Saturday, September 27, 2003

Egypt is full of faggots...

This news is actually almost a month old, but it was mentioned on Issandr's site so I thought I'd add my two piasters...

62 (allegedly gay) men were arrested on August 28th by police during a surprise swoop on Qasr El Nil Bridge which lies close to Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. The bridge is a popular cruising area for young arse-bandits on the prowl for some man-on-man action. The police set up road blocks on either end of the bridge and then proceeded to arrest every male pedestrian that was on the bridge at the time. While shoving the accused queens of sheba into paddy wagons, the arresting officers shouted to passers by words to the effect of "see all these khawalat (faggots)? The country is full of khawalat (faggots)!".

Unlike the unfortunate bum-slappers who became the infamous "Cairo 52" of the Queen Boat trial (I can never get past that boat's name without smiling), the men arrested on the Qasr El Nil bridge were allowed to return home after signing a confession of their "debauchery" and promising to appear for hearings in November.

I must admit I am not particularly concerned about the troubles of homosexuals in Egypt, and I daresay neither are most Egyptians. The queen boat trial, which was highly publicised worldwide, received relatively little attention here in Egypt. The reasons are quite obvious: Firstly there is next to no sympathy for homosexuals in Egypt, and secondly we Egyptians have a quadrillion other problems which occupy our attention much more than sordid tales of butches and femmes being arrested for throwing all-night banging bashes on Nile cruise boats.

For example we are concerned about the looming bread crisis, the question of the soon-to-come (we hope) presidential succession, massively increasing poverty and unemployment, and rampant government corruption. We worry when we hear of people being tortured in the local police station, and historic political parties like the Wafd experiencing internal strife. We are angered by the constant feel-good crapola served by every government official in every speech, telling us of imaginary economic growth rates and technological progress, while everyone of us knows that nothing is being done for economic development, and a top-down mafia of robber-barons is consuming, with the limitless voraciousness of oligarchs everywhere, what limited wealth the nation still owns. And because the government knows that internal problems are never quite complete without major foreign-policy screw-ups, it fails again and again to confront Israel about the Palestinian question, fails to provide a leading role in inter-Arab relations, and continues its policy of doing what it is told by the USA, like throwing the national currency down the toilet, and withdrawing support of the Palestinian leadership. Bah!

So forgive me for not showing much concern for the plight of a few pleasure-seeking fags who got arrested for debauchery. I've got a government to overthrow.