Our rulers do not learn/ Anthony Wilson

The year 1955 has many memories on a personal level and the level of the Egyptian public.

That year, we were students at the Tawfiqiya Secondary School in Shoubra, and I was in the final year of the scientific section of the “secondary" education. In that year, our school was selected to be the first high school at the level of the republic declared by the Minister of Education, Mr. Kamal al-Din Hussein to start sending secondary students of the Tawfiqiya Secondary School in Shubra on a train journey to visit each of the city of Luxor and Aswan. Thus, we were the first students to go for a visit to the Upper Egypt’s "Interior".

My tale here will not touch on anything in it for that trip. But I will talk about all the shops in the city of Aswan, at that beautiful time, which has gone and ended and there is no hope in its return.

We were all drawn as students to the view of the shops in Aswan, regardless of the quality of those stores and what they were selling. From the outside, the shops did not have iron gates or locks, and when the owners closed their shops, they only put small chairs in front of the shops so the people would know that the shop is closed. But only with curtains of plastic strips that do not impede customers from entering inside.

As students, at the height of the youth, we would get into the shop and if we find things displayed and can be tasted, like "dates" and others; we would eat, and whatever we ate, the shop owner would not scold us and would not "scream" at us, but would let us wander around the shop and sometimes we would buy and often would not buy. We would thank the shop owner and he would respond to us, "Welcome and hello to you in Aswan." That's what caught my eye about Aswan and my first visit to her in my life.

I obtained the secondary certificate in the same year with a total that would qualify me to enrol at the Faculty of Science or the College of Dentistry. But my father, God's mercy be on him, chose the Faculty of Law for me. So I presented my papers to join the Faculty of Law of Cairo and was accepted as a student in the college.

After a brief period of time and in the same year of 1955, the government announced by way of the council of staff for holding the exam for students who obtained the secondary certification for that year of 1955. I applied and at the appointed date, I went and did my exam. After a period, the result of the exam appeared and I was the 11th successful ordinal of the total number of 2,000 successful applicants. The top 10 were employed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from 11 to 300 by the Ministry of Interior on the workforce of "the Department of Identity Cards", which was added to the "Personal Investigation Authority".

I will not delve on the work at that time. But I will start my tale after this section became independent and its name became “Civil Status Authority".

My work continued at the authority with the distinction that I got from the first day of work because of my ordinal in the results of the exam at the council of staff. This distinction made me the first of the employees to assume managerial position as assistant section supervisor, who in turn was the section assistant inspector.

This feature with some colleagues later made us do additional work such as explaining of the nature of the work to newcomers whether staff or civilian inspectors or police officers, in addition to our work. Add to that going to the offices that had opened at all the police stations in the Republic. I was on the top of the list if there was a need by any office for help or for any reason that the authority deemed required going.

From here began the frequenting to Aswan and other places of Upper Egypt and the "Delta" (Bahry or seaside) and other places.

As for Aswan, what I said about the shops continued in the same way as it was and with the same confidence in the honesty of the people.

But when work began on the construction of the High Dam and in one of the visits, I was surprised by the unexpected changes in the stores. The plastic curtains and chairs that were placed in front of the shop as a sign that the shop is closed had no place, but I found steel doors and locks and in some shops a little high barrier was built with the presence of the iron door that closes above that barrier. When I asked one of the shop owners about that change, he smiled and said everything has changed and there are strangers from the seaside, "he is not meaning here the people of the seaside from the Delta, for example, but he means all who come from the North."

The construction of the High Dam began and the ministry told us of the need to prepare the people of the Nuba for dislodgment and the authority had to send missions to Nuba to do that task.

I agreed with the inspector, Colonel Mohamed Nassar Khalil, to go with him and the team which he will choose to Nuba. But it happened that the inspector asked me to go for an interview with Brigadier Mahmoud Anwar Habib, deputy director of the authority.

