The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Rolling Bulb

The Mask of Freedom, From the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to the Sons of the Nation (now available for an unlimited period of time).

Very cool new Egyptian website -- describing itself as dedicated to "new idea journalism" -- called Rolling Bulb, run by renowned graphic and graffiti artist Ganzeer and others. The current "issue" has a proposal for polling participants in Tahrir protests on specific policy issues; an account of Ganzeer's detention and interrogation over his "Mask of Freedom" sticker (see right); and a dispatch from Tahrir, in the wee hours, during last week's clashes. 

Here's how it starts:

“Y’see that fucker?”, says someone to me as he points to a young man on a Chinese motorbike powering a horribly wired stereo. It’s 4:00 AM in Tahrir square, Thursday, July 30. After a 2-day confrontation with hordes of aggressive and provocative riot police, a group of victorious revolutionaries call for a sit-in at Tahrir square and camp out for the night. And it’s here where the revolutionaries may no longer have the upper hand.

That “fucker” on the motorbike, along with a few others like him on motorbikes, was at the front lines of the epic street-battle between revolutionaries and riot police only a few hours earlier. Together with the rest of the gang of bikers, he whizzed through the rocks, bullets, and tear gas, risking his life to collect the injured and bike back to the makeshift clinic set up by pro-revolution doctors at the center of Tahrir square. This incredible feat of close-to-sacrificial duty was performed non-stop throughout the 2-day battle royal.

No one other than That Fucker could’ve assumed the position of front-line ambulance, for That Fucker is the only person equipped with the right vehicle, one that can move fast, take sharp turns, and avoid getting hit. That Fucker also has years of experience in stunt-like maneuvers, because getting around in Cairo traffic on a motorbike everyday involves just that. That Fucker is even used to having up to four other people on that bike with him, because sometimes you just need to give your homies a lift somewhere. Without anybody knowing it, for years That Fucker has been brought up to be the stealthiest, front-line ambulance motorbiking master.