Unhealed Darfur… Nyala Massacre

On July 31st 2012, I was a little bit sick that day; actually the sickness was a result of fasting without eating enough food. It was Ramadan and many friends were fasting under NISS custody, probably they were tortured and find no mercy in the month of mercy. It was a nightmare for the families to gather at breaking the fast and a beloved person is missing. The intensity and frequency of protests were decreasing in Khartoum. All the elements of frustration were there in addition to hunger and low blood pressure. I decided to spend that day just laying on my bed. Not to do any thing and basically to avoid FB and twitter. I heard my father sadly saying There is No Power but from Allah. I run to his room and asked him whats happening he said ” they killed the kids in Nyala”
I’ve just turned backwards and slept. This was too much sorrow, anger and sadness to handle. I kept following the news from my dad and my brother. I expected the day after to find the streets of Khartoum are full of protesters demanding justice for Nyala massacre victims but nobody were there. I wasn’t surprised; more than 300,000 persons were killed in Darfur; 2,000,000 were displaced and nobody were protesting against this in Khartoum. I was also surprised by the shocked faces of Khartoum people; I kept saying yeah they shot fire on peaceful protesters, they are killers, nothing is new about this; the killers are sill there. What would we expect from a government killed more than 300,000 without held responsible and being accountable to these crimes. Simply they’ll continue killing and firing them. I was so angry and so many people were angry too, but we didn’t took the streets. Khartoum anti regime protesters waited Friday prayers and gathered again in Wd Nubawi mosque. Although many of them have mentioned that Ansar sect were not happy with Friday protests heading from their mosque since Shozaz Alafag Friday on 6th July 2012. On 13th July; the Kandake Friday some Ansari women quarreled with protesting women telling them that It seems they didn’t came for the prayers rather than the “protests” and they are ruining some marriage ceremonies. Finally on Friday August 3rd, when people gathered to pray for the souls of Nyala Massacre victims Imam asked them not to distort the mosque mandates and activities by organizing protests.
Although it was a big frustration for the protesters but the whole issue were distorted. Most of the activists rather than thinking about managing protests from other place than Wd Nubawi mosque; were busy with analyzing if Umma party and Ansar sect betrayed them or not; was this failure due to lack of coordination or it revealed the party standing point.  The whole issue of solidarity and demanding justice for the Nyala massacre victims’ were forgotten.

It took me 3 weeks to write this post; because I didn’t know how can I write it. Even-more; I was questioning the value of blogging about peaceful protests firing and murder of children without taking the streets.I’m convinced that justice would never be achieved under this regime. The atrocity of Nyala massacre could never be reflected in a blog post; at the same time I could never pretend that nothing happened and continue writing about trivial things.

Although protests subsided now but it will revive again soon or later. This wouldn’t be the last massacre in Darfur and we must never forget the victims. July 31st will always be a sad day witnessed the killing of 13 peaceful protestors and the injuring of more than a hundred of them.

#SudanRevolts

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التضامن والتظاهر … بين الاسافير والواقع

بعد حالة الاحباط التي اصابتني ، قررت عدم المشاركة او حتي التأييد لاي دعوة للتظاهر ،خصوصاً اذا كانت الدعوة عن طريق الفيس بوك.

في يوم 30 يناير 2011 ، بلغ عدد الحضور والمؤيدين للتظاهر أكثر من 15000 (العدد دة طبعاً في الفيس حيث الحضور لا يكلف أكثر من “كليك”) منهم عدد كبير جداً من اصدقائي المقربين وبعص المقيمين خارج السودان ، واليكم ما حدث:

طلعت من البيت بدري شديد ، وصلت المكتب ، كنت برفقة عدد من زميلاتي متفقين نطلع المظاهرة ، اتشجعت جداً لانو ما مارقة براي وزي ما بتقول امي موت الجماعة عرس ، استشرت اخوي الكبير مقيم برة السودان “بيهمني انو زول من الاسرة يكون عارف” دعا لي بالتوفيق وقال انو بالوضع الحاصل في السودان ما حيقدر ينصحني انو ما امرق.

