I know it doesn’t mean a thing, but it’s the only way by which my cat expresses its solidarity and support for my writings: by stepping on the key board, imitating my single digit picking, while I clean my eyeglasses before writing.. Usually I erase its input, yet today I decided not to.. Maybe it has something to do with the subject, I don’t know.. This cat has the natural gift of making me smile and sometimes laugh especially when I’m going through difficult times and tense moments.. Just like today.
I woke up this morning submerged deep an awkward state of mind very close to a bad mood, though I had a good night sleep.. After my usual light breakfast, consisted mainly by a couple of Kamut bread toasts to accompany a measure of Illy coffee brew dumped in a glass of warm Soya milk followed by a peach fruit; I was able to identify the reason of my gloomy start.. It is in somehow related to that rascal Bruno Vespa and his late night programme on the main Italian state TV channel RAI UNO.
As he is a confirmed devoted servile fan to Silvio Berlusconi, and in his desperate maneuver to set pressure on the Senate before the expected vote on Berlusconi’s decadence as a Senator, he used all what’s in his might to argue the Supreme Court’s final and irrevocable verdict sentencing Berlusconi to 7 years in prison and to ban him from any public office or function for 5 years following the confirmation of his guilt in Financial Fraud and Tax Evasion.
I spent some time after the programme discussing with my wife on how fragile the Italian Democratic System has become throughout the past 20 years, and relaying this fact to the rise of Berlusconi and the methods by which he stormed into Italy’s political arena since 1992, with the only objective to enhance his own interests and to protect himself and his financial empire and business web from the reach of the law; as he knew quit well that all his success, if we could name it as such, is founded upon an interminable chain of illegalities.
The last thought exchanged between both of us before going into sleep was that she felt as if that was her September 11th!
Probably I slept with that thought comfortably lying in my sub-conscience to slowly work its way to demolish my serenity and peace of mind by which I woke a bit grumpy..
It wasn’t before noon, when I was sipping my second cup of coffee, that I identified the true reason disturbing my mood.. I had several September 11.. Yes indeed.. Not just one but many 911s each of which one by one had their share in shaking my existence and marking my culture so deep as to shape my character into what it has become now..
July 23rd 1952: the Military Coup falsely acclaimed as the people’s revolution.. Because actions are measured not by their intentions but by their end results.. The military action announced its intention to overturn a ‘Corrupt’ multi parties political system and establish democracy and social justice; so
· it suspended a century long democratic experience since Nubar Pasha founded the first Egyptian Parliament; a parliament that passed laws ruling our daily lives till this very moment;
· it manipulated a solid Juridical and Legislative experience matured over more than twenty centuries by what became known as “The Massacre of the Jurisdiction”;
· it intimidated the intellectuals once by the accusations of Communism, once by that of Islamism, or just by being anti-revolutionaries; bringing thousands of teachers, professors, politicians, clergies, journalists, and artists under arrest without trials, all in the name of the “Collective Good”;
· it systematically destroyed thousands of years of agricultural experience through wrong and corrupt policies for irrigation and cultivation by the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides of doubtful origins without knowing their impact on the entire food chain and upon human health;
· it actually denied “Meritocracy” as a criterion to hold public functions favouring “Parentocracy” or “Trustocracy” (please forgive and allow me the terms); and that became in time the main qualifying edge for any job even for a street cleaner post.. Holding a recommendation became better and stronger than a PHD.. Isn’t that what the 1952 young Free Officers raised hell to obliterate as they have repeatedly educated us by shoving their famous “Six Objectives” down our throats?
· it ventured in foreign campaigns in support of African revolutions and Regional wars financing rebellions here and there to substitute the established colonial democracies by corruptible local dictatorships;
· it claimed that the ignorance, untrustworthy counseling and superficiality characterising the ruling of Khedives Tewfik and Said brought foreign debts and invited colonialism! Well after 60 years we still can’t free ourselves from the grasp of foreign debts and economic colonialism due the miscalculations and ignorance added to the corruption all of which have arrogantly mismanaged the country in a sequel episodes of blunt authoritarian rule.
