woensdag 23 februari 2011

Animal Care Egypt (ACE)

ULVENHOUT - Bereid je je maandenlang voor om bij een hulpproject voor verwaarloosde ezels, paarden en dromedarissen te gaan werken, breekt er opeens een opstand uit.

Het overkwam Boukeline Kappelhoff (28) uit Ulvenhout. Toch vertrekt de afgestudeerde dierenarts op 2 april naar Luxor in Egypte. "Toen al die protesten daar begonnen, dacht ik wel 'Moet dat nou? Hadden ze niet even kunnen wachten'. Het centrum is ook een tijdje dicht geweest, maar uiteindelijk is het allemaal heel goed afgelopen. Nee, ik maak me geen zorgen over mijn veiligheid. In Luxor, waar ik in het centrum van Animal Care Egypt (ACE) ga werken, is niet zo veel gebeurd. Bovendien teert Luxor op de toeristen. Daar wil iedereen dat het rustig blijft."
Ze kijkt er naar uit om te vertrekken. "Ik ben nog niet zo lang geleden afgestudeerd en ik wil graag werken met grootvee, zoals koeien en schapen. Ik denk dat ik daar heel veel kan leren." Maar ze gaat vooral uit idealisme. "Ik kan er niet zo goed tegen als dieren slecht behandeld worden. De mensen daar zien lastdieren vaak als een gebruiksvoorwerp. De dieren worden veel geslagen en slecht verzorgd. Dat komt door geldgebrek, maar ook door onwetendheid. Ze laten een dier rustig doorlopen met een gebroken poot. Eigenlijk is het vreemd, want de mensen zijn afhankelijk van hun dieren. Ze verdienen er hun geld mee. Je zou juist verwachten dat ze die goed verzorgen."
Bij Animal Care krijgen eigenaren gratis medische zorg voor hun lastdieren. Ook geeft de van oorsprong Engelse organisatie voorlichting. "Ook op de scholen."
Boukeline vertrekt niet met lege handen naar Egypte. Afgelopen zondag was er een drukbezochte benefietbijeenkomst in de Pekhoeve, waar ze 1700 euro verdiende met workshops en een loterij. Het geld is niet voor haarzelf, ze betaalt de reis en verblijf uit eigen zak, maar voor de dierenopvang in Luxor. "Ik krijg heel vaak de vraag of ik me niet beter voor de mensen in kan zetten. Dan zeg ik altijd dat ik door de dieren te helpen, indirect ook de mensen help."

Eventuele bijdragen: rekening 4283387 tnv Boukeline Kappelhoff

zaterdag 5 februari 2011

Egyptian bloggers

Egypt has the largest and most active blogosphere in the Arab world, and their work is done at great personal risk, facing arrest, prison, torture -- and even death, in some cases, says British photojournalist Anastasia Taylor-Lind, who is based in the Middle East. In this photo, the 'godfather' of Egyptian bloggers Wael Abbas, right, with fellow activists Kareem El Behiry, center, and Ahmed El Sayad, left, at Al Borsah Cafe in downtown Cairo, Egypt in 2010. Many bloggers are the children of Cairo’s intellectuals, radicals and activists and they gather late into the night in the shabby downtown street cafes their parents inhabited in the 1960s and 70s." (Anastasia Taylor-Lind / VII Mentor)Bridget Johnson (The Hill):

The growing unrest in Egypt is best being captured by the bloggers on the ground in Tahrir Square and other locations throughout the cradle of civilization. Here are some of the key bloggers to follow on Twitter:
Wael Abbas, a blogger and grassroots journalist renowned for exposing Mubarak-regime abuses. He's taking photos and posting video on his blog, as well, which he's linking to from Twitter. Recent tweet:

From field hospital: The doctor here confirms that 3 atleast are dead

Sandmonkey is an Egyptian who blogs as "an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey." He's posting frequent tweets and retweeting other protesters. Recent tweet:

The purpose behind today's clashes : "The Army is calling on protesters to go and stay home for Egypt's security." #jan25

Hossam Eid has been tweeting chilling updates from the violence Wednesday, when pro-Mubarak demonstrators rode into Tahrir Square on horseback and camels to clash with democracy demonstrators. Recent tweet:

I have twenty five stitches in my head and and I can't see with my left eye, but yet am going back to tahrir tomorrow

Ali Seif is also giving a dramatic play-by-play in the midst of the protests. Recent tweet:

Other than bruises, unable to stand, starved, and panic, were all fine. Feeling betrayed, all of us are. Massacre in square, please watch em

Egyptian blogger Nora Younis was in Tunisia for the protests there before coming home in time for the Jan. 25 protests to begin. Recent tweet:

Mubarak saving face & responding 2 US pressure 2 avoid vacuum. After steppin down Suleiman'll make concessions as much ppl pressure #jan25

Follow related posts on the unfolding crisis with the hashtag #jan25

donderdag 3 februari 2011

The April 6 Youth Movement

In a press conference, the April 6 movement called on Egyptians to start a general strike on Sunday that would last until the demands of the people are met. It also said it was attempting to persuade the army to side with the people.

April 6 is one of the movements that called for the January 25 day of anger that sparked the series of mass protests. Protesters initially called for economic and political reforms but this escalated to demanding the fall of the regime. This prompted Mubarak to ask his cabinet to resign and appoint a new vice president.

Ahmed Maher, head of the April 6 movement, announced the movement’s rejection of President Mubarak’s Friday night speech, calling it the “repeated nonsense that we’ve been hearing for 30 years.”

