Thursday, May 15, 2008

This is how we do it

The Egyptian Authorities always prepare for big, prestigious events, even if that preparation is questionable at best, and shortsighted, misguided and ludicrous at worst.
Currently, the authorities are preparting for The World Economic Forum scheduled to take place in Sharm El Sheikh at the end of the month. As security measures are tightened for the event- (because normally we're just so chill and relaxed about things)- they started deporting all kinds of manual and construction workers OUT of the entire South Sinai region as a whole.
Around 90% of the Southern Sinai (Dahab, Nuweiba, St.Katherines, Tora...) has been totally cleared from construction and other workers coming from other parts of the country to work. Business owners in Sinai, also found themselves staff-less in the middle of construction or peak tourism periods.

Once again Im struck by the irony: in order to prepare for a conference about ECONOMICS, talking about poverty, employment and productive growth- we directly resort to driving the rich out of business and rendering the poor unemployed.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

80 ain't nuttin but a numba!

President Mubarak turns 80 today.

This man has presided over me my entire life but I'm not about to start bitching about that. I don’t think I had even heard of the concept of consecutive presidency "terms" and "constitutional" "rules" for, um,"elections" until I was around 18 years old. I also had no idea about the age-defying power of black hair dye. Yes, Mr. president, you have taught us a lot.

When one day the Lord raises you up to heaven my favorite image of you will be the enormous billboard in Dokki of you looking just like De Niro, rocking the dark shades with the reflection of the pyramids glistening unto them.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Laf we Dawwar-an

The Kafr El Dawwar police outfit, much like their colleagues nationwide, are no strangers to absurdity. Their very sophisticated techniques have once again left me bewildered, not knowing whether I should be an outraged citizen or send them a note with a few pointers on how not to look/act/be total fools while trying to cover up horrendous corruption.

As the story goes, Ms. Magda Al Adly, a medical doctor and a member of the El Nadim Centre for Psychological Management and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence was assaulted by police inside the courthouse of the town of Kafr El Dawwar in Northern Egypt. Adly was there to testify in defence of a case of a local family who had reportedly been severely beaten and abused in the Kafr Al Dawwar prison. Before she had the chance to do so, she was attacked by a man who appeared to be stealing her bag. He pushed her on the floor rendering her unconscious for some time as well as dislocating her shoulder.

Apparently, the officer was after some documents and photographs of the prisoners that prove that they had really been tortured and treated with cruelty in the prison.

The clumsy pickpocket later confessed he was actually acting upon order of Chief intelligence officer Ahmed Maklad of the Kafr El Dawwar police.

It doesn’t end there: he later changed his story claiming that Adly had tripped and fallen over and that to his surprise, while he was courteously helping her up, found that people were running after him so he got scared and started running.

Indeed, the act of helping someone up could easily be confused with pushing someone, shoving onto the courtroom floor and grabbing a purse out of their tightly clenched fists. IT could happen to anyone. Smartness.