Thursday, May 26, 2005I voted and I regret it!
I voted yesterday in the referendum. There were more than an average attendance I must admit, I was thinking Egyptians became more political savvy. Although, there were flocks of buses from the Public sector companies and governmental authorities dropping by their employees into the voting stations, whether they were willing to vote or not. I went along my elder brother and a friend of mine into a voting station in a girls public school nearby. Of course, there was also the usual ugliness of the government bureaucracy inside the voting stations but it didn’t despair us. Some guy who was acting friendly approached us out of the line and I’m sure he was a morshed (informer) for the police, the guy asked what are we gonna vote for... I confidently said “Agree”, the guy smiled as if he was checking up on us but his smile faded away as soon as my brother exploded in his face “we enta mal ahalak... yalla ghoor men hena” (equivalent to: it’s none of your fuckin’ business... fuck off). The guy walked away while staring at us. I could understand my brother’s attitude and anger as he wanted to boycott the election but I convinced him to come through endless begging. But he went there in order to vote “I don’t agree”. We went on and flashed our ID cards and the guy who hands the ballots asked for our voting (election) cards... but we didn’t have any (I don’t believe that any Egyptian ever had one... they are useless). My brother was like “That’s it I’m going home to my wife and kid instead of wasting my time”... the other ballot guy said “Wait a second! When were you born?”. We replied with the dates and years and he said “You’re old enough... you’re probably registered automatically... here you go” and he handed us the ballots. (I have no idea!!! God isn’t the only one who works mysteriously in this country).
I had my reasons to vote “agree” with the amendment because I feel it’s an opportunity that we should seize, whether or not you perceive it as a scam. It’s not like “I’m selling out” as some of my friends put it or when my colleagues made fun of me by saying that the patriotic songs got into my heads. (The TV was plagued the last week with a number of patriotic songs and commercials encouraging the people to vote). I truly believe that the opposition should seek this opportunity, someone like Ayman Noor (if he wins his case) can really make it if the presidential election was honest! I hope that his boycott for the referendum or elections in alliance with individuals and MB is a strategy... so when he finally declares his nomination they will back him up against Mubarak.
After, returning home I was aware that the “Kefaya” and MB demonstrations were taking place... so I went to watch the TV. Of course, on the national TV, everything went fine and dandy, and they kept mentioning Mubarak’s historical speech and we should all be grateful to Mubarak decision. As the government is treating this event like a Ramadan charity given to the Egyptian people by Uncle Mubarak. But I switched the channels to watch the real atrocities taking place on other Arab news networks. It was horrible, protesters were beaten up and women were sexually harassed by the counter-protestors bullies (who were paid twenty pounds each to have a Pro-Mubarak and pro NDP demonstration in front of the opposition). The bullies stepped over a woman from "Kefaya" nearly killed her. The batons from Amn el-khara “central-police” were risen and landed over the heads of the demonstrators. Many were arrested and most of them are MB members. This is when it hit me that I was really “fooled” and the whole thing is a democracy charade. I regret that I voted for something that this government wants. Humanity is so cheap in this country as the government thugs can do anything to anyone here and there is no fixing in this country. Yel3an deen dih... wala balash.
For an excellent photos coverage of the whole thing check Orientalism as he had a bitter experience!