Fairy Tale

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, there used to be a planet called Earth, and on this planet there was a country called Egypt, which was known for its magnificent beauty, bountiful soil and unpredictable people. Unfortunately for its inhabitants, this land was cursed by its location, for it lay smack in the middle of three continents occupied by unfriendly psychotic barbarians, warmongers and French people, which made anyone who wanted to add the words “the great” to his name desire to invade it and rule it. One day the Egyptians, after having a civilization that spanned millenniums and resisted occupiers, was invaded by such external forces, and the wizards of the land, before they fled, unleashed a curse of their own on the land and its people: “For whomever attempts to rule this land after us, will never really get to enjoy it for long and will suffer great misfortune, death and destruction, and watch his dreams and ambitions crumble in front of their very eyes*”. No one believed in this curse to their determent, even though it proved time after time to be true, and to haunt those invaders and rulers till the day they died. Cesar, Cleopatra, Alexander, all faced horrible deaths, so did the Islamic dynasties that followed. Every Mongol invader who would bring the world to his knees would come to this country and have his tidal wave of destruction broken. Even Napoleon, who tried to break the curse by claiming to have converted to Islam, one day fled it with his tail between his legs, to later lose all of his glory and get exiled away from his country; and Hitler, who watched his own star general Rommel get his ass handed to him on its soil, thus truly signaling the end of his great world war. Whomever occupied it, or even attempted to, was immediately challenged by internal forces or external ones. However nothing, nothing compared to having to deal with its enchanted people.

At first glance they seem docile and harmless, and it seems like with the proper use of force and oppression, you can sustain your rule there for a long time, but even that proved to be futile, for the people might allow you to rule them, but they will always destroy your dreams and ambitions afterwards, and you will always suffer restless days and horrible endings, while they will simply continue to live and prosper after the worms devour you and your bones turn to dust. The Fatimids called its capital “Alqahira”, meaning the” Vanquisher” or the “Conqueror”, some even went as far as calling it the “City victorious”, but other people insist that its name came from “Alqaher”, which is an ancient Arabic name for the planet Mars (named after the Roman god of war, and red like the blood he supposedly spilled), which would make its inhabitants Martians, something that most people, when they think about it for a minute, agree with without much hesitation.

As the second millennium after Christ drew to a close, the country had finally expelled its last external occupation, and for the first time in centuries, its people seemed to be in control of their own fate. Unfortunately, no real wizards were found at the time to lift the curse, and it continued to destroy the lives and ambitions of those who ruled it. King Farouk was exiled with his family, President Naguib was overthrown and house-arrested for almost two decades, President Nasser – whose ambitions and glories encompassed the entire region- was defeated in almost every battle, kicked out of every land he tried to occupy and died with his land occupied and watching his dream in shambles, President Sadat – after working for years to solidify his rule, expel the Judean invaders and bring peace to his country- was assassinated, and President Mubarak, who was a simple man with no dreams or ambitions of his own, ended up losing everything and thrown in jail- because of his wife’s and son’s ambitions to rule after him irked the curse- in a popular uprising that inspired the entire world and made them wish for a second to be Egyptian, and thus found themselves under the power of that ancient curse as well. Uprisings in all of their countries erupted, and the whole world was engulfed in the glorious flame of discontent and broken dreams and ambitions of those who wishes to rule it.

The Uprising- later known as the Tahrir uprising- was that of the people, by the people, which was great, until its ambitious leaders, very quickly, started falling prey to the curse as well, growing delusional in their vision, and disconnected from the population in their beliefs. They saw their rule immediately challenged by the warrior class, who regarded themselves the true guardians of the realm, not knowing that they were under the power of the curse as well. Clashes erupted, dreams died, and blood was spilled, with the leaders of the uprising still talking a good game, but had nothing to show for it, really, except a sense of foreboding that the curse is not done with them yet. Many thought of leaving, of escaping this land once and for all, but they were of its people, and the curse only allows so few every year to get away. For better or worse, they were staying, watching fantastic events and complicated designs unfold in front of their own eyes, and wondering how they fucked up so greatly.

In the aftermath of that uprising, a relatively old, powerful and secret order, called “The Brotherhood” emerged, and tried to rule the land as well. At first it seemed like their magic was strong and that they might finally break the curse and rule the Country, with almost nothing stopping them, and with the people seemingly agreeing with them and supporting them. But they too fell victims to the curse and the enchanted people, who got them so very close to achieving their ambitions, and are now enjoying very much watching them squirm trying to secure it.

