Egypt protesting European embassies?

Did they just get the memo that we get mistreated there?

Egypt has protested to European embassies in Cairo
about what it has described as the mistreatment of Egyptians applying
for entry visas.

The Egyptian foreign ministry said the embassies were applying
visa rules arbitrarily, and not treating Egyptians with respect and
dignity.

You know, I would be all for it, but the egyptian government, of all people, complaining that someone is not treating Egyptians with respect and dignity? We 7eyat deen omokom? That's like Bill Clinton scolding John Edwards for lying to the American people.

Ehh..Irony is dead! 

Comments

  1. CarpetCaptain says:

    So where do Egyptians go to complain about the uselessness of their embassies abroad ? How about the kind of treatment they receive in their own country whether its in a police station or a courtroom. I wonder why they haven’t sent one to the embassies of the Guld countries that treat the Egyptians worse than cattle befor and after they’re admitted to their shithole desert sheikdoms. Opppps I forgot those guys own the Egyptian gov’t.

  2. The key point in the article is in the last sentence – the embasy employees (allegedly) treating egyptians with disdain are themselves egyptians, not europeans… a point worth noting!

  3. Quite about fucking time. While this does not apply to all embassies – the Austrian for one was rather okay, in my opinion – but some, like the french, are very, very obnoxious. Their multiple waiting rooms separated by heavy metal turnstiles are insane.

    CarpetCaptain: Ditto. I guess it’s because you complain to the countries that -may perhaps be – civil enough to respond positively. The people of the ‘shithole desert sheikhdom’, on the other hand, aren’t intelligent enough to read a complaint.

    Adam B: right on. I am actually (happily) surprised that the BBC pointed it out.

    It gets hairy however when you break this down by confession: you will realise that the vast majority of local staff hired by European/American embassies belong to… a certain religion, and these take a twisted pleasure in discriminating against people of different confessions.

    Then we go and complain that a minority group is leaving the country en masse and represent a disproportionately large share of those receiving Green Cards or equivalent… It’s not that they’re overly represented in applications: but the decisions constantly favour them.

    Sad, huh?

  4. CarpetCaptain says:

    “It gets hairy however when you break this down by confession: you will realise that the vast majority of local staff hired by European/American embassies belong to… a certain religion, and these take a twisted pleasure in discriminating against people of different confessions. ”

    Mo:

    Let me start by apologizing for confusing you with the troll. Having said that I’m going to hold your feet to the fire for your insenuation.

    For starters these people of a “certain religion” are hired for their skills and based on being vetted on not having any loyalties other than for doing their job and not having other loyalties than to their employer and the job that they’re supposed to do. Your implication that they discriminate based on an applicants’ religion is both false and wrongfully inflammatory. Immigration applications are not viewed and valued based on some local civil servant’s whims. I’ve had a semi retarded “foreigner” try and deny me access to my embassy in Garden City.

    ” It’s not that they’re overly represented in applications: but the decisions constantly favour them.”

    The decisions constantly favour them based on their existing family connections in the country they intend to immigrate to and the fact that they are actually discriminated against in their own homeland. If you were to look at Canada’s and the USA’s immigration records for Bosnians vs Serbs you’ll quickly realize that the racism only exists in the sick minds and hearts of those that inflict it and those that won’t admit.

    Sad huh?

  5. @ Mo

    Decision concerning all visa applications to Schengen treaty countries takes place in the EU, not the local embassies. Applications actually make a tour around these countries to be cleared by each in turn. Whether sweet or gruff, the local employees have no say in the matter.

    European Union countries do not view themselves as immigration countries, so you can not lump the situation in USA or Canadian embassies in the same bag with the EU. European governments are under pressure from their people to control immigration, any elected government being seen as lax in dealing with this issue would be simply committing political suicide.

    I have two questions for you Mo: why do you see religion as being involved, or as an issue at all? Are your insinuations backed by any facts or statistics, or is it just a gut feeling or intuition?

    Can you divorce the presence of turnstiles from the question of discipline, whether people are patient enough to stand in line or turn into an indoor mob? Why would an embassy spend money on putting something as ugly as turnstiles in its waiting rooms, a reason other than hiring some Christians employees of course? Can we honestly say that we are always on the receiving end, that we, as a people, do not contribute to, & are not responsible in the least, to how others react to us?

    If we are willing so allocate guilt to others just because they are different, or they have different beliefs, then why are we so shocked when it SEEMS that someone else is treating us the same way?
    Religion has nothing to do with the visa question, it is only our pet demon we love to obsess about.

  6. CarpetCaptain says:

    Mo:

    One more thing:

    “these take a twisted pleasure in discriminating against people of different confessions. ”

    Lets hypothetically assume that this is a fact which I do not believe it to be. Why would these people of a “certain religion” wake up one morning and feel the need to discriminate against those of a “differet confession”? Do you ever wonder why this is the case if indeed it is and if its not why you quickly and automatically jump to the conclusion that it is.