في مكتبي اتسرب خبر اني طالعة المظاهرة ، واتعرضت لي تحرش ومضايقات لا حصر لها ولا عدد وصعب شديد انو الزول يحكيها كلها في البوست دة ونتيجة للمضايقات دي كل زميلاتي قرروا انهم ما طالعين ، المهم انو اصحابي العاملين “لايك” علي دعوة المظاهرة اتصلت بيهم حوالي 10 صباحاً كدة عشان نبقي مارقين ، في اتنين اكدو انهم جايين واتنين قالو لسة في مكاتبهم ولانها بعيدة من مكان المظاهرة حيجوا متأخرين شوية. كلهم كانو بيصروا علي انو ما تمرقي لحدي ما نتصل بيك ما عدا واحد.

الحصل في 30 يناير اني ما مرقت ، واحد كان مصر انو اعداد المتظاهرين كبيرة شديد ، واحدة ما تمت 5 دقايق في شارع القصر وتمت مطاردتها ، واتنين لي يوم الليلة ما وصلو.

احباط تاني :

ابتداءً من صفية لأي زول اعتقلوهو وختينا صورتو في الفيس بوك وقلنا “كلنا فلان” ، شكل التضامن ما كان بيتجاوز الكيبورد، اي تظاهرة بيكونو قايمين بيها الناس القريبين من شخص الضحية ، وكلها كم يوم وخلاص ، لا بقينا فلان ، لا انصفنا زول لا رجعنا حق.

شوية أمل ؛ البرتقالي ضد الظلم:

حملة قرفنا لارتداء اللون البرتقالي ، تعبيراً عن الرفض للظلم الحاصل ، اجمل شي في الحملة انك لمن تلاقي زول في الشارع لابس برتقالي معناها حتلاقيهو تاني في المظاهرات ، تكون ماشي وبتعاين وبتسأل نفسك ، يا ربي كم من الناس حيكونو برتقاليين. القصور الوحيد في الحملة انها قايمة علي الاعلام الالكتروني ودة بخليها محصورة في شريحة محددة من المجتمع ؛ الناشطين ومستخدمي الانترنت.
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استيتس واحد… صورة واحدة

مئات من الشباب والشبات السودانيين اتفقوا والتزموا في يناير 2012 انو يختو صورة واحدة لعلم باهت ويكتبو استيتس واحد تعبيراً عن الرفض ، وعن قدرتهم علي تنظيم نفسهم وفعلاً نجحت الحملة لانها اثبتت قدرة الناس علي التنظيم لكن برضو بيظل التنظيم دة علي مستوى صورة البروفايل والاستيتس.استيتس واحد ... صورة واحدة
شكراً للبرتقاليين ، وللعلم الباهت ، رغم احباطنا لسة ممكن نعمل حاجة لاننا ما برانا ، مع بعض ممكن نغير.
أكيد حنغير.

أخيراً:
ما تنسوا عوضية عجبنا ، ما تنسوا منعم رحمة ، و النسينا قضاياهم ، عشان حقهم وحقنا ما يروح.

Western Media and the Image of Women of Arab Spring

Introduction

Arab appraisal is popular peaceful demonstrations against ruling regimes started in Tunisia in Dec 2010. The popular revolutions\ extended to other countries in the area. Tunisia revolution has ended by escape of Bin Ali from Tunisia on Jan 15th, 2011. On Jan 25th, 2011 the demonstrations started in Egypt. On February demonstrations started in Yemen and Libya followed by Syria and Bahrain. The commonalities between these revolutions are popular and peaceful against autocratic regimes which treat the protesting persons violently. Another major communality is the continuous media coverage due to the advancement of technologies. Also these revolutions are linked to IT revolutions and the evolution of social media which facilitates the communications between people with similar interests through Facebook, twitter and other social websites and lead to activism and social/ political mobilization of the societies.