The final battle for the throne was upon us, with two contenders left standing while everyone else withered and vanished: One from the warrior class and the other from the brotherhood. The first a Fighter Pilot, the latter a rocket scientist and they both went head to head over the battle to get the Martians to choose one of them to rule the land. As if fitting with the Star Wars theme of the first democratic elections in the 21st century, the battle this time was different, with no blood spilled, but with warriors battling each other with words over satellite channels and the interwebs, trying to lay a charm on the population that one of those two idiots was worthy to lead them. In a few days, one will reign supreme and the other will be destroyed, signaling the end of his order, although very quickly the winner will wonder what he won exactly, and when the curse takes him on, will wish to have lost instead of watching his own hopes and dreams crumble all around him, just like his predecessors. This was the way of the curse: It took no prisoners, gave no parlay, made no exceptions..well…except one.

You see, the wizards of the ancient order were not complete assholes. They loved this country and its martian inhabitants, for they were their people after all. So, in the fine print, on the scroll where this curse was written, there was a footnote after the word “eyes*”. The footnote stated the following: “unless he works for the people, helps them, solves their problems and wins their trust without any ulterior motives or ambitions. Only he, who does that, will break the curse for the time being over the people and the land”. In the recorded history of the country, this had only happened in one location, for a brief period of time, and that place was called Tahrir, and it lasted 18 days, where Egyptians finally exhibited how they were really like when they were free from the curse. But on the 19th day, the leaders of the Tahrir uprising, like all others, grew ambitions and dreams of grandeur themselves and the desire for revenge ruled their hearts, and the curse was back in full force, and the rest is history.

In order for the curse to be broken and lifted permanently, we advice the next generations to give up on all of their dreams and ambitions of grandeur, and instead to focus on assisting their people to lead better lives. We advice them to help them, and to serve them, without ambitions or ulterior motives of their own, or greed and vengeance in their hearts, for the curse punishes the greedy and the corrupt, no matter how good they may appear to the population or to themselves. He, who does that, will be unstoppable, and no secret order or warrior class will be able to tarnish his image or kill his people. The curse has survived for thousands of years, and was almost never broken, because all of those who challenged it forgot the one simple truth that was always their own undoing: To rule is to love and to serve. The end.

Comments

  1. You are right, the politics must steer towards serving the people in order to rule for longer periods, and new generation is not going to give up:

    ‘April 6 revolutionaries are ready to reveal their next big move: politics.’

    Though cronyism will surely be there as long as election turnout is around 30% (the real turnout, not the registration scam)…

    • Barb Eaton says:

      The world is bankrupt for leaders who are free of self-interest. Today’s young Egyptians make me so proud as they have so much courage and strong determination. You kids brought about a revolution that surpasses all revolutions and you all made it work. Now, bring about a democracy that keeps state and mosque separate, outlaw lobbyist (they have destroyed the U.S.), and find a leader who truly desires to serve the people–that is the key for a real leader.

  2. Mohamed Abdelmagied says:

    Just loved it :) ) Although I don’t see Elbaradei getting anymore popular with the charmed/cursed martians.y

  3. Londoner in love with Egypt says:

    You have taken my breath away with this post!

    ” The property of right is to remain eternally beautiful and pure” -Victor Hugo in Les Miserables.

  4. To love and to serve. Wonderful. From a land which embraced such great morality of Christianity and Sufism, why do the people have such difficulty producing such a leader? What did these systems fail to do in ending the curse?

  5. I Am astounded by the now-ness of your wondrous understanding, and your ability to tell a riveting tale.
    2012 is the watershed year for all mankind. a tipping point in human consciousness.
    we all hold our breath, envision a miracle ending, knowing that we live in a Universe where anything is possible.
    May you be abundantly blessed.

  6. Marion Chafik Charobim says:

    Very touching & simply beautifully thought out & written. We need to find that brave knight who will unite the enchanted folks. Doesn’t seem we’ll ever manage otherwise. We must regain confidence; remember we constitute a valient, good natured, easy-going, mainstream majority. Together we can smash the curse to pieces & guaranty that the jerk who rules, does so standing on his toes till his tale hurts.

  7. Until people in Egypt allow others to live freely and learn the meaning of tolerance, religion will continue to blight this incredible country. It is ironic that the country which inspired the Abrahamic faiths to plagiarise its ideas and rituals is so cruelly chained to dogma and power struggles. Every second man wants to be a preacher and police his brothers. Every woman is a second class citizen under this immoral regime of forced morality. Hypocrisy and corruption sits perfectly amongst the self-righteous. What is most shocking, most searingly shameful, is that they do wrong under an umbrella of ‘God’. Egypt needs freedom to choose. It needs economic freedom, personal freedom and secular protection for all faiths and none. Even using the word liberal is a problem – comically hard to believe for most of the world. How many more decades of young lives will be wasted before Egypt grows up?

  8. Very moving. How easily those who reach for power forget that they must use that power for the good of the people. I pray that Egypt will one day find a leader who will govern selflessly, and with love in his heart, words and deeds, so his people will be free of this curse, and able to live the lives they were meant to live.

