Remembering the brutality of SCAF’s army

In the honor of a woman who may have been uncovered from cloths, yet she uncovered all masks on all the killers in the SCAF‘s army. She has been truly an inspiration for millions. To you, set el banat.

All photos of the Occupy Cabinet clashes can be found here.

It’s been almost a year, since I’ve seen and photographed how sick my country’s army can be, against peaceful protesters, just because it’s their orders. I hate that word “Orders”. Millions have been killed because of it.

It’s been a year, remembering another sad event. The army is killing the people, again.

The fight is in mohammed mahmoud street between the protesters and the police in its second day. The tear gas smell was strong, people are very upset of the police’s brutality, every one is looking at that street, while the army is preparing for its next move. It’s dirty move, sneaking up to the protesters from the side, they won’t see it coming, they won’t know what hit’em. Which is what exactly happened.

That sneaky attack caught the protesters by surprise, it attacked the back line, which had many people who most probably didn’t want to join the fight inside mohammed mahmoud. It caused a lot of panic, fear, which empowered them, even though the soldiers were fewer in numbers, and they only had sticks! But as I said, those people didn’t want blood at the first place. But they were dragged for yet another fight.

The Egyptian Army beating people in #Tahrir

Army Soldiers attacking protesters who were trapped in a bottle neck near Mohammed Mahmoud St.

Less than a month later. Protesters are still angry, beaten up, many of them got injured, lost their eyes, or their friends lost their lives. They want reforms, they need change, but they get another fight with the army instead.

Protesters were at a street in downtown cairo, between the cabinet’s building and the parliament building, while the candidates are actually running their campaigns. one night of the few weeks old sit-in, army had enough of them. So they kidnapped a teenages from the sit-in and sent him back after torturing him, injuring him severely.

It was getting intense, and the protesters were very angry, and suddenly the army starting throwing rocks at the protesters, who had nothing to use as cover, and nothing to throw back or a way to defend themselves. One sad moment, that protesters had memorial coffins for the martyrs who just died less than a month ago, and those coffins where used as protection.

2 protesters were taking cover from the rocks that were thrown on them by Army

Two protesters taking cover in memorial coffins from the rocks that were being thrown on them by army soldiers

The fights keeps going till the morning, Army inside the parliament building, throwing rocks and whatever they find inside the building at the protesters outside, from a 9 stores building.

Getting the use of many “civilians” on the ground as their troops, and they are doing what they can from above.

While there is a sign that says “Democracy is giving the Power to the people”. And the army is just proving that they don’t care, they will kill the people if they have to. They don’t mind pissing on them.

Army Soldier with a dirty gesture on top the Parliament building

Army Soldier didn’t hesitate to show his “private parts” to the crowd to insult them. This is the SCAF’s army.

One more time, the army sneaks in to the ground, this time with support from the parliament building, soldiers throwing rocks and chairs from the building at the prosters. One hit, and you are most probably gone. This time, the soldiers are angry, and they run after protesters. The anger is huge, as if they are fighting their worst enemy and they finally have a chance to kill them.

Army Raids Tahrir

Running to capture their worst enemy.

They ran after us, one of them tried to capture me, but I got saved by another protester. They were brutal, whoever they capture is instantly tortured, not even arrested, just beaten up, with anyone who’s around, it could take 5- 10 soldiers to take rounds on getting their energy and anger on you, with sticks, or kicks or punchs.

The officers were masked! for the first time, since we photographers exposed many police or army officers who took part of many violations. Instead of stopping them, they decided to cover their face. And make more crimes.

Army Officer points a gun at a fallen protester

Army Soldier terrorizing peaceful protester and aiming his gun at him before beating him! He didn’t eventually shoot him.

There was no tear gas, no smoke, it was very early in the morning, you can see clearly. They can see clearly. They have guns, and we have cameras. They shoot, and so do we.

They have gone rogue ! They are attacking anything that moves. A Taxi passing by the square, after the army’s crackdown was attacked by the soldiers. All of them – 30 soldiers or more – attacking one car, driven by one man, for no reason! Are they crazy?

