Tag Archives: january 25

Bright Outfit, Dark Day

I apologize in advance as it is not possible for me to write a post at this moment while avoiding talking about what is happening in Egypt. Today and yesterday were black days here in Cairo; I did not take outfit pictures either day as there were honestly much more pressing issues on the table. Much like everybody else I was stuck to news outlets and social media during the day, only to go out  later in the evening. Although I identify as a liberal politically, having been quite vocal in my opposition to the Brotherhood, there was no way I would feel at peace going down to party in Etihadeya or Tahrir given the implications of answering the military’s call. The place I truly wanted to be in – Medan Sphinx (or “the Third Square”) – is anti-ikhwan, anti-felool, and anti-military rule, but as it is across town and many roads were blocked I did not get to go. Instead I thought I’d go and observe in Rab3a, wanting to see what was really happening first-hand (this is the second time I went, and both preceded a night/dawn massacre – seems I’m bad luck) .

Again, I was well treated, although the security was tough, likely because I look (dress) so different from the majority of female protesters there (as opposed to the other sites mentioned where I wouldn’t stand out remarkably). I drank tea, visited the media room, the backstage area, and the general area in front of the stage. Things were fairly peaceful, although I saw the occasional poster calling for al-Sisi or ElBaradei’s execution (and the discourse is often far from democratic). I stayed for some time with a friend from college, who graciously showed me around this night as was the case previously, until word got out around 11:30-11:45 that the army/police had started using teargas (and possibly bullets) toward the protesters at one side of the protest area. I was then encouraged to leave through the other side (towards Abbas el Aqqad St) or optionally stay within the mosque area without my friend as he got busy following the news. Sadly, I chose to leave. I had not anticipated such a massive massacre, nor the discourse of denial following it. I wish I had stayed. I wish I had watched. I wish I could have claimed to know the truth.

Instead I wandered through an unlit side street until I reached Abbas el Aqqad and turned onto the unblocked part of el Nasr St, where it was completely impossible to find a cab. I kept walking until I reached an area of service and called a friend who picked me up hours later, only to come home to reports of the massacre in making. It is indeed a dark day for Egypt.

My outfit is unrelated to the story as these pictures were taken some days ago. They are really misplaced here as the moment of capture was a happy one, having just seen a dear friend of mine who I haven’t met for months. Nevertheless, this is a style blog first and foremost, and so I gotta give you some of that too.

aquapalm

Zebra print scarf: H&M, ombré scarf: Gina Tricot (Norway), palm print cardigan with neon details: River Island, pleated maxi dress used as a peplum skirt: Forever21, accessories: Zara, River Island, ASOS.

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A Non-style Related Note on Egypt

This is obviously not a political blog, yet I cannot but weigh in on what is set to happen in Egypt today. In the interest of time I’m not writing a full post but rather sharing an extended status I wrote some days ago, as al-Sisi called for supporters to take to the streets for the purpose of giving him popular legitimacy to deal with terrorism and political unrest.

Even if one strongly dislikes the Brotherhood’s politics/is bothered by them closing up all the major streets (both applies to me), please think twice about going down on Friday, giving the military free reign to do what they may with the group and their supporters. 

It is as if all the crimes of the military were instantly forgotten with the coup (yes, I call it a coup), and all the dreams of political freedom were given up on at the very same moment. You don’t have to be pro-military abuse to be against Morsi, and you definitely don’t have to be pro-Morsi to opine that throwing your full and unquestionable support behind the forces pulling the strings of Egypt’s politics and economy for so many decades is not a very humane or liberal choice at this point in time.

I was definitely not sad to see Morsi go but I think the way he went will bite us in the back later on and the efforts to address the mechanism by any other name show how embarrassed we really are about it – we’re in a state of cognitive dissonance. I do not wish for his return – I’ve seen very anti-democratic discourse from some individuals of the Brotherhood dealing with executing the “traitors” etc, and I do not believe that they’d hesitate to close liberal shows and channels as we (I’m referring here to liberals like myself) set the precedent for it, including other possible anti-democratic measures. At the same time, painting the entire body of members and supporters as terrorists, excusing the killing of them as a matter of national security is highly illiberal and inhumane. 

We should rather fight for reconciliation, for inclusion. Show the ikhwan that we can succeed where they failed in their intolerant, arrogant ways that eventually led to their downfall.

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