I went to the Brigadier's office, who hastened to ask me a question I did not expect. 
* Do you have any family impediment that would prevent you from going to the Nuba with the outgoing mission for one of its members has apologised for family circumstances? 
* For myself, I do not mind, but Colonel Nassar had arranged for himself and I  going to Nuba and with some colleagues. I do not know what will be his response. 
* It is important for me that you do not have family impediments and the travel will be tomorrow and there will be a fellow from the authority and the Chairman of the Committee is from Fayoum, along with another employee. Do not bother with him and do what you see fit for work. Pass by the cashiers in order to take some pocket money that you'll need for the period you would be in Nuba. I thanked him and left. During my climbing the stairs to tell the inspector, I heard his voice telling me "Go away brother, you are false people". I had got to where he was waiting for me after Brigadier Anwar Habib had told him and my going to the Office. 
I did not comment much on his rampage and I actually left work after I got the pocket money.

On the evening of the next day, I went to Cairo station to catch the train No. 88 going to Aswan and I met colleague Fayez there.

We arrived at Aswan and I knew where Aswan inspector ‘s secretary, Mr  Abbas’s house was, so we went that way, and there I thought I was still a young man and entered the "bathroom" to take a shower before going to Nuba. I do not know but as soon as the water began dripping over my body, I felt a chill and a bout of "sneezing" so I suspended the water and I wore my clothes while I was in a state of disrepair.

The car that would take us to the High Dam place arrived and from there we would ride a ship that would take us to the village where we would start from, and of course we also met the two other colleagues. They took me inside of the High Dam carried on a "stretcher" and what a wonder time.

We arrived at the village of "Abu-Hor" and the previous committee was waiting for us in order to receive the work assignments from them. The minute that the mayor saw me in my condition, he hurried and brought me a warm drink that I drank and after a few minutes I became completely healthy.

I spent 45 days in Nuba, moving from village to another. In each village, the mayor and the villagers would insist that our food and meals would be with them even though we would tell them and show them what food we had bought in Aswan. But it was the Nubian generosity.

We were in the month of Ramadan; however, I and my colleague Faiz were the Christians in the ​​Committee. But the mayor and the people of the village of "Abu-Hor" insisted that we have breakfast in the morning and there was present with us an artist named Adam, a Christian too, who was also a specialist in sculpture and had wooden statues all over the western world, except Egypt and the Arab states, and "I have no comment". The afternoon would come and they would call us to have lunch. At the break of fast, we would also find them having taken care of us with the fasters in the presence of the mayor. The dinner time would come and they would give us the dinner.  We did not worry about the last meal before fasting and we asked them not to prepare anything for us.

Nubian people are good and noble. I really found in them the Egyptian spirit of tolerance, generosity and love for the people. One thing I did not relish was the bread that they would not provide any other. My thinking lead me to send a "bodyguard" attached to us with their rifles just for reserve work. I say that actually it was agreed with them that one of them goes to his home in Aswan and spend three days at home and return to us with the "solar" bread, famous among Upper Egypt people. The idea succeeded and so we had overcome the problem of bread.

We moved from one village to another doing our job without problems, but I was mixing with the people of the Nuba, especially the elderly, and they were wishing for death before being transferred to Aswan.

Nubia buildings are built in architectural methods that saw a lot of foreign engineers, especially from Italy, to study the ways used to build these homes, which could control the summer heat and winter cold by opening the window at the top of the building by a dangling rope during warm times for the entering of the air that would moisten the place. In winter, a special window would be opened and sun would enter and the place would be heated.

We also crossed the "Jarf Hussein (Hussein’s Cliff)" tower and they told us that it was a complete copy of the temple of Abu Simbel, which has been moved, but they could not save the "Hussein Cliff" tower.

Life was going beautifully and enjoyably among the kindest peoples of the world, but it happened one day in one of the villages that the colleague, who was supposed to be the chairman of the committee, hit the "sentry" of the mayor and I was not aware of this. Breakfast time came and we did not see the mayor nor any food. I asked my colleagues and they told me what had happened. I went to the headquarters of the mayor alone. The man got up to shake my hand and we sat down and he began to tell me what had happened. After that narrative on what happened I asked him why didn’t you come to tell me what happened instead of this childish act. He looked at me in disbelief in what his ears had heard. So I emphasized to him what I had said, explaining to him that we had our food with us and all the villages had refused to let us use what food we had brought; and we are in the holy month of Ramadan, why would you behave so without warning us at least. I was very serious in my talk with him and anger was evident in the tone of my voice. But he grabbed my hand and apologized and he stood up and asked the same "sentry" to carry the food and we all went to eat, with my insistence that the "sentry" sits and break with us, but did that end up the subject? No, it did not end.

