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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Conversation: Me and My NDP Mom

The following exchange took place yesterday between me and my mother, who is an active member of the NDP. My dad was there too, but he didn't talk much. Me: So, did you see how the Egyptian female journalists got their cloths torn off at the referendum by the Egyptian police? Mom: You believe that bullshit. They are liars. Me: What are you talking about ? There are pictures of them getting attacked. Videos even. Mom: Nahh, they were paid to make those allegation. It’s all bullshit. Me: Are you kidding me? You could see the police standing there and allowing the men to attack the women. The police didn’t do anything. They just watched! Mom: Ehh, anyway. So I was talking to this guy about the car you wanted to get and.. Me: You are changing the subject. Don’t change the subject. Mom: I am not changing any subject. Dad: Yes you are. Me: See, even dad aggress. Mom: I am not changing any subject. What you are talking about doesn’t matter. Me: What do you mean doesn’t matter? Women were beat up by men, by police officers dressed in civilian cloths in broad day light, and you say it doesn’t matter? It’s a freakin scandal. The whole world has seen it. Why do you think Bush reprimanded Mubarak on the phone? Mom: Huh, what are you talking about? When did Bush do that? Me: You are not watching the news? He called him asking for an explanation for the farce that was that referendum. And you should’ve seen Hosny response “ Ohh yes sir Bush sir. I agree totally. I want a free elections too. I will investigate it immediately”. Mom: No. That happened? Dad: Yes, even al Jazeera broadcasted it. Me: It was pretty damn embarrassing. You people keep giving us a bad name everywhere. Mom: That's just a defeatist attitude. We amended the constitution. Now everyone can run for president. Me: Are you kidding me? No individuals are allowed to run. And with the way Habib El Adly conducted the referendum, you can just imagine how fair it will be. Mom: Ohh, don’t be such a defeatist. You always have a negative attitude. Me: Why is that exactly? Because I don’t like to see the women of my country molested and getting their cloths torn on the streets on Cairo by its police? Mom, you are a woman. You should be on their side. You should demand an Investigation for Habib’s activities. Mom: Nonsense. What, do you want the Muslim Brotherhood to take over? What is happening is necessary for the stability of the country. Me: No, I don’t want the Muslim Brotherhood to take over, but the threat of them taking over is not an excuse to do what you people are doing. Mom: Yeah, well, anyway, about that guy I spoke to.. Me ( I can’t help but smile at her persistent evasiveness and how she is not even embarrassed by it): You people are tyrants. You've ruined the country. Mom (She smiles back and says singsong -like): But we are not going anywhere! Lalalalalalalala Me (I hold a smirk and somberly say): True, True! Mom: So, about that car, the guy says………..



At 6/05/2005 05:38:00 AM, Blogger stefania said...

Don't worry, my family is almost all leftist !!

Political discussions among us are almost impossible. The lesser we talk about politics, the better is.. otherwise we end up screaming at each other !!

I don't advise you to be here when we talk about politics..It seems to be in a house full of crazy people !

At 6/05/2005 06:26:00 AM, Anonymous Me, Myself and I said...

Well at least your mother is part of the NDP and she has to carry the party line..my family is not the bit in that line of business but hey very apathatic and to some extent apologitic for the regime too-the typical, well-educated, well-travelled, well-exposed and in area that they can really influence but hey and everyone in their little island, not even aware of what is going on and very puzzeled as to why there are calls for reform...etc...they do not see a link between the fuckwitttage we are in (social, economic, political-not even aware of it..etc) and the type of rule we have.oh well..had a showdown at my dad's bithrday dinner two weeks ago ..the issue of human right violations and police burtality came up-the min i mentioned the rounding up of MBs (not that i agree with them) i was yelled at and told out right that police brutality re the MBs and the likes should not only be tolorated but rather welcome...had a quick conversation this mrng with a woman at work..she basically told me..what problem do u have with the current regime..do u want the islamist to reign over us..hey the regime has really did a good job in scaring off "secular" muslims and copts and others--and brainwashed them with the "fear of the alternative"..good luck to any of us who is trying to promote change..and it is the first day of the week..have a lovely one

At 6/05/2005 07:00:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Stefania, that sounds like a nightmare situation, count me out of any invite to ur house when there is a hot political issue of the left vs. right variety being debated. I already have enough headaches from political discussions in my family as it is.

MM&I: First of all i am glad that u understand that she has to carry the party line. Most activist bloggers here attack her the moment i bring her up, like she is the one responsible for the demise of egypt or something. lamma yesada20 find someobody to blame and attack, u know?

Second of all, i hear ya on ur family thing, cause that's like my aunts. It's something common amongst well-off egyptians it seems: our life isn't bad, let's not mess it up. Let's keep it stable. When they talk about how egyptians value stability more then anything, i suspect that they are right, but for different reasons then the conventional wisdom usually offers.

