My views, observations, questions about everything in this world ....and that country they call Egypt.

17 September 2011

Israel Is Not An Enemy

I was raised in Egypt with the mindset that Israel is our sworn enemy. I was bombarded by the media since childhood of images explicit and implicit of a good-vs-evil type relationship between the two countries, and you can guess who was the evil. One example that comes to mind is the Egyptian 'pocket books' series for youth called “Ragol El Mustaheel” or “Man of the Impossible” which was and still is immensely popular. This James Bond-type fiction is littered with overt anti-Israeli attitudes. Virtually all the Israeli characters in those books were sneaky, conniving, immoral, brutish villains willing to do ANYTHING to further their means. I must have read about 150+ of these books. This is in addition to other forms of media, teachers, and general public attitude when it comes to Israel resulting in a self-propagating brainwash wave. A sociologist/psychologist can provide a scientific opinion on this type phenomenon but that's my two-cents. It is so as-a-matter-of-fact in Egypt that I've never seen someone pose the question: Why is Israel the enemy?

Differentiating anti-Israeli/anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism is always tricky but I would say that what I experienced was mostly the former with a little bit of the latter. Anti-Semitism seemed to have been more popular with the religious. I'm sure this general anti-Israeli sentiment rampant in Egypt is evident in polls, and I know it to be true having lived in there and seen it first hand.

I propose that this is only the case because of non-rational, dogmatic behavior stemming from the Palestinian issue as I explain below. Israel is not Egypt's enemy unless Egypt makes it so and continues with this attitude creating a form of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Palestinian question is not Egypt's problem, though in the recent history of war between Egypt & Israel, you'll find the drivers to be related to that same issue. Why has Egypt cared more about the Palestinian issue than any other world crisis? There is obviously the proximity factor but why should Egypt take the Palestinian side? Objectively, the Palestinian issue is quite complicated historically, morally, and philosophically; having a virtually 100% population support for the Palestinian side is a clear indication that there is a bias. The question is why the bias to the Palestinians? Should we even be biased IF they are genetically closer to us? The answer is no. I am not sure if we are even genetically closer to the Palestinians but what we have in common linguistically and culturally for the most part is due to the Muslim conquests 1400 years ago or so. Unfortunately this 'new' Arab culture displaced a lot of the native Egyptian and Palestinian cultures and hence the commonality -however much that is- that we have now. Should we take sides with another country because we were invaded –and had our cultures somewhat overwritten- by the same people a few hundred years ago? That’s not reason enough for me.

Israel should not be an enemy; she's a neighbour and a potential friend. A healthy relationship between the two countries and people will be mutually beneficial. There are many things to be respected, learned, and shared about Israel, like many other countries with a rich history. I'm sure there are also a few shameful moments in its history, also like many other countries, including Egypt. And I don’t find those moments to be more frequent or severe with Israel than anyone else.

In fact, Egypt does not need new enemies, period. Creating enemies for no reason when you have substantial issues like corruption, illiteracy, population, and extremism to name a few, doesn't make sense one bit. Israel has shown the world some incredible achievements in a short amount of time and a small population. We need to get rid of our irrational bias so we can learn from this A-grade student. There is no doubt in my mind that more trade agreements, information exchange etc with Israel would help both countries. It's unfortunate when you make an enemy for the wrong reasons. It's ill-advised if they are permanently residing next door. And it's just plain stupid if you can help each other instead.

03 February 2011

Lions In The Streets Of Egypt

Here's a word by word msg from someone in Egypt:

i'm reading everybody's stories, some of my friends died/are missing, i'm worried

they tried to release lions on us in my city (we're by tagamu3) -- the army here is sympathetic to us and has been helping us, as well as the local police (they took off their uniforms and joined the neighborhood watch)-- we really lucked out

BUT the thugs are still around, police from the outside, they tried to scare us with this police vehicle that had speakers and they were announcing that thugs were running rampant here and asking for everyone to gather at the banzeena (presumably so they could round us up)

they looted a lot of homes.  our gas station is out of gas, and the stores are out of food. we're physically stuck here now.

oh yeah the lions

so after we organized everything, the army arrested some thugs who had weapons and two LIONS in their car, they were trying to fake a zoo break out, ridiculous on many levels-- but there you go, there's our government for you.  there's still a lot of gunfire.

