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Morals of Slums

Morals of Slums

Published in October 7, 2010

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

Firstly: the above title is one of our article published in Al-Ahrar newspaper, in Cairo, Egypt, on 28th of February, 1994. The following points form the whole of this article written 16 years ago:

1- Security forces attacked a dilapidated building, in a slum area that housed those who lost their original homes and apartments that collapsed, in order to arrest a dangerous wanted terrorist; but suddenly, they forced open a small room on a roof where a large number of children are asleep, or pretending to be asleep, while two couples are having sex! The surprise was great when the two couples were actually wife-swapping! Each of the two men was having sex with the wife of the other man! They were of course arrested for debauchery and fornication, and a wife told the policemen at the police station that the State was to blame for not providing decent houses for those homeless who lost their apartments; all neighbors in such densely populated slum area lost all sense of privacy as they shared few numbers of bathrooms and more often than not, they see one another semi-naked!   

2- We remembered this socking story as we read an article about scandals of slum areas in Cairo last week, written in Al-Ahrar newspaper by the journalist Mr. Essam Kamel, and there was also a piece of news on the first page about the government that imported 42 armored Mercedes cars for ministers and the well-off affluent people, with the total cost of LE 2 million for each car! These affluent ones already have a fleet of fancy cars, but the new ones are allegedly bullet-proof. Actually, this cannot stop the death of anyone of them: "Wherever you may be, death will catch up with you, even if you were in fortified towers..." (4:78); "Say, "The death from which you flee will catch up with you..."(62:8). This means that these armored, bullet-proof cars are bought by millions of LE from the sweat of toiling Egyptian citizens and will NOT give any sort of security for the affluent ones of the ruling class.

3- A naïve writer like our person may call for using such money to reform the slum areas and provide its people of decent housing; indeed, the number of such slums increases now and this phenomenon is a source of disgrace for Egypt; even the UNICEF had to offer aid to slum-areas inhabitants. Hearts of the West people are more soft and tender toward impoverished Egyptians than the affluent class members in Egypt who live in ivory towers (or rather, chalets, palaces, and bullet-proof Mercedes cars) that make them never feel for the impecunious and the homeless in Egypt. A writer like ourselves should call the government for adopting austerity measures instead of imposing more taxes; yet, the Egyptian government insists on making the poorer classes suffer for the ministers' extravagance; this leads to the fact that the middle-class is ruined and its members are rendered deprived with the passage of time, and the number of the poor and the needy increases. In contrast, ministers and affluent ones enjoy riding armored, bullet-proof Mercedes cars. Countries that offer financial aid to Egypt are infuriated to see most Egyptians suffer below the poverty line while the affluent officials and ministers ride such cars to compete with billionaires!  

4- Egypt is entering fast into the era of slum areas and its low moralistic level; many buildings in Cairo are on the verge of collapse, and it is often been said that the old sewerage system may undermine the whole of Cairo, threatening all its building. Most Cairene people live barely in a way that make ends meet, and if their apartments collapse, they will have to live in bidonvilles and slum areas as they cannot afford buying new houses and apartments, and their moralistic level will certainly be lowered. Bleak future lies ahead if no immediate reform on all levels is applied.

5- The real problem is that we live now in the era of morals of slums; in this age of collapse and moral degeneration, all values are fast disappearing, and people no longer feel horrified by stealing and corruption that dominate their lives. People are indifferent regarding swindling, sexual harassment, dirt and garbage in streets, etc. such morals of slums spread the worst habits and lack of security among the mob and the ruling class. In contrast, there are hundreds of Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea coastal villages and thousands of chalets for the well-off and affluent ones in Egypt, while millions of Egyptian youths cannot afford to get a job and a house to get married. It is a disgrace that more than one family have to live in one room or one tent!   

6- We wonder how the affluent ones sleep in their palaces while forgetting the thousands of the homeless in Egypt, protected only partially by the UNICEF and other bodies in foreign countries. The affluent ones have to understand that security is never achieved by armored cars; rather, it is directly linked to radical reform and establishing justice; all sorts of injustices must be eliminated and all rights must be protected. Corruption is the first side of the coin of tyranny, whose other side is terrorism. Just as all of us denounce terrorist crimes with all our might, we must attack, expose, and arrest corrupters and thieves who are multimillionaires now! Corruption, terrorism, and tyranny are the only 'greatest' achievements of the Egyptian government now!     

 

LASTLY: what happened to Egypt 16 year later after publishing this article of ours?

   We have written this article, and tens of articles like it in the same vein, during the 1990s in Cairo, in order to attack and expose corruption and tyranny along with Wahabi terrorism and extremism. At the time, we used to suffer from threats of Wahabi Sunnite extremists and persecution of State Security Apparatus men. This drove us to immigrate to the USA as a political asylee, where we felt for the first time the amount of rights of which we were deprived and the enormity of so many injustices inflicted upon us in Egypt that we bore patiently. We soon learned how the West cares for human beings and human rights within the great values of democracy, transparency, fairness, and justice. But we still carry Egypt inside our heart as an ache that never leaves us; we desire to introduce reform on all levels in our beloved Egypt, as we feel sorry for it. We fear a bleak future lies ahead of our beloved Egypt if Gamal Mubarak, son of president Mubarak, would be appointed within rigged elections as the next president of Egypt. Corruption is prevalent now in Egypt within an unprecedented level, dominating all aspects of Egyptian life to the core, within the mob and the rulers alike. Morals of the slums spread as the general rule andmot d'ordre in all poor alleys an even posh districts of Cairo and other larger cities in Egypt! This applies also in all silly, bad pop songs and discourses of the so-called cultural elite members. Immediate reform is needed however costly it will be; painkillers are no longer useful; surgery is needed to eradicate corruption and tyranny like cancerous tumors to be removed at once! Cancerous cells, if left without being removed, will lead to certain death! These are the despicable conditions of Egypt after being ruled by a military regime since the 1952 coup. There is no power and might save through Almighty Allah!

The last line: among the main features of nations poised for being destroyed and smitten is that they hate warners and advisors; the prophet Saleh stood as he saw the tyrants among his people after their destruction and death by God, saying to their corpses in sorrow: "...O my people, I have delivered to you the message of my Lord, and I have advised you, but you do not like those who give advice." (7:79). As always, God says nothing but the Absolute Truth.


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