Young enlightened Egyptian bloggers write about their society's sex code, racism, bigotry, and lust after scandals – all in an attempt to make Egypt a better place to live in.
An Egyptian Citizen wonders where this country is heading:
Lobna Khairy attempted to define the Egyptian Sex Code saying:
In almost every country there happens to be 2 taboos; politics and religion. But in Egypt and some Arabian countries, we couldn’t settle for less than 3; politics, religion and sex!
#1: The porn denial – Parents do not believe that their kids get their sexual education from porn
#2: Men – decent men who have no prior experience will not satisfy a woman
#3: Women – decent women who understand how babies are made are indecent
#4: Only a manly need – women do not need sex
#5: Milk him – to keep him
Denoting that sex is all that occupies their mind and hence if you want to keep your man, you better fulfill his physical appetite excessively or else he’ll be running down the streets searching for other women who can! How degrading is this for both males and females?
Mona Eltahawy reveals the Arab world's dirty secret when she tells a tale of racism:
I was on my way home on the Cairo Metro, lost in thought as I listened to music when I noticed a young Egyptian taunting a Sudanese girl. She reached out and tried to grab the girl’s nose and mouth and laughed when the girl tried to brush her hand away.
The Sudanese girl looked to be Dinka, from southern Sudan and not the northern Sudanese who “look like us”. She looked black African and was obviously in distress.
I removed my headphones and asked the Egyptian woman “Why are you treating her like that?”
She exploded into a tornado of yelling, demanding to know why it was my business. I told her it was my business because as an Egyptian and as a Muslim who was riding the Metro, her behaviour was wrong and I would not stay silent about it. I knew she was Muslim because she wore a scarf.
I told her that the way she was treating the Sudanese girl made the scarf on her head meaningless. Her mother asked me why I didn’t cover my hair and I replied that I didn’t want to be a hypocrite like her and her daughter.
As distressing as I found that young woman’s behaviour, I was even more distressed that the other women in the Metro car with us watched passively and said nothing. They made no attempt to defend the Sudanese girl nor to defend me when I confronted the Egyptian woman.
The racism I saw on the Cairo Metro has an echo in the Arab world at large where the suffering in Darfur goes ignored for two main reasons – firstly because its victims are black people and we don’t about those with dark skins and secondly because those who are creating the misery in Darfur are not Americans or Israelis and we only pay attention when America and Israel are behaving badly.
My argument on the Cairo Metro was a also a reminder of our double standards. We love to cry “Islamophobia” when we talk about the way Muslim minorities are treated in the West and yet we never stop to consider how we treat minorities and the most vulnerable among us.
For those of us who move between different worlds – where one day we are a majority as I am as a Sunni Muslim in Egypt and another we are a minority as I am as a Muslim in America – it is clear that to defend the rights of a Sudanese girl on the Cairo Metro means to defend my right on the New York Subway.
Insomniac wrote about bigotry hidden under thick layers of religious and liberal pretenses saying:
Coming from a religiously conservative family, I was brought up to take extra pride in my faith, even though I did not necessarily understand it enough to practice it properly. Almost everyone in my family (from both sides) has a meaningful name influenced by religion.
Until college, I used to go by my first name and my father’s middle name. That combination made my name sound perfectly neutral; people couldn’t guess my religion and accordingly treated me cautiously in fear of offending me.
Until I got veiled!
I was confronted by how cruel society can be, judging people by their looks. I realized that my neutral name and non-significant appearance shielded me from awkward moments. I realized it was a blessing having been treated with extra caution!
And no, it’s not the expected group of people who judged me, whatever that is. Against the general assumption, I travelled to the US the next summer, and I barely had any troubles because of my veil. Average Americans, aside from the “notorious” political agenda (which is not up to me to support or condemn), do not judge people based on their looks the way people do in Egypt (and perhaps the Middle East). We are such racists and bigots and the sad part is that we hide it under thick layers of fake religiousness and liberalism which we barely practice when unwatched.
Please meet those who judge me…
- Strictly religious Muslims who consider what I wear not hijab, and expect me to dress more modestly, and
- Pseudo-Liberals, either Christians or Muslims who seem to be very appalled by my veil!
