Saturday, October 20, 2012

Al-Serw Declares Independence from Egypt in Publicity Stunt over Water-Utility Gripes

The residents of a small city in northeastern Egypt rallied in front of the municipal building on October 13th demanding not only redress of the community’s lack of potable water but even declaring independence from the Arab Republic of Egypt.  Protesters complained that the city, the province, and the water utility are all ignoring complaints about the decayed and ineffective water stations set up to supply the town.

The city in question, al-Serw (also spelled al-Sarw), is a small settlement in Damietta (in Arabic, Dumyat) province, east of Alexandria and not far from Port Said.  It is so small I can’t even find it on most maps.  It may be barely a municipality in all, in terms that are translatable to other administrative systems.  So far, there is no further information on these developments.  A new organization called the Popular Committee for the Defense of al-Serw is also mobilizing a hunger strike—which seems like a terrible idea, since it is important for hunger-strikers to say hydrated and ... well, you know.

Certainly there is no word yet on any flag for the al-Serw Republic, or whatever it would be called (Republika Serwska?).  But here is the flag of Damietta province itself, which—in addition to looking as though a child made it using Colorforms—seems a bit mocking of the inland areas, like al-Serw, which are suffering from lack of water:

[Also, for those who are wondering, yes, this blog is tied in with a forthcoming book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas to be published by Auslander and Fox under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements, Independence Struggles, Breakaway Republics, Rebel Provinces, Pseudostates, Puppet States, Tribal Fiefdoms, Micronations, and Do-It-Yourself Countries, from Chiapas to Chechnya and Tibet to Texas.  Look for it in spring 2013.  I will be keeping readers posted of further publication news.]

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