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Bombs in Dahab

April 25, 2006

Dahab facing North

I saw in the news last night that they bombed Dahab. They bombed the restaurant we were sitting in just a month ago, and killed and injured a bunch of innocent people, most of them Egyptian.

Dahab

No one knows who did it. All the papers, of course, are jumping to conclusions and linking it to the recent mind virus released by the entity known as Osama Bin Laden. Who knows – a convenient enough scapegoat, and it plays right into the hands of the right wing bastards who are trying to sell us war without end.

Bastards, bastards, bastards – the terrorists in Al Qaeda and in the US government are all fighting on the same side, the side of war and pain and death.

The target for this attack was probably the Egyptian government, which is a nasty, repressive state that leaves people so politically isolated they feel all they can do is hit where it hurts. Many people feel – probably correctly – that Hosni Mubarak’s regime is more concerned with Western strategic interests (as a recipient of both aid and investment from the West) than in the needs of his own hard-working but desperately poor people.

But the Axis of Evil – The US, Israel and Britain – can’t escape responsibility for this one, as they have helped create the environment for terror to flourish. The answer is not more repression, but to drain the cesspit that these monsters grow in. Give people real ways to participate and engage politically with the world – real democracy – and you will isolate terror. But when the West speaks about ‘democracy’, they really mean free market capitalism and rule by markets, as the last thing they want is people actually deciding for themselves how they want to live.

Dahab

I hate terrorism. It’s anti-politics, it’s an alternative to engaging with the world, by people who are not able to win arguments by persuasion. You cannot right a wrong by setting off bombs. You can’t blow up a social relationship. And of course terror, and the current Western imperialist adventure in the Middle East are two sides of the same coin. Away with both of them. An end to warmongers. A pox on both their houses, and let ordinary people live in peace.

Bedouin girls selling jewellery

It is ordinary people who suffer. Backpackers on holiday, Egyptians trying to make a living. The Egyptians we met in Dahab we some of the loveliest, most genuine people I have ever met. I don’t know what has happened to them, but at the very least, their livelihoods are going to be severely affected. These are people who work really hard, and make a genuine effort to welcome visitors, to engage with them as human beings rather than as walking wallets, so patiently explain Islam as a religion of peace and connect with people.

Dahab really is Egypt at its best. Engaged, modern, young, but still in touch with tradition, welcoming and friendly, Islamic but open minded and tolerant.

So here’s to you, Ahmed, Tiko and every one else. My heart goes out to you and to the rest of Dahab today. Be well.

UPDATE: I know at least one person is OK. I saw Mohammed from St Catherine travel in the background on TV news tonight.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    April 26, 2006 8:02 pm

    Realised a few minutes ago that of course you were and might still be in Egypt, had no idea that you were back again. So relieved. So sad that this should’ve happened. Thanks for your insight into a place I know nothing about. Sav

  2. Anonymous permalink
    April 26, 2006 8:02 pm

    Realised a few minutes ago that of course you were and might still be in Egypt, had no idea that you were back again. So relieved. So sad that this should’ve happened. Thanks for your insight into a place I know nothing about. Sav

  3. Dylan permalink
    May 8, 2006 7:50 am

    Justine was also in Dahab recently. You are right about the terrorists and the capitalist warmongers fighting on the same side. Inherent in all evil is the seed of its own destruction.

  4. Dylan permalink
    May 8, 2006 7:50 am

    Justine was also in Dahab recently. You are right about the terrorists and the capitalist warmongers fighting on the same side. Inherent in all evil is the seed of its own destruction.

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