-------- "This is the time for action not only words, use your God given gifts to develop this country, dont be afraid to speak up, and feel PROUD THAT U R EGYPTIAN." -------- Mohaly, Feb 2011

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

522) Living like an Egyptian - Episode 2 !

) As expected Egyptians are so diversed hat you can't combine them in one category and hence I am having a series not one post but since the majority will be from the Middle and lower classes, they will have the majority of Episodes. Actually pictures will help a lot in such series so if you have some, please send it to mohaly.mail@gmail.com..

Our first picture in this series is showing how "The Ordinary Egyptian" fights in order to get basic food (bread) for his/her family. I think reaching such stage means that living like an Egyptian in the C2 & D classes is more like "Fightling like an Egyptian". Although the fight may seem funny for some non-Egyptians, but it is really a misery to reach the stage of fighting (and even killing sometimes) for bread!!



Mona said...

Well, my personal opinion on this matter might sound controversial.

I proudly disagree with the "Fight for Bread" movement, which made the news for over a year.

Bread is not a necessity and it is not a basic need. Yes, food is a basic need - according to Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - but bread in specific is not.

"Fighting for Bread" is just a sign of disgrace where poverty in itself is not. "Fighting for Bread" is also a sign of loss of dignity, or even worse the unawareness of what dignity is all about.

I back up my opinion by what Viktor Frankl wrote in his book "Man's search for Meaning" which is about his experiences in a concentration camp and how he did survive against all odds.

I would support a movement for clean air, clean water, caring environment and better education.

It just an opinion.

Anonymous said...

أود أن أسألك الى ما تهدف من تلك السلسلة ؟
هل هي مجرد رصد حالة ؟
أم للتندر عن عالم لا تعيشه ولا تتأسى منه ؟
أم نقل صورة للعالم عن مصر خاصة أنك تكتب وفقط بالانجليزية
أي أن تدويناتك غالبا موجهة لشريحة محددة قبلا بالقارئين للإنجليزية ؟؟

أم أنك ستستطيع أن تضيف لنا بعض الحلول ؟

ما الهدف يا محمد

Mohaly said...

Anonymous, out of respect I will answer you this time, but if you kept on using anonymous I will not continue answering.

Regarding the aim of the series:

هل هي مجرد رصد حالة ؟
Mostly yes, and that is not a small aim to have a series about who is the Egyptian how do an Egyptian live now. This can be a threshold for further analysis whether within each post in the series or after in ends or even in other blogs as well.

أم للتندر عن عالم لا تعيشه ولا تتأسى منه ؟

OF COURSE NOT!! If you really read carefully part 1, and the start of part 2, you will know that I asked my audience to define who is the Egyptian, and since most of them agreed that the Egyptian is mostly in the lower classes then most of the episodes will be toward them BUT as I also said some of them are about others classes too because this series is about taking SNAPSHOTS of Egyptian life not only of the poor people.
Question to you: Why did you assume that I don't get hurt because of it. Haven't you heard about Social peace. If they are not satisfied, it will affect the rest sooner or later. It is in everyone's interest to make the suffering of poor people less. Zakah was mandated by God to balance the community to ensure social peace, but there was always and it will always be divided into rich and poor "faowka ba3den tabakat".

أم نقل صورة للعالم عن مصر خاصة أنك تكتب وفقط بالانجليزية
أي أن تدويناتك غالبا موجهة لشريحة محددة قبلا بالقارئين للإنجليزية ؟؟
Egypt doesn't need me to reflect its image to the world. I am talking to the English speaking community in Egypt and the Arabs who are living abroad.
أم أنك ستستطيع أن تضيف لنا بعض الحلول ؟
I really hope that me or any of the blog audience can do so. May be you can come up with some solutions in some episodes.
ما الهدف يا محمد
and you still have the option not to share if you don't like what is written above. If you decided to share kindly have a name. Thanks.

omar said...

Anonymous, questioning the aim is good to understand and asses but I don't know why I feel bit of aggressiveness in your question.

Mohaly or any blogger is not supposed to solve all the problems in his or her blog, if done it will be great, but there is an effort of putting together a seed for may be a book about Egyptian lives after almost 10 years in the 21st century.

I also don't see Mona mocking because you didn't get what she means. She is not telling people that they are idiots, but her opinion is that we should consider something other than bread if bread will make us loose our dignity! and she is totally right in that.

Shimaa Gamal said...

Mona & Omar
Something other than bread to satisfy a basic need, would you please elaborate on this.

Anonymous said...

lol----mona are you serious! bernard lewis made it clear that bread to egyptians IS LIFE ITS SELF, by explaining that the arabic word for bread is khobs or ajeen. but in egypt it is AEASH which essentially means LIFE!

amina said...

لدىَّ قناعة كاملة أن المصرى ضحية مركزية السلطات الأربع: الدولة، التعليم، الأسرة، المؤسسة الدينية. وعندى دليل على كلامى. انظر إلى شاب، أو فتاة، كان متوسط الذكاء والقدرات وهو يعمل فى مؤسسة مصرية، ثم انظر إليه وإلى تبدل أحواله بعد أن التحق بالعمل داخل شركة أجنبية.. سوف يفاجئك الفارق الذى ينم عن أن العيب ليس فى الشخص ولكن فى أسلوب الإدارة وتعاملها مع الأفراد! «الاعتمادية» ليست أصلاً فى الشخصية المصرية، لكنها نتاج قصور حاد فى نظم التربية الأسرية، والتعليم المدرسى، وإدارة شؤون الأفراد فى الدولة، إضافة إلى التفاسير البعيدة عن جوهر الدين.

لن تختفى صفة الاعتماد على الغير من الشخصية المصرية إلا بعد أن تنضج وتتطور ثقافتنا ابتداءً من التربية الأسرية، ليفهم الوالدان أن الهدف من التربية هو مساعدة أطفالنا على الخروج من حياتنا إلى حياة ناجحة خاصة بهم، وذلك بتعليمهم المهارات اللازمة لتحقيق هذا الهدف.

فهل نحن مستعدون لدفع ثمن فاتورة التغيير؟!

From Almasry Alyoum 3/2/2009

Mona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mona said...

To Anonymous who argued that the word Aish - Bread - means Life,

I am glad you find my opinion amusing. And I see what you meant to say about the connection between bread and life in Egypt -- I heard that argument before in the media.

Well, I do think that the statement need to be rephrased to: "The Egyptians percieved bread as life itself" instead of "Bread is life itself to Egyptians"
because it is clearly not life itself and does not need to be. It just anotehr evidence of how distorted our perceptios can be about life and what it means to us. And maybe just maybe, it is time for us the Egyptians to correct that distorted perception about the connection between bread and life.

I just woke up and I am kinda between the waking and dreaming states right now. I hope that my answer addresses your comment and I hope you find it as amusing as the first one.

Anonymous said...

One who is hungry cannot conjecture and postulate ever so eloquently as yourself Mona. so now that you are proposing to remove bread from the working class egyptian's life, what should the eat to survive!

and no one is attacking or mocking you, but when you make such outlandish statements one finds it hard not to comment!

Mona said...

Anonymous, Thanks for the challenge, I truly truly appreciate it.

I want to say that I strongly agree with Einstein famous quote- "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it," and I do strive to look at everything from different angles and different levels of consciousness in an attempt to find the most creative alternative solutions or resolutions to perceived problems.

I have to meditate on what to propose for an alternative to the bread issue. Will get back to you on that one.

Shimaa Gamal said...

Mona, bread is the cheapest food in Egypt. So, when people say that they can't find bread that means that they can't satisfy their basic need to eat.

