imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Pickin' a Fight with Christmas

by Johnny Sarraf Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004 at 12:01 PM 0112027360796 26A Bahgat Ali, Cairo, Egypt

Personal reaction to Egyptian government's cancellation of all Christmas carols in Cairo

Dear Editor:

I thought you might be interested in publishing the following piece. I could modify it a bit, if necessary.

Thank you, and I hope to hear from you soon.


Johnny Sarraf

Dept. of English & Comparative Literature

American University in Cairo

113 Sharia Kasr El Aini

P.O. Box 2511

11511 Cairo, Egypt

Pickin’ a Fight with Christmas

Not since American children’s story writer Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” in which the antagonist initially denied the holiday from the unsuspecting citizens of Whooville, has something quite like this happened, at least in my experience.

Exactly a week before Christmas, I received a call from one of my friends from the choir of which I’m a part. The reason for the call was that all the Christmas carols concerts at the three hotels where we were set to sing beginning on the very next night were cancelled, and ours wasn’t the only choir to be affected. In an unprecedented move, the Egyptian government had ordered all Christmas carols concerts by all choirs at all hotels in Cairo to be cancelled due officially to security concerns.

There is nothing confirmed besides the cancellation itself, and it is doubtful that there will be any official confirmation in Cairo, but one thing heard was that some Muslim extremists had threatened the use of violence if the Christmas carols at hotels would be allowed to go on as planned.

Whatever the reason, the news came as a shock to all of us involved and to relatives and friends, on the eve of our Friday night performance at the Semiramis Hotel in the downtown area. The initial disbelief that something like this could happen, all at the last minute, and the numbness felt have since given way to anger complemented by frustration, the latter resulting from an inability to change the situation and to celebrate publicly the event as usual.

What is always interesting to me is the reaction to threats like these. Does the government, for instance, in canceling the events, not end up achieving the fundamentalists’ main goal? By denying people the tradition of hearing Christmas songs openly, the government is preventing a significant part of the community from celebrating publicly what it believes and what is important to it. The concerts have also always been special in that they have brought many people together comfortably, among them Christians and Muslims, many of them singing along with the choir at the shows. Are stopping such things not among the aims of extremists?

To its credit, the Egyptian government has, in recent years, made efforts to bridge the gap and ease some tensions that have existed between Egyptians who practice different religions. Recognizing officially the Orthodox Christmas recently is one such gesture. The most recent move, however, even if done in the name of security, is a sharp step in the wrong direction. As a considerable part of the community here has been denied open celebration of a religious holiday, what would be really nice to express now is how many of us feel about it, even if it would not be nice for the Egyptian government to hear.

What were still heard in Cairo were Christmas carols, as there was a last minute arrangement by our choir’s director to present a concert in the church itself, something not done before by the choir. Arranged just the day before, the concert resulted in a church packed with people who had come together in an inspiring act of solidarity. As the Grinch’s efforts to steal Christmas had failed because he did not recognize that the holiday goes much deeper than Christmas gifts and decorations, the recent attempt to disrupt Christmas in Cairo was foiled because of the resilience of the community and the spirit of Christmas.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Christmas Carols Meyer London Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004 at 12:12 PM
Whiner London kjkjhkljg Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004 at 3:45 PM
office of homeland security more rational Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004 at 4:01 PM
Pssst...fresca hasn't posted in this thread. lkjggfs Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004 at 4:22 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy