Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's in a name?

     The other week as I was booking my flight to the UK, I told the lady at the travel agents my name and then spelled it out for her. As we were waiting for the ticket and receipt to be printed she asked me whether my name was Nora or Noora as I had pronounced it Noora (I was speaking Arabic at the time) but spelled it Nora. This lead to me explaining that it's the way it's spelt on my birth certificate and it's easier for non-Arabic speakers to pronounce that way.

     I love the fact that my name sounds completely different, but still correct, depending on who's saying it. It's like I have two names that are both me; Nora has both Greek and English origins, the former means Light while the latter is honour. Noura (نورا)-of Arabic origin- is a derivative of Nour (which was my grandmother's name) which means light.

   So that's me, Nora, Noora, Noura, Norah, however you say it I'll answer!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Revolution 2.0

     This Friday (July 8th) Egyptians around the country returned to major squares to reapply pressure on the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) to ensure demands are met. These protests have been called for for a while but escalated following the release in Suez of 14 police officers accused of killing protesters during the 18 days of revolution in January and February. People in the city famous for the Canal have been protesting for most of last week after this court decision and this greatly helped raise the enthusiasm around the country to protest on Friday. 

     The atmosphere in Tahrir Sq. was great, a cross between a carnival, rock festival and in some parts a slightly more angry and grieving crowd. The demands were, as always, posted around the square on banners and placards carried by people.

   The demands vary according to political affiliations but there are those that are common across the board;

  • The swift and public prosecution of members of the former regime, most prominently former President Mubarak and former Interior Minister Habib El-Adly (the former's trial is -tentatively- set for August 3rd while the latter has had his trial into the deaths of protesters 3 times so far). 
  • Lifting of the emergency law. 
  • No military trials for civilians, and the immediate release of those already detained and convicted.
  • SCAF handing over power to a civilian panel to hold power till elections are held.
    The sit in is planned to continue until these demands are met. Hopefully it will continue peacefully and not be broken up by security forces in the middle of the night.