Abir Kopty مدوّنة عبير قبطي

You will never be free until you respect the freedom of others


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A Middle Eastern Take on Trump’s Election

Dear American people, Congrats for the new president! There are 59 Million of you who are celebrating this. Let me tell you how things look like from the other part of the world, the Middle East.

Some people here are happy as you are, but for a different reason. They see Trump as representing the true face of America: white supremacy. He does not try to beautify racism, elitism, xenophobia behind rhetorics, he says it as it is. They think for what America has done in the world, this is what suits it best. Others wary his deeds as a president, internally and towards the outside. However, both camps agree on one thing: He is a very bad choice. And he is no different from the leaders we are fighting to overthrow here.

Not that they see Hillary as a better choice. The contrary. In fact the Middle East’s bon-tone was that these elections are about the lesser of evils. So make no doubt.

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Now that you know you have made a bad choice in the eyes of the rest of the world, regardless if you think it’s right, and regardless if it was through free elections, let’s recall history. What happens if the US is not happy with people’s choice in the rest of the world?  Continue reading

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كل أوسلو ونحن لسنا بخير..

قبل ٢٣ سنة، أبعدنا عن التحرر ٢٣٠ سنة.. 

جاءتنا قيادة خافت من الشارع وخافت تخسر سلطتها فعملت سلطة، والسلطة سيطرت على منظمة التحرير، والمنظمة صارت صورة بتتعلق عالحيط. 

الاحتلال صار مربح اكتر… سيطرة اكتر تكاليف أقل.. وضحكوا علينا بروابط مدن. 

وحكمت الشلة ووزعت بينها المناصب، وارتبطت مصالحها بمصالح الاحتلال، وصارت تعرف انه بقاءها يعني بقاء الاحتلال، لان اذا راح الاحتلال رح تروح معاه ومن هنا جاء التنسيق الامني المقدس. وأحيانا برضه بسمّوه محاربة “الفلتان الامني”..  Continue reading


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In the name of “leftism”!

This week I came across an event that I can’t stay indifferent about:

An Israeli guy is organizing this cultural Arabic event in Berlin:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1252952224729814/

and you may also be interested in looking at this event too: https://www.facebook.com/events/1639583686369554/)

Why? because he can, because it is Berlin, because Arab culture is profitable and trendy now, and because why not?

When I tried to explore more, I got the answer that he is a “leftist” Israeli who moved to live in Berlin.

So being a “leftist” – which I’m not sure what does that exactly mean- becomes a “ticket” for cultural appropriation, nice!

The only way I can think about it is that he left a colonialist state but did not leave the colonialist practices, under the subtext of being a leftist and he is now in Berlin where everyone should live in peace and forget about reality and politics.

Even though the intentions can be purely money making. I suggest we look deeper. In my opinion this is about colonialist practices moving with someone from a place to another, taking different shapes. To put it simple, for me, there is a mentality of “occupier” that stays in someone that has not fully rejected his supremacist privilege which he was granted by a system of colonialism. When he/she claims to be “leftist”, this mentality makes him/her believe that as a privileged (leftist), he can do whatever.

Secondly, the Israeli occupation has controlled all our spaces, including cultural spaces. So when you are in Berlin, you think that finally you can have a space away of this control/domination. But no, someone will make sure to intrude on these spaces.

Lastly, this is not only a cultural appropriation, but also a type of whitewashing. The image that many Israelis who move to Berlin try to create; of Israelis and Arabs getting along together and, hence, life is great, is exactly what an Israeli “leftist” should be avoiding doing.

I really hope people do not make it a superficial debate on “freedoms”. This guy is free to organize this event. I can’t prevent him and I won’t. But I can criticize his practice and call people to make conscious decisions when they decide to attend/not attend such events.

Berlin is not an utopian place. Berlin is a great and rich city of diversity. But it has lots of stories about refuge, lost homelands and lives. Those who have experienced these tragedies, would not want them to be whitewashed by a party.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 7.05.54 PM


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يوم المرأة: إحنا مش ضد المجتمع المجتمع هو اللي ضدنا

Photo by Mohamad Waleed

Photo by Mohamad Waleed

احنا مش ضد المجتمع، المجتمع هو اللي ضدنا.

معركتنا مش نساء ضد الرجال وانما نساء (وكمشة رجال نسويين) ضد الذكورية في المجتمع واللي بتمنح الرجل سلطة مطلقة وامتيازات. 

قضية المرأة بتتكنسش تحت الطاولة لحد ما يخلص الاستعمار او اي نظام قمعي. تحرر المرأة وشرائح أخرى في المجتمع هو جزء من مفهوم التحرر الحقيقي من القمع. وهذا مش شعار. 

لما بتتعامل مع قضية المرأة بسخرية وتسطيح، بكون إما هروب من مواجهة النقاش، أو إنك بدك تلعبها عالحبلين. 

ارحمونا من تسطيح النسوية بان النسوية معناها البنت تربي شعر رجليها وتحت اباطها. المرأة عندها سلطة على جسدها وحرة شو تعمل. بتقدر كمان تقرر انها تحلق شعر رجليها وتحط ماكياج وتكون برضه نسوية. 

ارحمونا من تسطيح النسوية بان النسوية معناها نلغي الفروق البيولوجية ونصير بالزبط زي الرجال. لا حبيبي، مش هدفنا نصير زيك. 

وصح، في فعلا كثير نساء ذكوريات، لما بيوصلوا لمركز سلطوي مثلا، بيتقنوا سلطوية الرجال. هدول ما بمثلوا النسوية الجذرية. فارحمونا من التعميم.  

