Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hala Show and our Educational System

While following the heated debate over what is known now as “Prostitutes Program”, one angle caught my attention, and that is the kind of language and the level of knowledge the three girls who said they are not prostitutes and that they were paid by Hala Show program to act the role of prostitutes in the show.

One of the three girls is a college graduate, the other has a high school diploma, and yet when you hear them talk you have the feeling that they are not educated at all. I am not saying this to insult the three girls and I don’t plan to judge them or their decision to participate in Hala Show program. The only thing that concerns me is that the Egyptian educational system has deteriorated to a degree that produces such girls.

Again I am not trying to undermine anyone here, but I was just chocked of the way those girls expressed themselves and the way they managed this issue.
Our Educational system produces ignorant persons, that’s the conclusion I draw from the whole fuss about “fatayat el leil” issue.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sunnis, Shiites and America’s Allies

As an Egyptian citizen the talk about a Sunni Shiite divide seems alien to me. I mean for years I never heard anyone in my country identifies himself as a Sunni or a Shiite, we all used to say we are Muslims, and this was enough.

Egyptians are known of their love to the members of the house of prophet Mohammed, and for that reason a writer once said that “Egypt has a Sunni mind and Shiite heart”. And I, like many Egyptians, wonder who is to benefit from this escalation of the recent tensions between the followers of the two sects of Islam? It might help us in answering this question, if we noticed that the ones who expressed their worrisome lately about the rise of the Shiites and all this nonsense are Jordan’s king, the Egyptian president and the Saudi monarch, which are all American allies. What a coincidence, right?!

It is very obvious that this escalation of the fear from the so called “Shiite Crescent” serves only the United States and the regimes that consider itself America’s allies in the region. For the United states, it’s part of the standoff with Tehran over its nuclear program, and for the Arab regimes, it’s the fear of what the groups allied with Iran, like Hezbollah, have disclosed: that Israel can be beaten.

I believe that some of the proactive events involving Shiites that took place recently in the region is more of a social “Intefada” than a sectarian statement. The Shiites in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia have long been deprived from many political, economic and social rights, they are the poorest and the areas the live in are the most deprived of facilities and services, they are also denied the right of performing their rituals publicly in most areas of Saudi Arabia.

Sometimes, I just thing that we will all be better off if our governments stopped manipulating our religious feelings and trying to provoke tensions between us for its own purposes. Sadat tried in the past to dig a wedge between Muslims and Christians in Egypt for political reasons and we can all see the consequences of this now, so please spare us another fight over religious identities.