الجمعة، 14 ديسمبر، 2007

قنديل أم هاشم والحالة الراهنة للشعب المصري

في رائعة يحي حقي "قنديل أم هاشم"، يعود الطبيب من بعثته لدراسة طب العيون في المانيا الي منطقته "السيدة زينب"، ويحاول تطبيق ما تعلمه من علم حديث لتطبيب مرضى المنطقة الذين يهرعون الي الدجل والخرافات متمثلاً في زيت قنديل مسجد السيدة زينب. يصاب الطبيب بالفشل في محاولة علاج فتاته من مرض بالعين، ويتلقفه مشعوذوا الحي بالتشفي وتأكيد دجلهم وخرافاتهم. في نهاية الرواية، يحاول الطبيب مرة ثانية وينجح هذه المرة في علاج الفتاة بأستخدام الطب الحديث بعد ايهام الأهل أولاً بانه سيستخدم زيت القنديل.

تمثل الرواية حالة الشعب المصري في الوقت الراهن، المفتون بزيت القنديل متمثلاً في الأخوان المسلمين والحلول المرتبطة بهم، -من التداوي ببول البعير، الي التبرك ببول الرسول والعديد من الأمثلة الشبيهة- برغم ان هؤلاء في معظمهم لايمتلكون اي معرفة أو اي مؤهلات لقيادة البلد ولكنهم يركبون على موجة الدين، وشعارات مبهمة من قبيل "الأسلام هو الحل" والمرة الوحيدة التي حاولوا فيها إصدار برنامج سياسي، اتى هذا البرنامج مليئاً بالثقوب، ولايصلح لقيادة عزبة في الصعيد وليس مصر.

التخلص من الحالة الحالية لن يكون الا بالرجوع الي الأخذ بالأساليب العلمية وأسباب التقدم وإعمال العقل. لايعقل ان ينجب شخصاً ما مثلاً ثلاثة أطفال وهو بالكاد يملك قوت يومه، ثم يلوم الحكومة على عدم قدرته على رعاية أطفاله!!! تطبيق الشريعة -وهو الغاية القصوى للأخوان المسلمين ومن على شاكلتهم- لن يحل مشكلات مصر الناتجة عن نقص الموارد لأن الموارد الطبيعية ثابتة ولايمكن تنميتها، كما ان الموارد المتاح تنميتها مثل السياحة وقناة السويس والتصدير محدودة لأسباب لايتسع المجال لذكرها هنا، بينما تنمية الموارد البشرية بحاجة الي أستثمارات مهولة تفوق قدرة الأقتصاد حالياً. الحل هو فقط في إعمال العقل والأخذ بأسباب التنمية وليس الغيبيات.
للخروج من النفق المظلم المتمثل في نقص الدخل والموارد، وعدم قدرة الدولة على تنمية الموارد البشرية الا بصورة محدودة كما هو الحال مع برامج إعادة التأهيل التي يعلن عنها التلفزيون من ان لأخر، ينبغي على الناس تبني سياسة كفاح لتنمية قدراتهم الذاتية دون كلل. خريج دبلوم التجارة او كلية التجارة -وهم كثر- ينبغي ان يتقن حرفة او صنعة إضافة الي معرفته الأكاديمية. تعلم كورسات من قبيل صيانة الحاسب والمحمول، او إدارة قواعد البيانات المؤسسية، او ماشابهها من دورات تعليمية، قد تكون المفتاح لتطوير حياة شخص ما او منحه فرصة للأنتقال الي الخارج وإضافة دخل لتنمية مستوى معيشته. الأصرار على تبنى سياسة عقلانية في أختيار حجم الأسرة تتناسب مع مستوى دخل الأسرة هو أسلوب أخر من اعمال العقل الذي امرنا به الله، والحكومة تدعم وسائل تنظيم الأسرة لهذه الغاية، حتى لاتصبح إعالة الأسرة هم يكدر بدلاً من ان تكون الأسرة ملاذاً وسكناً.

الثلاثاء، 4 ديسمبر، 2007

Is Democracy not suitable for us?




I have always been convinced that democracy should be the way to go for Egypt and any other country for that matter. However, recent events have led me to believe that that might not be the best system for us at the this moment!

Surprised? Read on...

Look at the photo above taken for the thousands of demonstrators in Sudan asking for punishment, even death, for a 54 years old British teacher for just naming a teddy bear the name of one of the students; she obviously never meant any harm or mockery, and certainly didn't have the name of the prophet in mind!

In a true democracy, these are the people who would determine our way of life! They are the ignorant/brain washed majority.

We do have laws that prevent anyone from getting a driver's license if he doesn't know how to read and write, can't we at least have similar laws concerning the voter registration cards?

If that's not the case, then I would probably change my mind about the idea of democracy in our countries, because, you see, I don't want the likes of the people in the photo driving my country to the abyss.

الخميس، 29 نوفمبر، 2007

Coining a new term: Izlamists

It's not a typo; the new term is the best description of people who are trying to impose their religious point of view, jump to power, and impose their strict interpretations and Shariy'a law on the rest of us who don't subscribe to the same ideas or even don't belong to the same religion.

The new term comes from Izlam إظلام which means loosely imposing darkness, which is what I think these people are trying to do to Egypt. Major Izlamists include Nabieh El-Wahsh, Yousef El-Badry, Issam El-Erian, Abdel-Sabour Shaheen, Mohamed Habib, and their likes. I would also add the editor of the El-Esboua newspaper Mostafa Bakry although he moved from being ultra-leftist, and extremist pan Arabism activist, to slowly becoming an Izlamist.

These people share too many things in common; they are against personal freedoms, equal rights for all religions in Egypt, they would call others infidels based on a variety of criteria, they would try to divorce people, etc...

My next post will have the details of these people. I will start what I would call the Hall of Shame for Egypt, and maybe enlarge it to include members from the Arab world such as Rashid Al-Ghanoushy from Tunisia.

I would also start a Hall of Fame that includes leading secularists such as Saad el-din Ibrahim, Taha Hussein, Nawal Sa'adawy, Ahmed Zowel, Farouk Hosni, etc...

Stay tuned!

السبت، 10 نوفمبر، 2007

HAVE WE LOST THE BATTLE FOR EGYPT?

The reason I'm not posting at the same frequency as I used to initially, is that I have become upset, and hopeless about the future of Egypt! I surf the net, and find sickening comments all over the net by Egyptian/Arab commentators. I think the battle for a secular, liberal, and enlightened Egypt has already been lost for the foreseeable future.

An example can be found here . This is a site I ran into accidentally about the actress-turned-veiled-religious-woman (see photo), where she defends putting on the veil and so on. You would expect the comments to be welcoming by the islamists; but that's not the case!! Commentators are bashing her about the scarf she has on, and mocking it as not being a real veil. I am sure what these commentators have in mind is a Taliban-style, cover-all, veil.

whoever reads this post might comment that it is a trivial matter, and that they are entitled to their opinions and way of life. That's partly true, however, when someone like Sawiras voiced his views on the same subject, he got very dirty comments even to the extent that some of these commentators called on readers to boycott his companies, at the same time, a mentally deranged lawyer has sued another actress for taking her veil off, and asked for her to have the "Islamic" punishment of cutting her legs and arms for "spreading evil in earth".

My wife tells me how difficult it is for a non-veiled woman to deal with the "veiled" society nowadays. I don't what the future holds for Egypt!

الخميس، 1 نوفمبر، 2007

Egypt: the Aftermath of a Demographic Explosion -Repost

I watched the TV talk show "Halet Hiwar" last night, and saw that the discussion was very much in line with my previous post below, so I thought it might be beneficial to repost it now.



Demographic explosions differ from bomb explosions in two ways; first, their shrapnels' are in the form of millions of human beings walking "flying" around, and second, they don't happen in an instant, but rather over an extended period of time! However, they are in no way less lethal, in fact, they are much more lethal than bomb explosions, and we are living one of them in Egypt nowadays…The signs of this explosion are everywhere (see photo above taken from Yacoubian Building movie); drive in Cairo streets and you will notice it, go to the crowded public schools (100pupil/class in some cases), ride the crowded public buses, take a turn in a public hospital, the list can go on and on…In 1952, Egypt's population was about 20 million. The amount of water flowing into the Nile –which is about the only irrigation source we have, was about 56 Billion m3 on average (it wasn't constant because there was no dam). Today, in 2007, Egypt's population has crossed the 77 million mark and the amount of water flowing into the Nile is still 55 m3. Why isn't there famine? Escapes me..!

For too long, Egypt's population has been living on subsidies! Food, and Fuel are heavily subsidized (FY 2007, bread LE 14 bn, fuel LE 43 bn). Instead of spending money on research and universities (FY 2007 Education budget LE 28 bn), the government is forced to direct most of its revenues to make food affordable to the 1.8 million new babies every year. The bottle of formula milk is being sold at about US$ 0.7 while the actual price is about US$ 4.0. The price of fuel at the gas station is one of the cheapest in the world! It ranges from US$ 0.14 – 0.25/liter depending on the level of octane. I can go on, and on citing examples of heavily subsidized economy. When the government tried to lift subsidies in 1977, there was a general uprising that was soon taken over by looters and thugs who burnt buses and shops across Egypt.Of course, as time passes by, the level and quality of all these subsidized items is reaching new low every year. The total collapse of public health and education systems under the heavy weight of the population is a matter of time!

The government has tried for so long to convince people of the necessity of family planning. Large portions of the Egyptian populace rejected the idea on religious basis; Egyptian people are very religious, so the Moslems hung on to the Hadeeth (Prophit's Narrative) "Reproduce, I will be proud of you on the day of judgment" while Christians hung on to "Be fruitful and multiply". Some even think it’s a plot against Islam to ask people to plan families; however, these are the same who later complain that they don't have enough money to feed their 4 or 6 Children.The recently publicized phenomenon of Street Children –estimated by some at 2 millions in Egypt, didn’t happen in one day; it took decades for the system to overflow. These children were brought to this life with the parents thinking that God will look after them; they will have their own Rizq (Bestowed from God)!Some people are arguing day and night that the problem is mismanagement, and comparing Egypt to Japan, saying that Japan doesn't have any natural resources! That's a big misinformation!

