army

War Is Seemingly Being Declared on the Brotherhood But Are They Deserving of It?

An American journalist friend of mine got in touch with me just after the 2011 Egyptian parliamentary elections when the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists won a majority of seats.

Were the Muslim Brotherhood extremists? he asked.

He was hearing this and similar things from friends and the media and told me that this was not his understanding. He asked for my insight on the matter.

I sent him a long answer. Here are two short excerpts:

“They are not the type of group that would force women to wear the head scarf or force people to practice a certain form of Islam. My expectation is that they will focus on building the country rather than on building a religious society.”

“…in my opinion it’s not a disaster. I would have liked to see a wider representation of society [in parliament]. I’d like to see Egypt becoming more liberal. The liberals and secularists in Egypt are not strong. They are not united. They have very small followings. And very little experience on the ground with charitable services and politics. It’s going to take time for political parties to grow and have an impact so that they do get followings. We just need to give it some time.”

In the 20 months since that exchange of emails, much has changed, including my own perceptions. (more…)

Dream: Invading armies

This post is part of a new series of writings I’m trying. I have created an online dream diary and I will post the dreams that are vivid enough for me to remember. I have strange dreams. Always. I think some of them make for quite interesting stories. The first post in this series was Dream: The Cow With the Pink Pearl Ring. Below is my second post.

We were in Egypt. Or was it Iraq? Either way, we were in a city. There were many five to eight storey buildings just behind us. There was a lot of commotion on the streets. Our city had been invaded by an army. Ever since I was a child I’ve had these dreams of invading armies. They are always very vivid dreams.

The invaders were close by. We knew because lots of young men were running by us, attempting to escape the army. Behind us were buildings. Ahead of us were endless fields.   (more…)