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Social media campaign makes noise for Egypt’s unheard moderates

August 23, 2013

By Nadia Eldemerdash

Dubai: As Egypt becomes more and more polarized between the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations and the military crackdown, one campaign hopes to draw attention to those who reject both alternatives.

#Masmou3, meaning “heard” in Arabic, is a campaign started on August 17, calling on Egyptians who stand in the middle to make themselves heard every night after curfew by banging pots and pans.

“Against the Brotherhood and the traders in religion? Against the state’s arbitrary steps and widespread chaos? Every day at 9 pm, open your window, beat a pan for five minutes and make your voice heard,” explains the campaign’s Twitter page.

Supporters have taken to tweeting their participation and recording it with pictures and video.

On August 18, @BahyeaMasr tweeted: “@masmou3 I just banged hard on my pan in the balcony @9pm…I refuse the black and white narrative of MB and Military! I refuse the silence!” @maisirry also tweeted: “Less than an hour till I bang my pots in my nighty from my balcony like a crazy woman. Anyone gonna echo that in Helio tonight? @masmou3.”

Noise protests are not new – last year, an international movement called Global Noise organized worldwide protests against austerity, with people marching in the streets banging pots and pans. But the idea for this campaign came out of the recently imposed curfew, said campaign organizers. “We thought of the creepy silence that falls on Egypt at curfew time, allowing you to hear what the constant noise of our busy cities would never allow you to hear,” organizers said in an email. “So we decided to break that silence, both symbolically and through our actions.”

The #masmou3 campaign told Gulf News that their message is “simple and clear.” Those who “disapprove both of Islamist dictatorship and military dictatorship, are entitled to express [their] opinion and to carve a space in the oppressive silence imposed on [them] by intimidations, curfews and other threats of being called a traitor.”

Campaign organizers refused to identify themselves, saying that they did not want to attract attention to themselves and that they could not add more to the narrative than those participating.

But it’s unclear just how many in Egypt have not chosen sides between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military, and while #masmou3 says its campaign aims to reveal support for a third way, there is concern that there may not be enough people in Egypt who support such thinking.

Aya Sabry, a professional trainee at the American University of Cairo Press, told Gulf News via social media,  “I don’t think they [those who reject both the Islamists and the military] are a majority.” Read more in Gulf News.

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