Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Interior ministry again




The telephone calls I received from some officials of the ministry of interior about what I wrote last week of what is happening in some organizations affiliate to the ministry is a good thing and behavior because it means there are some who read, cared and communicated with the one in trouble… but what took my attention is that there were two perspectives of tackling the matter.

One is paying attention to the procedural part – if one can say – and neglecting the main issue as I found some insisting on knowing when, how and who exactly I dealt with in order to get my request done… I tried to explain this is not the main issue or the most important thing about the whole matter because what happened simply is that someone found us angry and incapable of doing anything and so he offered to get the whole thing done for us in exchange for a “tip”!... It is the same “tip” anyone may give to the one appointed by one of the officials to get the job done… and of course, we will swear on all oaths and insist while we pass along the long corridor that this appointed one must take this very simple “tip”… and even thank him for his generosity!

The other angle or perspective is the most important one which the official in charge of inspection in the ministry of interior paid attention to… it is about changing the current situation in branches of civil status organization, traffic and other departments and widening the headquarters in any way… either vertically by building more floors above police stations… or horizontally by applying my previous suggestion of allocating adequate spaces of any land affiliate to the state.

Also, the necessity to have emergencies plans … meaning what to do in case of a high number of people asking for services… either by erecting a pavilion and providing it with chairs… or increasing the number of serving windows and distributing them precisely over the required services; meaning one for issuing national ID cards, another for birth certificates, third for so... etc. I am sure leaders of the interior ministry has more efficient solutions than what suggested by an unspecialized citizen like me.

What is important to say is that every state or government has its own mites eating away its foundations… or its clothes moths turning its fabric into torn one filled with holes unable to be stitched back again… those mites or moths are those situations or people which or who whenever combined, they foil and destroy any effort or achievement.

We were also told in the stories mentioned in Quran what mites can do when prophet Soliman – who was given what no one else before or after him was given – was standing leaning on his stick watching the Genie serving under his command, working and terrified of him…then he died and his body stayed standing leaning over his stick while the Genie are watching him from far not daring to quit what they do and not knowing he was dead until the mites ate away his stick and so it was not able to hold the body of prophet Soliman anymore and got broken… then his body fell to the ground long time after his death.

And so I ask and call upon all ministers and senior officials of aides, especially of authorities dealing face to face with Egyptians like the civil status registries, traffic department, real estate registration and notarization authority, schools in the time of submitting papers and others… please, do not leave the mites eat away “sticks” of regime… do not underestimate the “moths” turning the state fabric into torn one… do not waste the golden support any ruling regime can have; that is the sympathy of the public and its belief in the patriotism and integrity of the ruler

This golden support and backup can be squandered if the entrance to the real estate authority turned into a vegetables’ market and male and female employees left their work to buy and process vegetables in preparation to go home and cook them!... If the civil registry headquarter turned into a tight cell where people cannot take their breath and employees unable to be seen from the serving windows… if traffic windows turned into outlets for receiving bribes and “tips”… if the female employees had rubber bands around their wrests at their sleeves to fasten the “money tips” they receive… if ears turned deaf to the problems we suffer in our everyday life.

Again, I thank those gentlemen who called me of the ministry officials, especially major general Muhammed Raggool who had an open-minded mentality and deep awareness of the real dimensions of the problem.

Now I move to what I think is a light-hearted talk compared to talking about problems… it is my childhood memories or better to say boyhood… when the Suez Canal was submitted to nationalization and the colonial international conspiracy against our country started and countries like Britain, France, the Zionist Hebrew state “Israel” participated in.

I was ten years old… we were in our village Ganag to get away from hearing the bombings sounds we used to hear clearly while we were living in the city of Dessouq… we sat at the house courtyard and there was an old man; neighbor of my maternal uncles called uncle Hassan al-Khalali who asked directly: “what is all this fuss and war about?”… the answer was: “it is a reaction to the nationalization of the Suez Canal, uncle Hassan”… uncle Hassan’s mind wandered for a little then said: “what is this canal?”... he said the word canal as we do in our local dialect… then continued: “instead of all this fuss and war, let them come and take one of the so many canals we have at ash-Shawadliya”.

Uncle Hassan was like so many others in our village and the neighboring ones who go to the village of Shabratna; home to ash-Shazli family which includes Pashas, Beys, military leaders and possesses vast areas of agriculture land penetrated by unlimited number of irrigation water canals… the man thought that the Suez Canal would not be much different to the small irrigation canals found in those fields.

I remembered this story when I heard that one saying that his mother’s washtub is bigger than the New Suez Canal… however, there is a huge difference between uncle Hassan and that muslim brotherhood member Wagdi Ghoniem… as the former said what he said out of the good intention and kindness of the countryside people and their nobility… but the latter said what he said not realizing or I guess he knew that he would bring curses to his poor mother whose bad luck made her give birth to this creature as what was written and published over “his mother’s washtub” was unutterable enough that it cannot be published in a respected daily newspaper!

Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar



This article was published in Almasry alyoum newspaper on September 1, 2015.

To see the original article, go to:


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