Army Soldiers attacking a taxi passing by

Attacking the Taxi

Taxi got attacked by Army Soldiers

The taxi running away from the mob

Protest like Egyptians

Protest like Egyptians, with arms wide open

The army is heading for chaos, and we are watching and completely amazed by what’s going on.

Time to resist, with all possible ways. People won’t give up now. Almost a year after the revolution, how in the world would they give up?

The people fought back, to stand their ground, they fought back with arms wide open. Welcoming Heaven, as they believe who dies now, is a martyr, and will follow the jan25 martyrs to heaven. No one holds back. It’s time to win this fight.

Bullets and blood

They mix quite well

The army thought it’s time to kill us. They started using live ammunition. Killing peaceful protesters. Killing a dream, a young man who had a hope and a dream for a better country, killing a young man who maybe could’ve been one of the country’s next geniuses. Maybe that young man with this amount of passion, could’ve solved the country’s economical problems. Why give them a chance? instead, kill them.

And that’s exactly what they did. Very late at night, right before dusk, you can hear gunshots. We were only tens of protesters, but many have been shot. Live ammo, shooting to kill, in the head, stomach and who was lucky, got shot in the leg.

That’s the army that is supposed to protect the country, killing their own people.

SCAF has brainwashed their soldiers, and now they think they are fighting “The Enemy” not knowing that the actual enemy has never been happier after seeing this.

They SCAF’s army has terrorized peaceful Egyptian, they injured dozens, killed over 40 people in a month, with the help of the police!

We will never forget, we will never forgive.

The blood of the martyr who got shot in the head

Blood of a fellow Egyptian. People tried to save him and got him to the hospital. but he didn’t make it

The Martyr | الشهيد

The Martyr

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To the Guardian : What is this crisis about

guardian-logoThe british news paper has wrote a provocative editorial called “Egypt : Tug of War“.  A piece that tries to be unbiased that it’s missing the whole point of what’s going on for weeks now.

They start of saying what the whole crisis is “NOT” about, they mentioned it’s not about the decree, nor the constitution, but it’s about Morsy him self. Stating that the “Opposition” is trying to claim power. hmm, seriously? that same opposition that gave its blessing to Morsy in the second round of elections and most of them voted for him?

The “prestigious” Guardian talks about two side, opposition and power, as figures! which is an idiotic domain since the opposition doesn’t really matter or even has a significant role in this crisis. People took down the street and Tahrir square again, even before any of the “opposition” declare it’s stands. El Baradie met with Morsy few weeks before he announced his “absolute power” decree. I’m sure El Baradie mentioned his aim for the chair!

it’s outrageous how the Guardian analyze the situation, mentioning that “Muslim Brotherhood‘s Freedome and Justice party sanctioned a violent assault on a peaceful encampment of ‘opposition supporters’ outside the presidential palace,” then saying “Islamists were its principle victims.” So FJP assaulted but Islamists were the victims! How the use of two different words, to portray two different category of people! No they are not, FJP assaulted peaceful protesters (Not opposition supporters! You wont see El Baradie’s poster in the crowd for example), so how in the hell would an attacker become a victim? ridiculous!

The “professional” Guardian says five of the six people killed in Cairo were members of the Brotherhood. Even though all the reports on the ground shows that’s not true, yet they got their info from the Muslim Brotherhood it self, and neglected all the other media outlets. Very professional. So much of being unbiased.

“Morsi undoubtedly made grave mistakes” You could have never described it better. That’s exactly why El Baradie said (and you mentioned earlier in your Editorial) “Morsi had lost his legitimacy”. If you read the situation this way, then it makes sense, but how your editorial team, manipulated the timeline of events putting the reply before the mistakes, makes the “opposition” sound greedy as you try to portray it.

One more thing, the ‘opposition figures’ do not represent the ground movements, they may say some of what’s been chanted, but they do not have a significant influence on the ground, it’s the other way around. You should know better.

The “Crisis” was about the decree, only the decree, how the MB slipped the constitution, made a crisis inside a crisis and how the MB attacked and killed peaceful protesters, that was the third strike, and it’s time for them to go.