في نسوية سطحية، بتشوف انه حقوق المرأة تعني انها تصير، مثلا، قائد اركان في الجيش، وفي نسوية جذرية، بدها تغير علاقات القوى في المجتمع، مش بس بين الرجال والنساء، بل بين الأغنياء والفقراء، بين القامع والمقموع، وهذول بشملوا نساء ورجال ومغايرين جنسيا.

آه وفي شغلة أخيرة. لما نحكيك عن تحرر المرأة، مثلنا الأعلى مش المرأة في الغرب. المرأة في الغرب تحتاج أيضا إلى عملية تحررية. 

بس اكيد العملية التحررية اللي منطمح الها، بتهدد مكانتك كرجل يحمل امتيازات. 

صباح النضال والتحرر.

 


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The problem with collective apology on Cologne

However much has been said and written about the sexual harassments in Cologne at the New Year Eve, the discussion has not faded away yet. So I take the opportunity to contribute, even if a bit late.

It was significantly disturbing to watch how the debate over sexual harassment against women was hijacked by national and racist discourse. It needs to be highlighted that the conservative groups claiming to defend women’s ‘honor’ and ‘rights’ are the first to attack women’s rights, especially their sexual and reproductive health and rights, via their neoliberal and conservative policies.

Women’s bodies are once again being used as a weapon. Those itching to bully refugees are using them, those who yearn to attack the government are using them, those who desire to distinct themselves from the other refugees are using them and those who are Islamo-phobic or Arabo-phobic are using them. The space left for comprehending the pain of those women was very little.

According to a statement by feminist activists, the German Federal Police count more than 7,300 reported rapes and sexual assaults in Germany per year, amounting to more than 20 every day. This was absent from the discourse. And hence, one understands why the German society was “too” shocked of the Cologne incidents. If sexual harassment does not happen in such a massive, public way, it does not exist.  Continue reading


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إستخبارات بالوكالة – مندسون إسرائيليون بين نشطاء إسرائيليين

أفضت آخر التطورات في حملة اليمين الإسرائيلي لملاحقة النشطاء الإسرائيليين المناهضين للاحتلال، إلى اعتقال ناشطين إسرائيليين في حركة “تعايش” وناشط فلسطيني يعمل في منظمة “بتسيلم”.

تترافق هذه الاعتقالات مع هجمة شرسة من قبل منظمات اليمين على المنظمات الإسرائيلية التي تحسب إسرائيليا على “التيار التقدمي”، مدعومة من الحكومة والإعلام، في محاولة لاخماد أي صوت مناوئ لسياسات الحكومة.

وفعلا، اللافت في التطورات الأخيرة، بأن ملاحقة نشطاء ما بعد بعد الهامش، “الراديكاليون” المناهضون للصهيونية، والداعمون لحملات المقاطعة ولحق العودة الخ، لم تعد كافية لليمين الحاكم، فتوسعت لتشمل منظمات حقوقية تعمل في إطار الإجماع الصهيوني، مثل منظمة ״بتسيلم״، ״جمعية حقوق المواطن” ومنظمة “نكسرالصمت-شوفريم شتيكا” وغيرهم، فمنذ مدة بدأت منظمات يمينية تطالب مثلا بإخراج “شوفريم شتيكا” من القانون، وأصدرت منظمة “ام ترتسو” تقريرا عنونته ب “شتوليم” (مندسين بالعربية)، الحقته بشريط فيديو تحدثت به عن منظمات حقوقية تتلقى الدعم الاجنبي ووصفتهم بالمندسين لتدمير الدولة وطالبت بإخراجهم عن القانون. ومن المثير بأن كل إدعائات اليمين وتقاريره وحملاته يتم تبنيها من قبل غالبية وسائل الإعلام الإسرائيلية وتتحول بسرعة إلى قضية رأي عام، وفي المقابل نبدأ بسماع خطاب “انحدار المجتمع الإسرائيلي إلى الفاشية” في بعض دوائر “اليسار”، على أساس أن استعمار فلسطين، لم يرتقي بعد إلى الفاشية. Continue reading


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Israel to Shut Down the Only Palestinian Theatre in Jerusalem

The Palestinian National Theatre “Al Hakawati” published today an appeal to Jerusalem institutions and businessmen in the city to save the theatre from closure during the next 48 hours.

According to the theatre’s statement, director Amer Khalil, received a phone call on Thursday morning 11/26/2015 from the Israeli Enforcement and Collection Authority (ECA), responsible for debt collection and law enforcement, notifying him on the intention to complete the seizure of the theatre building in 48 hours.

The statement also added that two weeks ago the Israeli ECA seized the bank account of the theatre and handed a notification on the building seizure to the director.

Since then, the management tried to appeal to many bodies seeking financial support in order to be able to cover its amounting debt to the Israeli authorities (including the municipality, National Insurance and electricity company), so far for no avail, according to the statement.

photohakawati

From Al Hakawati Facebook page

To many this could be seem as a normal procedure of a state collecting debt from citizens, however, in Jerusalem’s complex situation and the vulnerability of Palestinian institutions under the Israeli occupation and oppression machinery, the issue becomes political par excellence.

Al Hakawati theatre is the only remaining Palestinian theatre and one of the few remaining cultural institutions in Jerusalem, after prolonged Israeli  destruction of Palestinian cultural and political life in the city. Located in the center of Jerusalem, the Palestinian National Theatre ( founded in 1984), became an important pillar and a center for Palestinian culture and art. Continue reading