    Lets take this one step further; can you picture the discrimination that those people of a “certain religion” are facing in their day to day dealings with the entire system? I’ll do you one better, one time I was Visiting in Egypt and dad’s car registration had expired. So I went with the driver to have it renewed because i have the power of attorney. The guy in the window calls the driver, looks at his DL and says to him how do you plan on meeting god with a name like that (a very “other religion” name). He lets it slide and comes bck with a stunned look on his face unable to believe what the bearded terrorist had said to him. After I pressed him on it he tells me as the tears start to roll from his eyes. Anyways I make a massive enough stink and end up meeting on the spot with the general (mooder el morour). He apologizes and sends the emplyee to maglis taadeeb or whatever disciplinary council they have. As we’re walking out I hear someone in the peanut gallery say can you believe what those coptic kafara have the balls to do.

    The point is that you see things in religious colours and therefore expect that everyone else does, kinda like a cheating husband that keeps a watchful eye on his wife not because she’s a slut but because he projects his behaviour on her.

  7. I am loving the responses above because they are both intelligent, remarkably well written and, furthermore, respectful. Much respect to you both.

    (Captain — yeah, i added the hypens to my name to differentiate myself. No worries whatsoever, it’s all fine.)

    Nony, to answer your two questions: yes, I see that religion is involved, and it saddens me dearly.
    And no, I do not have statistics. But having dealt extensively – and I mean, really extensively – with foreign embassies, i can without a doubt say that the immense majority of people working there are Christian. Same goes for affiliated agencies (say, Cultural Centres or the like). I have been involved with the French cultural centre for one – I coordinated some volunteer student activity – and we’re talking that no less than 90% of people working there are Christian.

    This, in itself, is not an issue, if indeed they are all hired based on a transparent process (etc etc). They are not; and I’m not sniffing a conspiracy or anything — this i want to underline — but we all know that, at our workplaces, when a spot opens, insiders know of it before outsiders, and are likely to suggest/pass the info to friends or relatives. That’s absolutely normal and usual.

    The end result however leads to a ratio that is anything beyond a statistical anomaly, but Christians represent the immense majority of local staff in foreign embassies. Again; not a conspiracy; just a simple fact.

    Are we okay until here?

    Then comes what has ticked the above commentators. Are those people mistreating their Muslim compatriots on purpose? Again, from my experience: yes. I am sorry to say that but, without a doubt, yes.

    They didn’t wake up with a desire to make Muslims suffer, as you say CarpetCaptain. Or at least – I hope not.

    I look at it from a more global point of view. And the example you cite with the driver license’s renewal is spot on, CarpetCaptain. (btw – I’m glad you had them sent to a disciplinatory council. Bravo!).
    Could it be the backlash that of the “the discrimination that those people of a “certain religion” are facing in their day to day dealings with the entire system”, to quote you? I believe it is.

    The sentiment of an oppressed minority, the build-up of emotions, the feeling of opression, of disrespect, etc (a different topic of discussion, though) finds an outlet in situations and locations were Christians are a majority or have the upper hand. Embassies are a frontline example of this.

    As for the question of decisions: the presence of a family abroad is indeed a factor; but is irrelevant if we focus on tourist visas – which is what most people apply for, really – as you’ll again see the statistical discrepancy.

  8. to za guy b4 me says:

    why the Coptophobia???????? Your outlandish conjecturing to blame fellow egyptians for the follies of foreign governments is uncalled for!!! You stove pipe stats to fit your muslim brotherhood sophist argument.

    Shame on you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. The treatment of foreign embassies in Egypt to the Egyptian citizens is inhuman and should never be allowed.

    Adam B.,

    Those Egyptians inside the embassy are following the rules of their foreign boss but good try smartass :)

  10. to za guy b4 me — first: you make me laugh. Really.
    Second: I said, quote: ” no, I do not have statistics”. Capice?
    Third: if you’re going to participate in a grown-up conversation, then you need to grow up, go easy on your exclamation and question marks, and actually give a real argument.
    My comment was regarding the final line of the BBC article, which Adam B picked up on, that said often employees treating egyptians with disdain are themselves egyptians.
    Come back when you have something interesting to say.

  11. Mo -> It would indeed be sad if the local employees of a foreign embassy are acting on their own accord in a way that is certainly in contrast to the policy and ethics of said embassy.

    Two -> Please elaborate on this treatment you’re reffering to – without any concrete example it’s hard to take such a sharp statement seriously. If, however, there really are examples of foreign embassies mistreating egyptian citizens that would be interesting and disturbing news indeed!

    As for your comment about the supposed rules of foreign “bosses”… yeah, in your dreams! But, to use your own words, nice try. :D

  12. I just want to give Mohamed and CarpetCaptain props for having a civilized debate. Most Internet arguments of this nature quickly devolve into “Fuck you, Christian imperialist asshole” and “No, fuck YOU, Muslim animal.”

    Respect.

