Sexual Harassment and the Egyptian Revolution

9 Mar

I know its been a while since I’ve written and I do intend on writing an entry soon sharing some reflections on my experience at Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco thus far (I arrive a week and a half ago), but in the mean time I’m very excited to share a piece I’d been wanting to write for a long time on harassment in Egypt.

I submitted it to an awesome website which deals with issues of gender and Islam – – and it just got published and is currently the top story on the site! ๐Ÿ™‚ please let me know what you think.

Sexual Harassment and the Egyptian Revolution, by Nada Zohdy


spectating the egyptian drama

1 Feb

Iโ€™d now like to broach a topic that very well may be controversial. Its also something that Iโ€™ve seen go completely unaddressed throughout this whole debacle thus far and most importantly, its something Iโ€™ve realized I feel very strongly about and therefore compelled to discuss.

Itโ€™s more or less about my deep frustration at the widespread phenomenon of people rooting for the Egyptian masses from the sidelines, so to speak, mostly via Facebook, and the dangers of us being able to watch a live feed of every moment taking place in what has now been dubbed the Egyptian Revolution.

Before I begin, a caveat: I do not at all say this to try and diminish the power of social media in organizing political opposition (as discussed in articles like this), or to try and deny the essential role it played and continues to play as a tool in instigating the drastic changes Egypt is undergoing right now (taking on a very interesting most recent manifestation here). Iโ€™d just like to open up a conversation about social media from a very different angle.

So, let me introduce it like this:

In the media there are currently an abundance of commentary and analyses of the Obama Administrationโ€™s reactions to whatโ€™s happening in Egypt (like this) and the general disappointment that many feel with what has been perceived as a lackluster response (which coincidentally relates to my previous discussion on constructing foreign policy on the basis of principles vs. interests, although it looks like that response is now changing here and here). Of course there is extremely good reason to analyze the formal, diplomatic responses, but I think we would also benefit from introducing an analysis of the reaction of the Western masses as well (most often as conveyed via social networking sites) and starting to think about how those reactions just might impact the situation in Egypt.

In the last several days, I personally have seen my news feed riddled with messages relating to the crisis in Egypt, many of them outspoken messages of solidarity with the Egyptian people, and a few one-line, sweeping commentaries about whatโ€™s really been happening and what should be done.

I think both can be problematic.

First of all, despite having living in Egypt for the last several months and being of Egyptian heritage, and despite having studied International Relations and specialized in the region with the bulk of my research focusing on Egypt in particular, I am still not an expert. More importantly, nor am I a native Egyptian. And, more than likely, neither are you. So why do we feel so qualified and able to make broad statements about what is truly happening, what is all really means for the Egyptian people and about what should be done?

I understand that one possible answer might be something like this: because if we are human beings who truly support freedom, democracy and human rights, we must outspokenly support uprisings like this and the right of all peoples, including Egyptians, to overthrow oppressive governments (a principle John Locke would no doubt approve). But do our blanket judgments (usually via Facebook status) of the situation without serious consideration of the complicated context actually help fulfill that goal, or could they actually undermine it? And on top of that, do our statuses of solidarity impact the reality on the ground in any meaningful way?

Those are the questions Iโ€™d like to draw attention to.

As an American student of political science I know I can certainly suffer from a complex that romanticizes riots and protests and regime change in the developing world, but the simple fact is that the process of building a newly transparent and balanced democratic system in a country that has long operated without one more than likely will be long and messy (to say the least). It would be a serious shame if we still havenโ€™t clearly learned this lesson from post-2003 Iraq.

With that long and tumultuous road that might now be facing Egypt in mind, I canโ€™t help but wonder: will we all turn into fair-weather friends- unequivocally supporting the protesters on the streets for the first week, and maybe the second, and then letting such support recess into the darkness as the issue comes off the front page and therefore out of our attention, while Egyptians have to face inconvenient and potentially painful long-term impacts take place in their everyday lives?

I canโ€™t help but feel like our responses are the type that would come from spectators watching a suspenseful drama unfold (all, of course, via live feed). The fact that it feels like an interesting drama that we can safely watch from afar, I think, can lead people to carelessly generalize or make brash comments. It concerns me that we might perceive ourselves to be well informed on the situation not on the basis of credible analyses and reports but instead based on such statements. And more importantly, to watch the grim and messy reality facing Egyptians today as if itโ€™s an entertaining drama to me seems somehow inherently, deeply disrespectful.

Its all the more ironic that we may find ourselves acting under the assumption that such responses are real acts of solidarity, when at the end of the day we may just be treating the situation like nothing more than something good to watch on TV briefly, before flipping to the next channel.

Obviously itโ€™s much easier to express solidarity in words, than to do by jeopardizing your safety in the streets. But let me be clear about something: I recognize the vital importance about all of us being informed, global citizens whose awareness of current events isnโ€™t confined only to events that have an immediate impact on our personal lives. As such, I fully advocate attempts to make our non-Egyptian compatriots more informed (and even more so if those attempts are followed up by real calls to action). I also recognize that the vast majority of these virtual responses Iโ€™m referring are likely done with the very best of intentions, and some with genuine efforts to rally people to action.

But the reality Iโ€™d to draw attention is: at the end of the day, how often do such virtual actions (status and profile picture changes, links shared, etc.) actually lead to any consequential actions, actions that will make a difference in the reality on the ground? If the answer, as I suspect it to be, is rarely so, then what do the bulk of our responses to the crisis via Facebook ultimately amount to? Just us observing and commenting on what is unfolding to be an exciting drama?

What then should our proper role be? Putting pressure on our own powerful governments to catalyze change in the Egyptian government could be utterly essential (especially considering the extent to which Egypt relies on US financial and diplomatic support), but again, how often do our virtual responses actually work to help fulfill this goal?

Even if our statuses of solidarity never reach the ears of the most powerful people, or even reach the ordinary Egyptians who we would like to ally with, are they still inherently valuable because we perceive ourselves to be standing up for fundamental principles, standing up for whatโ€™s right? Or, on the other hand, are we in some way making a mockery the real, ugly struggle facing Egyptians as we carelessly comment on the situation or claim to embrace solidarity with their cause, only to fickly withdraw it when it no longer carries much interest, or when it is no longer fashionable to do so?

I raise these questions not just for argument’s sake, but because I really think that if we want to harness the unprecedented power of social networking to propel unquestionably worthy causes like the uprising in Egypt today to the utmost extent, we would greatly benefit from a moment of self-reflection.

i’m back…

30 Jan

Nearly one week after what has evolved into rampant instability in Egypt first began, I feel like itโ€™s about time I joined the chorus of voices around the world and shared my perspective on what is going on, particularly because I think that many people I know are interested in hearing what I have to say.

To begin, letโ€™s set the stage: In September 2010 I moved to Alexandria, the second largest city in Egypt for a year-long intensive Arabic program. I was still in Alexandria last week on January 25th, the day the protests began. What I witnessed firsthand was some of the aftermath of a day of protests: dozens of military trucks parked at main intersections, some rocks and broken glass on a street where a large protest was held, etc (my roommates witnessed a large protest and its clash with riot police on the main street behind our apartment while I was out).

A few days later, by sheer coincidence, I flew out of Egypt to visit Turkey because our programโ€™s two week break between semesters had just begun. And now, of course, it seems that I left just in time (โ€œFor Americans Stranded in Egypt, No Quick Exitsโ€) : those students in my program who stayed in Egypt over break are being evacuated and flown back to the US tomorrow morning. The future of our program (our second semester was scheduled to begin mid February and run until May 31st) is now certainly in jeopardy (its particularly hard to swallow the concept hat suddenly you might not be able to return to a country that youโ€™ve built up a life in over the last several months), so it should go without saying that I am a bundle of strong emotions and thoughts right now. However Iโ€™ve also tried to give myself a bit of time to process, so Iโ€™ll do my best to express myself as clearly and truthfully as possible

1. Iโ€™m a bit confused: The biggest reason for this is as follows: When I was in Egypt less than one week ago and the international media first began covering the protests, I very much felt like such coverage made the situation seem scarier than it actually was (of course there were large protests and some clashes, but the general atmosphere was I was didnโ€™t seem to radically change). now that I, like most of you, am out of Egypt and only have the media to rely on, I donโ€™t know exactly what to think: without a doubt, its clear that things have gotten more violent and unstable in the last few days, but itโ€™s still a bit frustrating not knowing how much of the reporting is accurately reflecting what the general atmosphere in the country is, and how much of is concentrated on the tensest spots. Given the way that things have evolved in the past few days though (Mubarak firing his cabinet, my classmates being evacuated, the reported death toll rising significantly), thereโ€™s much clearer indications to me now that the general atmosphere throughout the country has indeed drastically changed so this has become less of an issue, but its still something on my mind.

