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Alaa blogs: What if Hosni dies while I'm in jail?

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We've been playing with this question for a while now, mostly as a joke, but sometimes an irrational fear grips me.

He is old and senile enough, and i'm sure millions are actively praying for his sudden death.

Normally I'd be happy, his death is no solution for Egypt but it's bound to shake things up and spark an interesting sequences of events.

But now that I'm in jail it's a scary thought. It would take no less than 3 months for the dust to settle and who knows what will be the result of this power struggle. Most likely no one but immediate family will remember us until it is over.

In my mind most people will continue living their lives normally. The huge bureaucracy will chug along just fine, but all security organs will be paralyzed.

In my mind no officer will wake up the next day and head for his post. Which means prison will be abandoned.

The problem is, our cells are locked from outside. And our only source of information is state TV and state TV is run by state security officers (just watch el beid beidak). What if in the confusion they don't report it?!!

We'll find ourselves locked for days without the door opening and without anyone explaining anything.

But the worst part is, this happened before. You see it's a common form of group punishment to just leave the doors locked and ignore you. They know prisoners store enough food for a week or two.

When Hosni dies it would take us a week to notice that something went wrong.

who knows how long it will take us to get released.

Screw democracy keep the guy in ice till I'm released.


Now U are talking like a selfish bastard

U deserve to rot in prison for a while

Acting like an asshole won't change things and U KNOW THAT

So why U do the things U do moron?

sit and do nothing? you think he is selfish? he is the one sitting in a jail cell isn't he? maybe we should just sit and wait for martians to bring us justice. or maybe you know a better way, what have you done for your country lately genius? i am assuming not much since hypocrisy is a common companion of arrogance.

Although I don't believe in logic when discussing politics in Egypt,I mean u'll never know how things will go when Hosni dies,but I think ur conclusion is quite possible

so Rabena ye7'aly 7osni until u and the other folks r released,never thought enni hade3elo

Why are people talking about Hosni's death like it would be a solution to the problem, the end of opression and the start of democracy??? You seem to forget that the guy is so old and that he won't be there for long anyways. His death doesn't really affect anything other that the date on which Gamal becomes president. Everything is planned to have Gamal take over in a couple of weeks or maybe a month.I don't think that the security forces would be paralysed or anything. Dogs are trained to obey their owner regardless if his first name is Hosni or Gamal.

The real question is What If Gamal Is The One Who Dies?????Young people can die too ,u know . That really could change everything.who could take power after Hosni in that case? I don't think they prepared Alaa for this position and I don't think people are as willing to accept him as president as they would Gamal, are they? There would be a real confusion in the country , because poeple started thinking of Gamal as vice president whether they like it or not so in a way that gave them a sense of security.


I do not really know, maybe the sudden death of Mubarak usher your immediate release along with others who are detained by the state security on bogus charges. The shock of Mubarak's death might of course spark a series of unexpected events, so, why can't your release along with others be one of those events.

Alaa, I really hate to say it, and I know that this might not be a suitable time for you, but if you are reading this - I mean if Manal prints it for you and you read it in custody - then I would like you to start a debate, as big as you could possible have on how to draw analogy with other countries that managed to break free.

I mean if we look at relatively old experiences (Greece in the seventies, and Spain afterwards), relatively new, (Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines), new (Georgia and Ukraine), and very new (Nepal), and find common denominators in all those experiences. Maybe we can then draw lessons from what happened in those countries and use it to our advantage.

I am thinking of an analysis that I read sometime back in the economist comparing what happened in Ukraine with the situation in Uzbekistan, and the bottom line has always been the critical mass of people, financial resources, and leadership issues.

The demonstration at which you participate along with other activists has always been characterized by low turn out (relative to the size of the Egyptian population), lack of leadership, and the inability, or lack of desire to stay in the street until a change has taken place. We know that people are afraid, but why weren't they afraid in Ukraine or Nepal, this needs further examination.

Moreover, there is the issue of leadership, leadership is important, particularly in the case of Egyptians (they are always on the look for a hero, they love heroes because heroes do what an average Egyptians would normally fear doing, so, in the sense, they see in the hero what they would love to see in themselves, it is Egyptian thing and we all know it).

