The problems facing Egypt today seem numerous, but that’s an illusion. All these problems are just symptoms of one disease; the military dictatorship that has ruled Egypt for more than 60 years.
Today, you closed up the Nadeem Center, an organization devoted to the psychological and legal aid of torture victims. I know some of you will claim that Egypt has no torture. For those, all I can ask is that you ignore this post and move on; the Egypt you live in is not the one we endure.
Today you shut down the Nadeem Center because it seeks to help the victims of your oppression. Do you honestly believe that this kind of action has no impact on you? Even if you support the regime, do you honestly believe that this kind of action doesn’t affect you? If so, please bear with me, because you need to understand a few things…
A few months ago, I put up an online poll, asking tourists why they’ve stopped coming to Egypt. Rather than tell me they were scared of terrorism or that they’d heard of planes crashing or exploding, they mostly said they didn’t like the political climate in Egypt; it was, literally, scaring people off. Later, during a trip to Dubai, I spoke to a Jordanian man who told me that he used to take his family to Egypt every summer but hasn’t for the last two years. When I asked why he apologized for the bad language and then said, “Because all the news coming out of Egypt recently has been shit!”
Today, the world will know that you’ve shut down the Nadeem Center, just as they know that Egypt is a dictatorship in which human lives are worth less than nothing. Just as they are fairly certain that you yourself killed Regini, and just as they know that it was your idiocy, your lack of wisdom, and your complete lack of professionalism, that killed those Mexican tourists in the desert. The world can see your disasters because there are news networks and there’s an internet, and there are millions of young people on Facebook and Twitter who tell them what you do on a daily basis and in all languages. The world no longer wants anything to do with you because it no longer cares whether or not you have a pyramid or a sphinx. All your achievements are in the past, and nobody is willing to endure your miserable present just to come to see your past while surrounded by beggars and pretend-tour-guides who try to rip them off the very second they get off their planes. I don’t even blame the beggars and the con men. I blame the state that has made them (not allowed them to be, but made them) so poor that they no longer have any sense of pride left, nor any true hospitality to offer and must meet every person stupid enough to come to Egypt with an outstretched palm. In the end, we’ve lost all tourism, and it’s not that the dollar is rising; it’s that the pound is collapsing because it reflects the state of our country, and our country, your country, is collapsing. Egypt is collapsing, and if you don’t understand that, then you need to understand it because you don’t live alone in this country.
The same people that closed down Nadeem are the ones that took all our foreign currency reserves to pay billions to European companies to dig the so-called “New Suez Canal” in one year. The same damn not-quite ‘Canal’ that we (including idiots like me and far more qualified people like Dr. Hazem Hosny) told you won’t make any profits. In the end – what happened?
So the Egyptian pound is now worth barely 5 American cents! And our local authorities tell you that you can live on 800 pounds a month. That’s 40 US dollars. A month.
Nadeem gets closed down, a young man gets killed at a cafe, thugs, and police (together) destroy the coffee shops of Heliopolis while the young on Facebook assume this must mean that the army is about to launch its own cafes, the military sells shredded cheese and destroys business sectors before it monopolizes them. The country is going to hell, youth and activists alike are being made to disappear every day, and people are tortured in police stations…
All these things are the same thing. The very same thing.
They are not separate issues.