A very bad joke

Rana Allam
5 Min Read
Rana Allam
Managing editor Rana Allam
Rana Allam

We wake up to Al Mahalla announcing its independence and while we laugh our heads off at this ridiculous piece of news, foreign media reporters run to discover where and what Al Mahalla is, its population size and structure. We cover this piece of news because it IS in fact news, even if we know it is ridiculous, like the espionage cases against opposition figures.

They are funny actions that are neither backed by law nor evidence nor power to implement. The Egyptian army never even bothered to respond to Al Mahalla’s independence. Everything in this country runs according to who is in power and who is strong, nothing is based on the rule of law.

In reality, here in Egypt, the independence of Al Mahalla is only a punch line.

The truth of the matter is that the Egyptian political scene is a bad joke. And this has been the case for the past two years. There are a thousand revolutionary fronts and political groups, all of them hating each other, lying and scheming, with only a handful of people who can be called respectable. And who can tell the difference between them?

Take, for example, Khairy Ramadan, is he a revolutionary media professional? There is nothing revolutionary about Mr Ramadan. But he had a moment, on air, in a show of protest. Has being revolutionary become some sort of fad? Fashion? Or is the movement gaining ground and becoming increasingly more powerful in the country?

With the judges leading this newly loved position, I suppose everyone will follow suit. And why not, if one of the most corrupt institutions is assuming the role of integrity and rubbing shoulders with the revolutionaries, then it has become a free for all.

We have not had a just judiciary system for decades, and recent talk of the integrity of this institution is yet another farce. These judges are the same ones who monitored the 2010 parliamentary elections with an astonishing display of dishonesty. Look at them now, acting all revolutionary!

And all the while, on the streets, people protest the constitutional decrees, the constitution and the referendum.

There is no such thing as a clean institution in this country. Not the judges, not the army, not the cabinet, and of course not the police (they could give workshops on corruption). Now they are protesting and striking, El Zend and Abdel Meguid Mahmoud have become protest leaders and spokespeople of a just and fair judiciary system. And Khairy Ramadan has become the model for respectable media.

To complete this chaotic scene, we have a president who issues decrees that will affect the daily life of his people by raising taxes to unseen levels in the country. Only to cancel the decree the next morning, as we were told via Facebook. And by midday, we realised that he only postponed it until a ‘dialogue’ can take place.

To the foreign media, it seems as though there are only feloul and Islamists fighting. When a bunch of Islamists and Morsy supporters answer the president’s call for a dialogue on his decree and constitution, foreign media and monitoring groups assume that these are the opposition powers. And why would they think otherwise? They are not subjected to the same suffering we are, watching these people day in day out on TV channels campaigning for Morsy’s decisions, before he even takes them.

To the media outlets we, the people, don’t exist. They still do not realise who leads here. We led the revolution and when it seemed to become successful, the Islamists joined and together with us, they won. Now we are leading the revolution AGAIN and the feloul are joining in. We are the majority. Not the feloul, nor the Islamists. If only the world would understand this, if only WE would understand this, things would be so much simpler.

To the foreign media, Egypt must look like Monty Python’s Grumpy People’s Front of Judea scene.

And it would be funny, if it were not so sad.

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