So, so as not to make this a very long post, I would say, that issues such as Leadership and Financial Resources needs to be tackled also in the context of trying to rally around as many Egyptians as we can. A capital like Cairo is growing to the size of Mexico City, we need more people demonstrating, standing their grounds, in the street, never ending their protests until the dictator steps down. I simply refuse to believe that he will detain hundreds of thousands of demonstrator or even millions of them. There is a limit to what the regime can do and everybody knows it.

On the issue of financial resources, I think we need a fund for compensating those who suffer as a result of expressing themselves and demonstrating against the regime, and those who are detained. The fund should be replenished by Egyptian Money, from Egyptians working abroad, EXPATS will participate more easily, they all left the country to escape Mubarak’s ruling. They also live abroad, so, they have on fear of participating in such venture. This fund is important on two accounts, first, is the provision of financial resources to those who suffer as a result of asking for change. And the second is that it shows the regime, and the activists in Egypt that the Egyptians abroad are a potent force that can help, and that they support change by peaceful means. Insisting on Egyptians only money is important so as not to give the regime a chance to cry foul on account of foreign intervention.

Finally, there is the external factors and the balance of power. The US, Israel, the Egyptian Copts and (believe it or not), even Saudi Arabia are all stakeholders in this process. You have to think of any envisaged change carefully, or any of these parties would be compelled to act if it feels any alienation of its right as a result of this regime change.

I have wrote this pretty quick (have work to do), but I think you got the main idea.


Akis Patsourakis

AKIS , i read your comments to 3alaa , i find your openions quite intresting , thats actualy what i do share with u , if we need a change we have to do it peacfully and the only way to do so is by general massive demonstrations and strikes carried out first by students , the example of yoguslavia and how the oposition parties followe the young people and how the army it self joined them at the end , i mean we have to study such movements carfully and try to apply em on the ground after good analisis and planing , the spark should start from students they r active ,most of them single no (responsability) . the most important thing is to unite all the oposition in one independently of its ideology thats why it is quite important not to get involved in discutions even details of ideological thoughts and ideas we need a fase of pause in competition and friction between different ways of thinking we need a common background which must bee only freedom , after we get it we can fight each other if we like in how to understand it but meanwhile we dont have any for god sake.and again if this happens in egypt it will spread out to the rest of the middle east . thanks . waeel from spain.

U r right most of what u thought! The strange problem if Housni dies while u people are in prison will be solved by another people who r out of prison! This happened in Sudan after the fall of crazy Noumiery... that the Ahaly went towards the notorious Kober prison and begin to attack the doors by trailers. Thy opened a hole and went inside with sticks and knifes... there were very few officers left scared to death and gave them the keys of the cells . A friend of mine from inside the prison told me this story We will ask “the Democracy “to keep HIM in ice until the walls would be brooked! It is a serious question and it must have answer in the contrary of absurd ones, which no body can answer

مش واثق ان السيناريو ده واقعي يا علاء

مذكرات السجون بتحكي ان المساجين عرفوا بخبر وفاة ناصر والسادات أول ما حصلوا و أذيعوا

ومتقلقش على ثبات الجهاز الأمني

هوا هيواصل خدمة النظام بغض النظر مين هيحطوه على راسه

فيه سيناريو تاني

انه يموت علي ايد كتائب الشهيد مالك مصطفي الجناح العسكري المنشق عن 30 فبراير

ساعتها هاتخرج علي ظهر دبابة و نروح كلنا علي مجمع قيادة الثورة في العمرانية

ملحوظة :

مش هاننسي نحاكم الجناح العسكري المنشق ده لاننا مش بنحب العنف

I'm sure there's millions thinking of hosni death, most of them see that it'll be great thing, but I'm not optimistic, I'm really frightened i can't imagine more 40 years of Mubarak's ruling and we're not sure when u get released.

