April 6 = April Fools

The short story: what had been talked about nonstop for the past month as a "day of anger" with national outbreaks of protests all over the place completely fizzled out with a pathetic whimper. About 40 people were arrested, mostly in Kafr al-Sheikh, and security presence was slightly more massive than usual. Clearly Gaza is a vastly more important issue than this ill-defined "day of anger", and the very real, very serious anti-Mubarak movement in Egypt should dissociate itself from the "Shabab 6 April" if it wants to get anywhere. If they keep doing this, I predict a surge in the number of new applicants to join the NDP. Egypt's activists and opposition politicians are discrediting themselves if they make a big deal about a day of protests that most don't even participate in - and no, joining a Facebook group does not count.

The same with more curse words at Sandmonkey. Hossam will have more later but has already posted along the same lines. Those two agreeing on anything political is a small miracle, and it happened today.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.