EGYPT: We need our funny man back!


Word on the street is that Bassem will be back On Air in a matter of weeks, albeit on another Network since CBC caved into and sucked up to the Interim government and broke the contract. Why? Because Bassem took pot shots at everyone including the Interim government.

But will Bassem have the guts to take pot shots at the same Interim government who shut down 1000 Egyptian NGOs yesterday, many of whom provide much needed healthcare to the poor of Egypt? We need our Funny Man back!

Will Bassem be allowed to criticize the new law that criminalizes any Egyptians who take part in demonstrations without first acquiring a permit? A permit???? Can you imagine Egyptians WAITING for a Permit? Now that is FUNNY!!!

The good news is that Bassem and his team have TONS of new material for the upcoming episodes!!!

________Below Written 3 November 2013_______________

Life in Egypt is so unpredictable. Totally the opposite as it used to be. Nothing changed for years. One could leave for a year or four and come back and nothing had changed. Now it changes every day. The American University announced at 4pm today that it will be closed tomorrow because of the trial of Pres. Morsy and the possibility of unrest. So I don’t teach as expected. No one, including the Americans ever have a game plan in advance. Everyone seems to be responding to events instead of creating the future.

Friday I sat in front of my television set at 10pm ready to watch the much awaited second-show-of-the-season of Egyptian comedian Bassem Yousef (the Egyptian John Stewart). The entire country sat waiting and it never came on. The previous week Bassem Yousef took pot shots at everyone including the Interim Egyptian President and General Sisi (who is really in charge of the country). It was brilliant and funny and cutting edge. He spared no one as he has done for the past year – during the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)year of Pres. Morsy. Of course he was slammed with some law suits that went no where and he stayed on air. Now under a new interim government – one episode and he was Unplugged! Rumors flew on Twitter that BY even fled the country.

The fact that most of the country was sitting in front of the television (politics is now the national sport taking over football since January 2011) and then got stiffed was a BAD sign. What could the new interim government be so afraid of? A comedian? We have all taken this as a bad sign and many of us feel that this means that we are back to square one in terms of revolution and the reasons for revolt. The economy certainly has not improved – the main cause of the revolution – rising cost of living, high unemployment, poverty rising, no future for the average Egyptian, etc. Now it seems that censorship is back in style – even greater censorship than under Mubarak. The difference is that the genie is out of the bottle, meaning Egyptians have no fear any longer, they know what their rights are supposed to look like and feel like and they are not going back to the bitter days of stagnation, control and despotism.

In other words, shutting down Egypt’s number one comedian was a bad move, a very bad move. It may seem insignificant to people outside Egypt but it is very significant here in Egypt. It means the revolution is still ON! (Remember the French Revolution lasted 100 years and they rewrote their Constitution 13 times.) Is Egypt in for the long haul? Do we have the patience and the resources to endure a long lasting revolution?

No matter what camp you are in: “It’s a coup” or “It’s NOT a coup” or whether you are Anti-MB or Pro-MB blacking-out Bassem Yossef was a slap on the face of ALL Egyptians. A huge wall (15m x 4m) in my neighborhood reads: OUR REVOLUTION IS CONTINUOUS.

As I sit on my balcony overlooking this magnificent scene, this auspicious antique land of the Nile River, I see one of the main arteries of our Mother Earth. I see an ancient body struggling to regain its power and beauty. The land, the river and the people have such character and depth that even after 7,000 years of pillage and abuse it still survives. Have you ever seen faded glory? This is Egypt. I can see nine pyramids across the Nile that stretch from the Giza Pyramids in the North to Sakkara Pyramids in the South. It enfolds before my senses and gives me pause.

If Egypt is allowed to fade even further and implode politically it will be the fault of all of us. Yes, you in New York, you in Dehli, you in Beijing, you in Paris, you in Washington DC, you in Cairo, Alexandria, Assuit and Aswan. For Egypt is the Mother of the Earth (Om Il Donaya). We should all be taking care of her. Egypt has given the world so much of what we humans treasure in life; from wheat to astronomy to pottery to glass to medicine and surgery. From agricultural methods to artistic techniques… Two of the nine original Wonders of the World – the Giza Pyramids and the first Light House (Alexandria) ever built – are in Egypt. Today Egypt holds 85% of the ancient anthropological and archaeological sites of the world.

Egypt is inhabited by 90 million people who like everyone else in the world simply wish to work well, live, marry, have a family, take care of their children, eat their delicious food, enjoy their families and friends and most of all ensure the future of their children. Egyptians truly live for their children. Economic and political policies and alignments, corruption brought from outside and fomented inside the country, resources spent on military instead of education, these are the macro reasons that have led the Egyptian people to despair, poverty and revolt. And don’t be fooled these same scenarios are being played out slowly in the west as well.

Is this future foreordained? I don’t think so. I think it is a matter of choice. Our choices everywhere, no matter where you live. If you are on my email list, chances are you are not part of the 1% elite that are greedily destroying our world for profit. We the 99% need to do more to make the rulers, corporations and bankers of our world more accountable to us. They and we must be accountable and care for our Earth. We must do what is good for us the people of the Earth, our children, our animals, our rivers, lands, seas, our souls, our life. For in the end it is a matter of life or a slow miserable death. I choose life.