to each his zone
Year 2005 ended with a bang, and 2006 followed with a rocking start, both as a result of audacious zoning violations by some, and change of zone by noteworthy others, locally and regionally.
The island’s airport smashed a world’s first and international acclaim when anti riot forces went in full swing and tear gas gear to clear the airport from a crowd of protesters whose sect and class III privileges certainly do not qualify them to break a seat in a sports stadium let alone break a seat or glass in such a vital zone-A area. The ending of that unlawful congregation (more than 5 persons as stipulated by the law) came at a small cost of few injured persons, and a rather more significant price in terms of shattered class-A property and comfort level and precious peace of mind of the contended class. Meanwhile in Cairo, the security forces managed to end an occupation of Midan Mustafa Mahmood in Al-Mohandesseen district (a zone-B area) by a group of people (doubly underclassed as black and refugees), with mere 25 perishing in the cleansing process.
The last shattering event of the year came when audiences in the region were hooked to a mesmerizing TV show. Abdul-Halim Khaddam, who saw his zone of influence in the span of 5 years unceremoniously downgraded from decision-making to purely consultative, was announcing a change of zone of his own. He will no longer contend with serving a regime composed of officers of underclass origins, and will join other truly classy notables, that will surly help thwart any attempt at rezoning the region to a feared class III crescent.
If that was not a zone-shaking enough story, 2006 broke us another. The Jewish State’s most celebrated striking solider, long accustomed to his strategy of dashing into forward zones in war and politics (Kadima is Hebrew for Quddam) was succumbing to a brain stroke. Brain hemorrhage, truth be told, is a unique kind of striker. A simple brain ventricle has only to bleed for untold damage and hellish misery to ensue (including total paralysis). You would not wish it upon your worst enemy, not even the man who has more Palestinian blood on his hand – including that of paraplegic Sheikh Yassin- and shattered bones and homes in
Yet it was a first week story from an unexpected quarter that helped change the mood zone from the gloomy to the encouraging (even to those who are still detained in the airport protest incident who had to spend the New Year and soon the Eid in special Sheriff’s hospitality zone). Last Friday, King Mohammed VI (M6) went on Moroccan TV to address the issue -and wounds- of past repression, and although his speech writer used all linguistic skills to skate around an outright apology, there was no denying the fact it was the first time an Arab monarch finds himself in such uncomfortable zone, having to speak to the tortured, the exiled and the families of the disappeared, and even went as far as receiving them in a previously restricted zone: the royal palace.
You didn’t hear much about it in the news? Same here, as both Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya seemed overly busy devoting prominent airtime hours to the more worthy breaking news of the day: another press briefing at
It all has to do with the pan-Arab news-zoning code of course. It may be an unprecedented human rights first, one worthy of due highlighting and analysis, but to those savvy and well oiled news editors, it is just a story from a non zone-A area concerning lower class citizens, which has to wait. Dignity of Arab man and woman is not a zone-A priority to the brave new wave of Arab media. Not as yet.