Gotham city but no Batman

Fady Salah
6 Min Read
Rana Allam
Rana Allam

For how long will it be upon us to fix things ourselves? How long will we blamed for the shortcomings of our governments? With every catastrophe, our own negligence and our own corruption is blamed, never the overall failures of our rulers.

No one can disagree with the fact that most Egyptians are chaotic and irresponsible, that we break the laws every minute of our existence. But is it really our fault? Is it really us that should be blamed? Us, as a people?

I would like to see a modern advanced first world country without law enforcement. I would like to see a Gulf country without traffic fines for speeding. Would those people be as law-abiding as they are? Is it possible that a country remains organised and lawful without law enforcement? I doubt that…very much. Maybe in the beginning they would continue to abide by the law, but after a few years of complete chaos, would they remain as strict about the law as they are now? Again, I doubt it.

Now the debate that went on after the tragedy of the school children killed by the train, and those supporting Morsy as well as the feloul used this same rhetoric; that Egyptians are to blame for their negligence and laziness and corruption… some went as far as stupidity. Saying that there is no hope for these people…they will never be “respectable and responsible”. It is astounding and my fights with them required much self control. I have not seen a people trashing themselves as Egyptians do. One hears things like “Egyptians are such and such”…as if the speakers come from the advanced world of Mars. Infuriating!

Seriously, what expectations do you have of people who are not properly educated, without an ounce of healthcare, with absolutely no trust in their judicial system, and who live without law enforcement? Do you expect them to obey traffic lights? Well, we don’t, but we do other things. The minute we heard of the tragedy, Egyptians started checking what might be needed by the people of Assiut in their tragedy. Medical supplies needed for the hospital which treated the injured children was collected and delivered by the people not the government. It was those irresponsible chaotic Egyptians who ran to the rescue.

Even though our amazing Prime Minister was there (briefly) and saw the status of the hospital, no orders were given to bring in needed supplies. It was the people who pushed for action against those responsible, hence the resignation of the minister. Had the people not pushed, the minister would have stayed where he is and the drivers would have taken the fall for all of it.

How long will we endure this? Our youth is tortured in prisons, our children are killed on their way to school, and our women are abused on the streets and in their homes. When will enough be enough…again?

Do you think we will rise up in favour or against the implementation of Shari’a? It would be naive to imagine millions will. The only thing people will fight hand-in-hand for, without the influence of politics or money or power, is the day-to-day atrocities we face. No regime will fall because some people want to marry a child, but it will fall when they can’t marry at all for lack of food and shelter. The regime will not fall because some wannabe politicians are fighting for the constitution, it will fall when negligence causes the death of 51 school kids. It will not fall either for the IMF loan that will drown us in debt for all eternity, but it will fall when the city falls into complete chaos. When it turns into a Joker’s Gotham city!

Blame Mubarak’s heritage all you want, blame uneducated, irresponsible people, blame anything that will satisfy your arrogance and insensitivity. Blame the revolution, blame the regime, blame anyone…but try to fix things for God’s sake. The country in drowning in chaos and unless someone with a plan takes over, this will only get worse and I am not sure how many more tragedies will the people take. How many lives will be wasted before someone notices that something needs to be done?

For how long are we supposed to live in the Joker’s Gotham? Can we have a Batman please!

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