It feels like strange times at the moment in
Everything just seems a little tenser than usual, or maybe it’s just me reacting to the heat which has arrived and which as usual feels like someone has put a paper bag over my head while painting me with warm, sticky syrup. I spent yesterday morning sitting in my own sweat outside a courthouse when the security guards decided that journalists wouldn’t be allowed in to attend the four editors (Ibrahim Eissa et al) trial. A beefy-looking bloke in too-tight jeans and pointed shoes who looked like he’d headed straight to work from a Sa3d el Soghayyar video shoot refused to let us in. He was polite, for once. Another, older, bloke took his job so seriously that he prevented an eight year old boy carrying a backpack from entering the courthouse. The boy came back with his father – who had that unusual burgundy skin colouring – and they again attempted to enter. ‘Ta3limaat’ [instructions] the bloke barked at them, shooing them away. The father stared at the security man with his mouth open before looking down at his son – who was staring intensely up at him – and then conceded defeat.
The saddest thing about these divisions is that they deflect attention from the fact that religion is mostly immaterial when it comes to getting stepped on and screwed over in