The media

Reuters: Reuters is a British news agency headquartered in London, founded on Oct 1851. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data. Since the merger between Reuters Group and The Thomson Corporation the Reuters news agency has been a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters, forming part of its Markets Division.

Washington Post: The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.’s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation. The newspaper is published as a broadsheet, with photographs printed both in color and black and white. The newspaper is owned by The Washington Post Company, an education and Media Company that also owns Kaplan, Inc. and many media ventures aside from The Post.

New York Times: The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization. Its website is the most popular American online newspaper website, receiving more than 30 million unique visitors per month.

BBC: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff. Its main responsibility is to provide public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. BBC was founded in1927.

CNN Cable News Network (CNN) is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States. CNN is owned by parent company Time Warner, and the U.S. news channel is a division of the Turner Broadcasting System. Through CNN International, this can be seen by viewers in over 212 countries and territories

Observations

Reuters:

Reuters collected photos from all the Arabic continents which observed a revolution. The collection was reflecting the participation of women in the protests and how brave they are when they are confronting against armed police forces and the dictatorship in general. Also it reflects how women are messengers of peace and nonviolence in these protests especially in Yemen from Tawakul Karman; Nobel Prize winner to the women and girls claiming peace and nonviolence in their daily demonstrations. They imaged the Libyan women participation in war as fighters. Also they have published an article about women rights and the Arab spring, Shirin Ebadi, Iranian feminist and Nawal Alsadawi argued that we cannot speak about women rights till the new Arab states achieve democracy, human dignity and freedom. Shirin Ebadi warned Arab women from the repetition of Iranian revolution in 1979 which Iranian women has participated in and oppressed by the dominance of Islamic Republic.

New York Times:

On Oct 7th, 2011 they have published an article criticizing the winning of Nobel Peace Prize by Islamic women activist, Tawakul Karman. The critiques are that she didn’t make huge efforts in peace building/ peacekeeping rather than its symbolic position of being women and Islamist and activist. On Oct 12th, 2011 they have published an article about Lina Ben Mhenni; a 27 years old Tunisian girl and a blogger. The article mentioned her experience with blogging under the rule of Bin Ali and speaks in general about the role of Facebook and social media in revolutions; the threats coming from social media usage and how the security personnel can use these media to counteract the work of revolts and find information about them.

CNN:

An article on Nov 2nd, 2011 states that As portions of the Arab world struggle to extinguish decades of oppression and dictorial rule, the rights and opportunities for women in these societies stand at a delicate precipice, this article was concerned by comparing women status and the oppression of women prior to the revolutions in each country and the possible backwards of their status as theocrats are trying to control the newly formed governments. The most obvious example of this is the declarations of Mustafa Abdel Galil, the president of National Transitional Council on Libya liberation day that he will cancel laws incompatible with Shariaa as the law that prohibit polygamy.

Washington Post:

A unique article on June 21st, 2011 focuses on violence against women in war time. Most of the media focus on actors and ignores victims. Rape has occurred in all the Arab states that have revolted specially Syria and Libya. In Syria raped women are killed by their families (honor killing). In Tunisia women were beaten. In Egypt they were sexually assaulted. In Bahrain 9 female doctors and 4 nurses were seized. All over these countries women are seized, detained and forcibly disappeared.

BBC:

On Nov 4th, 2011 an article highlighted the importance of media in these revolutions. They are not the political landscape only; but the media too. On Nov 3rd they have broadcasted the testimony of Melanne Verveer, The US ambassador at-large for global women issues. She discussed the women situation and participation in political transition in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

Other Published Articles:

The Pink Hijab:

This article discussed how the media is affecting the Arab culture, with special regards to harmful traditional practices. It took Egypt as a case study and compared the incidence of FGM in the 1990’s to now. Also it tackles Hijab Fashion and the reason behind the huge numbers of girls being veiled is they have more freedoms within the society than being unveiled. The article highlighted the growing of theocratic movements in the Arab world.