  13. CarpetCaptain says:

    I’ll agree that the majority of Western Embassy employees are Copts but so fucking what? ALL of the employees of the Arab and “muslim countries” are muslim and the all Egyptians are still treated like shit. I dont see the issue as Copts treating the muslims bad and the christians good as you contend. You also have to remeber that every dickwad wants to slime his way to Europe and stay there past his visa and hoepfully get a job and become a resident eventually.

    I am sure that the percentage of Copts being able to get visas is higher than the percentage of muslims BUT there are no Copts fighting a jihad in London or NYC. There hasn’t been a 9/11 or 7/7 “ghazwa” None of their preachers are saying kill the sons of monkeys and pigs. There are no channels that specialize in nothing but spreading hatred and encouraging violence. Not to mention of course all the talk about the moral decay and how these people are going to rot in hell. Are you surprised that they are not as willing to employ muslims and even less willing to admit them to their countries?

    How many Americans would Saudi Arabia or Egypt have allowed in their countries after 19 terrorists blew up Mecca and killed 3200 people?

    Before you take the splinter out of someone else’s eye you might want to take the log out of yours :D Maybe tone down the hateful speech, blatant racism and hatred before you wonder why you get treated like shit in foreign embassies. Maybe Abou El Gheit should take a look at his own ministry that hasnt hired a copt ambassador in ages. Maybe Abou El Gheit should complain a little to the Saudis for how Egyptians are treated there and I know they number in the hundreds of thousands. We didnt even hear Aboul Gheit complain when two Egyptians were tortured in Kuwaiti police station yet they can’t arrest a Kuwaiti out of a Haram street slumclub.

    Maybe just maybe that this complaint was payback for the EU report on human rights in Egypt that was issued in January. I laughed my ass of because I was in Egypt then and the newspaper commentary was hilarious. It was like these ass kissing C%^&*RS lived in a different universe. Apparently Egypt was even going to refuse to accept European Aid 8-)

  14. Mo,

    I am afraid that religion is becoming too prevalent these days. Like a ghost, people tend to see it were it doesn’t exist, because we are all wearing these “religious” blinders. I am Christian, yet when a member of my family went to the embassy in Cairo asking for a visa to visit me, the Egyptian employee at the embassy was nasty, not because of religion ( my relative’s name clearly denotes her religion), but simply because this employee has a nasty character. There are times when a nasty tendency is viewed as an asset in dealing with crowds. Also, we cannot ignore cultural factors, or power games followers of both religions like to play sometimes, given the disposition. It is just a variation on the same theme being played in governmental offices when some view good manners as coats, to be taken off or put on when they feel the whim.

    That said, as long as you do not have data to support your hypothesis, you are only presenting us with a hunch,you are a consultant and you know that you cannot make such unsubstantiated sweeping generalizations.

    For argument’s sake, let us assume that you are right & that christians are the majority, if your objections are based on principle, then you must speak out with equal vehemence against injustices minorities are subjected to in other fields as well. It is only when all citizens are granted equal rights, in all fields, within their society that we can demand that other states open their employment regulations for our scrutiny.

    Lastly, you did not respond to my comment about EU visa rules. To reiterate, visas are granted only after the application has been viewed, & unanimously approved, by a roster of all Schengen treaty countries. Even foreign diplomats stationed in Egypt can only recommend approval. There is a legal process that must be followed to ensure that the applicant does not pose a security risk, or is a potential economic immigrant. I think we all know that there are numerous cases when people entered with a tourist visa but stayed on. Like I mentioned before, immigration is becoming a very thorny problem in Europe. Europeans do not see their countries as countries of immigration like New Zealand, Australia, Canada..etc. Their social security systems have been so abused by some groups, together with problems of adaptation or even assimilation, & terrorism, that a very real public pressure on governments to deal with this problem is incessantly building. No government or political party can ignore this unless they want to be swept out of power. The problem of “fortress Europe” has nothing to do with whether the Coptic receptionist or secretary made a snide remark or gave a sweet smile. I repeat that it is sad we now see religious differences behind every problem or lurking in every corner.

  15. Mo-ha-med says:

    Hahaha. I would to see us refuse European Aid…
    CarpetCaptain, you are right – people are treated like shit in Gulf embassies. These, however, are staffed with their own nationals – who suffer from a severe inferiority complex towards the more evolved homo sapiens that we are.

    You also mention security risks leading to less Muslims getting their visas approved. Assuming this is true, this remains irrelevant as the focus of our discussion is how people are treated, face-to-face, in embassies.

    As for YOU telling ME “tone down the hateful speech, blatant racism, etc”? First, absolutely uncalled for. Second, I hate to remind you but your anti-muslim vitriol has been colouring this blog for a while now. Perhaps your accusations of racism are but the expression of your own prejudices?

    And no, not every ‘dickwad’ wants to ‘slime his way’ to reside illegally to Europe. Switch off Fox News for a minute, would ya?

    Nony: you are right. I sincerely hope that all forms of discrimination disappear from the country but, as you hinted, it is a multilayered process which not only involves religious prejudice but also power games and individual behaviour.