Now I won’t go defending my choice or my religion because I don’t think those who judge me or my likes would either understand or appreciate what I have to say. All I can say is “SHAME ON YOU”, both parties.
I find both parties hypocrites, who miserably fail practicing what they preach and give their causes a horrible horrible names.
It used to hurt and offend me when I felt mistreated because of my veil, but then I realized something; it’s a unique way of blocking all the fakers and pretenders who can’t handle but judge me based on my appearance rather than my personality. To those people, I say it’s really your loss, touché!
Ahmed El Sabbagh wrote about the dishonest keyboard:
حيث لوحظ إن الكيبورد التى أمتلكها “بتستعبط” ولا توافق على كتابة كلمات قذرة ، وبها حروف معطوبة مثل حرف القاف والـذين والألف والراء والتاء المربوطة ، وكلما حاولت كتابة كلمة قذرة بتفصل باور والزراير بتعلق وبتعمل حركات قرعة وقد قمت بمحاولة شراء عدة كيبوردات وكلها بها نفس العيب وقمت بإستبدالها أكثر من مرة ، وظننت أن جميع الكبيوردات المتوفرة حالياً من النوع الشريف
حاولت إصلاح الكيبورد فى أحد محلات الصيانة فنظر لى فنى الصيانة شزراً وقال
دى موش معيوبة .. روح إتعلم القذارة وهى تشتغل زى الفل .. عشان ده عيب يوزر
The keyboard that I currently own plays games with my mind and refuses to type dirty words and every time I attempt to write one of those words it shuts down or hangs up leaving me at a loss for words. I tried buying several keyboards but they all seem to be similarly flawed – guess they only sell honorable keyboards nowadays.
I tried to get it fixed in one of the maintenance shops … the technician glared at me with anger and said “work on your dirty skills and it will work like a clock; this is a user error!”
Last but not least, Fantasia's World wrote about the qualifications of a scandal in the Egyptian media:
ليست فضيحة انهيار منظومة الاخلاق في هذه المجتمعات التي يتغنون بتدينها وفضلتها ومنظومة القيم فيها.. تطرف المجتمع دينيا ينم عن جهل بهذا الدين وبما اتت من اجله الاديان بالاساس.. والمغالاة في المظهر الديني ليست سوى ستار يخفي ما بداخل هذا المجتمع من بعد عن أي روحانيات أو قيم حقيقية راسخة في وجدانهالفضيحة يجب ان تكون فردية، فمجتمعنا يرفع الجماعة فوق الفرد ويستغل سطوته لكبت الحريات الفردية وممارسة شذوذه بشكل علني لأنها تتمتع بالتأييد والمباركة من الجماهير المذعورة اللي عايزة تتحامى في ضل المجتمع ومستعدة تمشي مع القطيع لأنها بتشوف المجتمع بيذل الفرد اللي يخرج من تحت عبايته قد إيه لأنها لا تعترف بالاختلاف ولا تحتمل فكرة تمرد الفرد على سطوتها التي فرضتها عليه بالحديد والنار والتهديد بالفضيحةالفضيحة لازم تكون صارخة وفجة ومشعللة ومثيرة بدرجة تخليها تشبع نهم المجتمع للتشفي في الشخص المفضوح وتشجعها للاجهاز عليه عشان تنهش فيه براحتهاالجنس هو عنصر اساسي في الفضيحة.. ماهي الفضيحة ماتبقاش فضيحة من غير جنس.. امال الاثارة هتيجي منين؟ مجتمع غير منتج واغلبه بيعيش حالة من البدائية بعيدا عن الفكر والثقافة والفنون التي تسمو بالروح الانسانية، عايش عشان يرضي غرايزه وشكرا.. ويا ريته عارف يرضيها كمان.. لأ دا مكبوت جنسيا بدرجة شاذة، وعلاجه الوحيد للكبت هو المزيد من الكبت.