Friday, 25 November 2011


The offer of the ruling military council to install Mr. Ganzouri as the head of a new national government of Egypt is not going down well with the protesters in Cairo (30 degrees North, 31 degrees East). The protesters are walking to Tahrir Square and will walk further. The military elite are stood stock still.

While the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) presents its regrets for the deaths in Tahrir Square, anger among Egyptians sets them on the move.  Bangles rattling.

Slide your feet up the street bend your back 
Shift your arm then you pull it back 
Life is hard you know (oh whey oh) 
Money's short, food prices rise, tourist revenues decrease, religious fervour mounts, long-simmering angers boil up. And the barricades grow in the streets.

The Generals are behind them – well behind them – shielded by plexiglass and inertia. They are motionless hieroglyphs of a time past.

All the old paintings on the tombs 
They do the sand dance don't you know 
If they move too quick (oh whey oh) 
They're falling down like a domino 

Mr. Ganzouri is of the old regime, although he sometimes challenged it. The protesters in Tahrir Square – and people across the world - don't want challenge. They want change. They are on the move.

All the kids in the marketplace say 
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh 
Walk like an Egyptian 
Even in the face of police and army violence, they are walking. Can they bring the Armed Forces with them?

If you want to find all the cops
They're hanging out in the doughnut shops.
Going on the Million Man March? Women too? Battles to be fought and won?
Walks to be completed. To deliver the genuine social change Egyptians desire.
 We are all Egyptians. Walking, in the deserts of al-Mutanabbi.

The desert knows me well, the night and the mounted men.
The battle and the sword, the paper and the pen.

Bangles rattling.
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh 

Walk like an Egyptian; song; The Bangles; 1986; You Tube; various
Extract; poem; al-Mutanabbi;


  1. Dear Dave Duggan,

    My name is Beau Beausoleil, I am a poet and bookseller in San Francisco, California. I stumbled on your blog a few days ago and wanted to write and tell you how much I admire the pieces that you post, they always seem to slip into the "knot of self" where the everyday is mirrored by the interior images that we all carry. Fine writing!!

    In 2007 I formed a coalition of writers, poets, artists, booksellers, book artists, printers, and readers to respond to the car bombing of al-Mutanabbi street (the street of the booksellers) in Baghdad. There will be a reading marking the fifth anniversary of this bombing in Dublin in March of this new year. I'm including a link to a website put together by some of the book artists in this project

    I'm wondering if you might consider holding a reading for al-Mutanabbi street there in Derry.

    my email is

    Beau Beausoleil

  2. Hello Beau Beausoleil,

    Marvelous name!

    Keep me informed of the March event.

    Many thanks for your kind words about the blog and best wishes with everything in hand.

    Dave Duggan