2. Iโ€™ve realized how much I care about the country: Based on the serious feelings of anxiety and apprehension I’ve had while reading news (particularly feeling apprehensive and surreal at the same time from reports coming from Alexandria and pictures of burning cars in front of places I know very well), I realize that Egypt really does have a special place in my heart. I hate not being able to express that without using the most trite of clichรฉs, but I donโ€™t know how else to capture exactly what I want to say. And you might be thinking โ€˜of course it would, youโ€™re Egyptian-American,โ€™ but thatโ€™s not really the way things were. Anyone who has spent an extended time in another culture knows that itโ€™s naturally to have periods of time where you really love that another culture, and other periods where you feel indifference or even loathing towards it. Before leaving Egypt less than one week ago, I was generally feeling indifference at best and was very much looking forward to a break from the monotonous food, ubiquitous smoking, shabby buildings, etc. But now I realize how much I really care about it and almost feel guilty, as if I’ve abandoned a good friend during a serious time of need.

3. anatomy of a revolution- some speculations on what might happen next (which my fellow flagshippers might better know as ู…ูˆู‚ู ุงูุชุฑุงุถูŠ ): in order to hypothesize at all on what we might be seeing in the near future of Egypt, I think its useful to think about the anatomy of a potentially successful revolution: what is needed, what exists right now in Egypt, and what is missing.

Of course it likely goes without saying that mass discontent and support of change is needed, and exists in Egypt today. But beyond that, sustained efforts to change are also needed: is the fact that protests have not only remained consecutive since day one but have swelled in size and intensity a good indication that these are sustained efforts? I think it very well may be. In addition, I think itโ€™s fair to say that a feasible, viable, and popular desirable alternative to the status quo is also needed: when it comes to applying this idea in Egypt, the majority of people agree on the desirability and even necessity of a Mubarak-free tomorrow, but what will his replacement look like? This is a seriously open-ended issue that I think could very much become a cause for concern and lead to prolonged instability if he were to leave or were removed from power.

Some people have asked me, didnโ€™t you expect this? My answer: kind of, but not at all in this fashion. For decades the Egyptian people have adapted to their reality of living under a ruling iron first, so who knew what would have been the tipping point? Of course it now seems that the Tunisian revolution seemed to be the final straw, but to try and understand how opposition so widespread and volatile could spread across Egypt to the extent that it has now without thinking about the previous decades as context I think would be extremely foolish.

one of the most interesting photos Iโ€™ve come across from various articles in the past few days: as the ruling party headquarters smolders in the foreground, the billboard in the background reads: โ€œYour Vote for the National Democratic Party [i.e. Mubarakโ€™s ruling party]: To Ensure a Better Future for your Children.โ€

Some other things Iโ€™m wondering:

โ€ข where is the line between a legitimate awakening of political consciousness and a rising from decades of suppression, and an explosion of uncalculated pent up anger? This is in the context of looters taking advantage of times of instability: when an iron rule grips a people and prevents the fulfilling of many of their needs for so long, it seems like the build-up resentment can eventually explode and manifest itself into resentment against everything representing the established system (including things like the national museum โ€“ โ€œVandals Ravage Egyptian Museum, Break Mummies”), not just the most malevolent parts.

โ€ข how is all this being depicted back home? I heard that someone was asked by others if this was an islamic uprising? really? has the existence of inaccurate US media coverage on happenings in the rest of the world reached the point where newscasters would even begin to speculate on the motives behind the whole uprising, as if its not blatantly clear?

โ€ข where does all this leave US foreign policy? does the most principled route (advocating the liberation and absolute freedom of all peoples in all contexts regardless of the stakes or potential outcomes) ultimately clash or coincide with America’s foreign policy interests? I like to think that supporting the will of the masses, be the best way to fulfill Americaโ€™s long-term foreign policy interests, but to what extent can we reasonably expect that whatโ€™s best in the long term will trump short-term interests? When have we ever seen our politicians (bound by the election cycle in our democratic societies) act in that matter? Itโ€™s interesting, Iโ€™ve been surprised to hear from a number of ordinary Egyptians, when they express their disappointment and frustration the lack of tangible changes under the Obama administration, that they also soberly recognize that end of the end of the day countries always act in their best interest, including the US (despite rhetoric on unconditionally supporting the principles of democracy and freedom). On top of all of that, what about our good friend, foreign aid? to what extent can/should US aid be used to directly leverage domestic political change in Egypt?

another (perhaps controversial) post on an issue related to whats happening in egypt coming shortly…

‘the experiences of muslims in america’ – my first 1200 word arabic research paper, with translation!

