many ones the blogs that are not aggregated there were simply not existing. They also started a blog hosting service on their site. Many of those blogs hosted in Manalaa, as well as their friends and those one who consider the a blogging role models shared some common characteristics; they are focused on human rights and defended free speech and many of them joined movements such as Kefaya and participated in protests and many were put into jail for that such as Malek, Alaa, and Sharkawy. However the first blogger to be put in jail for what he writes and not for participating in a protest in the street was Abdul Karim Amer. Anyway, their blogs also had something else in common, they preferred to use the language of the street. As you know the newspapers here use Traditional Arabic, but Manalaa et. al. are used to write in the Egyptian Slang, and they also use some rated words that may not be accepted by conventional media. I've also noticed that many of the active bloggers then were leftists.

Actually, the freedom available in blogs as well as the rise of Manalaa's Culture was the dynamo of what I may call, Political Blogging. Many resistive movements and journalists started to join the blogosphere, such as Wael Abbas and his famous Anti-Government and Anti-Torture Videos.

The Religious Bloggers

In a society like the one we live in, where religion is everywhere from Politics (The Muslim Brotherhood) to Mobile Ringtones, and where there is a rise in Pantacourt Guys and Ninja Girls phenomenon everywhere, it is really odd not to see religious blogs. Religious bloggers have their own characteristics too. They prefer to use the Traditional Arabic language (The language of the Quraan). Their writings emphasise Islamic Standards such as morals and following Allah's rules. They are sure against the use of rated and dirty words in their blogs, and they even organize campaigns in their blogs in order to fight such language. On the other hand, many of them aren't really pleased with free speech and human rights, they prefer to put some boundaries on those rights. And like many other bloggers, some of the Religious bloggers have political background, such as El-Ghareeb, some others are daughters of MB members, and some blog for the sake of blogging such as Te3mah, City Bird, and Al-Sarem Al-Hasem.

Today's Flood of Words

Now a days, the blogging phenomenon is getting more fame. The mainstream media, and even the governmental media, has played a role in introducing people to blogs. Manal and Alaa decided to move their blog aggregator to a new site called Omraneya, which is not as famous as the old Manalaa Aggregator. And between the rise of Facebook and the fall of Manalaa Aggregator's leading role in the Egyptian Blogosphere, thousands of new bloggers are getting into the blogging game every month. The are now blogs that offer Food Recipes, other for Sports News and for sure there a thousands of personal blogs with the "Chinese Girl Pink Blog" flavour.

Actually now a days it is really hard to find good posts in that flood of words. Google Reader may sometimes offer us help to follow our friend's favourite blogs, however it is not very efficient. Global Voices Online is also offering some help by finding and translating the good posts that worth reading; however the word "good" here is still limited to GVO Team's own point of view. There are also some book publishers who found their way into the Egyptian Blogosphere and picked some blogs and started to transform their posts into books.

Notable Bloggers

Finally, after publishing this post, I realized that it is hard to write such analysis without mentioning the following blogs:

The Big Pharaoh, Rantings of a Sandmonkey and Miss Mabrouk of Egypt are three old blogs, which I prefer to call News Jockey kind of blogs. Sandmonkey is more active now a days than the other two, however they are all known to foreigners than to fellow Egyptians, and you can see this in the comments they receive on their posts. This may be due to the language barrier, as you may have noticed, these guys blog in English.

Zeinobia (Egyptian Chronicles) and The Arabist. Those guys are into News Analysis more than Jockeying, they also suffer somehow from the Language barrier (Zeinobia started an Arabic blog now), however their ideas and writings are a bit more in tune with the Arabic and Egyptian streets more than the three other bloggers mentioned above, and that's why they are more readable here.

Lasto Adri, DB Shobrawy, Jar El Kamar and Myself, are active members in Global Voices Online and work on introducing the Egyptian blogs to the rest of the world. Jar El Kamar also won in 2006 the Deutsche Welle's BOBs Award for the Best Arabic Blog, and Lasto Adri had a great role in encouraging a lot of people to start blogging.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Palestinians Exodus

The Gaza Strip has been under the effective control of Hamas since June 14, 2007. And it seems that the Israelis are not able to deal with Hamas at all since then. There are Israeli claims that the Palestinians are attacking the Israeli territories with Al-Qassam missiles every now and then, and Hamas officials don't do anything to stop those attacks. While on the other hand Israel have put the strip under an economic siege since Hamas takeover of it.

