Egyptians on the verge of insanity

Date posted: February 25, 2009

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Egyptians are struggling to maintain their sanity, faith, and stability. No Limits No Rules asked his readers if they think the following scenarios are possible:

تفتكروا ممكن نلاقى في يوم جمال مبارك بيتمشى في حديقة الأزهر مع ابنه باعتباره ابن رئيس سابق ؟ تفتكروا ممكن ييجى اليوم اللى نشوف فيه احمد نظيف راكب عربية 128 وواقف في إشارة جنب ميكروباص ميدان لبنان – ستة أكتوبر ؟ تفتكروا ممكن ييجى اليوم اللي نشوف فيه حسنى مبارك بيسلم على الرئيس الجديد وهو بيسلمه مفتاح قصر العروبة ؟ الأحلام دى بتراود غالبية الشعب المصري , ولما بيفوق منها بيفضل يضحك على خيبته وشطحان احلامة , بس المهم في النهاية انه بيفوق , لأنه لو حصل ونسى نفسه هايصحى على كابوس …. هاتقولى كابوس زى إيه ؟ أقولك يا سيدي : ممكن مثلا يصحا يلاقى إن المصنع اللي شغال فيه أو الشركة اللي بياكل منها عيش اتباعت ( فجأة كده ) لمستثمر هندي ولا كمبودى , وابقي وريني هاتاخد حقك منه بأنهي لغة … وكمان ممكن يصحا يلاقى بيته انفجر من اسطوانة بوتاجاز الصمام بتاعها مضروب ويلاقى نفسه أتشرد وراحت نص عيلته (أو كلها ) … أو ممكن يفوق على تسمم من أكلة لحمة بقاله ييجى ست سنين ماكلهاش , ويروح هدر هو وأهله وجيرانه وأصحابه واللي يتشدد لهم كمان …. واحتمال كبير يصحا على غرق المركب اللي كان مسافر عليها , أو حريق في عربية القطر اللي راكبها , او على الأقل يعنى يتقلب بالأوتوبيس في ترعة …. كل دي عواقب اللي يحلم زيادة , انتا كمواطن مصري مش مطلوب منك تحلم , مطلوب منك بس انك تحاول تبقى بني أدام , وحتى الطلب ده كتير دلوقتى في بلدنا مش قادرين يحققوه …
Will there come a day when we see Gamal Mubarak walking in Al Azhar Park with his son – him being the son of our former president? Will we ever see Ahmed Nazif driving a 128 car next to a microbus stuck in traffic in Lebanon square on his way to 6th of October City? Will Hosny Mubarak ever shake hands with a new president as he hands over the keys to the Presidential palace? Those dreams toy with the minds of many Egyptians but when they sober up they laugh at how silly and juvenile their dreams were .. at the end of the day, they have to wake up or they will open their eyes to a nightmare; He might wake up to the shocking news of a Cambodian or Indian investor acquiring the company of factory he works in, in a sale, merger, or business acquisition … show me how he will ever get his legal rights! He might also wake up to find his home and half of his family – if not all of them – gone with the explosion of the hazardous gas valve in the stove. He might never wake up and die of food poisoning after having a meal of expired meat that he has been looking forward to for years. There is also the risk of drowning on a boat, burning on a train, or bleeding to death on the road. Such nightmares are the natural consequences of dreaming too much of being a human being.

Per Bjorklund, of Egypt and Beyond quoted Al Badeel Newspaper's report:

According to a report presented to the people's assembly by independent MP Gamal Zahraan, 12,000 young men in Egypt committed suicide in the last 4 years. The main cause, according to Zahraan, is high levels of unemployment. While there is no way for me to judge the scientific credibility of this report, the numbers – if they are correct – point to a horrifying trend: In 2005 there was around 1100 suicides, in 2006 the number had risen to 2300 and in 2007 to 3700. In 2008 the number had almost doubled again, making the total 12.000 for the last 4 years. It's not unlikely that this trend is related to the dramatic rise in food prices and increasing economic hardships for Egypt's poor during the last years. With the global depression about to hit the tourism industry and other sectors of the Egyptian economy, the future looks dark.

Mostafa Hussein wrote a post titled People don't commit suicide because they lost faith or a job where he argued mental health saying:

Mental health policies and practice are full of problems. An old law, incomplete and disconnected services, insufficient practitioners, lack of awareness, poor training, distortion by religious ideologies and lack of research and statistics.

Then he argued that:

because of the religious prohibition on killing oneself, it became a given that all Islamic nations report an unrealistically low rate of suicide. Claims that Islam protects from suicide prompts silent laughs from anyone who can think. I am not saying that Islam (or religiosity) doesn't protect from mental illness. This is not the issue here. The problem is that the source of this is interpretations of the holy text. Not any scientific method. These claims feed the vicious stigmatizing circle of mental illness being a result of lack of faith. With people associating mental illness with an unavoidable internal guilt that they can't deal with.

Mostafa disagrees with linking unemployment rates directly with the suicide rates saying:

Economics control life events and depression is caused by both vulnerability (genetic or familial) and stress (life events like jobs, divorce, etc..). Yes, there is a link between economics and health (including mental health primarily). But linking economic hardships with suicide is what I disagree about.

After loosing his sanity, an Egyptian upper middle class man killed his wife, daughter, and son a month ago. Zeinobia commented on the incident saying:

Sharif as I said is from a high middle class, he lived in the Gulf and returned back , as far as I read somewhere he worked for Jaguar Egypt. The family has four cars and there are Jewels in the flat found by the police. His family was shocked and could not believe the news that the calm quiet Sharif would do something like this. Sharif was a loving father and husband according to all people. As I implied Sharif killed his family after the financial crisis. Sharif decided to kill his family after his massive losses in the Egyptian stock market. According to the news sources he lost about one million Egyptian pound from his own money, of course I do not see why for one million Egyptian pound he would depress like this then go crazy and kill his family in this terrible way !!??

She concludes her post:

I think Sharif was suffering from greed and lack of faith, in the end he was led to depression. Needless to say most people in Egypt refuse to admit that it is not shame thing to go to a psychiatric. I do not know if we are going to see more of these crimes because of the economic crisis or not. It is kind of a scary thing especially with the increase rate of violence and anger in Egypt.

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