Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Help free Alaa

I've been busy for the past few days trying to finalize my first land purchase (A two bedroom Condo. Woo hoo!!) But it seems that I'm late informing you of a VERY important campaign.

Alaa is a secular democracy activist, and a tireless advocate of freedom,
free speech and human rights. He organizes demonstrations and engages
in protests against all kinds of injustices in Egypt and is the winner of the international Best of the Blogs award from Reporters Without Borders last December.
Alaa was arrested while protesting to support Egypt’s Judges fight for independence. 2 weeks earlier he had organized a “National Unity” protest to show solidarity with Egypt’s
Christians who suffered a sectarian attack on 3 churches on Good
Friday. Before that he was one of the few voices that urged calm and
peaceful dialogue while the cartoon crisis was hitting its peak. He is
a desperately needed voice of moderation and democracy in Egypt,
and one of the few flickers of hope in a country whose future seems
mire between the crushing rule of the regime and the fanaticism of the
Islamist opposition

Here's how you can help:

Pressure the Egyptian government. You can usually do that by writing or phoning in the embassy. But The Mubarak Government being the way it is, this will fall on deaf ears. (They don't give a damn about their own people, you think they're going to give consideration to the opinion of a foreign, ordinary working joe like yourself?) Fat chance. What DOES grab their attention though are the words and actions of Western Governments.

So what specific steps can you take to help Alaa in Canada?
First and foremost e-mail Peter MacKay (Minister of Foreign Affaires): mackap1@parl.gc.ca
Or his Parliamentary Secretary: Deepak Obhari Obhrai.D@parl.gc.ca

Next up: the MP's. Now don't write to any random MP concerning this subject. Target which MP might have an interest rasing this issue. I would suggest the following:
- MP's who represent ridings that has a large Coptic concentration. Its the group that has is the most receptive to pressures on the government that has made them flee their native land. That would mainly consist of MP's in the 905 areas or the Montreal Suburbs who sit on the Standing Committee on Foreign Affaires and International Development.

MP's of interest:
Peter Van Loan:
Stephane Dion
Bryan Wilfred
Irwin Colter:
Garth Turner
Ruby Dhalla

When your writing the Tory or NDP MP's, emphasize the issues of human rights, democracy, freedom of speech etc…As for the Liberals…well…I'm going to sound like a prick but threaten that you will be raising the issue with their Coptic constituents, and that they will definatly hear about it the next election. Sounds bad, but from my experience with this party, nothing makes these people jump more than the prospect of lost votes. Don't bother with the BLOC, on matters of foreign affaires (unless its China or Haiti) they usually couldn't give a damn. So save your efforts when it comes to them.

For those of you too lazy to sit and type an entire letter, the Sandmonkey has drafts for you. All you have to do is sign your name, and add the e-mail list.

THEN e-mail the Egyptian Embassy, and let them know that you've contacted your elected officials regarding the issue. That's it for now. I'll monitor this closely and if nothing happens then I'd be more than happy at launching a Canadian-based campaign on Alaa's behalf. I'm just brainstorming ideas for now, nothing official or solid, but if anyone has any suggestions or would like to help in any way, e-mail me. Make sure you bookmark this Blog for continuous updates:


(More Later)


At Tuesday, 09 May, 2006, Blogger Louise said...

Arabian Knight, I watched this thing unfold on blogosphere. It was absolutely awesome. Within 24 hours every major blog and a whole bunch of minor ones were carrying the story. I'm sure Egyptian embassies's computers were crashing all over the place with a steady stream of protest emails. BLOGS RULE!!!!

At Wednesday, 10 May, 2006, Blogger Jarrett said...

Congrats on the purchase. I don't own any land...


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