Magda Magdy: Female Patriarchy

Per Munther

Per Munther

City of red brick and infinite dishes,

Bureaucratic temples turned hotels

And hyperventilating masses in the Metro:

Claustrophobic Qahera,

Garbage capital,

Oppressive sharmouta

Who contains me:

You swallow us whole

In your Nile-stretched koss,

By your blind servitude

To the Rayess,

Eating our flesh,

Spitting our bones.


Qahera: Cairo
Sharmouta: whore
Koss: pussy
Rayess: president, chief

Youssef Rakha: In the Name of the Father

My father did not live to see 9/11. I don’t know what he would have thought of the so called war on terror, let alone the equally so called Arab Spring. Though not particularly old, he was frail and muddled by the time he died—flattened out by decades of depression, isolation and inactivity.

I think of him now because the trajectory of his views seems relevant to 25 Jan. From a Marxist intellectual in the fifties and sixties—a member of a group that could transcend its class function to effect change, he became a liberal democrat in the eighties and nineties—an individual who had a common-sense opinion on current affairs regardless of his beliefs. In retrospect I think the reason for this change of heart had to do with a certain kind of honesty or transparency: at some point he must have realized that to be proactive was to be caught in a lie (the lie of independent nation building, of the dictatorship of the fellahin, of Islamic renaissance…), a lie for which not even an unhappy life was worth risking.

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