Last week, Israel intensified the siege, saying the move was in response to heavy rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. Such move was meant to put Hamas under pressure, however the only victims here were the Palestinian children and civilians.

"Nowadays, Gaza is a territory where the economy has collapsed, power shortages are a daily occurrence, and Israeli air strikes are common", BBC News.

On January 23, 2008, Palestinian militants destroyed several parts of the wall dividing Gaza and Egypt in the town of Rafah. Thousands of Gazans moved across the border in search of food and supplies. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered his troops to allow the Palestinians in due to the crisis, but to verify that they did not bring weapons back.

So, as you all can see, the Israeli siege has failed. Even the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, wrote about The Gaza Siege failure:

"The [Israeli] prime minister speaks about the need to continue the closure on Gaza, and the cabinet voices its disappointment with Egypt - as if there were ever any chance that the Egyptians would work to protect Israeli interests along the Philadelphi route instead of thinking first of all of their own interests. The failure of the siege of Gaza, which the government declared only a week ago to be "bearing fruit," and especially the fear that this failure will lead to a conflict with Egypt, requires the government to pull itself together and prove that it has been graced with the ability to solve crises and to lead, not merely to offer endless excuses for its leadership during previous crises", Haaretz.

But wait a minute, it's not that easy, it's far beyond politics, it's physics.

"Defense officials reached the conclusion that it’s all about physics, and that Gaza is like a toothpaste tube. You squeeze it powerfully and the paste comes out of the weakest side – Egypt", Y.Net News.

Isn't it possible that Israel wanted this to happen in the first place. Why not? Especially, when Israeli officials are saying that the "Open border is Israel's chance to lose responsibility for Gaza". It's even possible that they had pre-set plans to hand over the responsibility of Gaza Strip to Egypt.

"Matan Vilnai hinted that Israel would like to hand over – presumably to Egypt – the task of supplying Gaza with water, medicine and electricity, saying: 'We need to understand that, when Gaza is open to the other side, we lose responsibility for it. So we want to disconnect from it'", The Independent.

In fact the Egyptian official made it clear that they are not going to accept the responsibility of Gaza. Hossam Zaki, the official spokesman for Egypt's foreign ministry, said, "The current situation is only an exception and for temporary reasons", he the continued, "The border will go back to normal". But, is such decision final!? I am really not sure about this, but let's try to forecast what will happen if Egypt decided to take the responsibility of Gaza later on.

Let's first think of the negative sides of such decision. First of all, the borders between Gaza and Israel will be totally sealed, but in such situation Gaza will become a part of Egypt, or at least it will become a floating semi-state attached to Egypt. Then Hamas for sure will not stop their resistance, as you know, Hamas is an Islamic movement and they have ideology that is not going to be changed, and Egypt will then be responsible for this. So at the end of the day, Egypt is going to deal with two Muslim-Brotherhoods, but this time, it's an armed and trained MB. Any attempts by the government to stop Hamas resistance will make it an betrayal, infidel, and anti-pan-arabism government. Egypt will also be responsible for supplying Gaza with food, water, energy, but what will in get in return?

But on the other hand, is it really that really bad choice? America and Israel usually accuse Iran by supporting Hizbullah and using it to impose pressure on them or to initiate proxy-wars with them when needed. So why don't Egypt use Hamas as their own Hizbullah? Also with respect to the economic issue, come on, Egypt will supply Gaza with food and water but who said that this will be for free? It's said that the Palestinians invested about 12 millions in the couple of days they spent here in Egypt.

Ok, I am not that good in forecasting today, may be because I am not totally aware of the various details of such complicated issue. And you know what, may be that's what the comment section in blogs is for. I am really willing to see you comments and two or three cents.