Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Imagine this story: terrorists captured one of your countrymen in a foreign country, he stayed as a hostage for sometime, and then the police found his body on the roadside. The terrorists put a bullet at the back of his head, his legs were tied, and his arms were tied around his waist. Now, what would you feel if the following day your major newspaper had this as main headlines: President Bush sets an new education agenda; The Lakers beat the Bulls 89-76. You skim through the newspaper and find the horrible news mentioned in a tiny column on page 4 (reserved for international news!).
This is what happened to an Egyptian who was found dead in Iraq. He didn’t even make it to page 2! I felt so angry and disgusted at how Egypt’s number 1 newspaper is treating fellow Egyptians. Is our lives so cheap and unworthy? There are two possible reasons for neglecting this important story:
First, in nearly all developing countries, the life of a single person is not important even if he was brutally murdered by a Wahabi Iraqi terrorist or a clumsy young Egyptian doctor who practices over poor patients. So, what difference would a poor Egyptian who wanted to try his luck in Iraq make? We already have an overpopulated country of 70 million.
Second, the paper might still be hoping that there is some legitimacy and justification for the killers of Iraq. They don’t want to really come against the Wahabi/Salafi/Sadamist animals in Iraq lest the average Egyptian suspect that his beloved paper turned pro-America. Such a rationale is sick and makes me want to vomit yet I am not surprised. The paper reports any major military operation by US and Iraqi forces in a major headline yet didn’t even mention the decomposed bodies found in Muqtada Sadr’s “court” because the cleric with the dirty teeth suddenly became an Egyptian and an Arab hero.