March 11, 2005

Presidential Candidates

One of my favorites Egyptian writers is Ahmed Ragab. He is one of the most, if not the most, sarcastic writers. He has created several imaginary characters that represent different classes of the Egyptian society. His ideas and works used to be portrayed by the cartoonist Mostafa Hussein. Now, he is using the help of another cartoonist Amr Fahmi.

It is so difficult to explain the content of this cartoon as a lot of it comes from the daily life of the Egyptians. However, I will take the challenge of bridging cultures and I will try to explain this cartoon for non-Egyptians.

The main character in this cartoon is a peasant from a village called Kafr El Hanadwa. He represents the masses of poor and simple Egyptians. There is no such town or village named Kafr El Hanadwa in Egypt. But the name infers that the village is a village of naïf peasants that would believe anything that would be told to them.

The peasant has been on Al Akhbar Al Youm weekly newspaper for at least a decade. He has been a critic of all the Prime Ministers starting from the late Dr. Atef Sidki. He is now talking to the recently appointed (and quite tall) Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif. He is conveying to Dr. Nazif the reaction of people in his village on the recently proposed constitutional amendment (the amendment that would allow several candidates to contest the current incumbent Mr. Mubarak).

“There is no talk in the village now except the presidential elections. Mussa Effendi*, the clerk of the grains warehouse, announced that he can fix the situation in Egypt in 11 days. But El Manashiri has challenged him. He said that Mussa Effendi is a liar and that the situation in Egypt needs 13 days to be fixed not 11 as he claims. As for the mother of Za’aboula** went over to Abel Radi Beih* residence asking him for a reference letter for her son Za’aboula to be president. She came out shouting ‘no one wants to help anyone anymore’! As for the dude called Abou El Yazid, he was walking down the streets of the village waving his hands to people (as if he was already the president). They took him away to the mental hospital! May God keep people insane! And may God give us prosperity”

*Effendi and Beih are titles that were used before 1952 to refer to the class of the person. Beih was a higher rank than Effendi while Pasha was the highest ranking. They are no longer officially used but people still use them in their day to day language.
** In the country side, it is normal for woman to be called as the mother of their first male offspring.

The punch line is that simple people believe that they can actually run for president. Some of them even went to the extent of believing that they are already the president. But they are simply being fooled as the barriers to approve the candidacy are going to be very tough! Posted by Hello

The 911 Experience

When my mother visited me in California, she was always worried that she might get lost and that she won’t be able to find her way back to my place. I wrote down my address on a small piece of paper and gave it to her. I told her if she ever gets lost, all she has to do is find a public phone and dial 911. They will take it from there. She would not have to worry about anything. I was speaking out of what I have seen in TV not out of experience.

Few moments ago, I had my first 911 experience. Since I moved in here, I was continuously irritated by the loud music played by my neighbor. I used “preventive diplomacy” once, twice, three, and four times. The last time I threatened to fill a complaint. It seems that my neighbor did not take me seriously. Today, the music continued till after midnight. I could not sleep. I went to him and asked to stop the music. The discussion did not reach a satisfactory conclusion. I went back to my place; I reached for the phone with great hesitation and I dialed the magic number 911. It worked! I am now enjoying the silence while I am writing this.

I felt that I got the respect I deserve as a human being. I did not need to have connections in the police force to get my simple complain investigated. All I had to do is revert to my right as a human being to be respected and served by the police. I am not Canadian. I am certainly not Caucasian! The police do not know what I do for living or even my name. I am just a human being exerting his simple basic human right!

People who have lived in the “civilized” nations would probably laugh at what they are reading. It is funny how something can be taken for granted by some people while others can be so deprived of it that they do not conceive it exists.

One day, I will enjoy the same right and more at home.


March 2, 2005

Nahdet El Mahrousa

Nahdet El Mahrousa. My Responsibility Towards Egypt

Who We Are
Nahdet El Mahrousa (NM) is an Egyptian nongovernmental organization established in 2003. NM was founded by young Egyptians who believe Egypt deserves a better future. We believe that the young generation has the creativity and determination to create genuine change. Because our members come from diverse intellectual and professional backgrounds and reside inside and outside Egypt, they see the development of Egypt from multidisciplinary perspectives. NM members capitalize on their complementary experiences, strong network both locally and internationally, research and analysis capacity and grass roots outreach.

Our Mission
NM seeks to make a positive impact on Egypt’s cultural, economic and social development through the cultivation and incubation of innovative project ideas until they are independent and successful national models.
We Will Succeed In Our Mission When
· Young Egyptians are viewed as valued resources and partners in every aspect of society; and they devote their energy and talent to the development of Egypt.
· Egypt overcomes its greatest challenges towards development.

How We Work
NM seeks out creative and innovative development project ideas across Egypt. NM offers institutional framework, project development, secondary research capacity, training, small seed grants and loans. Volunteerism, networking, creating awareness and building capacity of individuals and organizations are the strategies used by NM to contribute to Egypt’s development.

NM also hosts a lively intellectual discussion group where NM members can share resources, ideas, information, and opinions about development practices.

