I find the articles of Alaa Al-Aswany compelling and yet singularly depressing but not in a way that can make me turn away or stop reading them for they speak the truth. The painful truth.
There is not a single rule in Egypt which really applies to all, from traffic offences to bank loans to the sale of state land and property and public-sector companies. Who you are, who your father is, how wealthy you are and how close you are to the regime in power – all these are decisive factors in determining which rules you will be judged by. Everything in Egypt now depends on the circumstances and every case has its own special rules. Causes no longer necessarily lead to effects. Hard work does not necessarily lead to success and a mistake does not necessarily lead to punishment.
Those who lived in Egypt in the 1960s no doubt remember a unique phenomenon: hundreds of secondary school and university students used to do their homework in the street under the street lamps … they were too poor to study at home but they worked hard, confident that achieving success was a matter of time because their advancement in life depended on their efforts. That system of equal opportunities in education and promotion has ended completely.
Egypt’s problem is not poverty or shortage of resources or overpopulation. Its problem can be summarized in three words: lack of justice. The injustice has simply become more than we can bear. Egyptians will not regain their sense of belonging or their capacity to work until they recover their sense of justice, and justice cannot come about in the shadow of despotism. Democracy is the solution.
It is this that makes me sad, it is this that makes me lack hope and unfortunately I see no solutions....