Saturday, September 27, 2003

Egypt is full of faggots...

This news is actually almost a month old, but it was mentioned on Issandr's site so I thought I'd add my two piasters...

62 (allegedly gay) men were arrested on August 28th by police during a surprise swoop on Qasr El Nil Bridge which lies close to Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. The bridge is a popular cruising area for young arse-bandits on the prowl for some man-on-man action. The police set up road blocks on either end of the bridge and then proceeded to arrest every male pedestrian that was on the bridge at the time. While shoving the accused queens of sheba into paddy wagons, the arresting officers shouted to passers by words to the effect of "see all these khawalat (faggots)? The country is full of khawalat (faggots)!".

Unlike the unfortunate bum-slappers who became the infamous "Cairo 52" of the Queen Boat trial (I can never get past that boat's name without smiling), the men arrested on the Qasr El Nil bridge were allowed to return home after signing a confession of their "debauchery" and promising to appear for hearings in November.

I must admit I am not particularly concerned about the troubles of homosexuals in Egypt, and I daresay neither are most Egyptians. The queen boat trial, which was highly publicised worldwide, received relatively little attention here in Egypt. The reasons are quite obvious: Firstly there is next to no sympathy for homosexuals in Egypt, and secondly we Egyptians have a quadrillion other problems which occupy our attention much more than sordid tales of butches and femmes being arrested for throwing all-night banging bashes on Nile cruise boats.

For example we are concerned about the looming bread crisis, the question of the soon-to-come (we hope) presidential succession, massively increasing poverty and unemployment, and rampant government corruption. We worry when we hear of people being tortured in the local police station, and historic political parties like the Wafd experiencing internal strife. We are angered by the constant feel-good crapola served by every government official in every speech, telling us of imaginary economic growth rates and technological progress, while everyone of us knows that nothing is being done for economic development, and a top-down mafia of robber-barons is consuming, with the limitless voraciousness of oligarchs everywhere, what limited wealth the nation still owns. And because the government knows that internal problems are never quite complete without major foreign-policy screw-ups, it fails again and again to confront Israel about the Palestinian question, fails to provide a leading role in inter-Arab relations, and continues its policy of doing what it is told by the USA, like throwing the national currency down the toilet, and withdrawing support of the Palestinian leadership. Bah!

So forgive me for not showing much concern for the plight of a few pleasure-seeking fags who got arrested for debauchery. I've got a government to overthrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Edward Said, 1935 - 2003

he will be missedI was very sad today to read about this on Beta Blogger's site. Edward Said has died, of cancer. For decades, Mr. Said has been a voice of reason, respected by all. When such a voice falls silent, The human race as a whole suffers.

Rise, O Anti-Bush!

Oi vey! fuhgedaboudit...As the killing and mayhem continues in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, as the lies of Little Bush and his cronies are exposed to the world, and as more and more Americans begin to be vaguely aware of the depth of their deception, the present American regime will inevitably fall. With sadness I predict, that out of the ashes of the ultimately doomed administration of Little Bush, will rise a new and infinately more horrifying American imperialist regime, under the leadership of the honorable Rabbi's son, General Wesley Clark. Yes, believe it or not, the American people are *that* gullible. The Bush-ites will be exposed as frauds, yet after an infitesimal instant of respite, less than a heartbeat later, the next mass deception, leading to yet more war-mongering and bloodshed, will commence.

The general started his anti-bush campaign in true "shock and awe" style, criticising Little Bush's supposed plan for war against no less than *seven countries* as an obviously Bad Thing (Never mind that Little Bush never announced such a plan. Let the General make his point!). After the Iraqi campaign, a new war against Syria is alledgedly in the works. After Syria is conquered, Little Bush will lead America into glorious battle against Lebanon, Lybia, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan. This imaginary plan is obviously ridiculous, and impossible. It shows just how sick the schweinehunde Bush-ites are! And what further admonitions do you have to add, praytell, Herr General?

"We obviously should be paying more attention to the REAL sources of terrorism, namely Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and EGYPT." - says this new beacon of imperial patriotism.

What can I possibly say about this that doesn't come off as defiant, arrogant, contrarian, or whatever?

