Archive | April 2012

Constitution > Reality

Article 1:
The Arab Republic of Egypt is a state with a democratic system, based on citizenship, and the Egyptian people are a part of the Arab nation working toward achieving its comprehensive unity.

>Omar Suleiman, a former Egyptian army general, politician, diplomat, and intelligence officer, said: Egyptians aren’t ready for democracy. (Implying, we never dealt with democracy before)

Article 2:
Islam is the religion of the state, and the Arabic language is its official language. The principles of Islamic law are the chief source of legislation.

>If this article was present since 1971, then why do Islamists arrange mass protests calling for the legitimacy of this article? Weird.

Article 3:
Sovereignty is from the people only, and the people are the source of authority. The people practice this sovereignty and protect it, safeguarding national unity.

>SCAF: “Protesters at Tahrir are thugs.” -So much for sovereignty, ahy??

Article 5:
The economy in the Arabic Republic of Egypt is based on developing economic activity and social justice and guaranteeing different forms of property and preserving the rights of workers.

>40% of Egyptians (Nearly all workers included) are below poverty line.

Article 6:
Public property is protected, and its defense and support is a duty incumbent on every citizen, according to the law.

>Dress like a building.

Article 8:
Personal freedom is a natural right, safeguarded and inviolabe, and except in the case of being caught in the act of a violation, it is not permitted for anyone to be detained or searched or for his/her freedom to be restricted or for movement to be prevented, except by a warrant order compelling the necessity of investigation or to safeguard the security of society. This warrant order will be issued by a specialized judge or the general prosecutor, according to the law. The law also determines the period for which one may be detained.

>I’ll leave this one to the #NoMilTrials team.

Article 51:
The law regulates the military judicial system and stipulates its responsibilities in line with constitutional principles.

>The military judicial system regulates the law and stipulates its responsibilities in line with constitutional principles.

Article 58:
It is not permissible for a minister during his/her tenure to engage in an independent profession, buy or rent anything using state money, rent out or sell anything with state money, or barter with state money.

>Have you been to Marina?

Article 61:
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will continue directly with its limited responsibilities following this Announcement, until a time at which the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council assume their responsibilities and the president of the republic is elected and assumes his/her position.

>According to referendum, should’ve happened months ago.

Would’ve loved to have this post concern all articles, but y’know, there are levels to sadism. Going through these, alone, got me fueled up; there is pain behind the humour.

What Do You See?

I wanted to know them, I wanted to get inside their heads, understand why them. Why are they the people I spent years, without doubting happiness, with? I thought I knew them, but maybe the only reason I did was because every time I see them, they’d be accompanied with all the unforgettable memories. The only reason I was right beside them at that moment was because they linger in this unfinished portrait, some call life.
I couldn’t really understand the colours, or the contents of this masterpiece, and it wasn’t as big as I had imagined it to be. There were lots of people; some very clear with permanent outlines and others were sketches awaiting time to rub them off. I was fond of grey scribbles at some point in the portrait, elsewhere I would notice the bliss of rainbows splashed all over, and at distinct corners I would see nothing at all, just black empty areas. There were hazy, not so sharp drawings of things, people, and thoughts that weren’t left, right, nor even centered; they were lost in between all the other unanswered flow of paintbrushes.

Alexandria, Egypt

“What do you see?” I asked them.
“The sea!” they answered in utter surprise.
They stayed silent for a while and continued, “That wasn’t the answer you wanted.”
I rephrased, “Look beyond. What do you see now?”
They looked at each other, the devoid of cynicism and trivial was what they needed, but all they could see was plainly, only and nothing more than the sea.
I told them to forget realism for a minute, (regardless of how long a minute could be once reality is ignored) and to look again. It was my last try, and I wasn’t enjoying my failure of exploring their alone place.
I felt their discomfort; I sensed how they were irritated they couldn’t give me, let alone, themselves an answer to a very simple, yet unanswered question.

“I don’t know…… I’m blank.” One answered.
“The memories I had on the shore, the touch of the sea so tender yet cold.” Answers another one.
“A gorgeous mermaid at the end of this horizon.” Whispers the last one.
“I see a stagnated sea, a tranquil sea, a human being at times who is empty of inner voices, just a free soul. The sea reflects the sun as diamond crystals scattered on a glitter-blue bed, yet beneath the beauty of this bed lays a cushion of darkness, not soft but rough. Underneath the bed, hides the weakness of a person, the weakness of the sea’s underwater creatures. The sea awaits the simplest of winds to crash in anger, much like humans do. The crest of each wave is our dominance against the world, and the sea’s spindrift is each and every proof to how powerful we can become.” My portrait drew silently.

And as I took one last look at the unfinished portrait, I wasn’t sure it possessed a paintbrush for each and every answer. I understood it wasn’t the empty corners, or the frameless borders that was missing, but what truly was missing all along were the questions and their unanswered answers.

The Girl in Yellow

On the side she would stand
With her doll hand in hand;
Looking up to the clouds
Trying to ignore all the sounds,
But they’re often very loud.

She’s always wondering who they are,
They’re who taught her what is war.
“Inner peace!”, she would cry
“You already possess it”, they would lie.

The battles, the wars she has lost;
The disdain, the scorns they had cost.

“What do you want from me?!”
All they want is for her to be;
The girl in yellow with her doll.
But instead she sings her song;

The girl in black in her gown
Hopes high but head down.
Down with her thoughts all so heavy,
Vocals with the volume all so ready.
To shout out and scream:
“Leave me alone, just leave!”

