18 February 2010


Before you get the shock of your life, first, check out these photos of the March to Rafah, the hunger strike, and the convoy to Gaza:

Well have I got a shocking story for you today. Those photos you just viewed above are NOT from the Viva Palestina Convoy OR the Code Pink Gaza Freedom March. The answer to be revealed shortly:

1. We all remember after the recent Gaza genocide January 2009 that George Galloway took the first convoy into Gaza in March 2009. We all watched, cried and cheered for them. It was NOT the first convoy to break the siege.

2. Remember the recent Code Pink Gaza Freedom March and hunger strike? Well that wasn’t the first either.

Remember when Egypt attacked the peaceful Code Pink marchers? Remember how Egypt blocks convoys from entering Gaza, usually when they reach Al Arish, where they play their little games with the convoys.

Regarding Egypt, remember how we never see any Egyptians organising “on the street” rallies in support for their Palestinian neighbours suffering under an illegal siege? Notice how there is NO outward sympathy or solidarity being displayed by the Egyptian public or Egyptian politicians? Well that actually WAS a First!

What am I talking about? Get ready for a shock….. I‘m talking about how much Egypt has changed. Because those photos you viewed above are ACTUALLY photos of Egyptians holding various rallies for Gaza and also a rally at Al Arish when they were blocked (like Viva Palestina) whilst taking a convoy into Gaza, also they held a hunger strike during the course of one of the TWENTY-FIVE convoys they took into Gaza!!! You may want to re-read that sentence after the shock wears off.

I’m asking what has happened to Egyptians. I’m asking this because it was an Egyptian Convoy that broke the siege first, and it was Egyptians who organised the first solidarity March to Rafah. And it was Egyptians who first staged a hunger strike in solidarity with the people of Gaza. And it was Egyptians who first organised themselves en masse to help the Palestinians trapped in Gaza. Don’t believe me? Well check this out:
Link The Egyptian Popular Committee for Solidarity with the Palestinian Uprising (the "Lagna") was created on the 12th of September 2000, two weeks after the second Intifada started. At first, 360 intellectuals and public personalities signed a fundamental text stating the main objectives of the "Lagna". It is aimed to gather all representatives and activists of the Egyptian civil society, the professional unions, the political parties. For four years now, it has been coordinating and organizing collective actions of solidarity.

It started with two petitions: The first one was addressed to the Egyptian President Husni Mubarak and stated the urge to cut diplomatic and economic relations with Israel. The second one was presented to Kofi Anan, general secretary of the United Nations, and asked for the application of the UN resolutions and the protection of the Palestinian people. These two petitions collected more than 100,000 signatures.

The "Lagna" started first in Cairo but the mobilization and the solidarity network have spread all over Egypt, in the Delta region in particular. Today, the "Lagna" has 12 local committees in the country which organize concerts, exhibitions, meetings and political rallies.

In four years, the "Lagna" has organised 25 convoys of medicine and food, for a total cost of 15 millions of Egyptian pounds. Each convoy is an act of popular and political solidarity, coordinated by a delegation of the "Lagna", whose members are representatives of the Civil society in Egypt.

When convoys were blocked at the border, protests turn into sit-in in front of the Red Crescent office, the UN office and the ministry of Foreign Affairs. A hunger strike was held for ten days, in order to pressure the officials and lift the ban on the convoy.

The "Lagna" helps also the wounded Palestinians who are treated in Cairo Hospitals. It provides them with money, medicine and housing..
So have you picked yourself up off the floor yet? There’s even more. Witness their last effort in 2004 and note the similarities to the Code Pink March just this January:
Link As the Palestinian Intifada enters into its fifth year of existence, the Palestinian people continue to suffer the most inhumane and cruel living conditions. The killing of Palestinian martyrs continues, and so does the demolition and destruction of Palestinian houses, infrastructure and agricultural land through the systematic, barbaric and murderous crimes committed by the Israeli occupation army, including the last attack on Jabalia and the Gaza strip where more than 110 Palestinians were killed - including a large number of children, and hundreds were injured.

In protest to those tragic conditions and in solidarity with the Intifada of the Palestinian people, supporting the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people, its right to self determination and its Right to Return, the Egyptian Popular Committee in Solidarity with the Palestinian Uprising calls upon all intellectuals, activists, human rights and civil society organizations, anti-globalisation and antiwar activists to share in the protest rally in front of the Rafah crossing on the 10th of December 2004.

The choice of the 10th of December is not insignificant. This date carries the anniversary of the launching of the International Declaration for Human Rights. Our protest rally, organized on the anniversary of that day is an attempt to remind the world of the values which that declaration carried, and to express our protest regarding the continuous and systematic violation of those human rights values by the barbaric Israeli military in the occupied Palestinian territories.

We invite all activists of the world, all those who struggle against the ugliness of war and the violations of human rights of peoples to join us in front of the Rafah Crossing on December the 10th, 2004
So this has left me with a few gnawing questions.. Firstly what in the name of GOD has happened to the population in Egypt! Clearly they are capable of helping the Palestinians. Clearly within their society they have hundreds and thousands of people who are capable of organizing and carrying off massive events to aid people trapped in the open air prison Israel has created and they would NOT be alone, as WE would happily JOIN with them! Imagine the scale of events that could take place if we ALL worked together. We could make a difference alongside the people of Egypt and the WORLD would listen and take note! Clearly they once cared, clearly they once “took on” Mubarak and petitioned him to help. Clearly they were so outraged at what was happening that they were forced to act due to their human conscience.

