This may seem like a weird post as you, if you, read along so let me just warn you that all that follows is merely my twisted view of things I see.
Whilst I would have normally placed this post on my “Too-sensitive-for-everyone-to-read-blog-which-I-post-on-and-is-different-from-this-blog” I’ve decided I didn’t care enough if people get annoyed or pissed off and to just put it down here”. SO, here goes:
I’ve noticed recently that a couple of my university friends’ behavior is a bit… screwy. Why screwy? Well, mainly because they fashioned themselves as the anti-government types although their parents were strongly tied to the government (One had an ambassador for a father, the other’s father was an officer in the Egyptian Armed Forces).
Now, before you start pointing out the obvious flaw in that argument, please read on. I’m not saying that since your parent(s) are affiliated, in any way, to the government you will automatically be as well, not at all. It’s just more likely to occur that, well, you’re neutral or “understanding” of certain actions that the government (of Egypt) might take.
But, these friends of mine (I’m actually going to talk about two in particular) were not like that. As a matter of fact, I was genuinely surprised when I discovered their parent(s)’ sources of income. Come to think of it, I only found out about two years after I got to know each of them.
Both of my friends were contributors to the more political of publications on our university campus; namely MUN and MAL’s publications (Vanguard and Al-Waqe’). Both were, relatively, critical of the situation in the Middle East and wrote quite well-written articles about different topics. What struck me as weird a couple of days ago when, for some inexplicable reason, I started thinking of them (we have been out of frequent contact for sometime now – what with work and all) was the language and choice of arguments and even subjects they both discussed in their articles.
You see, when it was merely oral conversation or discussion, the two of them would be easily labelled as people who generally opposed government policy. Quite vehemently as a matter of fact. But, when it came to their articles, matters were different; they would call for free speech (mostly indirectly) but in such a manner as to make it seem like they are criticizing the government for its own good or so that it would carry out “reform measures”. Hmmm. That doesn’t sound so bad… well, they sounded like Rosa Al-Youssef and Al-Ahram editorials. Blinded as I was by the fact that they were my friends, I did not notice this at the time.
The reason I criticize this (and I feel I must explain) is that I do not believe this government, deserves to continue in any way or form… irregardless of whatever reform they might genuinely strive to achieve. (I’m not saying they’re striving to achieve anything. But, even if they wake up one day and just decided to become benevelont philanthropists, donating all the money they stole to the people and worked for nothing else but the people’s benefit, they have committed enough crimes – Every single member – that they should be given no quarter and offered no pardon for their crimes against the people of this country and the country itself. Bear in mind that I am not saying they should be killed.)
The three of us now hold jobs. I can’t delve into the nature of their jobs (can’t quite go that far in revealing who they are) but suffice to say that they are both aspirants to government or government-financed jobs. Basically, they actually want to work for the government and/or institutions that are known to either support the government or are of the “shut-up-and-make-as-if-we-haven’t-noticed-this-goverment-is-made-up-of-thieves” type.
They have both, in my opinion succeeded.
This state of affairs greatly upsets me. Both these University friends have illustrated, whilst we were all undergraduates, their capacity for ignoring or bending certain moral and ethical values in the drive for success at what they’re doing. I don’t mean to call them thieves, or liars, or cheats… far from it. What they have done is much more despicable to me, because it is not something which is clear and obvious such as theft or cheating. It goes much deeper. It involves pride, the definition of being a human being and… ultimately (to my thinking) the will to change the way things are by starting with yourself.
Basically, they are guilty of being cop-outs. People who don’t practice what they preach. People who, in recognition of the fact that bending your head in the classical arab visualization of subservience, will do almost (I say that because I don’t know how far they’d go – which isn’t good) anything to get what they want or where they want to get.
As I write this, powerful feelings well up inside me and make me (I’m not making this up) shiver; I would have never thought that two people that I would choose to be friends with would be that way. It’s different when you read about corruption and all that in the news… and when you experience it first-hand through a friend’s actions.
I guess I thought my friends would always be perfect… even if I wasn’t.
That’s about it.
P.S. A talkative person by nature who has a tendency to get carried away by the details, I apologize for the number of words it took me to actually start discussing the topic that this post was meant to discuss.