I was thrilled to read today that this New Year’s Eve there is an alternative to Mounir singing in the Opera car park, or Shereen warbling in a hotel; the residents of the island of el-Qorsaya are having a party and inviting people to go and ‘express solidarity with el-Qorsaya.’
El-Qorsaya is an island community of 5,000 farmers and fisherman in Giza who are being threatened with eviction so that some money-grabbing bastard can build some golf course or equally horrid and unnecessary complex on the land. Read more here and here.
I went to a fantastic solidarity meeting last Sunday at the Journalists’ Syndicate, where various speakers condemned the plans for el-Qorsaya. There was a contingent of tax collectors (heroes!) there – still basking in their victory – and showing support for the islanders, and their presence really added momentum to what is already an empassioned and inspirational resistance movement.
One comedy moment was provided by a tiny and ancient lady dressed in black melaya who mounted the podium and, barely visible behind the mic, spoke with great gusto about the iniquity of the planned evictions and the resolve of the islanders who would “not be moved”. She then thanked a doctor who lives on the island who provides free healthcare for its inhabitants, and in the same breath said “we 3owza ashkor el-sayyed Mohamed Hosny Mobar-” [and I'd like to thank Mr Mohamed Hosny Mobar-"]
She was unable to finish her sentence because of the tsunami wave of NOs which broke forth from the audience (mostly from the tax collectors behind me) which almost knocked her over, and which looked something like this:
Most people at the meeting would probably like to spank rather than thank the president, and I can only conclude that this rogue thank you was the result of a nervous tic, or delivered automatically out of force of habit, like an ‘out of office’ reply to an email.