Sunday, February 25, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

I've been following the news on the arrest of Abdel Karim, a blogger who seemed to have expressed his thoughts all too well, on a show called Al3ashera Masaa2an (10 in the evening). Of course the whole thing is just appalling, but if you're on this blog and reading then you must agree that being jailed for writing some inanities or opinions does seem extreme and far too unworthy of being imprisoned for a duration of four years. It must also feel that there are hands that want to go past your skull and through your brain to control all your thoughts by approving and codemning every thought. But that's not what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is a man on the show called Mostafa Bakry. This man was very annoying, not because of what he was saying, but because of he manner that he was saying it. I hate it when people on a show don't give the chance for any other guest to say anything by continuously interrupting them and by talking louder to overshadow what the other guest has to say.

Perhaps amidst all this charade, what really got to me most was his use of the 'Conspiracy Theory' argument by that man. He argued that AbdelKarim's thoughts could not have been his own and that they were fed to him and so on as part of a whole conspiracy to destroy the great nation Egypt.

Now my question is, what's there to destroy? Really, what kind of target can Egypt be? It doesn't pose any military threat, it doesn't pose any technological threat, it doesn't pose any economic threat and in short, there is nothing left to destroy because most of what could have been targetted to be destroyed already has.

The Americans don't hate us yet, we have a strong alleigance with them, and we have a peace treaty with Israel, God knows they don't want another enemy on their hands. So who and what is trying to destroy us? Why is it that we have this conspiracy theory all the time while the enemy is actually within. It is certainly much easier to point the finger than to take the blame, and I think that in places without freedom, there can be no real responsibility or accountability. The only emotion left is denial. We're left with lies that are forced down our throats. The false feeling of pride, acheivment, and importance, for how would Egyptians feel, if they woke up to realize that all the suffering they have gone through is self inflicted. How would people feel when they find themselves as Don Quixote fighting windmills, it's so much easier to have an enemy rather than a traitor. The thought control, the limitations of our creativity, that's the real conspiracy and it's happening from within our own country.

Don't get me wrong, this country does have its perks, but that's not what I'm talking about. It's just that Egypt is so distanced from any active map. It's a political catalyst at best and economically struggling. The corruption has eaten away at it from the insides and if it someone's enemy, it's an enemy that self destructs.

The conspiracy theory really kills me. What fake pride do people possess to think that we are emerging from the abyss to cause threat to others. It can't be that every person's thought is a conspiracy, every action taken by someone is a conspiracy. There's always a reference to those invisible hands, and while they might be present in some situations, they're always blamed for everything else.

Why do we have to look for faults elsewhere and act as though with a wounded pride when our faults are exposed? Any unorthodox politic is a conspiracy it seems and anything that skews slightly from the main doctrine approved by the government is heretic. It seem we're not allowed to think and we're not expected to think, so much so, that when someone seems to develop a thinking pattern it automatically falls under the category 'conspiracy theory'.

Speaking of thought, I was annoyed today as well by something on Elbait Baitak. When someone on the phone said that we should not put our children's thought in moulds and enhance their creativity and analysis, the response was that grade 5 wasn't the time to do that, they're much too young. Well, I think that even education is too determined to mould our children into lifeless thoughless beings so that if any creativity in thought happens incidentally, it would be easy to identify it as coming from an external source.

The real conspiracy is killing all kinds of thought in this country. Mostafa Bakry demanded the life of AbdelKarim. Now tell me, does it not seem like a conspiracy to frighten anyone who attempts to sway from what is approved?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Diary Entry #976

To a friend.
This is a diary entry as I would imagine someone to have written:

I arrived home to a lonely, empty flat. Not just void of other people, but also void of any furniture that gives warmth to a place. It was a cold spacious and empty apartment that reflected how I felt inside. The coldness of the walls and the uncarpeted floor made their way directly to my bones. To make matters worse, I found myself facing a mirror and staring at an almost entirely separate person from the one looking through. So I asked this person, “ Are you all that I am?” and I couldn’t stand that the answer was “yes.”

I felt like I couldn’t bear my own skin, there was a beast inside itching to claw its way out of my skin. “How can anybody stand me if I can’t stand myself?” I thought. I was trapped inside myself and I wasn’t happy.

Coming home I’m faced with the usual simple chores like taking out the trash, changing my clothes, preparing something to eat and brushing my teeth. On any other night, these simple things would not have been burdensome or even significant in the least, but tonight I was with the worst kind of company; myself.

Being unable to bear myself, each simple chore, every simple move felt lonelier than ever and burdensome as ever every second they were prolonged. I felt as if I was imploding and the beast inside me was tearing my insides.