Clearly the Egyptian people could rise again to take on this humanitarian cause, to help make right an illegal wrong, to save a human life, to show the world they are not controlled and owned by Israel and the West. So that leaves the most important question of the day. What has happened to the Egyptians, why don’t they care anymore?

Egypt once showed the world how great their people were, how they cared, how they were committed to not simply standing by to allow all this suffering in Gaza. As witnessed in these photos below:


Members of the Parliament:
Mohammed Abd el-Aziz Chaaban (Rally party)
Hamdin Sebahi
Mohammed Farid Hassannin
Amin Nur
Ibrahim Lutfy al-Zanaty
Abou al-Ezz al-Hariry (Rally party)
Al-Badry Farghaly (Rally party)
Kashem Mohammad al-Kashem (National Democratic Party NDP)
Hassan al-Mohandes (Rally party)
Khaled Mohey al-Dîn (head of the Rally party)
Rifaat al-Saeed (general secretary of the Rally party)
Adel Eid
Kamal Ahmad (secretary of the Nasserist party)
Mokhtar Gomaa (Rally party)

Unionists and representatives of the civil society:
Ahmed Nabil al-Hilali (lawyer)
Khaled Ali (lawyer)
Emad Moubarak (lawyer)
Ariyan Nasif (lawyer, farmers union)
Ahmad Ramy Abdel Moneim (chemists union)
Anis al-Biya (social workers union)
Abel Moneim Karaouya (union of the Suez Canal Company)
Abdel al-Bakouri (journalist, membre of the council of the journalist union)
Rahma Rifaat (head of the centre for union services)
Mohammed Mounir (journalist)
Ibrahim Mansour (journalist)
Hussein Abdel Razek (journalist)
Bahiga Hussein (journalist)
Farida al-Nakish (journalist)
Amina al-Nakish (journalist)
Amina Shafiq (journalist)
Khaled al-Fishawy (journalist)
Afaf al-Sayd (journalist)
Nabil Zaki (journalist, editor of al-Ahâli paper)
Adel al-Mashed (engineer)
Magdi Abdel Hamid (engineer)
Mohammed Ibrahim (engineer)
Adel wassily (engineer)
Ahmad Baha (engineer)
Ahmef Seif al-Islam(lawyer, Hisham Mubarak centre for human rights)
Shahinda Maklad (membre of the political bureau of the Rally party)
Georges Ishak
Ragiya al-Garzawy
Zohdy al-Shamy (member of the Rally party)
Amin al-Fayyed (secretary of the popular council of Cairo governorate for the Rally party)
Samia Adly (head of Nasr Pharma Co)
Salah Adly
Abdallah Mansour (head of al-Saha psychiatric hospital)
Fakhry Labib (Afro-Asian solidarity association)
Farid Zahran (head of al-Mahroussa publishing)
Magda Shaarawi (financial director for the organisation the health developement and the environment)
Manal Abaza (psychologist)

Aida Seif al Dawla (psychiatre)
Amina Raashid (professor of Frenc literature)
Madiha Doss (linguist)
Leila Soueif (mathematician)
Hilmy Shaarawi (head of the centre for Arab studies)
Abdel Ghaffar Shoukr (vice-head of the centre for Arab studies)
Mohammad al-Sayyd Said (researcher at al-Ahram centre)
Ibrahim Farag (national centre for research)
Hala Shoukrallah (researcher)
Ahmad Mokhtar Dessouki (professor of science)
Anouar Moghith (professor of philosophy)
Ahmad Bakry Mansour (professor, university of Suez)
Faten Adly (research institute for training)
Mohammad Douidar (university of Alexandria)
Mona Talba (professor of philosophy)
Nagoua Ahmad al-Mached (national centre for research)
Salah Rawi
Ahmed al- Ahwani
Mona Sadek
Radwa Ashour
Sayd al-Baharoui
Kamal Moghith

Writers and poets:
Mahmoud Amin al-Alem
Sonallah Ibrahim
Edouard Kharrat
Baha Taher
Mohammed al-Bissaty
Ahmad al-Khamis
Saad Zahran
Ibrahim Islan
Ibrahim Fathy
Ossama Anouar Okasha
Ismael Abdel Hafez
Gamal al-Qasas
Hilmi Salem
Zein al-Abdin Fouad
Saed al-Kafrawy
Soleyman Fayd
Samir Abdel Baqi
Sayd Higab
Ezz al-Din Naguib
Fathya al-Assal
Naguib al-Nagwili
Nawal Saadawi

Youssef Chahine (film maker)
Raghda (film maker)
Fouad el Tohamy (documentary film maker)
Ingham Mohamad Aly (film maker)
Tawfiq Abdel Hamid (actor)
Abbas Ahmad (theatre)
Aly Badarkhan (film maker)
Magdy Ahmad Aly (film maker)
Nahed Nasrallah (film maker)
Yousri Nasrallah (film maker)
Mahmoud al-Hindi (painter)
Morsen Tawfik