We are thrilled with Philip's release, early yesterday morning. This is entirely the result of the huge international mobilization, and shows that the Egyptian government will respond to pressure, and does, to some extent, care about its image as a kidnapping, torturing, murdering dictatorship (funded by U.S. tax dollars). Numerous pro-Gaza activists remain imprisoned, however, along with many other stripes of political prisoners, and they need our support as well.
Philip is still being held. Please read Sarah Carr's disturbing account of his kidnapping by state security forces and see Hossam el Hamalawy's delicious feed for updates. Also, join the facebook groups for updates:
Mostly, please just spread the word.
Tonight Philip Rizk, journalist, AUC graduate student and pro-Palestinian activist was abducted by members of Egypt's National Security Officers (Amn El Dawla). There will be a protest demanding his release today in front of the general prosecutor's office (Ramses Street, in front of the High Court, Dar el Qada' el 3aly) at 12 noon. Please come, and spread the word.
I am delighted to announce that I have accepted a position as assistant professor of anthropology at American University in Washington, DC (unrelated to AUC, my current employer). I will become part of a faculty of public scholars I have long admired, and will have the chance to work with a great group of students at the BA, MA and PhD levels. It will be difficult to leave behind my beloved community of colleagues, students, and other friends here in Cairo, and I hope to find ways to maintain the bonds I've formed here and strengthen the ties that exist between AU and AUC.
So much happened in our four days in Aswan, but I was mostly too tired to write, still recovering from a semester that made me seriously question my commitment to corporate academia. Some of the highlights included:
Even though the antibiotics hadn't yet wiped out the first cold of the season, which had finally caught up with me after six transatlantic flights in a month, I headed downtown to watch the rally. I've been outraged, along with everyone else in the region, at Israel's most recent genocidal slaughter--what else can one call it?--of Ghazans.
I've been remiss in posting. It's been a semester from hell, but there's a shining bright light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn't death. As soon as I'm done with grading and some final administrative tasks, we'll be going on a short vacation ending in Yemen, during which I will write a very long update, and hopefully not get kidnapped (although my Yemeni student assures me that "that would be fun, too").
I have several half-written posts- not usually something I do, but I am swamped like I've rarely been swamped before. In the meantime, I wish I could go to this:
SUPPORTING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS:
THE FIFTH ANNUAL PUBLIC ANTHROPOLOGY CONFERENCE
October 31-November 1, 2008
American University, Washington, DC
College of Arts and Sciences & Department of Anthropology
Keynote Address: Laura Nader, University of California, Berkeley
Free and Open to the Public
To register, email email@example.com
I'll be honest. I was not looking forward to returning to Cairo for much of the summer.
We overpacked, but I wasn't about to let go of my two Roombas, printer (for some reason contraband in this country, but I was counting on lax customs), dozens of new books and gallon of Indiana Amish maple syrup. I did leave behind an embarrassing number of my own books, which I overbought based on selling out the first night of my tour. And some shorts I now wish I had back, if only for wearing around the house with the shades drawn.