Sunday,22 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1185, (20 - 26 February 2014)
Sunday,22 October, 2017
Issue 1185, (20 - 26 February 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Thank you Mr Putin

You would be hard-pressed to find a single, solitary soul in Egypt, who is not depressed!  The painful burden of despondence and melancholy has invaded every nook and every crook, of every hide-out of this dominion.

With slouched backs and a haggard fixity of gaze on this good earth, where a thousand of their loved ones have recently been buried, they shed their tears of endless sorrow. How does a nation compensate for the wasted shower of red blood, the loss of their young brave hearts, so beastly slaughtered by a violent gang that is less than human!

No wonder we suffer a state of deep depression! Like prisoners in a solitary jail cell we are unable to see the light of  the stars in the heavens, or the rays of the sun in a blue sky.  We have even stopped longing for a dream, or hoping for a flicker of light; only darkness, a deep, dim, grim darkness. Its victims, caught in an inferno, sometimes screaming loudly, most times weeping softly, silently.

So, is this the end?  Oh no! It is a cynical, sneering state of depression!

Unfortunately depression cannot be diagnosed by a blood test or MRI. It sneaks on us gradually with its subtle symptoms of stress, followed by tension and anxiety.

Enveloped by a great void, we no longer dream, hope or desire, for depression has us in its sorceress’ grip. Some are able to overcome it in a couple of weeks, others, fragile souls crumble and collapse because the burden is too heavy to bear!

Some cases are severe enough to interrupt daily activities, and the lines of unemployed grow longer, exhibiting more apathy towards work, life or even death.

Depression is not a sign of weakness or a sign of a negative personality. Living in a black hole is a major public problem, depleting the health of an individual or a nation.  It manifests itself in various and often contradictory behaviour.  Some eat less, some more.  Some sleep too much, others sleep too little. Fun is certainly out of the question.  There lies the peril! If depression delivers all that harm to an individual, what then can it inflict on a whole nation; to its economy, its energy, its productivity, its future?

Tasks that seemed easy once, like making a bed, or washing a glass, can become gargantuan efforts for the depressed. Feeling hopeless and helpless is truely debilitating, and negative thoughts can take control of your whole existence.  Chemical aids can be of some help, but to many, life itself is not even worth living!

Happily, we are not there yet! Despite the calamities we experience on a daily basis we shall, we can, we must conquer our depression, because we should, we could and we must win back our lives and our nation.

Help is on the way! Following a flood of attacks and conspiracies by so many adversaries, one powerful nation has extended to us a warm hand of friendship.

After four decades of coolness between our country and Russia, its sitting president Vladimir Putin has shown true grit. Putin believes in the glory and majesty of our country and has inside information of warped desires to arrest its progress.  A visit from our foreign minister and our minister of defence was very well received in Moscow and it is believed that the two old and mighty powers have once again joined forces and come to an agreement, beneficial to both!

It has been revealed that a military arms deal has been sealed by both countries amounting to anywhere between two to 3.2 billion dollars which should well put our army amongst the five major armed forces in the world. If that irks some, so be it!

This is not the first time that Russia has come to the rescue of the people of Egypt. Almost half a century ago, it helped Egypt and its late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, fulfill a dream by constructing a High Dam like no other. Egypt still has more pyramids to build, more dreams to fulfill and Russia not only knows it, but wishes to be a partner to it, rather than a spoiler.

President Nasser had first approached the US to aid in the construction of this great project, but the US turned him down and similarly did the World Bank. But Nasser’s dream was to come true with the help of Russia. The benefit was mutual! We built our dam, and helped introduce Russia, (the Soviet Union then), to the Middle-East, Africa and Iran.

Russia has bravely stood by Syria and Syria still stands! This is due to the resolve and steadfastness of one Vladimir Putin.

The visit by the Egyptian delegation so delighted the Russian President, who may have jumped the gun by appearing to back the presidential candidacy of Field Marshal Sisi believing him to be the right man for this difficult episode in Egypt’s history. At this writing, the Field Marshal himself, a man of very few words, has yet to utter one word about his candidacy!

It is hoped that the association with Russia can help Egypt regain its status in construction, industry, agriculture and a golden age may still await us.

Thanks therefore are due to Mr Putin, who let the sun shine in, as well as the moon and the stars!


“The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.”

                      Ralph Waldo Emerson  (1803-1882)


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