I am suddenly reminded vaguely of the words of everyone's favourite superhero, President Bush: "Bring it on".

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Arab Street blues..

I've been laid out sick with a cold for the past several days, and been too zonked out to do anything productive. Instead I've been lying on my couch, aimlessly surfing the net and watching much too much television. I know I should be sleeping or reading a good book but neither activity seems to be working for me.

As if on cue, TV Land is showing CSI from the very beginning, which is fun, but the channel that I am watching more and more is the Paramount Comedy Channel. My favourite shows:

- Futurama: Outrageous sci-fi cartoon. I love the beer-guzzling robot.
- Third rock from the sun: It's ridiculous, I know, but John Lithgow always squeezes the laughs out of me, without fail.
- The Drew Carey show: I don't what it is about this show that tickles me so, but it does.
- That 70's show: I laughed till I cried, then cried some more when it ended. The re-runs still crack me up, though.

As for Arabic television channels, the answer is no, I hardly ever watch them, unless I happen on one of the old Egyptian movies (pre 1966). And the Arabic news channels are even more depressing to watch than the western ones.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

New American casualties...

CENTCOM Briefing: 20:32, 09/18/03

General John Abizaid met with Journalists today to report on the latest American casualties in Iraq.

"I am sad to report that one Army corporal stubbed his toe and a female private cracked a fingernail while the two were on a routine ice-cream buying mission near Khalidiya. Apparently the two were ambushed by RPG-wielding supporters of the former regime. " - said the General. "The two were driving towards the Ice-cream stand on the outskirts of Khalidiya in their Humvee when the vehicle they were driving was blown to smithereens by an anti-tank mine. Luckily they both jumped out in the nick of time, and returned fire, killing 300 Saddam loyalists." - he continued.

When a Times reporter mentioned reports that the attack in question actually involved a large American convoy and reports indicated that up to 8 Americans had been slaughtered and dozens wounded in a well-planned assault, Abizaid, winking and grinning, replied coyly: "I have no such information".

The Times journalist pressed on, querying the General about reports that the ambush in question was actually nothing less than a protracted battle, with several American vehicles destroyed, and that medevac helicopters were unable to reach the wounded due to the extremely heavy enemy fire. Abizaid responded by ignoring the comments and asked the gentlemen from Fox News for his next question. Large, muscular MP's meanwhile proceeded to drag the Times correspondent into a back room for a personal debriefing.

Survivor VII...

If it wasn't for this late night re-run I would have missed the first episode of Survivor 7 (shock, horror). The first episode is always fun; the initial pathetic running around, excited squealing, strutting, flirting, and bitching of the disoriented players always amuses me, despite my moral and ideological misgivings about the show and reality shows like it. Yep, even Survivor doesn't escape discussion on the Arab Street!

Some quick comments on the first episode:

1 - I like the pirate's theme of this season, I'm expecting a lot of cool pirates-themed props and games. The immunity idol is downright satanic, though..

2 - They've really assembled some fools this time, some stupid ones too, And what was up with those three nincompoops trying to run the challenge while butt-naked in front of everyone? Were they trying to scare the other tribe away?

3 - Plenty of fish and crab on these islands, so I hope we won't be watching this bunch of fools starving and eating rats, etc.

4 - My favourite player so far is Rupert from Drake tribe (probably the most "real" person in the game and the only entertaining one) and my least favourite is Osten of Morgan tribe (Osten is a strutting monkey, a total ape who is disgustingly infatuated with himself. And he can't even keep is arse covered).

5 - No, I won't turn this blog into a survivor fan site. I am not a survivor freak.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Iraqi resistance launches offensive

Flames of a fake victoryAs Isabel ravages the Eastern United States, it is perhaps fitting that a "hurricane" of Iraqi resistance attacks has produced up to 16 American KIA or more on thursday.