As Arab Spring Turns to Winter:

The Arab spring will affect women status, they will face challenges rooted in the history and may take them backwards. Their political participation may be minimized or even ignored as example in Egypt no woman was participated in Egypt Constitutional Reform Committee. The article suggests that the solution will be in implementing CEDAW as most Arab countries have ratified it. This to ensure women participation at all levels of decision making.

Remarks:

Arab women with regard to Arab spring are seen by international media either as actors in the revolutions with little concern on the victim women who suffered and experienced violence. The media dialed with women in the Arab spring as a unified unit. Regarding Arab women as political actors and active participants in the revolts and in some cases leaders is changing the image of culturally oppressed weak Arab women. Another dimension was concerned by women status after Arab appraisal if it will be improved or worsened. Here the media regarded women in each continent as a separate case.

Conclusion:

As Arab spring is affecting the Middle East politics, it is also changing the image of Arab people in general and women specially. People revolts to gain their freedom and proofed they are not primitive and oppressed though women. Although women struggle does not ended yet; by changing autocratic regimes is the first step towards gaining their rights as humans/ equal citizens. As stated in BBC article; the media became an actor in politics, so by reflecting a real image of women politician, concerned by advancing their status and focus of the violations they faced it is a step towards mobilizing the local and international community to achieve equality.

References

1. Read, Donald (1992). The Power of News: The History of Reuters 1849–1989. Oxford, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-821776-5. 2. Pérez-Peña, Richard (April 20, 2009). “The Times Wins 5 Pulitzer Prizes”. The New York Times (The New York Times Company). http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/business/media/21pulitzer.html. Retrieved April 32, 2009. 3. Adams, Russell (January 24, 2011). “New York Times Prepares Plan to Charge for Online Reading”. The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704213404576100033883758352.html. Retrieved January 26, 2011. 4. “Circulation numbers for the 25 largest newspapers”. The Boston Globe. October 25, 2010. http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2010/10/25/circulation_numbers_for_the_25_largest_newspapers/. 5. Retrieved 2010-05-25.,”Walter Reed and Beyond”. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/walter-reed/index.html 6. 1889 from the paper’s corporate history. 7. BBC. Retrieved on 6 January 2010. “British Broadcasting Corporation Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA.” 8. Retrieved 23 September 2010,”BBC: World’s largest broadcaster & Most trusted media brand”. Media Newsline. http://www.medianewsline.com/news/151/ARTICLE/4930/2009-08-13.html. 9. Retrieved 23 September 2010,”Digital licence”. Prospect. http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/?p=64654. 10. Retrieved 23 September 2010,”About the BBC – What is the BBC”. BBC Online. http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/purpose/what.shtml.. 11. Reese Schonfeld Bio. (January 29, 2001) MeAndTed.com. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 12. Charles Bierbauer, CNN senior Washington correspondent, discusses his 19-year career at CNN. (May 8, 2000). CNN.com. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 13. Taipei Times. May 31, 2005, “CNN changed news – for better and worse” at http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2005/05/31/2003257358. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 14. Kiesewetter, John (May 28, 2000). “In 20 years, CNN has changed the way we view the news”. Cincinnati Enquirer. http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2000/05/28/loc_kiesewetter.html. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 15. http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR2SCGB#a=1 16. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refe

تتطلب عرض الشرائح هذه للجافا سكريبت.

rence/timestopics/people/k/tawakul_karman/index.html?scp=1&sq=Tawakul&st=cse 17. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/world/africa/a-blogger-at-arab-springs-genesis.html 18. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-11-02/us/us_arab-women-rights_1_equal-rights-human-rights-societies?_s=PM:US 19. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/women-in-the-arab-spring-the-other-side-of-the-story/2011/06/21/AG32qVeH_blog.html 20. http://www.bbc.co.uk/journalism/blog/2011/11/big-stories-the-arab-spring.shtml 21. http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/article.cfm?aid=1969 22. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=47268