Japan has about 4000 m3 of water per capita (all flowing inside the country) compared to. 890 m3 in Egypt (99% flowing from outside the country). 29% of it's surface is agriculture (some of the most fertile lands the world), compared to less than 4% in Egypt, Japan has 65% of the country covered with forests (these are natural resources treasures), Egypt has 0% forests, Japan has 15% of the world fish production, I don't know the comparable figure for Egypt but I'm sure its insignificant.

In addition, one of the most important motives for perfection and production in Japan is the culture, they have a culture that glorifies work and invention as opposed to our culture that glorifies worship in a way that makes people leave their work and pray en masse during working hours in a national bank leaving frustrated customers waiting for half an hour as shown below, and discussed on another post in this blog!


If you compare Egypt to any African country, you will find that Egypt is much poorer in natural resources than most of these countries. Try DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Central Africa, etc…Another myth that is often mentioned as a reason for Egypt's underdevelopment is theft and corruption. While Egypt does have corruption, it is by no means among the highest in the world (look at oil rich Nigeria), in addition, we have an excellent system of audit that captures significant corruption cases (General Organization for Auditing/Accounting), and insignificant corruption such as passing cigarettes or LE10 to a public clerk to finish a transaction is definitely not the most significant impediment to development.

The other funny thing is that large sections of the population believe that Mubarak and his family are diverting billions of public money to Swiss banks in their names, and that’s why Egypt is not doing well! These are just unfounded rumors that were never substantiated. I haven't seen Mubarak or his sons on the cover of Forbes Magazine! Our major impediment to progress is the expanding population.

Having more than two kids per family is a crime against the country because that family will ask the rest of us to pay for the subsidies of their food, education, energy, health, etc…Egypt cannot sustain 1.8 million new souls every year, it is going to collapse, that means the current per capita income of US$ 1440 will start regressing, the debt will start rising again, the percentage of imported food will increase again, Tourism and Suez Canal revenues will not suffice to fill the gap in the balance of trade.

People of Egypt, my fellow citizens, you have been forewarned!

الجمعة، 28 سبتمبر، 2007

WB: Egypt Tops Worldwide Business Reformers

Some good news for a change!

According to the World Bank, Egypt came first in implementing reforms that would ease doing business in their markets. Here is the summary from Doingbusiness.org.



"..Egypt, the top reformer in the region and worldwide, greatly improved its position in the global rankings on the ease of doing business. Its reforms went deep. Egypt cut the minimum capital required to start a business, from 50,000 Egyptian pounds to just 1,000 and halved the time and cost of start-up. It reduced fees for registering property from 3 percent of the property value to a low, fixed amount. It eased the bureaucracy that builders face in getting construction permits. It launched new one-stop shops for traders at Egyptian ports, cutting the time to import by seven days and the time to export by five. And it established a new private credit bureau that will soon be making it easier for borrowers to get credit."

This confirms what I believed in all along, that Egypt has the most competent governement it had for the last 60 years or so. All the macro economic indicators are significantly positive, however, population growth, and external factors (wheat prices for example) are preventing the majority of the population from feeling the effects of this super performance.

الأربعاء، 26 سبتمبر، 2007

Coming Soon: The Ayatollahs (Sheikhs) Ruling Egypt!

Just had a look at the sneaked version of the Moslem Brotherhood's political program!!

MB realized that their policy of brandishing the banner of "Islam is the solution" would not do the trick anymore after the new constitutional amendments banning the use of religious slogans in politics, so they had to come up with some sort of a political program, and they did!!

The program is as poor as it gets when it comes to political programs, however the interesting portions of it come from the fact that if these thugs jump into power -God forbid- they will turn Egypt into another Iran or even Talibanistan in that it will be ruled by clergymen!

Al-Hayat newspaper reviewed it here , while Dr. Abdel-Monem Al-Saeed reviewed it at Al-Sharq Al-Awsat here .

According to the program, the country should be ruled by Shariy'ah laws that should be determined by a council of clergymen to be elected (ringing any bells!), all important posts in the state should be ran by people who should not only be Moslems, but also have to be well versed in theology!!! That's not only an outright call for discrimination based on religious beliefs, but also a stupid thing to do! Imagine the minister of health who should the Sheikh Doctor Minister of health, and who would probably believe that certain urine could heal sick people!!!


Needless to say that the program calls for banning presidency and premiership to non-Moslems, and hints at preventing non-Moslems from joining the army and security!! it only stops short of calling for Jiziah (tax for non-Moslems).

250 years ago when they wanted to plan the Al-Azhar street, they asked the grand sheikh of Azhar about the planning of that street, so he issued an edict that the width should be that of two camels. I think that we are heading this direction again.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a disaster waiting to happen, hope there are enough sober people in this country to prevent it.

الاثنين، 24 سبتمبر، 2007

Our real enemy!


Take a deep breath and look at the map above and this table:

We have always been bragging about how we are the cradle of civilization, and all the rest of that stuff, however, when you look at the map and the table, you find that Egypt is ranked 152nd in literacy percentage after Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Eritrea and Comoros!!


In the Arab countries, we are only ahead of Yemen, and Iraq (I guess the later has some incorrect statistics because of the current circumstances).


It's about time to wake up and smell the coffee! We are having a large population increase, hundreds of thousands are entering the employment market every year, but large percentage of them is illiterate!!!


We should concentrate our forces into fighting this terrible fact; illiteracy should be reduced to less than 10% in the next 10 years from the current 44%. To do this, the government has to make it a requirement for the most basic services for people to be literate just like what it does with driver's license. Voting registration cards shouldn't be given to illiterates, prisoners should get reduced sentences if they learn how to read and write, or if they teach an illiterate how to read and write, etc...
New and innovative methods should be followed; graduation projects for university students should include such effort, military service could be substituted with this effort as well, the nonesense of military training during summer for university students should also be substituted by this effort.
This is a corner stone for Egypt's development. Without improving on it, I say it again, there is no future for Egypt.

الأربعاء، 5 سبتمبر، 2007

Today, I'm ashamed to be Moslem!

What is happening in this world? My co-religionists are blowing up (or plotting to blow up) innocent people everywhere!!

In one week alone, arrests for Moslems on terror charges were made in Germany, Denmark, and USA…

Today, it was announced that German authorities prevented a massive terror attack and arrested three Moslems stocking on chemical materials with an equivalent effect of 500 kgs of TNT!!!


Yesterday, Eight Moslem suspects including six Danes were arrested in Danmark on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks in Denmark!!!
Earlier this week, two Moslem Egyptian engineering students were captured in Florida for transporting explosives across states lines!


It was only several weeks ago that Moslem doctors -who are supposed to save lives- in Glasgow attempted to blow up one of its terminal, although luckily the only one who died was one of the perpetrators!



It's not enough anymore to say that these thugs don't represent us or the great values of Islam! for one thing, our voices in condemning these heinous acts are very low, and for another thing, our hate spreading Imams are still spreading their venom in many corners or the Moslem world and beyond.


By writing this post, I hope I'm absolving myself from all this and I hope my fellow Moslems wake up and see what's happening around them! The other day, I heard some Western colleagues from a certain European country say that Hitler choose the wrong people!!

I wouldn't blame any westerner who becomes prejudiced against us Moslems. We were complaining about the Popes speech which mentioned how violent Islam teachings were, yet, we don't let time pass without reminding the whole world that we are the most violent bunch!


I hope Moslem countries introduce laws to inflict severe punishment on their citizens who plot terror attacks, or preach hatred, even if these attacks were against other countries.


The two Egyptian engineering students should be made an example by Egyptian authorities -if they were proven guilty- upon their arrival. The damage their acts have inflicted on other law abiding Egyptians in the US and elsewhere is immeasurable! Being looked at as a suspect everywhere because you belong to the same group is a humiliating position that governments should protect their citizen from by taking such measures as to impose severe measures on the perpetrators.


I hope the day were Islam is banned from civilized countries doesn't come, but with the rate of events happening around the world, this day is not far away!

الأحد، 6 مايو، 2007

Congratulations Jimmy & Dijja!


I never knew Jimmy personally! His fund created the Future Housing Project, which offered very cheap housing to low income people based on criteria and drawing, however, these housing projects didn't lack architectural taste!
I have always heard the rumors about him, I never believed them, my gut feeling is that he is clean. In listening to his speeches and interviews you find that he is well educated, well versed in many subjects, and objective person. He doesn't go down to the level of those who spread rumors about mythical, untold sums of money he made due to his father's influence.
I still however, reject the idea of him inheriting power from his father, and I do believe him when he says that he isn't interested. I hope time will prove me right.
I respect him and whish him and his bride Dijja all the best in their new life!
Happy Wedding ya arees we ya aroussa lolololeee...

الأحد، 29 أبريل، 2007

I wish we had an Egyptian Ataturk!

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the founder of what is now the great nation of Turkey!

The guy was a patriotic officer and a legend who turned the fortunes of Turkey! he modernized the country and laid down the roots of a secular state that is now a productive nation that has a GDP per capita (US$ 4,500) that is more than 3 times the Egyptian GDP per capita (US$ 1,400), although they don't have Oil, Gas, or the Suez Canal!

Watching the news showing hundreds of thousands of Turks demonstrating against backwardedness and theocracy, I envied them! how didn't we get someone like Ataturk in Egypt!

السبت، 28 أبريل، 2007

Islamic terrorists wreck havoc in Iraq and Pakistan

I am sorry to use the term Islamic Terrorists , but they really deserved it! I am a Moslem myself, but I can't but name things with their real names.

I felt sick watching the news tonight! All first three items on CNN and Al-Arabiya news channels were about how these sub-creatures are wrecking havoc on the rest of humanity!

There was first this bombing at Karbala! this was an outright massacre!! They showed a graphic scene in which a person was running, holding up the burned body of little child! It was sickening... I don't know what these freaks want?? Kill the Shiy'a? Why? What rationalization they have?

