Someone once said: “The most efficient way to make Nomads weaken and their culture extinct, is
containing them in a fixed and static space, as their social and economic survival depends on Dynamism
Honestly I don’t remember who said those words I read in a book long ago about fourty years ago, but
those words overran my thoughts the moment I read the news of last weeks’ Sinai Gas Pipeline explosion, which triggered in me what I wish to share with you throughout the coming lines.. So please spare me a few moments of your time and bear with me. Then, if you wish, Pass On The Word.
I – Us and THEM!
(With all the due respect to the Pink Floyd’s famous title).
As you may know, in Sinai there are seven major Bedouin tribes, more or less related in parenthood among each other, also in blood connections with other tribes in Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and beyond. They all share the same heritage of traditions and costumes deeply rooted in their culture throughout their multi millennium history.
Traditions and costumes based on rigid tribal rituals governing their collective behaviour which revolves around a highly refined Matriarchal Socio-Economic System, based on: obedience to the elder, respect and protect the women, active participation in the tribes decisions, and pride in working for the community, all of which are guided by a set of high values crowned by TRUTH, COURAGE and HONOUR. Just like all other nomad groups living on our planet ever since creation, from the cold lands of Mongolia, to the Arabian Peninsula, from the black African continents’ tribes, to the original Natives of the Americas. Simply because they were, are and will remain spiritually and organically connected to Nature.
A concept which authoritarian and colonial régimes over the centuries never understood, and if they did, never considered. The examples are blindingly clear.. See the parallels between the American colonies vs the Native Americans (falsely called red skins, Indians, savages…etc), the Israeli colonies (with governmental endorsement) vs the Arab Natives (falsely named terrorists), The Chinese régime vs the Mongolian tribes, the Turkish vs the Kurds, and so on.. All similar and, in our recent history, ironically in complete violation of the Human Rights Chart signed by them being members of the United Nations Organization.
Obviously, Egypt is no better.. Sinai tribes were always ignored by the rulers of Egypt since the Ancient Egyptian Empire times, but they were left in peace to their beliefs and traditions. No ruler ever tried to “MOLD” them into “HIS” concept of the “Civilized Citizens” format. Isn’t that what our today’s Régime doing? To contain them in static brick-built villages, with a mosque and a primary school to let their children acquire other habits and cancel their tribal heritage, treating them all worse than refugees in containment camps, while “reorganizing” (stealing) their lands and sell to adventurers and money launderers (Investors) in the scope of effectively establishing new realities on their land (brothels, gambling casinos, semi nude beaches, daily organized orgies named Disco parties run by Spanish prostitution agents through east European young ladies as entertainers, all in order to attract the petro-dollars from the Arabian gulf countries, to takeover the business from the dying Beirut, and keep up that new trend under the presumption of “creating jobs for our young and desperate Egyptians” .. Not the Bedouins!!!???!!!).
All that as to completely wipe out their “HOMES”, and finally transform them into poor, sick, and ignorant “REFUGEES” in their own land, dependant solely on the crumbs granted by the “RULER”. Isn’t that exactly what was done in the Americas, what’s going on in Palestine, and sadly ongoing in a screaming silence in Egypt’s Sinai????!!!!
Ever since the actual president held power (office) about thirty years ago, he handed over Sinai security to the Ministry of Interior, contrary to what was the right thing to do and that is to leave matters into the hands of the Military Intelligence who perfectly knew the tribes and their traditions, and knew exactly who planted drugs, who traded in arms and so forth, because they are the ones who received Sinai from the occupying forces after the so-called “peace accords”.
Consequently, the police forces, (trained only to certain type of skill: Terror and Oppression, a technique which may have brought RESULTS in the valley of the Nile from the sixties onward, but also ignited anger, hatred and mistrust) completely ignorant of the lands’ habitants and nature, continued the same practices among the Bedouin tribes. The result as we witness is devastating to all concerned, especially to the tribes whose long list of rights have been denied over the past decades.
The dangerous aspect of this consumed tragedy is our attitude.. We.. Egyptians..This has been going and is still happening while all of us are watching and silently accepting the continuous injustice practiced every day on those tribes families and properties. We already closed eyes, ears and mouths on the “NORTH COAST” ongoing rape, and I’m afraid we’re doing the very same for Sinai Bedouin Tribes..
As if they are not Egyptians like us.. As if they have not the same rights like us..
If ever we will have any right at all.. Except one.. To Remain SILENT!!!!????!!!!
Written By Ahmed EL NAHAS, Monday June 28th 2010.
II – “Practicing Active Opposition” .. A Gift or a Right?
I admired the respectable Mr. Ibrahim ISSA’s interview to H.E. Dr. EL Baradei, which brought me to write down the next few lines hoping to draw attention to a well known yet unobserved and totally neglected political concept.
Knowing that true democratic practices, while protected by constitutional mechanisms, are founded on
transparency, free information, obedient submission of “ALL” citizens to the law, and most of all are based on an irrevocable and confirmed set of rights and duties enabling the opposition to actively participate in the nation’s institutional functions, as a tool of the salutary regeneration of political class, and transitional rotation of ruling among different political and social currents, whose choice of “MEANS” may differ, but their strategic “AIMS” remain the same.
The caricaturist “free speech” granted by the Master of Lands to a tamed and enslaved opposition, is a joke that only HE is loudly laughing about, while the rest of us, all of us at all levels, are paying the consequences of such laughs..(hereditary rotation of power, rape of the constitution, install corruption as a system, weaken the economy through continuous and unjustified debts dictated by the IMF to break our bones and control our resources…etc..)!
History taught us that free opposition, being an undisputed constituent of pluralism in a democracy, is not a gift (carrot). It is a Right to be won by “any” necessary mean, and then safely treasured by “all” means.
In a country like ours, opposition would be valid and effective only when: “a person, or a group of persons, is/are charismatic, able and resilient enough to embrace together under the same banner all opposition fractions and currents (from the grass root and upwards), in a unique and united main stream, in total harmony and respect of each others thoughts, beliefs, and political orientations. Thus forming a single solid block to safely represent an alternative majority, strong enough to present a new agenda acceptable nationally and internationally”. (I’m not talking about political groups only, but also should include civilian movements, syndicates, unions, students, bloggers… and so on).
Only then the weigh of such opposition would gain a cutting edge to impose change through a
predetermined transitional period, which could and may be violent, but will lead to the supreme and
ultimate common goal: “a guaranteed lawful and dynamic practice of Democracy, in a free country where the law (constitution) is the one and only guarantor”.
Written By Ahmed EL NAHAS, Tuesday June 29th 2010.