How can I bear myself and how can others bear me; I am nothing, a big nothing and I’m trapped. There’s a cage I’m in called me and there’s nothing I can do to change me and nothing I can think of to change me.

I’m filled with irritation with myself, anger, disgust and low self esteem. Those mixed feelings that even words can’t describe run through my whole body from top to toe as if they were running through my veins along with my very own blood. I can’t bear this, I feel like I will implode or explode from the pressure of these poisons flowing through my system.

The feeling never stops, and it grows and it takes a hold of me and I’m dying to get out. The cage is closing in on me and fills me with so much negative energy that begs of me to stop existing altogether. Only trouble is that the cage itself is me. I scream out loud with all my lungs can afford but to no avail. I pull out my hair and give myself a few slaps, something shakes, but the rage inside doesn’t go.

The pressure inside my head keeps building and my veins seem like they are about to explode, the irritation is unbearable and I must do something to take it all out and end it all. I grab a knife and slash my arm with it, dark blood flows and I feel some of that rage shaken, I slash it again and I experience more pain and more red blood gushing out relieving some pressure… Through these cuts some of that horrible negative feeling has been vented out and I’m too exhausted to feel the rage with the same vehemence.

I don’t feel less alone or more loved. I feel the same abandonment and I feel the same low self worth. The only thing is that I’m now too tired and I can bear myself another night. Who knows what tomorrow may bring, but I don’t suspect it will bring me anything better; I’m condemned to being me and to a life of misfortune.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

On Pregnancy and Hymens

Very late at night, I overheard a show talking about marriages and pregnancies and sex education. The doctor on the show had a few things to say which were interesting.

To paraphrase:

We all know that the hymen has different textures, and there has been rumours that some hymens need surgical intervention if it doesn't .. give way.. but anyway, that doctor said that there's no such thing as surgical intervention in hymens, they all can be disposed of in the natural way no matter what type they claim to be.

And :

The only female species that can have sexual relations while pregnant is the human female, no other female has that capability. However, that being said, during the first three months of pregnancy the pregnant woman can't bear the thought of sex, can't bear the man's scent, his aftershave, and just the reminder of his existence can make her vomit.

Supposedly this man is a doctor and knows what he's talking about, so I suppose that maybe what he's trying to say is that any hymen that doesn't give way is fake..and by the sounds of it the concept of women enduring some sort of labour during childbirth is balanced out with what a man has to endure.

(Plus of course the extra trouble he takes to buy her tickets to the Bahamas and diamond earrings)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Invitation To Ride

So I cycle to work every day. It’s not a long distance really, something like 10-15 minutes by ‎bike or the equivalent of 20-30 minutes by car. Cairo is not at all designed for bicycles but ‎then again neither is it designed for cars or pedestrians or even humans. I used to cycle from ‎place to place when I had my freestyle bike as a child, but all that changed since it broke ‎down and I sort of outgrew the freestyle stuff. Anyway it did take a bit of courage to decide ‎to cycle in Cairo to and from work, especially that I was showered with warnings from ‎everyone who came to know of my plan. ‎

The warnings were concerning many aspects, firstly the pollution in Cairo, instead of actually ‎doing a sport that would benefit my body, I would be augmenting the inhale of pollution to ‎bring about more quickly the ruin of an already deteriorating pair of lungs. Another problem ‎was traffic; driving in Cairo is chaotic enough as it is without the disadvantage of having to ‎deal with it from a vulnerable exposed bike. Being a driver myself I can see how anymore ‎space used up by a bike can cause drivers to go crazy with rage. The pedestrians have left the ‎non existent sidewalk and moved on to the road, but what makes bikers more infuriating is ‎that they move quicker than both cars and pedestrians. They use up little enough road so as ‎to glide through traffic and yet enough to hinder some cars.‎

One more issue that was raised but that is totally absurd is harassment. Yes even guys can ‎get harassed if walking in shorts, or strange clothes or on a bike. Of course I don’t have a ‎poor looking bike like those carrying bread or running errands, so one can expect the same ‎kind of remarks as those I get while going to play football wearing shorts during the winter. ‎Even more, some have warned that I may get some kind of mockery from the not so ‎accustomed workmates. ‎

But of course that last issue is the least of my worries, relative to the normal population, I’m ‎considered eccentric anyway, and I’ve never cared much for what people say, I’ve been ‎down that road so many times and I discovered that if you’re confident enough people get ‎tired of the strange things you do and eventually start accepting you and sometimes even ‎respecting you.‎