But they stay and linger inside.
They get too many, she’ll lose her mind,
But there’s one, deep and refine
“You are strong, you will be fine”
She takes a deep breath, just about to sigh,
But it calms her with her smile.
“You are beautiful, you can shine”
To believe it, she has tried.

But she looks towards the sky
To a star up so high
To a world, she’d once known
And a story, she once told;
About a girl all so bright
Murdered by the voices inside.

With Every Footstep

Egypt, a cringe-worthy word, for everyone who chooses to view it through the secret-eye of its door. No longer has corruption chosen to hide, dismiss itself from public view for we have reached a point in which we have no idea what to believe anymore. -A butterfly may gracefully hover across your sun kissed face, yet only yesterday it was entrapped in its cocoon awaiting all the evil, cynicism of a caterpillar to wash away. Main stream Media have become hypnotizing rather than assuring; they have made you acknowledge what you have already acknowledged but with a different angle, a different perspective, emphasizing that they, and only they, are the Gods of the every-day-events. We stopped looking, stopped noticing the sparks of light in ever corner of this surprising country. We’d watch the sunset, or we wouldn’t. We’d be fully asleep, restless by sunrise ignoring the miracle of the next morning. We stopped looking at our every footstep.

Hence, I’ve chosen to speak differently today; I’ve chosen to speak about the optimism of this country. A word rather extinct, but not fully mortal. I chose to speak of our rises, rather than our falls; our unity, rather than our sects.

This is a short story; a story the world did not succeed to blind me from noticing:

Ahmed and Amina

When I was young, just before my long trip to the UK, my parents had someone who’d take care of me while they were away for work (You can call her a maid, a sitter, what ever you feel like calling her, but please don’t utter the word “Khaadama”). I loved her merely, and she was very kind to me as a child. But my parents didn’t like her much, they thought she’d ask for too much in return for her simple job. When I went to the UK, she went to work at my grandparents and when I came back she was still there, happy as ever.
I never really understood why she’d work all those hours of sweat-shed and bore when she was married to a porter, a working man, and they had a beautiful baby boy named Ahmed, who was loved by his mother dearly.
Later on, when I grew up, when I got used to Egypt after having to stay away from it in a very different culture, I understood everything. She never really loved her job, nor working, it was an obligation. Her husband was a man with no responsibility but changing the water of his “shisha” which he’d sit smoking day and night, with her money. He had no job, because he didn’t “feel” the need of working, his wife had sponsored where they lived, their meals and most importantly their children (they also got a 2nd child, but this time a girl called Amina).
Not far from today, she started to get tired very quickly, she seemed ill and sick. She visited many doctors and they told her she had problems in her liver, and it wasn’t a very friendly case. I’m not quite sure if she ignored the matter, or her husband forced her to ignore it for “she had a work to get back to”, to pay his rent and his food. Not so long after her constant visits to different doctors hoping one would tell her she won’t need an invasive operation just some medication, she passed away. A quiet death though; not a painful one.
I wasn’t really sure what would happen to their children, she was literally keeping them alive. I thought, would they run away from their brutal father? Would I meet them in a couple of years at a traffic stop begging for money? Will they indulge with street kids, run bare foot on wet soil, and sleep in sewers? Or would they be a forgotten case of child-abuse in a country where the simple rights of a human being does not exist?

The world, the media, life, friends, and family detached me from my constant questioning of these 2 poor children, and where on this globe they might be; whether dead or alive.
2 years passed and I never really got to see them, not even once. Frankly, I began to stop thinking about them and eventually they became a memory my brain didn’t fail to fully vaporize. But the little, hazy memories of those 2 children got me seeing them amid the groups of street kids all around the country. But when I’d call “Ahmed…. Amina!” no child would respond, or some who would look nothing like them would come running to me, hoping I’d give them any change I have left in my heartless, patched pockets.

Only 2 days ago I was rather mesmerized with the violet blossom tree on my campus -Finally spring. I was driving home after a long day at University; but this time my eyes would notice the sparkled, exquisite shore of Alexandria I used to ignore everyday, the play & joy of families crossing the road to reach the crystal clear Mediterranean sea. I opened up my eyes wide enough to start seeing and not just looking.
As I was passing by a public school, at around 11 am, I saw 2 beautiful children walking, hand in hand, to the school gates; a boy and a girl, Ahmed & Amina. (“It’s just another illusion!” that annoying thing in my head kept saying on and on) -But how could my eyes trick me, when they’re opened so wide? I didn’t want to start imagining stuff -I thought existed. If my brain was full of illusions, then I’m no different than a cancer patient with a very large, inseparable brain tumor.
The boy then hugged his sister goodbye, kissed her cheek and gave her a couple of pennies and a sandwich for her school day. He was very tender with her, he was her guardian and she felt protection in his eyes. She left his hand, with a smile on her face, feeling lucky she has such a knight-brother who was there for her no matter what. As I approached closer to the 2 children, I came to realize I was not imagining nor was it an illusion, those 2 inseparable children were Ahmed & Amina. Despite how big they’ve grown from last time I had seen them, their refined features remained unaltered.
I couldn’t call their names out, I was like a mute who had just lost his voice after witnessing something, literally, speechless. All I could do was smile, and watch their every footstep as joyful kids, in love with the life they’re spending together.

I didn’t question how they got to where they are right now, I didn’t question whether they still live with their father or someone might have fell in love with their juvenile laughs and adopted them and cared for their education, and well-being. I didn’t question anything; I only found peace for once in my life, I found peace in the hearts of Ahmed and Amina.