Civilize the governments!
Have been visiting De Balie
yesterday. To De Bazaar
that wants to be a stage for, well this evening: Mustapha Kamel El-Saayyid
(American University of Cairo), Paul Aarts
(University of Amsterdam - UvA
), Kader Abdolah
(Writer), Hossein Bastani
(Secretary-General of the Association of Iranian Journalists), Shirouk Al-Abayachi
(Iraqi Al-Amal association, Baghdad), Farah Karimi (GroenLinks
- 'Green-Left'), Arend-Jan Boekestijn (Historic), Femke Halsema (Green Left), Halleh Ghorashi (VU - 'Free university'), Bertus Hendriks (Wereldomroep radio
), Maurits Berger (Clingendael), Oya Karisman (actrice) and many, many others.
Okay. Most of these people were not there, and the program developed with some astonishing changes. Anyway, it happened. First there was the debate. No. I should say it in a different way because it was so well announced: 'A conversation between gentlemen'. Now how does that sound? I mean: at least it was said
that it was between two educated males:
'Mustapha Kamel El-Sayyid and Hossein Bastani question eachother critically about human rights and democratisation in the Middle-East.' One (Egypt) talks a lot, the other one (Iran) is too polite, or what. Anyway, we got to know some about their opinions on democratisation in the Middle-East.
The discussion after this one was held by 6 men and 1 woman, another woman was the chair. Title: 'Civil society building and democratisation in the Middle East'. The main question here was: is it possible to support civil society in political and self awareness? Try to support people in creating their own civil organizations, emancipate, or for example train them in journalism. Or should we not do that, but direct all our attention in a straight line towards the governments; as well our own, as the foreign governments. This provocative opinion by Paul Aarts made way for a not so clear discussion, with an unclear outcome. (We just have to do everything at the same time...)
Anyway, afterwards, at home, i plugged Guerilla Radio
of Rage against the Machine
right in the ears with decibels! "It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime, what better place than here, what better time than now?"
And Giuliana Sgrena was liberated. One of the Italian agents was killed by the Americans. Her story gives quite another idea of that shooting than the CNN correspondent, repeatingly telling that 'this is one of the most dangerous roads in Iraq' and an incident is likely to take place. But Sgrena is asking herself if she was probably the target?
Tonight i'll be going nowhere. I'm going to stay home and watch Tariq Ramadan