"Written in the Coptic language, the ancient text tells of Pontius Pilate, the judge who authorized Jesus' crucifixion, having dinner with Jesus before his crucifixion and offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus. It also explains why Judas used a kiss, specifically, to betray Jesus—because Jesus had the ability to change shape, according to the text—and it puts the day of the arrest of Jesus on Tuesday evening rather than Thursday evening, something that contravenes the Easter timeline." —The shape-shifting Jesus and Pilate offering up his son for substitute crucifixion, that we can handle. But Jesus arrested on Tuesday evening instead of Thursday evening?
Here's a phrase you never, ever want to hear from the person in charge of a country, in this case Egypt's interim prime minister Essam Sharaf, appointed by the governing military council: "The only beneficiary of these events and acts of violence are the enemies of the January revolution and the enemies of the Egyptian people, both Muslim and Christian."
Whenever a state declares someone or something an "enemy of the revolution," your best possible outcome is indefinite detentions and disappearances. (History says that the other choices down that road are often worse.)
Happy belated birthday, Facebook Jamal Ibrahim! You are a baby girl born last week in Egypt. Your parents named you, in honor of the role the social networking site Facebook played in your country's recent revolution. Your name struck me as strange at first. And I guess it is a bit strange. But the longer I sit with, the more I think it's strange in a good way, the more I like it. It's better than "Twitter," for starters, in that it won't be shortened to "Twit." And I actually think it will be pretty cool as you grow older. People will surely call you "Face." And [...]
“This country will never be the same,” my driver said when he picked me up at the Cairo International Airport two nights ago. This much Egyptians can agree upon, but this much only.
For the time being, order has been restored. The military is in control. Tahrir Square is clear. Tanks line the streets of downtown Cairo and there are no longer gunshots sounding through the night.
But this country, one that draws something like $10 billion each year in tourism, has been depicted as a war zone for the past three weeks. For now, until Egyptians (and the rest of us) know what happened down in Tahrir Square, [...]
• The events of the Egyptian Revolution are often subject to a giant game of telephone. Today it's: "Thugs at the Presidential Palace!" No wait: "Peaceful friendly protests!" And you saw what happened yesterday. Someone—two someones, really—who worked somewhere in the Egyptian government said "I think Mubarak is going to step down today!" And then [...]
• Over the course of the demonstrations, the Egyptian military detained "hundreds and possibly thousands" of "government opponents": some of them were tortured, receiving "extensive beatings and other abuses."
• Rich people: they're all alike, all around the world! "Well-heeled Egyptians, who drive the country's economy, are concerned about ongoing unrest."
• Best Facebook update ever? We are all Khaled Said: "Thousands of lawyers have taken their protest to Abdeen Presidential Palace. Thousands more have joined them and the palace is now surrounded. The army has now withdrew from in front of the palace. The president is NOT in this palace unfortunately. He is in another [...]
Scary mummies in museums are not so different than you, experts say, because even the most hideous dried-up corpse from thousands of years ago suffers the same mundane risks for heart disease as people still shuffling along today: hardened arteries.
Bored researchers did a "stress test" on 137 mummies from around the world and found a third of the monstrosities were suffering from atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
The heart condition is commonly believed to be associated with modern lifestyle errors such as smoking cigarettes and eating so much bacon and thinking that's funny, but this new research suggests mummies have been suffering these heart problems since the [...]
Translation: "The Salafi movement invites you to pray Eid prayer with us. First prize is a surprise. There will be space for females and gifts for children."
Today is the second day of voting in Egypt for the People's Assembly, which has 508 seats. All told, 24 days of polling will take place over the next few months. In January, elections will begin for Egypt's upper house, the Shura Council, which has 264 seats. After that election concludes, voting will take place to choose a president.
Before the revolution, Islamic parties were banned from public office in Egypt. Now the Al-Nour party claims to have 300,000 active members, each [...]
