Freedom is the most important quality of my life. I generously and loudly support it everywhere and harshly criticize anyone who dares suppress it for another without a very good reason. It is with anguish that I hear that the Egyptian military are cracking down and arresting bloggers in Egypt who dare criticize them. And it is with joy that I see Egyptian bloggers are losing their fear of the military, just as they lost their fear of Mubarak earlier this year, and have chosen this day to mark their online liberation. Hashtag on Twitter is #may23. With this blog post, I join them.
This is a blog post to join and support the defiant and fearless bloggers in Egypt who dare to speak online, even in the face of arrest. For as long as most any adult in Egypt today can remember, the Egyptian media has not been permitted to criticize former President Hosni Mubarak – or the military – and writers were jailed if they did so. Then revolution in January of this year changed that, and the people lost their fear. The deluge of online freedom began.
No one feared attacking Mubarak in public anymore, but many journalists still feared criticizing the military. Maikel Nabil was arrested in March, after the revolution, for doing so. But as of today that barrier is being broken and overrun. Egyptian bloggers have dedicated this day to a show of solidarity in openly criticizing the military and the SCAF (Supreme Council of Armed Forces). With this post I join them. No one and no force has the right to stifle free expression anywhere in our world.
#NoSCAF is the Twitter hashtag to collect all participating blogs on this day of online freedom. On Facebook, Sherwet Ahmed is collecting the blogs in a Facebook note, and so far she has close to 400 posts. I hope even more will be posted.
May 27 (Friday) is being called the “Second Revolution” when Egyptians vow to confront the military and have issued a set of demands, which you can read in English here. On Twitter, the hashtag is #May27. (Cairo is 9 hours ahead of U.S. Pacific time.)
I open my heart in support of the brave Egyptians, and fervently hope that Friday will be peaceful.