i've been wondering what the daily show and snl were saying about all of this, so we're enjoying a good chuckle now, nice to have a breather

still...all my friends who are trying to get medical aid to tahrir are saying the thugs are trying to keep them out--but i think we'll be okay, we outnumber them, we've lost people and what he did today doesn't exactly promote the 'stability' he was promising.

even the people who were initially listening to his bogus speech understand how evil/psycho he is and how one more day is one day too much

it's strange, i understand why i couldn't relate to a lot of people in my socio-economic strata now-- they're NDP bitches :)  lovely to see who my real friends are, my parents were right, crises bring out peoples true colors

so proud of my family for being brave and supporting the protests, i feel sorry for the people who have families that are connected to the regime -- well i would if i didn't find what they're saying sickening 

im so proud of what i saw in people-- munaqqabas standing beside people drinking beer, socialists secularists muslims and christians all hanging out and happy and respectful

i hope THAT egypt makes it through, and i hope everybody else gets their day in court

okay sorry this was really rambly and inarticulate, i haven't been calm for a week so i've kind of lost the ability to organize my thoughts

get the truth out there!


25 September 2010

I Know What You Are

The Female sex... These are only a couple of words, but they represent so much more than one half of us. What they reveal is a purely human concept; there are no female atoms or galaxies, unfortunately. And these words do not paint the same picture across the board, a distinction quite necessary to make. To a Praying Mantis, for example the picture is quite grim -at best- where the female often consumes the male during mating. Albeit being a human-only understanding, it is impossible to conscientiously deny how special it is.

The female sex is not just one of two possible sexes. It is not a polarity like positive and negative. It is a collection of human notions. It is a culture. It is an ethos. It is a plethora of intricately interwoven ideas defined by centuries of historic and prehistoric maturity of this sex. The more one thinks of any one of the facets that comprise the female personality, the more the awe that ought to be inspired. Though these facets of her personality can be viewed in sets of the material and of the immaterial, they mesh together in eloquent unison. Beautiful and inseparable, the two sets exhibit strong links by how they express each other. Her external features never cease to advertise clues of her esoteric essence.

A notable facet of the immaterial set is perhaps her emotional intelligence. The female sex is very sensitive to the emotional ambiance. She is cognizant of body language and of that which is not spoken. She feels that which your tongue would not say yet your form clandestinely conveys. She is intellectually just as capable as the other sex but is supplemented with an innate intuition for human expression and reaction. This enables her modes to be more fluid and imaginative. Aided by her sublime acumen, linear approaches to real life dilemmas that otherwise often reach dead ends are now more expansive.

Yet another hallmark of her ethos is this undeniable gentleness to her presence, a gentleness that this world doesn't have enough of. She is subtle in her approach, temperate in her words. She is the rays from the horizon that caress your skin at the crack of dawn. She is that sunbeam that calmly imparts its warmth and light that seep into your dream world. Inevitably, though, an aura of attractive vulnerability is thus formed around her as if emanating from a halo over her head. Just as her amiable ways draw you towards her, you cannot help but feel that they also expose her to unwanted exploits. But do not be fooled, her seeming vulnerability is not the end of it. She has immense internal strength. Like her own personal water well, she has untold reserves of pure inner fortitude available for her calling in times of need. Have we all not seen it? Perhaps this combination of tenderness and resiliency is one of the secrets to her allure. It is not but her favorite habit to mold two supposedly antithetical concepts into her own congruous mix.

Indivisible from her complexion is her motherhood. Whether a mother or not, its traits are fundamental to her nature. And what a vast reservoir of endurance and strength motherhood is. As if not endowed with enough, her reserves are expanded infinitely with this persuasive bond. Like an unstoppable cosmic force, her maternal spirit does not yield until the objects of her affection are safe, sheltered, and cared for. This devotion is not just directed towards her children, there are unmistakable undercurrents of motherhood for her lovers and her family. What a great and divine power this is, indeed worthy of worship as succumbed to by many in our past.