  9. Love you, Sandmonkey!! :-) Your best post yet! Truly a concept worthy of this transformative year of 2012–may Egypt lead again after so many millennia…! But maybe this servant-leader destined to break the curse should not be restricted to the “he” pronoun..?!! Perhaps the need is for someone who can (literally) embody the true compassionate power of Isis and gather all the broken pieces of the ancient realm of Egypt and ALL its people back together… In fact, perhaps the loss of the balancing power of the female half of the Egyptian population–which goes back millennia–is actually the source of the original curse…? ‘Ya think? :-) Bring back the Spirit of Tahrir–where “for one shining moment” the power of male-female partnership shone like a glorious beacon for this benighted world…! ♥♥

  10. Andrew Reid says:

    What a great parable and message! Let’s vote for leaders who will lead us with love and service, not an iron fist.
    This story reminded me of a similar story Jesus told in the Holy Bible.
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2010:35-45&version=NIV

  11. Nnnster says:

    Sounds like the quest for the “One”… and I wholeheartedly disagree with that! That has been Egypt’s curse.. the eternal search for the “One”. It shouldn’t be ONE person, or one leader.. it should be a system that allows for a united vision with somebody being assigned at the helm, but simply assigned and not weighted with this “savior” mentality. It will automatically inflate his self-worth and ego and have him trip at his own feet trying to do the “savior” dance.. it would require the “one” to assume superpower powers. The “one’s” heart, and intentions would not matter, because being the “one” corrupts. Why has egypt not been able to produce this so called “curse” breaker.. well, because the criteria (of non-self serving politician) would entail those who fit, to not seek office, to prefer to work within a group and not assume the helm post and not be engulfed with the burden of the “one”.

  12. Jon Aalborg says:

    I agree with you, and I also disagree with you.

    The agreement is obvious: We want and need leaders devoid of self-interest and plans for themselves and their families. We need someone to look to the interests of the people, the country and the region, the minorities and both genders, children and adults, all classes. That goes without saying.

    The disagreement stems from this: Such leaders are not to be found. You say it yourself, almost – after 19 days, even the leaders in Tahrir grew amoibions for themselves (maybe; I don’t recall the details well enough here and now). The same thing happened during the French Revolution in 1789, the Russian Revolution in 1917, and so on. There will always emerge someone unscrupulous, ambitious and smart who will exploit the chaos that is always there in revolutionary times. Therefore I cannot agree with the basic premise, although I share the dream.

    What we do need is for a system slowly to be forged that will keep these ambitious people in check while harnessing as much as possible of their drive, their power and their vision for the common good. I do not think you will ever – or almost ever – find leaders who are strong enough, intelligent enough and visionary enough without them also having one or more dark sides: Ambition, greed, love of family (possibly perverted), temper, megalomania… the list goes on.

    This gets us back to the boring nitty gritty of democracy, what makes people impatient and restless, frustrated with compromise. It is, as Churchill once is supposed to have said, a bad system, but it is the best we have.

    I pray for you all, Egyptians of all classes, genders, religions and ethinic backgrounds. May you slowly develop the systems, checks and balances that will in the best way possible balance the needs of the different groups through viable compromise. Remember, politics is “the art of the possible”, after all.

  13. Israeli says:

    Unfortunately, when people are hungry and you have no food for them, you feed them dreams of glory, god, and massiah.

    • Karim Hari says:

      I wonder that zionist scum have time to comment on this website. Aren`t you not more than busy stealing palestinians land and torture children. I’m confused

      • what is "occupation" says:

        “zionist scum”?

        You are confused.

        But the GOOD NEWS? Those who curse the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will they themselves be cursed.

        And now we see the result… The Islamic world? a shithole. The ONLY free place in the entire middle east for moslems and arabs?

        IS ISRAEL.

        Maybe next time Egypt has a famine for 7 years the Jews will not save her…

        • Karim Hari says:

          tell that to the africans and muslim and christian palestinians in occupied palestine.

          • GZLives says:

            Who you kidding Karim – Egypt shoots the Africans dead while Israel just deports them. You dare to talk about Christians while you burn their Churches and attack and kill them. Its your attitude Karim that keeps the hate going and until those like you stop hating, nothing will change. You’ll sink further and faster and your people will starve and kill each other while Israel continues to grow and prosper and that’s because they aren’t consumed by this mindless hate you exhibit

      • GZLives says:

        Who you kidding Karim – Egypt shoots the Africans dead while Israel just deports them. You dare to talk about Christians while you burn their Churches and attack and kill them.