First, up to eight American soldiers or even more were killed when their convoy was caught in a sophisticated, multi-stage Iraqi ambush near Khalidiya. A Humvee troop transport truck in the convoy was destroyed by a mine and caught fire, and American soldiers came under fire while attempting to retrieve the dead and injured. When the convoy attempted to escape down the road, it was hit 500 meters further on by multiple RPG-7 projectiles, with at least one more vehicle destroyed. At the same time, in a possible diversion, a large explosion was heard from inside an American base in the area (though no information about casualties there is available). Shortly afterwards, there was apparently a second, similar ambush on another American convoy, resulting in another two vehicles destroyed, about 15KM away. According to witnesses, the combat area was too hot for medevac helicopters to land until hours later, when tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles arrived to clear the area. Journalists attempting to reach the combat zone were shot at and threatened by American troops and tanks. The US occupation forces command in Baghdad said it had no immediate report of the incident (yeah, right).

To add insult to injury, four more American soldiers were killed later on while on patrol in Falujja. Some reports indicate it might have been a revenge attack for yesterday's murderous American attack on a wedding in Falujja which killed an Iraqi teenager and wounded four others.

The US occupation forces command refused to report on these incidents but reported casualties in at least one other attack in Ramadi. According to unconfirmed reports, there have been at least several other combat engagements on Thursday in Iraq. Additionally, the main oil pipeline between Iraq and Turkey was blown up by saboteurs, resulting in a large fire near the northern city of Bayji.

In other news: there has been no new information released on the eight westerners who were detained on Wednesday by the Americans under suspicion of participating in combat resistance against occupation forces.

UPDATE: Fox News reports that another three occupation troops were killed Thursday evening by a resistance ambush on the outskirts of Tikrit.

Thursday, September 18, 2003


What should we Arab peasants say to our sharmoota governments when, not only do they accept the American occupational puppet regime in Iraq into the Arab League, they try to get it accepted into OPEC, only to be rejected, not as would be expected by the Arab nations, but by Venezuela, on the grounds that the Iraqi government represented a "foreign occupier"?!!!!!! I mean, has someone in the Arab power elite got their priorities a little skewed? I hope that the Venezuelans take it one step further and publicly humiliate the Arab representatives for not taking a stand.

I mean, of all the outrageous, infuriating, treacherous, traitorous acts, how could Arab leaders accept this American puppet regime into the fold? How about a little solidarity?! I mean it won't kill us! ... Bah! Damn their moustaches to hell. When one day the Iraqi people rid themselves of the American imperial yoke that now strangles them, it will be interesting to watch how they express their gratitude to their Arab brethren for such "support".

The Perfect Storm...

I'll huff, and I'll puff...Tomorrow, Hurricane Isabel will land on the east coast of the United States. I've often wondered what is it about that area of the world that is so attractive to hurricanes and tornadoes. If you don't know what a hurricane can do let me share my personal experience:

In June 1998, I was in Moscow, Russia, when there occured a freak hurricane which lasted about half an hour, killing 9 people and causing extensive damage. There were no warnings like what the American public is receiving, it just suddenly took off and blew like hell for 30 mins.

I remember that I was at home one evening in my 8th story apartment, watching TV. There was suddenly a roaring sound outside, and my natural reaction was to go to the balcony door to look outside and see what was making all that racket (I thought maybe it was a low-flying aircraft). I was almost sucked right out! And I'll never forget the sound that was almost deafening until I closed the door again - like being near the business end of a jet engine. I could feel the entire building vibrate, the windows were all shaking in their frames, and when I put my face near the glass to peer outside I could see that the air was filled with debris such as tree branches, leaves, and paper and other trash. It was very intense and scary. The next morning the whole area was a mess. Debris and rubbish was everywhere, many windows were blown out, and about a quarter of the trees were uprooted or snapped. I was glad I lived in a building made of concrete blocks, and not some flimsy wooden house.

And the Moscow hurricane had 65 MPH winds. Isabel will land tomorrow at over 100 MPH.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

How much of the news is actually news??

Jesse Avraham's detailed analysis of one hour of CNN programming demonstrates quite well how little real news actually reaches viewers of the major American networks. A tantalysing blurb:
"Our enemy is not terror, it is not Islam, it is not the radical suicide bomber, it is the threat to our society that ignorance poses to our nation. America has become a nation of misinformed radical flag wavers who do not even understand what they are supporting when they flaunt their patriotism. We are taught that democracy means that we all get to sing the national anthem before every sport event but we do not realize that without free press we have no democracy. "

American and British guerillas arrested in Iraq!

