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    Identity Crisis In Egypt

      Reham Omar    9        0        Report content

    While the Layman will tell you that this is just a byproduct of globalization and western media influence, dig deep and you’ll reach only one conclusion: Egypt’s youth carry no pride of their own culture.

    The ones of them who’re working spend most of their salaries hanging out at cafes’ socializing with similar lost souls, and the other portion on imported clothes and accessories they can barely afford trying to “look the part”. They have rebelled against the traditional social norms such as marriage (a luxury few can afford now with the staggering expenses of wedlock and steep expectations of males specifically), Hijab (which was till a recent point synonymous with virtue and religious obedience but has now become a symbol of social subjugation, Muslim brotherhood influence, and for some young women a deterrent to the much coveted “open-minded suitor”), as well family ties (usually torn-apart between older, pro-military, anti-change parents and younger frustrated offspring).

    And who can blame them? In a country with a deteriorating education, massive social plights ranging from unemployment to corruption, and a starving economy, it’s hard to find sources of self-worth let alone patriotism and national pride; so the youth console themselves with what they can: a “westernized lifestyle” to convince themselves that one day they’ll get out, and when they do they’ll fit in.

     

    During a discussion with some Twenty-something year-olds, a unanimous agreement was on the fact that: “a country can either make or break you, and Egypt is definitely a breaker”. Many of these men and women are struggling to find jobs, still living with their parents way into their late twenties and thought of as liabilities, those who manage to find work are usually underpaid, overworked and overlooked when better opportunities arise because of their lack of connections (most desirable positions are reserved for the “elite society”)

    A question many are incapable of or afraid to answer.

    For the sake of avoiding political conflict, I will avoid diving into the previous question, and will focus on some of the disregarded factors behind the current identity loss in Egypt.

    During the period of 1868-1945 Japan went through a series of radical changes, converting it from one of the world’s weakest nations, to a power dynamo fueled by one simple element: its people. Education. Education. Education.

    If you want to keep your youth at bay: keep them busy and motivated, give them a cause to live for, and they will forever be in your favor.

    My Grandmother; a simple, kindhearted, and outspoken lady has recently decided to throw away the beloved TV set that she’s proudly owned for the past fifteen years (her sole source of entertainment as a seventy five year old living alone), when asked why she said: “the negativity was too much and the shows too indecent”.

    Controlled by fascist regimens aiming to keep the people “subdued” the media in Egypt operates to manipulate facts, exaggerate and downplay at will, and skew perspectives. Those who’re not so interested in watching newscasts or political shows are presented with an array of movies and series promoting violence, highlighting and dramatizing moral degradation and ignoring the actual challenges faced by the standard Egyptian.

    If you’re living in Egypt or have been keeping tabs on its events, you’re sure to have heard of the multiple acts of violence against Christian minorities, Church bombings have become a staple fear during religious celebrations, and Christians are becoming more and more apprehensive in the process. The “official” statements condemn radical terrorist groups, but the facts rarely seem to add up in face of the charges.

    A nation divided= a nation in conflict with itself, too busy being paranoid to see the bigger picture and stand up for the whole.

    So what do we end up with? Brainwash. Those too occupied trying to make ends meet, those living in fear of persecution, and those too oblivious to care and too ignorant to know. And this is the simple reason why Falafels are inaccurately called green burgers, and Egyptians have lost their identity.

     


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