When vengeance is the master in Egypt

Vengeance has been the worst of negatives motives since the dawn of history to this very day. It is a hideous feeling that translates itself into behavior that is even more repugnant than the mere feeling of desiring vengeance. The desire to avenge is one that is capable of eating up all the merits of the soul and of leaving it in a state of darkness, ugliness and emptiness. Once feelings of vengeance take over someone, he rarely gets rid of them and he remains an addicted slave to them, and his soul never enjoys peace.

This is the case when feelings of vengeance take over a single person, can you imagine the case if such feelings take over an entire group? What if destiny has placed this group in a position allowing it to rule a country and its people? What if this group is unaware that its battle and desire for vengeance will be a failure on all levels? The group may succeed in satisfying the soul with the delight of revenge, and it may quench its thirst with anger. But it leaves destruction and empty souls behind.

The desire for control

The ecstasy of victory and the desire to control has taken over them now. They are possessed with the desire to make everyone pay for the unjust treatment they feel they have been subjected to, regardless of whether it is in fact true or they are making it up. So they decided to punish everyone. One of them made a slip of the tongue during a television show when he condemningly said “the people of the world were only looking at us when we suffered in prisons.”

The ecstasy of victory and the desire to control has taken over Egypt’s leaders now. They are possessed by the desire to make everyone pay for the unjust treatment they feel they have been subjected to

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

Ever since they came into control, they began to take all vengeful measures against everyone who once against them and against everyone who dares counter them today. It is no longer strange or surprising to hear that some of them - said to be from among the leaders - sit in the offices of the intelligence bureau to dig into files looking for names to be added to the list they want to avenge from. Feelings of vengeance are negative feelings on their own. But can you imagine how the situation is when the motive for these feelings is an evil vengeful soul? Observing this phenomenon is not a difficult task today.

I know that Egypt has passed through a phase where the desire to seek vengeance took over many of the people. Back then, those considered to be leaders of the public opinion failed to notice the seriousness of such feelings. Not only that but they were also dragged down by them. The negative feeling of vengeance within them was powerful and the resulting situation is one we still suffer from. But recently, there has been a relative realization of these threats, some have led attempts to correct the situation. Although these attempts have not yielded tangible results so far, they are at least a start.

‘Rightful Muslims’ who govern in the name of religion

This is on the level of the general public. Even if the general public is being criticized, it can still be understood if looked at in a certain way. But this dark desire to avenge cannot be understood or accepted if those who rule possess it. Our opinions on the manner in which these rulers came to power and whether it was a legitimate process or not are inconsequential. In the end, these people are rulers, therefore it is not acceptable that evil and darkness take over them especially as they claim they govern in the name of religion and that they alone are the rightful Muslims.

In the past, there was the legal simple principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It is from Hamourabi’s laws that were worked up more than 1780 years B.C. This was during a time when man was still structuring a social and cultural awareness where morals were set by the king or the leader even if they represented the epitome of hurting others. That was a time when disagreeing was enough to be met with death. These are the first laws known in history and they were an important step towards the establishment of a legal ideology of ancient civilizations. But legal and moral concepts developed with the development of humans’ awareness and experiences. Therefore, the concept of justice has become the alternative for the concept of innate revenge. Here in our case lies another problem, as he who controls implementing justice is driven by the desire to avenge. In this situation, he uses all available tools, that appear to be tools of achieving justice, to practice his own desire for revenge. We cannot but condemningly wonder: “do they really want justice? Do they really want to attain the people’s interests as they claim? Or are they driven by a desire to destroy because they hate those who disagree with them and they want to rule alone?”

As the state and its economy collapse, the new rulers stand carelessly as if they are not concerned. They see failure and collapse as the reflection of the failure and collapse of others who deserve that their knees be broken. Instead of getting busy to look for solutions for the current problems and instead of attempting to save what can still be saved, there is only an interest in avenging from everyone they have dubbed as an enemy. As state institutions collapse, they issue orders to summon that or prevent another from traveling. Each Egyptian has become accused or will be accused unless he proves his loyalty. Foreign exchange reserves collapse and they free themselves to chase Ahmad Shafiq. Unemployment, inflation and crime increase, and they surprise us with the decision to prevent the daughters of major-general Omar Suleiman, god bless his soul, from traveling. They ignored all the countries' problems which they created and deepened and found time to avenge from those who opposed them no matter what the price is. Revenge blinds them from actually reacting to real problems. They do not see that submissiveness to hatred degrades values and morals and destroys society.


Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy

Last Update: Tuesday, 02 April 2013 KSA 09:00 - GMT 06:00
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