Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Napoli Rumor Heats Up!!!

Dai Shika!  Dai Napoli!

FilGoal | اخبار |الزمالك يوافق على إعارة شيكابالا لنابولي مقابل 13,5 مليون جنيه

The Revolution Continues - the Pending Collapse of Ahly

No doubt seeing the writing on the wall, the face of Ahly's corrupted regime has departed the team (intriguingly, he claims to be negotiating with Zamalek to join the ranks of Morsi's men).  The dirty games that have allowed Ahly to constantly tip the scales on and off the field must now be put under the spotlight and corrected for Egypt to progress as a more civilized and hopeful country.

No more bloated budgets supported by fake and incestuous sponsorship bids. No more bottomless pockets to buy off all local talent, instead of developing players as do all other teams.  No more lackeys stuffed into the football federation.  No more tilted playing fields with bought-off refereeing to repeatedly secure a penalty in the 94th minute, "creatively" interpret the offside rule, randomly hand out red cards, cancel games and otherwise doctor the results.  No more.

                                                   Game over

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shika to Napoli

The rumour has been around for a couple of years about the transfer of Egypt’s biggest talent for generations, Shikabala, to SSC Napoli, only to be dismissed as una bufala totale. The story has resurfaced of late, however, bringing back the hope of watching Shika dance around defenders at Stadio San Paolo.

As hard as it will be for Zamalek – the club of il fan wal handasa, and the only team outside of Europe or Latin America that can inspire the creativity of a Shikabala – to lose this genius, the pathetic state of affairs of Egyptian football (get ready for A.C. Brotherhood) and Egypt more generally, make it unforgivable to have these skills atrophy any longer. Shikabala is 26 years old, at the late end of his career prime. He will be out of contract at the end of the month, and whether or not Zamalek is able to first sign him to earn higher transfer fees, it is time to let this eagle fly. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

It was bound to happen...

The writing was on the wall for the phantom revolution from the outset. As inevitable as the events leading up to January 25 might have been, the outcome of the ensuing chaos was even more so. There was never a scenario of governance provided by the self-proclaimed revolutionaries that was even remotely plausible, and the powers-that-be knew so. Hysterical chants and mass gatherings calling for perpetual "revolution" do not buy credibility with most people, let alone a conservative, security-minded leadership. The "revolutionaries" never really developed the will or the capacity to engage with this leadership on a basis that the leadership would respond to, instead either wishing it away through mythological notions of “one hand,” or confronting it head-on in a pyrrhic struggle. The "revolutionaries" also never really connected with the masses, instead cocooning themselves in a Marxist wonderland that was convincing to no one other than themselves.   

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Curse of Being Egyptian

Logo with three stripes and an elephant

This afternoon, four-time World Cup champions Italy take on the reigning World Cup champion Spain.  Iniesta, Balotelli, Xavi, Casillas, Buffon, Fabregas, De Rossi, Ramos, Cassano,  and on and on.  It is world football at its best.  Why oh why then will our poor souls instead be pulled to Conakry to suffer through the tedium of watching the Egyptian national team take on Guinea's Syli Nationale?  What is it about us that causes this morbid attachment?  What have we done to deserve this fate?

Logo with three stripes and four World Cup stars

Friday, June 8, 2012

The New York Times Sucks

Not always fit to print
It is not really notable to point out that the editorial board of the New York Times has strong biases that influence not only its opinion pieces, but also its allegedly neutral news department.  This is self-evident when it comes to almost anything they cover on the U.S. domestic front, whether political, economic or social.  Less noticed, at least to a wide spectrum of disinterested Americans, is the bias of the New York Times on foreign policy coverage, which unfortunately is of disproportionate influence to the ignoramuses in government in Washington, whose interaction with the world is limited by language, culture, experience and basic intellect.

When it has come to the arrival of the "Arab Spring" in Egypt, the New York Times from the outset decided to portray the happenings as a revolution a la 1776, 1789 and Eastern Europe circa. 1989, conveniently overlooking the near complete absence of evidence of this being true.  Facebook and Twitter messages from a handful of self-declared, English speaking "activists" became the barometer for the emotions of 85 million Egyptians.  Islamist retrogrades were recast as enlightened and free-thinking.  Unionist failures have been somehow elevated as vanguards of the Left against "the Establishment."

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Dump

There is a view of Cairo late at night that reminds of the foothills south of San Francisco.  Driving on the Autostrade, just after passing the monstrosity of military-inspired apartment blocks and before hitting the grand Citadel of Mohamed Ali, white lights twinkle through the mist on a hill to the left.  Then one continues on, and the image passes away into the smog of decrepit vehicles, illegal mud-brick factories and burning garbage.  During the day, even this passing mirage of beauty is impossible to reconstruct, as the twinkling lights are nowhere to be seen in the squalor of half-constructed blocks, lethal boulders and pools of raw sewage in one of the city's most drug-infested and chaotic neighborhoods.  The view across the road that used to help erase this desperate site, of the beautiful minarets of Islamic Cairo and still-alive City of the Dead, is now gone, blocked by a monotonous, crooked and permanently exhaust-polluted brick wall that some municipal idiot must have thought helps the area appear more civilized.    
Made for TV

The iconic nighttime image of Tahrir Square, and what it is alleged to represent, is similarly illusive.  From a distance, the mass of people, rhythmic chants, waving flags and high-sounded proclamations of freedom looks so very inspiring.  Closer in, the reality of the dirt, smell, loud mouths and thuggish power grabs is much uglier.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mubarak, Bread and Life

Gift of the Nile
In other news on this fateful day in modern Egyptian political history, a policy breakdown with a much more immediate impact is eating into the most essential part of life for the vast majority of Egyptians:  getting bread on the table.  Stemming from an ill-conceived control and command system fancifully designed to make Egypt self sufficient in wheat production, inflated prices offered for local wheat production are creating a cash machine for traders re-labeling foreign grown wheat as Egyptian. As consequence, the state treasury is wasting billions of scare dollars on procurements to support a hopelessly designed food subsidy system, further billions to support a hopelessly designed fuel subsidy system to run the plows and pump scarcely available water on limited arable lands, and millions and millions more on a vast bureaucracy to enforce this madness.