I discovered yesterday that a co-worker, an Economics Teacher, is the Daughter in law of Ibrahim Nafae. This is significant because I had just published a post on my Blog, yesterday, discussing corruption and the fact that this teacher’s father-in-law was being investigated for suspicion of wide-scale corruption while heading Egypt, and the Arab World’s, most distributed Arabic Newspaper.
The situation becomes very strange when you are actually acquainted with someone whose family will be directly affected because of such an issue. It’s not that I feel any sympathy for Nafae (or, I should say, I will not feel any sympathy for him if he is found guilty and punished), it’s just somewhat awkward listening to her (she seemed to be taking it well – and this isn’t an air-headed or callous woman) discussing how she explained to her children (16 and 20) what the whole thing was about and that they should come to expect that their house might be searched and their things meticulously picked through by investigators.
My father, a media man himself, explained to me his own experiences with Nafae. Apparently, Nafae’s wife was a colleague of his way back when he worked with the Egyptian Radio and Television and they were not doing financially well. This was until Jihan El Sadat, Deceased President Sadat’s wife, chose him to be in charge of her monetary affairs. A front man, so to speak. My father tells me that when Nafae was chosen to be Editor-in-Chief, the media world was shocked that this man (apparently an insignificant at that point in time) was brought in to head Egypt’s most presitigious newspaper.
He then went on to tell me how people in Al Ahram Press, and in particular a friend of his who holds a managerial position there, informed him that Nafae and his sons (one of whom is married to my co-worker) went on to monopolize the newspaper’s source of paper, ink, glue, machine spare-parts and other matters. This is, of course, independant of their use of their connections to obtain large pieces of land at cheap prices and then selling them again at outrageous prices (but I won’t consider this as being of a corrupt nature since I do not have relevant Real Estate information about land prices etc).
The situation is strange because on one side, I like my co-worker. She’s an interesting, fun person. It’s easy to make conversation with me, and she understands what I’m talking about even though there is a large difference in age between us and she’s an economist (hehe). But, realizing that the money that her husband obtained, money that she herself used to buy her clothes, cars, travel etc was money obtained through stealing and corruption is not something that I can accept easily.
I will not judge her or sever any acquaintance-ship between us at this point in time (or, I should say, I will very much attempt not to do so). I’m just confused about how I should react.
And that’s the way I see it…