Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What's Happening?

I am once again in Cairo.

I was here January - May of this year during the Jan 25 Revolution. It's been twelve months and what has happened? I wonder if much has actually changed at all. I was with a friend today and the following conversation took place. Keep in mind that this friend is a well educated woman who has been born and bred in Egypt and is now a full time professional, is young, pro-revolution, quite liberal on the political spectrum, and also runs a household.

We had been discussing the productivity of certain countries in the world, and that conversation naturally led to the "state Egypt is in now", which led to a general venting about how all politicians on this planet are liars and full of shit and that each citizen's role was to wisely chose the one who will do the least amount of damage possible. And the interesting part was when she said:

We don't deserve a good government.
Because we are not good people. We are lazy, we don't want to work or do anything, but we want money and lots of it. All we do is sit at street cafes and talk talk talk, mostly about things we have no idea about, and then keep on mismanaging our own lives. Garbage mentalities can not be changed through a good government. The Egyptian people have been used to only following orders. We have had military men rule us for the last eight decades. The only thing we know how to do is to follow orders. Nothing will ever change until we start doing something about it and change ourselves first and go out and work and be productive people.

Interesting point of view, no? Ya I thought so too. There is definitely truth in there. However, my question is: what about the people given more opportunities than others? Where are those people and what are they doing to change themselves and to better the lives around them? Aren't they also a part of that culture that sits around Nawady (sporting clubs - the rich equivalent of street cafes) and talk talk talk, also about things they mostly don't know much about? Im not trying to point a blaming finger. All Im asking is, if youve pinpointed the solution, what are you personally doing about it?

Everyone, inside and outside Egypt, who cares anything for Egypt, justice, freedom, and peace, needs to do something. Anything. If this revolution is to change anything at all, it should change the way people view their roles in this world and define the extents to which they are willing to go to see the fruits of their actions.

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