Is it my fault?

Is it my fault that the only reason I sit at ahwas downtown is because they’re readily accessible to me and my friends and not because of any cultural reason or excuse? Is it my fault that I don’t want to attend all these “really cool” foreign movies that are shown around different Cairene venues year-round because I honestly don’t believe I’m a cultured person?

Is my fault that I don’t like attending plays, ballets and/or symphonies or because I don’t enjoy them or (in the case of music) don’t see the reason why I have to listen to some orchestra playing when I can get an almost perfect copy of the aforementioned piece on my PC?

Is it my fault that I think art died with the turn of the 20th century and thus I would love nothing better than to visit Florence, Paris, London, Rome but not all these art galleries where people express themselves in ways I don’t even come close to understanding?

Is it my fault that I prefer movies with happy endings even though they may be the complete opposite of what real life is? Is it my fault that I prefer watching most movies at home rather than at a cinema?

Is it my fault that I’d rather write a small piece/article/whatever on the state of Egyptian or international politics than demonstrate? Is it my fault for saying that yes this government is f*cked up beyond all recognition and yet not forget that one has to give credit for things done correctly?

Is it my fault that I consider myself liberal yet wanting to shove some self-righteous morality, ethics and lessons of behavior down the throats of most Egyptians? Is it my fault that everytime I see a police officer, I cannot quell the feeling of rage that rises up inside me because of the way things are?

Is it my fault that there comes a point where one stops trying to come up with solutions and just gives up? Is it my fault that I’m laying the blame on everyone but myself? Is it my fault that my pure and utter disgust and shame have pushed me to levels of apathy I did not know I possessed?

I suppose there’s a yes there somewhere… so I suppose it is.

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Wednesday: Day of Reckoning

Another personal post, my second in a row in fact.

On Wednesday the project I work for officially closes down and on Thursday I am officially out of a job.

Maybe this will mean more time for blogging? At least until I get another job.

Tagged!

I’ve been tagged by N to list “five things you don’t know about me”. I will suppose the you here means my blog readers. Alrighty then. Here goes:

  1. Even though this is a pseudo-political blog, I would much rather discuss AD&D and Fantasy/Sci-Fi than politics.
  2. I am very easily deceived (Batbe3et keteer!).
  3. I always give people the benefit of the doubt the first time around.
  4. I dream, while asleep, of using magic and things of a similar nature almost every night.
  5. My friends have successfully convinced everyone that my taste in music and movies is appalling. Having said that, those that do “take my word for it” when I recommend a movie usually wish to speak to me afterwards with some sort of weapon.

Simple enough, I think.

Now for the TAGGING. I tag: El Sh2ee2a, Tarek, Amnesiac, Izzi and Tololy.

Enjoy!

Ahmed Sabry

A friend of mine, Yasmine Adel, wrote this and I thought it was definitely worth publishing:

My hand didn’t touch his as I handed him the money.

He thanked me and turned around.

He didn’t notice that I saw him do it.

Saw him kissing the money before putting it into the pocket of his waiter’s shirt

He thanked the Lord for 50 peanut pounds.

Those 50 pounds were worth two very long days of work.

He had to serve sandwiches and coffee twice, once at 11am and then at 1 pm.

He stood in that dull meeting room next to the coffee table from 9 am to 4 pm for two days waiting to be a waiter and serve tea to important men and women wearing suits and speaking in English. Some were blonde and looked funny. Still he felt proud that the UN always calls him for catering and serving.

Their faces seem so serious in meetings as they talk about money, global funds, and internal politics.

People who talk about millions of dollars given away from pamphlets to be translated to Arabic about poverty in the world.

Ahmed Sabry from the Marriott Bakery…you broke my heart today…and made me hate what I do even more. Your job is more noble than mine, simply because it doesn’t have the pretence of world salvation!

Yasmine Adel

My Favourite Things

I was tagged by Isabelle of istas to list my 15 favourite things, or so I understood. I don’t usually do tags… but what the hell.

