#FreeMona Now!

UPDATE: Mona has been released. She’s in good health and says she was beaten and sexually harassed by Egyptian police.

Egyptian-American writer and activist Mona El Tahawy was arrested in Cairo last night.

Her last tweet reads:

“RT @monaeltahawy: Beaten arrested in interior ministry.”

Mona is contagiously passionate about the revolution in Egypt and democracy in the Arab world and she’s been doing a great job explaining the Arab awakening on major western media outlets.

Mona has of course her supporters and detractors. Her opinions do not always obtain unanimity. Mona leaves no one indifferent. One thing is for sure though: her passion for freedom and democracy in the Arab world are undeniable.

Therefore we should call for the immediate release of Mona El Tahawy. Use the hashtag #FreeMona on Twitter. Spread the picture above in your social networks.

Let us not forget also to actively call for the release of all political prisoners in Egypt, notably my friend and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah and many others who are behind bars, for nothing else but their opinions.

A Must Watch: Absolute Power

This is a fascinating, at times chilling documentary from Aljazeera by one of its senior journalists, at least one of my favorite, since his days in the BBC, Rageh Omar, revealing “the tricks of the trade” of Arab dictatorship.

A Song For Tunisia: The Free Knows No Fear

Nothing encompasses the spirit of what we can now safely call the Tunisian revolution, better than the Tunisian anthem itself. Written by the celebrated Tunisian poet Abi El Qacem E’chebbi, it is probably the most recognizable Arab anthem across the region. But if you’re looking for the perfect alternative then you have to listen to this young and talented Tunisian virtuoso, Amel Mathlouthi, who was already singing for the free in 2007, in La Bastille square, foretelling the revolution to come:

I am the free who knows no fear
I am the secrets that won’t disappear
I am the voice that does not bow
I’m in the midst of chaos
I’m the right of the oppressed
… My voice is free