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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

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Down the Rabbit Hole

*This happend today around 11 am*
Uncle: So, what have you decided on? Sam: Ehh, I don’t think this is for me. I am sorry, but I have to say No. Uncle: No? Are you sure? Is that your final decision? Sam: Yeah. Pretty much. Uncle: That’s a shame sam. That’s a pretty damn stupid choice. I thought you were smarter then that. Sam: No one is perfect Uncle. I guess everyone is bound to make a stupid choice every now and then. This is mine. Uncle: Heh. Just out of curiosity, why? Democracy and all that crap? Sam: It’s not crap. But that’s not it. I guess you could say that Opportunities are like shoes. This one just didn’t fit me. Uncle: Ahh.. ok. Did you tell your parents yet? Sam: Nope. But I am betting they wouldn’t be pleased either. Uncle: (matter of fact-ly) Your mother won’t be. You know how her days are numbered. Sam: Yeah, well, no one stays in the top forever. Uncle: Yeah, but you more then anyone knows what will happen to her when this happens. Sam: True. Uncle: And yet, you still say no? Sam: She made her bed. She might as well lie in it. Uncle: Is that so? Sam: You know that it is.
Uncle: That’s true. I do. Too bad. I really wanted you to do this. Sam: A. is still doing it. As your Son he will be more under your wing and control, than someone as stupid as I am. Uncle: Yeah, but you know he won’t be able to play the game half as well as you could, or at least as I thought you could. Sam: Ok, well, since this subject is brought up I have a question I want to ask you, and will you please be 100% honest with me? Uncle: Ok. Sam: A . isn’t really running is he? Uncle: (looks stunned, then laughs a short laugh) Now see, here is what I am talking about. Just as I am about to write you off as an idiot, you go and say something like this, assuring me that it was the right decision when we planned this. Sam: We? When WE planned this? Uncle: (innocently) Did I say we? I meant I. Sam: Oh my God. Of course. It makes perfect sense now. Uncle: What? Sam: This was all a set-up. You have been setting me up.
Uncle: What are you talking about? Sam: Everything that has been happening since I came back. How you demanded that I come to this job since I came back because you “needed” me and yet there was rarely any work and get me to leave that Job I had in the World Bank. The salary that was reduced in half to assure that I don’t get too financially independent. The Bullshit assignments from my management and how my work was never appreciated. How you completely skipped my evaluation despite the fact that you told me you “had a plan for me” after the initial 6 months. You had a plan for me all right, but it was after a year, for this election. Everything you did prior to that was to make sure that I would do it. So that it would seem like a golden opportunity. To give me an offer I can’t refuse so to speak. Uncle: (amused) I don’t know what you are talking about. Sam: Ohh, your amused smile betrays you. You know exactly what I am talking about. And the We you are talking about. Was that you and my Mom? Uncle: Well, partly. Your dad was in on it too. Sam: My Dad? Even my dad was in on this? Uncle: How do you think we stopped you from getting that final interview and the Job at EFG? I had to make a phone call and ask as a personal favor from them not to hire you. Sam: (mumbling) Psycho-Fuck Family. Uncle: Huh? Sam: He told you. Of course. He was the one always telling me to stick it through. To go with you. To just “accept how things are”. And he is the one who told you about my Job offer. Jesus. How did you get him to do that? I mean, my Mom and her lust for power I understand. But my Dad is kind of farfetched, especially since he doesn’t really like you. How did you do it? Uncle: Ehh, wasn’t too hard really. You know your dad. Always obsessed with his womanizing, never thinking for tomorrow. I told him that I would take care of you, hook you up so to speak, and that he wouldn’t have to worry about you or supporting you financially from now on. This meant to him that he would have more money to spend on his “girlfriends”, so he didn’t argue much. Sam: This is why he sold my Car when I was abroad behind my back. Now I get it. Uncle: Mistresses are expensive Sam. Plus we had to make sure that you had very little to fall back on if we ever got you back here. A car in your name is an asset. Assets give you power to chose. We needed you powerless, so the car had to go. Sam: So that’s why he insisted on me coming back to Egypt last year, claiming that my Granny was sick, when he knew about my plans of marrying my Girlfriend at the time. Uncle: He knew that renewing the Visa under the 9/11 regulations would take at least 4 months, something you did not know, so it would mean you would get trapped here with us, with no way out. The distance would take care of the relationship and by the time you could get back, you wouldn’t be able to afford it. Sam: Damn.. Wow. It all makes sense now. And your phone calls to me in the states my last year there and your e-mails to me. This was all part of it. Damn. That’s a long haul plan man. You must’ve needed me pretty bad. What for? Uncle: To take care of A. Sam. I thought that was obvious. By putting you in there, and knowing how easily you make friends and set up your territory, I was assuring that when A. gets in 5 years down the line in the parliamentary elections, that he would have a strong ally to show him the ropes. You know, that he would have a Back, someone from the family, just in case something happened to me. Sam: Makes sense. Uncle: However, this is all over now. Guess I will have to rely on someone outside the family to do this for him. Sam: Awwww. Uncle: No need to be rude now. Because of your decision you are on thin ice. Sam: What are you talking about? Uncle: Well, as you said, my plan for you involved this. Now that you are not doing this, I am not sure I have use for you anymore. Sam: Hehe, are you threatening to fire me? Uncle: What’s so funny about that? Sam: That it’s a hollow threat. You and I know you won’t do it. Uncle: Really? What makes you so sure? Sam: Cause you know that by doing that you would get Granny upset at you, since you know, I am her absolute favorite. She is still the patriarch of the family, and you have spent long long years trying to get her to like you. You wouldn’t want that effort to go in vain , especially now that she is as old as she is. To put it bluntly: you don’t want her dying being angry or upset at you. And she would be if you fired me. It’s easier just to wait till my contract expires and then just not renew it. Uncle: True. Sam: And to make things easier for you, I would like you to know I have been expecting this reaction, which is why I was at a Job interview right before I came here. Uncle: Really? Now, see why I like you? You are a snake. You refuse to be pinned in a corner.