6 Nov

ุชุฌุงุฑุจ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง
ู†ุฏู‰ ุฒู‡ุฏูŠ

ุชุงุฑูŠุฎ ุงู„ู…ุฌู…ูˆุนุฉ

ุนู„ู‰ ุฑุบู… ุฃู† ูƒุซูŠุฑ ู…ู† ุงู„ู†ุงุณ ุฎู„ุงู„ ุงู„ุนุงู„ู… ุจุฏุฃูˆุง ูŠููƒุฑูˆุง ุนู„ู‰ ู…ุณุฆู„ุฉ ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู… ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง (ูˆ ููŠ ุงู„ุบุฑุจ ูŠุดูƒู„ ุนู„ู…) ูŠุนุฏ ุฃุญุฏุงุซ ูŠูˆู… 11 ุณุจุชู…ุจุฑ ููŠ ุนุงู… 2001, ูŠูˆุฌุฏ ุชุงุฑูŠุฎ ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู… ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ุงุทูˆู„ ุจูƒุซูŠุฑ ู…ู† ู‡ุฐู‡ ุงู„ูุชุฑุฉ ุงู„ุฃุฎูŠุฑุฉ. ูˆุตู„ูˆุง ุฃูˆู„ ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ููŠ ู‚ุฑู† 16, ุนู†ุฏู…ุง ุจุฏุฃุช ุงู„ุธุงู‡ุฑุฉ ู…ุนุฑูˆู ุจุฅุณู… “ุชุฌุงุฑุฉ ุงู„ุนุจูŠุฏ.” ุจุนุถ ุงู„ู…ุณุชูƒุดููŠู† ุงู„ุงูˆุฑุจูŠูŠู† ูˆ ุงู„ู…ุณุชูˆุทู†ูˆู† ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠูˆู† ุฎุทููˆุง ู†ุงุณ ู…ู† ุบุฑุจ ุงูุฑู‚ูŠุง ูˆ ุจุนุถ ุงู„ุงูุฑูŠู‚ูŠูŠู† ูƒุงู†ูˆุง ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู†. ู…ุนุธู… ุฃุตุญุงุจ ุงู„ุนุจูŠุฏ ูุฑุถูˆุง ุงู„ุชุญูˆูŠู„ ู…ู† ุฏูŠู† ุงู„ุฃุณู„ุงู… ุฅู„ู‰ ุฏูŠู† ุงู„ู…ุณูŠุญูŠ ู„ุนุจูŠุฏู‡ู…, ู„ูƒู† ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุชุนุฑุถ ุฅู„ู‰ ุฅุณู„ุงู… ููŠ ุชุงุฑูŠุฎ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ููŠ ูˆู‚ุช ู…ุจูƒุฑุฉ ุฃุซุฑุช ุงู„ุนูˆุฏุฉ ุฅู„ู‰ ุฅุณู„ุงู… ู…ู† ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูƒูŠูŠู† ุงู„ุฃูุงุฑู‚ุฉ ููŠ ุงู„ู‚ุฑู† ุงู„ุนุดุฑูŠู†.
ูˆ ุจุงู„ุฅุถุงูุฉ ุฅู„ู‰ ู‡ุฐู‡ ุงู„ูุชุฑุฉ, ุจุฏุฃ ุฃู† ูŠู‡ุงุฌุฑูˆ ุจุนุถ ุณูƒุงู† ุงู„ู…ู†ุงุทู‚ ุงู„ุงุซู…ุงู†ูŠุฉ ุฅู„ู‰ ุงู…ุงูƒู† ู…ุนู‘ูŠู†ุฉ ููŠ ุงู„ูˆู„ุงูŠุงุช ุงู„ู…ุชุญุฏุฉ ููŠ ุขุฎุฑ ู‚ุฑู† 19 ูˆ ุจุฏุงูŠุฉ ู‚ุฑู† 20. ุนู„ู‰ ุฑุบู… ุฃู† ูƒุซูŠุฑ ู…ู† ู‡ุฐู‡ ุงู„ู…ู‡ุงุฌุฑูŠู† ู…ู† ุงู„ุฃุฑุงุถูŠ ุงู„ุนุซู…ุงู†ูŠ ูƒุงู†ูˆุง ู…ุณูŠุญูŠูˆู†, ูƒุซูŠุฑ ู…ู†ู‡ู… ูƒุงู†ูˆุง ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠูˆู† ุฃูŠุถุงู‹, ูู‚ุฏ ุจุฏุฃ ูุชุฑุฉ ุงู„ู‡ุฌุฑุฉ ุงู„ุญุฏูŠุซุฉ ููŠ ุชุงุฑูŠุฎ ุฅุณู„ุงู… ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง.
ู„ูŠุณ ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ู…ูƒู† ุงู„ุชุญุฏุซ ุนู† ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู…ุณุฃู„ุฉ ุจุฏูˆู† ุฐูƒุฑ ุงู„ุญุฑูƒุงุช ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู…ูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฃุณูˆุฏ, ุฎุตูˆุตุงู‹ ุงุฑุชูุงุน “ุฃู…ุฉ ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู…” ููŠ ุงู„ู‚ุฑู† ุงู„ุนุดุฑูŠู†. ู‚ุฏู… ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุญุฑูƒุฉ ููุฑุต ุฌุฏูŠุฏุฉ ู„ุชู…ูƒูŠู† ุงู„ู…ุฌู…ูˆุนุฉ ุงู„ุฃู…ูŠุฑูƒูŠูˆู† ุงู„ุฃูุงุฑู‚ุฉ ูˆ ุจุงู„ุฅุถุงูุฉ ุฅู„ู‰ ุฐู„ูƒ, ู…ุนุธู… ู‚ูŠุงุฏุงุช ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุญุฑูƒุฉ ูƒุงู† ุนู†ุฏู‡ู… ุดุฎุตูŠุงุช ูƒุจูŠุฑุฉ(ุฃุจุฑุฒ ู…ู†ู‡ู… ูƒุงู† “ู…ู„ูƒูˆู… ุงูƒุณ”) . ูˆ ู‡ุฐุฉ ุงู„ุนูˆุงู…ู„ ุดุฌุนูˆุง ูƒุซูŠุฑ ู… ู…ู† ุงู„ุฅู…ูŠุฑูƒูŠูŠู† ุงู„ุฃูุงุฑู‚ุฉ ุฅู„ู‰ ู…ุดุงุฑูƒุฉ ููŠ ุฃู…ุฉ ุงู„ุฃุณู„ุงู….
ุถุฑูˆุฑูŠ ุฃู† ู†ุนุฑู ุฃู† ูŠุนุชุจุฑ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุญุฑูƒุฉ ูˆ ุฃูŠุฏูŠูˆู„ูˆุฌูŠุชู‡ุง ู…ุฎุชู„ูุฉ ู…ู† ุงู„ุชูŠุงุฑ ุงู„ุฑุฆูŠุณูŠ ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู…ูŠ, ู„ูƒู† ู…ูƒุงู†ู‡ ู…ุง ุฒุงู„ ู…ู‡ู… ู„ุฃู† ุฏุฎู„ุช ู…ุนุธู… ุฃุชุจุงุน ุฃู…ุฉ ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู… ุฅู„ู‰ ุงู„ุชูŠุงุฑ ุงู„ุฑุฆูŠุณูŠ ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู…ูŠ ุจุนุฏ ูˆูู‰ ู‚ุงุฆุฏู‡ู… ูˆ ู…ุฆุณุณู‡ู… (“ุฅูŠู„ุงูŠุฌุง ู…ุญู…ุฏ”) ููŠ ุนุงู… 1975.
ุขุฎุฑูุชุฑุฉ ุชุงุฑูŠุฎุฉ ุญุฏูŠุซูŠุฉ ู…ุชุนู„ู‚ ุจู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู…ูˆุถูˆุน ู‡ูŠ ุงู„ูุชุฑุฉ ู…ู† ุนุงู… 1965 ุฅู„ู‰ ุงู„ูˆู‚ุช ุงู„ุญุงู„ูŠ. ุจุนุฏ ู…ุฏู‘ุฉ ุทูˆูŠู„ุฉ, ุงู†ูุชุญ ุจุงุจ ุงู„ู‡ุฌุฑุฉ ุฅู„ู‰ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ุจุณูŠุงุณุฉ ุนุงู… 1965, ู…ุนุฑูˆู ุจุนู„ุงู† “ู‚ุงู†ูˆู† ุงู„ู‡ุฌุฑุฉ ูˆ ุงู„ุฌู†ุณูŠุฉ.” ุฎู„ุงู„ ุงู„ุนู‚ูˆุฏ ุงู„ุชุงู„ูŠุฉ, ุบูŠู‘ุฑ ุดูƒู„ ุณูƒุงู† ุงู„ุจู„ุฏ ุจุณุจุจ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู‚ุงู†ูˆู† ุจุดูƒู„ ุนุงู…, ูˆ ุจุดูƒู„ ุฎุงุต ู‡ูˆ ุณู…ุญ ุงู„ู‡ุฌุฑุฉ ู„ูƒุซูŠุฑ ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู†. ูˆ ุฃุบู„ุจูŠุฉ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ุงู„ุขู† (ุญูˆุงู„ูŠ 67 ููŠ ุงู„ู…ุฆุฉ) ูŠุชูƒูˆู† ู…ู† ู…ู‡ุงุฌุฑูŠู† ู…ู† ุงู…ุงูƒู† ูƒุซูŠุฑุฉ, ูƒู„ู‡ู… ุงู†ุชู‚ู„ูˆุง ุฅู„ู‰ ุงู„ูˆู„ุงูŠุงุช ุงู„ู…ุชุญุฏุฉ ุนู„ู‰ ุณุจุจ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู‚ุงู†ูˆู† ุงู„ุญูŠูˆูŠุฉ.

