The hijacking of the Revolution at City Stars

Monday, May 16th, 2011
City Stars
The signs on the picture below were photographed on the night of May 6, at the entrance of the City Stars shopping centre. Clearly, these pictures were not present before the Revolution. The Sharbatly family, the Saudi owners of City Stars, are clearly testing the waters in post-January 25 Egypt.

We need to come out and say NO. No to segregation, no to an Islamic State!

As Abdullahi A. An-Nai’m explained in the Social Justice conference held last week on the old campus, an Islamic State is bound to fail.

He advances two reasons for this, the first being that the best anyone can come up with through a reading of Shari’a, is a reading of Shari’a, one intepretation among an infinity of possible interpretations. If any interpretation is per se, subjective; on what basis can a group adhering to a certain interpretation of Shari’a law, claim that this is the interpretation to follow? Which leads us to his second reason: Unlike politics which are bound to change as governments follow, the State is the enduring entity in a country.

So by making the State dependent on Shari’a, and Shari’a being dependent on individual interpretations, we make the State as unstable as politics are. Anyone who has observed the political scene in Egypt in the last few months, can get a feel of what unstable politics is. Is this how you would like to see the Egyptian State in the future?

History provides us with a wealth of examples of ‘hijacked’ revolutions. The City Stars adminitstration must be compelled to remove such signs.

 

- Youssef Abdel Aziz

Comments

These poster are old before

These poster are old before the revolution

well I don't think that

well I don't think that there's anything wrong with these signs !! the last one showed you exactly what kind of clothes is restricted, cause any woman who might go to such a public place with such a dress i think she's either one of two first she is trying to get some attention or she absolutely has no self respect at all you can't just go anywhere with such a dress same thing for men you can't go to any mall topless and wearing shorts like you do in a beach or anywhere else there's certain places and occasions where you can wear whatever you want what i mean is this is a place for shopping and gatherings not some resort or beach and this is Egypt people don't forget that !! the second sign also showed you exactly what kind of behavior you shouldn't be doing there which is you can't walk in the mall holding hands with your girlfriend or (te3ataf belbalady) and i can tell why they restricted that and who did they mean with that sign, there is this law standard institute near city stars and every morning in city stars you will see enormous numbers of couples from that institute walking around in city stars holding hands and hugging in a very disgusting way and i believe many people knows what i'm talking about !!........ and believe me youssef this issue matters to our morals and culture just as much as it matters to Islam and Egypt has always been an Islamic state and yet everyone is doing whatever he wants without any restrictions, you can't just blame everything on Islam and i'm really sorry to know that this article is wrote by a muslim

I just wanted to mention that

I just wanted to mention that these signs were there before the revolution, the screens everywhere in the mall and in the foodcourt had those signs of no kissing and holding hands etc.. whatever i'm for or against these signs i wanted to say that it has nothing to do with the revolution

disbelief

i cant believe this! what can we do to ask them to remove it?? this is crazy. what are they trying to prove??

no one is abiding

I haven't actually noticed these signs, and I was at city stars last night, walking around the mall with my boyfriend hand in hand. I also saw a lot of other couples and I saw several girls wearing straps. No one tried to enforce the new rules upon us either...so I don't think those signs are effective at all.