    Regarding your comment about visa rules – apologies for missing it in the previous comment – you are also going on a tangent. The discussion is more about the way people are treated than the decision. But I am happy to answer you either way.
    I know that visa employees tell you that the decision comes from (insert capital of choice). This is quite dubious. First, because many (non-EU) countries can approve or reject a visa on the spot, right? Now you can tell me that these countries aren’t representative, but I think that all countries equally worry (more or less) about their borders.
    I remember dealing with an EU embassy, before the EU enlargement – in those blessed days when the EU was only composed of 15 member states – and the woman at the counter would tell everyone that the decision takes 15 days – “one day per country”, she used to say. Which is total bullshit, of course.
    Now it’s even more blatant. Do you really think that every time I apply for a tourist visa to Greece, every Schengen capital, from Lisbon to Bratislava, will review my file? I find it hard to believe. I’m pretty sure that countries that signed the Schengen agreement didn’t sign up for a multiplication of their application review load by 22…
    And we both know that the official recommendation of the consulate on the ground is gold to the final decision process. A positive or a negative ‘recommendation’ is seldom overturned.

    But beyond all this: you say that “it is sad we now see religious differences behind every problem or lurking in every corner”. Maybe, my friend, maybe.
    I sure hope that you are right and that I am mistaken!!

    Kurt – cheers! Yes, it is refreshing, isn’t it! :) though I hate to disappoint you but i have already received an anonymous hate message on my blog :) , from, I suspect, Mister #8 above (who was kind enough to reference my response to him for identification purposes!)

  16. brooklynjon says:

    Just for the record, I’ve been pulled aside and interrogated by American Homeland Security.
    And once, while passing from Canada to the United States My family was greeted by border guards with their guns drawn.

    I did not suspect it was my curly light brown hair, or my fair complexion.

    I wonder, had I dark skin and dark hair, if I would have attributed the rough treatment to them.

  17. i luv egypt says:

    “someone is not treating Egyptians with respect and dignity? We 7eyat deen omokom?”

    looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool “we 7eyat deen omokom” i think sand monkey just gave the perfect response to that.

  18. Mo, I can ease your worries (?) about visa applications to the EU – each country handles their own applications by themselves, of course according to the rules and guidelines agreed upon bu the joint community. Some countries, like my native Denmark have additional rules, although only concerning application for work visas and the like, although these have recently been challenged by the EU court.

    In any case, religion in itself has no consequence as to who gets to enter a country and who doesn’t. The only place where religion has any importance is with regards to any connection to religious extremist groups (this can be muslim, christian or what have you) but obviously only in a secondary manner – religion in itself cannot be used as a factor as per our human rights laws.

    I will admit to some level of corruption, particularly in southern Europe (sorry to any italians, greeks, etc.) resulting in the illegal discrimination of muslims, but in general this is not a problem, a fact which is evident in the large groups of muslim minoritis in most european countries…

  19. @Mo,
    At the risk of proving myself, once again, to be too wordy & verbose, here are some rules of entry, quoted from a govtl site of a European country, as well as Article 7 of the Schengen treaty concerning entry & visa rules.
    One last comment, you are an educated man who traveled a lot, why do you choose to interpret visa problems encountered in EU embassies, in terms of religious affiliation? Religious sensitivities spread like contagious germs, I feel sad that you resorted to such an explanation, seductive in its simplicity, wrong & dangerous.
    Below are the quotations:
    _”If you are travelling, you can apply for a short-stay (up to 90 days) visa at the XXXX embassy or consulate of the country you are in at the time. In this case, your application must be submitted to the Immigration Service at FPS Home Affairs for its decision, which may take some time. This option does not exist for long-stay (over 90 days) visa applications.”

    _”Article 7 of the Schengen Borders Code provides that all persons crossing external borders — inbound or outbound — have to be subject to a minimum check, this including the establishment of identities on the basis of the production or presentation of their travel documents, while third-country nationals must be subjected to thorough checks, which also concern all entry requirements (documentation, visa, employment status, means of subsistence, absence of security concerns). The exit controls allow, inter alia, to determine if a person leaving the area is in possession of a document valid for crossing the border, whether that person had extended his or her stay beyond the permitted period, and to check against alerts on persons and objects included in the Schengen Information System and reports in national data files, e. g. if an arrest warrant had been issued by a Schengen State.”

    _”According to the Schengen Borders Code, the conditions applying to third-country nationals for entry are as follows:[28]

    * The third-country national is in possession of a valid travel document or documents authorising them to cross the border; the acceptance of travel documents for this purpose remains within the domain of the member states;[29]
    * He or she either possesses a valid visa (if required) or a valid residence permit;
    * He or she can justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay, and they have sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to their country of origin or transit to a third country into which they are certain to be admitted, or are in a position to acquire such means lawfully;
    * There has not been issued an alert in the Schengen Information System for refusal of entry, and
    * he or she is not considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the Schengen states.”

