OP - November 17, 2011, 04:57 PM
Abu Faris in Alexandria, Egypt here.
Presently awaiting first democratic elections in over 60 years with strong sense of foreboding. al-Ikhwaan rule the roost politically, with all the other (desperately inexperienced, but infinitely power-hungry) contestants in the elections lining up to kiss the collective ring piece of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Bruvvers will probably not win an outright majority in the polls and will need minor party coalition parties to govern. So all the other players are jostling for prize of "Best Good Boy" and - insh'allah - some share of the political action when MB form the first administration. In other words, Egypt has devolved onto its thousands of years old political model of a strong central force, ruling via the suborning and connivance of a greedy periphery... with the prime intention of fucking over the vast majority of peasants and workers in every imaginable manner. Plus ca change...
About me: I am in education and have been for the better part of 15 years, first in inner city schools in the UK and for the last ten years, overseas. I have worked mostly in the Arab-speaking world of North and Sub-Saharan Africa, but also in Persian (Tajik and Dari) speaking Central Asia, the People's Republic of China, Colombia... and elsewhere). I get around a bit. I am presently in Alexandria, but I was in Cairo during the January 25th Revolution and participated in that glorious time in my own small way (for which I lost a job there).
I am married with two small children. My wife is a Sudanese Arab, from the desert province of Kordofan. My family are from the streets of London and Bristol. Her family traditionally round up camels, mine have for two generations now tended to round up kids and get them off playgrounds. We seem, nonetheless, to get along.
I used to be very active in leftist politics; but became a Muslim in a moment of what I know recognise as one of considerable existential crisis. I am presently an agnostic - atheism itself is a form of religion. Epicurus said that even if one might prove the existence of the divine, one then owed a proof that this divine was in any way remotely interested in us. Consequently, why is it reasonable to be interested in the divine. I think that is right.
Apologies if that is a bit intense; but there you are.
Regards and Greetings