How Frank Underwood & Fifi Abdou Showed Me The Problem With Egyptians


Recently, I discovered Fifi Abdou’s infamous facebook page. Since she’s been known to post funny statuses and pictures, I decided to take a look around and see what the famous dancer has to say. And while I was amused by her cute statuses and fun selfies, I was more interested in the comments section.

I think it’s safe to say that the comments showed me a pretty accurate simulation of how a large segment of the Egyptian society thinks.

The first thing I saw was the expected flow of “you’re going to hell” comments, which didn’t really surprise me, since I was shouted at in the streets this Ramadan for the mere fact that I’m not wearing a veil, therefore causing some sort of fitna with my oh-so-sinful hair. So, naturally, I expected a dancer to face even more backlash than the average Egyptian woman.

As I scrolled through more and more of the comments, watching the back and forth between people who follow the page just to insult the dancer and the fans rushing to her defense, I came across something I consider very alarming.

Fifi had posted a selfie of herself with some Snapchat filters , and the first comment was a guy mocking her, telling her that she was already scary enough and required no special effects. A short while later, a girl responded to his comment, telling him that it was rude to mock another human being. Everything seemed status quo up to this point.

He then replied, “Isn’t she just a cheap dancer? Then we can mock her however we please.”

It’s this “however we please” part that had me taken aback. This choice of words reflects something dangerous about our society. To paraphrase the great Frank Underwood in House of Cards: the root of the problem is a sense of entitlement.

Let me say this again, because this word is important: entitlement.

So many people in our society (and around the world) do unspeakable things because deep down, they feel entitled. It starts by feeling entitled to mock another human being because “she is cheap,” and then gradually moves on to feeling entitled to hurt others because of differences in opinion/beliefs/faith because “they are infidels.”

Those who bombed the Minya bus felt entitled. The terrorist who ran over Muslims coming out of a London mosque did it because he felt entitled. Don’t you think these attackers started somewhere? THIS is where they start!

Egyptian men who sexually harass and rape young girls and women in the streets feel entitled because “their clothes were too tight” and they, as men, feel superior. Horrible people who torture animals feel entitled because “it’s just an animal” and they, as humans, feel superior. Fathers who beat their children mercilessly and mistreat them feel entitled because “they created them” and they, as parents, feel superior.

And that, my friends, is the root of the problem. Entitlement. Feelings of superiority. Like Underwood told his people, “You are entitled to NOTHING.”

While the context here is different, the main message is the same. You are never entitled to inflict harm upon another living soul, whether using words, physical force or weapons. You are not a messenger sent by God; you are just another human being who lives and breathes and makes mistakes.

Maybe one day our educational system will stop teaching our children mindless dribble about how “the Egyptian child is the smartest child in the world” and perhaps teach them how to live and let live and how to grow to become a generation not tainted by its predecessors’ mistakes. Only then can we even begin to have a glimmer of hope in this society’s twisted mentality.

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