I came across this NYTimes article this evening on the Egyptian morale, disposition, way of handling difficult situations and the current depression and dire situation that I referred to in my previous post from the Kirk Beattie talk at Harvard last Wednesday. While the article does portray a useful and sobering view of the Egyptian people and the dire fate that the majority of the population faces post-historical Revolution of 2011, it actually, is telling me a little about myself – or rather, it’s telling me what I’ve always been told but had no idea it had something to do with being Egyptian!
The comments of the author are shockingly close to the reality. And now, a few excerpts, all from this article, to demonstrate what I am referring to.:
- For centuries, Egyptians have turned to humor, often dressed up in dark sarcasm, as a tonic for a battered soul. But even that seemingly genetic predisposition to mock what ails them
- that famously biting Egyptian wit. (example: There were placards: “Go, because I need to study,” and “I’m a dentist here to uproot Mubarak.” And historical observations: “Nasser was killed by poison, Sadat by a bullet and Mubarak by Facebook.”)
- In those 18 days, humor and sarcasm played a crucial role in coping and conquering. (example: “Mubarak’s people threw rocks,” said Fahmy Howeidy, a well-known columnist and social commentator, referring to thugs who threw stones at demonstrators. “The people charged Mubarak with jokes and comedy.”)
- At least some of that was planned. “There was a lot of spontaneous humor — it is the Egyptian character. (example: “Mubarak was a man who united all religions, because he degraded the Muslims, he degraded the Christians and he degraded the Jews.”)
- The organizers used humor as part of their communications strategy, to motivate people and bring out the crowds, he said. “It was really one of the main tools, it was one of our main weapons.”
- they made it a joke, and everyone stopped being scared.
- “Egyptians are quite used to expressing themselves through jokes and humor because that was often the only way to express ourselves.”
Yep, that’s how I cope.
Classic BlueBoots behavior. It’s even more eye-brow-raising to discover something about yourself from the NY Times. Has that ever happened to you?