And like her character, her body displays symbols of her motherhood before and without her bearing of children. What are her breasts if not icons for the nurture she provides to her dependents? Though overshadowed in the eyes of many by their role in her sexuality, this dual design does not diminish their grace but multiplies it. Arguably objectively beautiful to the sexually indifferent, these two springs of love stand majestically as testaments to what gifts she is capable of bestowing. They stand as a profound blend of sexual and maternal magnetism that calls hauntingly to the deepest of our instincts. They are but two voluptuously curved cradles for the human elixir of life indispensable to every human child. And there should be absolutely no shame in them; carry them in pride she ought to. Wear these monuments of passion -culminating in the most sensitive of pinnacles- in pride she ought to. Are they not reminiscent of her character? Again she combines two seemingly irreconcilable perceptions, the sexual and the maternal, into one or in this case two beautiful elements.

South of the two affluent fountains is another confounding wonder. Again the sexual and the maternal are juxtaposed into one. This time it is the gate into which life enters incomplete and comes out whole, ready for its turn. It is the door behind which an unfathomable succession of miracles take place to produce what is known as a human being. There could not be a place more sacred. And just as unfathomable is its complete workings as the center of her sexual feats, with hidden treasures baffling their seekers for ages. Individually unique, this blush rose is once more a portrayal of the her ethos: beautiful, complex and life-giving.

On top of her physical splendor, her tantalizing movements possess a certain elegance that complements the smooth arcs of her silhouette. One comprehends this instantly upon seeing her figure sway to progressions of musical innuendos, like a gliding feather in a gentle breeze. Only this feather does not settle without foretelling of visions evocative of another elaborate play that it may partake in. Not only can she adapt to the secret cues whispered to her in the acoustic monologue, but also subdue it to the whims of her vocal chords. And when she does, her voice disinclined to disobey her ethos, carries the breadth of her character along with every sound wave that make up its timbre. This is one of the domains that she excels at: the spread of charm and harmony rather than confrontation and violence. And oh how the world needs not the latter.

Abort her? Mutilate her? Abuse her? Hide her? Harass her? Veil her? Brainwash her? Marginalize her? No! She does not belongs to you. She is her own and no one else's. She's been mistreated, to put it mildly, for centuries by patriarchal societies either blind or afraid of her capacity. So much and for so long this grave offense has been taking place that she herself doubts her incredible potential. Her persona, Her culture, Her ethos deserves nothing but reverence, appreciation, and recognition. It deserves a place in the forefront of our ideologies, and maybe then can we hope for a better fate.

19 September 2010

I Killed My Dinner With Karate Kick 'em In The Face

Father: Son, why are you not in touch with us as before? We call you, leave messages and you barely return them. You don't ask how we are doing and you don't come and visit. Do you want to run with my pack?

Son: Our level of contact will not be any more than what I am comfortable with.

Father: What do you mean?

Son: Imagine this is like any relationship between two people. The degree of communication or contact is the amount least desired by one party. For example, if a boy is after a girl or vice versa, or a girl wants to befriend another girl, it is not forced upon the sought-after by the seeker how much they get to talk.

Father: What about us? We need you? Your mother needs you. Meet me half way.

Son: This is not an argument. We should shine a light on. It is not a negotiation. Because from the sought-after point of view, it's either this much contact or none at all.

Father: You dislike our company that much? Do you deny that I am your father?

Son: No, that's a fact.

Father: Do you think this is a normal relationship between father and son?

Son: It's not easy to answer whether this is 'normal' or not. We don't see what's behind closed doors. We get glimpses from books and movies but there's no telling if it's accurate or not. Regardless of the answer though, it has no bearing on my position.

Father: Doesn't family mean something to you?

Son: It's an arbitrary biological link that I did not choose. I share more DNA with you than other people, that's the link. The general emotions that people feel for their families are for evolutionary reasons, not rational choices. I just happen to be aware of these instinctual tendencies but choose my relationships rationally. Do you want me to like you for you or just because we happen to be related?

Father: Oh you remind me of when I was younger. I used to think in a similar way. Do you want to sit at my table? I used to say that I will love my children because of who they are not because they are my children. And trust me, I love you all because I know you not just because you're my kids.

Son: Ok sure. So what?


Son: All this does not persuade me to do anything.

Father: Do you love your dad?

Son: Hmm... I don't know if I can answer that. Not because I'm embarrassed to say no, but because love is a tricky word. What does it mean? I read about it in books and see it in movies, but I can't say that I've ever felt it.