I won’t comment on the last sentence, cause I believe it was written by an idiot.

You have Tuberculosis? Here’s your ticket home

Tuberculosis(TB) and AIDS are very serious diseases, they have many things in common, they both can be fatal, not easily recognized and sometimes the patient is very healthy, yet they get the shocking news in a routine medical check up. Such traumatic experience is not easy on anyone, especially on those who have to be deported afterwards.

In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) they take these diseases very seriously, maybe a bit too serious. For example a TB diagnosed patient can only stay for 3 months at most before being deported to their home country.

Also a TB-cured person is considered unfit and is not allowed to the GCC countries, ever.

GCC depend mainly on migrant labor, averaging 35.7% of total population for the GCC countries. Most of them come from countries where they have a higher risk getting infected with these diseases.

Y.B is an Eastern European who used to live in Qatar. She worked for a five-star airline as a cabin crew. She was one of the unfortunate people who have been diagnosed with TB.

Like many of us she was doing a medical check up when she found out that she has a tiny scar in her lung, a “dead scar” is what this few millimeters long scar is called. That’s a trace of TB; lucky for her it was latent TB, yet she was quickly deported.
WHO VS GCC

World Health Organization (WHO).

TB is a treatable and curable disease. The vast majority of TB cases can be cured when medicines are provided and taken properly.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), since 1995, over 46 million people have been successfully treated and an estimated 7 million lives saved through use of DOTS and the Stop TB Strategy recommended by WHO.

Here are the DOTS five-points to help monitor and cure TB that WHO recommends in comparison with what happens in GCC.

First, ‘secure political commitment, with adequate and sustained financing.’

Usually the TB patient is fired from their job, and gets deported to his country in a matter of few months, stopping the income, therefore sustaining the treatment becomes more difficult.

Second, ‘ensure early case detection, and diagnosis through quality-assured bacteriology.’

It depends on how early the patient knows; if he or she knows from the GAMCA centers in their country then they are on their own from the start, no consideration from the medical centers and no transferring to a proper hospital to treat them.

This whole process is facing wide criticism from many people calling to stop GAMCA as they describe it as “Immoral attitude and lack of medical examination guidelines for workers at the GAMCA medical centers.”

If they know while they are inside the GCC, that’s a dramatic treatment. Doctors usually don’t give much detail about the disease. Most patients have described the process as “a horrible experience.

Third,  ‘provide standardized treatment with supervision and patient support.’

According to the National Tuberculosis Program Manager in Qatar, Dr. Abdul Latif al-Khal, said in a report earlier, “usually residents found with TB were not deported except if the sponsors insisted as in the case of domestic workers such as house-helps and drivers.”

In the course of three months, neither house-help nor driver, Y.B. was deported.

She was left with the minimal amount of information about her medical condition, “During every medical test I did, nothing was discussed directly with me. They just told me I had TB and nothing about it, what kind or whatever,” she said.

Fourth and Fifth, ‘ensure effective drug supply and management. Monitor and evaluate performance and impact.’

Dr. Al-Khal explained, “We provide treatment to all TB patients and we have a country-wide treatment program that registers and follows up on all the cases.”

The usual course of treatment of TB takes up to 6 months. In different cases, the patients are deported within 2-3 months with the least amount of information. Not only that, there is no coordination with their home countries and they are not provided with any medical documentation.

“I went home empty handed, facing a fatal disease I know nothing about.” She expressed.

Does GCC care about the patients?

Anyone who had TB and has been treated properly is considered cured and should not be discriminated against,” said Dr. Mario Raviglione, the director of the Stop TB department at the World Health Organization (WHO) to a local UAE newspaper. “This becomes an issue of human rights.” he added.

Y.B. is now healthy, working and enjoying a normal life in Europe, yet she is separated from her fiancé who lives in Dubai, whom she cannot visit, since she is banned from entering the entire GCC. “They just drove my future family apart, it’s senseless,” She added.

That’s one example out of many, one of them was a nurse who got the disease from a patient and wasn’t allowed back to the country she was working in, because she was doing her job.

