Tuesday, September 29, 2009
An Apology for the Detained
A very worrying phenomenon has started to be observed. More and more people are denied entry into Egypt, most of them foreigners. First there was Manal Timraz, next Travis Randall and now Per Bjorklund. These are people that I know from 0 - 1 degree of separation. It follows that there are tens of others that I don't know about that have been treated similarly.
It's infuriating being denied entry into an allegedly touristic country without being given a reason. It's annoying that there's nothing we can do while some idiots control our borders. It's our country damn it, you don't represent us. Remember when the British controlled our country and we had no say in what happened? Well guess what, we're in the same position, only that this time there are no uniforms or physical features to identify our enemies. On the contrary, many of the foreigners are on our side.
So what can we do when our friends are denied entry for no other crime than perhaps trying to expose the injustice in our country? What can we do when our friends are mistreated for no good cause?
I have no answer, I pose this question hoping for answers better than ones that have come up. I'm almost tempted to say there's nothing we can do, but I know better than to blurt it out. The one thing that concerns me though is the dire consequences of such actions by a power drunk government. The current actions that possess so much obscurity and possibly foul play can leave us stranded. They are reminiscent of the persecution of foreigners at the time of Nasser, when they were all driven out despite being more Egyptian and more loyal to Egypt than many without foreign roots. The consequences back then is what we reap today, we have no culture of work and we've managed to fall behind almost everyone we were ahead of.
But even if not all foreigners are expelled, think about how we're going to be treated at embassies. I think if we treat them this way, then they're kind to us at their embassies even with all the bullshit we have to do in order to get a visa. Despite how angry I am at having a hard time, I know deep down that we deserve it. We deserve it because our non elected government has made us cheap. The Egyptians have been devalued and we're letting them get away with it, we're proving that we really are cheap because some minority with either low IQ or an intoxicating power trip are in control and we don't question them.
It's a government that protects itself and not its people and so, it becomes us and them. I can only hope that someone out there has enough courage to take action. I never thought of pursuing a foreign nationality, and I never thought I can ever be ashamed of being Egyptian, but you know what, maybe we ought to be ashamed, maybe our fake patriotism doesn't have place while our name and our heritage is being defamed and corrupted. I'm proud to say that I'm ashamed of being Egyptian now. I won't escape it, I will bear the shame that my alleged countrymen have incurred upon us.
If I can do anything to fix things, I would, but I feel helpless. I'm not a man of apologies, but I apologize to those mistreated by Egyptians. I apologize for our stupidity, and I apologize for our helplessness, but we too are prisoners in our own house and we're worse off, we have no home to return to.