Sam: Learned from the best. Anyway, I won’t take anymore of your time. I have phone calls to make and parents to yell at. I mean My mom with her fake talk about all those US jobs she could help me get in order to keep me patient should guarantee her a big yelling at. And you don’t wanna even know what I am going to do to my father. Uncle: Well, Good luck with that. Sam: (smiling cheerfully) Thank you sir. Uncle: (slightly annoyed) Why are you smiling like that? You just found out that you have been manipulated by your own parents for the past 3 years and that you are probably not remaining in your job. What are you smiling so happily about? Sam: Cause of all of those reasons Uncle. Cause for the first time since I came back, I feel free. Not my family, and not my job. I am not losing anything but my chains. Ain’t nothing holding me back now. Uncle: That’s the answer I was scared of. Sam: (still smiling cheerfully)You should be. Have a good one.
And I left!


At 7/21/2005 08:18:00 AM, Blogger DaKruser said...

Congrats SM,
I truly wish you the best in the coming months and years. Life changes in many ways, but once changed, it never goes back to what it was to begin with.

At 7/21/2005 08:25:00 AM, Blogger Highlander said...

Seen this way , I would NOT take the job to be his son's nanny. but only if I am truely powerful to slowly effect my own agenda. Guess that was not the plan for you SM, ma3lesh you're doing just fine, I still wish you would remain in Egypt, who else can take care of Egypt if all the best leave? Good luck with your life , hope you got that new job !

At 7/21/2005 08:34:00 AM, Blogger gatorbait said...

Jesus H Christ ,Sam, this is diabolical. Check you e-mail ,okay?

At 7/21/2005 08:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

they could give lessons to machiavelli and sun tzu. deeply scary, sam. I wish you all the best. happy freedom day!

bodhi, Canada

At 7/21/2005 09:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your family is fucking crazy.

At 7/21/2005 09:54:00 AM, Blogger Egyptian Person said...

Now what will you do, SM?
Is it hard to go back to the point right before you returned to Egypt?

At 7/21/2005 10:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd run, deny the conversation with my uncle, and then completely and totally screw them over with everything I have down the road when they needed me.

These people are disgusting.

At 7/21/2005 10:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever see the movie "Payton Place", you should, you're in the middle of it!


At 7/21/2005 11:06:00 AM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

Typical family. A family is a bunch of randomly selected people all trying to control each other.

At 7/21/2005 11:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not my family Don. Sam...get out. Build a wholesome healthy life for yourself. Create a 'family of choice'. Yours is sick. Very sick. That is not love.


At 7/21/2005 11:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I totally agree with what Gatorbait said! The first thing that came into my mind was indeed "Man! That's just plain diabolical". Happy to hear that your "chains" have now been broken! Guess it's time to start a new chapter in your life. A new chapter that I believe Robert Frost would heartily endorse. To wit: "...and I, I took the road less traveled by and it has made all the difference."

Mike V. in DC

At 7/21/2005 12:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is enlightening as to why the Arabs I know are so eager to believe in conspiracy theories. Keep a good diary; this has the making of a novel or TV series like Dallas.

At 7/21/2005 12:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn your life was written by Shakespear. Enjoy your newfound freedom.


At 7/21/2005 12:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aha ei yella el gunoon dah.

At 7/21/2005 12:39:00 PM, Blogger Adam Gurri said...

Sherklock Sandmonkey?

