An outraged anthropologist in Norway sent me this: explaining Egypt


I cite this message from him:  "On monday morning two days ago, i Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten contained a piece entitled translated Report from the Inside written by Unni Wikan, a Norwegian professor of social anthroplogy and self-styled Egypt expert.  She has written a book about poor people in Cairo but unlike most of us anthropologist she did not live and share the conditions of their lives with them.  Instead, she as a professor's wife was above all that and she lived in a hotel.   She wrote that two things made her live there: the small of the slums and the constant gossiping of the poor women.   Last night she was on the national radio claiming that the demonstrators in Egypt have been "bought and sold" - i.e. they were being paid!!!!  

Today I took her piece called Report from the Inside and translated it with Google.  The result was quite good and I suspect that you will both laugh and cry while reading this piece of rubbish.  

---------------------Here it is , As'ad: the google translation of Rapport fra innsiden

Report from the inside

It was no charismatic president who spoke to his people by Saturday night. So then  President Mubarak is not known for his eloquence. Those who
remember President Nasser from his time in power, 1956-1970, can hardly fail to draw a comparison. Mubarak chose a language that is not
"people" language. He did not speak to the people buta  little over their heads.

Poor health

President Nasser's strength was that he spoke to people's hearts, he mixed everyday language into more formal literary forms that have a different denomination. Mubarak ran another line, understandably enough. He's not a rhetorician. And he is old, almost 83 years. Many  Egyptians wondered in advance if he at all would be able to speak to the people. He is said to be in poor health. In this manner impressed the president. The speech contained all the right elements of freedom, stability and security, constitutional and economic reforms, increased welfare, especially for the disadvantaged. "I'm on the side of the Egyptian people," said Mubarak, and urged to rest and order and national pride as befits a civilized people.
Redeeming

He has a civilized people an almost unimaginable ways have refused to revolt against oppression, corruption and poor social conditions for  many. I know the poor quarters of Cairo. I've gone in and out there for 42 years. I have seen them grow as a fangarm, put out over  farmland and desert, twist and wriggle as Cairo now covers approx. 20 million people compared with 6 million in 1968, when I came there to study Arabic. You pass Cairo before you see it, how many people live below the poverty line, at least one-third of Cairo's population, can succeed in  your daily life. For they have done so  in a way, with dignity and humor without parallel - Egyptians are known throughout the Middle East for his sense of humor. They also have a reputation for being the world's most patient of people. Now the regime has learned that there are limits to how far one can curb this patience.
Power in the inheritance
My impression ist more than anything what  has triggered outrage against President Mubarak is not that he, like presidents before him,  has failed his people's demands for decent living conditions and social justice. Most people have minimal confidence in politicians.
Mubarak is no worse than his predecessors, he is actually considered a very honorable man.  The people, ilshaab, hold against Mubarak is that he would break their national pride and relegate them to a type of Syria or Saudi Arabia, by letting power go to heritage: that is,his son Gamal to succeed him.  In typical show it was his wife Suzanne who was blamed form things.  It is said that this had been the president's own plan, he would long since would  have seen that his son, a banker, had military experience. All Egypt's presidents have come from the army.
No despot

It is said further that the president himself is not particularly fond of power: it is the people around him, and his wife, who drives him. Why mention it here? Because it is no small feat in Egypt, for a man who has ruled for 30 years, to get away with such a "pure" reputation. Mubarak is no despot. He is not considered to be corrupt. Weak, weak, are the words used on Mubarak. Many feel a bit sorry for him. The sympathy he could have ridden on, he had not tried to introduce a dynasty.  Again, most people do not have a personal concern about his son. Some say he has an advantage, "his stomach is already full." That means he will have less need to enrich themselves than many upstart. "You know what you have, but not what you get," said Mubarak wanted more people to where the pepper grows, but considered that it could cost more than it tasted.
Desperate
And so it has gone. I hold regular mobile contact with families I have known for decades, spread over six poor neighborhood in Cairo. They are now completely desperate. "We pray to God for help, God can help! We are barricaded in our homes with knives and impact weapons to protect ourselves against the criminals that plague in all areas. The police are not watching! Only the army, and they can not protect us, we are 80 million! "Is the desperate message. "We live in terror and fear, our children have no food, shops are closed, banks are closed, we have not taken money! Articles this a few days, our kids will starve to death! "It is terrible to me to be so close and yet so far away. "You must not think of coming here at first, it is dangerous," they say - who has lived in the safest
metropolis.

Muslim Brothers

Cairo has been a mystery even for criminologists. But now the criminals broke out of prison and terrorize much of the city. They have infiltrated the demonstrations. Students said desperately trying to protect the population against robbers and thieves. But it is futile. "They are people who hate Egypt and will destroy the country!" Where are the Muslim Brothers in this? "I ask. "Some are trying to protect us, but others are behind them. Many say it is il-muslimin Ikhwan (Muslim Brothers), which has caused it all. "  And if the people wanted democracy, have the chimney is now a completely different sound. People want peace, security, stability, get his life back. Placing a bet Mubarak is no priority in those days. The President has seized the helm and got a new government in place. He has proved worthy of the situation by not giving in to protesters who are out of control. The country stands on the brink of collapse. "Yitkhabbaru ilbalad - they destroy our country," says people in despair.
Horror and terror

And is it something you do not what it is that the Brotherhood will take over power. At my last visit to Cairo, in December 2010, I was knocked over by the power of the people criticizing them. Egyptians, who are a life-happy people do not want sharia ban on singing and
music and football, and niqab-clad women. They look with terror and horror of the situation in Iran and Saudi Arabia. And the prices themselves happy to live in a country with hurriyya, freedom, which they said before hin, day of wrath, 28 January.

Mubarak will stay on

Today, the word freedom has a new meaning. The freedom to live safely in the community, be able to feed their children, send them to school, go to work, look after the daily tasks without fear of criminal hordes and chaos in the country. I believe Mubarak will remain at the helm, with his people's support. Alternatively, his newly appointed vice-president, Omar Suleiman, the former intelligence chief, will take over. We are not going to see an Islamist government in Egypt."

Posted on February 1, 2011 by As'ad