Author Locked Up.

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Author Locked Up.

Post by Hafiz »

Author Locked Up.

Its a few weeks ago so sorry if I'm duplicating the work of others something: I try hard, some would say much too hard, to run from that.

Not unusual and hardly worth noting except this chap who is locked up is an economist and his book is about waste, incompetence and deals with foreign companies, stupidity and the standard one, corruption. He gets no prizes for novelty. I'm sure there are dozens similar for 70 years - must check.

He is now let out – unclear whether the charge has been withdrawn – but the story is worth telling for the wild and ill-disciplined way the police, prosecution service and courts behave.

Abdel Khalik Farouk (unfortunate surname for someone who hates bloat and waste) the author has been arrested for publishing ‘false news’ (no not al Ahram lies) but the Egyptian lawyers and police mucked up – nothing had actually been published in Egypt therefore there was no offense nor a basis for arresting him – but who cares about the law in Egypt. At no stage had the Supreme Censors prohibited the book. Will a court kick out the arrest and purported charge merely because they are without justification/evidence/not illegal? My god if the courts disciplined (really just holding them to the law) the police or the prosecution service (it would only be a prostitution service if it sold its body and soul and I’m sure that is yet to happen or maybe we just lack the evidence at this point) did that once you might have to do it in thousands of cases and this would affect the morale of the poor police.

Farouk has form for criticism over the past few years but its moderate, nothing he says isn't published in near identical terms in the best newspapers in the west and by the best moderate think tanks (Egypt has none) in the world. Significantly, and more of this below, he has talked of policy and framework/problems rather than the drivel of Egypt (Yester)Today which makes you think there are no abstract nouns in Egypt just great Imperial ministers/army officers/the Army/the New Imperial Capital/The worlds best Canal Widening etc. In normal Egyptian discourse (wide definition) its not ideas, its people - and of course always men.

Such action by the State to arrest this chap (for a book that doesn’t yet exist) is also illegal because its against the free speech provisions of the Constitution – not that any copper, lawyer, public prosecutor or judge cares a dam about breaching the constitution given the tens of thousands of times the State has done this whilst the poor citizens generally stick to it.Here are the provisions of the Constitution:

“Article 57, which states that “the State undertakes to protect the right of citizens to use public means of communication in all its forms. It shall not ban, block or deprive citizens of such rights in an abusive manner and this shall be regulated by the law.”

Article 65 of the Egyptian Constitution stipulates that “Freedom of thought and opinion is guaranteed, and everyone has the right to express his opinion by speech, in writing, through photography, or other means of expression and publication.”

The law is clear but its administration by the upholders of law and order contravenes the constitution. It was ever thus and the International Commission of Jurists, the peak judicial body in the world, has made its view clear - the Egyptian judiciary are foul. ... t-2017.pdf and ... oratorium/

The fluff that Presidential instruments can override the constitution would be convincing to Egyptian lawyers but in the west wouldn’t pass muster in even a facility for the mentally retarded. Its sister arguments that individual acts of the Parliament can override the Constitution is laughable and confirms the standard western view that the Judiciary and profession are really, really dumb or just morally corrupt. The so called Supreme Legalese/Legalistimos further argument that the Presidential Order of Emergency voids all constitutional provisions isn’t worth dealing with but shows you why young Turkish, Israeli, Lebanese, Indian etc lawyers get jobs in London and NYC in the best law forms in the iorld but Egyptians never do – because they aren’t much good.

It is a not untrue statement, based on this and thousands of other cases. that those who 'uphold' the law and demand of the citizens slavish, or worse, adherence to it care not a jot about it as it applies to them and care nothing about breaking it. People with such values - tens or hundreds of thousands -are likely, as any Clinical Psychologist would tell you, to not leave such appealing attitudes in the office and to take them home to their family and their social life with probably awful results at best.

Here is an English language translation of the offensive book from a Spanish internet location which is outside the jurisdiction of the Egyptian legal system. The translation is not good but his targets are my favorite hopeless government body the Urban Housing creature that has built dozens of failed new cities over decades and also the oil/gas industry. Its not easy to read but seems thorough, with lots of evidence and moderate tone. ... 9%82%D8%A7

The author/economist/terrorist/liar/drug dealer/molester (none of the above but I reckon that Military Security can manufacture any evidence you need and the Chief Prosecutor will discreetly insert into himself as a legal suppository or supposition (he may not know the 2 words mean different things) has also had a go at the gold miner north east of Luxor but gets it wrong – it’s not Australian but a Canadian registered/listed firm as far as I know.

The waste of money on the new Capital City also gets a dust up.

I couldn’t see much in that document that was new given the oceans already printed on corruption and cretin government in the last 7 years. One thing there is no shortage of is waste and unbelievable mis-management. Its tone, evidence and logic implies it was pitched at a small not a mass market.

