Wednesday, May 10, 2006

هايد بارك والازبكية

فى أبناء الانجليز عادات تأصلت فى نفوسهم , وصارت لهم أخلاقا , أزعم أنها هى وحدها السبب فى قوتهم – تلك القوة المستفادة من جدهم فى العمل وتقديسهم لمعنى الواجب . ومن أخص ما لاحظت من تلك الصفات حرية القول والاستماع لكل قائل من غير أن يصادر أحد حريته. من ذلك انى رأيت خطباء كثيرين يخطبون فى حديقة ((هايد بارك)) بعضهم واقف على الارض, وبعضهم يعلو منبرا متنقلا .. منهم الشيخ ومنهم الشاب , بعضهم على مقربة من بعض حتى نقدت عليهم سوء اختيارهم لهذه المزاحمة المادية للمكان , والمسرح فسيح الارجاء لا يضيق بآلاف الخطباء. وتمر جماهير الناس بهؤلاء الخطباء , ويقف كل واحد منهم على الخطيب الذى يعجبه , فيصفق له مع المصفقين.

ليس الهايدبارك هذا منبرا خاصا بأولئك الخطباء العاديين الذين قد يبدأ الواحد منهم خطابته على فرد أو فردين أو ثلاثة , بل هو أيضا منبر عام لكبار الساسة والخطباء المفوهين , فقد كان غلادستون كلما ضاقت قاعة البرلمان بصوته العالى واغراضه الكبيرة عمد الى هذه الروضة العامة يخطب فيها الالوف من الناس ساعات متوالية فيحول الامة من فكرة الى فكرة .. ويخرجها من مقصد الى مقصد. وكذلك كان ((كرهاردى)) ونحوه من خطباء الانجليز الى اليوم يخطبون فى الناس من غير ملاحظة رسوم أو نظام أو اشتراط دعوة حتى تكون الامة واقفة بواسطة هذه الالسن الرسمية على أحوال الحكومة , فلا يفوت فردا من الافراد أى مقصد من المقاصد الكبيرة للحكومة , كاعلان حرب أو سلم , أو تقريب بين أمتهم وأمة أخرى أو ضرب ضريبة عامة, أو اعطاء النساء حق الانتخاب بحيث ان العامل البسيط فى لندن يعرف من خطب الوزراء والنواب فى الهايدبارك طرفا أو نتفا من قواعد مصالح الامة التى مصلحته الشخصية بعض منها , ولكن كان وزراؤنا ونوابنا – سامحهم الله – يجتنبون الكلام حتى فى سياستنا الداخلية الا ما يكون من التهامس فى الآذان فى الخلوات والنوادى بينهم وبين اخصائهم الاقربين.

هكذا كله اذا عرفوا جليا مقصد الانجليز أو مقصد السراى فى مشروع من المشروعات . فهل منهم من يقف يوم الجمعة فى حديقة الازبكية فيبين للناس مقاصد الحكومة فى أى أمر من الامور العامة؟

كلا ان رجال حكومتنا لم يكن يهمهم ايقاف الامة على مشروع أو اقناعها برأى أو فكرة ولكن الذى كان يهمهم ان يكسبوا من مجلس الشورى كل مشروع يريدونه بأية طريق.

لذا كانت أمتنا ليست كأمة الانجليز, فان من وزرائنا من تعلموا مع وزراء الانجليز فى مدرسة واحدة , فهل من رأيهم أيضا أن (( الشرق شرق والغرب غرب )) ؟ .. أم هم فى القربى من الامة لوزراء الانجليز .. زملائهم فى المدينة الحديثة .. مقلدون ؟


أحمد لطفى السيد

I'm not so sure about putting the entire blame of lack of debate on the government's floor anymore. Like Naguib Mahfouz says, society needs to intervene...and what is civil society really but the fruit of initiatives of the individuals? As far as freedom of expression is involved we suffer from a collective problem as a strained and warped whole, not entirely this particular government's own doing.