The second atrocity was conducted in Pakistan! a suicide "martyr" blew himself up in the middle of prayer-goers!! I can't begin to fathom how he justified that one! He was probably aiming to kill the ministry of interior, but he ended up killing the faithful who went to pray..

The light at the end of the tunnel shined from Saudi Arabia in the third news item! the security forces at the this country have become really alert and extremely effective! According to Al-Arabiya TV guest, they prevented 160 attacks during the last four years! They were able through a long term operation to capture 172 of these freaks who were stacking huge amounts of weapons and explosives. They were planning to attack petroleum and other targets using heavy weapons and flying planes into targets!!! Only God knows what kind of mayhem they would have brought on Saudi and other countries.

The war on terrorism is really the war were I agree with president Bush on in what he says that there are no middle grounds, you are either with or against! no one can be neutral!

الثلاثاء، 17 أبريل، 2007

First Egyptian EO Satellite Launched Successfully

Egyptian TV announced that Egypt successfully launched its first Earth Observation (EO) Satellite for Remote Sensing of the environment from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This satellite is the first in a series of research satellites that Egypt intends to launch in the coming years including one that is locally manufactured.

Information about this satellite is scarce, but here is what I know; It is built in Ukraine with some Egyptian involvement, and it is a Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellite with medium payload (100 - 150 Kg). The sensors on board have multispectral (Visible & Infrared) and panchromatic modes, and a maximum Ground Sample Resolution of 4 meters. I am not sure about the life span but I think it will not exceed 6 years.

The importance of the launch is significant especially in monitoring Agriculture land cover, and urban growth, but most of all in building local expertise in all aspects of satellite management especially since there is a next one that will be built, and managed locally.

Egypt has already two high orbit communication satellites for TV program broadcasting; Nilesat 101, and Nilesat 102.

Congratulations!

الأربعاء، 11 أبريل، 2007

Algeria & Morocco: What the Constitutional Amendments are Trying to Prevent

The forces of evil have struck again in Maghreb (both Algeria & Morocco)!

I think that it is much better to sacrifice some of our constitutional rights, than to sacrifice our lives and the country's stability.

While watching the news tonight with sadness, I find myself looking differently -positively, to the latest constitutional amendments that broadens the jurisdictions of security organizations in Egypt.

I now fully support these amendments, and even that article about the judges; I never felt sorry about it for many reasons that I will mention if someone asks.

الأحد، 8 أبريل، 2007

Iraq: Was it Really Worth it?

4 years have passed since that day in April when that great Arab capital fell to the American occupation.

With weak intelligence, W insisted on wrecking havoc in Iraq. He even borrowed the bogus story about the Yellow Cake purchase request by Iraq from Niger to justify the invasion, eventhough the story has been discredited by CIA sources...

After being proven wrong on the WMD cause for the war, he switched his tone to try to convince us that he is after "Democratization" of the middle East...

Instead, he single handedly managed to destroy a country that managed to survive 10 years of unjust sanctions, turned large portions of the population into refugees, a minimum of 60,000 deaths, turned the country into a terrorists magnet, directed the best recruitement propaganda for "Al-Qaeda", which thanks to their training in Iraq will now become much more lethal, and on top of that revived 1300 years old sectarian hatred...

I hate Saddam Hussein, but W did much more damage than good...

The 10s or 100s of thousands of orphans would have been better off without this war...

The unity of the Iraqi people would have done without W's invasion...

The 3000+ American and other coalition forces' families that lost their loved ones would have been much better off without W's services...

On top of that, the world is extremely more dangerous since, just remember Madrid, London, Casablanca, Khobar, Bali, Sharm El Sheikh...

It definitely wasn't worth it!!!

الاثنين، 2 أبريل، 2007

البقال "السني"

طبعاً انا عارف للوهلة الأولى الناس هتفتكر ان البوست ده عن العراق بما انه فيه كلمة "سني"! ده مش صحيح، البوست ده عن موقف حصلي وانا صغير!

الموقف ده محفور في ذاكرتي وبالذات دلوقتي بأفتكره كل ما أشوف أخلاقيات الناس الي حواليا.

في سنة 1974 رحت مع والدي علشان نجيب التموين، ايامها، كان كل شيء يشترى ببطاقة التموين! مكانش ممكن تجيب سكر او زيت من غير بطاقة، ومكانش ممكن تشتري الحاجات دي من البقال الا تهريب وبأسعار مضاعفة. ده يبين قد ايه احنا اتقدمنا في الكام سنة اللي فاتوا. حتى الفراخ واللحمة كان الناس بتجيبهم من الجمعية ببطاقة التموين لأن أسعار السوق كانت مستحيلة على معظم الناس.

كان عندي 9 سنين ساعتها، رغم انه الموضوع دلوقتي بأحس كأن بقاله قرون طويلة لأن البلد أتغيرت بشكل جذري...

البقال اللي أحنا كنا متسجلين عنده هو بقالة الأخوان الثلاثة في أول منيل الروضة –منزل كوبري عباس لو انتا جاي من الجيزة ورايح صلاح سالم على ايدك اليمين. كان لازم كل بطاقة تموين تكون مسجلة عند بقال معين. المهم وصلنا عند البقال، والدي دفع وقاللي أروح أستلم التموين من عند "السني" طبعاً ساعتها معرفتش مين هو السني، بس لقيت الناس كلها بتنادي بالأسم ده لشخص في الأربعينات، أسمر البشرة، ممتلىء، مبتسم، ذو لحية مهذبة ووجه بشوش فوقفت في الطابور، ولما وصلت، كان بيهزر معايا وخلص المشتريات بتاعتي بسرعة. وقفت أنتظر والدي وأتابع الراجل وهو مبتسم وبشوش مع كل الناس برغم العدد الكبير اللي واقف في الطابور. سألت والدي هما ليه بينادولوا يا عم السني؟ قاللي علشان هو مربي دقنه! طبعاً ايامها مكانش حد بيربي دقنه الا نادراً. .

افتكرت الراجل ده لما كنت بأكتب كتابي، وكان الشيخ متولي الشعراوي حاضر، كان عكس الراجل السني، كان مكشر على طول، وشخط فيا جامد علشان كنت ماسك أيد عروستي!!!

الأيام دي البلد مليانا سنيين ولكن معظمهم فالصو، مكشرين، ومنفرين يكلموك عن الثعبان الأقرع والنار اللي هتتشوي فيها..

المصيبة انهم نسبة كبيرة...
أيام سودا...

The "Sunni" Grocer

I know the first thing you'll think about when reading the title of my post is Iraq, and the Sunni-Shiy'a divide! Well, you guessed wrong…

This is about a story that happened to me when I was young, and I recalled it recently while being in contact with this new society I feel stranger to.

In the winter of 1974, I went with my father to get the food rations "Tamween". For those of you who don't know or are too young to know, most basic groceries had to be purchased using ration cards "Betaqa-Tamween", you couldn't buy sugar from the regular grocer as you would now. This is probably how far we progressed in Egypt, even meat, and chicken were offered using food rationing cards from government owned consumer co-ops "Gamiy'a".

Anyway, I was about 9 years old, although it seems now like centuries ago…

Our designated grocer –you had to have a designated grocer- was at Manial area, it was called "the three brothers' for those of you who know Manial, that's to the right after bridge coming from Giza on your way to Salah Salem road, opposite Pizza Hut restaurant.

Anyway, I remember my dad telling me to go to the "Sunni" grocer! I didn't know who he was?! I soon found out because everybody was calling him "Sunni". I still remember him vividly; he was a 40 something, dark complexion, short, bearded man–that's why they called him "Sunni", at that time, it was very rare to find someone wearing a beard, unlike these days,

The guy was always smiling, and his face was full of tolerance "Bashoush", he was joking with me, and gave me the rations in very little time. I watched the guy and saw that despite the nerve-racking crowd waiting to be served, he never lost his smile! I asked dad why do people call him "the Sunni", and he told me that they do that because of his beard. I remembered that when I met the famous Sheikh Metwali El Sha'arawi during my marriage ceremony; he was the exact opposite!!! He never smiled, and actually shouted at me because I was holding the hand of my soon-to-be wife…

These days, you see a lot of Sunnis, you don't see them smiling, actually, and they are most of the time tough and unpleasant to deal with. What a change…

السبت، 31 مارس، 2007

Seeking New, Enlightened Pan-Arabism

I am for Pan-Arabism, I have always been, I believe that we have a great potential as a common block than we do as single countries.

The Pan-Arabism that I seek is an enlightened one; it is based on mutual goals of prosperity and economic development,

It is based on sharing a new value set that promotes diversity and doesn't exclude the "other",

Pan-Arabism is not a race-based movement; We should seek and embrace groups who do not feel they belong to it such as Berbers in North Africa, the Kurds, Turkmen, in Syria and Iraq, Africans in Sudan, basically, anyone who doesn't consider himself Arab ethically (if there were ever such a thing), or otherwise! Their culture and customs should be preserved since their diversity will enrich the total

Its prime engine is the economy, and it promotes the optimization of natural and other resources to maximize the use of individual and collective comparative advantages,


We need to unify standards, we need a more proactive economic commission at the Arab League with greater authorities to promote the idea that Arab Economic Unit (and maybe political later on) has something for everyone.

I wrote an article 4 years ago that was never published; it was describing an idea on how each country in the Arab bloc should lead in one or more economic sectors, and own that sector in the region.

The idea is simple; a country such as Egypt shouldn't be building factories in domains that it doesn't have economic advantage in, on the other hand, investment and manpower working in all 22 countries, should have open market in the country that "manages" this sector!

More detailed example:
If Saudi Arabia has an advantage, and hence "manages" petrochemical industries sector, then, it should manage all petrochemical industries in all 22 Arab countries, and, it should open its market to investments and workforce specialized in this sector from all 22 countries. No other country should compete with the country that manages certain sector in that economic sector, so all countries will complement rather than compete with each other.

In this model, each country will focus on sectors where it excels, leading to economies of scale, and more competetivenss worldwide.