There are phrases in his book like ‘organized pillage’ but that’s been well known for three lifetimes, by some, but there is nothing I can find which advocates or even implies violence, the Brotherhood or revolution. Generally he talks of government agencies and corporations rather than individuals – odd and coy and not really ‘nailing’ it as Jesus would have said on his cross. ... 1797429885

Someone probably dobbed him in and he was naïve to hang around when Australia, the US, Canada, the UK and even places like Greece are flooded with refugee applications from Egyptians on the wrong side of the government. Usually they get in in their thousands. Its amusing that Egypt is a ‘beloved’ tourist destination of people with small brains and morals yet it has 40,000-60,000 political prisoners and the countries from which the tourists come let in persecuted people from the resort location of their ‘tour’. I’m sure many UK tourists loved their skiing, walking and cultural tours in Germany – after 1933 and before 1939 and the Spanish beaches under that great saint Franco.

A broader view on this arrest and the round-ups generally. ... -Escalates

The list of western intellectuals who did a ‘state visit’ to Stalin’s Russia and came back singing its praises was long and included those fools George Bernard Shaw, H G Wells, the Guardian, and later Tony Benn and the famous historian Eric Hobsbawm (till the late ‘80’s), the Cambridge Spy Ring, Sidney and Beatrice Webb (who founded the Statesman), Nancy Astor, many others.

A warning. The list of other prohibited books in Egypt is a state secret so it doesn’t embarrass the EU and USA who need to justify to their taxpayer their truck loads of money to Egypt. However, to be on the safe side residents and tourists should burn all books and ‘look forward’ to the jamming of the BBC World Service, Deutsche Wella and the rest. Meanwhile don’t mention Salman Rushdie, Shafee, Mahfouz’s Children of the Alley, Nawal Al Saadawi, Nabokov and many others who have been purged from Egypt to ensure it has a pure view of reality for its eternal prosperity and wisdom.

One good sign of Egypt’s infallible judgment it that it took a careful 500 years to work out evil. Egypt tried to ban the 1,001 Arabian nights but in the 2010 the courts may have had backbone but its unclear so burn it. ... nights-ban. They had previously banned and seized it in ’85. ... ights.html.

The great, blind, Egyptian intellectual, writer, politician and democrat Taha Hussein thought 1,001 a pillar of love and civilization but the Egyptian generations since have been led by gangsters. ... -nights/Al Azhar tried to ban Taha’s books but we know about Azhar’s civilization and literacy and recent advocacy of mass rapes of Christian women and other horrific religious teachings to meet god’s command. The general situation is worse now than 70 years ago – if only because the leadership have gone from ripe to rotton and now putrid..

Mubarak was active in banning lots - but in a staggering, demented type of way and banned the Muhammad bio by Maxime Rodinson of the Sorbonne which is universally regarded as supreme scholarship – and moderate. Edward Said thought it the greatest of its type but the ignorant Al Azhar hates something it doesn’t have – scholarship – and backed the old dribbler Mubarak in this matter whilst the Divine Suzanne continued sashaying the world in her French couturier suits (appalling taste) receiving prizes for proclaiming peace, freedom, libraries, literacy and wisdom. It was an illusion that deceived many fools – and her residue (foul) still does. ... nd-beyond/

My point is that Egypt has behaved in many ways like a barbaric country whilst taking western money, begging western tourism, being defended by the west from invasion in two world wars and protected from Sadam Hussein twice and also from ISIS – all at minimum effort from Egypt and in two cases no effort. In 1990 it got half of its debts forgiven and over 40 years $US80 billion in aid. Maybe the aid and tourism should be reviewed to send an obvious message that bad behavior should not get western touristic dollars and aid. At a minimum there is a death sentence against Rushdie which al Azhar has not denounced/cancelled. Maybe al Azhar should change its mind.

Somethings might be missing. At best of times the NYT and the Washington Post were near impossible to obtain even in Cairo. The Economist is likely now burnt at the airport – or stolen (its the least intemperate business magazine in the world and the most powerful but on Egypt they get the verbal machine gun out and on unending, multiple occasions) and sold on the black market and Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy should be burnt with it because there is not a single world standard newspaper or magazine which says other than - the government is rotten/incompetent/extremely repressive and/or the Egyptian economic policies will fail because they are really, really stupid and won't work.

For those who think Egypt is other than about the most repressive place on earth - here is a list of blocked websites and blogs. It includes the high status moderate Huffington Post and, oddly, the software Skype. Generally it lists locals particularly Cairo based bodies the Junta hates. Also the Washington Based Tahir Institute which is completely respectable but devilish in painting a clear picture of the stuff up by Egypt in fighting terrorism. The trigger happy Egyptian approach is clear because they ban a world research internet site which looks at hidden/undesirable and manipulative media ownership particularly in the 3rd world. The problem is this site has nothing on Egypt so they jumped the gun – so to speak.

There is one banned satirical news site which translates reasonably and shows a keen and dark wit. One ‘story’ is the new and perfect Egyptian cure for AIDS which is the continuous broadcast of the national anthem in a hospital ward. The article is ‘supported’ by the standard Ministry of Health photos – blood soaked mattresses, bad bandages and filthy floors.