هو اكيد موته مش حيبقى في صالحك في الاول لانك حتطول شويه بس كله يهون عشان مصر و للا ايه لكن اكيد اي رئيس حييجي جديد حيفرج عن كل المعتقلين عشان يحسن صورته فمتخافش لي ملحوظه لعلاء و منال مدونتكم جميله بس ياريت تلتزموا شويه بالاداب و بلاش الفاظ وحشه و مواضيع هايفه

اعتقد ان الاخوان حيمسكوا السلطة بعد ثورة اسلامية جامدة جدا, وحتبقي مصيبة لان الاخوان حيخلوا مصر كلها في ضلمة وحنقعد 30 سنه كمان علي بال ما الشعب يبتدى يتحرك ويثور علي الاخوان بعد ما يعرف انهم اصخم من حسني وساعتها بقي ممكن حد يفتكر الناس اللى كانوا معتقلين من ايام حسني...بالمناسبة انا مش شايف حد علي الساحة فعلا ممكن يبقي مكان حسني ودي مصيبة لاننا اتعودنا ان دايما فيه قائد واحد ورمز واحد والكلام الفارغ كله بتاع الاعلام الاهبل الحكومي بتاعنا. مشكلة مصر كبيرة وانت كمان مشكلتك كبيرة.

سؤال برىء ليه قلت الاخوان اصخم من حسنى قلى 3 اسباب منطقية

Before yesterday there was a “ zarqay “ yesterday he was killed .. Today, he is mot around and tomorrow or after he would be forgotten! that what Marquez in his special genius setter had wrote in his “ The Autumn of the Patriarch “ about the dictators who live in their un real world when thy role and continue to live in this unreal world after thy been thrown out.. I had once upon a time saw a dictator : Mangesto Hella Miriam ( any person still remember such a name?! ) when he took over Abyssinia “ after killing all his colleges` He was a simple sergeant in the army of the ex emperor . I was in Adiss Ababa to do some journalism story , saw him in press conference, I stayed in the capital for 3 weeks. It was under daily curfew , my hotel was looking a small canal. Every morning I see some corpse ,in the water. I asked and thy told me that(Thy r the enemy of the state) When the revolution army came to the doors of the capital, he was saved by American military air-plains... He Mangesto claimed to be commonest! . The dead bodies were of the members of the communist party there .. he was the secretariat general!! So.. when he finished what he had been asked to do, the Americans helped to throw him out because his task is done! that what happened to many rulers in the Arab and African states . Thy r useful till certain time and then .. out! some of those people r obvious criminal like zarqay and some r presidents and kings ..thy all will go to the “ island” which Marquez had put his ex dictators in it on his novel! When Moubark goes .. there will be in " the waitting " the next ruler .. not his son !

I think it's just a matter of time till u come out.. homa bas ayzin yegibouh akhrak.. i don't think a lot of things will change if and when Mubarak dies.. the 2 scenarios are awful.. a new kid on the block- aris baka we mahadesh adouh- or the muslim brotherhood- so say goodbye to any good taste in the country.. hanebka aghanistan 3alla ahsan takdir. bas meanwhile am following ur blog so there's one more person who wont forget what u have done and what u are doing..!

Alaa. Don't worry about Hosni. He won't die. A story was going around that Hosni's father died at the age of 104 in a motorcycle accident. So unless Hosni is not running around on a motor bike, the chances are low that death will remember him for the coming 25 years.

Under any circumstances, Rabenna yakhdoo - bas after you get out ISA.

Its so pathetic that us Egyptians would be in such shambles if Hosni was to go... its true though, who else would take over? if the Crazy muslim brotherhood took over, Egypt will be ruined and turned into another Afghanistan, So we need to ask ourselves, WHO CAN TAKE OVER? who is the best person for the job to lead a backwards people? YES we are backwards. Is Ayman Nour qualified? and if he is, is there any way to get him out of prison? Its so sad that such a country like Egypt with all our culture and all our good hearted people is so screwed up!! Mubarak or his goverment are not the only problem, its the mentality of the Egyptian people, we just settle for whatever happens and think all we have to do is sit there and pray, instead of going out and taking action!!