I believe that families in egyptian society- like urs and mine- actually like the fact that we are in a dictatorship: It's less of a headache. They don;t have to worry about presidential elections every 6 years or who will be president- god knows entekhabat el nawady gets them all riled up as it is- or what their ideoelogy will be, and subsequently, they are also blameless for whatever shit that Egypt goes through because of the failed policies of the current regime. The mentality goes like this: "It's not our fault, we never voted on anything and we have no say. We can bitch and moan, do nothing about it and stay blameless at the same time". It suits the needs of the average egyptian perfectly. I mean, have u noticed that despite all that goes on, no public uprising or angry street sentiment presence of any kint is felt? Mubarak is despised, but not hated. I think most egyptian consider his stay in power till death to be invetible, and some form of destiny or fate ("naseebnah keddah"), or even a case of ebtela2 ( god's punishment or test) if u wanna go to extreemes. So they just accept whatever happens to them and let it slide, cause they don't think their destiny is in their hand, or that they deserve any better.

It's why i get so mad, and no disrespect to islam or muslims here intended, whenever i hear people talk about "2esmah we el nasseeb" ( fate and destiny) and how we should accept whatever "nasseed" Allah gives us. That it's our lot, the cards that were dealt to us, and we should just be happy and accept it. No disrespect bas screw that. It's a fuckin defeatist attitude and it demotivates whoever listens to it or believes it. It's why evil and corruption goes unpunished in this country, cause what can u do? Nassebnah kedah!

And mind u, our parents grew up the days of the Nasser regime. Trust me when i tell u this: what the people are experiencing nowadays is the epitome of freedom and liberty if u compare them to those horrible days of the rule of "the great symbol of arab dignity"( ya rab yet7er2 fe gohanam ya rab) that our parents experienced growing up. Maybe that's why the don't care: They got housebroken early.

Maybe our turn will come soon as well?

At 6/05/2005 07:23:00 AM, Blogger gatorbait said...

Sam, I think the good day is just around the corner. Hang in there, it is moving as fast as it can .

Okay, tell me about the car.

At 6/05/2005 08:17:00 AM, Blogger Highlander said...

I was just gonna ask about the car ;) ..need to buy in a couple of months

'entekhabat el nawady ' seriously you have them in Egypt ? this is so cute, I don't even go to nadi in Libya ..although this should be the thing if you wanna be hip ...

As for your post I hear you walahi.

At 6/05/2005 08:44:00 AM, Blogger R said...


You amaze me with the diversity in your posts.

This one deserves a lot of recognition. It shouldn't be taken lightly; it's as important as the testimonials of those who attended the demos and were beaten or escaped beating.

It's a great post

At 6/05/2005 11:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband's father worked all his life for a major corporation and never went to college because of WWII. His dad holds a lot of patents for engineering the spaceshots. He's incredibly bright but totally passive.

Anyway, my husband went to the 'little technical school down the river'. Knowing Boston...you'll know what I mean. Anyay, he started his own business. By the time he was 25 years old he was facing having to eclipse his father and the emotional struggle was horrendous for about ten years.

Egyptian youth are facing the same struggle. Someday...you'll forgive them...

At 6/05/2005 06:30:00 PM, Blogger J. Francis Lehman said...

It suits the needs of the average egyptian perfectly.


It suits the needs of the average HUMAN perfectly.

The reason so much of the world is so fucked up is because average humans are too lazy to strive for improvement. Unpleasant to contemplate, but nonetheless true. Those who do make the effort often get nothing but being accused of "rocking the boat."

Your mom's not bad—she's simply typical, I'm afraid. The singsong bit at the end would have made me lose my temper, though...

At 6/05/2005 07:21:00 PM, Blogger Tina said...

Just remember Sam, no matter how frustrated you get with her, your mom loves you.

At 6/06/2005 12:38:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

My family is very apathetic about politics, except for my grandfather, who likes to call me an anarchist for no reason I can determine :)

The problem with people who don't care much about politics is that it gives too much power to people who do, who tend to be... hmmm... more extreme in their views.

BTW, I followed your links to Alaa's blog and looked at his photos. That picture with the caption about the indomitable gauls holding out had me literally laughing out loud. It looked *so* much like a Rome: Total War battle! It's good to see you guys keep your sense of humor :)

At 6/06/2005 10:53:00 AM, Blogger free soul said...

hmm, why do i feel that almost an identical discussion took place in almost each single egyptian house !!!

ok, it wasn't you only, but at least you found some support from your father :D

it is a shame how we look now, but as usual we shouldn't run trying to cover what happend but trying to change it

and about running for president for each one, you are allowed to run, but not to, it is to run from :D and you know from what , at least you saw from what :D


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