الفضيحة انثى.. لأننا مجتمع ذكوري، يتمتع فيه الذكور بمساحة من الحرية الجنسية، بتعتبر الزنا والتحرش شقاوة.. والخيانة الزوجية فحولة وأكيد أكيد الزوجة هي الل غلطانة وهي السبب ان جوزها بص برة، لأن زي ما احنا عارفين الراجل مش ممكن يغلط ابدا ولا يكون عديم الاخلاق ولا خسيس ولا أي حاجة من دي. يعني الراجل عديم الشرف اللي داير زي الكلب يتحرش في دي ويعاكس دي ويبصبص لدي ويزني مع دي مالوش شرف، فلازم يدورله على كيان يسقط عليه كل قرفه ومرضه النفسي واحساسه بالعار عشان يشييله الدلعدي شرفه وطبعا هيلاقي مين يعمل فيه كدا غيرالحيطة المايلة، الدرجة عاشرة في المجتمع.. الانثى.. مصدر الفضيحة والعار.. هو فيه غيرها؟ هي دي اس البلاوي كلهاالطبقة العليا والمشاهير هم صناع الفضايح.. لأن طبعا اغلبية المجتمع عندنا بتتدرج بين الطبقة الوسطى للفقرا والمعدمين، فلازم تتم مجاملة هؤلاء.. وتبقى كل المسلسلات والافلام بيلعب فيها الغني أو حتى مجرد الميسور ماديا دور الشرير والمجرم والفاسد والحرامي والنصاب والمنحل اخلاقيا، والستات من هذه الطبقة طبعا كلهم هشك بشك ومفتريين وفاسدين وطماعين وانتهازيين وفيهم كل البلاوي.. لكن الفقير دا الملاك.. النسمة.. المتدين اللي عارف ربنا.. الطيب الغلبان.. اللي عنده كرامة وكبرياء وشهامة.. مش فافي ومهيس وقليل الرباية زي ابن الراجل الغني الحرامي. هذا النفاق المجتمعي اللي للأسف اصبح سمة في حياتنا لن ينفي ابدا العلاقة بين الفقر والجهل والجريمة.أكل لحم الموتى.. ولأن الموتى مسالمون لا يتكلمون فإنهم اختيار مثالي لصنع الفضيحة أم جلاجل.. ما بالكم لو كان الميت دا هو واحدة مشهورة وماتت مقتولة؟؟ ماهي بدل واحدة ست واتقتلت يبقى لازم تستاهل القتل والدبح، ولازم طبعا تبقى ماشية على حل شعرها، ولازم تتقطع حتت وراسها تنفصل عن جسمها ولسانها يتقطع وتتفرتك وتتنشر صورها عشان المجتمع الطيب البريء اللي ما يعرفش الحاجات الأياه دي ياخد عبرة ويعرف يشكم البنات اللي فيه كويس.منكم لله.. منكم لله يا مجتمع مريض.. ياللي بتخوضوا في اعراض الناس وانتم بيتكم من ازاز.. ياللي اكبر هواية عندكم هي انكم تنهشوا ف لحم بعض.. ياللي بتفرحوا في مصايب الناس وتزعلوا في فرحتهم وتحقدوا عليهم.. ياللي ما تمسكوش جرنال غير عشان تشوفوا اخبار الفضايح وتبقوا ساعاتها مثقفين أوي وكل واحد شايل جرنال ماشي بيه كأنه سلاح التلميذ.. إيه ده؟ إيه القرف ده؟
اللي نشرته الجرايد عن هبة ونادين دا قمة السفالة والحقارة والقذارة والخيال المريض.. لكن العيب مش عليهم، العيب على مجتمع أكل لحم الموتى.. مجتمع مقزز في عنفه وفجاجته وفساده والدمامل المتقيحة اللي طالعة منه في كل حتة ومع ذلك بيدور على فسفوسة يعمل منها فضيحة
2 – A scandal is an individual; people have learnt that our society enables groups as opposed to individuals. People willingly denounced their individuality and independence, and chose to follow the herds. It is much more easier to attack an individual than to attack a whole group.
3 – A scandal has to be luscious and juicy to an extent that would satisfy the hunger of the crowds who are anxiously waiting to attack, devour, and scrutinize the fallen victim.
4 – A scandal has to be sexual .. no sexual dimension, no scandal. Where do you think the excitement will come from? In an unproductive society where the masses live in a state of primitiveness, detached from knowledge, culture, and art that enrich the soul, it is only natural that people will turn to their basic instincts and predatory needs. To add insult to injury, even those basic desires are suppressed to a sick perverted extreme which leads to oppression.
