Posts Tagged ‘Algeria’

Of Gods and Men

November 23, 2011
Of Gods and Men

Of Gods and Men

scene from the film

scene from the film

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. — Psalm 82:6-7

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. — Pascal

A deeply moving French film of a group of monks living in an isolated monastery in Algeria at the height of Islamic terrorist atrocities.

What sense is there when teenage girls are killed for not wearing a veil, their bodies dumped by the roadside? This is not the Koran.

When Croations are killed working on a nearby road the monks are offered protection by the army, but this is declined by the Abbot as he will not allow weapons in the monastery, nor will he depart and abandon the poor villagers who are dependent on the monastery. They were called by God to serve.

Each monk struggles with his faith and his God. Does he leave or does he stay?

All they have to protect them is their faith.

Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux) by the French director Xavier Beauvois is based on the kidnapping and murder of monks in Algeria in 1996. Who killed them, fundamentalists or the state, and the circumstances of their death is not known.

The film has a faded appearence, not the rich colours one would normally expect. This serves to resonate with the simple and austere lifestyle of the monks. Having a new laptop and this being the first DVD I had watched, I thought maybe something wrong and downloaded two new media players.

The film captures beautifully the sounds you hear up in the mountains, in the distance a neighbour’s dog barking, a cock crowing.

Des hommes et des dieux premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Grand Prix.

Des hommes et des dieux was shot on location at an abandoned monastery in Azrou, Morocco.

The monastery in Algeria lies abandoned, a ghost monastery.

Hosni Mubarak has gone!

February 11, 2011

Dear President Mubarak your dignity is no longer important, the blood of Egyptians is. Please leave the country NOW. — Wael Ghonim

Dear Western Governments, You’ve been silent for 30 years supporting the regime that was oppressing us. Please don’t get involved now. — Wael Ghonim

!! He’s gone! Scenes of jubilations in Tahrir. I will never forget this moment. — Sharif Kouddous

“Lift your head up, you’re Egyptian!” – the chant of victory in Tahrir. — Sharif Kouddous

Every street is filled with people cheering, celebrating, honking, dancing. Indescribable. — Sharif Kouddous

Thanks to everyone for the congrats. A big battle has been won but the war is far from over. We celebrate tonight, tomorrow we struggle on. — Sharif Kouddous

The world only gets better because people risk something to make it better. Congrats Egypt! — Paulo Coelho

Yesterday, we were all Tunisians. Today we are all Egyptians. Tomorrow we will all b: Syrians? Yemenis? Jordanians? Algerians? Palestinians? — Rawya Rageh

It was 1600 GMT and on Egyptian TV was Omar Suleiman looking like death warmed up. He made a very brief statement, less than a minute announcing that Hosni Mubarak had resigned and control had been passed to the army.

The crowds on the streets went wild. It was what they had been waiting for.

What a contrast to the previous evening when Hosni Mubarak had appeared on TV to announce he was staying, to be followed by Omar Suleiman telling people to get off the streets, to go back to work, to stop listening to foreign satellite channels.

All very confusing. Thursday everyone was expecting Hosni Mubarak to go, but he dug in his heels and said he was staying. Following midday Friday prayers, people took to the streets. Tahrir Square was filled to overflowing, people overspilled and started to surround the Presidential Palace and State TV building. In other parts of the country there were reports of peope seizing government buildings.

We were told Egypt was or would descend into chaos, that the Islamists wwre poised to take over, that Egypt would be another Iran.

The reality was peacefull unarmed people took on a repressive regime backed by US-UK and won.

The reality was the people were more than capable of running their own affairs. Look at the number of people in Tahrir Square, there was no police and yet apart from when they were attacked by state security and Mubarak Rent-a-Thugs, there was no violence. People worked together, they looked after each other and out for each other, no one was telling then what to do or organising them.

What we have seen was participatory democracy in action. This is the Big Society, not what David Cameron and Nick Clegg are trying to implement as an excuse to cut public services.

Egypt has ushered in a New World Order. The dominoes will fall one by one. We were told Egypt would not fall. It took three weeks but it fell. Scum bags and others who are brutalising their own people have a very simple choice, go now or be kicked out.

How long will it be before the rotten house of cards that is the corrupt House of Saud falls? Before the evil ayatollahs and mullahs go from Iran? Before the corrupt Palestinian Authority is overthrown?

Palestinian Authority next?

St Valentine’s Day will see the start of revolution in Iran. A Day of Rage has been called.

Iran’s ‘Day of Rage’
Day of Rage facebook group

The evil ayatollahs and mullahs are jittery. Iran is jamming the BBC Persian service. Books by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho have been banned, though these are now available for free download in Persian.

Iran denies banning Paulo Coelho’s books
Iran bans Paulo Coelho

In Jordan the King is moving in the right direction, but far too slowly. Stop attacking journalists.

Israel will be forced to enter into dialogue with its neighbours.

In Egypt the Constitution has to be rewritten. The Presidential term restricted to two four-year terms. The security apparatus dismantled. The ruling NDP dismantled. Senior officials including Hosni Mubarak and Omar Suleiman put on trial. Parliament has to be dissolved. Free and fair elections held with outside observers.

An interim government has to be appointed drawn from all sectors of society who took to the streets. To retain the cabinet appointed by Mubarak would be to insult the Egyptian people. No way can Omar Suleiman play a part.

How Egypt moves forward is for the people on the street to decide.

Democracy comes from the bottom, it is not imposed from above.

There is a lot more to be done but tonight we celebrate! Tonight we are all Egyptians!

Egypt in revolt
Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ Bout A Revolution
The Egyptian Revolution: A Democracy Now! Special on Mubarak’s Resignation
Look at the streets of Egypt; this is what hope looks like
Triumph as Mubarak quits
People & Power – Egypt: Seeds of change
Egypt: Protests spread as Mubarak holds on
Mubarak teases Egypt as his regime fragments
Palestinians can only watch as Egyptians are living their dream
Egyptians have chosen, time for the state to accept their choice
What bliss to be alive, to be an Egyptian and an Arab
Palestinian Authority next?

Egypt: One by one the dominoes fall

January 26, 2011

At the weekend protesters took to the streets in Algeria. Now the protests have spread to Egypt.

Like a rat up a drainpipe, Gamal Mubarak, son of President Hosni Mubarak, was reported to have fled the country along with his family.

Social networking sites are reported as restricted or blocked.

Once again not a beep from the Coward in the White House.

Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia
Cairo erupts as Egyptian protesters demand Mubarak resign
Egypt: President’s son and family ‘have fled to the UK’
Egypt protests: Three killed in ‘day of revolt’
Three dead in Egypt protests
Thousands Protest in Egypt in Largest Popular Challenge to Mubarak in 30 Years