Just to remind you people nurses are the reason why you are well and healthy today and this is how you repay us?” she complained.

HIV

Same process happens with HIV patients. A South African journalist who has been in Qatar for only 2 months faced a cruel experience. He went to get a normal medical check up, without knowing the results he was taken to prison, then had his contract terminated and been given a warning, either to leave the country within 42 hours or face arrest.

Did the deportation contain the disease?

Such direct deportation policy has sabotaged the containment of TB in the UAE. The fear of deportation has made the patients do not come forward which spread the disease. According to a UAE local journal, “Cases of pulmonary TB – the most infectious – more than doubled in the capital from 193 in 2009 to 450 in 2011, and 143 were reported in the first three months of this year alone, according to new figures from the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).”

Global Issue

63 countries have some form of HIV (or TB) specific restriction to entry, stay and residence of immigrants; and 28 countries deport people once HIV+/TB status is known,According to Dr. Gilles Cesari, Regional Director at the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)’s office in Singapore.

The need of a global awareness on such diseases is obviously required, the act of throwing the patient from a country to another just because they have a disease –clearly they didn’t ask for it – is just a bit harsh. Forget where he or she is from. They are human beings after all, help them get better.

How Qatar Classifies its citizens

I grew up in Qatar, my parents been here since 1978, and I’ve been hearing their stories about the 80’s here in Qatar. The following is some of their experience and mine.

There are about four different classes of people in Qatar, and not like some other countries, they are not basically categorized by their social or financial statement, but by origin.

Qatar is the country where people ask you where are you from before what’s your name.

Of course you would think that on top of the list or the class ladder, would be Qataris? It’s their country after all. They get special treatment, for examples they don’t get fired from their jobs in places like (Hint: a well known media channel).

But they are not! Americans are. Yes Americans, especially US soldiers. Not even Qataris can use their special treatment on them, for example, if a Qatari person got into a fight with an American and both went to the police, (unless the American was drunk) the authorities would let him loose and try to end it smoothly. That would not be the case if the other person were from “another class”.

I would say a tie between those two on number one.

Second but not too far away would be the rest of GCC, especially Saudis and Emiratis. They get similar treatment as Qataris, not their privileges of course; they have those where they came from.

Third, would be Europeans, Canadian and other Foreigners who basically have blonde hair and blue eyes and don’t speak Arabic. They do whatever they like, but they get a firm treatment if they break a law. The “weaker” your country is, the less “Class” you are. All European countries are not the same of course.

Fourth, would be Arabs with high or medium level jobs. Managers and other similar jobs, they have contacts, they usually earn respect of others. The authorities treat them with respect, so do the residents.

Asians would be fifth. Where ever from Asia, doesn’t matter much, they get treated badly. Especially Indians, Nepalese, Philippines, Pakistan and its neighbors. They are always wrong to authorities, and they are the easiest to deport. Their countries never step in, so they don’t mind mistreat them here.

Last, like most places but a bit to an extreme, are workers. No matter where they are from, labors get treated like slaves here. It’s the issue of the decade in Qatar, till 2022 World cup it will stay the main issue for human rights organizations.

The sponsorship allows their companies to make them work whenever they want, and the workers don’t report it, and sometimes they do, but it gets ignored.

Two things matter in “Classing” or actually discriminating citizens, how weak your country is, mostly economically and politically; if they never took a stand for their people, then you are on the bottom of the ladder. And if Qatar has problems with your country, they close visas or let those people go, in a political statement.

Then later comes money, your economical level. For example, A mid-level American wouldn’t get treated the same as a Soldier or a manager.

It’s sad that this country is like this, and I can tell you, it was worse, a lot of people, especially Qataris changed, and got less prejudice.  The country is trying to get better, but as long as the country uses the sponsorship model, many people will abuse the power in their hands, and this act will never go away.

Villagio reopens after almost 4 months

The famous Villagio shopping mall is opened after a huge fire in a day care took the lives of 19 people; most of them were children back in 28th of May. This fire was the biggest in years and the most difficult to the civil defense because of the location of the fire and the lack of security and safety measures.