I don't know how far we are from that goal; with European Union at 50, I think we should start taking notes, and draft our similar plans.

الخميس، 29 مارس، 2007

Egypt: Extreme Luxury..!

I couldn't believe my eyes while watching this movie!

The project is really ambitious, the design is futuristic, and I hope it materializes.

One last thing is that the first phase is already sold out!!

We need more of this stuff in Egypt…

الأربعاء، 28 مارس، 2007

They are also indoctrinating their kids to hate!!



I am posting this story dating back to last summer as a result of an anonymous comment on my previous post. I do believe that two wrongs don't make a right, but I also need to point out that engaging in sowing the seeds of hatred, is not only done by Arabs and Moslems, but also by others, in this case Israelis. The above photos tell the story clearly; you have children signing artillery shells before these are lobed into Lebanon killing probably similar children. Outright ignorant act on the side of the parents of these children who are bringing up their kids with the wrong value set. The following is the comment from the digger of this story:

"Israeli children sign bombs ready for Lebanon children
The saddest of all the images that have appeared on TV recently showing the horror of war were not the scenes of dead children, but the happy faces of the little Israeli children writing pleasant greetings and birthday wishes on big bombs meant for Lebanon
and signing their names to them....


Read more here, And here digg story

الاثنين، 26 مارس، 2007

Indoctrinating our children to hate Jews

This video on YouTube is posted on the MEMRI site. It has been the reason behind banning the channel in France. In the video, the pathetic ignorant presenter is pushing the 3 yrs old kid to pronounce her hate to Jews, and citing the story of poisoning the prophet by Zeinab Bint AlHareth (Arabic link). This doesn't represent me, and I hope it doesn't represent the majority of Moslems either in Egypt or other Moslem countries. I felt disgusted after watching it. We shouldn't (and I hope most of us don't) hate Jews, or the followers of any religion! Our problem with Israel is about a piece of real estate. Stop turning it into a religious war...!

P.S. Did you note the veil worn by the 3 yrs old child????

الأحد، 25 مارس، 2007

عبثية الجدل حول تعديل الدستور

الموضوع ده مكتوب عند بلوستون بعنوان
القهوة العالية: خللوه ....
وفيه بتتكلم على عبثية الجدل حول التعديلات الدستورية.

كلامها مضبوط مية في المية! الحكومة لما مبتحبش تحترم الدستور، بتقوم ضارباه بالجزمة، فمش فارقة!الفريق الأكثر نباحاً هم الأخوان الأظلاميين؛ هما فاقعهم فقرتين؛ الفقرة الأولى لأنها بتنص على حق المواطنة وتساوي المواطنين في الحقوق والواجبات، والمتحدث بتاعهم طلع في التلفزيون وقال نحن نرفض المواطنة لأنها كلمة "مطاطة"... والفقرة الخامسة بتاعة منع الأحزاب والدعاية السياسية على أساس ديني. وعلشان كده، انا صوتي مع التعديل الدستوري.

اما موضوع الأشراف القضائي على الأنتخابات، فبصراحة أولاً القضاة لم يستطيعوا منع التلاعب في الأنتخابات، ثانياً من ساعة الحكم على كريم وحكاية المستشار مراد وانا فقدت ثقتي في القضاء.

السبت، 24 مارس، 2007

Egypt: the Aftermath of a Demographic Explosion




Demographic explosions differ from bomb explosions in two ways; first, their shrapnels' are in the form of millions of human beings walking "flying" around, and second, they don't happen in an instant, but rather over an extended period of time! However, they are in no way less lethal, in fact, they are much more lethal than bomb explosions, and we are living one of them in Egypt nowadays…

The signs of this explosion are everywhere (see photo above taken from Yacoubian Building movie); drive in Cairo streets and you will notice it, go to the crowded public schools (100pupil/class in some cases), ride the crowded public buses, take a turn in a public hospital, the list can go on and on…

In 1952, Egypt's population was about 20 million. The amount of water flowing into the Nile –which is about the only irrigation source we have, was about 56 Billion m3 on average (it wasn't constant because there was no dam). Today, in 2007, Egypt's population has crossed the 77 million mark and the amount of water flowing into the Nile is still 56 m3. Why isn't there famine? Escapes me..!

For too long, Egypt's population has been living on subsidies! Food & Fuel are heavily subsidized. Instead of spending money on research and universities, the government is forced to direct most of its revenues to make food affordable to the 1.5 million new babies every year. The bottle of formula milk is being sold at about US$ 0.7 while the actual price is about US$ 4.0. The price of fuel at the gas station is one of the cheapest in the world! It ranges from US$ 0.14 – 0.25/liter depending on the level of octane. I can go on, and on citing examples of heavily subsidized economy.

When the government tried to lift subsidies in 1977, there was a general uprising that was soon taken over by looters and thugs who burnt buses and shops across Egypt.

Of course, as time passes by, the level and quality of all these subsidized items is reaching new low every year. The total collapse of public health and education systems under the heavy weight of the population is a matter of time!

The government has tried for so long to convince people of the necessity of family planning. Large portions of the Egyptian populace rejected the idea on religious basis; Egyptian people are very religious, so the Moslems hung on to the Hadeeth (Prophit's Narrative) "Reproduce, I will be proud of you on the day of judgment" while Christians hung on to "Be fruitful and multiply". Some even think it’s a plot against Islam to ask people to plan families; however, these are the same who later complain that they don't have enough money to feed their 4 or 6 Children.

The recently publicized phenomenon of Street Children –estimated by some at 2 millions in Egypt, didn’t happen in one day; it took decades for the system to overflow. These children were brought to this life with the parents thinking that God will look after them; they will have their own Rizq (Bestowed from God)!

Some people are arguing day and night that the problem is mismanagement, and comparing Egypt to Japan, saying that Japan doesn't have any natural resources! That's a big misinformation! Japan has about 4000 m3 of water per capita (all flowing inside the country) compared to. 890 m3 in Egypt (99% flowing from outside the country). 29% of it's surface is agriculture (some of the most fertile lands the world), compared to less than 4% in Egypt, Japan has 65% of the country covered with forests (these are natural resources treasures), Egypt has 0% forests, Japan has 15% of the world fish production, I don't know the comparable figure for Egypt but I'm sure its insignificant.

In addition, one of the most important motives for perfection and production in Japan is the culture, they have a culture that glorifies work and invention as opposed to our culture that glorifies worship in a way that makes people leave their work and pray en masse during working hours in a national bank leaving frustrated customers waiting for half an hour as shown below, and discussed on another post in this blog!


If you compare Egypt to any African country, you will find that Egypt is much poorer in natural resources than most of these countries. Try DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Central Africa, etc…

Another myth that is often mentioned as a reason for Egypt's underdevelopment is theft and corruption. While Egypt does have corruption, it is by no means among the highest in the world (look at oil rich Nigeria), in addition, we have an excellent system of audit that captures significant corruption cases (General Organization for Auditing/Accounting), and insignificant corruption such as passing cigarettes or LE10 to a public clerk to finish a transaction is definitely not the most significant impediment to development. The other funny thing is that large sections of the population believe that Mubarak and his family are diverting billions of public money to Swiss banks in their names, and that’s why Egypt is not doing well! These are just unfounded rumors that were never substantiated. I haven't seen Mubarak or his sons on the cover of Forbes Magazine!

Our major impediment to progress is the expanding population. Having more than two kids per family is a crime against the country because that family will ask the rest of us to pay for the subsidies of their food, education, energy, health, etc…

Egypt cannot sustain 1.5 million new souls every year, it is going to collapse, that means the current per capita income of US$ 1440 will start regressing, the debt will start rising again, the percentage of imported food will increase again, Tourism and Suez Canal revenues will not suffice to fill the gap in the balance of trade.

People of Egypt, my fellow citizens, you have been forewarned!

الجمعة، 23 مارس، 2007

the Apple iRack - Hilarious, you gotta see this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-KWYYIY4jQ

Hilarious video from MadTV!

But seriously, I think that W jeopardized world peace by invading Iraq under the pretext of looking for the non-existent WMDs. He has created a terrorist-magnet state, and destroyed the lives of millions of innocent Iraqis in the process. Sadam Hussein was evil; there is no doubt about it! He massacred Kurds in 1988, and Shiet who revolted against him in 1991, in addition to other Iraqis of all denominations. He also attacked Iran and caused a senseless war that lasted for 8 years killing more than one million people and shattering the lives of more millions. He transformed his oil-rich state into a poor state. He deserves to be ousted and brought to justice, however, that had to come from within not through an American invasion. In all fairness, he also wasn't in anyway supporting Al-Qaeda, despite what some neocons want you to believe. And that war has distracted the world from the real war against Al-Qaeda and their supporters back in Afghanistan.

الخميس، 22 مارس، 2007

Egypt: More Sectarian Polarization..?!


In 1986, during the time of interior minister Ahmed Rushdi –arguably the best ever to hold this post, cars started to wear bumper/windshield stickers that display religious affiliations of the drivers! In what I perceive as a high level of patriotism, the government took a decision to activate a law that bans all sorts of bumper/windshield stickers in order to minimize what can lead to sectarian friction.

This phenomenon is coming back, and much stronger. The photo above shows one of the most common stickers on show in Egyptian streets these days. It has the Moslem Shihada "There is No God but Allah, Mohamed is his Messenger". Similar, though smaller stickers are also shown on Christian's cars identifying clearly the affiliation of the driver in the same way.

Something has to be done!


الخميس، 15 مارس، 2007

9/11: Time to put conspiracy theories to rest


The confessions of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (wiki) of his responsibility of masterminding the attacks of 9/11 (among other crimes) should put to rest any doubts our people have about this plot. I think we should accept responsibility for having a system to produce these evil minds.


At least 50% of any group I discuss the events of 9/11 with would suspect that the real story wasn't told, and that these infamous 19 murderers were not the true killers on that date. Some would compromise by admitting that these are the true killers, but someone else mislead them (of course the usual culprits in Arab minds...).