ุฃููƒุงุฑ ุงู„ู…ุฌู…ูˆุนุฉ ูˆ ูˆุงู‚ุนู‡ู… ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง
1)ุงู„ุชู†ูˆุน ูˆ ุงู„ุชุนุฏุฏูŠุฉ ุฏุงุฎู„ ู…ุฌู…ูˆุนุฉ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง
ุชู‚ุฏูŠุฑุงุช ููŠ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ูŠูˆู… ูŠู‚ูˆู„ูˆุง ุฃู† ู‡ู†ุงูƒ ุจูŠู† 2 ูˆ 7 ู…ู„ูŠูˆู† ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ูˆ ู‡ู… ูŠุชูƒูˆู†ูˆ ุญูˆุงู„ูŠ ูˆุงุญุฏ ููŠ ุงู„ู…ุฆุฉ ู…ู† ุนุฏุฏ ุงู„ุณูƒุงู†. ูˆ ุงูƒุชุดู ุงุณุชุทู„ุงุน ู…ู† ู…ุฑูƒุฒ “ุจูŠูˆ” ููŠ ุนุงู… 2007 ุฃู† ู„ูŠุณ ู‡ู†ุงูƒ ู…ุฌู…ูˆุนุฉ ุฃุบู„ุจูŠุฉ ุงุนุฑู‚ูŠุฉ ููŠ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุฏูŠู…ูˆุบุฑู‚ูŠุฉ.ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุญู‚ูŠู‚ุฉ ุชุฎุชู„ู ูŠุดู„ ูƒุจูŠุฑ ู…ู† ุงู„ุตูˆุฑุฉ ุงู„ู†ู…ุทูŠุฉ ุงู„ุชูŠ ูŠุธู‘ู‡ุฑ ูƒู„ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ูƒุนุฑุจ. ููŠ ุงู„ุญู‚ูŠู‚ุฉ, ูู‚ุท 25 ููŠ ุงู„ู…ุฆุฉ ู…ู† ุนุฏุฏ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ููŠ ุงู„ุนุงู„ู… ู‡ู… ุนุฑุจ ูˆ ุฃุบู„ุจู‡ู… ุบูŠุฑุนุฑุจ. ูˆ ุชูˆุฌุฏ ู†ูุณ ุงู„ุญุงู„ุฉ ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ุงูŠุถุงู‹. ุชุจู‘ูŠู† ุงู„ุฅุญุตุงุกุงุช ุฃู† ุญูˆุงู„ูŠ ุฑุจุนู‡ู… ู…ู† ุฃุตู„ ุนุฑุจ, ูˆ ุฑุจุน ู…ู† ุฃุตู„ ุงู„ู‡ู†ุฏ ูˆ ุจุงูƒุณุชุงู† ูˆ ุฑุจุน ุฃูˆ ุซู„ุซู‡ู… ุงู„ุฃู…ูŠุฑูƒูŠูˆู† ุงู„ุฃูุงุฑู‚ุฉ, ูˆ ู‡ู†ุงูƒ ู…ุฌู…ูˆุน ูŠุชูƒูˆู† ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ุชุญูˆู„ูŠู† ู…ู† ุฃุตู„ ู‚ูˆู‚ุงุฒูŠ. ูˆ ู„ุฐู„ูƒ, ู‡ูˆ ูˆุงุถุญ ุฃู† ุงู„ุชู†ูˆุน ู…ู† ู†ุญูŠุฉ ุงู„ุนุฑู‚ ู…ูˆุฌูˆุฏ ุจุบุฒุงุฑุฉ ุฏุงุฎู„ ุทุงุฆูุฉ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠูˆู†. ูˆ ููˆู‚ ู‡ุฐุง, ู‡ู†ุงูƒ ุชู†ูˆุน ู…ู† ู†ุญูŠุฉ ุชุฌุฑุจุชู‡ู… ุงู„ุฃู‚ุตุงุฏูŠุฉ. ู…ุน ุฃู† ุฃุบู„ุจู‡ู… ุฌุฒ ู…ู† ุงู„ุทุจู‚ุฉ ุงู„ูˆุณุทุฉ, ุงู„ุฃุฎุชู„ุงูุงุช ุงู„ุฃู‚ุชุตุงุฏูŠุฉ ุจูŠู†ู‡ู… ู…ุฑุทุจุชุฉ ู…ุน ุฃุฎุชู„ุงูุงุช ุนุฑู‚ูŠุฉ.
ุจุงู„ุฃุถุงูุฉ ุฅู„ู‰ ุงู„ุฃุฎุชู„ุงูุงุช ุงู‚ุชุตุงุฏูŠุฉ ูˆ ุนุฑู‚ูŠุฉ, ุงู„ูุฑู‚ ุงู„ุฃูุถู„ ูˆ ู…ููŠุฏ ุฃูƒุซุฑ ุจู†ุณุจุฉ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุชุญู„ูŠู„ ุจุดูƒ ุนุงู… ู‡ูˆ ุงู„ูุฑู‚ ุจูŠู† ุชุฌุฑุจุฉ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠูˆู† ุงู„ู…ู‡ุงุฌุฑูˆู† (ุงู„ุฐูŠู† ู‡ุงุฌุฑูˆุง ู…ู† ุจู„ุงุฏ ููŠ ุงูุฑูŠู‚ูŠุง ูˆ ุขุณูŠุง ูˆ ุงู„ุดุฑู‚ ุงู„ุงูˆุณุท ูˆ ุงู…ุงูƒู† ุขุฎุฑู‰) ูˆ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ุงู„ุฐูŠู† ูŠุนุชุจุฑูˆ ู…ู† ุงู„ุณูƒุงู† ุงู„ุฃุตู„ูŠูŠู† (ู…ุซู„ ุงู„ุฃู…ูŠุฑูƒูŠูˆู† ุงู„ุฃูุงุฑู‚ุฉ ูˆ ุงู„ู…ุชุญูˆู„ูˆู† ู…ู† ุฃุตู„ ู‚ูˆู‚ุงุฒูŠ). ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ูุฑู‚ ูŠุคุซุฑ ุนู„ู‰ ุชุฌุฑุจุงุช ูˆ ุงุชุญุฏูŠุงุช ุงู„ู…ุฎุชู„ููŠู† ู„ู„ุฅู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ุฅู„ู‰ ุฃู‚ุตู‰ ุญุฏ.
2) ู…ุง ู‡ูˆ ุดูƒู„ ุงู„ู‡ูˆูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู…ูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠุฉุŸ
ุงู„ุชู†ูˆุน ุงู„ุซู‚ุงููŠ ุฏุงุฎู„ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู…ุฌู…ูˆุนุฉ ูŠุคุซุฑ ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ู‡ูˆูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู…ูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠุฉ ู„ุฃู† ูู‡ู… ุดุฎุต ุนู† ุฏูŠู†ู‡ ูŠู‚ูˆู… ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ุณูŠุงู‚ ุงู„ู‚ูˆู…ูŠ ุงู„ุฐูŠ ูŠุนู„ู… ุฏูŠู†ู‡ ููŠ (ุฅู„ู‰ ุญุฏ ู…ุง). ูˆ ู„ุฃู† ู‡ู†ุงูƒ ุงุดุฎุงุต ู…ู† ุงู…ุงูƒู† ูƒุซูŠุฑุฉ ุฎู„ุงู„ ุงู„ุนุงู„ู… ููŠ ุงู„ู…ุณุงุฌุฏ ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง, ุงุญูŠุงู†ุงู‹ ู‡ู†ุงูƒ ุชูˆุชุฑุงุช ุจูŠู† ุงู„ุฃุนุถุงุก. ุนู„ู‰ ุณุจูŠู„ ุงู„ู…ุซุงู„, ู‡ู†ุงูƒ ุฃุฎุชู„ุงูุงุช ุฑู‚ูŠู‚ุฉ ููŠ ุทุฑูŠู‚ุฉ ุงู„ุตู„ู‰ุฉ ูˆ ุงู„ู…ู„ุงุจุณ ุงู„ุฏูŠู†ูŠุฉ ุจูŠู† ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ู…ู† ุฏูˆู„ ู…ุฎุชู„ูุฉ, ูˆ ุงุญูŠุงู†ุงู‹ ูŠุตู†ุน ู‡ุฐุฉ ุงู„ุฃุฎุชู„ุงูุงุช ุตุฑุงุนุงุช ุนู‚ุงุฆุฏูŠู‡ ุฏุงุฎู„ ุงู„ู…ุณุงุฌุฏ ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง. ู„ูƒู† ููŠ ู…ุนุธู… ุงู„ูˆู‚ุช, ู‡ู… ูŠูˆุญู‘ุฏูˆู† ุญูˆู„ ููƒุฑุฉ ุงู„ู‡ูˆูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง, ุดูŠุก ู…ุดุชุฑูƒ ุจูŠู† ูƒู„ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠูŠู† (ุงู„ู…ู‡ุงุฌุฑูŠู† ูˆ ุงู„ุณูƒุงู† ุงู„ุฃุตู„ูŠูŠู† ุงูŠุถุงู‹). ูˆ ู„ุฐู„ูƒ ุงู„ู‡ูˆูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู…ูŠุฉ ุงู„ู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠุฉ ูŠุฏูˆุฑ ุญูˆู„ ู‡ูˆูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠุฉ ุงู„ู…ุดุชุฑูƒุฉ ูˆ ุงูŠุถุงู‹ ุทุจุนุงู‹ ุญูˆู„ ุงู„ุชู‚ุงู„ูŠุฏ ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู…ูŠ (ุญุชู‰ ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ุฑุบู… ุฃู† ูŠูˆุฌุฏ ุฃุฎุชู„ุงูุงุช ุฏูŠู†ูŠุฉ ุฑู‚ูŠู‚ุฉ ุจูŠู† ุจุนุถู‡ู…).