Mr Tarek who told u that Muslim brotherhood were in Afghanistan so it became like that, or do u think that there are no difference between MB & Taliban so do u know enough about MB & what do u know about Taliban?

hosni mubarak is egypt's pharoah , and pharoah doesnt die , even if his body is dead , his guardians will be around to protect the regime . we need a wind of change !

هدية لل شرقاوي وكل من يمر بظروفه الباشا سعادة الباشا مامور قسم قصر النيل صحا من نومه دعك عيونه المعمصين نزل رجله يجس الارض شمال و يمين ملقاش مداسه راح ساحب شخرة و سب الدين قلع بيجامته.. هرش حمامته.. لبس هدومه فى دقيقتين و بحركة خفيفة سحب سلاحه حطه فجمبو فغمضة عين نزل الشارع يركب بكسه والعسكري رن سرينتين تمام يا افندم ..تمام يا باشا.. اطلع علي فين؟؟؟ عالقسم يا ابنى..حاضر يا باشا وراحوا طالعين وعند القسم سلام سلاح و خبطوا الارض بالرجلين دخل الباشا على مكتبه..قلع الكاب ..فتح الديش و شاف فلمين جاتله اشارة من المدرية عن تواجد متظاهرين قال فعقله ولاد القحبة عاملين فيها وطنيين راح المهم والبهم و جوة طيازهم احشر كراتين بعد مجم نفذ وعده و هتك اعراضهم بالدور و فتح بقة و لعن الناظر والمنظور رجع المكتب ..صلى العصر ..وخرج و قفل النور from alexawy 2 el sharkawy be strong 10/6/2006

CAIRO, Egypt -- Even from his cell in an Egyptian prison, Alaa Abdel-Fattah is blogging -- scribbling messages on slips of paper that make their way to the internet and spread around the world.

The 24-year-old Abdel-Fattah's blog, which he posts with his wife Manal Hassan, has become one of the most popular pro-democracy voices in Egypt. He has continued writing despite being arrested in early May during a street demonstration in Cairo -- part of a crackdown on reform activists by Egyptian security forces.

"We covered the walls of our cell with graffiti of our names and slogans and website addresses," Abdel-Fattah wrote one time, referring to himself and fellow imprisoned activists. "We chanted and sang and the mood was great."

But another posting was very different. "I'm sitting here terrified they'll move me to a worse cell or cut off my visits. What should I tell you -- that the day will come for them (the regime)? I'm afraid our grandchildren won't see that day, much less us."

The duo call their blog Manalaa, a combination of their first names. Young, secular and anti-authoritarian, they link the blogosphere with a democracy movement demanding reform from President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power longer than they have been alive.

Their blog, launched two years ago and written in a mixture of English and Arabic, is an internet rallying point for activists in a nation where state-run media predominate and give little voice to reformers.

It posts announcements of planned demonstrations, political commentary, even photos -- with names -- of plainclothes security agents notorious for beating protesters. In March, the couple used their blog to organize a sit-in, where more than 100 protesters slept in a downtown Cairo square.

Equally vital is the technical support -- including web hosting -- the blog gives fellow bloggers in the growing political movement on the internet. Manalaa collects posts from more than 1,000 Egyptian blogs, allowing users to scan the entire Egyptian blogosphere on a single page.

The number of political blogs feeding Manalaa has doubled each month for the past year, Hassan said.

"It's a revolution on the web in Egypt -- they're civilian journalists with no censorship," said Salma Abdel-Fattah, 20, a childhood friend of Alaa's who is not related to him.

"Instead of opening sites like Al-Jazeera or the BBC, we open Manalaa's blog to see what's going on," said Abdel-Fattah, whose boyfriend, Ahmed El-Droubi, was arrested with Alaa.

Glenn Reynolds, University of Tennessee law professor and author of the popular American blog Instapundit, has written frequently about Abdel-Fattah.

"He's certainly the most famous blogger in Egypt and arguably the best known reformer there now," Reynolds told The Associated Press. "When you suppress dissent, even minor voices become incredibly powerful."

