COVID-19, Minneapolis, Mahfouz and other stuff — (FB posts, 17-31 May 2020)

31 May – North Sinai has one physician per 2500 people while South Sinai has one physician per 400 people. North Sinai has poverty, arms and drug smuggling and ferocious counterterrorism campaign against armed Islamist militants, while South Sinai has well developed top tourist destinations, walled communities, own airport, hospitals, etc.

29 May – The anger in #mineapolis after a white policeman killed  #Georgefloyd shows again and again how deep is the anti-blackness that pervades most institutions, practices and feelings in America — a depth that led to many similar previous murders and atrocities against black people, and that would continue to cause more death and destruction that is justified and perpetuated by a hegemonic anti-blackness that lies at the heart of the United States — a constituent element indeed.


This is an almost indispensable premise to understand the pessimistic but unavoidable anger that moved American Blacks and whoever supports them into pyrotechnical self defense to annihilate these deeply rooted structures of modern day enslavement and their physical manifestations: the police station, the prison, the school and probably all public spaces hat bring them on daily basis under the ruthless vengeance of anti-blackness. 


I used to think of these issues in America in a classical/liberal way using terms like race relations, reparations, reform, etc., until I read some of the works of Frank.Wilderson.Author. I now often think that short of erasing what has long enabled the current conditions there might be no other way out. Such a counterattack/resistance would paradoxically fit into the modern tradition of creative destruction that has structured our lives in the past few hundred years.


28 May – You can listen to me pontificate about Covid-19 in the Middle East in general and Egypt in particular. I know I am either looking at my feet or at the ceiling:) but otherwise the voice and messages are clear!


19 May – China used the veto right 13 times at the security council where it started to act in 1973. SEVEN of these times were in the last few years to stop resolutions concerning Syria!! (China dislikes international intervention into sovereign states and especially when this intervention touches on China’s and Russia’s own intervention in third countries. Got it!?) 


17 May — Egyptian police arrests Lina Atalah, the bravest editor in the heavily repressed Egyptian media. Lina, who runs the probably only independent website left in Egypt, Mada Masr English, was reportedly interviewing Dr. Laila Soueif in front of a Cairo prison where Laila’s son, activist Alaa Abd El Fattah, has gone into a hunger strike more than 30 days ago to protest his detention. Laila was there for the 20+time trying in vain to hand over medicine, sanitizer liquid, oral rehydration stuff, and a letter to her son. Lawyers report that Lina is to be kept in Maadi police station until tomorrow morning when she would be referred to a state prosecutor. (Update: after several hours of her arrest she was interrogated, charged and ordered released on bail but three hours onwards she was not released. Finally released about midnight Cairo time.)

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