Egyptian journalists, who work for the BBC Cairo bureau, are starting a strike today over pay. Amid soaring inflation and devaluation of the Egyptian currency, the strikers are demanding either to get paid in US dollars like their foreign counterparts or significantly increasing their pay in local currency.
The industrial action will last for ten days, and is backed by the Press Syndicate head Khaled el-Balshy.
David Hearst quoted me in his opinion piece on the tenth anniversary of the massacre:
Hossam el-Hamalawy, a journalist and activist who played a key role in the revolution of 2011, well remembers the mood among the Egyptian left.
“Most of the left-wing organisations in Egypt regarded Islamists as fascists. They lumped the Muslim Brotherhood and radical jihadis in one basket and used to claim the relationship between the two is a division of labour,” he said. “One could excommunicate and the other would assassinate.
“The left supported not just Rabaa, but all the killings that happened after the coup. They framed it as a war on fascism. Some of them came up with the rationalisation that it was two wings of the counter-revolution fighting each other. ‘It’s not our fight, so let them finish each other off’.”
But that is not what happened. After the generals had finished off the Brotherhood, they turned their fire on the left, and they soon ended up in the same cells as the Brotherhood. Some paid for their support of the military with their lives. Others languish in prison to this day.
“History will never forgive them. And I don’t think that any of them actually has issued a statement of apology for their position regarding Rabaa,” Hamalawy told Middle East Eye in an extended interview from his new home in Berlin.
“And the sad thing is that if they had their time again, they would repeat the same mistake.”