  14. Maryam Alyan says:

    I really enjoyed the fairy tale. Yes, those Martians must wait a little bit longer for their leader to come. But, in the meantime they can do something themselves: they can start listening to the people of Venus, who live among them but who are seldom listened to. They can stop looking at them with disdain, as they also belong to this beautiful country. Because, even in the place called Tahrir, the sweet people of Venus are not safe (yet) Not safe from the Martians who call out for freedom. But this they have to learn: never the curse will be lifted if the people from Venus will remain under the thumb of those Martians.

  15. This is brilliant! Just shows how history tends to repeat itself.

  16. Notumbo says:

    So, as we see in the news today, The Curse is once again unfolding, the Warrior Class has again usurped the people’s will, and the One Who Would Do Right By The People is nowhere to be found. Another incredibly sad day for Egypt. The World weeps……

  17. Lynnette in Minnesota says:

    Beautiful post!

    My deepest condolences on the events of today.

  18. Have to wonder if any of the real Egyptians themselves wonder what their nation would look like if the abrahamic faiths hadn’t squatted on them to take a shit like a fat guy after tucking into an all-you-can-eat buffet. Would the Egyptian been happier with Isis, Ptah, Anubis, Horus, Hathor, Thoth and the rest?

  19. GZLives says:

    Great post as usual Monk … I anxiously look forward to everything you write and remain hopeful as long as reasonable voices like yours continue to speak. Thank you once again

  20. Cristalle says:

    “The curse has survived for thousands of years, and was almost never broken, because all of those who challenged it forgot the one simple truth that was always their own undoing: To rule is to love and to serve. The end.”

    Well said my friend! You have put an eternal truth into poetic and moving language. I have always enjoyed your blog entries but there is something extraordinary about this one :)

    This applies not only to Egypt’s people, but to all of us, everywhere, always. “To rule is to love and to serve. The end.” I think I may get this made into a poster and hang it on my wall to see every morning :)

  21. Israeli says:

    Great story, Sandmonkey.

  22. A lesson from Beita.

    In the January 2006 Palestinian elections Hamas took control of the Palestinian government winning 76 out of 132 seats in the Legislative Council that had been under the control of the Fatah party for decades. The conflict between the two parties continued and the divide between them infected local politics throughout the country.

    There was one town in the West Bank, however, that put the interests of the whole town before party politics.

    In the town of Beita, newly elected Mayor, Al-Sharifa, of the Hamas party, formed a working coalition with the ex-mayor of the Fatah party, Wasif Mahala. After taking over as mayor, Al-Sharifa did not proceed to install Hamas as the ruling party nor disenfranchise the ousted Fatah party as know-nothing losers. Rather, he sought to enlist their aid in revitalizing their town. His priority was the welfare of the town rather than pursuing an ideological or personal agenda.

    The town council consisted of six Hamas and five Fatah members. Despite seemingly insurmountable differences between the two sides they managed to form a working relationship based upon a common interest to improve Beita’s economy. And so they did. New businesses were started, infrastructure improved and the town became a model of burgeoning prosperity by neutralizing ideologies and focusing on the common interest of making things better.

    The mayor also came to recognize Israel’s right to exist in opposition to the strident anti-Israeli position taken by the Hamas party.

    Now, had there been a system in place whereby the localities were empowered to direct the formation of their society, the microcosm forming the macrocosm, the idea of Beita could have freely spread throughout Palestine where practical pragmatic judgments about how to develop a workable society could come to the fore.

    And this is how social systems should operate, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, where networking localities can formulate their own social, economic and governmental apparatuses from which particular communities can adapt what works best for how they are situated.

    What people want is the ability to make a life for themselves when communities are able to freely rally around that universal desire

    Nationalist politicians be damned! Political parties be damned! We don’t need them. They are what causes the disconnect between government and the people that is so corrosive to a social fabric.

    To maintain and sustain the spirit of the Arab Spring we need people holding on to the reins of national power at the local level where everyone freely participates in the ways and means of creating a life for themselves.

  23. Don (@Papakila) says:

    Wonderful writing. I remember what you said last summer about the old men in the military not really wanting to rule. I think now it should be said that they clearly wanted to rule, just not to administer. They do not want the MB to do the administering, probably because they can’t completely control it. So there is Shafik. The MB seems to have been only a shade less naive than the revolutionaries, and Dr. Okasha and friends are laughing at how easily they were tricked. I am surprised more attention has not been focused on the Supreme Court. It should have been abolished like the NDP. Failure to excise it has given the SCAF everything it needs, the handle to pull to screw everybody over. Clearly there is much work to be done. It is great that you are able to take the long view and encourage others to do the same. That is what the SCAF does; the MB too. Short attention spans plague this generation. The Revolution is a sleeping giant that when it stands at full height, towers over the SCAF and its minions. It’s worth remembering that.

  24. Another amazing post from an amazing person! Truly inspirational, as you always are!

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