Despite all these warnings, I still decided to cycle to work, and it does have its perks apart ‎from dodging pedestrians walking like zombies unaware of their own existence and yours, ‎the bigger task was to avoid cars that continuously ignore you, almost run you over and then ‎simply smile and apologize. The perks of cycling though other than it being a sport I enjoy a ‎lot is that I get home faster in the deadlocked traffic of Cairo. I can run errands on my way ‎home and I can decide to leave during rush hour rather than rot away in the office. I can ‎enjoy the cold air in the evening and rid myself of that usual feeling of lethargy at the end of ‎a working day. I can actually go back home and decide to go out, not dreading driving to ‎places since I haven’t been locked in a traffic jam for over fifteen minutes. I can even park ‎right next to the office and not go around 10 extra minutes looking for a parking space, with ‎the car, the process of parking is horrendous. ‎

With all these perks comes one that was very unexpected. Owning a bike is like being lost. ‎Not in a bad sense I assure you, it’s just that when people are lost, people are very anxious to ‎help them and get them on the right way and talk to them. That’s what it’s like when some ‎people see me with a bike. I’m talking about the doorman and the security guards and the ‎garage keeper. They’re very excited that I have joined their ranks and run my errands on a ‎bike. One of the security guards was so interested that he asked me if my bike was normal or ‎with “3’eyarat” (gears). The ability to make small talk about the bike is excellent. ‎

I’m not sure why people don’t go to their work on bikes here in Egypt, I mean it may be a ‎bit demeaning, but if more people did it then the traffic won’t be as bad (except on the 6th of ‎October bridge) and the whole biking thing will be generally more accepted. If anything it ‎can attempt to bring closer those rich enough to own cars but choose bikes, and those rich ‎enough to merely own a bike.‎

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tag Heur

So I've been tagged by alluring who was tagged by raghd-triple-o-da who was tagged by Mak who apparently wasn't tagged by anyone, and might have just made this whole tag thing up out of boredom or to get to know things about raghdoooda or to see how far a tag can travel.

Anyway, he got more than he bargained for and now I'm about to relay some truths about myself, which people (except maybe alluring,bless her, who tagged me) are not interested in reading about. In any case that shouldn't be such a difficult task because this blog doesn't give away any personal information, so to compensate what the blog has failed to do, I'll be tagged.

Things you didn't know about me, and now that you do, don't care that you do:

  • I finished high school before I turned 14.
  • Since that sounds geeky enough, it was natural for me to be a woman repeller up to the age of 20.
  • I taught myself how to do a shoulder spring.
  • I cycle to work every day.
  • I'm obsessed with Dostoevsky.
  • Leonardo Di Caprio sucked in Titanic and I despised him but I've changed my opinion about him as an actor and I've started give him some respect since Catch Me If You Can.
  • Pretty much every other thing I can include in this list will be something you didn't know about me and won't care to.
Okay that should be enough for this tag, and now comes time to tag, at the risk of embarrassing myself I will tag some bloggers who may or may not see this one of these days: Amnesiac, Mechanical Crowds and Everything's Eventual.
Insomniac who I was about to mention tagged herself out of her own accord.
N who I wanted to tag seems to have been tagged already.
And just for the record, one more thing you didn't know about me, is that whenever I visit blogs whose posts include a tag post such as this one, it really annoys me.. Something about answering a specific question and bulleted points.. I don't know..

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

42 ½

My shoe size is 42 and a half. That’s exactly what it feels like in most shoes I try on. 42 is slightly tight, 43 is slightly loose. At first I thought I was imagining it, that I was either thinking that my shoes were too tight when they were a good fit, or thinking they were too loose when they were just comfortable. But try as I might, there was just no way around it, my shoe size was 42 and a half.

I once tried buying a size 42, hoping that by time the material would expand and I would be able to rid myself of the absurd notion that my feet did not conform to normal standards. But when I wore those shoes for a while, they caused me so much pain that I could never walk in them again. I vowed never to walk in those sorts of shoes ever again.

On another occasion I bought a size 43 shoe to play football with, but that also turned into a complete mess. There was no accuracy in my shots and I had trouble sprinting and all in all I felt my feet surrounded by too much empty space.

So after all these experiments, I’m neither a 42 nor a 43, I’m somewhere in between. I must have missed out on some really good shoes because of that. I’ve often wondered why I couldn’t have just been one size or the other, fitting well with the designs that should be available to everyone. Why must it be so difficult and why must I stand out? I’ve never had a real answer to this, and I’ve come to accept that this is just the way it is.

I’ve come to appreciate the shoes that do fit though I hang on to them very dearly. Even though they’re a mishap, they fit a mishap like myself pretty well. I don’t need to fit in all possible shoes; I just need to seek out those that fit. Those that do fit tend to endure. Perhaps they might make some other normal people slightly uncomfortable, but they suit me best.

I’m always lost about where to shop for them though…