January 28, 2005

Do Not Blame Me.

Fairuz is giving a concert in Montréal in a couple of weeks. Attending the concert is like one of my life time dreams coming true. I do not know what I will do in the concert if she sings “Aho dah elli sar” (This is what happened!) by the legendary Said Darwish, words by Badie Kheiri. My favorite lines are:
تلوم عليّ إزاي يا سيدنا
و خير بلادنا مش في ايدنا
“Sir, how can you blame me if all the goods of our country are not in our hands?”

When I was in Cairo, I used to have tedious discussions with one of my co-workers about whether the problem lies in the Egyptian element or in the conditions surrounding the Egyptian element. She debated that the problem lies in us, Egyptians. I furiously debated that the problem lies in the conditions not in the element. I believe and will always believe that we are lacking two things: ownership and the role model.

We need to know that this is our country not the country of the people in power. This is our work not the guy sitting in a comfy chair in the end of the hallway. This is our money not the money of people taking bank loans and not repaying them. This is our bus not the government bus. This is our street not the street of the ministers. Unfortunately, we are now lacking this sense of ownership because the whole country is being ripped off by a small portion of opportunists who are being protected by the government.

Corruption has unfortunately become a common trait in all government levels. Who will care about doing his or her job if he or she knows that the boss is stealing and the boss’s boss is covering up and taking a commission? And who will correct this if the whole system is affected by the fatal virus. The pure hard working element is disappearing because he or she feels as a stranger in this new world created by corruption and cover up.

Nothing will correct this sad situation except a freely elected government that works for the benefit of the country and its citizens; a government that is keen to earn their trust and vote.

If only we regained our trust that this is our country and if only we had someone who would lead us, the Egyptian element will deliver.

And please do not blame me!


January 27, 2005

Yes or No!

Dear fellow Egyptians:

We are living in a time in the human history during which a lot of changes are taking place. Not only we are not keeping pace of these changes, but also we are lagging behind.
This year is an important year in our contemporary history. We have to make the choice whether we want to continue as a country run by an authoritarian rule. Whether we will allow corruption to be the common standard in our daily lives? Whether we will accept the injustice that is taking place in our society? Whether we will continue to be lagging behind nations in all fields of science, technology, arts, and academia? Whether will continue to suffer from poverty, increasing prices, and lack of jobs?

Or we will decide to take a chance on change? Take a chance on people who are freely elected. People who will preserve the democracy that got them into power. People who will hold accountability and report to the masses that elected them. If they fail to deliver what they promised, they will fail in the next round of elections.

Dear fellow Egyptians,
In September this year, you might be faced with the famous question of “yes” or “no”, please go to the elections polls, practice your constitutional right, and make the right choice for Egypt.

Letter to the President of the Republic

H.E. Mr. President Hosni Mubarak:

I am a regular Egyptian citizen that has great hopes for his country getting the prosperity it deserves. I am writing to invite you to take a step that will advance us towards this hopeful prosperity. I am inviting you to take the courageous step of not running again for elections and yielding space for other candidates to run.
When you were first “elected” in 1981, you promised you will not seek power more than two terms. Please allow Egyptians to choose their coming president freely without any intervention. You will be remembered as the president who, for the first time in the modern Egyptian history, stepped down without being assassinated, dead, or overthrown. History will always acknowledge you by this turning point decision. However, if you decide to run for the fifth time, please remember that you will be seen in the eyes of history as the oppressive ruler who stayed in power longer than anyone else in the modern Egyptian history.

Please take the courageous step, make Egypt the model that others always followed in the past.
Make history not shame for you and for us.

Samer Atallah
ID # 60749 El Nozha.


January 23, 2005

Resonating Words...

الحكمة جتلتني و حيتني
و خلتني أغوص في جلب السر
قلب الكون قبل الطوفان
ميجي و خلتني أخاف عليكي يا مصر
و أحكيلك على المكنون
كلمات: عبد الرحيم منصور

The wisdom killed me and resurected me.
It made me go deep into the secret,
The heart of the whole world
Before the floodings.
It made me fear for you, Egypt,
It made me tell you all the hiddens.
Words by Abdel Rehim Mansour

January 22, 2005

My Big Green Passport

I love my big green passport. Though sometimes, it makes me wait in longer lines in airports, I still love it. Though I have to live with the looks of suspicion, I still appreciate it. No matter how long I stay away from home, I will always carry the nationality of my green passport. No matter how many years, I spend outside home; there will always be one, and only one, place I can call home. Egypt.