5 – A scandal is a woman – in a male-dominated society what else could a scandal be but a female that lacks the proper upbringing. Males enjoy a degree of sexual freedom where harassment is synonymous with naughtiness, infidelity is sturdiness, and of course the woman is always at fault for not fulfilling the man's needs.
6 – A scandal is rich and famous for only the rich and famous are newsworthy. The media played a major role in promoting a rich corrupt immoral villain as opposed to a poor decent honorable hero stereotype. This form of social hypocrisy has become characteristic of our society yet it will never negate the astound relationship between poverty, ignorance, and crime.
7 – A scandal is dead. The dead have lost their ability to speak in their own defense.
What do you say when you have a dead rich famous female who was living on her own who was stabbed to death and decapitated? What if they were two girls? Then definitely they were bad dishonorable girls who had multiple affairs and brought it on themselves. The media has to make an example out of them so the rest of the flock would learn the lesson.
You are a sick perverted society that revels in people's misfortunes when your own houses are made of glass and the way the media tackled the murder case of Heba and Nadine is sick, mean, shameful, and disgraceful .. it is not their fault .. it is the fault of the crowds who crave scandals.
And speaking of this horrendous crime, Ethar El Katatney wrote about the media is saying about the murder:
The deaths of the two 23-year-olds, both college students, are tragic.
But what is more tragic is the way the Egyptian media dealt with the murders. Rather than answering (or attempting to answer) the 5W’s and H in their articles (Who, what, where, when, why, how), they decided to use the front page spots to create what I can only call sensationalist trash. Headlines such as “Hashish and opium and drugs” were a dime a dozen.
“If it bleeds, it leads.” So true.
The papers had a field day publishing rumors, manipulating facts, embellishing half-truths, and focusing on (what they believed were) the lives of the two women rather than their deaths.
To sum up what (the majority) of the press reported:
Nadine is one of Egypt’s elite, living it up in a sumptuous villa enclosed in one of Egypt’s many exclusive compounds. She lives alone, meaning she was loose and had no morals. She held huge parties with men coming and going at all hours. She and Heba were high on drugs and booze, and the man who killed them did so violently, meaning it was a crime of passion. It was so violent it couldn’t have been a robbery. The neighbors heard shouts, which means Nadine was arguing with a man—it must be a boyfriend. Oh, and also, she gave LE 40,000 to a boy at university, that must mean something. Perhaps trading in drugs?
Speculations, assumptions and downright lies.
Heba was not hung out to dry in the media, perhaps because of who she was, and perhaps because she didn’t commit the scandalous crime of living on her own. But once the papers found out that she had married her husband behind her parent’s backs, the press tore her to shreds. Who cares how she was murdered or who murdered her? Let’s write about how her mother must feel at this moment! Let’s focus on that!
Nadine’s parents are middle class, and live in Saudi Arabia. She came to Egypt to study. She lives alone in an apartment, not a villa. Her father paid for the apartment over the space of three years, and had to wait another year before he had saved enough money to actually make it habitable. Nadine had been living with her grandparents in Giza, which was a two hour commute both to and from her college. Her grandfather was bedridden and her grandmother was also taking care of two other grandchildren, both of whom had Down’s Syndrome. Tired of the commute and of being an added burden on her grandmother, Nadine asked her father to live in the apartment nearer to her university.
Her dad called her a dozen times a day on a special Saudi line (to save money) to make sure she was okay. She held no parties. She was a “good girl.” The boy the papers said she gave LE 40,000 to was a boy who was thinking of proposing to her. No money was ever exchanged. And she wasn’t his girlfriend in the way the papers insinuated she was—the coroner told her dad that she was a virgin. Blood tests showed there was no drink or drugs in either of the girl’s systems and no drink or drugs were found in the apartment.
“My daughter has just been killed and I have to ask the coroner if she was a virgin to salvage her reputation,” said her father on TV as he struggled to hold back tears. “I had to cancel the funeral because of what the press has reported. Haram what they did. Publish lies. Nahsh a’rad alnas [An Arabic phrase that translates as "clawing the honor of people."] If any of it was true, then write it! But if it’s not, then don’t ruin the memory of an innocent girl who died a horrible death.”