The misdeeds list is long, but the end result after 59 years was a poorer population, a shrunken middle class, a Corrupt political system, an unbearable National Debt, a profound decay in the systems of education, health care, and social justice; along with an unprecedented absence of values.. No.. Not even that.. Because all through Egypt’s ancient and modern history, common sense and moral values have always prevailed.. Until that day in July back in 1952.
August 23rd 1965: the death of ELNAHAS Pasha (notorious statesman, Prime Minister, co-founder and later on absolute leader of Al Wafd Party from 1929 till 1952) after 11 years in house arrest, serving a life sentence issued by the special revolutionary court days after Nasser set aside Naguib and took over. Despite that his funeral was testified his overwhelming popularity as millions participated in thundering silence.
June the 5th 1967 : waking up from the deep coma inflicted in all of us by the systematic media bombardment of propaganda lies, that turned us into a multitude of hypnotised sheering fans, was the cultural shock quaking the roots of my social and political beliefs.. A shock that contained all the “Mourning Phases” in one: ANGER.
July 1968: The year that marked the birth of the Hippy movement in the United States protesting against the war in Vietnam; the protests in France, and soon after spreading all of Europe like a bush fire, against social injustice and claiming women rights; ours were the protests against the big lie, and like many of my peers, we protested in universities all over the country and in thousands we got arrested and deported for a few months to ‘unknown destinations’ to be subject to various psychological and physical torture techniques.. I believe that this part of my life marked the disbelief in our identity and the complete mistrust in the entire system.. So my silent rebellious acceptance adopted the worst form of indifference manifested, through various other mundane activities, by drinking, smoking, forming pop and jazz bands to entertain many other indifferent partners of the silent majority. It was a very bad and sad moment that made me question and revise all my priorities.. From that experience on I decided to regain my curiosity and my critical sense to know more and know better.
November 17th 1997: Or the day of the Luxor’s west bank massacre.. It was 8 o’clock in the morning, I have just finished my morning tour of the Hotel I managed then, and while reviewing in my office some figures and forecasts the news came.. Without a second thought I took the hotel bus and went to the west bank to get my hotel’s guests scattered there even before their agents do, and once got them all secured inside the Hotel and the head count turned alright, as well as that of our colleagues and collaborators; I started reflecting on the very meaning of what’s been just consumed.. A senseless cruel and savage criminal act of terrorism just took the lives of 80 innocent persons, identifying an enormous security breach to unveil the fragility and incompetence of our country’s several intelligence agencies and their poor security measures and techniques.
It was not only another blow to my beliefs in that corrupt system, concentrated only on ensuring the safe continuity of the Ruler not the safety and security of the Ruled; but as well it was another candle light glowing inside the tunnel to show me how short sighted the tourism policies were.. And still are by the way, but that can dealt with in another full chapter not only a paragraph in an article.
July 25th 2005: bombs in South Sinai (idem as the previous date).
January 25th 2011: the people’s spontaneous revolution methodically lost to the Muslim Brotherhood.. Ever since the 1968 ‘unrests’, social boiling never stopped to burst out its steam in many ways.. The last was this one.. As all the precedents. Also this one was brainless.. It just burst in the absence of the ‘poets’.. That’s why the Brotherhood took the bell and held the lead of the flock, and by the time the people realised the gravity of the damage inflicted and the dangers awaiting to overwhelm their lives, even then the intellectuals were absent and unprepared too.. They were busy debating a series of trivialities chained one after the other on purpose by those concerned with the ‘Throne’ and the ‘Safe’.
June 30th 2013: Only 23 days were left to commemorate the 61st year of the 1952 Coup, when another Military Coup, and because we don’t like to call things by their names, it was also falsely acclaimed and cheerfully applauded as the “Corrective Revolution”.. And it brought us back to square 1. Meaning that we may have lost sixty years of our lives in vain! Only we became poorer, more ignorant, unemployed, heavily indebted, and much undisciplined.
The only promising event was that of January 25th 2011 which could’ve produced a glimmer of hope.. A feeling that couldn’t last long and soon vanished.. That’s why I decided to consider all of these 911s as some “Dreams To Remember” every now and then so as never to forget, because I believe that all memories can bring a smile.. Bitter or sweet, a smile is a smile.. Better than a tear! No?
Pass On The Word.