I finally finished and deposited my thesis :), back to writing blogs…
I had a dream today morning that I was in Cairo, Egypt. More specifically I was near the Presidential Palace and the recently formed barricades. I was with a motley group of Muslims; Men and women; very religious men with nice looking beards on one side, to women who did not wear hijab. We were all wearing white or light colored cloth.
On our left were the so called “secular” protestors who were marching to the palace. On our right were the so called “Islamists” who were marching to protect the palace. We immediately stood in the middle and formed a barricade wall between both groups. We were not many and the line was only one person deep. Nevertheless, we formed the line between these two groups. As the two groups descended upon us we shouted
“We are all Muslims”; “Hit us and leave the other side alone”, and other chants along those lines.
We did get beaten by some perverted men on both sides. However, we kept the line rigid and refused to allow the two sides to mix and fight each other. In the end both sides withdrew and left us in the center of the square all alone.
The dream ends with us setting up camp and discussing what we found in the square, including the palace key, which we believed the protesters had with them to storm the palace. This reminded us about the time of Uthman, where his house was surrounded by a hostile group that eventually entered and killed him. We remembered all the strife that happened and how the Islamic nation had its first civil war due to this event. We decided that we will never let that happen.
This dream left me with more questions than answers:
Where is the third camp of Egyptians? Who will stand up to the excesses of both sides ? Who will rise up to protect each side from each other and help change the atmosphere in Egypt from one of strife to one of dialogue?
We have reached a dangerous place were both sides consider each other as evil and must be dealt with. How do we expect them to have dialogue with each other?
The reason I used the word so-called secularist and islamists earlier, is because for the most part they are all Muslims and they all care about Egypt.
I am not Egyptian or in Egypt and I cannot do anything to affect change. However, I hope by writing about this, maybe I can raise awareness of those who do and can have an impact directly in Egypt.
I am tired about this so called “negotiations” that we do with those who oppose us.
For example, last week Iran said that they were willing to send out most of their enriched uranium in return for getting back medical isotopes in 5-6 month. The west balked, because the offer we extended to Iran was to send medical isotopes after one year. When the west balked at Iran, Iran went to continue to enrich uranium to spite the west. This really frustrates me, does anyone know the meaning of Negotiations ?
According to Wiki, negotiations is defined as “Negotiation is a dialogue intended to resolve disputes, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests. It is the primary method of alternative dispute resolution.”
Where is the dialogue with Iran? there is none. The west discussed among themselves what the most reasonable offer they can give, offered it to Iran with almost no discussion on what the Iranians want (we did have a slight breakthrough in October, but we closed the window very quickly). This is no way to resolve an issue. Let me make my case clear, I am not siding with any country, I am just frustrated at the so called “Negotiations” that are forced and coerced. This is not negotiations, and sadly, the west is losing it capacity to make these demands.
Lets take a quick look at Hamas case. The Quartet demanded that Hamas renounces violence, recognize Israel and accept all past peace agreements including the roadmap before they can even hold a dialogue. Before looking at Hamas’s response, think about these demands. These demands are for Hamas to be able to participate in negotiations or dialogue for peace. By ascending to all these demands, what the point of negotiations? It is like me inviting you to an all you can eat buffet, but only after you accept to eat only spicy chicken. What the point of dialogue or negotiations if it was forced and coerced. Hamas tried to take positive steps by announcing a cease-fire with Israel and state they want only a nation within the 1967 borders. This statement implicitly accepts two of Quartet demands, but that was not enough for the Quartet and this miserable situation, that could have been easily avoided if the west was willing to listen and hold dialogue, continues.
The sad point is that it now considered weak if we negotiate with other side, or if we reach a compromise. Look at the Democrats and Republicans and one can clearly see this trend. They act as thou they are completely opposed to each other and each one is on different sides of the river. However, when you look more deeply about what each one is, you will realize there is very slight difference between the two parties. (Some people will shoot me here, however, I do believe that the parties are the two sides of the same coin).
The end results of all this, is that we never reach solutions or compromises that help both parties and instead either one benefits from the other, or in the most likely scenario no one benefits and all suffer.