The excellent reporter Yousri Fouda, presented numerous programs describing how Al-Qaeda was able to pull-off the 9/11 attacks, such as here where he discusses with a panel of experts the details of the plot, and here where Bin Laden brags about his knowledge of the origins of each of the 19 hijackers. He also had a one on one interview with Sheikh Mohamed shortly before his arrest in Pakistan, however the transcript of this program seems to have been removed from Al-Jazeera site.
I think it is about time to believe that there are no cover-ups, and that we should do something about our education system to prevent this system from producing such criminals.






الثلاثاء، 13 مارس، 2007

Egypt: Nostalgia to better times...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=OnuzzOmk1j4

I came accross the following video of Princess Fawzia daughter of the late King Fouad, and sister of the late King Farouq. she was the was the first wife the late Shah of Iran. She is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, but also was involved in a lot of charity works.

I haven't lived the days of the monarchy, but from what I read, it was the golden age of Egypt, however, in all fairness, population reached only 20 millions, with the same resources we have now, water is almost the same, the effects of the extra water we got after the Aswan dam were offset by the reduction in soil fertility caused by the disappearance of sedimentation blocked by the dam. Again, to be fair, pauverty in the south was much more that it is now! It was close to slavery!

In the fourties, Egypt had a very strong economy with a real industrial revolution thanks to world war two, and the strategic position of Egypt. in 1949, Egypt built the first locally manufactured plane! can you imagine how far we regressed!!!

الأحد، 11 مارس، 2007

A Match Made in Heaven?! Ann Coulter & Ayman Zawahry for World Peace…

This is a late night post, I feel high, although I am not on anything! Just had this great idea to solve world problems!!! –since I am thinking all the time about how to achieve world peace ;-) Why don't we match Ann Coulter, the ultra-conservative, outspoken, AKA feminine Rush Limbaugh, to one of the heads of the ultra-conservative, terrorists, "Dr." Ayman Al-Zawahri? All she would have to do is to lay down and think of England! Oops, I mean think of world peace! It’s a small price to pay… don't you think?
They are more compatible then you think! They are both narrow minded, bigots, and although she is not a murderer like him, but she can learn! They both hate homosexuals (as displayed by Ann's latest remarks!), but what they both agree on the most is their hate of liberals, in fact, she wrote her best seller book " Godless: The Church of Liberalism (June 2006)" which echoes many of Zawahri beliefs (just switch Christianity with Islam in her book), while he wrote the other best "distributed" since it wasn't published except probably in Talibanistan, "Knights under the Prophet's Banner: the al-Qaeda Manifesto (Kandhahar University Press, ?)".


The bride and groom will have a very nice wedding party attended by these right wing, trigger happy, dignitaries;
Who will have some fireworks to celebrate the golden cage ...
But eventually, with more marriages of these type, right wingers on all sides will cool down, and world peace will prevail...


http://www.anncoulter.com/ (for her views)

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PBZ/is_1_85/ai_n14695417 (Zawahry's book review)

Egypt: Judge to file a law suite to block 21 blogs!!

Just read this on Arabawi, in which he translates a letter from Amr Gharbia stating that Judge Abdel Fattah Morad, head of Alexandria Appeal Court, has started a lawsuit against the government in Egypt’s Administrative Courts in order to block a number of Egyptian websites including a list of 21 blog sites. If this is true, it will be a catastrophic event for freedom of expression in Egypt. This judge is the same that is suppose to preside over the court that will hear the appeal of Kareem, and is a known plagiarist (Arabic link) in his book about the Internet.

The government is innocent of this crime if it is for real; the real conspirator here is a judge, and the lawsuit is against the government. I wish I can scan his brains and find how was he educated? was he severly beaten as a child? did he have to endure hardships in his life that made him hate freedom? just some thoughts!

السبت، 10 مارس، 2007

Egypt: Petition to Amend Article 2 of the Constitution

In a strong gesture, 100 of Egypt's elite –mostly Moslem- politicians, writers, professors, lawyers, etc... Signed a petition pleading with President Mubarak, the legislators, the political parties, NGOs, and the people of Egypt to interfer and amend article 2 of the constitution within the package of amendments being currently discussed in the parliament. Article 2 states that "Islamic Shariy'a is the main source of legislation". This article was introduced in its current form in 1980 by the late President Sadat who sought to counter leftists and communists by inflating the power of religious groups who later turned against him and killed him.

The petition was distributed by Egypt's Center for Human Rights (a local NGO). In the letter, the activists stated that declaring a particular religion for the state is against the supposedly neutral status of the state, which belongs to different religions not mentioned by the Egyptian constitution. This has resulted in rulings that denied some
Egyptian citizens the right to state their beliefs, leaving them with the only option to change or lie about their beliefs to get official documents such as IDs. Here is a "hard" translation of the text of the petition I found on the follwing source:

The 1980 amendment that declared Islamic Shariy'a to be the main source of legislation does not state any other sources for this purpose which makes it the only source. This has been used in reality by the Constitutional Court in related rulings, besides, legislations in any country are formed by a mix between elements inspired by its accumulated civilizations and responding to the needs of development of the society in space and time. No one argues that Islamic Civilization forms a main source in the cultural composition of Egyptians, however, it is not the only component otherwise it will erase the other contributions -such as Pharaonic, Coptic, and others- in forming the conscience, and culture of Egyptians.

As much as it is not possible to abstract the Islamic Civilization only in the legislations that this civilization has produced at a certain era, nor is it possible to abstract it by one of the many political trends that flourished in that era. Hence, it is imperative that the text [of the constitution] reflects that historical and contemporary fact, to avoid being accused of working to force the rulings of certain religion on those who do not believe in it in contradictions to all international treaties for human rights to which Egypt is a signatory, hence ignoring the presence of other religions and beliefs in the Egyptian society with different rulings, degrading the value of these beliefs and religions, and their followers. This fact has its reflection in social and political day-to-day life, and in court rulings, deepening the feelings of injustice and insignificance by other religions and beliefs' followers, and increasing the feelings of superiority and contempt to others by the other party.

The experience of a quarter of a century since the introduction of this amendment shows that this amendment was a factor -besides other factors- in the decline of the supposedly neutral role of the state towards its citizens, and in breaching the right of equality without regard to religion, which has become an incontestable reality no one can deny no matter how large or small this inequality is in all aspects of life be it social, cultural, political, economical (including Banking and Stock Exchange), and the spread of an environment of extremism, on the account of freedom of scientific research, innovation, artistic and literary creativity. Educational material, and government owned media outlets became a prime source for spreading religious xtremism to the extent that the ministry of endowment published a book pronouncing the followers of other religion to be infidels, and that their money and blood are fair game.

In order not to misunderstand the signatories of this petition, the undersigned emphasize the fact that Islam is the religion of the majority of citizens, and that the general values and principals of religions are some of the important sources of legislation, in a way that does not conflict with Egypt's international obligations according to international human rights treaties, nor should this conflict with the rights of citizenship, and all civil rights that doesn't depend on the individual's religion, and it is important that all government body be neutral towards the [different] religions and beliefs and their followers.

The undersigned appreciate the good intentions behind the proposal to add the "Principal of Citizenship" in article one of the constitution, they note that this amendment doesn't provide any tangible constitutional guarantees, especially in the presence of article 2 as it is, which makes amending this
article a necessity.


The undersigned include Dr. Refaat El-Saeed (Tajamoo Party), Hussein Abdel-Razik (General Secretary Tajamoo Party), Farida El-Naqash (editor of Ahaly newspaper), Bahyeldin Hassan (Cairo Center for Human Rights), Ahmed Higazy (poet), Sayed Al Qemni (thinker), Father Ikram Lmaey (Professor of comparative religions), Gamal El-Bana thinker and islamic missionary), Hafez AbouSeada (National Center for Human Rights) Ahmed Seif Al-Islam (manager of Hisham Mubarak for law), Dawood Abdel Sayed (movie director) Dr. Gaber Asfour (former head of supereme councel for antiquity) Mahmoud Amin El-Alem thinker), Mohamed Nouh Musician) Dr. Hala Mostafa (editor in chief of Democracy magazine), Dr. Fouad Abdel-Menaem Riyadh (National Council for Human Rights), Nigad El-Boray (Democracy Developement Group), Mohsen Lotfy ElSayed (chairman of Masr El-Om party - pending approval), Dr. Kasem Abdou (head of History Department), Sameh Fawzy (Writer & Political Analyst), Magdy Khalil (Political Activist), Adel Al-Gendy (Writer), Nabil Sharaf eldin, Maged Ateya, Nabil Zaki, Ahmed Samih(manager Andalus Center for Tolrerance Studies), Mohamed Zarea (manager of Arab Organization for Criminolgy Reform) Moataz Al Fogairy (program manager - Cairo Center), Gamal Eid (manager - Arab Network for Human Rights Studies), Hosam Bahgat (Manager - Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights).


http://www.copts-united.com/gnewss/mixgn.php?subaction=showfull&id=1173210462&archive=&start_from=&ucat=12&

http://www.asharqalawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&issue=10325&article=409315

http://www.dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=5451

الجمعة، 9 مارس، 2007

A Tale of Two Egypts;

If you follow the different debates taking place in Egypt these days will come to one conclusion: There are two, maybe three, totally different, mutually exclusive, Egypts!!!

The first Egypt has about 5-10% of the population; they are the ones you see shopping in City Stars, and Maadi City Center shopping malls, they go to Cairo Opera House concerts, follow the latest fashion, mostly well educated, and have an ideal vision of Egypt. In Cairo region, they usually live in Zamalek, Garden City, Dokki, Mohandessin, Ma'adi, Moqatam, Helipolis, and Madinet Nasr in the city, or in suburbs such as Qatameiya Heights, Dreamland, Beverly Hills, Mansouria etc…

They are members of elite socio-sportive clubs such as Gezira, Heliopolis, Maadi, Shams, Zohour, and the new clubs like Wadi Degla, and Dreamland. They speak the same language, share the same aspirations, they come largely from the middle and upper middle classes, both Moslems, and Christians, although they range from mildly religious to atheists. They are the ones who are behind the movement to amend article 2 in the constitution as one of the amendments the government is trying to pass (AP Report). This article was introduced in its current form by the late president Sadat to counter Communism and Nasserism, and it states that "Islamic Shariy'a as the main source of legislation in Egypt."

