From an Egyptian-Canadian student: "My mother, Mariam, is a medical doctor in Egypt. She was in Tahrir today -- Thursday, Feb. 3 -- treating people who had been wounded in yesterday's vicious attacks. She wanted me to share this information with as many people as possible."
"Despite what happened yesterday, the mood in Tahrir is still uplifting and encouraging. These people were attacked yesterday by paid thugs bearing ‘white weapons' (knives, daggers, swords). Against these attacks, they defended themselves with only their bare hands and literally the ground beneath their feet -- pulling up the pavement to throw at their attackers.
A siren song is this Cairo freedom fire, the Tunisian spark now a roaring flame.
A new Mecca in Tahrir Square.
I close my eyes and wander to the city of my birth, and I'm just eight years old in the helio-polis my Armenian family called home, playing in the Cairo sands, my father's 1940s Studebaker winding up the road to the Pyramids. And I'm now back in this moment, wondering, what exactly is this social media liberation hour we're in? The words come like this:
regime jam, the people's tram
stronger than the aswan dam
pyramid scheme a nation's dream a peoples' stream
Discarnate is my fave among the many terms slung by Marshall McLuhan, who'd have turned 100 yesterday. It means, Philip Marchand wrote here, "almost literally bodiless." It originated long ago in occult circles: seances, messages from the dead. McLuhan himself passed on when the Internet was very young, but he sensed what was coming: virtual lives, lived mainly online. Today discarnate pretty much equals virtual.
Egyptian activists speak about Arab Spring and support for Brigette DePape.
BEIRUT - We're talking revolution in Egypt, and pessimism and optimism are duking it out. For these couple of hours, a hotel meeting room in Beirut is the forum for a handful of Egypt's human rights luminaries to assess the trajectory of their country's chaos.
I am at the general meeting of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). Catchy titles have never been the strong point of civil society groups, but don't let the boring moniker fool you.
If the global human rights firing line were Hollywood, pretty much everyone here would be walking the red carpet (myself excluded). All present stand up for critical speech against great odds in Uganda, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Congo, Yemen -- you name it.