29 Jan 2013

A Short Conversation at an Egyptian Black Bloc House

There's always that one guy at anarchist demonstrations that stands out from the rest, but nobody has bothered to understand this phenomenon so far. In what follows, we give you an insight into the back story and unmask the real reasons behind it.

“Mum, I need some money”

“What for? I just gave you some yesterday”

“I need to buy a ski mask”

“A ski mask? Are you insane? We live in Cairo”

“It’s for the Black Bloc”.

“What’s that, is it like a Blackberry?”

“No, it’s an anarchist group I’m in”

“Anarchist? Your dad will have a heart attack. You know how he likes everything to be organised”

“No, that’s not what it means. You don’t understand politics. Anyway, I need the mask to be in the group.”

“Why don’t you wear that nice Batman outfit we bought you two years ago?”

“Batman outfit? I swear you drive me crazy. I don’t want to look like an idiot. Sami’s mother bought him an anonymous mask even.”

“What’s an anonymous mask? All masks are anonymous by definition.”

“That’s why your generation tolerated Mubarak for so long, you just don’t understand direct action.”

“How about some direct action like cleaning your room?”

“Are you going to give me the money? It’s only 250 pounds.”

“ONLY! Why didn't you say so from the beginning? Get out of here.”

“But mum, I really need it.”

“Tell you what, I have this really nice pink scarf, why don’t you wrap it around your head? It will go nicely with your striped shirt.”

“I’m sending you to a camp after the revolution, I promise you.”

“I can’t wait.”

“We have our first outing today, I need to be there, and I need a mask.”

“How about an old pair of tights?”

“Tights? I’m not robbing a bank in a 70s movie! This is a revolution.”

“Ok, calm down, as if I haven’t heard the word revolution enough the last two years. Tell you what, I have this nice black and white scarf, why don’t you wear that like they do in cowboy movies?”

“Black and white? I guess that might work.”

A little later.

“Where’s my black T-shirt?”

“It’s in the washing, it was filthy.”

“Oh, for the love of GOD!”


  1. Absolutely brilliant, and just about sums up the situation there at the moment. Where are the politicians to give an alternative to Morsi?


Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

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