There was a famous Egyptian movie, called “In Between the Heaven and Earth”, about a group who were locked in broken down elevator, and after some time, one of the men declaimed “There’s a crazy man in the elevator with us.” One of my friends, the journalist Yahya Wagdy, has associated this remarkable line with such even shocking realisation; we’re locked with Sissi in a broken down elevator called Egypt.
It’s a moment of painful laughter, this kind of laughter which ends with a twinge in the heart.
But how we can describe it better?! A guy bringing down his own red carpet to New York, a guy who claimed once he has this ability to diagnose problems and find solutions, and that all the important men in the world, among them top intelligence chiefs (which he mentioned first, such acers in his own world) and the brightest philosophers to seek his advice. A guy so shallow that he would call the people of Egypt, the mostly poor people of Egypt, to leave out the coins remaining of their bank transactions “for Egypt”, and he calls this “a solution.” Fine.
Yesterday I was sitting on my usual teahouse, even the ones who used to back him, which they were few from the beginning by the way, are stunned; yes there were lots of awkward moment with the crazy fieldmarshal, but the accumulative effect can not be ignored anymore. They just say, in that tone you know well of a betrayed lover “Really? Did he really said that?”. We shout “Yes!”then a head nodding, an empty head nodding, is what we got out of them. We continue sipping tea in silence, before somebody would say that the police was hoovering around the teahouse three times, in a civilian micro-bus, to bust people randomly in the street—or that what it seems, for the teahouse owner to say they went on foot, reviewing the customers carefully for the three times, as wolves searching their dominance area.
Crazy man and hungry wolves, all locked up with us in the elevator.
Speaking of crazy, on the same teahouse, one friend was telling me about such an account, when we spoke about madness: One of his work colleagues asked him a direct question, “How’s your faucet working?” “well.. fine?”answered my friend, who didn’t fully understood the question. “I mean how’s the water supply for you? Didn’t you notice that the water pressure was weaken?” the man clarified. “Ah! We’re using a water pump right from the start, the usual.” “If Ethiopia didn’t built this damn dam, we wouldn’t need those bloody water pumps!” the colleague said firmly.
Thus, you find different types of lunatics, troubled, and disturbed, running about the streets of Egypt. For sure a gigantic city like Cairo has some before, but, in five years, it seemed as though the number has doubled. A figure which I think it exceeded much more than the prisoners, injured, and the death toll figures, the cost that none spoke about but rarely. The concept that they did not lose an eye or a life, or enter the prison, but they have already lost a lot: friends or wives, for sustenance, even family relationships, and slowly walk into a terrible prison, has not dreamed of Sisi and his ilk, a prison that was authored by reason: our most trusted friend whose turning to an enemy. They are running in between fake points, fighting shadows that were nothing but themselves, consider the eyes are looking inward and the ears are hearing only its mind. It’s yet the Don Quixote without any beauty, without any given meaning.
Thus, we talk to each other making sure neither of us has rode the madness horse, yet. We speak too much about the feasibility and utility of resorting to a shrink. In such confident tone and poise sedate we talk to each other about lunatics whose numbered in the streets, and thank God, or nature, or luck, or whatever there for not running the streets after something, or from something—minus The Army and the Brotherhood bullies—then we begin that sticky heavy joking about our future in mental asylums, then we return home to check on ourselves, yes, this couch is still there, and I am alright.
If that wasn’t madness, what’s madness then?!
After fives years of Revolution, of whatever you want to call it, you end up to this, an authority claims that Qatar smuggling sharks to Egypt’s shores in plastic bags to blow the tourism up, an army claimed that he can turn HIV to kofta, Sissi who promoted himself to the feildmarshal rank, claiming that he had seen visions telling him he’ll be the president. Then after all of this you found people to support him, and all of this.
If that wasn’t madness, what’s madness then?!
After every social leap there’s some kind of madness, true, like spreading education in an ignorant society, but nobody would say stop education, you had some and you lose some, yes, but what has Egypt had after 5 years of blood, sweat, and tears?! It gained a crazy man in the elevator, and no rescuing team is coming along, it’s strictly the burden of the locked up.