This fire laid the eyes on the security and safety issues in all public places, especially shopping malls. That’s why another big shopping mall was closed for a while, and some other public places.

The fire caused a lawsuit that is still pending investigation and caused the arrest of the mall’s manager and the day care’s owner.

Fire Alarm button still has the prints of smoke from the fire in late May 2012

 

Today, Thursday, September 20th the big mall is finally reopened. The mall is opened from Zara shop, a few shops away from where the blaze took place till the cinemas. And from Go Sport which was right next to the day care till the food court and the playground.

The part from gate 3 to gate 4 where the fire took place is totally closed.

A new security task force is now inside the mall, called Villagio security.
I spoke to one of them; he said that they work side by side with G4S, the usual security forces. “The closed part will take a long time to reopen, a year maybe,” a Villagio security guard said.

“Nothing changed in the undamaged sector,” he added. All the changes are in the safety and security measures, the obvious changes are the fire exists; they are guarded by security to ease the evacuation in case of a fire.

Most of the shops are not opened yet, they are doing clean ups from the smoke, but everything will be ready in the next few days, according to shop employees.

Every shop had a paper on its window saying what the shop’s maintenance, along with few notes of rules such as, having a fire extinguisher, only use heavy machines at night till 8 AM and many other rules made by the mall’s management.

The food court wasn’t open, most of the restaurants are also cleaning up and getting ready, however the cinema is already offering tickets for today.

Pictures and videos are not allowed and permissions are needed from the mall’s management.

The atmosphere was a bit tense, security was doubled maybe tripled on every entrance and emergency exits. Management officials were around the mall, which refused to give any statements.

Many visitors were looking around to see what’s new with the mall and see what the fire did to the buildings. Most of them were talking about the fire.

Villagio shopping mall is now open

Doha’s US Embassy Protest is Useless.

Qaradawy giving the Friday Speech about the Anti-Islam Movie and SyriaBasically today’s protest is an international invite by Shiekh Yusuf Al Qaradawi and the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS).

Qaradawi spoke today in the Friday prayers and talked about two things, the anti-Islam movie (if we can call it that) and the role of Arabic officials to support Syria’s revolution.

He said about the Movie, ”It’s unfair to put all the guilt on a full nation, they are few Americans, including the same priest who wanted to burn the Quraan before and some Christian Egyptians who live in the US.”

In a way of replying to the movie and in a way to present the Prophet (PBUH) to non-Muslims, Qatar is making a movie about the Prophet’s life.

Going to the embassies and breaking it or throwing rocks at it or burn it is not the right solution. We need to ask USA to have an official stand against such acts of defamation of religions.

The second part of the speech was about Syria; Al Qaradawi asked all the Arabic countries to help Syria, in many ways including sending reinforcements of soldiers or weapons to the free army. “It’s their duty, religiously.”

After that a charged crowd head to the US Embassy which is very near to the mosque in many controversial chants such as “Obama, Obama, we are all Osama,” referring of course to Osama Bin Laden. It’s not the first time I hear this chant, I heard it before in Egypt, back in July 29th when Tahrir was full of Salafis and Islamists, some extremists chanted exactly the same chant, who believe Bin Laden is a hero, and here some Qataris did today.

The US Embassy under the Qatari Police protection

The US Embassy under the Qatari Police protection

In a march that is not only about the Prophet or demanding the US to take a stand as Qaradawi proposed, the march had few different demands, such as releasing two prisoners, one of them is Ali Bin Saleh El Marry who was accused to be part of al qaeeda and was arrested in 2001, and the other is an Egyptian sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman who is currently serving a life sentence in USA as well.

Demanding the release Ali Bin Saleh El Marry the Qatari Prisoner in the US

Demanding the release Ali Bin Saleh El Marry the Qatari Prisoner in the US

Demanding the release of Omar Abel Rahman from US Prisons

Demanding the release Ali Bin Saleh El Marry the Qatari Prisoner in the US

As well as expelling the US Ambassador, and some demanded the shutdown of the US Military Base in Qatar, “it kills thousands of mulsims,” the banner said.