All, and there are very many easily found, World ratings of Egypt say its approx. the third worst in the world – censorship, locking up journalists, killing journalists, state ownership of the media, prevention of public protest, locking up opposing politicians, free elections, corrupt judiciary, banning imported materials, libraries stacked with little beyond Junta love, removal of TV hosts critical of the Junta, suppression of academics critical of the Junta, the absolute suppression of free trade unions and the ruthless management of the occupational Syndicates to meet State needs – not worker needs, the perversion of electorate boundaries, rules for the registration of political parties and the rules for candidates to create a deformed form of democracy to meet Junta needs, the diversion of hundreds of millions $US of taxpayer’s money to bribe voters, corrupt vote counting, advertise the Army candidates, bribe journalists and pay for TV ads for their man etc. I could go on – for 30 more lines.

A completely bizarre and mad point. Some may know from a previous post that the Alex Library took a lot of money from the US over 10 years ago to do a few things including co-hosting the Internet Archive database which is a community based project of immense scale (work all done outside Egypt) that stores scanned books, music and photographs. Its website is now blocked/banned by Egypt so they took the $US6 million and kicked the donor. It is hard to see that anyone would object to them on a sensible basis. Another one they have banned is a respectable data base of open access refereed scientific and medical articles. It makes no sense because the members of this site are scores of respectable universities including the world famous UCL. As ever they have used a drag net when they should have used a targeted fly rod.

A related matter which shows that the Junta’s baseball bat knows no judgment – or sense of direction. A few months ago they locked up a retired senior diplomat who had served the rotten Mubarak regime and all he said he wanted was:

“for a popular referendum to be held on the regime”

He wasn’t a terrorist or calling for revolutionary change but just a reasonable person asking for accountability. These moderate requests get you a toilet of a jail and maybe bashings and some on this forum think that this will improve the ‘situation’ whatever that situation is. It won’t if you attack the reasonable middle position. ... 42fe5e173f and ... s-10645936

Its amazing that all the filthy Mubarak crooks and his sons are still free whilst 40,000-60,000 others are in jail (some justifiably). All that money missing (some say $US10-80 billion) and no one held to account but many ordinary people locked up who didn’t like being pushed around – or thieved. Its simple because the law is simple – when an immense amount is stolen/unaccounted for there must be someone responsible – just 1.

I know there are people on this forum who think me negative or with an agenda. All I do it print the truth which is unfortunately different from the illusions some need to maintain for their fragile sense of integrity and meaning – or self-justification. I’m sure they are right – in terms acceptable only to them. I don’t agree with them and think this forum reads a bit like a travel promotion – or at least it did until 2011 and a deal of that lingers in defiance of cruel reality.

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Re: Author Locked Up.

Post by Horus »

I know there are people on this forum who think me negative or with an agenda. All I do it print the truth which is unfortunately different from the illusions some need to maintain for their fragile sense of integrity and meaning – or self-justification. I’m sure they are right – in terms acceptable only to them. I don’t agree with them and think this forum reads a bit like a travel promotion – or at least it did until 2011 and a deal of that lingers in defiance of cruel reality.
Well that should come as no surprise as that is exactly what it used to be, a forum mainly answering peoples questions regarding travel advice and holidays in Egypt. It has morphed over the years and nowadays politics seem to have taken over and sadly all of the interesting threads and topics seem to have dried up along with the lack of visitors. Most travellers (or at least the sensible ones) are not concerned with local politics just so long as they themselves feel safe in the country that they are visiting, they usually have enough to contend with while earning a living and dealing with everyday life in their own countries to concern themselves in another nations politics whilst on holiday.

For those inquisitive visitors we had (and still have) numerous knowledgeable members who could advise on just about anything from best accommodation and eating out, to travel and health tips. We had lots of travelogues from new and returning visitors, pictures posted, quizzes about monuments and temples, short story and poetry competitions and much much more, so forgive me for thinking that boring politics have taken over this forum as it seems the only thing left to talk about. 8)

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Re: Author Locked Up.

Post by Grandad »

I haven't looked in for ages since the lively spirit of the forum has gone. When I joined in 2006 we had already been regular visitors to Egypt for 10 years. L4U gave us the forum to ask questions and thereby to improve our visits, sometimes 3 times in a year. I agree with Horus on how things used to be. Friendly banter, questions and answers, informed responses for ex pats and others, and competitions that drew a lot of interest. And who can forget the 'debates' between Stan (Living in Luxor) and Charlie (Mrs Doubtfire). And the humorous quips from dear friend Don Blackwell (Dab17), all sadly no longer with us.
The forum has changed and, sad to say, it is now unlikely that I shall get to Egypt again, age has caught up. ;)
It is equally unlikely that I shall follow the discussions on L4U. Hafiz, your posts are always eloquent and well presented but, for me, this forum is not the place for discussion of politics and human rights in a country that we love for its history and its people. Its internal affairs are none of my business, we have enough of our own problems here in the UK.

But I will close by sending my best wishes to all L4U friends still living in Egypt and those who have returned to their homes, for a Happy and Prosperous 2019
Grandad :gg:

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Re: Author Locked Up.

Post by Who2 »

Nice to hear from you, Grandad.
Mrs Doubtfire ? a transvestite,motorcycle racing, watercolourist along with a fascinating brain as was Stan and quite a few others.
Time & Tides wait for 'noman or woman..... 8)
Happy New Year!
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"

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