ู‚ุถุงูŠุง ุงู„ุฎู„ุงููŠุฉ
ู…ุนุฑูˆู ุฃู† ุงุญุฏุงุซ 11 ุณุจุชู…ุจุฑ ุบูŠุฑุช ุงู„ุนู„ุงู‚ุงุช ุจูŠู† ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ูˆ ุบูŠุฑ ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ููŠ ูƒู„ ุฒุงูˆูŠุฉ ุงู„ุนุงู„ู…, ุฎุงุตุฉ ููŠ ู…ูˆู‚ุน ู‡ุฐู‡ ุงู„ุงุญุฏุงุซ, ุงู„ูˆู„ุงูŠุงุช ุงู„ู…ู†ุญุฏุฉ. ููŠ ุงู„ูˆู‚ุช ุงู„ุญุงุถุฑ, ูŠู†ุงู‚ุด ูƒุซูŠุฑ ู…ู† ุงู„ู†ุงุณ ุฏุงุฎู„ ูˆ ุฎุงุฑุฌ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ุนู† ู‚ุถุงูŠุง ุฎู„ุงููŠุฉ ู…ุญูŠุทุฉ ุจู…ูƒุงู† ุฅุณู„ุงู… ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง.
1) ุฏูˆุฑ ุงู„ุฅุนู„ุงู… ููŠ ุตู†ุน ุตูˆุฑ ู†ู…ุทูŠุฉ:
ุจุนุต ุฃูˆ ุฑุจู…ุง ู…ุนุธู… ุงู„ุงู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠูˆู† ูŠุฌูŠุจูˆู† ู…ุนู„ูˆู…ุงุชู‡ู… ุนู† ุฅุณู„ุงู… ู…ู† ุงู„ุฅุนู„ุงู… ุจุฏูˆู† ุชุนู„ูŠู‚ ู…ู† ุฃูŠ ู…ุณู„ู… ู†ูˆุณู‡ ุฃูˆ ู…ู† ุฃูŠ ู…ุณู„ู…ุฉ ู†ูุณู‡ุง, ูˆ ุงู„ู†ุชูŠุฌุฉ ู…ู† ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุญุงู„ ู‡ูŠ ุงู„ุตูˆุฑ ุงู„ู†ู…ุทูŠุฉ ุงู„ุชูŠ ูŠุธุงู‡ุฑ ูƒู„ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ุจุดูƒู„ ูˆุงุญุฏ ูˆ ุจุดูƒู„ ุณู„ุจูŠ. ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠูˆู† ูŠู‡ุชู…ูˆู† ูƒุซูŠุฑ ุจู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู…ุดูƒู„ุฉ, ูˆ ุจุนุถู‡ู… ูŠุธู†ูˆู† ุฃู† ุฃุณุงุณ ุงู„ู…ุดูƒู„ุฉ ู‡ูˆ ุงู„ุญู‚ูŠู‚ุฉ ุฃู† ุฃู„ุฅุนู„ุงู… ู„ุง ูŠุณู…ุญ ุฃูˆ ูŠู†ุดุฑ ุขุฑุงุก ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ุฃู†ูุณู‡ู… ููŠ ุจุฑุงู…ุฌู‡ู…. ู„ูƒู† ุจุนุถ ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠู† ูŠุฌุงุจูˆู† ุนู„ู‰ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุดูƒูˆู‰ ุจุฑุงุฆู‡ู… ุฃู† ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ู…ุณุคูˆู„ูˆู† ุนู„ู‰ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู…ุดูƒู„ุฉ ู„ุฃู†ู‡ู… ู„ุง ูŠุชุญุฏุซูˆ ุถุฏู‘ ุงู„ุชุทุฑู ููŠ ุตููˆูู‡ู…. ูˆ ุงู„ุฅุฌุงุจุฉ ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ู„ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุดูƒูˆู‰ ุฃู†ู‡ู… ูุนู„ุงู‹ ูŠุฑูุน ุตูˆุชู‡ู… ุถุฏู‘ ุงู„ุชุทุฑู ู„ูƒู† ู„ุง ูŠุธู‡ุฑ ุฃููƒุงุฑู‡ู… ูˆ ุฃุญุฏุงุซู‡ู… ุงู„ุณู„ู…ูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฐูŠู† ูŠุดุฌุน ุงู„ู‰ ุงู„ุชุณุงู…ุญ ู„ุฃู† ุงู„ุฅุนู„ุงู… ูŠู‚ูˆู… ุนู„ู‰ ู…ูˆุงุถูŠุน ุณู„ุจูŠ ูˆ ุฎู„ุงููŠุฉ ูู‚ุท, ูˆ ู„ูŠุณ ููŠ ุงู‡ุชู…ุงู… ููŠ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู‚ุทุงุน ุจุงุดูŠุงุก ุฅุฌุงุจูŠุฉ ุนู† ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู†.
ููŠ ูˆุฌู‡ุฉ ู†ุธุฑูŠ, ุงู„ู…ุณุฃู„ุฉ ูุนู„ุงู‹ ู…ุนู‚ุฏุฉ ู„ุฃู† ุฏุงุฆู…ุงู‹ ูŠุตู†ุน ุงู„ุฅุนู„ุงู… ุตูˆุฑ ู†ู…ุทูŠุฉ ูˆ ุชุบูŠุฑ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุญุงู„ุฉ ุตุนุจ ุฌุฏุงู‹ ุฃูˆ ุฑุจู…ุง ุฃู…ุฑ ู…ุณุชุญูŠู„. ูˆ ุจุณุจุจ ู‡ุฐุง, ุฃุธู† ุฃู† ู…ู† ุงู„ุฃู‡ู… ูˆ ุฃูุถู„ ุทุฑู‚ ูุนุงู„ูŠุฉ ู„ุฅุตู„ุงุญ ุณูˆุก ุงู„ุชูุงู‡ู… ุจูŠู† ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ูˆ ุงู„ุฃุฎุฑูŠู† ู‡ูŠ ุชุนุฑุถ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ุงู„ุนุงุฏูŠูˆู† ุฅู„ู‰ ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠูŠู† ุบูŠุฑ ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู†โ€“ุชุนุฑุถ ุฅู„ู‰ ุญูŠุงุชู‡ู… ูˆุฃููƒุงุฑู‡ู… ุงู‡ุชู…ุงู…ู‡ู…. ู‡ุฐู‡ ุงู„ุทุฑูŠู‚ุฉ ุณูŠุถุฏู‘ ุงู„ุตูˆุฑ ุงู„ู†ู…ุทูŠุฉ ุงู„ุณู„ุจูŠุฉ (ุงู„ุชู‰ ุชุตู†ุนู‡ู… ุงู„ุฅุนู„ุงู…) ูˆ ุณูŠูุชุญ ุจุงุจ ุญูˆุงุฑ ุงู„ุฐูŠ ูŠุคุฏูŠ ุฅู„ู‰ ุงู„ุชูุงู‡ู… ูˆ ุงู„ุชุนุงูˆู† ุณู„ู…ูŠุงู‹ ุญู‚ูŠู‚ูŠุงู‹. ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ู…ุญุชุฌูŠู† ุชู…ุซูŠู„ ุงู„ุฐุงุชูŠ ููŠ ุงู„ุฅุนู„ุงู…. ูˆ ููˆู‚ ู‡ุฐุง, ุงุนุชู‚ุฏ ุฃู† ู‡ู†ุงูƒ ุฏูˆุฑุงู‹ ุจุงุฑุฒุงู‹ ู„ุงู„ุชูุงู‡ู… ุจูŠู† ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ูˆ ุบูŠุฑ ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ุนู„ู‰ ุณุจูŠู„ ุงู„ุนู„ุงู‚ุงุช ุงู„ุดุฎุตูŠุฉ .
2) ูƒูŠู ู†ุญู‚ู‚ ุงู„ุฃู…ู† ุงู„ู‚ูˆู…ูŠ ูˆ ู†ุถู…ู† ุญู‚ูˆู‚ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ุงู„ุฃู…ูŠุฑูƒูŠูˆู† ููŠ ู†ูุณ ุงู„ูˆู‚ุชุŸ
ุจุนุต ุงู„ู…ุชุนุตุจูŠู† ุงู„ุงู…ุฑูƒูŠูŠู† ูŠุดุนุฑูˆู† ุจุงู„ุฎูˆู ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ุฏุงุฎู„ ุจู„ุงุฏู‡ู… ู…ู† ู†ุญูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฃู…ู† ุงู„ู‚ูˆู…ูŠ ู„ุฃู†ู‡ู… ูŠุคู…ู†ูˆู† ุจุงู„ุงุดุงุนุฉ ุงู„ุชูŠ ุชู‚ูˆู„ ุฃู† ูƒู„ ู…ุณู„ู… ู…ุชุทุฑู ุฃูˆ ุฅุฑู‡ุงุจูŠ. ูˆ ุงุญูŠุงู†ุงู‹ ุจุนุถ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ุงู„ุงู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠูŠู† ูŠู‚ุงู„ูˆู† ุฃู†ู‡ู… ูŠุนุงู‰ ู…ู† ุงู„ุชู…ูŠูŠุฒูˆ ูŠุฑูŠุฏูˆู† ุงู„ู…ุณุงูˆุงุฉ ููŠ ุงู„ู…ุฌุชู…ุน ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠ. ุฃุณุงุณ ุงู„ู…ุดูƒู„ุฉ ููŠ ูˆุฌู‡ุฉ ู†ุธุฑูŠ ู‡ูˆ ุงู„ุชูˆุชุฑ ุจูŠู† ุชุญู‚ูŠู‚ ุงู„ุฃู…ู† ุงู„ู‚ูˆู…ูŠ ูˆ ุถู…ู† ุญู‚ูˆู‚ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู†. ูˆุงุญุฏ ู…ู† ุฃุจุฑุฒ ุฃู…ุซู„ุฉ ุนู† ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู…ูˆุถูˆุน ู‡ูˆ ุงู„ุชู†ู…ูŠุท ุงู„ุนู†ุตุฑูŠ ุงู„ุฐูŠ ูŠุนุงู†ู‰ ูŠุนุถ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† (ุฎุตูˆุตุงู‹ ููŠ ุงู„ู…ุทุงุฑุงุช ุฎู„ุงู„ ุงู„ุณูุฑ). ุงู„ู…ุฌู…ูˆุนุฉ ุงู„ุชูŠ ุชุคูŠุฏ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุณูŠุงุณุฉ ูŠุฑุฃูˆู†ู‡ุง ูƒุดูŠุก ุงุฌุงุจูŠ ูˆ ู…ู†ุทู‚ูŠ ู„ุฃู† ูƒู„ ุงู„ุฅุฑู‡ุงุจูŠูˆู† ุงู„ุฐูŠู† ู‡ุงุฌู…ูˆ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง ููŠ ุงู„ูˆู‚ุช ุงู„ุญุฏูŠุซ ู‡ู… ูŠุนุชุจุฑูˆู† ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู†. ูˆ ุงู„ู…ุฌู…ุนุฉ ุงู„ุชูŠ ุชุนุงุฑุถ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ููƒุฑุฉ ุชู‚ูˆู„ ุฃู† ุงุณุชุญุงู„ ุงู„ุชุจุฑูŠุฑ ุนู† ู‡ุฐู‡ ุงู„ููƒุฑุฉ ูˆ ุฃู† ูƒู„ ุงู„ู…ูˆุงุทู†ูˆู† ุนู†ุฏู‡ู… ุงู„ู…ุณุงูˆุงุฉ ููŠ ุงู„ุญู‚ูˆู‚ ูˆ ุงูŠุถุงู‹ ุฃู† ู„ุง ุชู‚ุชุตุฑ ู‡ุฐู‡ ุงู„ุญู‚ูˆู‚ ู„ุจุนุถ ุงู„ู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠูŠู† ูู‚ุท.
ุจุดูƒู„ ุนุงู…, ููŠ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู…ู†ุงู‚ุดุฉ ุนู† ุงู†ุฏู…ุงุฌ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ููŠ ุงู„ู…ุฌุชู…ุน ุงู„ุฅู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠ, ุฃุฑู‰ ุฃู† ูŠูˆุฌุฏ ุชุญุฏูŠุงุช ูƒุจูŠุฑุฉ ู„ุงู„ุญุตูˆู„ ุนู„ู‰ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู‡ุฏู ู„ุฃู† ุงู„ุชูˆุชุฑ ุจูŠู† ุงู„ุชุญููŠุธ ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ุฃู…ู† ุงู„ู‚ูˆู…ูŠ ูˆ ุงู„ุชุญู‚ูŠู‚ ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠูˆู†. ู‚ุฏ ู†ุนุฑู ุฅุฌุงุจุฉ ู„ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ู‚ุถูŠุฉ ุฃุฐุง ุฑูƒู‘ุฒู†ุง ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ุชูˆุงุฒู† ุจูŠู† ุงู„ู‡ุฏููŠู† ุจุดูƒู„ ู…ุณุชู…ุฑ. ู‡ุฐู‡ ุงู„ุทุฑูŠู‚ุฉ ุงู„ูˆุญูŠุฏุฉ ุงู„ุชูŠ ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ู…ูƒู† ุฃู† ู†ู†ุฌุญ ููŠู‡ุง ู„ุฃู† ุฃู‡ู…ูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฃู…ู† ุงู„ู‚ูˆู…ูŠ ูˆุงุถุญ, ู„ูƒู† ููˆู‚ ู‡ุฐุง ู„ุง ูŠุฏู‘ ุฃู† ู†ุญู…ู„ ุงู„ุญู‚ูˆู‚ ู„ูƒู„ ู…ูˆุงุทู† ู„ุฃู† ุญู…ู„ุฉ ุงู„ุญู‚ูˆู‚ ู‡ูŠ ู‚ุงุนุฏุฉ ุงู„ุฃูŠุฏูŠูˆู„ูˆุฌูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒูŠุฉ. ููŠ ูˆุฌู‡ุฉ ู†ุธุฑูŠ, ุฃุฐุง ุณู…ุญู†ุง ุงุณุชุซู†ุงุก ูˆ ู„ุง ู†ุถู…ู† ุญู‚ูˆู‚ ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูŠู† ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง,ููƒู„ ุงู„ู…ูˆุงุทู†ูˆู† ุณูŠูƒูˆู†ูˆู† ุฃุณูˆุฃ ุญุงู„ุง ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ู…ุฏู‘ู‰ ุงู„ุจุนูŠุฏ.
โ€ข “ุงู„ู…ุณู„ู…ูˆู† ุงู„ุฃู…ูŠุฑูƒูŠูˆู† : ุงู„ุทุจู‚ุฉ ุงู„ูˆุณุทู‰ ูˆู…ุนุธู…ู‡ู… ู…ู† ุงู„ุชูŠุงุฑ ุงู„ุฑุฆูŠุณูŠ.”
Pew Research Center. ุนุงู… 2007.
โ€ข ู…ู‚ุงู„ุฉ ุนู† “ุฅุณู„ุงู… ููŠ ุฃู…ุฑูŠูƒุง.” ู…ูˆู‚ุน ูˆูŠูƒูŠุจูŠุฏูŠุง.