And thus… here they are:

  1. Kissing.
  2. My girl-friend (She might be reading this!)
  3. A good Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel (AKA The Dune Series).
  4. History books… and books about the Military. (So that’s 2 in 1, er…)
  5. My mother’s chicken with white mushroom sauce.
  6. Playing real-time online MUDs.
  7. Playing multi-player Computer Games.
  8. Watching People (Yes. I’m freaky that way.)
  9. Taking Pictures (or capturing video – both work for me).
  10. Listening to music I like.
  11. Winning a bet/argument.
  12. Driving, in winter, in the afternoon.
  13. Engaging in discussion about different political & socio-economic ideologies.
  14. Air Conditioning
  15. Cool Mineral Water.

That’s about it then.

I discovered that Tarek over at Green Data actually responded to this earlier than I had and had also tagged me… so I can’t tag him back. Well then, er, I’ll “tag”  anyone that feels like, er, being tagged. By this tag thingy.

So feel free to start the Tag within your circle of friends/acquaintances. I imagine someone had to, at some point, start this one.

A Comment on my comments on Religion

I had hoped that all my previous posts were enough for those that do not know me to realize that I am quite secular in my social and political views. Having said that, let me make it clear that having a secular view point does not mean you don’t care about religion or, at least, theology and/or the idea of religion.

But, apparently, some people think that’s true. It is amazing how, in e-mail correspondance with someone I do not know personally, I was addressed in a radically different fashion when I pointed out that I consider myself an Agnostic.. and I do consider myself an Agnostic. It just pissed me off that were I not an Agnostic (as was thought by the other party) then whatever I say, as someone who is officially considered a Muslim, is just… useless nonsense.

The reason I write this post, though, is that I came across an interesting website. Now, again, I have nothing against anyone attempting to let their plight be known to the world through the internet. I do have problems with something that looks like mere propaganda and totally un-substantiated by fact. The sad thing would be if these claims were supported by facts. Why on earth do they not show them, in some form or another, these facts?! I’ve had Christian friends (and Muslim friends as well, but I suppose that they wouldn’t pass the Officially Reliable Source Inspection) that specifically say that most of these incidents are Christian girls who fall in love with Muslim men and run away.

They also say that sometimes the man doesn’t love them, or wants to steal their jewellery and sell the different rings/necklaces/bracelets for money or just wants to have sex with a good looking chick or whatever. But, that these men don’t force the girls to run away in any manner different from that which a lover (or someone who makes the other believe they love them) would use. Their (my friends’) point is, they don’t believe they’re really kidnappings.

Now, again, I’m not saying that no one gets kidnapped… not at all! I don’t know who or when or how many people get kidnapped. It just gets pathetic that even those times that girls say they weren’t kidnapped, I hear claims from Christian Blogs and websites that they were “drugged” or “not fully aware”. What? Were they drugged with super-coke? Did they remain in their drugged state forever? So let’s say they were drugged… why not interview them after the drug’s effects wear off. It’s just amazing how these girls that say they weren’t kidnapped ALWAYS manage to make it into the news whilst in a drugged state.

It’s also quite amusing to think that the kidnappers are adept at obtaining and using the type of drugs that put the girls in a delirious state for days.

Finally, I am not saying that there aren’t Muslims who attempt to convert Christians to Islam (and/or vice-versa) in Egypt. I just want substantiated stories. Not 3-4 vidoes which are apparently irrefutable proof that this is a phenomenon as opposed to isolated incidents. Damn! Most of the videos aren’t even videos of the girls. They’re either telling us that this happened or they interview Egyptian Christians who describe how the girl in question failed to show up somewhere after leaving or going somewhere. I suppose that if she runs away, she’ll come back home for her dinner and her bed then up and run-away in the morning again, won’t she? These videos say nothing concrete and can be interpreted in any way that anyone wishes. They sure aren’t concrete proof. Well, unless you’re the sort of person that just needs to hear someone to tell you that “something” occurred for you to believe it.

I’ve heard it being said that the only reason families believe their girls have been kidnapped is because they cannot conceive of the idea that their girl ran away with the male in question. Not only that… but because of Egyptian culture… it would be quite dis-honorable and shameful for the family. I’ve also heard that the families say their girl was forced to convert to give her a chance to use the same argument with the Church so that she could claim that being forced to convert (for probably a completely silly reason) means that she shouldn’t be excommunicated. Personally, I can imagine this happening in a variety of issues in Egypt that have nothing to do with Religion.