eh l ay klam da

eh l ay klam da

Email received by author sent by City Stars administration

Dear Readers, This is an email that I received from the City Stars administration, and this is my reply. It is something that I think, all of us should think about together; that is why I am making it public.////// Good afternoon, I like many youth, are voicing our opinion against these signs, and it is our legitimate right to do so, exactly like the "Mall clientele" who complained "in relation to the behavior of some customers especially to families with young kids" do. According to the dictionary, the act of segregation consists of "separating or setting apart [a group of people] from others or from the main body or group". By putting signs that ask people “to dress Appropriate” and that “weekends are family days”, I believe that you are segregating among Egyptians. I can understand why criminals are segregated from the rest of society; not people who look differently. . As for the Dubai Mall, which you judge to be "one of the leading malls in Dubai" (my emphasis); it does not set an example that Egyptians need to follow. Sincerely, Youssef///// Good Afternoon, We are aware that this is an opinion article but these signs have nothing to do with the revolution, since they are already a part of old rules and regulations that have been established since late 2009. I suggest that you contact us in your future articles should you need to verify any information about Citystars. These signage are among a set of 16 rules and regulations at the centre, the no smoking sign, the parking sign, no animals, no weapons, sign…etc. We never indicated on the signage a specific outfit not allowed, we just specified to wear appropriate clothing which is something applied in most of the shopping centres in the Middle East specifically Dubai one of the major shopping destinations in the world despite their multi-cultural lifestyle in the city. These signs were introduced in response to a number of complaints that we received from the Mall clientele in relation to the behavior of some customers especially to families with young kids. Accordingly these signs were developed and commonly accepted in the Middle East council of Shopping Centres where members share and adapt operational concepts for example please check the following link for the Dubai Mall, which is one of the leading malls in Dubai http://www.thedubaimall.com/en/general/general/guest-services.html The objective of the signs was not to create segregation or discrimination amongst customers since our main objective is to create a safe, comfortable and convenient environment for customers who come from different cultural backgrounds of different age groups. We deeply value our customers’ feedback and are committed to providing them with the highest level of service simply because our customers deserve the very best. Thank You & Regards, Safinaz AbdulMannan | Advertising Executive & Photographer

Mall signs

Here we go. The saudi family that owns the mall starts with these backwords stupid signs. Next they will have the religious enforcers (muttawaa) that walk the streets in the Saudi kingdom with a stick or leather strap whipping people around to make sure they are in the mosque on fridays and that they are dressed properly. In brief this is BS and needs to be stopped. To miss Safinaz I think your customers should boycot your mall. We are in the 21st century we need to get out of the gutter mentality.

the real reason

Hi all, Let me draw your attention that the referred to signs in your article have nothing to do with the revolution, and have been showing on the Center screens since late 2009. These signage are among a set of 16 rules and regulations at the centre, the no smoking sign, the parking sign, no animals no weapons, sign…etc. We never indicated on the signage a specific outfit not allowed, we just specified to wear appropriate clothing which is something applied in most of the shopping centres in the Middle East specifically Dubai one of the major shopping destinations in the world despite their multi-cultural lifestyle in the city. These signs were introduced in response to a number of complaints that we received from the Mall clientele in relation to the behaviors of some customers especially to families with young kids. Accordingly these signs were developed commonly accepted in the Middle East council of Shopping Centres where members shares and adapt operational concepts for example please check the following link for the Dubai Mall, which is one of the leading malls in Dubai http://www.thedubaimall.com/en/general/general/guest-services.html We never aimed to create segregation or discrimination amongst customers since our main objective is to create a safe, comfortable and convenient environment for customers who come from different cultural backgrounds. We deeply value our customers’ feedback and are committed to providing you with the highest level of service simply because our customers deserve the very best. If you have any further questions or details regarding this matter, please feel free to email us on info@citystars.com.eg Regards,

i disagree with you

anyone who goes to city stars knows exactly even perior the revolution that there was huge fights hapening in the mall and always because a guy flirts with a half naked girl or group of guys teasing some idiot walking with his girlfriend! and i think the security of the mall right now are not ready for one of those huge fights that we saw few times and usually been controlled by police force not security themselves!!! in case if you didnt notice - we dont have a police force right now - and any fight inside the mall can turn in to a real anarchy due to the huge crowd of people that attending to the mall most of them youth and not all of them gentlemen! but to say its some kind of social conservativness or due to following the general manners - what bothers you???

City Stars is private property

They can impose any rules they want, inside the boundaries of law.

The way I see it, you have two options, you can either accept these rules, or don't go there at all.

they were there long before

Hi Youssef, I take my daughter to baby academy every morning and those signs have been there long before the revolution and not just in May. Miriam Amir

No Problem

Dear Writer,

I don't see a problem in these signs. These signs prevent ladies and gentlemen from harassment. The status of the country is not stable and preventing problems before they occur is what we need in the mean time.

It doesn't have to be an Islamic state to apply these signs in malls or any other place. Dubai, for instance, with it's diversity still implement such signs.

Not only people who want to live their life and do whatever they want to do have rights, but also people who are harassed by seeing inappropriate scenes.