Take for example Tomanbay's personal dissing of Sandmonkey and telling him to shut up for a critical review he wrote on a film, then calling me (Behold!...) "the girlfriend" for offering my own "two cents". (I'm not vilifying you, Tomanbay...but your cute jab warranted putting you in the intricate plot of this post :-)

The same goes for all the opposition papers whose state-granted freedom of expression clearly crosses the line into libel; libel of the government and also that of the rival opposition parties. As for the leaders of these papers' mother parties, well the memory of No'man Rambo's raid on his own party is still fresh in our minds.

And now the question as usual goes to the liberals...where are they?

Up until this moment I've believed that the government has been stifling their voice and preventing them from emerging. While this theory may still hold true, here is the harsher truth which we haven't brought ourselves around to face:

Even if the government officially lifts its hands...in the presence of the demagoguery of the current press, do you think the liberals will have the courage to emerge? Tell me they won't be accused of infidelity and all sorts of treasonous libels the moment they have their say. And even if they manage their own in the press, would they really feel safe in the street from some nut follower of the libellous press? A "libellous press" after all always comes down to the workings of individuals.

Most important of all right now we lack a culture of debate.

So of course what's required of the government right now is to facilitate society's intervention as Naguib Mahfouz says.

Restrictions on forming publications and political parties must be lifted, and a novel idea to encourage and facilitate debate must be brought forth. Kifaya or no Kifaya, this is what we are really in need of right now, we don't want to find ourselves suddenly in an abyss with no sense of direction of where we are. (Ok, this sort of describes where we are already in regards to an unknown future. But it could get much worse than this, and I don't want it to reach this point.)

The Blog is not enough.

وبالمناسبة , ايه اللى جرى لحديقة الازبكية دى؟

This of course brings us back to dissing the government. But while giving it its due criticism, let's just remember that we need to work on ourselves as well. Let's at least, each in his own way, take the initiative to try to build a civil society ourselves. You bloggers seem to be capable of this.

(Seneferu for motivation guru?:-)

2 comments:

Mohamed said...

Agree with you on that man, I seriously believe that some people in all levels of our government are still sincere in doing their jobs and still have some conscience and fear of god to guide them (not talking about the beltagys and the isma3eel salams and the safwats, I'm talking about the kafrawys and abdel hady radys and ma7goobs etc.), as for those newspapers you're talking about and their demagoguery and fierce outrage and personal attacks, I think that by now most of us who have functioning brains can tell that their concern for the country and people is mostly fake and there's always an ulterior motive in play (plain and simple corruption), also how can you blame the government for the irresponsibilty and stupidity of the egyptians (if you got offended by calling us that, please recall that we danced in the streets after the worst military defeat in egypt's history, because the s.o.b decided to yield to our wishes to stay in power, also those are the same egyptians who if left to their own devices would bring in a moslem brotherhood gevernment, and don't tell me it's democracy, that's gambling with the next sixty years of Egypt's history with a 100% probability of losing).

Seneferu said...

I agree. Regardless of the elements of good in the government, which is open for debate, the fact is we know that it can be much much worse. While I feel horrible for what is happening to Alaa and his fellow detainees right now, I know that he and his good fellow idealists are a minority among those who have a greater stake with these protests, and that if anything happens it would be the latter fascists who would most certainly take over the game, not the good people and idealists like Alaa who are a minority in the organization of Kifaya itself. And this is exactly what happened in the Iranian revolution and what brought to us the regime which we still see today. So it is a dilemma, but I know in the back of my head that the idealist protesters don't have their eyes on the ball, and for this I am grateful that the majority of Egyptians are smart enough to get this and are not taking part in the protests. I'm really pissed at the government for putting us in this no-alternative situation, but this is really where the ball is right now.

I agree with what you say in regards to the credibility of the opposition papers, in fact most people do get this.

The street protests for Nasser weren't an entirely natural thing, according to many credible witnesses they were preplanned and staged. But how would you blame others for joining when according to Heikal, when Nasser died his own close aides (marakez el qowa) were crying in confusion over what to do next...afterall didn't he make himself the sole equivalent of father, mother and God?

We have to have a transition period of serious, open debate (all constraints lifted from forming political parties and publications) before any drastic changes are made.