If there is one thing that I learnt following Mohaly’s blog it will be to always think twice about what I will write. I admit that I don’t usually think twice and that many of my ideas skip to find their ways to you.
This very topic is one of the topics that I kept thinking over and over before commenting probably because comments will be repeated clichés. We all know that statistically, the Egyptians are those who can’t put dinner to tables. Statistically, Egyptians are illiterates. And statistically, Egyptians are those who have uncountable incurable diseases. We can’t turn a blind eye to the majority.
The average Egyptians isn’t me, isn’t Mohaly, isn’t Omar, isn’t the anonymous commenter and isn’t Mona. The average Egyptian is those that we don’t come across every day. Those we see in the news and sympathize with.
The average Egyptians are those who have no alternatives for dinner. It is not that they have lost dignity because dignity for them is a luxury. They work “3ashan yaklo 3iesh”, and because of that they keep a closed eye on many things. They don’t have time to think of what’s dignifying and what’s not. They actually stand in long lines to get that loaf of bread because they had to not because they chose to.
We are speaking about degraded value of life and how the education system is corrupted because it is free and how the medical service is bad because it is free and how subsidizing goods and services had hurt the Egyptian economy and consequently the Egyptian quality of life. But did it occur to anyone that this free schooling was the only reason “ebn el bawab” can read now? Did it occur to anyone that this free medical service is his maid only way to medicine?
We are a population of poor. Cairo isn’t only Egypt. If the poor in Cairo can afford things, the poor in Upper Egypt can’t afford it.
I personally can’t think of alternatives. I live here and all what I can do is to sympathize and try to help those I can help. I am open to suggestions and it will be really nice to know how Egyptians can eat and think of the luxurious dignity.
But I can’t help of having the last words of Mary Antoinette in mind when she suggested that the poor hungry Parisians eat biscuits as far as they can’t find bread

Anonymous said...

عزيزي عمر
فيه 2 غير معرف في الموضوع أنا بكتب عربي والآخر زيكم انجليزي

تساؤلاتي كانت موجهة فقط الى محمد وكما قلت يا عمر معرفة الهدف من الموضوع تجعلك قادر على التحليل والتقييم ولكني أبدا لا أسخر و لا أنتقد من رأي

على العكس آراء منى تعجبني جدا وهي محقة المسألة في التشاجر لا ترجع للفقر
بدليل رؤية الفلسطينيين في طوابير العيش وفي حالة حرب والطابور طويل ولكن بدون مشاحنات أو صورة مثل المرفقة بالموضوع
فهي تربية وأسلوب وترجع لعوامل غير الفقر

لم أتابع بقية الموضوع ولا أعرف من غير المعرف الثاني
ولكن كما قالت شيماء ما الطعام الذي هو أرخص من الخبز في مصر ؟؟؟
الهدف لم نكتب والى أين يؤدي بنا ما نكتبه هذا هو سؤالي لصاحب التدوينة

أختار أن أشارك ليس فيما يعجبني أولا يعجبني
أشارك لأضع زاوية للرؤية مختلفة لنجمع جميعا جميع الزوايا
في رأيي الموضوع مهم هل نظهر سيئاتنا وفقط
أم نظهر حسناتنا ومميزاتنا وفقط
أم نناقش ونحسن ونعدل ومتى وأين
والأهم كيف
في حالة الرصد كما وضحت يا محمد ما النتيجة من الرصد هل هي ظاهرة خفية تظهرها لنا ؟
هي معلومة ومعروفة
اذن الحلول أولى من الرصد
مثل السيدة التي صورت بالموبيل حالة تسريب الدقيق من أحد المخابز والتبليغ عنها
أن يتخذ الناس خطوات للتصحيح
وخاصة النخبة يوجهون الناس البسطاء

تحياتي لكم جميعا
ال جي

omar said...

Arabic Anonymous

thanks for replying. there is nothing called i am only talking to mohaly. he may be the owner of the blog, but when it comes to commenting, we all have equal rights, and I still see your way kind of aggressive specially with Mohaly and I don't know why.
I don't know if you are the same person who was always attacking the blog for a reason and for no reason , but if you are him or her, please focus on helping us to reach solutions or else stop the attacks.

