Friday, April 07, 2006

Close to Quitting

Or at least I was. Part of my experience of blogging was to accentuate differences to provoke thought and create discussion, however the result turned out to be different from what I expected, instead making me stand out as kind of odd, and feel even less comfortable or safe doing it. Today we don't have thought police in the form of threatening government agencies, although their omnipresence is ever looming, but in the form of editors who run a controlled herd mentality of thought. The state run press allows mostly praise for government policy whose decisions naturally aren't always right, and the opposition press seems to follow rules of a frightening parallel world (which might as well be added to Sam's APU) where Reform = War, and National Honour = Foreign People's Issues over their own (borrowing the equations' format from 1984 of course).

Oppressed in the middle are liberal voices which seem to be fought by both sides and deliberately given no real venues of expression of their own, and instead they are left in an Orwellian limbo world where they are wondering: "Am I the only one, or are there others who are thinking what I am thinking?", and really this is what all the liberal Arab bloggers describe as they enter the blogosphere.

And maybe things aren't really this bad, people of the opposition (the crazy ones, not the sane) do seem to have the maximum freedom of expression, but I wouldn't really know because I personally don't know my boundaries and rights as a citizen. So in a way we are very free now, often to the degree of chaos, but still stigmatized from a culture of fear that the country lived throughout the 50s and 60s which is over now, thank God, but in undefined terms under these emergency laws which offer no guarantees to make us feel safe enough when it comes to talking politics.

So I was glad to find this blogosphere, and joined it as a welcome way to circumvent these editorial thought police and communicate and discuss issues with similar-minded Egyptians, but the personalized nature of the blog as well as some of the egos of my fellow bloggers, it seems, won't allow this to happen. I mean I'm unfortunately familiar with Cairene egos in real life, but I didn't imagine them to be such divas on the internet as well (not you Sam, your ego is a good one :-) And Freedom, thanks for warmly welcoming me to the blogosphere). It's horrible to see the way Egyptians treat each other abroad, and it's quite pathetic if we can't even get along on the internet.

Another major reason I should quit is that I find blogging to be too time consuming. I won't say I have more important things to do, because I really don't (I'm a boring person). But I guess I owe it to myself to try to use some of the time I spend here in getting on with other things in my life.

So anyway, I'm not quitting yet, and my decision isn't yet final. I still have a few more issues to blog about here and there, but I'm just sharing with you why I feel I should do so. As for the forgers of our history, they gave me the fuel to stay on the scene for a little while longer for now.

(p.s. : Check out the cute threat I received from Mrs. Iman Badawy "Yankees stay in Iraq and get killed." These are the rabid and insane types which are cynically given a free hand in the press over the liberals by our government.)


Anonymous said...

You would be missed! I have been reading for a while now..and have learned much about the politics/history of your country. I apologize for not commenting earlier but I was taught to listen first then speak. If you do decide to continue I would be interested in your thoughts on Egypts experience when they controlled Gaza. Several of your posts have commented about the tensions on that border recently and I would like to know the history from your perspective. If you do decide to move on then just know that your work here was appreciated.

LH al_Amriki

Anonymous said...

Hi Senefru;
You are doing such a great job!
When I was younger I used to read this danish comic (no, not that kind of cartoon:)) set during the rule of Akhenaton, strongly inspired by the archeological objects from the period. The heroin was a young woman caught up in the politict of the court, trying to save the day whilst staying alive, and her name was Senefru! I hope you will continue blogging, for completely selfish reasons, offcource;)
Kind regards from Kika

Leilouta said...

Hi Senefru,
The world is going to hell.
I am sorry that some of us can't even talk or express ourselves anymore or ever.
Whatever you choose to do,the best of luck to you. You've been doing a good job. I love Egypt and didn't know much about it until I read you.

The Sandmonkey said...

stay ya wad!

Seneferu said...

Thanks LH. I'm not familiar with that area, can't help you out there. But in 1954 when Israel made an air raid on an Egyptian military post in Gaza, killing many Egyptian soldiers, the Palestinian refugees there rioted, attacked UN and Egyptian government buildings, and beat up Egyptian soldiers. You know, the usual.

Kiki and Leilouta, that is very sweet and flattering, now I know what Sam means about people feeding his ego:-)

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

I want to scream "NO, YOU CAN'T QUIT AND LET THEM WIN!" But I'm here in the US, in Brooklyn, where an Orthodox Jewish section slides seamlessly into a Pakistani Section, and a few blocks down an Islamic Ceter sits between a Jewish Day Care Center and a kosher supermarket, where we have a 1st Amendment. I can't demand of you courage that I never need to use. Do what you need to do, but I'll always be glad to read you, and know that the enemies of thought haven't won that battle.

Seneferu said...

Thanks, Jim. I hope to change your views over religion as well:-)

Mohamed said...

Not to bust your ego Senefru, but quit man, at least this would help me avoid being forced to quit from my job, you and sm and tb and highlander are wasting a lot of my time, quit man and help me save my job.
PS: One of the things I thought were virtually impossible to translate to english is "Masr el Fatah", nothing seemed to work (egypt the chick, egypt the girl, egypt the adolescent girl, nothing worked without being insanely rediculous), "young egypt" was close and simple enough, good job.

Seneferu said...

lol, tricky isn't it? but I can't take credit for it, I read it like this in an English language history book somewhere.

Mo, what kind of work do you do?

Mohamed said...

At least you read Seneferu, but why the honesty :), just take the credit.
I'm a structural engineer.