“The president’s false promises do not fool us anymore. He is the one responsible for all the crimes that were committed against the people,” said the April 6 statement.

The statement urged the people to continue uprising until the president steps down.

Maher blamed the recent vandalism and theft on the security forces which--he claims--released large numbers of thugs and convicts from prisons to terrorize the people and ruin the image of the uprising.

He asserts that the movement is not affiliated with vandalism and that it has formed popular committees to defend public and private facilities.

The April 6 Youth Movement

In the spring of 2008, over 100,000 users of the social networking website Facebook joined an online group to express solidarity with workers protesting in the Delta industrial city of al-Mahalla al-Kubra. As the protests escalated into a nationwide strike, the Facebook group gained momentum and eventually coalesced into a political movement known as the April 6 Youth Movement. Making extensive use of online networking tools, organizers of the movement urged followers to demonstrate their support for the workers by wearing black, staying at home, and boycotting products on the day of the strike. The group has since organized other protests and demonstrations including solidarity protests for Gaza and demonstrations in support of jailed journalists and bloggers. In 2009, the group still claimed a membership of around 70,000 young Egyptians, most of whom are well-educated and politically unaffiliated. Like Egypt’s other protest movements, the April 6 Youth Movement is not a formal political party, but it nonetheless provides an outlet for a new generation of politically conscious Egyptians.
Since its original strike in 2008, the April 6 Youth Movement has struggled to sustain its organizing capacity. Regime repression has contributed to the movement’s decline. During the original strike, security forces abused and harassed many of the group’s leaders and members, and the severity of the crackdown dampened enthusiasm for the movement. Anniversary strikes in 2009 and 2010 also ended in deadly violence when police acted to disperse the protesters. Although the movement was initially able to evade physical repression through the skillful deployment of social media and online networking, the regime has since undermined the movement’s technological advantage through propaganda and other media strategies. Following the most recent anniversary protest, the April 6 Youth Movement filed a lawsuit demanding the right to protest without police interference, but the case has been postponed until November 2010.

In July 2010, the April 6 Youth Movement announced a new anti-NDP campaign under the slogan, “Egypt is our Homeland, not Theirs.” The campaign aims to raise political awareness with a particular focus on the youth population. Its organizers have endorsed Mohammed ElBaradei’s seven-point petition and claim to have gathered over 5,000 signatures for the campaign as of August 2010.

Major Figures:
Asmaa Mahfouz: Founding member
Ahmed Maher: Founding member
Israa Abdel Fattah: Founding member
Mohammed Adel Amr Ali: Leading member and blogger
The April 6 Youth Movement was launched by young Egyptians and the movement continues to rely heavily on the support of youth. Two of the movement’s founding members, Israa Abdel Fattah and Ahmed Maher, were under the age of 30 when they created the original Facebook group. Although the movement has derived considerable energy and leverage from its young supporters, it has also struggled to reach more demographically diverse constituencies, and has not successfully cultivated a strong grassroots network beyond its Facebook group.

Use of social media:
The April 6 Youth Movement has made extensive use of social media and cell phone technology to mobilize its supporters, and over 70,000 Facebook users belong to the movement’s online group. The Facebook group functions as both a forum and powerful organizing tool for the movement’s members, who frequently post comments, photos and news reports to the page. Leaders meet online to debate issues, plan events, and mobilize the group’s members to participate in specific demonstrations. Members of the movement have used various Facebook features—including profile pictures and status update boxes—to protest repressive police measures and express solidarity with fellow activists who have been arrested or harassed.

As an informal group, the April 6 Youth Movement does not enter into official alliances with political parties. However, party leaders are attuned to its activities and have occasionally expressed solidarity with the movement. According to media reports, individual members of al-Ghad, Tagammu’, and the National Association for Change participated voluntarily in the April 6 Youth Movement’s 2010 demonstration, although their parties had not officially endorsed the protest. The movement has coordinated with Kifaya to stage protests with varying degrees of success.

In April 2009, the April 6 Youth Movement played an instrumental role in the formation of the Egyptian Coalition for Change, which called for the abrogation of all emergency laws, the drafting of a new constitution, and the annulment of the Camp David Accords (which normalized relations between Egypt and Israel in 1978). Other members of the coalition included the Kifaya movement, al-Karama, al-Wasat, and individual members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The April 6 Youth Movement has expressed support for the Muslim Brotherhood and publicly denounced the detention of Brotherhood members in August 2009. The movement has also backed Mohammed ElBaradei and the National Association for Change, and claims to have gathered over 5,000 signatures in support of the NAC’s seven-point petition for reform.

Promoting political reform through a strategy of non-violent resistance
Seeking to implement the principles of democratic governance
Maintaining the movement’s independence while at the same time striving to build coalitions with other opposition actors
Establishing the principles of democratic governance
Protecting the right to form parties and engage in the political process
Economic Issues:
Supporting the development of new technologies and citizens’ access to the internet
http://www.6april.org/ (official)(Arabic)
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38588398289 (Facebook)
www.6aprilmove.blogspot.com (blog)
http://twitter.com/shabab6april (Twitter) (Arabic)
http://shabab6april.wordpress.com (Code of April 6 Youth) (Arabic)

dinsdag 1 februari 2011

In the ancient city Luxor in southern Egypt, locals fended off a band of robbers who tried to break in and steal antiquities from the warehouse of the famed Karnak Temple on the east bank of the Nile.
In Luxor residents are defying the curfews to form barricades and ensure that monument are not looted.