The blog is also part of a love story.

The sweethearts met through politics -- in a socialist youth group when he was 13 and she was 12. Since late 2004, Hassan and Abdel-Fattah -- who stands out with his 1960s counterculture-style long, curly hair and scraggly beard -- have been a constant presence together in the wave of pro-reform street protests.

"We've never been separated for more than a week, so I'm not used to this," Hassan told The Associated Press. "It's the first time he's been away from his two loves -- me and his computer."

In the past month, riot police have cracked down on reform protests, bringing sharp criticism from the United States, which had hoped Egypt would be the centerpiece for its policy of democratic change in the Middle East.

Police have chased and beaten protesters and arrested well over 600. Most of the arrests have been of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest fundamentalist movement. But security forces have also taken a no-tolerance stance toward secular, pro-democracy demonstrators like Abdel-Fattah.

Abdel-Fattah was picked up with 10 other activists during a May 7 protest. He could face charges that include illegal assembly, blocking traffic and insulting the president.

Hassan says her husband was targeted because of their blog.

"They knew who he was when they got him -- they have files on all of us," she said, speaking in the couple's three-room cement-block apartment not far from the Pyramids of Giza.

Hassan has visited her husband at Tora prison south of Cairo several times. He has posted on the blog three times since his arrest, but Hassan and Abdel-Fattah's mother, Leila Soueif, wouldn't say how he's getting his messages out -- only that he writes them by hand in his cell.

"He has no computer and he's not allowed to pass letters without going through the prison censor. So people should use their imaginations," Soueif said with a smile.

Soueif said her son learned early to be wary of authority. His father, veteran human rights activist Ahmad Seif Al-Islam Hamad, was in prison for five years in the early 1980s for involvement with a communist group.

"While Alaa was growing up, I had to tell him things like, 'there are bad policemen and good policemen,'" Soueif said. "I had to explain that people can go to prison for being good, not bad."

After Abdel-Fattah's arrest, Egyptian, American and European bloggers launched a worldwide "Free Alaa" movement -- circulating a petition and encouraging readers to write to their local Egyptian embassy. Hassan said the Manalaa blog got 3,000 daily hits before Abdel-Fattah's arrest and the number has skyrocketed since, though she hasn't tabulated them.

Web banners of the couple emblazoned with the words "Let Alaa return to Manal" get 150,000 daily hits on U.S. sites alone, said Sam Adam, another Egyptian blogger. As in other Mideast nations where the press is tightly controlled, middle-class Egyptians have found an outlet on the internet to write on politics, culture and daily life -- often in the sort of raucous language that newspapers won't print. Internet cafes have become common.

But internet use remains low among the huge proportion of Egypt's 73 million people who live in poverty.

The couple hopes to bridge the digital divide so that in Egypt "everyone has access to tools to express their souls and opinions," Hassan said. "It's the same in the political movement: We're trying to help people express themselves -- to communicate and organize freely." AP

I agree with your last two points. I think that is a righteous cause and a cause worth fighting for. When I say fighting for I don't me instigating but defending. Im not all that in the loop on whats going on in the Middle East but I think that the Egyptian Government is taking away alot of your human rights. I think its ridiculous for them to seize control of the press like that. I think all media is censored to an extent but I think they are going overboard. Over here the government doesn't own the press or media but I still believe there is a certain amount of censorship still. However, its nothing at all like yours. We have political parties over here as well. Both Republican and Democratic. Republicans are more for the right and Democrats more for the left. I personally don't side with either. I am agaisnt the oppression of any person or people be it of my own country or not. People are People even if they are half a world away. Hopefully Alaa Seif Al-Islam will be released from jail soon. PRAY FOR PEACE.

