NOTE: If this is your first time here, it is very important to keep in mind that many of the ideas expressed in this blog represent older versions of myself, and not necessarily my current self. After all, we evolve, and sometimes change our minds. In the meantime, enjoy lurking around, and watch the video trailer for my upcoming book here.

Egypt’s Uprising, Explained: My Revealing Interview with Cairo-Based @Sandmonkey

by Drima on January 31, 2011

Given the fun historic events unfolding now in Egypt, many of us are dying to know more about what’s happening. Now, while Twitter is amazingly awesome, a stream of 140-character messages doesn’t really provide much context, and with Aljazeera’s operation in Egypt sort of  broken, I’ve become increasingly annoyed, so I took matters into my own hands and called my friend in Cairo, the Egyptian blogger, Sandmonkey.

With the internet still mostly down there, it’s been difficult for him and many other Egyptian digital activists to get compelling perspectives and detailed contextualized information out.

Below is the recording of my revealing 20-minute interview with him.

Here’s what you’re going to learn from Sandmonkey’s perspective when you listen to it:

  • How protesters feel about the dwindling availability of basic resources and towards the military
  • What will probably happen if or when Mubarak steps down
  • Why Egyptian digital activists are dismissing the opposition’s committee
  • Why talk about the Muslim Brotherhood’s supposed involvement in the protests is greatly exaggerated
  • And a number of other things

Click play to stream and listen to the interview.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Please spread awareness about this interview, and share it on Facebook, and Twitter to help others learn more about what’s going on.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous 01.31.11 at 10:35 pm

Can we have a download link for that, please? Flash sucks.

2 Marsh626 02.01.11 at 8:38 am

People keep saying “Oh, this isn’t a muslim brotherhood controlled riot. It has no real unified ideology.”

And I’d agree. Most of the riot seems to, currently at least, revolve around general rage at the current regime.

But you have to take into consideration the troubling demographics within Egypt.

Egypt is one of the most fundamentalist muslim countries in the “muslim world”.

Something retarded like 90% of Egyptian muslims want apostates – people who convert from islam to another religion – executed, in accordance with islamic scripture and theology.

A similar percentage wants adulterers stoned to death, theft punishable by amputation, etc, again, all in accordance with islamic scripture, theology and sharia law.

And an even higher percentage of Egyptian muslims want islam to play a much larger role in Egyptian politics.

This has all been confirmed by international, scientific polls, consistently, for years.

So… common sense dictates that a populist revolution in Egypt will almost certainly result in an islamofascist regime headed by the insanely evil muslim brotherhood.

Sorry folks. Hate to crush your starry eyed dreams for freedom and democracy in the middle east. But that’s just the cold hard reality we’re faced with.

3 Drima 02.01.11 at 9:16 am

Marsh626,

“Something retarded like 90% of Egyptian muslims want apostates – people who convert from islam to another religion – executed, in accordance with islamic scripture and theology.”

Jeez, where do you get those wonderful statistics?

“This has all been confirmed by international, scientific polls, consistently, for years.”

Erm, no. I wouldn’t trust those “scientific” polls. It’s known that polls aren’t always accurate and can be easily manipulated.

Sure, some might capture the conservative sentiments of the religious portions of Egyptian society, but you forget and easily dismiss most of the demonstrators who by far and large don’t want a theocracy.

You also forget the military which controls the country, and will continue to control it even in the event of Mubarak stepping down and free and fair elections being held. The military won’t tolerate a theocracy. This isn’t Iran and won’t go the way of Iran.

Furthermore, the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t a monolith. There are many in it who aren’t the radical loonies they’re painted to be, and want to participate in the democratic process. So seriously, you can drop the exaggerations and alarmist perspective.

“common sense dictates that a populist revolution in Egypt will almost certainly result in an islamofascist regime headed by the insanely evil muslim brotherhood.”

Erm, again, no. Common sense doesn’t dicate that. “Marsh626-sense” seems to and I’m afraid it’s very wrong and highly mistaken.

4 cvf 02.01.11 at 10:21 am

Is this Sandmonkey for real?

I used to read his blog for years, and find his insight to be top notch, but now I’m wondering if he’s merely an operative. Nobody could be that full of contradictions.

He’s leading protests, one of 10 in the streets, yet he has nobody he supports to put into power? He scoffs at the idea that any bad ruling parties could seize on the moment, but he’s in the streets acting as a pawn, getting marginalized, while on the media, and in diplomatic negotiations are the very people who will send Egypt down the path of the Iranian Revolution.

It’s a coincidence that Tariq Ramadan has a US band lifted and Hezballah took power in Lebanon the same week? Or that Muslim Brotherhood’s reputation is being sanitized? If the idea is to lead Egypt out of oppression, and towards freedom, how does this help them?

So where is the substance? How can this movement evolve into hundreds of thousands marching without organization? There is organization, and international influence…even if Sandmonkey pretend otherwise.

5 Don Cox 02.01.11 at 12:11 pm

Thanks for recording this.

It’s interesting to hear you guys live.

6 Maysaloon 02.01.11 at 2:04 pm

A very interesting insight into what is happening on the streets of Egypt. On one note, I can’t say I agree with the consensus of the commentators that the “Iranian Revolution” was or is a bad thing. Yes they have some really stupid and buffoonish thuggery displayed at times, but the Islamic revolution in Iran was a momentous occasion where a former US vassal was ousted and is the first attempt at a rational Islamic government in a world dominated by Left to Right Western politics. The American Revolution wasn’t so rosey when it took power nor did lose out on its share of corruption and thuggery.

I just hope we can all keep some perspective.

7 Beth 02.02.11 at 2:12 am

Sorry for linking to a “far right” website (I know how Drima hates them and thinks that they are full of drivel) but I thought it was enlightening : The Story of the Egyptian Revolution

8 Marsh626 02.02.11 at 2:23 am

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/206083.php

You can see some of the recent polling data from Egypt that I cited at that link.

9 egyptchick7 02.03.11 at 6:53 am

It was great to hear Sandmonkey’s voice…thank you…

10 d 02.03.11 at 2:30 pm

sandmonkey’s last post, from google’s cache:

http://sandmonkeycache.blogspot.com/

11 Jack 02.03.11 at 8:29 pm

Hi Drima,

Thank you for posting this.

12 AGA 02.05.11 at 5:30 pm

Excellent, thank you.

13 Drima 02.13.11 at 6:25 am

Marsh626,

Have a look at this different and new poll.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/38067_New_Egyptian_Poll-_Not_an_Islamic_Uprising

Only 15% approve of the MB. Now, I’m not saying this poll is 100% accurate, I’d take it with a grain of salt. But this points out what I was saying earlier. Polls can be manipulated. And I wouldn’t trust one promoted by a staunchly right-wing and in some cases, Islamophobic site, like MyPetJawa.

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/206083.php

On top of that, I know Egyptians of all walks of life, and I have a good sense of the reality of Egyptian society. The poll I just shared is more representative.

Oh, and now we also have the MB’s announcement that they’re not interested in seizing power, and heck, they won’t even nominate one of their own for president. :D

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