Apparently, no less that SIX Americans and 2 Britons have been detained in Iraq on suspicion of participating in paramilitary attacks on American forces. Officials of the US occupation forces are withholding details of their identities so far. I will update as more information becomes available. For some reason the major news websites are not running this yet.

UPDATE: The eight prisoners have been classified as security detainees and are being held at Abu Ghraib prison, about 20km west of Baghdad. Obviously they are being interrogated and until that is done (a process that could last days), no details about their identities will be released.

Source 1: RIA (Russian Information Agency)

Source 2: Daily Times

Source 3 San Francisco Chronicle

Monday, September 15, 2003

Excellent blog about Egypt

Thanks to button for pointing me in the direction of Issandr El Amrani's excellent blog. The latest post about Al-Arabi's recent article talking about the horrible corruption in the Egyptian government and urging the President to transfer power to the public is pretty intense stuff. Issandr El Amrani is (among other things) the former editor of the Cairo Times.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Comments / Feedback

Courtesy of Blog Speak I can enjoy your feedback again. This system actually allows me to delete insulting and rude comments (without having to break the bank). Sorry to everyone that posted comments when I was using Backblog, there's no way for me to restore them. Let's hope Blog Speak works out fine.

Arafat - Bar Gerush, as usual..

I've been trying to formulate in my mind a nice and concise commentary on this issue, but without success, so I'm just going to go ahead with the "stream of thought' method and just think aloud. I apologise if it turns out to be incomprehensible. Here goes:

ArafatA lot of attention has been paid to what will happen to Yasser Arafat, ranging from morbid neocon and zionist calls for his murder, to calls for his deportation, to dire warnings of the consequences of any action on Israel's part.

So much time has passed since Yasser Arafat became the Palestinian leader in that nation's struggle for independance, that most observers look upon this issue with a warped sense of history (or none at all). Zionist hatred of Arafat is so intense that no effort has been spared over the decades, to make sure that he is portrayed in an extremely negative light in the western media. This campaign has been extremely successful, and Arafat is fervently hated outside the Arab world. Why is this?

Since the 1960's, Arafat, as PLO chairman, has been the national leader of the Palestinian people. From the beginning, he turned the PLO into a real government-in-exile for Palestinians, and initialised many institutions (governmental, educational, military, diplomatic, humanitarian) that gave the PLO the legitimacy it needed. In many ways, Arafat is the person who made the Palestinian resistance against zionism into a viable struggle. He organised Palestinian military (or terrorist, of you prefer) resistance, he gained the tangible support of Arab governments (while nevertheless remaining independant and not falling under the influence of any other government), and has managed to keep the dream of Palestinian statehood alive in the minds of Palestinians as well as many non-Palestinians, despite Israel's best efforts over the decades. It is this that has given Arafat a cult leader status among Palestinians. This is the reason why he will remain the center of gravity in the Palestinian power structure as long as he is alive.

I think the best indicator of Arafat's success over the decades has been the lengths to which Israel has gone to attack the PLO. Examples of this are the invasion of Lebanon and the long range bombing of the PLO headquarters in Tunis by the IAF.

The PLO and its splinter groups (mostly its splinter groups, actually) carried out many attacks against Israeli military and civilian targets over the years. Israel is a western creation, and so the PLO has always found the task of portraying its actions as legitimate acts of resistance, to be impossible. Even attacks against Israeli military targets are commonly described by western news agencies as terrorist acts. Israeli atrocities, meanwhile, often go virtually un-reported or are deliberately ignored. The extent to which the western media has distorted the history of this conflict for westerners is not to be underestimated.

All this considered, I am sure that Israel has had many opportunities to kill Arafat, and the fact that they never did can only mean that he is worth more to them alive than dead. My theory is that Arafat gives the Israeli people and westerners an easily-defined object of hatred and fear, which the propagandists can use as a tool in their support for Israel. Arafat has always enjoyed and exploited the lime-light, so he manages to play into Israeli hands in this respect. For example, his reaction to the Israeli government's declaration that he was "Bar Gerush" (deportable) - was predictable. He went through the motions, speaking to a large noisy crowd, talking about martyrdom, etc. and generally feeding both his Palestinian and western listeners the kind of rhetoric they expected to hear. He himself knows that it is extremely unlikely that he will be either deported or murdered.