  20. CarpetCaptain says:

    MO

    “As for YOU telling ME “tone down the hateful speech, blatant racism, etc”? First, absolutely uncalled for.”

    Iwasnt referring to you, the reference was to whats broadcast on television, newspapers and every other medium in Egypt. I have NO prejudice against muslims or anyone else, PERIOD END OF STORY. The fact that EGYPTIANS (i assume this still refers to both “acceptable religions”) are poorly treated in EU embassies due to religious bias was your conspiracy theory and you were the one to discolour the discussion0 with it.

    You might perceive me to be anti muslim but this is not the case, I am anti religious meddling in civil society whether its the pope or the mufti. As far as i’m concerned both should stick to leading prayer and that is it. I dont need either one telling us what books we’re allowed to read, what movies we should watch or what countries we can and can not visit. I’m going to dig up the article tht I read somewhere today about organ transplants and how either the azhar sheikh or the mufti said it was “haram”. I guess there must have been a few heart transplants being done prior to mohammad’s days and he came and banned them 8-) its a sure sign when guys that still dress like thy were in the middle ages (sheiks and priests) can tell us whether we should allow our loved ones to live or die. Hell the religious meddling is so bad that the mufti has to approve death now (executions).

    “And no, not every ‘dickwad’ wants to ’slime his way’ to reside illegally to Europe. Switch off Fox News for a minute, would ya?”

    Sorry to disappoint you I never added it to my cable package. But do you honestly not see an illegal immigration problem in Europe? Do you not see a lot of Egyptians staying illegally all over Europe? Do you not see them marrying to get visas.

    “Then we go and complain that a minority group is leaving the country en masse and represent a disproportionately large share of those receiving Green Cards or equivalent… It’s not that they’re overly represented in applications: but the decisions constantly favour them.”

    “You also mention security risks leading to less Muslims getting their visas approved. Assuming this is true, this remains irrelevant as the focus of our discussion is how people are treated, face-to-face, in embassies.”

    Both are your quotes, make up your mind if getting visas and greencards is relevant or not ;)

  21. Mo-ha-med says:

    i luv egypt: “we 7eyat deen omokom” – yeah. Hilarious indeed!!!

    Nony, you can be as wordy as you wish. We’d never get bored. :)

    Okay okay okay. Not objecting to all of this. We’re veering off topic, and the discussion is sticking to what was originally an aside. Plus I can’t argue with European law. :) I didn’t say that the EU discriminated on religious basis… (because it’s too complex of a discussion anyway).

    I posited something simpler: BBC News reported that often Egyptians are mistreated at the hands of Egyptians. In an attempt to explain this — forget the stuff about visa decisions — I believe that there is a – very unfortunate – religious undertone to this.

    CarpetCaptain: Glad to know you’re not watching Fox News. I was getting worried. :)
    Of course there is an illegal immigration problem. But you said that everyone trying to get to Europe will be doing us a replay of Hammam fi Amsterdam (this film was hilarious! Why does it no longer play on television? Oh well. Another discussion.) and this is simply NOT true.
    There are people marrying for visas, I’ve met a couple myself. But it’s becoming far more difficult that you can imagine – especially in Europe – and involves things like flash inspections to see if the couple is really living together, quizzing them about details of the other’s life, and the process takes several years.

    And given that I did not understand your last remark — I think I will refer you to my response to Nony (above).

    Oh yeah, and on the transplants being Haram: I’d be keen on seeing when the guy who said that will actually needs one… I’m fairly sure that he will suddenly discover a Halal precedent for exactly the procedure he needs. :)

  22. “Oh yeah, and on the transplants being Haram: I’d be keen on seeing when the guy who said that will actually needs one… I’m fairly sure that he will suddenly discover a Halal precedent for exactly the procedure he needs.”

    Yup, that should make for some interresting back-pedaling!!! :D

  23. CarpetCaptain says:

    MO:

    As bad as Fox is it still doesn’t rise (or sink as the case maybe) to the level of Al Jazeera.

    My last point was your direct quotes one claiming discrimination in the number of visas issued to Christians and then saying that the number of visas issued is irrelevant. I was merely asking you to make your mind up if it was or wasnt.

    Bottom line is there is no discrimination its just equal shitty treatment to all. No different than any other gov’t agency that the public deals with in Egypt.

    By the way I’ll reiterate what I said on another post you yelling religious discrimination in this issue is the pot calling the kettle black and then yelling Islamophobia.

    As a wise man once said “Perhaps your accusations of racism are but the expression of your own prejudices?”

  24. Mo-ha-med says:

    Ah. Ad hominem attacks now, CarpetCaptain? Really?
    (sighing…)

    I always found this metaphor of the pot and the kettle quite hilarious… the image it brings to my mind is that of the talking kettle in the “Beauty and the Beast” cartoon… :-) but i digress.

    You love to reiterate, I see, and to raise the same arguments in several posts. Very well.