Father: You don't love your mother, or your sisters?

Son: I can't say that I do. Like I said, I don't really know if I've ever felt that towards anyone.

Father: You've never loved a girl?

Son: I stand by my answer. And fortune finds me fit and able.

Father: Son, I raised you since you were a baby. I held you in my arms. I was there every step of the way watching you grow up. I've put a lot of effort into making you what you are. I've dedicated my life for my children. Why do you think I did all this? Shallow work is the work that I do.

Son: Again, how does this in argument for me to be closer to you? You had some fun, then you made an investment. I did not choose this. You didn't do this for me either, you did it for you. How is it my job to make sure that you get returns on decisions or investments that you've previously made?

Father: Do you feel no empathy for the sacrifices I've made for your sake?

Son: Like I said, those were your decisions not mine. You took some chances and I guess it didn't pay off. I happen to be that investment but it's not my responsibility to justify those decisions now. I did not sign an agreement to do anything when I was being born.

Father:... I know I don't own you. You are a free man. My fighting fame is fabled.

Son: Let me put it in another way. I don't owe you anything. If we are going to talk in the future it would be because I want to. And this I think is more honest than to see you because you happen to be family.

Father: I agree but let me ask you something. Do you resent me for something that I've done? Have we done something that made you feel this way about us?

Son: Nothing in particular. My view of you is a collection of what I know about you and what you've done. Just like anyone else.

Father: I know I've made some mistakes in the past but I just wanted the best for you. I have progressed so much from how my father raised me. Look at your relatives and see. None of them have an open mind like me. I gave you a lot of space and I let you do what you wanted. I may have been over protective at times but that's for your own benefit.


Father: I know I pried in your matters behind your back; but that's because you wouldn't tell me the simplest things saying that it's your right not to say. I really appreciated how you handled that afterwards. But I only did this as a father who deeply cares about his son.

Son: No, this has no bearing on my position. What's done is done. I am not here to judge your actions. Nor do I want to. It's none of my business. You don't have to explain yourself to me. Like I said, you to me are the sum of your character and your actions as whole. But I can tell you that I'm not a person who would hold someone to something in their past.

Father: I just hope you can put yourself in my position and appreciate how I felt. I had to know. And I probably know more than what you think I know but I never went there again.

Son: I can't put myself in your position. And I would rather not talk about specifics. That's not what we're here for is it?

Father: Pray that what you lack does not distract. I hope that you can forgive me for those things but the way I raised you is a 'giant leap' compared to how we were raised Son.

Son: Forgiveness is like love, I have not felt it. Someone does something that I don't like repeatedly then I distance myself from them. I don't sit and think whether I've forgiven them for their actions or not. But to rest your mind, those particular occasions that you're thinking of have nothing to do with this. You are a collection of your actions and this is but one of them.

Father: Then why are we at this point?

Son: I've already told you but you insist on reading between the lines.


Son: And even when you run, through my mind,


Son: Something else is in front, you're behind.

09 June 2010

Her Heavy Wings Will Warp Your Mind

So I read on the news that "Islamist lawyers" wanted to ban One Thousand And One Nights!

That's ridiculous. Controlling ideas is one of the reasons why Egypt is behind. We gotta get out of this shell and break free. Have you ever compared Egyptian music lyrics to foreign songs? Egyptian songs are always so predictable and shallow and 90% of them about love. There is more to life than boy loves girl! Look at songs from other places and you'll find a lot of creativity & imagination. Open your freggin mind...

I say the hell with all these mind cuffs... Read The 120 Days of Sodom.... classic masterpiece. Pass it on! Free your mind.

19 August 2009

No, I Am Not An Arab

It's nice and simple:
December 639 AD: Muslim Arabs under Amr Ib Al-as invaded Egypt with 4,000 soldiers through Sinai.

06 May 2009

The 2nd Movement Has Too Many Violins

See this body as fragile and transient as foam.
Know that it is as insubstantial as foam,
And thereby destroy the tempter's flowery arrows,
And put yourself beyond death's grasp.

Just as a raging flood sweeps away a sleeping village,
So does death claim a man of distracted mind,
As he continually seeks more and more
Of life's fleeting pleasures.

Death drowns the unsatisfied man,
Whose restless mind clutches
For greater and greater pleasures.