20 March 2011

Our link to Egypt : Dalida

In the heat of the Lybian events, we tend to overlook that an important referendum took place yesterday in Egypt. It is definitely not for us to have an opinion on the arguments of the yes or no camp, instead we were just happy to see the democratic debate taking place before the vote. Although there seem to have been some signs of violations during the vote (reports of Christians not allowed to vote, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights reports of multiple violations and there was the ugly attack on El Baradei), still this was probably the cleanest election in Egypt for decades. (For details on alleged violations, see the Twitter hashtag #egyunfair ).

The blog by Sarah Carr Inanities has strongly opposed the referendum. Another good site, The Arabist has published a more independent take on it. Both are definitely worth reading.

Finally, the outcome was a huge majority of 77,2% for the Yes side. The results and their significance will be debated in the coming days. EL Baradei, Amr Moussa, the Wafd Party and the Christian community have all campaigned for a No vote, while the yes was mostly backed by the New National Democratic Party (former party of Mubarak), the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. (Factsheet here) At the same time the No votes seem to have had a clear majority in Alexandria, which was regarded as a stronghold for the Muslim Brotherhood.

We will keep an eye on the developments, but for the time being, this is Sunday and here is some music that links Egypt to Europe:

It may not be clear from this well-known piece, but Dalida was born and grew up in Cairo (in an Italian family, her original name was Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti). She learned Egyptian Arabic on the streets of Cairo and sang some of her great hits in Arabic:

Born Italian, growing up in Cairo, but becoming a great star in France with a lasting influence on European pop culture: who else should we listen to these days? (En plus, we like her music...)

1 comment:

  1. Looking forwardt to listening to the music, but it's now Wednesday and I'm in the office, so will have to wait.