    Islamophobia is indeed very present, on the part of yourself and other people who insist on making every single argument – even if it has nothing to do with religion or discrimination – about how awful awful those bad bad muslims are (to others, or even in absolute).

    I’m pretty sure that, if we were discussing global warming, or whale fishing in Japan, you’d still find a way to blame/insult Muslims!!

    The very topic of the current post, however, IS ABOUT DISCRIMINATION. Of Egyptians towards Egyptians. I put forth an explanation, an argument; you gave your counter-arguments. Basta.
    Your accusations of prejudice are therefore both unfounded, and refuted.

    Now your previous post had barely any content but an attack to my person. Mine is a defense and a counterattack. I strongly suggest that we don’t start going down the road of the ad hominem attacks. We managed to avoid them so far.

    You started it; I am ending it; and I think we should leave it to that.
    Your call.

  25. ‘As a wise man once said “Perhaps your accusations of racism are but the expression of your own prejudices?”’

    Well put, what scares me more than the typical joe six pack and the shisha smoking arab guy in cairo. Are the educated specimens that consciously/sub consciously parse their words and claim the moral high ground. Yet when you distill their arguments and evaporate the niceties and flowery language. You will find the same venomous vitriol present in the common man, be it a talking head from a think tank or a well educated worldly arab.

    Especially in the arab world we put out Cumbia movies celebrating our diversity and cooperation. Yet behind closed doors we view the other with contempt/suspicion. Regardless of social class, suspicion is dominant trait across the spectrum in egypt. Kids are imbued with latent hatred as early as the age of 2. Usually the parents ejaculate hatred such as:
    Why are you treating this property as if it were owned by a Jew?

    You are as merciless as a Jew?

    Not sure but an anti-Christian saying that equates the cross with a teapot.

    I don’t know many so i will stop…

  26. ‘For starters these people of a “certain religion” are hired for their skills and based on being vetted on not having any loyalties other than for doing their job and not having other loyalties than to their employer and the job that they’re supposed to do. ‘

    No…

    People of that certain religion are preferred by European and US organization (guess why?). It is most obvious by UK, Austeralia. France, Germany and US come next. If you go to multi-national companies like Nor** Grum***, for example, you will be scared. HR personnel (mostly of that religion) are instructed in advance to accept candidates of that religion. Position like cleaning staff is not subject to this qualification process, but higher positions do.

    Although the vast majority of the Egyptian immigrants in Germany are Muslims (the others prefer Canada, Australia, England and recently USA – again, guess why?), and German speakers in Egypt are predominantly Muslim., you will find nevertheless, almost 100% of the staff in the VISA department of the German embassy are of that religion (excluding the porter). And yes, they take this twisted pleasure Mo’ talked about. And for your information, this goes much earlier than 9/11 and the rest of nonsense, this goes back to the time of the Mamlouks and Ottomans, where people of other religion sued to run the administration of the country and to make fortune out of its resources. How good did they suck the blood of the country can be seen in Napolion’s instructions to his successor to keep a wide open eye on them (despite their services to the French)

    Your question why they behave this way should be directed to them, but I can pose a similar question: Why are the kuklus klan racists? They built their largest Cathedral under Muslims’ rule. Their preachers were persecuted and their churches were plundered by Byzantine (non Muslims by the way)

    Having said that does not mean I am generalizing, or even claiming it is the main Christian stream in Egypt. Our history is full of great Christian Egyptians who served this country sincerely, like Dr. Younan labeeb Rezkalla, for example.

  27. @Kheir,

    Your comment raises a lot of questions:

    -You say that personnel are ‘instructed in advance to accept Christians’, how did you come to know about these instructions, would you share your sources with us?

    -”If you go to multi-national companies like Nor** Grum***, for example, you will be scared.” Scared of what exactly? What is it about meeting people of a different faith that raises your feelings of fear and angst?

    -Why all the innuendo like “guess why”, why don’t you just say whatever you want to say?

    - You claim that ‘Almost 100% of the personnel in the visa section of the German Embassy in Cairo are Christian, since before 2001′, once again, where is your source? Do we take it that you have access to embassy documents & can back your claim?

    - You seem to blame the exploitative economic policies of the Mamluks & Ottomans and the dereliction they brought about, not on the rulers and policy makers, but on their civil servants, which is a rather bizarre view of history, surely you can name the books, historians…whatever, from which collected this data. You seem to have the break-down of governmental civil servants employed during a centuries long period , like the Mamluks for example, even down to religious affiliation, despite all the turmoil of that period & consequent lack, and loss of documentation. One can only assume that you must be in possession of some really rare historical documents. Hiistorians & academicians would kill to get their hands on such documents. What are your sources?

    - Where has Napoleon’s warning been cited & in which context?

    - You say you are not ‘generalizing, or even claiming it is the main Christian stream in Egypt’, where exactly did you make that alleged differentiation? Seems to me you were accusing all christians of treason!