Along with chants like “Islamic, Islamic, whether the Jews like it or not,” who made me believe this protest is useless, if not backfiring on the cause. I asked dozen of people at least if they watched the movie and they all answered with No, most of them said they don’t want to cause it’s insulting and the rest had different excuses.

People Demand shutting down the US Military base that kills muslims

People Demand shutting down the US Military base that kills muslims

This made me wonder, are they just following the mislead leaders? Or they sincerely believe that’s the best solution? In both cases, it’s just sad.

In another positive note, Dr.Amr Khalid Spoke to MBC and he condemned the recent actions in many places of attacking the embassies, he said, ” The best action to demand other officials would be writing a new law in the United Nations (UN) against Defamation of religions, and whoever does it will face a strong official action wherever they are.” In another way, he asked everyone who has access to social media to post stories about the Prophet (PBUH) in all the languages and share it with every foreign person they know.

This is a practical solution, way better than just chanting, especially if the chants are not related to the cause. In comparison with many other solutions that can be applied in such cases – including my personal favorite, ignore the idiots – chanting and protesting here gives this so called movie, free publicity.

The movie isn’t even out, it’s just a very stupid trailer, I couldn’t even watch more than a minute from how silly it is, I just closed it and went on with my life, and I believe everyone should do that, and focus on the other critical issues, like Syria, or Bahrain or Yemen.

More Photos of the Protest can be found here.

 

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Citizen Journalism 101


Citizen Journalism
Citizen Journalism is an important task for those of us who are interested into getting news from the spot and as fast as possible. These days we can barely trust our media; so alternative media is a must. One of the most reliable, self-correcting alternative media is Citizen Journalism, why? Because -as the picture says- “We Report without Fear or Favor”. Here is some advises on how to be efficient in what you can do best, most of these heard them and learned them from great journalists by profession or by passion.

Clothes: First what you are wearing, always wear your comfy clothes to events like a protest or a sit-in, try to wear a dark t-shirt or a shirt, preferably black – since it’s not an eye-catching color – Wear pants, I believe it protects your legs a bit especially if there is a rock fight or something similar. Wear shoes of course, for the same reason, anything that you feel comfortable wearing.

Tweeting: if you just made it into the event, first of all tweet that you are there. Ask as many eye witnesses as you can before you tweet any un-confirmed information. When you tweet about the situation you are in, try to take pictures if possible, describe the numbers and what’s going on. Try to be brief, if you can write it in one tweet it would be perfect. If you will tweet it in series of tweets use the form of (1/2 – 2/2) or (cont.). When you are tweeting try to get far from the action before you do, tweet all you want then get back, a guy looking at his phone in the middle of a fight is an easy target. Use hashtags in all your tweets.

Blogging: Write, Write, Write. Everything you see and everything you witness, writing has a huge credibility. Write at least once a week, create a blog for free, if you don’t want to, you can write a note on facebook and make it public. Read about what you want to write about to form a solid opinion about the subject. Share your writings with other bloggers and friends and ask for feedback. Always add links, pictures or videos of the subject to make the piece more interesting. Check out these blogs:

 

 

Photography: The clothing rules are used here as well, and even more important if you are carrying a camera.  Take pictures of the whole scene if it’s something big. Zoom in to a person or a group in a picture that summarizes the situation, for example if it’s a rock fight; zoom on someone who’s throwing a rock. Make the picture more human by trying to capture emotions and movements in the picture. A Picture is worth 1000 words.  Examples of great photographers:


Videos: if a picture is worth 1000 words, then a video is worth 10,000 pictures. Taking videos to me is as important as the protest. Videos document the day and what happened that day. Always take videos of important things, keep the camera on standby and don’t abuse the battery to have it running as long as you are there. Before you leave, take statements from witnesses. Try to get a zoomed footage of evidences like this.  Those are two of the best video takers/makers I know:

 

Most important, don’t stay alone for too long and stay safe. Keep your phone charged of all time, and try to carry an extra one. Once it runs out of battery if you are not doing anything important go somewhere and charge it.