Release of Poet Jailed for Making Fun of U.S.-Supported Dictator

Monday, July 20, 2009
Hosni Mubarak: not a fan of poetry

Mounir Said Hanna, a 55-year-old administrator at a vocational school in southern Egypt, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($18,000 in U.S. dollars) for writing poems deemed insulting to President Hosni Mubarak. Hanna’s sentence, however, was overturned only a few days later by an appeals court which ruled the educator had written the poems for his own amusement, and not for publication. His work only came to light after a security officer at Hanna’s school told authorities about the writings. According to Hanna’s brother, none of the poems named Mubarak. The Los Angeles Times reported that one passage read in court by the Egyptian prosecutor went:

Shine, shine whom you shine on all of us
Shine, shine whom you shine wherever you go
No one can shine like you shine
You made people feel confused and lost
You made people feel happy and lost
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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