The former Gama'a Islamiya member, and current leader in the Moslem Brotherhood Dr. Issam El-Eryan provided fresh ammunitions to the critics of this article by saying that only religious parties (or groups such as MB) are the ones that truly respect the constitution since they are the only ones following article 2!!!

The latest onslaught by this first Egypt to amend article 2 was in the form of a petition signed by 100 of the society's thinkers and educated elite demanding the removal or amendment of article 2, since it contradicts the principle of citizenship, and equality.

The second Egypt is composed of 10–15% of the population who are devoted Moslems with large percentage of former and current expatriates in the Gulf countries, and a small percentage of Christians. They try to follow their religion -according to tough interpretations- to the letter. For most of them, life is tough, but it doesn't matter, since life is just a phase in existance. Among this Egypt, there is a small percentage of these who are wealthy enough -either from overseas remittances or retail trade activities- to build mosques, fund social services attached to these mosques -such as MB financiers recently arrested.

Numerous websites (example) from the second Egypt dedicated their efforts to counter and ridicule the petition to amend article 2. They would have wanted it even amended to the other direction by adding the word "the only source of legislation" instead of the "the main source of legislation."

The reason behind the explosion of religiousness in Egypt is simple; the government has shutdown any form of political gathering for so long! The only available network for indoctrination became the mosque or the church! You don't have to be educated; you don't have to commute for large distances; you just walk to the house of worship even at the university where political activities are banned. University mosques have been used over and over again in political mobilization by what used to be known as the Islamic Front students.

Between the two Egypts, there is a sea of indifferent people who don't have the time or the energy to fight for either direction they don't vote in legislative elections, presidential elections, referendum, etc... They are lost in their 16 hours, 2 or 3 job workdays, and their daily struggle to provide food and shelter. For them, the first Egypt is repulsive, since it represents the wealthy ones who have everything. Deep down, they feel that the people of the first Egypt should suffer like them. They would have formed a perfect prolitaria for a communist nation.

I remember one day, a French friend and co-researcher told me that he is surprised that poor people are not revolting against rich people in Egypt because of the big gap! His surprise might disappear soon, since signs of social friction are starting to appear with wealthy people moving out of the city and living in gated communities, and the majority of Egyptians lose hope in getting a better life on earth, and start working to guarantee a place in the afterlife heaven.

In my view, the solution to reunify the many Egypts into one Egypt again is a mixture of improvement policies that should amount to revolutions in the following fields; education, population control, regional equalities, cultural change. The political system should change.

الأربعاء، 7 مارس، 2007

Mubarak should go to Iraq in solidarity against the cult of blood thirsty butchers!

I browsed through some of the main Arab newspapers to find what I was expecting! Nothing! No strong words! Only mild protests against the massacres of Shyiaa pilgrims in Hela, and Karbala, Iraq. I don't know what religion or sect if any justifies the butchery of innocent pilgrims on their way to pay what they consider a religious duty.

I am filled with anger and disappointment. I can't find a rationale for our governments and our people who filled the air against the massacres committed by Israel in South Lebanon in July! Although, at least, these were in response to military activities by Hizbollah, while the Iraq massacres are totally unprovoked.

Some of the Arab population are mislead to thinking that what's happening in Iraq is resistance to occupation! This misleading is done by the media! And guess what, I came accross some bloggers are also circulating Zarqawi's terror materials on the Internet, spreading hatred against Shiaa Moslems, including lies about their sect.

What's more sad is that these low lives went about their butchery thinking that they will get laid with 72 virgins as a reward to the carnage they left behind! How many kids became orphans? How many men and women became widows? How many mothers and fathers lost their loved ones?????

I dream that Mubarak will take a strong stand against this nonsense and pay a condolence visit to Iraq as a proper gesture in support of the unity of Iraq, and against those murderers. He shouldn't give any weight to the line of thought that such visit could be interpreted as a blessing to the occupation. This is not as important as showing the Iraqi people that we care about them, and that their blood, no matter what sect they follow, is dear to us. But I am sure my dreams will only stay like this; dreams…

الاثنين، 5 مارس، 2007

Cairo; an Unfriendly Travel Guide!

I came across the Lonely Planet Destination Guide's entry for Cairo. I have to say that I was surprised to read the description of my beloved city in such an unfriendly and inaccurate way! The guy who wrote the description must have had a very tough experience there. Read on the description below which I quote as written on their site and let me know what you think!

Cairo isn't a gentle city. Home to more than 16 million Egyptians, Arabs, Africans and sundry others, the 'Mother of the World' is an all-out assault on the senses. Chaotic, noisy, polluted, totally unpredictable and seething with people, the sheer intensity of the city will either seduce or appal.

Cairo doesn't have the resources for graceful boulevards and
cobbled squares and the kind of dolled-up, prettified buildings that cry out to be photographed and stuck in an album. Historic buildings are buried in age-old quarters of the city that have yet to be tamed and made tourist-friendly.

When To Go
Cairo has only two seasons: summer and 'not-summer'. Given the choice, you're far better off visiting during 'not-summer', a period that stretches roughly from September to April or May.

It's also worth considering the timing of the various Muslim festivals when planning your trip. During Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, many businesses work half-days, museums and tourist sites shut early and many restaurants only open after sundown. Alcohol is rarely served outside hotels and you may have to show a passport to prove that you're not Egyptian (they're forbidden from drinking in public places throughout the month).

السبت، 3 مارس، 2007

Zindani: We cured people from AIDS!!!

I just watched a program on Al-Jazeera TV channel where the guest of the show, the Yemeni Sheikh Abdul-Majid Al-Zindani (wiki), claimed to have cured AIDS in 10 out of 13 cases that came to him. The Sheikh, who is labeled by the US as "specially designated global terrorist" founded the university where John Walker Lindh has studied before heading to Afghanistan to join Taliban.

He went on to say that the cure was made based on Prophet Muhammed's teachings (Hadeeth & Sunna). He also said that he had two papers published in two conferences, and that he is taking steps to patent the cure, and will reveal it afterwards.

الجمعة، 2 مارس، 2007

"Chicago": The new novel by Dr. Alaa Al-Aswani

In his new novel titled "Chicago", Dr Alaa Al-Aswani was successful in displaying the inner personality of his Egyptian characters. Like his previous novel "Yacobian Building" , "Chicago" made it to the bestsellers list in Egypt. Although the name of the novel is of the famous American city, it mostly portrays the relationship among several Egyptian graduate students studying medicine at the University of Illinois. There are other elements in the story including the American professors and Egyptian American professors who immigrated around the 60s and 70s, with their different views of the American culture, ranging from fully adapting it, to living with it without fully comprehending it.

It took me 3 days to finish the 450 pages novel. I was really glued to its portrayal of the life of Egyptian students abroad especially since I was one of them few years ago. In a way, I can identify similar characters I met during my graduate study years. You get the feeling that the author has spent some time researching the environment -the city of Chicago- and the University itself. However, on recent interview on the famous BBC show Hardtalk Extra, the author revealed that he himself studied there, which explains his excellent description of the place where the story is happening. He was earlier interviewed on National Geographics where he also revealed many sides of his personality.

Reading through, you get a better understanding of the conflict in the main characters' minds. In a way, he is exposing the Egyptian cultural struggle for identity, a struggle that is going on these days all around us, but is more visible when we are exposed to the higher-level western civilization.

السبت، 24 فبراير، 2007

ممنوع الخروج: الصلاة شغالة!!!

الجمعة أخدت عيلتي الصغيرة في العربية، ونزلنا نروح النادي نشرب كوباية شاي في الشمس والولاد يلعبولهم شوية. خرجت بالعربية من الشارع الضيق الي الشارع اللي بيخرج على الشارع الرئيسي، وإذا بي أفاجأ بان الجامع اللي جنبنا فرش الشارع كلة مصليات بالعرض وقفل حركة المرور، ولقيت الشيخ بيشاورلي بئيده ممنوع المرور من هنا، روح من الناحية التانية!! الناحية التانية جنبها عمارة بتتبني ومحتاجة لاندروفر مش عربية عادية. قلت في نفسي، والله لأصوره وأحطة على البلوج، لكن مراتي اصرت اني مصوروش! أضطريت الف وأروح من الناحية التانية والعربية تتبهدل بس قلت في نفسي، طيب لو حصلت حريقة؛ هل هيوقفوا الصلاه؟ عربية المطافي مش ممكن تدخل من الناحية التانية. يمكن هيسيبوا الناس تتحرق علشان تدخل الجنة؟



الخميس، 22 فبراير، 2007

Reaction to Kareem's sentence in the Arab World رد الفعل على الحكم على كريم في العالم العربي

Those who are interested to follow the reaction of the public to Kareem's sentence, check Al-Arabiya news site. 95% of the comments support the sentence, some are even saying that this is not harsh enough, and one or two are proposing that he should be killed for blasphemy!!!! what democracy should we expect in this region....

لمتابعة رد فعل الجمهور على الحكم على كريم بالسجن، يمكنكم الأطلاع على التعليقات الموجودة على موقع العربية للأخبار. معظم التعليقات تؤيد الحكم، بل ان أول تعليق يأمل في ان يقوم القاضي بالحكم بأعدام كريم في حالة الطعن في الحكم!!! اي ديموقراطية يمكن تطبيقها في هذه المنطقة من العالم.........

Kareem sentenced to 4 years in prison! post the names of those who reported him

This is a black day for freedom of belief and expression in Egypt. Blogger Kareem Amer has been senstenced by Moharem Beik Court in Alexandria to four years imprisonment for writing his beliefs under his name in his personal blog!!! he got three years for the charge of contempt of religion, one year for the other charge of contempt of the president of the republic. For all those islamist bloggers now rejoicing, believe me, you're next!