Whether he is killed or dies of natural causes (Arafat hasn't looked very zippy for quite some time now), his passing will be a major obstacle for the Palestinian struggle. Not because he is such an important leader (those days passed many years ago), but because too much power is concentrated in his hands. If he goes, there will be a large power vacuum, which Israel will fully exploit to weaken the Palestinian cause as much and for as long as possible.

I don't think that the Israeli government will be so rash as to murder Arafat, since this would create the self-defeating effect of re-establishing the Palestinian cause as the number one concern of the Arab masses. Arafat's assassination would get so much press that the Palestinian movement could only benefit. Furthermore, the PA might cease to be the main power center for the Palestinians, and we might see the ascension of the much more radical Hamas into power.

On the other hand, here's a wild theory: Perhaps Israel will kill or deport Arafat, counting on a bloodthirsty response by Palestinian organisations like Fatah and Hamas, and vociferous condemnations and threats by Arab and Muslim leaders. Israel has always benefitted by portraying itself as being under constant threat of attack, and while I doubt that killing Arafat would provoke an actual war with any Arab country, I am sure that all efforts towards peace would be rendered useless for years. Sharon could then do whatever he wanted; such as massively expand settlement activity, and carry out ethnic cleansing operations in the occupied territories, even invade a neighboring country to gain more "buffer zone" territory.

Then again, this could all be more bluster on the part of the Israelis, and no real action will be taken against Arafat. It's happened many times before. As for Arafat being "Bar Gerush", I'm sure it's nothing new for him.

Saturday, September 13, 2003


Today I received an email from which (incomprehensibly), after analyzing my past purchases decided that I absolutely must buy the books listed below. Honestly, does anyone think that my Amazon purchase history could conceivably cause their customer analysis engine to decide that I wanted to read these retarded propaganda manuals? Welcome to

The case for Israel "The Case For Israel", abbreviation: "Israel good, Arabs Bad".

The New Anti-Semitism "The New Anti-Semitism", abbreviation: Everyone STILL Hates Jews..

Sleeping with the Devil "Sleeping with the Devil", abbreviation: Saudi Arabia VERY BAD!

The Crisis of Islam"The Crisis of Islam", abbreviation: Islam SUPER-DOOPER BAD!!

Emails to staff asking if there was a "No Zionist literature" button available on my personal Amazon account have gone unanswered so far.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

A bit about the Bum...

I suppose some may have noticed that I haven't really been faithful to the declared purpose of this site, namely to provide an insight into the mind of the typical Arab Joe in light of constantly developing world events. I guess that I am a little individualistic and perhaps egoistic to be faithfully representative of any society, let alone my own. In the interests of clearing up any questions along the line of "who the hell do I think I am to talk", and perhaps to serve my ego just a little bit, I've decided to introduce you to Arab Street Bum; who is he? What does he do? etc...

As an individual I can't possibly claim to be fully representative of the diverse and multi-faceted sociosphere that is the "Arab Street" (yes, I know that sociosphere isn't a real word, I invented it just now). That's why I choose to call myself the Arab Street Bum, because I have no right to making any claims of representing anyone (and for that matter, neither does anyone else). So the very act of making this blog makes me a nothing, just an outcast, someone who instead of choosing to accept life as it is and join the sheeple in repeating the same things and doing the same things over and over again, decides to stand up on this silly virtual soap box and spout his unwanted, un-asked for opinion about Life, the Universe, and Everything.

As far as whether or not I am in any way representative of Arabs, that's for you to decide. I am 30 years old, Egyptian, male, married, with one daughter. Though I believe in God and consider myself a Muslim, I am not particularly preoccupied by religion. I'm not from a poor family, and I am lucky enough to have my own house, car, and business. Like most Arab bloggers, I lived a large part of my life overseas. Like most middle and upper-class Egyptians, I am multi-lingual, though I myself speak five languages fluently (English, Arabic, German, Croatian, and Russian). I have a BA in journalism, though I don't work as a journalist (nor, other than to update this blog, do I intend to).

