Even before the judiciary
Ahmed Shafiq Ahmed Ramadan is a Muslim friend to his Christian neighbour, Samy Kamal Farag. When Ramadan’s father passed away, he asked his friend Farag to be a witness in the inheritance notification at the Shubral-Kheima court. The judge refused Farag’s testimony because he was Christian, on the grounds that a Christian has no right to testify for a Muslim, even if his neighbour.
But that was not all. When Ramadan complained that denial of Farag’s right to testify would delay the notification, the judge told Ramadan he could bring in any Muslim passerby from outside the court—even if he did not know him—and ask him to say what Farag would have said and his testimony would be accepted. Such a case of religious discrimination is not the first of its kind; it also happened recently at the Zaitoun Court. Does this match the Constitution, which calls for citizenship right and equality for all?
Ezzat Aziz, Assiut
If every one of us—as Egyptians—did his or her best to commit themselves to honouring obligations, the negatives in our society such as carelessness, fanaticism and selfishness would not occur. But even public figures and officials are negligent in fulfilling their obligations, which makes for the lack of a good role model. This raises the importance of implanting responsibility in the minds of children at an early age so that the child would grow to be a productive and healthy citizen.
Maher Wahba, Minya
I have noticed recently that a large number of children—15 and 16-years-old—wear shoes with high heels. Not only does this not fit their ages, but it can have harmful side-effects. Human rights organisations should prevent the manufacture of shoes with high heels for children, who do not know the harm they could be exposed to. As to the parents, I ask them to be careful when buying shoes for their children.
Medhat Farid, Cairo
In government circles, a day means a year
An old legend says that a king wished to teach his ass to read and write. He announced to his subjects that whoever undertook this task would be given a huge monetary prize should he succeed, and would be beheaded should he fail. Scientists and wise men stood aloof from such an unreasonable mission, but Goha, a legendary simpleton and adventurer, accepted the challenge provided he would be given a period of 10 years to teach the ass. To the amazed people who asked him how he could accomplish that, he replied that in 10 years’ time, “The king will be dead, I will be dead, or the ass will be dead. No problem.”
I remembered this story during a recent visit to Egypt. More than 15 years ago, the Qoussiya sewerage project was pledged. Until now the project has not been executed and the city is covered with garbage, dust and building residue. Repeated campaigns for local elections have promised that the Qoussiya project would be completed, but nothing has been done. It is obvious that local politicians are using the same logic that Goha used centuries ago.
Youssef Helmi, Paris