Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Letters from Egypt: Novelty Wears Off


I'm going crazy...
When someone apologizes repeatedly for everything, it makes their apology less significant because how are you supposed to know when they mean it? If someone says “I love you” to everyone, how do you feel special? If Egyptians protests all the time, when do you know it’s really important?

Curfew was finally extended from midnight to 2 am, but it’s only a matter of time before curfew ends up being 8 pm with all the protests that continue to defy army orders. I went to Alexandria on Friday to go biking along the Mediterranean only to encounter protestors on the Corniche while reportedly 13 people were wounded on April 9 in Tahrir Square after ignoring the imposed curfew.

Some people are calling for the resignation of MohamadHussein Tantawi, apparently Egypt’s interim ruler. Whew, glad we finally figured out who exactly was in charge although it’s still up for debate. Tantawi is a Field Marshal and head of the ruling military council. He was Minister of Defense under Regime Mubarak and is said to have been a very close ally of the ousted ruler. So now Egyptians have put all of this together and want him to leave office as well so there are no remnants of Mubarak’s ruling elite. Bravo.

However, most of the people flooding Tahrir are the same as found camping out toward the end of the revolution: opportunists. My Facebook newsfeed has a great deal of ill-founded rhetoric flying about the revolution and the events thereafter. Sure I could use the “hide” feature, but sometimes I need the chuckle that some of these people provide. For instance, there is one person who continues to post various links, videos, articles and never forgets to tout his own opinion. This person does not have a job nor is he on the prowl to remotely find one. You may at first think he is a byproduct of the revolution, ie less job opportunities. No darlings, he wasn’t looking for a job prior to the revolution and had no real sense of what he wanted to do…ever.

He probably makes me chuckle the most. He currently studies at a university here where he is attempting to help fight an anti-corruption campaign (so to speak) over tuition fees at the school. Mind you, this all started post Jan. 25 – shocking. A few things: “Videos from last night’s protests” (April 9) commenting: “ARMY WAS SHOOTING BULLETS LAST NIGHT!!! WTF” Ummm, I’ll tell you WTF – THERE IS A FREAKING CURFEW IN EFFECT, GO THE EFF HOME OR WE’RE ALL GOING TO BE PLACED BACK UNDER HOUSE ARREST AT 8 PM EVERY NIGHT! Then he followed up with another message: “i disagree with violating the curfew BUT I WILL NEVER support any act against humanity and if the army did this, we will stand till we die defending our right of SAYING WHAT WE WANT !!!!!!!!!!!”

And I ask this: what is it exactly that you want? Crickets chirping I’m sure.

Then he says, “What’s happening now is like pre Jan 25 but instead of Mubarak it’s Tantawy but this time will be a lot harder and bloodier.” There’s insight for you (please note my during revolution blogs where I questioned military rule while this person in particular was partying like a rock star). I love the fact that he brings up what it was like before Jan. 25 seeing as how he never posted anything, acted as though he knew it was coming and I do recall that while some of us went down to Tahrir to see what was going on, he watched from a window in nearby Garden City (ah hem, meaning he didn’t take part). And I really can’t be bothered to continue stalking his page for the sake of this blog entry, but you get the gist I’m sure.

He is only one example of continuing all this banter, but having no clear direction as to what he wants, what should come next and how to personally help make Egypt a better place. Perhaps if he, like many of his other fellow Egyptians, knew their own history, they could have anticipated this coming. However, the main concern is that while everyone is protesting for this and for that, no one seems to notice that any of the presidential candidates that they think are viable options have yet to come forward with a plan of action for the next four years. Now THAT’S worrisome.

1 comment:

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