The Experiences of Muslims in America

Although many people throughout the world began thinking about the issue of Islam in America (and in the West in general) after the events of September 11, there exists a history of Islam in America much longer than this latest period of time. The first Muslims arrived to America in the 16th century, when the phenomenon known as the slave trade began. Some European explorers and American settlers kidnapped people from West Africa, and some of the Africans were Muslims. Most of the slave owners required their slaves to convert from the religion of Islam to Christianity, but this exposure to Islam in America at an early period of time influenced the return to Islam by African Americans in the 20th century.

In addition to that period of time, some residents in Ottoman territories began to migrate to particular places in the United States at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Although most many of these immigrants coming from Ottoman land were Christians, many were also Muslims. Thus began the period of modern migration in the history of Islam in America.

It is not possible to discuss this topic without mentioning the Black Muslim movements, in particular the growth of the Nation of Islam in the 20th century. This movement presented new opportunities for the empowerment of the African American community. In addition to that, most of the leaders of this movement had large personalities (the most prominent being Malcolm X). These factors encouraged many African Americans to participate in the Nation of Islam. We must recognize that this movement and its ideology are considered different from mainstream Islam, but its role is still important because most of the followers of the Nation of Islam entered mainstream Islam after their leader and founder Elijah Muhammed died in the year 1975.