Back in April, Egyptians received a violent reminder that their post-revolutionary freedom to assemble in protest was a conditional one. That night was the first time activists moved demonstrations from Tahrir Square to the Israeli embassy in protest the Gaza occupation. By 2 a.m., the Egyptian army (known as the SCAF) had received orders to attack the group. Soldiers fired rubber bullets into the crowds and tear-gassed the corridor, killing one and taking hundreds into custody.
The message from the SCAF was clear: “You may gather in protest with our blessing—but Israel is off limits.”
But last Friday, five Egyptian border security guards were accidentally killed by [...]
"It may be a small group," said Sharif, a 29-year-old Coptic Egyptian, looking out the windshield of his BMW into the line of traffic that streamed down the highway in the mid-afternoon sun. “No station on television talk about this. I don’t know why—it’s not fair. All the stations are afraid of Tahrir."
On this dusty highway, celebration was in the air. A flood of Egyptians were packed into flat bed trucks and traditional third world, go-cart passenger cars. Horns honked. Hands flashed victory signs out car windows. Alongside Sharif, three teenagers on a motorcycle sped between lanes. The center passenger held an eight-foot Egyptian flag high in the [...]
Egypt: "The army also assured the 'honourable' protesters that they won't be persecuted by the army when the crisis is over."
Los Angeles: "City Atty. Carmen Trutanich is throwing the book at dozens of people arrested during recent political demonstrations…. Some of the activists arrested, including eight college students and one military veteran who took part in a Westwood rally last year in support of the DREAM Act, face up to one year in county jail." (via)
This is happening now. The Egyptian president says he will leave eventually, but not just at this moment.
•Today, perhaps the most enormous demonstration to date is underway in Tahrir Square. (Enormous! (Really!) There are still weapon-screeners and ID checks, but there also seem to be cheering welcoming committees as people enter. Today people report exuberance—and a very, very real sense that the Mubarak regime is ending. Protestors are now heading for the Parliament as well. Large demonstrations are happening in other cities.
Andrew W.K. is (maybe) a party rocker and motivational speaker. He is also, by his own unreliable admission, an actor who plays "Andrew W.K.," which is a creation of a shadowy group of entertainment industry lawyers and mind-control experts. He may or may not be "Steev Mike" or "Dave Grohl." Also, he/it is mostly known for a single ridiculous orc-lite 2001 punk-pop anthem called "Party Hard" and a live-action show about exploding things, with children, on the Cartoon Network. (Late-night masochists will also know him from frequent appearances on the alternate-universe Fox News program "Red Eye.")
Whether he's a self-created troll or something entirely more [...]
A week ago one of my eleventh-grade students approached me after class. “It will be starting again,” he began. “This time the target will be against the military government. The first set of demonstrations will be this Friday, but they will continue until a second wave of the uprising will begin. This time it will demand the resignation of the SCAF"—the Supreme Council of Armed Forces. "It will be bloody and you should not go to the demonstrations. Maybe once all of the people come out, then you can come. For now there is widespread fear of Israeli spies and you will not be safe in these places for the [...]
Yemen: How the Al-Ahmar family could take advantage of unrest against the Saleh regime, leading to a civil war—or simply regime change. Meanwhile, the government is going to announce what sounds like an unsatisfactory new government.
Oman: Today is the third consecutive day of protests! The Sultan is quickly making some minor concessions—distributing money
Egypt: Former president Mubarak has been ordered by a prosecutor not to travel; also his assets have been ordered frozen. Too little, too late, says Al Jazeera's analyst.
I'll believe Mubarak is stepping down when I see it with my own eyes (uh, through Al Jazeera). Also? Oh great, stepping down to the evil, Cheney-esque Vice President! (Or, you know, the military. Neat.) But signs do look good: "Hassan al-Roweni, an Egyptian army commander, told protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Thursday that 'Everything you want will be realised.' Protesters have demanded that Hosni Mubarak stand down as president…. Ahmed Shafiq, the country's prime minister, told the BBC that the president may step down on Thursday evening, and that the situation would be 'clarified soon.'"