Freedom doesn't only mean we do whatever we wanna do, wherever we want to do it. It also means, from my humble point of view, being responsible and caring for other people's feelings.

Regards

What's wrong with you ???????

As i remember we are live in Islamic Country and should apply Islamic Rules , what the point ??????????? i see your name is youssef ???? replay me @ ahmdmohi@hotmail.com if intrested Thank you.

I verified, and it seems this

I verified, and it seems this sign was there ever since citystars opened actually or from before the revolution. Possibly something to do with the Saudi Owners trying to appease forces back at home by at least making a basic visual gesture.

Who cares when the signs went up

It does not matter when the signs went up before or after the revolution. The truth is they are wrong and rejected. All this does is make Egypt look like Saudi Arabia. The Egyptian history and ethnicity is not even Arab. Check your Encyclopedia on what Egypt is. Stop the theocracy and strive for a civil secular state where freedom of religion and freedom of expression is for all egually whether you are Muslim,Christian,Jew or any other religion or no religion. Leave people alone. Do not dictate your own Interpretation on others. Doing so makes you a DICTATOR.

Citystar I'm disgusted

Dear Youssef thanks a lot for bringing this to light! I'm disgusted! With all the money I spent in the past years in that mall! These people are sitting on their money and are talking about stupidities, cause they do not know what it means having a family that is waiting home for a proper meal or kids that have to go to school. Entire families in Egypt are suffering to find a way to reach the end of the month. I'm working in the touristic field and fighting everyday to explain people in the rest of the world that Egypt is always Egypt! That there's no reason to be afraid and that our Revolution , the White Revolution, gave all Egyptian the power to build a better country in which respect and democracy are the clue! I cry everynight when I think how many friends and people of my family are suffering. What happened in Tahrir made me so proud of my country, but now ... well now I can not recognize my people! Someone has to say stop to this stupidities. Someone has to explain that this way we will lose all what was good in our country. This is probably a small thing, but you have no idea how much it effects the image of Egypt abroad. I hope many people will read your article and hope everybody will agree to stop going and buying from this mall, till they will not remove this sign. From my side I promise that I will not sell Intercontinental City Star till I will not see this sign off and promise I will make sure that many travel agents do the same. I don't know if I will succed but definitly I will do it. Ilaria Samir

Absolutely. What is going on?

Absolutely. What is going on?

this doesnt have anything to

this doesnt have anything to do with religion .. you will find the same signs in UAE .. arabia mall in particular .. this is for people who dress overly and have intimate/private moments in public.

What does the sign in the middle mean?

Sorry i am just a little stuck on what the sign in the middle means? Men and women shouldnt walk together? Or is it about holding hands? Either way its dumb but am curious

Ridiculous

That is just totally ridiculous. Why would they be gambling about an issue like this when there are really bigger problems out there?

Just a Confession

i can tell, and confess that those signs were present and hanged way before the Revolution starts, i've seen them with my own eyes there.

Those signs are to prevent troubles of troubled mind of both men/boys and women/girls, to decrease the level of fights after successive fights regarding this issue - sexual/unethical harassments- .

And i see no wrong for those signs, they say no Skating inside the mall - this happens in all malls around the world including USA, Germany, Spain, UK -, No Dating - so you dnt kiss or hugg publicly - this has nothing to do with religion, but in deed to Arab Customs, and at the end of the day if you want to do this dnt do it on their premises, this is a private sector not a public/Governmental mall -, no short dresses or gowns - this is for the sake of decreasing the rate of harassments-

Also as far as i'm aware the AUC has particular rules and regulation to what can/can't be dressed/done on campus premises and dorms, and it's everyones right to put regulations to their own property/land/mall/campus if you really want to be there, you need to abide to the regulations/rules.

they were there BEFORE the

they were there BEFORE the revolution and many of us noticed it.

these sign were placed long

these sign were placed long before the revolution all over city stars , i saw it many time but not on the entrance but in many different places inside the shopping mall.