I'm free already, been out of jail since the 22nd of June

السؤال المطروحهو من سيحكم ؟ والإجابة ليست سهلة خاصة في بلد تكون القوة الوحيدة المتماسكة والمسلحة هي " الجيش " والسيناروهات كثيرة والناس تتداولها في الشوارع والصحافة وكل مكان. الإجابة الواضحة ان الشعب المصري لن تكون له كلمة في من سيحكمه في العشر سنوات او العشرين القادمة. والأسباب كثيرة لكن نستدعي من التاريخ المعاصر حكاية كيف تولى محمد علي ( الجيش ايضا ! ) السلطة حينما طلب منه المشايخ( المؤسسة الدينية ايضا !) ان يتسلم السلطة بعد خروج الجيش الفرنسي من مصر وتدهور حال المماليك ( العسكر ايضا !) ووافق الضابط الصغير محمد علي الذي كانت فرقته موجودة في القاهرة بالشروط المعروفة لمن يدرس التاريخ. من اوائل الاشياء التي فعلها انه تخلص من المشايخ وقضى على المماليك نهائيا ورتب لكي يكون الحكم في اسرته وراثيا ( كأنك ياجحا ر حت ولا غزيت !) وبتقصي الحال منذ يوليو اتنين وخمسين نجد انفسنا في نفس السيناريو مع بعض التعديلات. استيلاء ظباط يوليو على السلطة ثم حلهم الأحزاب قم مداولة السلطة فيما بينهم.اي العسكر مرة اخرى . وضع تشاؤمي ؟ بالطبع لكن هذه حقيقة من حقائق الوضع في مصر. يوجد امل ؟ بالطبع . هذه حقيقة أخرى . خاصة نقول للذين يخوفوننا من الإخوان ، بما فيهمالخائفين من الأقبط : هل سيكون الوضع اسوأ في حكم الأخوان؟ هل ستنتهي الانتهاكات الجنسية في اقسام البوليس . هل ستتوقف التحرشات الجنسية وتمزيق الملابس للمتظاهرات ؟ هل سيتوقف تزوير الانتخابات ؟ هل سيطبق القانون ويتساوى الجميع ؟ الرجال والنساء والمهمشين والنوبيين والمثليين الجنسيين ؟ هل ستتوقف الاعتداءات على الكنائس ؟ هل ستتم محاكمة من اعتدي على الأعراض من الشرطة وقطع يد السراق الين سرقوا قوت الناس ؟ الى آخره .. إلى آخرة! بعبارة مختصرة هل سيلغى العمل بقانون الطوارئ؟ القانون الذي بموجبه توجد نيابة امن دولة وبموجبه تم حبس الناس الموجودين ألان في السجن بتهمة اهانة رئيس الجمهورية .ز الذي قد يكون من الأخوان او من العسكر ؟

Hi Alaa,..Manal The problem is if Gamal will take over,then you are in deep shit If you read the Egyptian history,Egyptian never change themslves by themslevs..always by outsiders..they are good hearted people. you did your best but people still the same.Consider change your way in a tougher way know what i mean Thanks [email protected]

I agree with one of the posts here that a mass uprising might be the way to go, but such a thing will quickly be used and utilized by the Muslim Brotherhood. They are the ones who are closest to the masses and will no doubt make use of this. So is there is ever enough critical mass created and the situation turns into an actual popular uprising, which, by the way, i think will never happen, then this will result in a period of violent chaos and reprisals, followed by a theological dictatorship. In the case of Mobarak's death, i would say that Ala would probably get released after a couple of harrowing days when no noe will know what's going and rumors flying everywhere. If there is one thing we are good at, it is spreading rumors. Hey, have you heard that ....

well i dont think u will witness his death 1) mashaa alaaah se7eto eih ya me3lem dah 2) there are many theorys ya3nee law geh jimmy han3mel thawraa w w netla3ak enta w kol el mo3takaleen 3) gedety 7alfaa enaha te2telo law 23aad aktaar men another 6 years 4) rabenaa hafook asrokoo orayeb aywaa asr dont laugh ma e7naa occupied w ento asraa 7arb ..6 7arb ded el fasaad w el zolm w taraboo7 bet3 el NDP dont think this way be optimistic isaa alaah u will be back soon and u will witness lama el sha3b yenazel el tagheyaah men 3ala el 3arsh isa:)

This post is mentioned in this article in the Newsweek article After the Pharaoh: