March 11, 2005

The 911 Experience

When my mother visited me in California, she was always worried that she might get lost and that she won’t be able to find her way back to my place. I wrote down my address on a small piece of paper and gave it to her. I told her if she ever gets lost, all she has to do is find a public phone and dial 911. They will take it from there. She would not have to worry about anything. I was speaking out of what I have seen in TV not out of experience.

Few moments ago, I had my first 911 experience. Since I moved in here, I was continuously irritated by the loud music played by my neighbor. I used “preventive diplomacy” once, twice, three, and four times. The last time I threatened to fill a complaint. It seems that my neighbor did not take me seriously. Today, the music continued till after midnight. I could not sleep. I went to him and asked to stop the music. The discussion did not reach a satisfactory conclusion. I went back to my place; I reached for the phone with great hesitation and I dialed the magic number 911. It worked! I am now enjoying the silence while I am writing this.

I felt that I got the respect I deserve as a human being. I did not need to have connections in the police force to get my simple complain investigated. All I had to do is revert to my right as a human being to be respected and served by the police. I am not Canadian. I am certainly not Caucasian! The police do not know what I do for living or even my name. I am just a human being exerting his simple basic human right!

People who have lived in the “civilized” nations would probably laugh at what they are reading. It is funny how something can be taken for granted by some people while others can be so deprived of it that they do not conceive it exists.

One day, I will enjoy the same right and more at home.



Anonymous said...

hi Samer,
i like this kind of writings!!
next time when you call 911 just tell them i am Hazem's friend ;)


Anonymous said...

How lucky you have 911.

My neighbour has a really old car. For some reason only known to him, he installed an alarm in it. This alarm goes on when a bee zeeee by it. Awwwooo awwooooo awwwoooo eee'h eee'h eee'h. My bedroom window just overlooks this damn car. So imagine, literally every 30 minutes this alarm goes on, be it midnight, morning,... you name it.

Can I dare ask him to shut this alarm? Of course not. Can anyone of our builidng ask him that? Nope. Can I call the police? hehehhe, of course not! They would come arrest me instead for disturbing the sultat!

Anonymous said...

Nice pics, good comments, overall positive energy coming out of this site. I have a comment on the pictures you posted on State abuse of the people during the protest in Cairo: lets first ask is democracy the most appropriate political system to govern a country like Egypt? I am not sure about that. Why? 1) It is simply too risky...the islamists could win the ellections. After all they are very good at brainwashing people. Do you want an islamic state in Egypt? 2) Why democracy? is it a genuine desire of the masses of the people? I dont think so...I think it is just a desire for change. People are so desperate that any change would do. If there is no real desire for democracy then why bother? There is also of course the US master plan for a democratic middle east...hold on before you drink the soup and think for a second - - democracy for the middle east? Oh you mean better access of US multinationals to oil rich states, you mean regimes willing to do anything to satisfy the US? Sorry brother thats not what we want for Egypt. The normal citizen doesnt care about democracy - - and anyway, democracy will not help the poor. For 5000 years Egypt has functioning without democracy; come on wake up democracy is an illusion. How will you be more free under democracy? Voting? free news papers? How will that change the life of 3am Mohammad or 3am Mohsen? Stick to the man (Mubarak or any other leader)...just follow...just unite, work in the same direction and follow...then Egypt will rise again.

Best regards,