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City of sinners

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Adel Heine’s weekly column

Adel HeineLast week a new committee for the betterment of all and sundry saw the light of day. The founders announced it is high time that some pressing concerns in society are addressed, and they formulated a plan and announced to the world they were ready to take a stand. Enter the committee of Virtue and Vice.

This group of men, of no doubt high moral fibre, have set themselves the goal of ensuring that the sinners among us will be gently informed of their inappropriate behaviour and receive recommendations on how they can mend their misguided ways. Adhering to strict moral rules, that the committee members are aware of but might be a bit murky to us mere mortals, they will save us from ourselves and point us firmly in the direction of salvation. Humility and austerity awaits, my friends; prepare yourselves for mediocre times. No Sugar and Spice.

I must admit I had some doubts when I first heard about this, but events of the past week were quick to bring me over to the moral high ground. In fact I think the V ’n V was launched just in time. Even I will not argue against biblical signs, and that is saying something. Did you see the locusts? We just avoided a disaster there but I think we can now expect to be spared Toads and Flies.

I am very pleased to know this force of moral rectitude is about to be unleashed in this city of sinners, since it is high time someone addressed this most urgent of needs. Millions of people in this country struggle with hunger, disease and abject poverty but these men of the V ‘n V feel it is more important to address the manner they suffer in than confront the reasons they are doing so. I think they are right; how bad would it be if your child were to starve in an improper manner? All those advocating economic change to solve poverty should follow their lead and start listening to the Truth and stop spreading Lies.

I am curious, though, as to how these paragons of wisdom will deal with the daily reality of their task. Will they be lurking in shaded doorways, wearing stealth galabeyas, waiting to pounce on hapless passersby to point out their misconduct? I surely hope they do. Enough of these youngsters that roam the streets in broad daylight while talking to each other. Just because they are not holding hands does not mean it is OK to walk side by side. No doubt they will also put a stop to the timeless habit of Cairo couples of leaning against the railings of the city’s bridges for a few stolen moments. I trust the V ’n V brigade will introduce the strict separation of the sexes that is sadly lacking in the city, even if they have to hide from the Open and wear a Disguise to do so.

Another point I hope will be dealt with, swiftly if at all possible, is the deplorable way people dress. For the past few months we were spared most of the excesses by the sheer need of wearing multiple layers of clothes because it was cold. Now that spring has arrived the streets are slowly turning back to a questionable Halloween party of too tight and too bright. If modesty will be one of the virtues that the committee intends to encourage, and I have the sneaky suspicion they will, I am looking forward to be spared the sight of skin-tight layers that cover many veiled women. And when they are at it, I hope they will visit the beaches as well. It is time for loose and wide clothing and no more Arms and Thighs.

Now there is of course a lot of immorality that goes on behind closed doors and that might not be so easy to address by the V’nV vigilantes. Unless they turn neighbours into informants and recruit family members to spill the foul, it may prove difficult to find out who is doing what they should not, safely hidden from the public eye. Not to worry, I have a suggestion that will easily solve this and will provide the committee with all the dirt and details of each and every citizen. There is a world-renowned authority in this field, who could possibly be persuaded, with the right incentive, to part with his wisdom. He is jolly and laughs a lot and knows exactly who is Naughty or Nice.

About the author

Adel Heine

Adel Heine

DNE Art & Culture, and Lifestyle Editor


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