Creating new perspectives since 2009

Egyptian housewife laments worsening conditions and regrets participating in 30 June demo

February 5, 2014 at 2:11 am


Call in Programme, Al-Jazeera Arabic 24 October 2013

A caller tells Al-Jazeera that she took to the street on 30 June and says now she beats herself 100 times with a shoe and 100 times with a slipper out of guilt

Below is the translated transcript of that call

Presenter: We have Nuha on the line from Cairo. Welcome Nuha.

Caller: Good evening.

Presenter: Good evening.

Caller: I have an objection because you fail to take to task Suleiman Goudah about all the lies he makes. He causes us a rise in blood pressure and blood sugar.

Presenter: But I do take to task whoever says something wrong.

Caller: We desert the Egyptian channels and tune in to Aljazeera because we want to avoid such people who only tell lies and because we want to relieve ourselves psychologically. Such person is so insolent. I was hoping when he spoke to you about prices and about bread that you would invite callers to get their opinion and let them say to his face how untruthful he was. He might be worried that when he travels back to Egypt he might be imprisoned and that is why perhaps he talks not naturally and defends (the regime) with ignorance.

Presenter: Ms. Nuha, now you have the chance to respond to what Suleiman said about prices. He said prices have gone up but not so much and that it was a natural rise.

Caller: No, it is an unnatural rise. I swear by God, I am a housewife. I went out yesterday afternoon to buy some vegetables for my household. I swear by God, the vegetable seller felt sorry for his customers. He said to me: “Madam. There is a highly respectable gentleman who comes to me and says here I give you this ten pound note, give me something for it.” The seller looks at him with pity, what can he offer him for the 10 pounds.

Presenter: What can the 10 pounds fetch today?

Caller: He told you that the prices were very good and that the Egyptian people were living comfortably. No, that’s not true at all. The people are tired and are suffocated. By the way, let me tell you something. I did go out on 30 June (in support of a coup). I regret what I did and now I beat myself with one hundred shoes and with one hundred slippers (as punishment) for what I did.

Presenter: But why?

Caller: Because it was a mistake. Why? Why? Because of the conditions we live in now. By the way all the people are suffocated. As I have just told you yesterday I went out shopping. I entered a bakery to buy a few things for my household. I swear by God the people are suffocated. When I went to the vegetable seller I found the people suffocated and I found him sorry for the people. The people are gloomy; they no longer laugh. The Egyptian people used to be known for cracking jokes and loving laughter. Previously, when you walked you would hear someone crack a joke and others laugh at it. But now people are gloomy; their faces are painted with anger. That is because of what they have been going through.

Presenter: Is this the case just since three months ago or since longer? As reporters, we did produce numerous reports about the loss by the people of Egypt of their characteristic sense of humour. But this happened after the revolution because people’s conditions worsened after the 25 January revolution.

Caller: Within the last three months all prices went up so unnaturally. My husband is a smoker and cigarettes went up during the past three months by two pounds, that is if they are available. So, the prices of every thing went up. Every thing is now worse. Traffic is very bad. Now, we are always concerned about going out. You worry about traffic jams.

Presenter: Could this be caused by demonstrations? The current authorities may say this caused by demonstrations. They may argue that the Brothers should stay at home to enable the authorities to operate the country.

Caller: No, no at all. We live in a prestigious area far away from where the demonstrations are. We are close to Tahrir Square. Wherever you go nowadays it is jammed with cars. Traffic was bad and now it is worse. Cars obstruct traffic and people double and even triple in parking. It is truly ugly. The country is chaotic and spoiled. Within three months the country has gone worse and prices have gone up. By the way, it is true that the Brothers started the rallies but people are now joining them because they can no longer take it and people are regretting (the coup). I went into a soldering shop to have something soldered, (I noticed that) the owner of the workshop had Sisi’s picture on the wall. I asked him: “Do you like Sisi?” He said to me: “I wish I hadn’t liked him. He has destroyed the country.”

Presenter: Why has he kept the picture on the wall then?

Caller: The picture is posted high on the wall. It is possible he is lazy to remove it or perhaps there is another reason or may be he intends to remove it or something of this sort. I swear by God this is what he said to me. Out of curiosity I am polling people’s opinions to find out how they live. When I entered the bakery in Muhammad Mahmud Street I asked: “How are you. I have not been here in a while? Your condition must be bad.” He said: “Bad? We are finished.” People are making jokes about the iron gates. They say: “We are becoming like Al-Mu’izz City. Iron gates control our passage in and out.” What is it that is happening in Egypt? Is he paving the way for seizing power, so as to prevent demonstrations, prevent any protests and prevent anyone from saying down with Sisi. He seems to have learned some lesson from previous ages. He intends to carry a whip in his to intimidate and prevent anyone from saying no to him. It is unbelievable.

Presenter: Madam Nuha, do you think he will succeed?

Caller: No, he will not succeed. The Pharaoh will not succeed with the Egyptian people. The people of Egypt have already risen. They will no longer tolerate being slapped on the back, and they will no longer be deceived by lies. The Biblawi government is a total failure. It was this Biblawi who brought down the Issam Sharaf government when the people took the streets. Biblawi was Issam Sharaf’s deputy.

Presenter: And he was the Minister of Finance.

Caller: Yes, he was the Minister of Finance.

Presenter: The biggest decline in foreign currency deposits occurred during Biblawi’s time as Finance Minister. This is one of the facts that one must mention.

Caller: He cannot find (anyone to serve in his cabinet). Respectable people have refused to join this government. These are truly respectable people. All those who agreed to join him are of the ambitious enslaved type. Respectable people refused to join such a government. His cabinet is composed of people the youngest among them is no less than sixty years old. What is this? And they talk about the youth, what youth? People above the age of 70 suffer from hardening (of the arteries). We know this because it happens to our own relatives whom we give special care to at such age. These are the people who brought to form a salvation cabinet.

Presenter: Some old people are youthful in spirit. Age has nothing to do with performance. Yet, it is worth noting that all his cabinet members are ageing. This was supposed to be a youthful cabinet expressing a youthful revolution. If 30 June was a revolution then it must have been a revolution of the youth. The 25 January revolution was indeed a revolution of the youth. But regarding the daily demonstrations, Madam Nuha, do you see that they are doing the right thing or should calm down a bit?

Caller: By the way, I am with these demonstrations and I do join them in Al-Maadi.

Presenter: Why so?

Caller: Because truth will eventually win. The state of oppression lasts an hour but the state of truth will last till the Hour comes.

Presenter: May truth be victorious. Thank you very much.