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For the past three years, ever since the 25 January 2011 revolution, every time I get together with my friends we have nothing to discuss except what is going on in the country. After all we have been through, and especially the one year under SCAF and worse still the one under Morsi, we are just now starting to feel the relief of being free of all that. Like someone who had undergone major surgery and was just now getting over the initial shock of the trauma.
When we describe it as a nightmare we are not far off. The feeling of hope being dashed is much worse than no hope at all. The euphoria which followed the removal of Mubarak can only be compared to the joy and relief of removing Morsi. But with the latter, we have become cynical, because of all the experiences we went through all these previous months. We still have hope, but have become far more suspicious, and quite impatient. We are no longer tolerant of what is perceived as either weakness or hesitation.
Our current problem with the Government is that it is perceived, not only as hesitant and weak, but worse still, of having elements with hidden agendas which are not in favor of Egypt or the Egyptians. I have been fearful of our time turning into one comparable to McCarthyism in the US after WWII. Witch hunting is one of the ugliest aspects of any upheaval. But right now I am not sure that we do not have a lot of “witches” in a great many places of authority still.
The Deputy Prime Minister is one highly targeted figure. He was associated with Goldman Sachs which makes his name mud. But he is a very intelligent and professional economist. What he is not is a diplomat. In an interview with CNN’s Christian Amanpour he made some statements which, when quoted in or out of context, have put him in a very poor light indeed, as attacking Egypt. This is typical of what is happening in Egypt now. We do not know who is trustworthy and who is not. So it is much easier to hurl accusations right and left, and believe all the worst about any known figure. The behavior of said public figures isn’t helping either. None seems to have any idea of how to handle the media and what should be said or not said, so all unscrupulous reporters are having a field day. The added talent of perfecting use of Photoshop has made it practically impossible to ensure the authenticity of anything. There are so many official looking documents that have turned out to be forgeries. But the humorous part is all the clips taken of rehearsals by the sheep (Brotherhood), where they are showing scenes of violence or of “dead bodies”. One of the funniest videos is of a supposedly wounded MB, with blood all over the front of his T-shirt, lying flat on his back with eyes closed. The film is being shot from an angle where the “patient’s” legs are nearest to the cameraman. A paramedic with gloves on approaches him and lifts his t-shirt to look at his “wound”. As the man had his eyes closed he did not realize that he was being examined until the t-shirt was lifted clear to show no wound beneath all that “blood”. The reaction of this supposedly unconscious man, was to lift his foot and forcefully nudge away the paramedic!! Hilarious, and all recorded on film. Another very funny tape is the row of “shrouded bodies” (most of them with footwear on) where one of them uncovers his face and asks have we started yet, with the nearer ones convulsing with laughter! And these are supposed to be the evidence of the “atrocities” committed by the police and the army. If anything, the sheep seem to have a warped sense of humor, at least the foot soldiers do. The higher up in the hierarchy the humorless they become.
Yesterday, after Morsi’s trial session was over, one of the organizers of the gathering outside the court held up a hand written poster saying: “Dismissed. Those going to Giza and out-of-town go to the top of the bridge. For Cairo, under the bridge”. Like a tour guide telling his people where the buses were! That was a “spontaneous” demonstration by the sheep! Typical!
I must say that the general atmosphere in the country is becoming more relaxed. Mentally we know that we are still not out of the woods, but emotionally, the fact that the Brotherhood are now publicly exposed as the lying terrorists that they are, has given the general population a sense of relief. This is why now when my friends and I meet our conversations are more general, still touching upon the country’s state, but other subjects are now introduced. I was very happy the last time our group met we started discussing going as a group for a few days to Al Gouna on the Red Sea for a much-needed R&R. We are starting to take control of our lives again. Welcome back to life, Egyptians.