Thursday, December 24, 2015

When Alaa Al-Aswany emigrates

Wael Qandil


Alaa Al-Aswany
Alaa Al-Aswany

“I will emigrate to the Comoros or any distant country to flee your faces, you security agency spies. I really hope to do so.”

With this painful sentence, the internationally known writer ended a tweet he posted yesterday in response to a news report that was widely circulated, claiming that he applied for emigration status at the American embassy for himself and his family and that the embassy approved his application.
Alaa Al-Aswany denied applying for emigration status, but he did not deny his desire to flee the swamp of ugliness and hatred in which Egypt has been drowned since the scorching summer of 2013; he wishes for it.
It is not important to remind everyone that Alaa Al-Aswany is one of the individuals who helped dig this inhumane swamp, and it would not accomplish anything to say that he was one of the people urging the people to accept this fate, the misery of which he is now personally suffering from.
What I do need to bring attention to here is the timing that this rumour about Al-Aswany emigrating was spread. It was hours after Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi’s speech, which included an implicit invitation to the hell of a new civil war due to the calls for a revolution against him on the anniversary of the January 25 Revolution. It seems that the purpose behind spreading the rumour is to send a message of despair and discouragement to anyone thinking of revolting against Al-Sisi. It gives the message that even an internationally and locally known writer, who supported the great hell, is now trying to escape the country before D-Day comes for the revolution.
They want to reach the hopeful masses who look forward to returning to the squares and send a message that there is an individual who supported the January revolution, who is highly influential internationally, and who wants to permanently “flee from the revolution”, content with a calm, easy, stable and safe life across the Atlantic in the land of Uncle Sam. Therefore, oh ordinary simple citizens who are unknown, remain quiet because those who some considered to be icons and symbols are distancing themselves and disowning the resistance and are demanding safety from what is to come. They are rushing to board the first wave that would take them to the coasts of inactivity and throw them into the ports of silence in order to resign from the domestic scene, given its complications and its incomprehensible equations. There is no problem, from time to time, to appear with a tweet here and there into the electronic world, or a television interview that hints more than states, and suspects more than it confronts, such as those given by Dr Mohamed El-Baradei, for example.
Al-Aswany wishes to emigration now as he sees the heads of other January wolves flying in the air in the context of a new phase in the coup’s life. This coup is going down a path very similar to that in Iraq after the fall of Baghdad and its destruction in what was known as the uprooting of the Baath Party. Now, in Egypt, this phase is known as the “uprooting of January” by means of a parliament that wholeheartedly belongs to the counter-revolution, in terms of figures, values and morals. They are combing the political street and removing any plants, seeds and trees that may potentially cause a new outburst of anger or help the growth of anger that has stayed alive over the last two and a half years.
In a country governed by an organisation or a militia, not a political system, it has not helped Alaa Al-Aswany to continuously say that he does not regret participating in the farce of 30 June, nor does it benefit him. He was also not spared their fascism when, before writing any sentence against Al-Sisi’s state, he attacked Morsi and cursed the Muslim Brotherhood in 10 sentences. As long as the process of elimination exercised by these authorities is a process of complete subjugation of the public consciousness and a complete elimination of the collective mind in order for them to happily and satisfyingly accept all the contaminated information, beliefs and ideas about religion, the nation and art poured into their minds, then there is no place for Alaa Al-Aswany once he damned the holy being. He did so a few months ago when he said: “I leased my flat to an individual, but they tore the contract and seized the flat. I called the police and they expelled the leaser, but they seized the flat. I will restore all of my rights and I do not regret participating in 30 June.”
It is sad that Alaa Al-Aswany’s hopes and wishes have dwindled to emigrating to any country, even the Comoros, in order to flee a country that has turned into ruins; a country that has turned from a cemetery for invaders to a burner of the opposition, regardless of their level of opposition. However, this is not strange in the case of an authority that requested a mandate to kill, eradicate and eliminate as its first order of business.
Translated from Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, 24 December 2015.

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