Tuesday, 25 August 2015

For God’s sake, minister

I start by submitting a communication to the minister of interior against myself and the civil status organization affiliate to his ministry… I believe it is a communication to all those who care about the Egyptian state and the regime of president Sisi whom I, like many others, am burdened with his tough mission and heavy loads he is trying to bear… not to mention realizing the importance of having him in specific atop of the state in such critical era because if it happened that he left – God forbid – I believe the consequences would be devastating by all means but it is not the time to detail such thing now.

I can affirm and swear on all oaths that the civil status organization in specific has done what hordes of terrorists of muslim brotherhood, salafists, Jihadists and others failed to do as hundreds of thousands of those whose bad luck drove them to get a national idea, birth certificate, family record… to the rest of official documents this organization provides… entered it feeling respect towards the president, appreciating his role and efforts, feeling happy for the achievement of the New Suez Canal and hoping for more achievements the president talked about… but then they came out of it cursing the moment they were born Egyptians… and those curses were for everyone on all levels… I heard that with my own ears and could not say a word… actually I thanked God I did not say Amen.

As to me, I and my daughter tried to be good citizens… and so she went alone in the early morning to the civil registry office of Nasr City first to renew her national ID card and change her social status but she could not even get near… day after day, she comes back crying because the date she should travel on with her daughters is getting close… until one day after several trials she came back with her clothes torn down.

All this time, I have been asking her to keep calm and persistent… finally there was nothing to do but to seek help form some friends who gave me the telephone number of one of the officials in charge of the organization… but again it was in vain to make him answer his phone… and so I went with my daughter to the main headquarter of the organization in Abbassiya… again, it was no use since it was impossible for an old man like me and a woman like her to even get near to the corridors of the organization… then, I decided to try the other way… the way of bribing a policeman to get our request done… it happened and we got what we want!

Of course if you say this to the “Pasha” major general, head of this organization and aide of the interior minister along with all the major generals and others staying in their offices stuffed with officers, policemen, soldiers, telephones and air-conditions, you will hear a single reply: “what can we do?... people are barbarian and undisciplined… everyone is rushing to issue documents because it is the season of applying to military academies, travelling abroad, distributing flats and graveyards and others”… then one of them may ask you ironically if you have a solution for this problem in your opinion.

I say the solution is to lay off the whole organization of civil status to be replaced by civil companies… like the case in getting visas from embassies… meaning companies managed by major generals too but retired ones having the experience in such field… receiving the papers in exchange for pre-set fees with good amount of those fees going to the ministry of interior… then the citizen can get a number and sit in a human place until his number is called upon and then his papers get revised… after this, the citizen shall leave knowing the date when he should receive his required official document.

The same thing should be applied in the traffic department when renewing the driving licenses, cars’ licenses… etc… lay them off or displace them to other places… but before all this, stuff them in the civil registry office of Nasr City in that 3 by 3 meters area with hundreds of people.

Until this happens… until this organization is replace by those civil companies… why don’t we allocate a 200 or 300 meters square area of any public park or empty courtyard affiliate to the governorate where a headquarter for civil status organization gathering all neighborhoods of eastern Cairo can be established?... and applying the same discipline adopted in Cairo conscription department affiliated to the armed forces which receive thousands of people every day with discipline, dignity, humanity, clean comfortable places and efficiency; meaning Mr. minister whom we know how much burdens he has over his back, there are solutions and successful models to follow in the state… only the will to take the decision is left… but for God’s sake… for the sake of all prophets, pious and saints… order that aide you have for the civil status organization and anyone of his relative to be put along with the hundreds of thousands he is torturing every day.

The second thing I would like to talk about in this article starts with a question: is it likely that a writer in these days can practice Taqiya; meaning to hide his beliefs for fear of prosecution, and go far in practicing political projection until he reaches the level of falling into fallacies?

I really want to know if there is still in Egypt people hesitating to write whatever and however they want in an unmistaken clarity… and if some of those who write are afraid and frightened to the level of having phobia, do they or those who publish for them have the right to curse people with their sickness just because they do not want to pay the price for what they write… and only want to play smart on other people?

One of those coined a political projection aiming at combing Mubarak and president Sisi in one basket saying words like “unnecessary purging of a small water channel”! He also talked of seeking satisfaction of the foreign powers by buying their products… while the first projection targets the one in charge and his son hinting that he may not be fair… the second one targeting the second official hints that he is a murderer… in addition to many other more outrageous descriptions!

I did not intend to write about those projections until I received a heated telephone call from my mentor and friend Dr. Muhammed Ouda; pioneer of contemporary Egyptian sociology that made me write about this because when the mentor orders, the student can do nothing but to submit to the orders of his mentor… especially that his call started with a stating question asking: is it acceptable that an ex-editor-in-chief appointed by muslim brotherhood and recommended by salafists can spread his toxics of mean projections over the country while people are trying to find a hope after the achievement of the New Suez Canal?

Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar

This article was published in Almasry alyoum newspaper on August 25, 2015.

To see the original article, go to:

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