You're astonishingly bright, Mr. Sandmonkey. I hope you find happiness and success wherever you chose to go :)

At 7/21/2005 01:00:00 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Holy shit.

At 7/21/2005 01:25:00 PM, Blogger Kat said...

Congratulations on your first day of freedom. i feel that an appropriate song is in order:

Ain't no mountain high enough
Ain't no ocean deep enough
to keep me from getting to you, babe!

(Hope I didn't give away my age)

At 7/21/2005 01:28:00 PM, Blogger barkingboy said...

Man I am so fucking.....
speechless!! :|
What the hell?! :|
Who ARE these people! Their thinking.. their planning.. their.. What the hell?!
I seriously dunno what to say!
I am so glad you left man! NOT ONE PERSON WAS INTERESTED IN IT FOR YOU! it's like gatorbait said.. it's fucking diabolical! NDP is like a whole way of life man! a whole different way of thought! these sick people are BORN like this! this is dirty! I am.. speechless!

At 7/21/2005 01:28:00 PM, Blogger R said...

Man.. That's really amazing.
It also sounds like an Egyptian movie (the new trend)!

Maybe I shouldn't have skipped any of your older posts!!

If you come back to the States, we should meet!!

At 7/21/2005 02:30:00 PM, Anonymous Drifter said...

This is really freaky!! I am so glad u did not run and make their evil plan succeed... I just wanna tell u good luck and we r all certain u can make a huge difference someday... U r actually making a difference right now... U r a gr8 and inspiring guy... Wish u the best!

At 7/21/2005 02:47:00 PM, Anonymous PE said...

Why did you say "No" Sam? Are your parents divorced? Anyway, that's pretty screwed up, especially about asking the guy not to hire you so you'd be free to run for parliamentary elections. Well, now you're free.

At 7/21/2005 03:02:00 PM, Anonymous Tina said...


Stand on your own two feet Sam, you are strong, healthy, and very smart. There is no way to keep someone like you down.

If you have to leave the country to get a job, then do it. I'm sorry about your family, I had no idea they could do something like that to you.

At 7/21/2005 04:47:00 PM, Anonymous Homebrew said...

GOOD GRIEF MAN! You realize of course that if this
information falls into the wrong hands, your entire family will be recruited to run Hilary's Presidential Campaign!!!

At 7/21/2005 04:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy shit, that's so crazy!!!
It's actually kick ass in a way, how you've come out of it. Props!
Do keep us posted :D

At 7/21/2005 05:12:00 PM, Blogger gbaikie said...

Reads like a daytime soap opera. I don't believe it. I not saying you didn't fairly accurately convey the conversation, but that life is more complicated than what the conversation implied. I would say that your uncle knew you might be looking for conspiracy type story & colors events accordingly. And he is also probably fearing that you might part of some conspiracy.

So he pads "his story" to some degree with the slight hope that "this truth" will provoke you give him a clue to the conspiracy that he suspects you are part of.

The main card he played was your dad's womanizing. The reason for him playing this card was to drive a wedge between you and your dad- after failing in his attempt to use your mother for his purposes.

My guess is your dad wants you to be independent. In other words he wants you to be a man. Your mother wants strengthen the family connection, in other words she is a woman. For a woman, independence of a man translates into "womanizing" and for a woman to be independent she is at least flirting with other men.

I, of course, know nothing of the situation, but your dad may be having affairs, your uncle may be encouraging your dad to have affairs, and it's possible your mother is having affair with your uncle and even your uncle could be your biological father.

Or it could simply and most probably be that your mother suspects that dad is womanizing [because he is man- instead of some impossible creature that woman seem to want men to be] and she spends some effort trying to get this type of information from his brother.

At 7/21/2005 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Solomon said...

Wow, dude. Is your Uncle the Baron Harkonen or something?

At 7/21/2005 07:24:00 PM, Anonymous Karim Elsahy said...

Ruth I’ve made an entire post out of the argument we started here. I think you will appreciate it, come check it out. Sorry to use your space as a message board Sam but that last post is just to big to comment on; I’ll catch you on MSN buddy. Peace.

At 7/21/2005 07:28:00 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Yup. Sounds like the makings of a good soap opera a la Dallas style. There's your future, young man. Television. Produce a hit show that parodies families and Egytian politics.

At 7/21/2005 10:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



At 7/22/2005 12:15:00 AM, Blogger Twosret said...

Toxic! Toxic! is all what I can say.

A situation like this is usually the beggining of a success story.

I'm very positive that someone with your caliber will become a great entrepreneur.

Nothing will break you SM!


At 7/22/2005 07:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you've given quite an insight into the mentality and culture which produces the type of stupidity/violence we are dealing with everyday now. The fact that they would use you in this manner is mindblowing. Your better off without them in your life. Just fucking wow.