I suppose it would be dishonest for me not to mention certain things that are definately not typical of the mythical average Arab Joe. Both my mother and my wife aren't Egyptian. My parents are divorced (not very common here). I wasn't born in Egypt. I hold three nationalities. In the 1990's, my mother's country became a war-zone, and I travelled there and participated in fighting for about a year. I was in a specialised anti-tank platoon. It was quite an experience.

I hope that you feel you've gotten to know the Arab Street Bum a little better. If I've only confused you, I am sorry. Anyway, thanks for your attention, it's always entertaining for the ego to talk about oneself, even when you have to remain incognito. I'll try not to make a habit of it.

UPDATE: Oh, and I love scuba-diving. I've been diving in the Red Sea since I was 13.

Recording industry sues the world

This is probably one of the most ridiculous things I've heard in recent memory. As I am writing this, there are 3,267,308 users logged onto Kazaa, and 5300 Terabytes of files are being shared by users across the globe, 99% of which are movies and MP3's, and here we have the Trillion-dollar recording industry taking a little 12-year old to court and even actually intimidating her mother into paying $2000 in a settlement.

Well, I am unashamed to admit that as I am writing this, I am listening to music which I downloaded using Kazaa lite. I had a hankering for some 80's hits (blondie, if you must know), and since a "legal" copy wasn't immediately available I went ahead and got the songs I wanted. Sue me if you want, corporate America. Meanwhile Í will enjoy a bit of reminiscing while listening to "a total eclipse of the heart" and "Call me".

Monday, September 08, 2003

Little Bush speaks...

What a load of poop. Virulent poison dripping from a lying imperialist tongue. I can only hope that a sizeable portion of Americans will notice his avoidance of topics such as American casualties in Iraq, the failure to find WMD in Iraq, and chafe at Bush's promise to spend 87 billion dollars on the continuation of his war.

What did I expect? That Bush would confess to provoking the whole conflict in order to insert American forces in Mesopotamia and use the "reconstruction" of Iraq to shamelessly steal billions of dollars worth of Iraqi oil? That his wonderful war would go on for many more years, and perhaps provoke a full-scale conflict between America and all Islamic peoples? Of course not.

The real "Baghdad Blogger"

The latest post by Riverbend is shocking and heartbreaking, and literally had me in tears. Her words defy description, so all I can say is go read it now.

I don't want to sound overly judgemental but the comparison is unavoidable: Salam Pax, with his (self-hating?) pandering to western readers and his incomprehensible sympathy for American soldiers (even as they brutalised his family and ransacked his house) sounds absolutely pathetic next to Riverbend's terrifying descriptions of the hellish existence and terror forced on her and her people by Little Bush's big 'ole war.

Without a doubt, Riverbend is the person most deserving of the title of "Baghdad Blogger", and her page is where one can really find out what the war has done to Iraq. If on the other hand, you aren't interested in reality and instead just want to read juvenile strutting and boasting about the latest pleasure-seeking thrills and adventures of Salam & friends, go see his page.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Latest Zionist provocation

fargin bastiges...Sharon's gang is wasting no time in exploiting the latest "cease-peace". Just as the zionists claim that Palestinians exploit cease-fires to regroup and re-arm, the Israelis can always be relied upon to exploit crises, executing massive settlement actions and sending the IDF on orgies of death and destruction in the occupied territories.

It seems that the zionists want this crisis to last. Today, in an obvious act of provocation, they attempted to assassinate none other than Hamas' Numero Uno Uncho, Shiekh Ahmed Yassin. Predictably, Hamas gave its Qassam brigades the green light to go to town with attacks on Israeli targets. I'm sure however that the brainwashed western masses will fail to see the connection when the next bombing or sniper attack kills some more Israelis. And I wonder what will happen if the Israelis are successful in their next attempt on Yassin's life.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Misc. vibes

I've removed the comments for now, due to the mindless trolling of a certain severely retarded and primitive individual. I will install a comments system as soon as I can find one that allows me to filter out the noise..