It's been a long time since I last posted anything here, I've just been all busy with many things those last 15 days, and also my university just started today...

Anyway, I've been looking at my old emails and I found an e-mail that was sent to me by "an intern at the press department of the French Embassy in Cairo," he said, and showed interest in me and my blog... My answers to his questions sum up a lot of my opinions on different issues, and i thought i'd post that email here, so here it is:

On 7/3/05, Scpo.LE-CAIRE-AMBA [e-mail address hidden] wrote:

Who are you ? [What kind of family are you from ? Did you travel or live abroad ? What did your studied ? What is your job ? How old are you ?]

What do you think ? [about Egyptian political life / Hosni Moubarak / opposition personnalities / islamists / the Kefaya movement and its various elements / US foreign policy / EU foreign policy, especially France foreign policy / the desirable political and economical system / religion]

Are you involved in any political or socially aware movement ?

About the blogs ; Why did you choose the blog to express yourself ?
What kind of relations do you have with other Egyptian bloggers ?
Who reads your blog ?

Do you have the feeling to be representative or useful ?

All these kinds of stuff. If you prefer not to write it on an unsecure medium like the Web, we can meet in real life and discuss.

Regards,
Jean-Baptiste.

On 7/13/05, Mamdu Schauki [mschauki@gmail.com] replied:

Hello, I'm really sorry i didn't reply that fast because your questions needed some time of focus so i'm now ready to answer them :-)

I'm Mamdu Schauki. My father is very religious, unlike my mother who is much more liberal. I don't live with my father anyway, rather with my mother and stepfather, so it's easier for me because, unlike my father, to me nothing is sacred enough to not criticise. I did travel to Germany once for a week in August 2000, and stayed in Illinois USA for 4 months in 2001 as an exchange student. I also went to the Seeds of Peace camp in Maine, USA, in 2002 and 2003, where young people from countries of conflict stay together for 23 days.

I'm a Mass Communication student, 19 years old.

Egyptian political life nowadays is really complicated: you see new movements coming up every now and then, all claiming to want democracy, and this is like a wake-up for political life here that used to be almost dead. Hosni Mubarak is a dictator, Egypt has become much worse in many aspects ever since the dictators came to power. I don't really care if he's got a charismatic personality, because this is not making Egypt any better.

As for opposition personalities, i can't really make one opinion on all of them. But if you ask me about Aiman Nour, for instance, then I believe he's got no specific "message" to send. His party is supposed to be liberal, but as i used to be a member in that party (El Ghad), i believe that party has no specific goals (well, democracy is one, but how does that make it any different from other political parties and movements?), and i don't support it.

I am totally against Islamists, especially the fact that they want Islamic rule in Egypt. In a country with Muslims, Christians, a few Jews, Baha'is, and other religious groups that are in the closet, it is unfair to rule according to any religious law. And I also believe that this goes against the unity of Egyptians and Egyptian Identity.

Kifaya is not logical. Islamists, communists, secularists, Nasserists, and many other conflicting political groups can't really unite. This is an illusion. They claim they're united for democracy, but as i've been to one of their demonstrations: the mottos that are said are not neutral ones, and this is unfair.

The US has done good going into Iraq and getting rid of Saddam, and into Afghanistan getting rid of the Taliban. I wish the US and the EU, though, would start recognizing that in Egypt they're dealing with a dictator, and should help in getting rid of him, too... The same goes to France individually, and as part of the EU: make Mubarak feel that you're not happy dealing with a dictator.

Egypt should have a secular system that separates religion and state. This is based on what I said about Islamists earlier. As for the economic system: a more-capitalist mixed economy I think would be best.

I believe religion should be respected, but should not be forced on people through politics. The State should not relate to one religion and not another, the State should not be worried about people's afterlives, but rather their current lives.

I'm now a member in the new establishing Mother Egypt party; a secular, Egyptianist party that demands a secular state, and the return of the Egyptian Identity. We believe Egypt is not and was never an Arab country, because Egyptians are Egyptians, not Arabs.

As for why I chose a blog to express myself: well, in August and September last year i came across some blogs and i was not really familiar with them. The idea of a space for you to write your thoughts and have people read them interested me, and i started my own blog. I really didn't think anyone would read it, but it was great writing my thoughts somewhere and even just reading them over for myself.

I don't have special relations with any Egyptian bloggers, but i read some of the Egyptian blogs, some of which are really interesting with quite unique thoughts.

Whether I'm representative of anything is not up to me to decide. I just have my thoughts and hope for a better future for Egypt, really, according to my secular, Egyptianist beliefs.

Thanks a lot again for your interest in me and my blog, and again i apologize for not replying earlier.