Mohaly said...

Mona, and 2nd Anonymous:
I am really thinking deeply about that, both of you have a valid point of view! Although I am leaning more towards Mona's point of view but can't get the other point out of my mind!

L.G.: Welcome back with your challenging arguments :)
Please write LG so that we can refer to you specially that there is another anonymous!
Ya L.G. as I said and as Omar said, my role here is to put things together and start discussing it till we either enrich each other with our view (as what is happening between Mona, anon, and Shaimaa) or if we can reach solutions. But this is not a book to talk about the problem, analyize it and find solutions.
I am and will be showing good and bad stuff about different classes not just to show it, but to talk about it, discuss it and exchange our points of view COZ this is a blog, and that what are blog for. I will be VERY happy if we can reach a solution to any of the topics, and as I did before, I will then take it further and publish it on facebook for exposure and action. I asked the people to send me pictures as well so that we can make a difference if possible.
That is my answer to your question of why am I writing.
For the other question "to whom" I guess I have already answered it many times.

One last thing, I agree with Omar, please let's pass talking about the ideology and move forward to discuss the topics itself, it is a better investment of our time.

Tamer Mokhtar said...

eah ya gama3a malkom serious leeh keda :)

se7etko bel donia :)

L.G. said...

عزيزي عمر
يبدو أني لا أتكلم بلغة متبادلة بيننا
لا أهاجم محمد كما تعتقد لسبب أو بدون سبب وإلا دخلت في نفق مظلم أحب أن أنأى بنفسي عنه

وعندما وجهت الكلام لمحمد لأنه صاحب الرؤية الأصلية وتساءلت عن مقصده وهو شئ طبيعي أن تسأل من يكتب

إن أحسنت الظن بي لوجدت أني أحاول أن نصل جميعا لحلول وليس فقط أن نرصد أحوال كلنا نشعر بها من جميع الطبقات كما قال هو مما يرسب اليأس في النفوس بعض الشئ

في جميع الأحوال واحتراما لرغبتك
سأتوقف عن المداخلات في هذه المدونة

اتباعا لسنة الحبيب
إني زعيم ببيت في ربض الجنة لمن ترك الجدال ولو كان محقا
وأعتذر إن كنت أشعرت أحد القراء أو صاحب المدونة بالضيق

تمنياتي بالتوفيق

Mona said...

It looks like there has been a misunderstanding between Omar and L.G.
Is there anything I can do to help clear this up?

I just wanna let you know that I appreciate both of you and I feel uneasy about the tension between both of you.

amina said...

LG, no one denied your right to ask. Mohaly welcomed you, and answered your questions in details. I don't see a reason to have all this tension!!

Mohaly said...


I have welcomed you and asked you to focus on the topics and not the ideology or arguments.

For the last time, I am asking you to stop this strategy. For more than a year and half now, you appear, write something that provokes someone, and when this person comments on the aggressivesness, you just dissapear for a while and then come again and the same loop starts.

You know that people here are almost of the other side of your thinking ideology, so if you think that there will not be agruments, then you have the wrong expectations. But please don't expect to ask question, and sometimes provoke, and then tell us I am quitting because Prophet Muhmmad said so!!!

You either join us and comment saying your opinion, even if a bit aggreessive and be ready for the argument, or stop commenting at all. It is your choice, but please stick to one of these options, and I hope that you will be with us.

Mona: Thanks for your help, I really value your contribution to this blog. But for LG, Omar, and this post in general, Case closed in this issue and I will close the commenting option and I am already writing the conclusion.

Mohaly said...


- Bread is essential but not worth loosing the dignity.

- Upper classes should work together to have extra supply of wheat or even open a bread kiosk in poor areas.

- Poor people (may be with the help of upper classes) should start focusing on stuff other than bread (cheap vegetables, shofan,...etc).