Trade in Nubia is carried by "small boats". Nuba youth knew what happened. They refused to sell cigarettes to him. Preclusion was a severe punishment on him, as he was a smoker in a crazy way and he did not fast because of smoking. He smoked but did not eat. As for me, the youth sold me cigarettes and all I would ask of them. One day passed and the second day after he no longer had any cigarettes with him and he had a severe case of anger. I spoke with the young people and convinced them of the need to bring the cigarettes that he smoked and give them to me now. That was actually done. The mission ended on good terms and we went back to Aswan.  

I did not return directly to Cairo, but I went to the centre of Kom Ambo to see the houses that the government had prepared for them. The comparison was very difficult; a big difference between their homes in the Nuba and homes in Kom Ambo.

Thus was the case of the people of Aswan after the building of the High Dam. This is how I saw the goodness and the greasiness of the Nubians’ nature.

The days passed, and I finished my work and migrated to Australia. But I did not leave Egypt. I left it in body and mind, but the soul and the heart are there still and I follow all the events in it.  

After Field Marshal Tantawi took over the affairs of the country and what happened after 3000 criminals from the Salafists and other terrorist groups were allowed to flee, the misfortunes of Egypt and the Egyptian people began to manifest clearly. The Field Marshal appointed a Christian governor for Aswan and Aswan flared up and they stripped rail rods, and none of the methods to deter them ever worked, including getting seniors to discourage them from what they were doing. The result was that they got what they wanted after the Egyptians suffered losses resulting from events in Aswan.  
The bad news that we have heard and we saw their effects in the filming of dead bodies on carts of "Caro", so humiliating and disgraceful. No one cared about what is happening on the ground. Neither the days of Field Marshal Tantawi, nor the days of Dr. Mursi, nor the days of Counsellor Adli Mansour and the Government of Beblawi, and the burden became very heavy for the government of Mehleb.

Shame on you, O rulers of Egypt. For you do not learn from previous mistakes and you stay in power and are making the same mistakes against the Egyptian people.

The people of Aswan and the Nuba people and what I have seen myself and coexisted with them, and what I have mentioned and quoted for you in this article is a testament that they are the best people of the world; so how does this happen?

Is it the fact that Egypt is in a state of a fierce war with terrorism? If the answer is yes, and I believe it; what have the successive governments after the removal of "Mursi" done to protect the homeland and to rule out the start of a civil war planned by America and the Islamized! Nothing on real ground, as if the governments are part of the Brotherhood rule, implementing the supplement of what they wanted to do in Egypt.

And also if we in fact are really still in a state of war with terrorism, then why did we leave the government of Beblawi throughout that period? Why do we see the new prime minister ignoring this war and walking in the streets without a guard? Is it because he is confident that terrorism will not get him one day, God forbid? And why would the previous government and the current government allow the presence of ministers from the Brotherhood to be in the government and in the presidency and in the universities and schools without taking decisive action and kicking them out of office? I do not see in the presence of the customary mediation processes what works in this day and age, and the rule of law has to be the ruler and enough of backwardness and reactionary. As well as the tribes that still live on the land of Egypt, with their own laws and run the people without interest in civil law maintained by the Egyptian courts. And why do we keep on saying "Arab tribes" and they are born in Egypt and live on the land of Egypt, and the Egyptian people did not change its Egyptian identity? Isn’t it better to cancel these labels so that all would be Egyptians!.

But the painful truth is that the Egyptian people have been lost and there is no one there who would oblige himself to search for them and return them to their home and homeland Egypt.

I started writing an article entitled "Sisi, the rock" but I stopped, because I'm afraid and fear that all candidates for the presidency would be a "Fankosh", Adel Imam.

0 comments: