Thursday,21 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1123, 22-28 November 2012-
Thursday,21 February, 2019
Issue 1123, 22-28 November 2012-

Ahram Weekly

Social media

Morsi lurches from one crisis to the other

President Mohamed Morsi’s performance in two recent crises, the Israel aggression on Gaza and the Assiut train tragedy, dominated the debates on social networks. They are tough tests for the first democratically elected president in his first six months, for he must make major decisions related to national security and a long-time problem with train disasters.
Nonetheless, Egyptians on social network mostly praised Morsi for his stand on the Israel military offensive in Gaza, but criticised his management of the situation in Assiut, where 50 children were killed when a speeding train crashed into a school bus.
For Ahmed Abdel-Rahman Morsi has taken a long waited “courage decision” on the brutal Israeli campaign on Gaza. Abdel-Rahman said, “it is time for the Arabs to know that the Egyptian can still protect them and be their guardian and mother. Let Morsi teach them.”
Maryim Mourad said that Egyptians should be proud of choosing a president like Morsi who is willing to challenge the West for the sake of the Palestinians and their rights. “He reminds us of former president Gamal Abdel-Nasser.”
Montaser Mahmoud Hassan disagreed with both Mourad and Abdel-Rahman, saying that Egypt needs a president who focuses on internal problems and is popular because his policies help Egyptians live in prosperity.
“I think that is more than enough. We should focus on our internal affairs to gain back our regional weight and influence,” Hassan said.
The majority of Egyptians on Facebook and twitter showed disappointment in Morsi’s management of the Assiut train crash.
“Would you please, President Morsi, give part of your attention to our beloved children who were killed in the train,” said Mona Galal. She noted the children who were killed in Assiut were more than those killed in Gaza.
“Can you imagine that the number of casualties among children was in Egypt not in Gaza. God protect our children and down with Morsi and his government.”
In the last few days, many pages were created on Facebook to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Hisham Kandil. One of the pages ‘Down with Hisham Kandil’ suggested a national government that can unite all the Egyptian political groups.
“Political polarisation killed our children. Can we focus more on Egypt’s future rather than focussing interest on political groups?” Mohamed Sabri asked on the page ‘Down with Hisham Kandil’






Little Nesma vs the Israeli army

Mohamed Al-Dahshan writes in his blog about the brutal Israel war on Gaza. He discussed the Israel propaganda to improve its image and justify its military campaign that has killed until now over 100 Palestinians.
Gaza resident Assem Al-Nabeh posted a photo of his little sister Nesma earlier tonight in their home. Her name means breeze. “But she really isn’t,” her brother writes me. “She’s very impish!”
Nesma’s house has lost electric power. There are fighter jets roaring over the house, and there are explosions never too far away — not sufficiently far for the worried parents to attempt to calm their kids by lying to them that “oh, that was nothing.” And yet, there she sat, by the light of a neon lamp, scribbling in a notebook.
She’s doing her homework. And she’s smiling.
I could, of course, recap a timeline of events that brought us to today, attempting to debunk the ludicrous notion that the Israeli onslaught is but retaliation after long-held self-control. I could tell you about the victims, show you pictures. Don’t worry, not the graphic kind, not the broken bodies of children that their parents will have to pick up and bury. This is the mainstream media, after all.
Perhaps I could write about how the IDF is making a game out of the war, giving points and virtual badges (30 different kinds!) the way social media websites do, to encourage people to read and spread its version of reality. I could write about how the army spokesperson and the prime minister are waging a twitter war, mostly against facts and reasons and occasionally against the Hamas social media avatars. (“Hamas social media avatars,” incidentally, is not a sentence I expected I would ever write).
Or how the religious undertones of this war, named after a divine act of terror, point to the entrenched intractability of the conflict as the parties become increasingly religiously stubborn and divinely driven to kill.
I could write about the propaganda war and distorted metrics. It is the nature of headlines to rely on a sordid body count. (Hey, one more dead here! Oh, but is she a civilian, does she count?) CBC news reports the victims in different font sizes, depending on citizenship. Reuters headlines give precedence to the number of rockets launched over Palestinians killed.
I could write any of those articles, but I will not. I will deliberately be uncreative. Because at the end of the day, this war is about this lovely little girl, who’s probably gotten acquainted to the sound of explosions — a horrible thing for a child to be acquainted with.
The war is about little Nesma doing her homework, and about the country with its advanced army and its fighter jets, willing to kill her for electoral polls results.
This is not a conflict of equals. There is no “both sides must”. There is a side fighting for its life under fire, and another set on sowing death. This is a one-sided massacre.
In addition, as you read this, there is probably a US-donated fighter jet bombing a house, just like hers, killing a little girl just like Nesma. Think about this for a moment.






“With all the various US/ EU statements on condemnation about violence in Gaza, failure to mention murder of Al-Jabari.” @Mina Al-Oraibi
“Imagine if Gaza or Syrian cities had sirens like Israeli cities. The sirens would never ever stop, day and night.” @Dima Khatib
“It is nothing like I have ever seen or felt on TV. Gazan people are such an inspiration of resilience. I was truely touched by this visit.” @Gigi Ibrahim
“Every1 is eager to write about Egypt’s new regional weight under President Mohamed Morsi. So far his policies are similar to Mubarak’s steps and Omar Suleiman.” @Abeer Allam
“Train that hit school bus accident is a tipping point in the discontent with President Mohamed Morsi, his government and the Muslim Brotherhood.” @Nagla Rizk

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