The last modern historical period associated with this topic is the period between 1965 to the present day. After a long period of time, the door of migration to America was opened with a policy in 1965, known under the title, โ€œThe Immigration and Nationality Act.โ€ The appearance of the country changed in a general way due to this law, and in particular it allowed the migration of many Muslims. And the majority of Muslims in America today (about 67%) consists of immigrants from many different places, all of them having moved to the United States thanks to this vital law.

Thoughts of this Group and Their Reality in America

1. Diversity and Pluralism amongst Muslims in America

Statistics today state that there are between 2 and 7 million Muslims in America and that they comprise about 1% of the American population. A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2007 discovered that there does not exist a majority ethnic group in this demographic. This fact differs greatly from the stereotype that makes all Muslims appear to be Arabs. In actuality, only 25% of the global Muslim population is Arab and most Muslims are not Arab. And there exists this same state in America also. Statistics show us that about a quarter of Muslims in America are Arab, a quarter are South Asian, and a quarter or a third are African American. And there is also a group that consists of converts of Caucasian background. And because of this, it is clear that ethnic diversity exists in abundance inside the group of Muslim Americans. Moreover, there is diversity in terms of their economic experiences as well. Although most of them are part of the middle class, economic differences between them are associated with ethnic differences. In addition to economic and ethnic differences, a preferable and more beneficial general distinction in terms of analyzing this community is the difference between the experiences of immigrant Muslim Americans (who migrated from countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere), and the Muslims that are considered indigenous (like African Americans and converts of Caucasian background). This distinction influences their differing experiences to the greatest extent.

2. What does Muslim American identity look like?

The cultural diversity that exists inside the community of Muslim Americans influences American Muslim identity because an individualโ€™s understand of their religion is based on the national context in which they learned their religion (to a certain extent). And because there are individuals from many different places throughout the world in the mosques of America, sometimes there are clashes between their members. By way of an example, there are subtle differences by the way of prayer and in religious dress between Muslims from different countries, and sometimes these differences produce ideological conflicts inside the mosques of America. But in most cases, they unite around the idea of America identity, something which is shared between all Muslim Americans (the immigrant Muslim Americans and indigenous Muslim Americans as well). And because of this, American Muslim identity revolved around their shared American identity and also of course around shared Islamic traditions (even though there are religious differences between some of them).

Controversial Issues

It is well-known that the events of September 11th changed relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in every corner of the world, especially in the location of those events, the United States. In the present day, many people inside and outside of America discuss the controversial issues surrounding the place of Islam in America.

1. The Role of Media in Producing Stereotypes:

Some or perhaps most Americans get their information about Islam from the media, without comment from any Muslim themselves. The result of this situation is the stereotypical images that present all Muslims in a single, negative light. Muslim Americans are very interested in this problem, and some of them feel that the basis of the problem is the fact that the media does not allow or does not publish opinions from Muslims themselves in their programs. But some Americans respond to this complaint with their opinion that Muslims are responsible for this problem because they do not speak out against the extremists in their ranks. And the answer from Muslims to this complaint is that they do indeed raise their voices against extremism but their peaceful ideas and events that encourage coexistence do not appear because the media is based on negative and controversial issues only, and that there is not interest in this sector on positive aspects of Muslims.

In my opinion, this issue indeed is complicated because the media always seems to produce stereotypical images and to change this situation seems very difficult if not impossible. And because of this, I think the most preferable and important effective way to improve the misunderstand between Muslims and non-Muslims is to expose non-Muslim Americans to everyday Muslims โ€“ exposure to their lives and thoughts and interests. This method will oppose the negative stereotypes (that the media produces) and will open the door of dialogue that leads to true understanding and peaceful cooperation. Muslim Americans are in need of self-representation in the media. Moreover, I think that there is a prominent role to be played by interpersonal relations in order to promote more mutual understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.

2. How can we ensure national security and guarantee the rights of Muslim Americans at the same time?
Some intolerant Americans are afraid of the Muslims living inside their country in terms of national security because they believe in the rumor that states that all Muslims are extremists or terrorists. And sometimes some Muslim Americans state that they suffer from discrimination and that they desire equality in American society. The basis of the problem in my opinion is the tension between ensuring national security and guaranteeing the rights of Muslim Americans. One of the most prominent examples in this topic is the racial profiling that some Muslims suffer from (especially in airports while traveling). The group that is in support of this policy view it as something positive and logical because all of the terrorists that have attack America in recent times have been considered Muslims. And the group who opposes this idea states that there is no justification for this idea and that all Americans deserve equal rights and that full rights are not only limited to some Americans.

In general, in this discussion on the integration of Muslims in American society, I see that there exist many challenges in an effort to attain this goal because of the tension between ensuring national security and guaranteeing the rights of Muslim Americans. We may find an answer to this issue if we focus on the balance between the two objectives in a continuous way. This is the only way that it might be possible for us to succeed because of the importance of national security is clear, but above that we must protect the rights of all Americans because the protection of rights is the basis of the American ideology. And in my point of view, if we allow an exception to be made and we do not guarantee all the rights of Muslims in America, then all Americans will be worse off in the long run.


conversations and a maulid

28 Oct

Today was quite an eventful day. it began with me going to attend my second seminar on domestic violence organized by the NGO i’m interning with. I arrived early to help set-up, and while people began to fill up the room and we waited for the speaker to begin, I had two very interesting conversations. First, when she overheard that I was an American student studying Arabic here in Alexandria, a woman who volunteers her time doing a radio show to inform mostly lower class women on a variety of issues started to speak with me. Because of the uniqueness of my situation, she asked if she could record a short interview with me to be broadcast on her radio show. It was really intimidating when she whipped out her tape recorder on the spot, and I know my Arabic was extremely extremely broken, but of course it was still a really cool experience. Following our interview I wanted the take the chance to ask her a question related to an issue that is often on my mind: I tried to ask her how she felt about the fact that a lot of Western entities (individuals, organizations, funders) seem to be very interested in promoting women’s empowerment in the Middle East. What I understood from her response was the idea that apparently about 10 years ago some NGOs here started to see a lot of interest in financially supporting their work coming from abroad. at some point though, some problems occurred (i think it was one of the two actors was somehow shortchanging the other: it might have been that the NGOs which were receiving funding were not satisfying the requirements of the funders, or that the funders were not making fully explicit their intentions and expectations to the NGO). because of this, she said the egyptian government created a ministry whose purpose is to mediate in the relationship between domestic civil society organizations and foreign funders. i guess it doesn’t always play a big role in these kinds of interactions (especially because NGOs and funders had already developed relationships with one another before it was even created), but its still really interesting to know that such a governmental body exists.

another audience member who happened to be a freelance journalist overheard that i was an american student so we proceeded to have another very interesting conversation. i’m still trying to digest some of what was said (particular about US foreign policy towards the Muslim world) but i’d like to make a quick note of one particular part of our conversation. This experience of living in a Muslim-majority country is new for me, and i’m very interested in learning about the challenges and opportunities that come with having a population which is mostly comprised of adherents to Islam, so I tried to ask some questions related to this topic like, ‘isnt it true that some individuals try to impose their particular understanding of their faith on the people around them.’ initially this journalist i was talking to agreed with this idea. he mentioned how of course some times people deem just about everything haram and try to force changes in the behavior of other people who claim to be muslim, but how in his mind this isn’t right because islam is what is in the heart and ultimately no person can every know about the spiritual condition of another because that is something only between that individual and God (ideas, of course, with which I totally agree). But the strange thing is that somehow, later in our conversation, I found him pointing out the fact that I was wearing 3/4 sleeves and that having part of my arms exposed like that was haram, but then qualifying it by saying it was ok because we all need to take steps to get to where we need to be. The more I thought about these contradictory words later that day the more frustrated and confused I became. Whats makes some things clearly forbidden or permissible by Islam in the eyes of a person like this journalist, and not others? Of course I know that there are certain ideas within Islamic knowledge (coming from ahadith, interpretations of Quran, etc.) that are generally deemed as ‘mainstream’ and other which are not, and I also know that there is a very important gradation of statuses given to various behaviors in Islam based on such mainstream sources (totally prohibited, not prohibited but not encouraged, required, not required by encouraged, etc.). This gradation is even something this journalist happened to mention when talking about how some people deem everything haram because they may be ignorant and not have very much religious knowledge. But I was still (I think understandably) very unsettled by the fact that in the same conversation he could place so much emphasis on how critiquing the behaviors of others isn’t right because Islam ultimately lies in the heart, and then proceed to call me out (albeit nicely) for exposing too much of my arms. I can’t help but think that in addition to the religious references that deem certain things haram and other things mandatory and other things somewhere in between, this man’s understanding of what i right and wrong based on Islam must at least partly inevitably come from the cultural context that determines what is socially acceptable and places certain emphasis on certain issues and not on others.

