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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sphinx, Sphinx, Sphinx… now, where should I start?

Moved on! Check TheCairoCalls

Fellow blogger Sphinx seems to have had enough of the really repetitive, unimaginative, and simply fascistic-bordering ad that aired almost every single second of the goddamn day, every day for the last month or so. And that’s good to know, it shows that he is, you know, all human. But to take that nausea, however acute it might be and turn it into an assault on the flag itself, is a little, you know, too much.

Let’s agree on a couple of things first: the whole presidential campaign went for the cheap shots trying to make people feel happy about themselves Nancy Ajram singing praises for the ‘Egyptian’, Haytham Shaker’s (that’s his name, right?) disgusting scene with the little girl wearing (guess what?) an Egyptian flag which seemed like he was actually hitting on her, the before-mentioned infamous ad, the young men and women smiling foolishly while sitting forever behind the ‘NDP candidate’, and the list goes on and on. It seems that the president’s campaign advisors succeeded in blending American pop-politics, with some Mussolini- styled fascism and a hint of Goebbelism; a very explosive cocktail if you asked me.

But, and that’s very important, that shouldn’t spoil the flag for the rest of us. Think of it this way; Bin Laden & Co hijacked Islam and crashed it into the World Trade Center, Madrid commuter trains, and London tube stations, should that make me renounce Islam, just because a punch of no-hoppers used it as a justification for committing some of the most atrocious crimes in recent history? The answer is no. And it is the same with this whole flag thing; the government is using the flag in some soothing, feel-good-about-yourself propaganda but that shouldn’t mean that they own the rights. If this same government was one day toppled by some sort of civil unrest (I certainly hope we won’t get there), protesters storming into Abdeen Palace will be carrying, you guessed it, the same ol’ red, white and black. So it is all relative you know. And then, this whole talk about how you asked around and found that people are indifferent to the flag, I think this actually undermines your point, rather than strengthen it. Of course the majority of Egyptians are indifferent to the flag, the same way they were indifferent to the elections, or (if you think that was actually a good thing) to the opposition demonstrations, or in the same way they're indifferent to arts, reading, world news, local news, municipal elections, parliamentary elections, any sport other than football, science, technology, blogging, etc, etc, etc… The list of Egyptians’ apathies are too huge to be rounded up in one post, but I think you’ve got the idea; because Egyptians are indifferent to the flag it doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Capeesh?

I was one of those who you called lunatic for sticking a flag out of my balcony on elections eve. For me it made perfect sense; there is no stronger symbol for Egypt than its flag, and I wanted to remind every one who might actually see the flag that at least for today, think about Egypt. Think about Egypt and go on a strike, or think about Egypt and go vote for Mubarak, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is done out of thoughtful consideration of the good of this country. That is, if you believe in this.

Moved on!

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