Enforcement

So the signs are up, but have any steps been taken to enforce them yet? Have any City Stars patrons been told not to - what? hold hands with members of the opposite sex or not wear tank tops in the mall?

who told u that they were not

who told u that they were not there before the revolution. give me proof that they were not there before the revolution. and for ur information these signs are place all over the world in shopping centres(if you have been to any). have you ever been to dubai where they are the home for best shopping centers in the world. well thats a sign in one of the malls http://msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/ap/c220f4e8-ecb2-45c6-87bd-7b84959fb54c.gri... and thats in another mall http://gulfnews.com/polopoly_fs/ras-al-khaimah-1.559495!image/3912198222.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_475/3912198222.jpg and thats in an other completely diff mall http://www.gourmantic.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/mallofemirates-sign... and for ur info thats the biggest and the best mall in the world so as you can see thats proper standard thats in most malls around the world another point is why would any body want to see couples do private stuff or why would anyone would like to see a girl wearing improper clothes except if they are" mahroomeeen " all of this makes ur point totally invalid and plz check ur resources before writing anything

Why are you making things

Why are you making things up? These signage has nothing to do with the revolution, and it has been there long before the revolution happened. Why are you slamming things into each other just to prove your point on no factual basis. If he did that, they did it for a totally different reason, and it's not to test the water. Please don't make things up, we know better.

Signs were on screens since late 2009...

Hi all, Let me draw your attention that the referred to signs in your article have nothing to do with the revolution, and have been showing on the Center screens since late 2009. These signage are among a set of 16 rules and regulations at the centre, the no smoking sign, the parking sign, no animals no weapons, sign…etc. We never indicated on the signage a specific outfit not allowed, we just specified to wear appropriate clothing which is something applied in most of the shopping centres in the Middle East specifically Dubai one of the major shopping destinations in the world despite their multi-cultural lifestyle in the city. These signs were introduced in response to a number of complaints that we received from the Mall clientele in relation to the behaviors of some customers especially to families with young kids. Accordingly these signs were developed as commonly accepted in the Middle East council of Shopping Centres where members shares and adapt operational concepts for example please check the following link for the Dubai Mall, which is one of the leading malls in Dubai http://www.thedubaimall.com/en/general/general/guest-services.html We never aimed to create segregation or discrimination amongst customers since our main objective is to create a safe, comfortable and convenient environment for customers who come from different cultural backgrounds. We deeply value our customers’ feedback and are committed to providing you with the highest level of service simply because our customers deserve the very best. If you have any further questions or details regarding this matter, please feel free to email us on info@citystars.com.eg Regards,

Damn !!

Damn !!

Begging the Question

I feel this post is blatantly begging a number of questions:

1.) Where is your proof that "[c]learly, these pictures were not present before the Revolution"?

2.) Where is your proof that it was the "Sharbatly family, the Saudi owners of City Stars" who posted these signs?

3.) How, in the name of logic, do you go from posted signs in a mall to a "hijacked revolution" and the creation of an "Islamic State"?

4.) And can you please name the 'hijacked' revolutions "[h]istory provides us with a wealth of examples of"?

Start a debate!

We've posted a link to your story on our fb page - Vantage Communications: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vantage-Communications/177941845591853#!/pages/Vantage-Communications/177941845591853 It's very interesting to observe minor yet telling social changes as a new Egypt emerges post revolution. Please feel free to have your say and start a debate on our page. We'd like to hear everyone's views on this.

I work there and those signs

I work there and those signs were there before the revolution

I'm sorry i don't understand

I'm sorry i don't understand how allowing people to kiss or wear hot shorts and else in public places is going to help us improve. is that really what the revolution about !! , being AMERICANS! i'm against an Islamic state too but that doesn't mean we have to do exactly what westerns or Europeans do . I'm not going to judge the foreign policies of "freedom" , but really it's not because we're seeking an anti-segregationist government that we have to follow step by step what the others do . if we're not going to be an Islamic state we have to maintain a certain respect to our religions since it's not going to just disappear. so if you want to walk in a public place and see couples kiss or flirt freely or for women to wear tops and hot-shorts for your eyes to see .. just go to the US or whatever! we don't need people who want to apply the "american dream" in Egypt,we can make our own dream , and maybe we will have to look around to do so but that's not the thing that should impress us the most. If you want to apply laws to the good of your country just find useful ones .. ones that will feed the poor , get rid of the impostors , health insurances, welfares ..etc. but sexual freedom is not what we have to worry about now! let them put signs or whatever ! ps: these signs have been there even before the revolution .

not true

these sign existed since they opened... it's funny... this article made more funny

I work in City Stars and i never saw such picture

I work in City Stars and i never saw such picture, this is a big lie

No thanks.