    - One little hiccup in your hypothesis: In Europe, the West in general, there is a strict separation between church and state. The laws are secular, people are appointed according to their qualifications not religious affiliation. There are governmental organizations which oversee the equality of opportunities of all people of different origin or religion, to the point of suing & going to court on their behalf. There could never be a policy favoring the hiring of one group because of their religion. It is simply illegal, and at the scope you seem to be implying, impossible. This is OUR baby demon: classifying the world into ‘my coreligionists’, and ‘those who are against us’. It is amazing how some will come up with conspiracy theories and not only try to paddle them without a shred of proof, but even end up believing them!

    By the way, interesting web page, what is it with the Dutch lessons of pick up lines to attract beautiful women?

  28. ‘-You say that personnel are ‘instructed in advance to accept Christians’, how did you come to know about these instructions, would you share your sources with us?’

    Insider information of course. Someone that used to work there and thought her husband may apply for the job. Then she was informed that the job “must” be occupied by a Christian.

    ‘Scared of what exactly? What is it about meeting people of a different faith that raises your feelings of fear and angst?’

    Scared of descrimination when it comes to having jobs. Well, it an open secret that Christians have priority in foreign companies and banks in Egypt, especially American, French and British. Companies of other countries are 50-50.

    ‘- You claim that ‘Almost 100% of the personnel in the visa section of the German Embassy in Cairo are Christian, since before 2001′, once again, where is your source? Do we take it that you have access to embassy documents & can back your claim?’

    Go there and ask all who go there that you know if they ever met a Muslim sitting inside, except the porter. You can identify them easily by names and golden crosses hanging at the chests.

    ‘- Where has Napoleon’s warning been cited & in which context?’

    Well, I read books, and there is neither space nor time to re-write what I read here. But it was the policy of the Ottomans to hire the minorities to rule Egypt. After the French started to re-organize occupied Egypt, they started to revise how the government institutions (if we may call it so) were run. They were faced by severe corruption of the civil servants hired by the Ottomans, but obviously they could not replace them overnight (they remained 3 years only in Egypt). Napolion’s warned his successor of their corruption, and they should watch them closely.

    ‘- You say you are not ‘generalizing, or even claiming it is the main Christian stream in Egypt’, where exactly did you make that alleged differentiation? Seems to me you were accusing all christians of treason!’

    Do not be silly please. If you want to believe I am generalizing then it is your own problem, but do not turn words in my mouth.

    ‘- One little hiccup in your hypothesis: In Europe, the West in general, there is a strict separation between church and state. The laws are…’

    Now we come to the western secularism and the rest of the rest of the irrelevant blabla….

    Whether it is legal or illegal in your terms, this is what happen in my country. So do not talk about you have no idea about.

  29. ‘- One little hiccup in your hypothesis: In Europe, the West in general, there is a strict separation between church and state. The laws are secular, people are appointed according to their qualifications not religious affiliation. There are governmental organizations which oversee the equality of opportunities of all people of different origin or religion, to the point of suing & going to court on their behalf. There could never be a policy favoring the hiring of one group because of their religion. It is simply illegal, and at the scope you seem to be implying, impossible. This is OUR baby demon: classifying the world into ‘my coreligionists’, and ‘those who are against us’. It is amazing how some will come up with conspiracy theories and not only try to paddle them without a shred of proof, but even end up believing them!’

    Shall I name a University in the secular west that ease scholarships to Egyptians with recommendation letters from the church?

  30. ‘. It is amazing how some will come up with conspiracy theories and not only try to paddle them without a shred of proof, but even end up believing them!’

    Shall I name a University in the secular west that ease scholarships to Egyptians with recommendation letters from the church? And what better proof you want than a confession by a fellow Christian who obtained that scholarship?

  31. @kheir

    There is a huge difference between evidence & hear say, which so far you have been providing, eg “my friend heard…was told”. If your friend was working there, then there is no exclusivity of christian employment as you claim. Since this is the only ‘evidence’ you are providing, does this mean that you arrived to a general conclusion regarding employment in all western embassies – how many are there?-over a period of more than seven years, based on this one case? No documents, statistics….? You consider innuendo & gossip given by one ex-employee ‘insider information’? If this is a satisfactory base to make such sweeping generalization for you, it is in my opinion, unsatisfactory, and so is a head count visit to embassy offices.

    “Scared of descrimination when it comes to having jobs. Well, it an open secret that Christians have priority in foreign companies and banks in Egypt, especially American, French and British. Companies of other countries are 50-50.”

    I am glad that you are sensitive to religious discrimination in regards to equal job opportunities, does that mean I can wait for an equal condemnation from you of local hiring policies, academic specialization..? If your reactions are based on principle, then you cannot possibly discuss inequality in one small area with total disregard of the wider picture, not if you want to maintain the credibility of your argument.

    The French warning was for the corruption in civil service not Christians.