I call on those who know the names of those Azhar University professors who reported him to be posted for all to see who are the people who contributed in sending him behind bars for exercising his right to write his opinions in his blog.

Egypt's GDP: LE 617 Bln+

the total value of final goods and services produced in Egypt for the last fiscal year surpassed LE 617 Bln, roughly the equivalent of US$ 108 Bln. The GDP per capita is then US$ 1440 based on a population of 75 million.

الأربعاء، 7 فبراير، 2007

"National" Newspapers; Why should we foot the bill?

One of the most upsetting facts to me in Egypt, is the presence of
"National" newspapers (the right term would be government funded
newspapers)! these papers were private until they were natioanlized
after the 1952 coup d'etat.

Two days ago, Al-Ahram newspaper had a small clip about a
recommendation to deffer the discussion of the large debts these papers
owe to the governement in the parliament!!!

You got to be kidding me! the government is forcing us to read the news
they dictate to their crony newspapers, and then, we have to pay the
bill of their mismanagement! In any other country, having monopoly over
such important media outlet, would mean a lot of gains, not the other
way around!!!!!

To start with, it is not right to have national newspapers from the
point of view of freedom of expression, since the editors in these
papers will always be bound by the directives of their boss! the
Government!!!

The second base for objection is the fact that they are not
economically feasible! since all the rules of public sector bureaucracy
will apply to their hiring and firing policies, as well as every other
aspect of their life cycle.

Recently, strong private newspapers started to appear such as "Al Masry
Al-Yaum" but they are still in their infancy, and their resources are
relatively limited, their access to news sources and other materials
cannot be compared to the giant three "Ahram, Akhbar Gumhoria".

I think that this is one of the reasons why we don't have a decent
world class newspaper in Egypt that compares to the london-based Al-
Sharq Al-Awsat
, or Al-Hayat newspapers.

Egypt has a huge comparative advantage in the field of media
production, but policies such as having national newspapers, and
national tv would continue to make us loose money and loose ground in
battle for modernization and development.

الخميس، 25 يناير، 2007

ارض النفاق

أخدت عنوان البوست ده من العظيم يوسف السباعي في روايته المشهورة علشان اوصف موقفين حصلولي مع اصداقائي المتدينين او اللي شكلهم كدة.

الموقف الأول حصل وانا بأدرس في أحد الدول الأوروبية. كنا مجموعة من الطلبة العرب متجمعين في البار بتاع الفندق، وأبتدينا نتكلم في السياسة؛ كان فيه واحد صاحبنا من أحد الدول العربية الشقيقة معاه الجيرل فريند بتاعته، قصة الجيرل فريد دي قصة لوحدها! دي كانت اساساً مراة البار تندر بتاع نفس الفندق، هي من أحد الدول الأسيوية، بس رائعة الجمال. صديقنا "نشلها" من جوزها الأوروبي اللي كان بيخدم علينا. نرجع للقصة بتاعتنا، كان صاحبنا سكران طينة وفجأة سمعني وأنا بقول أن أنا علماني وبأؤيد وجود دولة علمانية في مصر؛ وراحت سكرة صاحبنا، ولف لي، وقاللي: "علماني؟؟؟ أخص الله يلعنك..."وقالها بصوت غاضب تخيلت بعدها انه هايجيب سيف ويقطع رقبتي. قعدت أتخيل سخرية المنظر؛ هو عامل انه بيدافع عن الأسلام من الزنادقة اللي زيي؛ وهو عنده جيرل فريند، يعني جريمة زنا، وبيشرب خمر كل يوم في البار، وكمان أخد الست من جوزها!!! وفي الأخر بيدافع عن الأسلام!

انا قدرت الموقف، وأبتسمت له، ومرديتش عليه. اليوم التالي أعتذر انه قالي كده، وقعد يحاول يفهمني ان العلمانية كفر واحنا لازم نتمسك بأسلامنا "الصحيح"

الموقف التاني حصللي في نفس الدولة. كان فيه مجموعة من المصريين الي برضه عملين فيها متدينين ودايماً يتكلموا عليا علشان انا كنت ارائي ليبرالية، ومكنتش بأحضر أجتماعات الطلبة المسلمين ولا بأروح الجامع الخ...

كان فيه غرفة تلفزيون عامة تحت جنب المغسلة فيها كيبل تي في (القنوات المشفرة). في يوم نزلت متأخر علشان أغسل حاجة ألبسها تاني يوم، لقيت شلة الطلبة "الشيوخ" قاعدين في غرفة التلفزيون ومركزين. دخلت أشوف بيتفرجوا على ايه، لقيتهم بتفرجوا على فيلم بورن!!! كان ايامها تلفزيون أر تي أل بلس بيجيب فيلم سكس كل يوم أربع وسبت بالليل متأخر. عملت نفسي مشفتهمش وخرجت لميت الغسيل بتاعي وطلعت على أوضتي.

ثقافتنا للأسف ثقافة نفاق، أحنا مبنعملش الي عايزين نعمله علشان الناس متقولش علينا كلام وحش، مش علشان مش عايزين نعمله.

الجمعة، 19 يناير، 2007

Solidarity with Kareem

Kareem's case has become a milestone in our quest for freedom of expression in this country. The charges leveled against him are very serious, and while I am not in a position to agree or disagree with what he wrote, the mere idea of someone spending time for expressing his thoughts and views in his own blog, is frightening, because it sets a precendent, and while today it is Kareem, tomorrow might be you and me!

Charges leveled against Kareem are Contempt for religion, Insulting the head of state, Promoting hatred for a religious sect (Islam)!! These charges might carry a 3 year sentence each up to 9 years total prison time!

The ruling has been postponed to 01/25/07 for the defense to study and present its case, and your presence might affect the rulling since the judge was interested when he noticed the number of human rights activists and other bloggers attending as wa7damasrya reports here in her blog.


The Daily Start Egypt Edition presented a coverage to the demonstration held in front of the Egyptian embassy in Washington DC, while Banhawi, and JarelKamar reported on the latest and the previous court hearing.

This site was created to support and follow up the case.

The photo is taken by Banhawi on 01/18/07 while Kareem is being led to the court room in Moharam Bey Court, Alexandria.

في شلتنا أرهابي!

أفتكرت القصة دي لما وصلتني رسالة من موقعclassmates.com
فيها إضافة لأسماء جديدة من دفعتي في المدرسة.

في صيف العام 1982 كانت الدنيا لونها بمبي! انا كنت خلصت ثانوية عامة بمجموع كبير، وأصدقائي كلهم، شلة مدرسة الجيزويت، محمد، سعد، ياسر، نبيل كلهم جابوا مجموع كبير هما كمان. والله كتر خير الدروس الخصوصية بس برضة مستوى المدرسة كان هايل.

انا و ياسر وسعد كنا علمي رياضة ودخلنا هندسة، ياسر وسعد مع بعض، وانا في جامعة تانية، محمد كان علمي علوم وكان أشطر واحد فينا وكان جاري في السكن دخل طب القصر العيني على طول وكان له ترتيب على الجمهورية.

انا حتى فاكر واحنا صغيرين كانو يجيبوا الكراسات بتاعته يوروها لينا انها اد ايه منظمة وخطها حلو. نبيل كان أدبي وكان نفسه يدخل شرطة وايامها كان دخول شرطة سهل طالما انك ابن ناس، مجموعك كويس، ورياضي. مكانش فيه اللي أحنا بنسمعه دلوقت من رشاوي لازم تتدفع علشان تدخل. دخلنا الجامعة للمرة الأولى في حياتنا! طبعاً لاننا كنا في الجيزويت، كان اول مرة نقعد مع بنات في الدراسة كانت نقلة حضارية بالنسبة لنا.

كلنا من عائلات تنتمي للشريحة العليا من الطبقة متوسطة . اهالينا كانوا في مراكز جيدة ولكنهم لم يكونوا اثرياء ثراءاً فاحشاً زي اللي بنشوفه دلوقتي؛ كان اقصى امنية للواحد ايامها ان يبقى عنده شقة وعربية.

خريف 1982؛ كان موضة العربيات الريتمو، النضارات الريبان الخضراء، تي شيرتات لاكوست (غالباً) صفراء. كان فيه كمان السيارة الأسطورة فيات 127 اللي كانت مع نص الطلبة اللي عندهم عربيات، وال 128 معدل وأبارث.

فضلنا نتقابل كل فترة كل واحد فينا يحكي عن اللي بيحصل في الكلية عنده. في صيف سنة ثانية، رحنا أسكندرية نصيف في شقة سعد في المنتزه. في يوم، قام سعد وياسر علقو اتنين ستات في العربية، واخدوهم على الشقة. ودي كانت أول مرة حد فينا يفقد عزريته. عدت سنين الكلية بسرعة، وكنا انا وياسر ماشيين كويس في هندسة، سعد كان ماشي نص نص، محمد كان ماشي كلة أمتياز في كلية الطب. المهم وصلنا للسنة الأخيرة بالنسبة للثلاثة اللي في هندسة، طبعاً نبيل في شرطة مكوناش بنسمعلو حس خالص.

المهم، في أواخر سنة 1985، ياسر حصلتله حاجة غريبة؛ بقى بيروح يصلي في زاوية صغيرة قريبة لبيتهم، وفجأة طول دقنة بطريقة بشعة!! كان ياسر طوله 185 وشعره بني ناعم ، بشرته لونها ابيض محمر من الأخر كان وسيم جداً من النوع اللي الستات بتموت فيه ومرة علق واحدة بنت زي القمر في العجمي واحنا مع بعض وهي مع أهلها!! طبعاً أستغربنا من دقن ياسر ونصحناه يشيلها، ولكن من غير فايدة. المهم كنا مشغولين، انا كنت بشتغل في الصيف في شركة هندسية كبيرة علشان أتدرب ومكونتش فاضي ايامها. محمد كان على طول بيسافر في الصيف لأصدقاء والده في أسبانيا، وحتى كان هيجوز هناك.

