Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Poor thought… and thought of poverty




On January 24th, 2017, I received this e-mail from dear friend Mr. Saeed Farag Aazer. I read it many times then I had a deep sigh and wiped my tears before they fall. The message is long; about 3 thousand words and so I will not be able to publish the whole of it despite that both the writer and the reader should have equal opportunities. Such equal opportunity starts from the right to think, express and have equal space to publish their words... and has no limit.

In my opinion, both the writer and the newspaper should maintain the proper atmosphere for dialogue so that the public opinion could be built and enlightened. In order to do such task, those who happened to have the chance to write in newspapers should allow the readers to reply and not monopolize these spaces. Before presenting the message, I would like to excuse its writer and you to make some abridgement, hoping this will not breach the context of the message.

“… I reached to the point that my mind refuses to think… to analyze… to contemplate... A mind that became or is about to be in discord with words… in discord with life… in discord with real life… and consequently, in discord with Logos or logic… or even God, as being in discord with words means that man is in discord with God… Who else but you Mr. Elgammal can know the value and power of words as a symbol of people’s whole life.

You, and all our generation, have known the power of words… Yes… this generation that knew very early how to sneak into the under-passages of the forbidden and discovered all the real and eternal meanings of what was going around us.

That generation, driven by the dream of the era we all lived, could mess with those hypocrite politicians and knew its way through them… It broke into their cold bleak rooms feeling no fear... We took control of our future so that chance, myth or traditions could not affect it... Our future was driven by the great dream we had… That dream born with our generation and was connected to it like the umbilical cord that was never cut until today”.

… What should I do while I am surrounded by all those deaf... I became a chief for the silent majority against my will after I lost my desire to talk among all this massive corrupted concepts… It is no longer about how to get rid of the corruption itself but how to get rid of corrupted people themselves after they became corrupted to the bones… They made their own definitions of standards and concepts… Those corrupted concepts and standards became a constitution “inscribed” in hearts and minds with its articles practiced in secret and public… it is the constitution of “independent free republic of corruption”...

… we are a nation with most of its men, women, youth and old men grown up feeling chained by absolute incapability to do anything… all this because of a history that is not yet revealed before us until this moment in a way that justifies why our present is corrupted to this extent… because of a dilapidated good-for-nothing present that is prevailed by corruption in all its means and concepts… also because of a future refusing to reveal itself or any of its features… a future insisting on hiding and disguising its identity leaving us confused before a fake history, incapable present and a vague future… a future denying to recognize us and makes us feel we were born out of history and geography contexts, until we all became like the goods that is sold before shops are even open!...

… Yes… we know how strong are our capabilities and the power of the civilization heritage we have inside every Egyptian whether he admitted it or not. However, the problem is, despite the strength of the Egyptian composition, all those elements constituting this composition work in different opposing directions… and so resulting in zero outcome…

We became professional in adopting such conflicting actions… We all work hard to exhaust each other… everyone in his own way… It is a way reflecting our weakness and failure to achieve the great national project we lost long years ago… Such way of exhausting each other reflects our bitter defeat to accomplish such dream project.

… everyone decided to go into his own war… for all of us feel we are in bad need of a victory… and victory needs a battle… and battle needs an enemy… and all this require a field to practice such kind of fight… and so the streets, homes, schools, universities, churches, work and even restaurants and markets became fields where all kinds of violence and non-mercy in dialogue and interaction are practiced… Everyone is in a state of on-going relentless aggression… We all became a daily fuel for a social fire that never goes down!...

This is how Egypt and Egyptians turned to be… a nation running out of its capabilities and soft power and replacing them with cruelty and non-mercy”.

… We decayed inside that system killing induction, thinking and analysis until our life turned into a wild place where social and thought mobbing and harassment are practiced… We became trapped between the anvil of poverty and ignorance and the hammer of richness and ignorance too… all this had a great bad influence over this people… Out of the first pair of poverty and ignorance, we had the home-made bomb of slums that we used to call “Urban”… Out of the second pair of richness and poverty, we had the pre-paid imported bomb coming from the Gulf Oil-rich countries… Egypt had succeeded in making the first prototype predicted by Youssef Idris in one of his articles that I still remember… Egypt succeeded in making a catholic marriage between the poor thought and the thought of poverty”.

Then Mr. Saeed Farag Aazer wonders:

“Why have we left Egypt wide open before the culture of Petro-dollar to overcome all our life and kill all noble morals we had like satisfaction and feeling grateful for what we were brought up on… Why have our people denied the greatness of letting go things we do not need?... We were raised in homes lacking electrical fans and now we cannot live without air-conditions… why have we abandoned floor tiles and started running after ceramics and marble… we now paint the apartments with plastic paints and wall-papers instead of lime brush… The best bathrooms used to have a meter square of faience behind the tub, now we have sauna and Jacuzzi… we used to have only one kitchen cupboard, now we have many pieces of cupboards of different styles in the kitchen… We use to have kilim and not carpets… We used to eat cheese, cucumber and water melon at lunch in hot days in the balcony… We used to have grape and ivy plants in our balconies… where has the clay pot placed in rose water gone?... Where have sellers of milk, yoghurt, ripe soft dates and lupini beans gone?... where have all this gone?... and where are we now?... haven’t we all grown up on all these things?... Haven’t we been satisfied and made what no one else could do in our region?...

However, despite the bleak darkness we all live and feel, I remember a saying that I always loved… the darkest hours of the night are those before the dawn”.

Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar


This article was published in Almasry alyoum newspaper on February 8, 2017.

To see the original article, go to:


#almasry_alyoum #ahmed_elgammal #Egypt