At 7/22/2005 08:16:00 AM, Blogger egyptiansally said...

SOAP OPERA. better yet, The Godfather.

At 7/22/2005 10:27:00 AM, Blogger Polly Prissy-Pants said...

All that just confirms that you made the right decision. That totaly sucks that they tried to screw you like that.

At 7/22/2005 11:47:00 AM, Blogger Twosret said...


"Well, you've given quite an insight into the mentality and culture which produces the type of stupidity/violence we are dealing with everyday now. "

Very ignorant statement...this have nothing to do with violence or stupidity and it is not the culture of Egyptians. This is simply dirty business that exists all over the world.

Your statement actually is what Egyptians have to deal with in the west!

At 7/22/2005 12:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez, I don't check in for a few days and look what happens.

Sam, I have three children. Whatever I have been able to lavish on them in terms of education, travel, etc. has been for THEM and not for me. I would never expect them to sacrifice their being in return for the money I spent on them. I can only hope that they turn out half so well as you.

Your country will need you, and you will find a way to serve that does not violate your principals and integrity. Thank God/Allah for people like you.


At 7/22/2005 02:09:00 PM, Blogger Josie said...

Well I have to say, congratulations. I knew that saying no was the right decision, I just knew it. And now you have your confirmation, Sam. If you had said yes? Just think of it. Praise God!!

At 7/22/2005 03:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same thought keeps coming back to me. You were born in the wrong country, or it's the right country, but the wrong time. There's nothing wrong with Egypt itself. The problem lies with the mind set of the people in power.

Perhaps you could make your fortune faster outside of Egypt, because I believe you're going to do very well financially. You already have the mind to effect positive changes in the direction of the country, and it seems you would be very capable of enlisting supporters. But, you need the means to get the ball rolling.

Or, you could just find your way to the States again, forget about the headache of politics, and enjoy your life free of family manipulation and guilt trips. Your family does have some serious issues!


At 7/22/2005 04:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you. You'll be able to make your own way.


At 7/22/2005 05:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A strange story, indeed.

I think you may be better off not having followed your family's wishes.

I am sorry to hear that there has been another large attack on Sharm el Sheikh. I sympathize with the Egyptians and foreign visitors who were killed and injured and with their families and friends.

Michael in Framingham

At 7/22/2005 05:54:00 PM, Anonymous Kathy K said...

You aren't an Egyptian, you are an American. No matter what your papers say.You've got that American habit that everyone hates - it's called 'thinking for yourself'. It's a rejection of being used, no matter who is trying to use you.

Come home, if you can. Fight from here. You are welcome here - you may get an odd glance or two until we get to know you (we are born of refugees from all over the world - and we tend to be suspicious). But once we know you, we've got your back.

Come home.

At 7/22/2005 07:19:00 PM, Anonymous PE said...

"You aren't an Egyptian, you are an American. No matter what your papers say.You've got that American habit that everyone hates - it's called 'thinking for yourself'"

No, Americans aren't really known for that. In fact, maybe if they did a little more "thinking for themselves" and didn't listen to everything their government throws at them, they'd be a little more respected. Most other people question their leaders, if you do that here, you're probably a guest on "REal Time with Bill Maher". Thankfully though, my younger generation is more apt to question authority. As for this experience, Sam I'm quite disappointed you said No. This was very well-planned (Egyptians are such good planners) and it might have served you well.

At 7/23/2005 06:46:00 PM, Blogger CharlesWT said...

PE said... "Thankfully though, my younger generation is more apt to question authority."

Say...what happen to that younger generation of the '60s?

At 7/23/2005 08:27:00 PM, Blogger thewiz said...

" What are you smiling so happily about?
Sam: Cause of all of those reasons Uncle. Cause for the first time since I came back, I feel free. Not my family, and not my job. I am not losing anything but my chains. Ain’t nothing holding me back now.
Uncle: That’s the answer I was scared of.
Sam: (still smiling cheerfully)You should be. Have a good one."

Reminds me of Nathan Sharanski. I saw an interview where he said he was never more free than when he was in the Soviet Gulag. He would tell the guards jokes of about the Soviet Premier and laugh out loud. The guards wanted to laugh but would face imprisonment if they did. Sharanski said he was freer than his own prison gaurds because he could laugh and they couldn't.

You are now freer than your own family. The chains are broken and have fallen silent around your ankles. Step out of them and step free.

Be free and be well my friend.

At 7/25/2005 09:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sell that story to HBO.


At 7/29/2005 05:10:00 PM, Anonymous colagirl said...

Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.

If I were you, I would run as far as I could, as fast as I could, and never look back in case they grabbed me from behind.

Jesus Christ.


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