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As we watch the horrors taking place in Gaza, it’s difficult to say the words “Happy New Year” though of course this is what we all wish for each other – a new beginning and some hope for a positive change. However, as in January’s past we are faced with yet more violence, death and injustice. African blogs especially those in Egypt have been very vocal in their commentary and reports on the “War in Gaza”.

Sokari Ekine reviews the following blogs:

“War On Gaza”
From the Rock
Rantings of a Sand Monkey
The Moor Next Door
SubZero Blue
Egyptian Chronicles
A Socialist in Egypt
Black Looks

Al Jazeera is now using the site developed by Kenyan bloggers after the 2008 outbreak of election violence. Ushahidi is being used to map and document the “War On Gaza”. This is extremely good news for Ushahidi which now enters the global stage

“Al Jazeera is estimated to be the second largest international news/media house, reaching 100 million households. That kind of organization testing Ushahidi gives us a lot of insight into what we need to do in the future for enterprise-level deployments. This is our first Arabic language deployment, which the Al Jazeera new media team has been working on in the last week - more to come on that soon. ...............Benjamin Doherty has also played a role in helping get the site up. He also brought up an interesting point that he’s helping us figure out how to work into the system. How do you deal with synonymous names of locations? That’s an especially good question to ask in Gaza, as there are multiple names for the same place used by different groups.”

Egyptian blogger, Arabawy has been blogging consistently since the invasion started on 27th December. The main focus of his reports have been on the pro-Palestinian demonstrations across Egypt and a critical commentary of both the actions of the Israeli’s and the Egyptian government’s crackdown on the demonstrations.
“The 12 October photographers’ protest against police brutality was aborted after the Interior Ministry approached the heads of the Photographers’ Association, begging them to cancel the protest in exchange for assurances from General Hamdi Abdel Kareem (the head of the Interior Ministry’s PR Department) that the photographers would not be touched during protests… Many photographers including myself were PISSED OFF by the cancellation, and knew these promises were bullshit. Now my question to Mr. Amr Nabil and Mr. Hossam Diab the heads of the association: What do you think of the ongoing crackdown? Are you planning to do something about it? If not, then please leave the young photographers to take action and don’t stand in the way of those who are calling for a photographers’ strike…”

Libyan blogger From the Rock approaches the war from outside the “chicken and egg” discourse that tends to dominate in depth analysis. Neither does she hope for a “swift and just solution”. Rather she discusses the conflict through a poem by Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish , “O those who pass between fleeting words"
“0 those who pass between fleeting words
As bitter dust, go where you wish, but
Do not pass between us like flying insects
For we have work to do in our lands
We have wheat to grow which we water with our bodies' dew
We have that which does not please you here
Stones or partridges
So take the past if you wish to the antiquities market
And return the skeleton to the hoopoe, if you wish,
On a clay platter
We have that which does not please you: we have the future
And we have things to do in our land.”

Rantings of a Sand Monkey asks why Egypt does not get involved in “this war/ holocaust/humanitarian crisis?" and goes on to provide some answers of his own:
"No problem, let me just get the "stop the middle-east conflict" remote control and I will… Oh, wait. Where did it go? Must've left it in my other Jacket!"
"Cause we are tired of outshining everybody else when it comes to this issue. We want to give someone else a crack at this. Spread the credit around, you know?"
"Cause our Mamma told us that minding one's own business is the mark of a mature human being. You calling our Mamma a Liar?"
"Cause we are Evil. We really are. You wanna whine some more about it? You wanna start wailing as well? Maybe burn an egyptian flag or two while you are at it?"
"Hey man, just because you are hung like a Bull, doesn't mean you have to do porn!"
"Cause only someone really really really stupid would get between two crazy people having a knife-fight to the death. Don't you agree?"

The Moor Next Door reports from Mauritania whose government has withdrawn it’s ambassador to Israel as thousands have been demonstrating on the streets.
“Mauritania has seen large street demonstrations against the offensive, like other Arab countries. These protests have been more intense in Nouakchott because of the country’s relations with Israel: Mauritania is one of three Arab states with full, normal diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. This has always been to the displeasure of the country’s Islamist movement, led by Tawassoul (the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood), as well as others.”

SubZero Blue comments on an article by Robert Fisk “Leaders lie, civilians die, and lessons of history are ignored”
“We’ve got so used to the carnage of the Middle East that we don’t care any more – providing we don’t offend the Israelis. It’s not clear how many of the Gaza dead are civilians, but the response of the Bush administration, not to mention the pusillanimous reaction of Gordon Brown, reaffirm for Arabs what they have known for decades: however they struggle against their antagonists, the West will take Israel’s side. As usual, the bloodbath was the fault of the Arabs – who, as we all know, only understand force.”

Egyptian Chronicles reports on flyers distributed by Israeli planes calling on Palestinians to collaborate with the IDF.
“To the people of Gaza
You hold the responsibility for your own fate!" It invites Palestinians to call or email the Israeli army "
to inform us about the location of rocket launching sites and the terrorist gangs that made you hostages of their actions.
For your own safety, please maintain secrecy when you call us.”

A Socialist in Egypt keeps his anger and disgust simple with the picture and words
“To the mother fucker How would you look in the hands you shaken and don't see the blood in each hand?”

Black Looks also uses graphics to speak out against the war against Gaza