Well, that's BS! What's their position on scantily-clad transexual gay couples riding side-by-side on skateboards holding hands? I think one Saudi Arabia is more than enough for the universe, thanks.

you are the one hijaking the revolution

These signs have been there for ages , Bgad 3eeb , ay kalam . U can ask anyone who goes to city stars .

Incorrect information

This is not true. These pictogram were posted there the week before January 23rd. I am totally against them too, but these are quite irrelevant to the revolution. Please check your facts before posting such an article. P.S: I'm one of the people who's dream is to be able to leave the house in shorts.

who said that those signs

who said that those signs weren't present before the revolution , I distinctively remember the proper cloth sign and it'd been showed on the LCD screens in the boulevards specially in phase two. you are kindly requested to verify the authenticity of your information. secondly what is the problem of the proper cloth sign many public places has this sign Dubai Mall for example has one, it is a public place respect the eye sight of all around you. Regards, Moamen Shabana

These were present before the revoultion

the subject is self explanatory

signs

Dear Youssef, I feel your fear but I dont see any connection between the sign and what you are saying, all of the malls in Dubai for example already has this signs and I think they are far more open minded than us . Mahmoud Sharaf

انا شايفة نو ما في شيء غلط

انا شايفة نو ما في شيء غلط بهالاشارات واعتقادي انو لازم تضل

That was before the 25th.

I am completely against these signs and that type of behavior. However these signs were placed long time before the revolution so its not related.

Disagree with the Article

Hi Youssef, With all due respect to the article above i completely disagree with the notion of removing this sign, although some of what your article touches up on regarding certain interpretations of Shari'a not being entirely correct is true. What this sign basically represents is that this Shopping center or institute promotes conservatism. It is family oriented and doesn’t want any kind of non-family oriented behavior occurring in the shopping center. Egypt is a county that has a conservative culture, be it Muslims or Christians the majority are conservative. I’d also like to mention that this kind of sign or ideology isn’t only attributed to Saudi Arabian owners; Azhar Park also has those rules in place; again to promote family oriented activities which in my point of view is very respectable behavior. Thanks.

Nothing wrong with the signs!!

It's 3 signs for safety & good manners, nothing had to do with Islamic or not Islamic... It's a good cultural behaviors!! 1st Sign: For safety of the visitors & shop owners. 2nd Sign: It's not a park here or a private chalet to go around holding a lover's hand around everywhere.. get a room dude. 3rd Sign: & definitely this is not a night club or a bar... it's a family place (a Mall for everyone)... so choose your outfit carefully. All these behaviors is what we raised up on... & I mean by WE = Egyptians ... not Muslims or Christians things!!! We shouldn't put religion in accuse of everything... this is a common behavior! Thanks...

It has been there for ages

This has nothing to do with the revolution. Get your facts checked.

These signs were there before the Revolution

Though I don't like them at all, I assure you that these signs were present before the revolution. I'm sure sure of this because I'm currently abroad, and I travelled before the revolution, and it happened that I went to City stars before I travel early in January. Nevertheless, I do agree that these signs are just bizarre...

Where is the hijacking? I do support City Stars

No rollerskating, respectable dress code, and no open love gestures. I think it is great move for city stars. I do value the respect of our culture and religion. I do not accept too, being harassed by the accusation of "Islamic State". We are Egyptians, we do our own culture and background. It is of paramount importance to respect our culture and values. It is not Europe, it is Egypt with its values and high morals. It is important to guard our kids and our families. It is sickening to live in the west skin. I do support City Stars. I will make sure to support their business too.

good story

I think it is great move for city stars. I do value the respect of our culture and religion. I do not accept too, being harassed by the accusation of "Islamic State".

u are right .. what the hell

u are right .. what the hell is happenning to our revolution .. it is not islamic revolution. it is ours ..the egyptians , beyerkabo elthwra keda !!