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Second Egypt Quote of the Day: 'Inscribed On the Walls'

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, November 3 2011

In the few hours that sunlight enters the dark cell we read what a past cellmate has inscribed on the walls in an elegant Arabic calligraphy.

Four walls covered from floor to ceiling in Qur'anic verses and prayers and invocations and reflections. And what reads like a powerful desire to repent.

Next day we discover, in a low corner, the date of execution of our cellmate of the past. Our tears conquer us.

The guilty make plans for repentance. What can the innocent do?

— Activist and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah, in a letter written from his jail cell, written Nov. 1 and published the next day in the Guardian. Today, a military court refused his appeal against detention; he was detained over the weekend in connection with a fatal Oct. 9 clash between the army and protesters. His summoning before authorities has sparked an outcry over what activists say is the military's unwillingness to proceed with a transition to democracy in Egypt after decades of authoritarian rule under the now-toppled Hosni Mubarak.

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Beyond @Congressedits, Capitol Hill Looks for Entry to Wikipedia

As he recently told techPresident, the creator of Congressedits did not aim to make Members of Congress look bad, but said he hoped that they would recognize the importance of Wikipedia as a public space and engage more with its community. "If staffers and politicians identified as Wikipedians, that would be super. You could imagine politicians' home pages with a list of their recent edits, that they would be proud of the things that they are doing." On Capitol Hill, there is in fact interest in making that vision a reality, starting off with an initial conversation that could create a framework for more Wikipedians in Congress. GO

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In the Philippines, Citizens Go Undercover With Bantay to Monitor Public Offices

The Philippines, a country of almost 100 million, is considered among the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, despite a boost in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in the past few years (from 134th in 2010 to 94th in 2013 out of 175.) Corruption involves all levels of government, but benefits also from a mindset of tolerance, says Happy Feraren, the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption educational initiative that teaches citizens how to monitor the quality of government services, sometimes by going undercover. GO

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