anyway, a last quick observation i have from this seminar (i have so much to say about my experiences going to these seminars, and i haven’t even delved into the actual content of the discussion!) comes from a quick comment a young woman in the audience told me after it ended. i just asked her what her thoughts were about the general topic about discrimination against women and domestic violence, and she told me that all egyptian women have to deal with these issues in one arena or another (if not in her family home while growing up then maybe during marriage, etc.).

anyway, the second incredible experience i wanted to write about that i had this same day was attending a maulid, an event which i have seen dubbed more or less like an ‘all saints festival.’ this particular festival occurred in what i think was a poorer neighborhood in the outskirts of the city, and it basically was an outdoor festival several different things happening at once: vendors selling snacks and toys and other products, people gathered together chatting over tea and/or shisha, a large crowd gathered listening to someone singing poetry, and a group of people spending time in the neighborhood mosque, in which a man revered for his uprightness and morality integrity was buried. i enjoyed listening to the progressive development of the music and to the lyrical cadence of the poetry (which i really wish i would have been understood), but by far I most enjoyed the part of the evening where we sat down for some drinks and a man from the area began what turned into a long conversation with us.

he interestingly started it off by asking us what we would tell our friends and families about this unique event we attended, and we told him that we would like him to share more with us so we can more accurately convey how the people participating in the celebration view it (instead of just sharing our observations which are inherently different given the fact that we’re foreigners). So he basically described the maulid as an annual festival for the primary purpose of ุฐูƒุฑ (dhikr – the remembrance of God) by way of remembering this remarkable man who lived in the area and impacted its inhabitants so fundamentally because of his upright character (i hesitate to use the term ‘saint’ here, by the way, because i don’t know if its really appropriate). This man shared with us some of his childhood memories of this really exemplary guy.

from there, our several hour conversation took many twists and turns but the overarching theme I think was a really beautiful one: he basically kept telling us about the importance of living a good life based on the basic morals that I think all religions promote – to always be truthful and reflect on the beauties of creation and the millions of miracles that we’re always surrounded by (like the growth of the wide variety of fruits and vegetables that sustain us). And it was really interesting because on a number of occasions he said something to the effect of, “i know that i’m just a simple and uneducated man, and that these ideas may seem very simple but they are also very fundamental, and I’ve lived a long time and I wanted to share this wisdom that I’ve found with you.” He mentioned how insha’Allah he will be rewarded any time we remember any of these bits of advice that he shared with us and then act upon them to do something good in the future (and by going something good of course we would be rewarded too). and this last thought i think exemplifies just the generally positive feeling I had about the conversation: I don’t know if I have the exact words to describe it, but maybe it was something like a feeling of common humanity and reciprocity and simplicity and purpose of life all bundled in one. towards the end of our talk he mentioned how unlikely it was that he, an apparently uneducated man who I’m assuming probably has never left Egypt, would run into us coming from the US. He said there must be a reason for our encounter, and even though we both acknowledge that it was extremely likely that we would never run into each other again, I feel like we both left feeling that a strong interpersonal and fundamentally human connect between us lingered. And just the fact that I think this feeling arose between two people who it was so unlikely for them to meet (let alone really connect on any sort of level) just reinforces this idea of common humanity and all people having a simple shared purpose here on earth and things like that. After we left, I was thinking about how true his words are that we would probably never see each other again, and how just that realization left a whole new air of purpose and meaningfulness to our encounter. And then I thought, especially in light of the theme of our conversation and stuff like that, who knows, how beautiful would it be if one day we did indeed end up reuniting, not in this world but in heaven.

ikhwan at the university

11 Oct

today, something very interested happened while i was waiting for the professor to show up to a sociology class i was thinking about taking at the university itself (with egyptian students, as opposed to most of our language classes which are in a center for the study of arabic for foreigners). as all the students were chatting with each other in the classroom, a young male student walked in the classroom and began to address all of us. not all of the students were listening, of course, but he managed to capture the attention of most of the students for a period of about 20 minutes.

his little speech began with some general concepts about islam, including the idea that God doesn’t change the condition of a people until they change themselves. He then talked about the general importance of iman (faith) and the importance of returning to faith and truly understanding it. when some students began to chat again in the middle of his words he said something about how all students of course are willing to listen attentively to a professor give an hour long lecture, so why are some reluctant to listen to just a few minutes to a reminder about their religion? In addition to a few other general principles about the importance of religion, towards the end of his spiel he mentioned shias, and, from what i deduced, how they try to come close to ahl al-sunna but how there are distinctions between the two. a final thing worth noting about this little encounter was the fact that throughout the 20 minutes or so his eyes were closed (which, i believe, was due to the fact that about 95% of the students in the room were female).

so, later in the day i recounted this story to my language partner, and she said that it is basically known that student members of the ikhwan do things like that in the university. such behavior is outright forbidden by the university itself, but apparently they still manage to do activities under the radar. i understood many of the general ideas that he brought up and the overarching principle of reminding people of their faith, but I asked my language why he might have brought up shias (which seems particularly irrelevant in my opinion given the fact that most people say there are very few shias in egypt). she told me that indeed this idea didn’t really apply to egypt directly because there isnt a large shia population here, but i think she was implying that this was kind of just a general talking point.

incidentally, the professor we were waiting for never showed up to give a lecture that day. but i still felt i benefited from my time waiting in the classroom by virtue of this interesting encounter.

a beautiful day

10 Oct

thanks to the ever-present law of balance in this universe, i am now happy to devote an entire entry to discuss the many reasons why my dad today was just fabulous (the opposite, of course, of my entry a few weeks ago on my ‘day of hardship.’) So, this fabulous day began with an early trip to the NGO that I’m interning with (ุฌู…ุนูŠุฉ ุงู„ู…ุฑุฃุฉ ูˆ ุงู„ุชู†ู…ูŠุฉ – the women and development association). At work, things went great from the start because first and foremost, it was incredibly exciting for me to see firsthand some of the incredible and meaningful work I can become involved with that allows me to work on issues i’m passionate about, all thanks to the current arabic proficiency i’m at that i’ve worked really hard for. its also really exciting to think about how much more i can contribute to this organization and how much more i can really learn about civil society here from the inside and accessing things that would otherwise be totally inaccessible without a working knowledge of arabic. on top of that, it was awesome to see them at the organization excited about the role i might be able to play while interning with them. for example, i asked on of the staff members if they might need a basic powerpoint presentation they have about the organization translated into english, and she said that would be great (i don’t think i’ve yet mentioned that this organization has received grants from many different international and domestic donors, including USAID, and the project I’ll be working on the most – on domestic violence- is directly funded by USAID so insha’Allah i hope there will be an awesome opportunity for me to help facilitate communication between the organization and USAID). on top of that, even though my language ability is definitely really limited, it was really exciting for me to realize that i’m really starting to develop the specialized vocabulary for this type of work- after i took a good look at the basic presentation about the organization i felt like i could translate it with relative ease into english.

so, on top of all these lovely discoveries i had about the content of my internship, while there today i also discovered that the dada there (the woman who cleans the place and prepares tea and coffee and stuff like that) makes the best nescafe ever!!! score!! and just when i thought things couldn’t be going any better in terms of work, i discovered that the work day ends for them at 3pm! just in time for a perfect afternoon nap! ๐Ÿ™‚ which is exactly what I did, after I hopped into a mashroo3 (microbus) that sped down the corniche and made the beautiful sea breeze blow through my hijab. upon arriving at home, i took the most satisfying nap (not too long, not too short) and then actually managed to get myself to go to the gym (instead of getting lazy or talking myself out of it like so many of us are prone to doing i think). going to the gym, of course, made me feel great for the rest of the day, on top of everything else, and just as the icing on the cake of this most pleasant of days, while I walked down my street on the way back to my apartment, our fakahany (neighborhood fruit vendor, who we chatted with the other day) even waved at me on my way home ๐Ÿ™‚