    Kindly refrain from taking the discussion to such personal attacks as ” don’t be silly”. The issue is not what I want or do not want, the question is where exactly did you make the differentiation between those who “sued to run the administration of the country and to make fortune out of its resources.”…and “suck the blood of the country”, and the rest of the Egyptian Christians? If I missed it, then point it out with a bit more grace than ‘silly’ and ‘it’s your problem’. Once you publicly present an opinion, or what you claim is a fact, then you are responsible for the explanation of your premise. You cannot just stomp away in a miff! You contributed this comment, then, explain & defend it.

    Within the context you presented, secular laws are not irrelevant, specially when they govern the rules of employment you are complaining about. Embassies are considered part of their countries, not the host country. For example, once you step into the gate of the German embassy, you are no longer in Egypt, but you are standing on German territory in which German laws are applied. The same holds true for the Egyptian embassy in Germany, it is Egyptian territory. For a last time let me explain that rules of employment, and the definition of legality or illegality are derived from those European ‘secular’ laws, which you are dismissing as irrelevant, not from my personal preference!

    Lastly, you have widened the topic to include academia, way off topic! Name whatever university you want, scholarships offered by universities are usually financed by others, whether individuals, states or organizations. They can recommend an individual provided that s/he meets the academic requirements. Saudi Arabia, for example, finances several scholarships in Islamic & Middle Eastern studies. Is there a hidden conspiracy there?

    Kheir, unless you come up with something more substantial than conspiracy theories backed up by hear say, I will not react to your comments, so goodbye.
    PS, it’s good you dropped that web page, it was too sleazy.

  32. Nony,

    ‘They can recommend an individual provided that s/he meets the academic requirements’

    Wow… but the first statement you read in these universities brochures :”admission in this university is not based on race, gender, confession or ethnic origin”.

    ‘If your friend was working there, then there is no exclusivity of christian employment as you claim.’

    That friend was an exception and was “forced” recently to leave. Secondly, I said overpresented, and in some places almost 100%. Never said 100% everywhere.

    These friends did not hear, they experienced it. You cannot be so naive and think that only the 5-10% of the country are the qualified ones to occupy 70-90% of the positions in European and US companies. And by the way, what qualifies you to argue about reality we live? Oh… you from your remote position and 0 knowledge could already figure out we suffer from mass hallucination and paranoia.

    ‘I am glad that you are sensitive to religious discrimination in regards to equal job opportunities, does that mean I can wait for an equal condemnation from you of local hiring policies, academic specialization..? If your reactions are based on principle, then you cannot possibly discuss inequality in one small area with total disregard of the wider picture, not if you want to maintain the credibility of your argument.’

    I am the one who is glad you talked about it. This is a late reaction (started about 20 years ago) of this policy which started about 70 years ago with the advent of European and US companies and banks (which long were the only banks in Egypt). I am not happy with it but this what you get when you let flames approach kerosine, and only God knows where this will lead us to.

    Really it does not matter if you believe or not. If you want to believe, fine, if you do not want, it is your problem. I am neither responsible nor interested to convince you. Go and read the history and you will find enough evedents. Again, I am not going to teach you history here. But let me ask you one thing: I am talking about environment I know, what qualifies you to argue with me about things you have no idea about? Have you ever lived in Egypt? Did you know anything about its present or history? Did you ever talked to Egyptians? The answer is clearly no as can be extracted from your shallow background of the subject.

    ‘The French warning was for the corruption in civil service not Christians.’

    How did you know? Read the letters? Asked Napolion’s grand children? Would you share your sources with us? An evident please.

    This civil servants were almost exclusively Christians, and this example shows how they misused authority when they had exactly as some some them sitting in the foreign embassies do. Again, I am not generalizing, it is your own problem to think otherwise.

    ‘and the rest of the Egyptian Christians? ‘

    If you read carefully what I wrote you will see I am not generalizing over all Christians in Egypt. I am tired and frankly bored of repeating this over and over again.

  33. Nony

    ‘unless you come up with something more substantial than conspiracy theories backed up by hear say, I will not react to your comments, so goodbye.’

    It is neither my intention nor my concern to convince you with anything. You are free to believe what you like. However, when you argue you should at least have an idea about what you are arguing about. Again, whether you are convinced or not does not interest anyone of the majority of 75 Mil Egyptian thinking the same.

  34. Nony,

    It is neither my interest nor my concernt to convince you. But before you go on debating an issue you should possess at least a comparable knowledge to your oponent. Now you go on asking for evidents, and once you get one you you twist it to your satisfaction:

    ‘The French warning was for the corruption in civil service not Christians’

    Could you share your sources with us? Two days ago you did not even know these correspondence even existed, now you interepret the way you like.

    To beleive or not is your problem, but my advice to you before i close this pointless debate is to learn about the issues you talk about to avoid having such a funny and silly image (no insult intended).

  35. well, I think our embassies could adopt better procedures and make it easier to apply “on-line” for example. The Swedish Embassy staff is exellent, but, other things like that you have to wait at the pavement under the strong sun without a shelter for long time and with a confusing cuing-method that seems ment trying to prove the Darwin theorie of the fittest!!!