أتقابلنا مع بعض في الأسبوع الأخير من الأجازة قبل دخول بكالوريوس صيف 1986 علشان نسمع المفاجأة؛ سعد قلنا ".. عرفتو اللي حصل؛ ياسر سافر باكستان علشان يدعو الي الأسلام!!!..." انا مفهمتش لأني كنت فاكر ان الناس في باكستان مسلمين بالفعل ومش محتاجين دعوة! عرفنا حل اللغز بعدها بأسبوع. ياسر سافر أفغانستان عن طريق باكستان علشان يحارب الروس "الكفرة" حسب ما كتب في الجواب اللي بعتهولنا، وأنهى الجواب بعبارة اطلبولي النصر أو الشهادة!!!

عائلة ياسر كلها انهارت الأب والأم والأخوات، كأنهم في ميتم. والدة سعد حاولت تعمل أتصالات لان لها قرايب ديبلوماسيين وفعلاً قدرت توصل لشخص نافذ في سفارتنا في باكستان اللي وعدها بأنه هيبذل جهد للقبض عليه وأرجاعه الي مصر.

الأسبوع الأول من الدراسة تلقينا الخبر الفاجعة! السفارة قالت ان احنا أتأخرنا وان ياسر مات في أفغانستان!!! قعدت أفكر في أسلوب حياة ياسر، من اقصى الصياعة الي أقصى التطرف، لدرجة اني قبل ما يسافر كنت باقوله اني بقيت بصلي الخمس فروض، فقالي مش مقبولة منك! قلت له ليه يا ياسر؟ قال لي لأنك بتصليهم في البيت، وقعد يجيبلي احاديث منهم حديث الرجل الأعمى اللي طلب رخصة من الرسول للصلاة في البيت فقالة الرسول انه بما انه بيسمع الأدان، يبقى لازم يصلي في الجامع.

اللي عمله ياسر في اهله كان كتير قوي. أتذكر اني مرة بعد الحادثة بسنة كنت سايق قدام العمارة بتاعة ياسر، شفت والده بيعدي الشارع علشان يركب عربيته، الراجل ده كان حاجة كبيرة قوي؛ وصل مستشار في النقض، لقيته ضهره محنى وغير الرجل اللي انا عرفه تماماً؛ بأختصار: بقايا أنسان... تذكرت الحديث اللي قال فيه الرسول لواحد عايز يروح يجاهد انه يعقد يجاهد في أهله وقلت في عقلي؛ ربنا يسامحك يا ياسر!

فاتت السنين. نبيل تدرج في وزارة الداخلية لغاية ما بقى حاجة مهمة قوي ايام حسن الألفي، ولكنه فقد الميزات كلها لما أتشال الألفي في حادثة الأقصر الشهيرة. محمد العبقري بتاع الطب، مقدرش يتعين معيد، دخل الجيش تلت سنين، خرج منه اصيب بمرض نفسي، لما اتشفى تعرض لحادثة قعد فيها سنتين في المستشفى ولما خرج أبتدى يشتغل طبيب في الوزارة. أتحسرت عليه! كان من النوع الي مبيذكرش ابداً من الملازم! بس من المراجع! كان لما والدي يبقى تعبان أتصل بيه قبل ما بابا يروح للدكتور، وعمر تشخيصه ما طلع غلط. سعد عمل مغامرات كتيرة المهم انه في الاخر مشتغلش بالهندسة بتاعته ولكن فتح مكتب سياحة ونجح بعد معافرة. وبعد ما كنا بنتقابل على الأقل كل سنة مرة، الحياة
خدت كل واحد فينا وانقطعنا عن بعض.

C'est la vie!

ملحوظة: انا غيرت الأسماء
علشان أحافظ على خصوصية الأشخاص الحقيقيين.

الخميس، 18 يناير، 2007

خطاب مفتوح الي رئيس الوزراء د. أحمد نظيف: التنمية غير متوازنة جغرافياً

مع ايماني الراسخ بأنكم من أفضل رؤساء الوزارات في تاريخ مصر الحديث، فمؤشرات التنمية كلها ايجابية، العائدات من الصادرات والسياحة والتحويلات وقناة السويس كلها قياسية، العملة المصرية في أرتفاع مستمر امام العملات الأخرى، الأحتياطي النقدي في مستوى قياسي الخ...

الا اني لم أتمالك أحساس الأحباط والأكتئاب الذي أصابني عند مشاهدة أفتاح الرئيس لمشروعات الصعيد. سبب الأحباط هو أسناد تلك المشروعات الي مكاتب استشارية وجامعات في القاهرة!!!

أتذكر لقاء أحد أصدقاء وهو مهندس معماري خريج هندسة القاهرة ولكنه اساساً من الأسماعيلية، وجدته يعمل في مكتب بالقاهرة ويقطن بالأسماعيلية ويتنقل يومياً، فسألته وكان مهندساً نابهاً، فقال لي انه لايوجد عمل للمعماريين في الأسماعيلية لأن كل المشروعات تسند الي مكاتب أستشارية في القاهرة.

مثل هذا الأتجاه يقتل التنمية، قتل المكاتب الهندسية المحلية في المحافظات، وطبعاً قيس على ذلك جميع اشكال الخدمات وليس المكاتب الأستشارية فقط، يعني الغاء الطبقة الوسطى والغاء التنمية في هذه المحافظات.

أرجو من سيادتكم تبني مشروع لأعطاء الأولوية -التمييز الأيجابي- لصالح المكاتب الأستشارية المحلية في المحافظات حتى يمكن لهذه المكاتب -او الخدمات بشكل عام- ان تشكل عاملاً للنهضة بأقتصاد هذه المحافظات المنهار اصلاً.

تبرع يا مؤمن، تبرعي يا مؤمنة، لبناء مدرسة!

نشرت هذا المقال من فترة قبل انضمامي الي مجمع المدونات، لذا إعيد نشره الآن للوصول الي أكبر عدد من القراء!

أمبارح، قعدت أفكر في ايه اللي ممكن كل واحد فينا يعمله للنهوض بهذا البلد، ووصلت الي ان دوري انا شخصياً قبل ان اموت واترك هذا العالم هو بناء مدرسة نموذجية في منطقة فقيرة! ففي بني سويف مثلاً وهي على بعد أقل من 150 كم من القاهرة، لا توجد مدرسة محترمة!!! انا حالياً لا أملك المبالغ المطلوبة لمثل هذا المشروع، ولكني سأضعه ضمن أولويات الحاجات اللي عايز أعملها خلال الكام سنة الباقيين من عمري إذا ربنا أداني الوقت والأرادة.

إذا ما عرفنا ان الأحصائيات تدل على ان مصر ينبغي ان تبنى 1500 مدرسة كل عام (أكثر من 4 مدارس يومياً) لمواكبة زيادة البشر، علمنا درجة أهمية هذا الموضوع، حيث ان الحكومة قطعاً تهتم بالأكثار من المدارس كماً دون النظر الي الكيف، وبالتالي خريجوا هذه المدارس سيكونون بالتأكيد ضعفاء في العلم والثقافة والتربية والنشاط!!!

موضوع الكادر الخاص للمعلمين هو خطوة هائلة في الأتجاه الصحيح ولكنه لايكفي وحده! نحن بحاجة الي ثورة لا أقل كي لايصبح خريجينا قطيع كبير من الجهلة والمتشددين الذين لايعرفون من العلم سوى ما يتلقونه في المسجد من دعاة الظلام في بولاق الدكرور والزاوية الحمراء وأمبابة.

من الطبيعي في الوضع الحالي ان يكره الأطفال المدرسة! عندما سافرت ابنتاي في أحدى الدول خارج مصر وذهبتا الي المدرسة هناك، أصبحتا تكرهان الأجازات لانها تبعدهما عن المدرسة الجميلة!!! نريد ان نخلق هذا الأحساس هنا في بلدنا مصر!

لايعقل ان يتم توجيه كل هذه التبرعات التي نراها تُجمع في الشارع لبناء المساجد وتكون النتيجة زحمة في بناء المساجد ونقص في المدارس والخدمات الأخرى. في المنطقة التي أسكن فيها، تم بناء 3 مساجد في نطاق 100 متر منهم مسجدين كبيرين،بل ان اثنان منهم لا تتعدى المسافة بينهما أكثر من 30 متر!!! أعتقد ان الله سيرضى وسيعطى نفس الثواب لو كان التبرع موجه لبناء مدرسة.

أعتقد ان كل الخيريين في هذا البلد مدعوون الي بناء مدارس وجامعات حيث ان العديد من المصريين لا يتلقون تعليماً مناسباً او لايتلقون تعليم على الأطلاق. أقترح بدلاً من التبرع لبناء المساجد او الكنائس، التبرع لبناء مدرسة. وينبغي ايضاً وقف الأملاك للصرف على هذه المدارس من ريعها ، وتعيين افضل المدرسين وتدريبهم على أحدث التقنيات بطريقة مستمرة، بناء المعامل والملاعب، وقاعات الموسيقى والأنشطة كجزء لا يتجزء من المدرسة، كما ينبغي ان يكون الحد الأقصى لعدد التلاميذ في الفصل 25 تلميذ.

ويمكن ان تكون المدرسة بمصروفات رمزية (حتى لا يتم سوء أستغلالها في حالة كونها بالمجان)، كما يمكن أستثناء بعض الطلبة بناءاً على أدائهم الدراسي او الرياضي أو الموسيقي من المصروفات بل و أعطائهم مكافئات ! يمكن ايضاً تشجيع رجال الأعمال على تبني المدارس! يحيث يقوم رجل الأعمال اللي ربنا فاتح عليه بالصرف على الأحتياجات التي تحتاجها مدرسة ما، عمل مكافأة بأسمه للمتفوقين في العلم او النشاط، دعم عائلات الطلبة الغير قادرين، دعم النشاط الرياضي والموسيقي، الخ...

ويمكن أستخدام النموذج الناجح جداً لبناء مستشفى 57357 لأطلاق مشروع قومي لبناء مدرسة نموذجية بعاصمة كل محافظة من محافظات مصر بدءاً بمحافظات الصعيد.