Contact Information
Address: 7 Haret Selim, off Sheikh Rihan Street, Abdeen, Apt.1 – Telephone/Fax: 20-2-7920195 Posted by Hello


نهضة المحروسة

نهضة المحروسة.مسئوليتى كمصرى
من نحن
نهضة المحروسة جمعية أهلية مصرية أشهرت عام 2003. أسس نهضة المحروسة مجموعة من الشباب المصرى المؤمن بحق مصر فى مستقبل أفضل. إننا نؤمن أن الأجيال الشابة تمتلك من الإبداع و الإصرار ما يجعلها قادرة على إحداث تغيير إيجابى و حقيقى فى المجتمع. ينتمى أعضاء نهضة المحروسة إلى خلفيات فكرية و مهنية مختلفة و يقيمون داخل مصر و خارجها مما يجعلهم يرون الجوانب المتعددة اللازمة لتحقيق التنمية فى مصر. و يستفيد أعضاء الجمعية فى عملهم التنموى من خبراتهم المختلفة التى يكمل بعضها بعض، و شبكة علاقاتهم القوية على المستوى المحلى و الدولى، و قدراتهم البحثية و التحليلية و علاقتهم القوية بالجمعيات الأخرى العاملة فى نفس المجال و خبراتهم الواسعة فى العمل الأهلي التطوعى.
نهضة المحروسة جمعية من الشباب المصرى تحتضن الأفكار المبتكرة و توفر الدعم اللازم لها لتصبح مشروعات مستقلة و ناجحة تساهم بشكل إيجابى فى تنمية مصر و النهوض بها عن طريق تشجيع العمل التطوعى و التشبيك و التواصل مع الجمعيات و المؤسسات الأخرى و نشر الوعى و تنمية القدرات الفردية و المؤسسية

و نكون قد نجحنا فى هذه الرسالة عندما
· ينظر المجتمع المصرى إلى الشباب على أنه العنصر الأهم فى عملية التنمية و يمنحه فرصة حقيقية للمشاركة فى كل أنشطته، ليصبح الشباب مشاركاً أساسياً فى صياغة توجهات المجتمع.
· يوجه الشباب كل طاقاته و مواهبه إلى صناعة مستقبل أفضل لمصر و للأجيال القادمة.
· تستطيع مصر التغلب على تحديات التنمية بالمشاركة الفعالة و الإنتماء الجاد لشبابها

كيف نعمل؟
تسعى نهضة المحروسة إلى تبنى المشروعات التنموية المبتكرة على مستوى مصر، حيث توفر لها الإطار المؤسسى و التخطيط و التمويل المبدئى، و كذلك إجراء الأبحاث حول جدوى و مدى الإحتياج إلى المشروع من الناحية التنموية.
و إلى جانب الأفكار المبتكرة، تحتضن نهضة المحروسة منتداً فكرياً يتميز بحيوية مناقاشاته و أهمية القضايا التى تطرح فيه و التى تدور حول التنمية بمحاورها المختلفة، و من خلال هذا المنتدى يتبادل أعضاء الجمعية الأراء و المعلومات و الخبرات عن القضايا و التجارب التنموية المختلفة.

إبتكارات المحروسة
تحتضن نهضة المحروسة فى الوقت الحالى مجموعة من البرامج المختلفة التى تهدف إلى تنمية مصر من خلال بناء قدرات الشباب و تشجيع البحث و التطوير و التنمية الاقتصادية و الاستفادة من الخبرات المصرية المغتربة و إحياء التراث الثقافى المصرى و نشر ثقافة التسامح.

برنامج توجيه القيادات الشابة و يعمل على إعداد قادة للمستقبل من الشباب.
كتاب الشباب و هو قناة سيقرأ من خلالها الشباب المصرى عن مشاكلهم و كيفية التغلب عليها.
برنامج جوائز الجامعة لتشجيع البحث و التطوير و يعمل على تشجيع ثقافة البحث و التطوير بين طلبة الكليات العلمية.
مبادرة أسوان للصناعات اليدوية و تعمل على المساهمة فى تعزيز فرص التوظف و الكسب بين الحرفيين إلى جانب الحفاظ على التراث الثقافى
برنامج تشجيع الصناعات الصغيرة و يعمل على إجراء أبحاث ميدانية عن الصناعات الصغيرة من أجل تقديم المساعدة لها.
برنامج نقل المعرفة من خلال الخبراء المصربن المغتربين و يعمل على ربط الخبراء المصريين المغتربين بحاجات مصر من الخبرات المختلفة فى المجالات التنموية.
برنامج تراث المحروسة و يلقى الضوء على التراث المصرى الضخم وشديد التميز عن طريق تجميع الحكايات الشعبية المصرية الشفهية و تسجيل نداءات الباعة الجائلين.
برنامج مصريتى و يعمل على تعريف الأطفال فى السن بين 10- 15 بالتراث المصرى، و تنوعه الثقافى و الدينى و تعدد مصادره.
مبادرة تصدير الحرف اليدوية و تعمل على خلق أسواق خارجية لمنتجات الحرف اليدوية المصرية على أساس مبادئ التجارة العادلة

الموقع على شبكة المعلومات الدولية:
البريد الإليكتروني:
العنوان: 7 حارة سليم متقرع من الشيخ ريحان– عابدين – شقة 1 ت/ ف: 202-2-7920195
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