As an Egyptian in Egypt these days, you get used to absurdity. It starts when you wake up and look at the news and then frustrates you during the day as you see it resonate with some of the people you meet and interact with. Finally, in the evening, on TV screens across the nation, the absurdity is re-framed into ever more convoluted scenarios before which any sane mind would surely strap on a nuclear bomb and rid humanity of its’ misery.
At times like these, it seems only appropriate to show the world just how crazy we have become…
Here are some samples in no specific order:
1. General Hamdy Bekheet, on TV, saying, in no uncertain terms that “We are in a war on terrorism! We are at war with the world! We are at war with great countries! We are at war with the European Union! We are fighting the United States! We are at war with Israel, Turkey, and Iran! We are at war with Hamas, Hezbollah, and the terrorist organizations spread throughout the region! We are at war with all of those all at once!”
Witness the maniacal screaming for yourself –
Please note that you can see the General criticizing a caller at the very beginning of this video. The caller had said that the army is doing nothing against the terrorism in Sinai, and the General kept repeating that this statement was an ‘exaggeration.’ Should we take that to mean that the General, who claims that we are at war against the world, is not exaggerating?
2. El-Sisi or…The GodFather –
In this particular video, showing Sisi speaking in the wake of the latest anti-military attack in Sinai, he says, and I quote, “They fall every day..these terrorists…in the tens. We’re not saying we should be happy about that, but we should at least be appreciative of that. For months now, we have been fighting terrorism, and tens have been killed, over the last weeks and months, hundreds of terrorists have been wiped out.”
The word he uses is tasfeya – which means pretty much ‘finishing off,’ or ‘wiping out,’ or ‘exterminating’…
You would expect a President to talk about how people are ‘arrested,’ ‘tried,’ ‘sentenced,’ or ‘executed,’ but even the semblance of law is no longer necessary in Egypt. Notions of due process are mocked. There are no trials. There is no burden of proof. There is only the military, and anybody it crushes is, by definition, a terrorist who didn’t even deserve to be tried to determine just how much of a terrorist he might’ve been.
3. A few days ago, another retired General, most of whom are now serving the rounds as ‘guests’ on TV shows in the presumed role of ‘strategic experts’ – suggested that El-Sisi must not waste time worrying about innocents in Sinai and that it’s acceptable to ‘kill all of them,’ regardless of however many might be innocent. This, which sounds shocking to any civilized ear, is no longer a strange thing to hear on TV in Egypt.
4. This is self-explanatory –
5. Right here, you’ll find an article on MadaMasr – here’s a sample of what you’ll find:
Students suspended from government universities will not be permitted to enroll in private universities…
Yes, it’s as crazy as it sounds. Add that to the fact that even though education in schools is supposedly ‘free,’ children who have been absent from schools for more than two years (usually because they’ve been involved in child labor) are no longer allowed to re-enroll in a public school.
Oh, and speaking of education…and students –
6. In Dakahleya, an Egyptian governorate, the board of education (undoubtedly out of sheer patriotism…) has decided that a jail sentence, as well as a 30,000 pound fine, would befall any student found to move during the national anthem. Yeah, I’m not kidding – here – check it out –
7. Don’t be impressed. That’s nothing next to this; the state has decided that the military will now secure universities and that any student who causes ‘trouble’ would be subject to military trials.
The list of absurdities grows every day…this is by no means exhaustive…I’m just too tired to go on right now…