I have to say though that I don’t know how the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, and other Churches here, treat Christians who willingly convert to Islam and them want to return to christianity. Personally, I’d take him back; They were probably thinking about the whole thing.

Honestly though? People should take this religion thing with a grain of salt. If only they’d confine their feelings towards whatever supranatural entity they believe in to the private domain (and by this I mean anyone who follows any religion/way of life) we’d all be better off. You can leave”Missionary Notes” on bulletin boards and those interested can pick ’em up, read about your religion and then choose if they think it works for them or not.

Oh and one last thing, and this goes to both sides: If you’re going to quote scripture (Qur’an or Bible) then at least get your god-damned meanings right and stop this half-assed out-of-context bullshit that infuriates the hell out of anyone that understands the language and doesn’t even follow the faith!!!

Here’s hoping people grow up. Academically as well as psychologically/emotionally.

It must have been Yuri!

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction.

Depending on how busy my workday is, I always manage to spend a bit of time everyday readings news and opinion articles, checking out blogs, watching some of those YouTube videos, using Google Talk (strongly recommended by me!) etc. In short, well-developed and researched time-wasting schemes.

Moving from site to site and click after click on the ‘net, I generally manage to come across a number of articles and blog posts written by the group of people I like to call Neo-Cons; basically a large group of people that believe in George Bush. These NCs can get quite irritating. Not only because the always seem willing to discuss and comment on Martian International Relations, but also because they get quite upset when, Supranormal Being forbid!, regular humans wish to talk Earth Politics with them.

In fact, I’ve gotten quite used to their reactions that, over the preceding months, I used to indulge myself by inserting my various, and humble, Earth opinions and watch their blood bubble and boil (that must have been how all the water from Mars evaporated all those years ago). Finally, boredom overcame me and I promised myself never to discuss Martian Politics again.

A couple of weeks ago, an Earthman sent me links to a number of jokes, practical jokes and some sad attempts at humour. Turns out that these were, in fact, the latest headlines of some of the Martian Newspaper (Still not able to find their Earth distributor, but I hear that they’re opening up a Galaxy-wide outlet soon). Fancying myself a buff on Martian jokes, I ploughed straight in, only to discover that these were forgeries, and pathetic ones at that.

Alas, I later discovered that these were authentic pieces. Apparently, Martian News headlines no longer had gossip stories as features… they had moved on to pornography. I sighed. Nothing I could do about it. I had realized a long time ago that the Universe was not going to change because I wanted it to.

What always frustrated me is how other Earthmen tribes, as well as those Martians, just simply refused to listen to what I had to say. The Martians, and some of those tribes, continued to insult many of the other tribes as well as each other. Having left my first tribe, albeit without telling them, and camping on the plains, I thought I understood that most tribesmen were not bad people… but it seems that, as with all the different tribes through the ages, all you need to start a war is throw one stone.

I keep thinking of all the things I could do to end those wars… and then I realize that I’m frustrated by having to talk nice to all those different tribesmen. Some of the more naive, less intellectually-endowed of my former tribe call me a traitor to my tribe. Other tribesmen just won’t listen and like to make up scenarios of how my former tribe started it all.

The Martians seem to have up and decided that Earth should follow Martian rules and learn from the Martian past or they will declare themselves our legal guardians and tell us when to go out, go to sleep, watch television and even… give us our pocket money!

I still can’t talk mean to any of those people! At the back of my mind there’s this voice which keeps telling me: Be logical. Be Coherent. Don’t be mean or rude. They’ll listen to you if you talk slow enough. They’ll listen to you if they figure out you’re not trying to kill them.

I think the voice in my head is wrong.

I think that they need to think that I will hurt them for them to listen to me. I think I might want them to think that I will hurt them. I think I won’t be able to talk slowly. Or logically. Or Coherently.

I think I won’t care about the violence anymore.

Heh.

Maybe I’ll just start a big fire. BIG BIG FIRE! Maybe I’ll start dancing naked around the fire and kill anyone who comes near me.

Or maybe I’ll just hurt them.