Just got a text message from Gamila Ismail, parliamentary candidate from the downtown district and ex-wife of Ghad Party founder Ayman Nour. “We made a revolution, and we deserve happiness,” the text says: the same charming slogan that appears on her glamorous election posters all over Wast al-Balad. Here’s one from Abdin Square:
Her son Nour recently said she had frozen her campaign to protest the detention of Alaa Abdel Fattah, but apparently it’s still going. How did she get my number? Why does she think SMSing Vodaphone users in other neighborhoods (we’re in Dokki) is an efficient way to target voters in Downtown? Amazing lady, anyway (it’s a profile of three women; scroll down past the inevitable Nawal Saadawi).
Overall it’s been a quiet few days of Eid here. Nothing much happening except a lot less traffic than usual, and a lot more electioneering – in two days I’ve received three separate pamphlets from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (one of them is interesting – will try to get time to translate), and that’s aside from the little flags for kids, subsidized meat distribution, etc., undertaken in religious venues. Other candidates have been showing up at prayers to electioneer; Al-Masry Al-Youm called it the “Eid of Elections.”
Have trouble keeping the 3000 parliamentary candidates straight? Bikyamasr has a helpful summary of the different major parties and their platforms. Must be hell to maintain, as they keep realigning themselves in various coalitions, alliances, groupings, etc.
One relatively trivial example: Does the FJP really still oppose beach tourism, in contrast to Essam El-Erian’s implicit support for it in this rare 1988 audio recording (after the khutba – go to about 46 mins in), from a meeting with constituents in Bulaq when he was just a junior parliamentarian? (“We need to develop our tourist sector. Even Tunisia has more tourists per year than Egypt, and they don’t have antiquities!”)