In a country that prides itself on its unparalleled history and incredible civilization, very little understand the very words uttered whenever someone says tell me about Egypt. Egypt the land of the great, the land of the world’s greatest civilization, the land of powerful warriors and charismatic leaders, the land of the strongest people and a land rich in history and culture; has yet to be recognized for what it really is. Egypt’s history invites you to witness one of the world’s greatest people that stood strong as invaders walked on its sacred grounds, that invented inventions we still use today at a time where people were still carving caves, and that fought with courage and resilience to liberate their country year after year for thousands of years.
Egypt, the country protected by the Almighty Allah, stands strong today in times of great turbulence. As always, it stands unique among all other Arab countries with a country liberated from its worst enemies and on its way to great democracy. There is a reason Egypt has not become Syria or Libya. There is a reason that until today despite the adversaries this country has seen over the past 3 years; its people are still able to smile and laugh even in the toughest of times. It’s safe to say that the Egyptian people are not among the weak or the unlucky of this planet. They are undeniably the world’s greatest people and let me tell you why.
Seven thousand years ago when the first records of the great Egyptian civilization were recorded, Egypt stood among the first people to make ancient history. As the great country became unified in 3100 BC, the world witnessed one of the oldest and most powerful civilizations develop incredibly. From 3100 BC (the start of Ancient Egypt) to 525 BC (its end), Egypt had a series of incredible historical moments making a name for itself as one of the most powerful ancient civilizations. In this incredible era we witnessed the Egyptians include features in their society that are still commonplace today. For example, their women dressed in beautiful jewelry and wigs, their men played many sports such as boxing, fencing and wrestling and their children played with dolls, board games and many other toys. They thrived to advance their society in many fields and areas through their incredible knack for inventing.
Ancient Egyptians are responsible for inventing some of the most famous monuments in the world such as the great Giza pyramids, the world’s first written language with the Mesopotamians, and the world’s first paper created from the Papyrus plant thousands of years before the Chinese invented paper. However, that is just a fraction of what the Egyptians are responsible for inventing. Ancient Egyptian inventions have influenced the world in many fields such as agriculture with the invention of their calendar that monitored the floods of the Nile and the invention of the plow. The have also influenced the world of fashion by inventing eye make-up with the application of Kohl which is still used today. They have also invented door locks which were a lot more secure than the looks invented years later by the Romans. They also invented breath-mint, toothpaste and bowling. Yes, that’s right. Egyptians invented bowling though the game was quite different back then; it still had the same elements of bowling today such as pins and a collection of balls in different sizes.
With enough information to tell you why this civilization has left an undeniable mark on the world; comes the very need to inform you of why Egyptians are the greatest people.
This civilization brought to the world some of the greatest and most powerful leaders in history. We had leaders like Thutmose III who was called the Napoleon of Ancient Egypt. Making a record for himself with zero battles lost, he was regarded as a national hero and one of the most intelligent military leaders of his time. We had some of the youngest leaders in the world where Tutankhamen inherited the throne at the age of nine. Leaders who lived twice the life expectancy age such as Ramesses II who ruled for 67 years dying at the age of 80 at a time where the average life expectancy was 40 years. We had some of the most powerful women in the world such as Hatshepsut who ruled Egypt for 21 years and declared herself as Pharaoh. She not only announced herself as leader of the nation, but she also dressed the part. She understood that in order for her to be taken seriously she must look and act the part which is why she dressed in men’s clothing. She ruled at a time where Ancient Egypt granted women the rights they deserve by giving them the right to own properties, to hold official positions, to inherit from deceased family members and to be present in court. Ancient Egypt gave women all these rights at a time where women were regarded as mere sex slaves. We also had the great Cleopatra who made Egypt, at the time, the most powerful and most prosperous civilization in the world.
As Egypt’s rich history and culture blossomed year after year, the world took notice of its incredible potential. Thus, the Egyptians began endless battles to liberate and protect their country from greedy selfish leaders who wanted nothing more than to rob the country of its beauty and prosperity. This is where Egyptians shine in the most unquestionable ways. We had pharaohs defeat invaders such Hittites and the Hyksos in Ancient Egypt. Then we had Roman Rulers, Ottoman Rulers, Byzantine Rulers, Persian Rulers, French Rulers, British Rulers and countless Egyptian dictators. Each time Egyptians rose to the challenge defeating their oppositions successfully and liberating the country over and over again. It seems as though Egyptians were born to do nothing but continuously prove to the world that they are the greatest warriors. Standing strong and courageous in times of need, Egyptians have proven to the world that they will stop at nothing in order to protect their country. No matter the adversaries that came with time such as famine, poverty, ignorance and oppression; they have not been shaken once. They remain as the only people that still shock the world despite their third-world status, weakened economies and political instabilities.
With my argument coming to an end I leave my Egyptian readers on this note. You need to understand that once you utter the words ‘I am Egyptian’ you are not just defining your nationality but you are voicing how great you are. You are fully acknowledging the fact that you belong to the world’s greatest people and you will stop at nothing to prove that. Again, this is not a call for violence this is a call for recognition.
And to my foreign readers, I urge you to read our history. Read about the countless battles of peace and war that we have fought to protect ourselves. Read about the countless beautiful Egyptian women that embody beauty for they have come to acknowledge their potential such as Hatshepsut, Cleopatra, Doria Shafick, Hoda El Shaarawi, Nabawiyya Musa, Lotfia El Nadi, Nawal El Saadawi and Sameera Moussa. Then come tell me we are not the greatest of people.
In case you didn’t already know, Bassem Youssef is the host of ‘El Bernameg’ (‘The program’) that used to air on CBC on Friday night. Bassem Raafat Muhammad Youssef is an Egyptian cardiac surgeon, columnist, comedian and host. In 2013, Time Magazine named him one of the “100 most influential people in the world”.
Bassem Youssef has without a doubt managed to push societal boundaries over and over again with his satirical news reporting and his consistent habit of shocking his viewers. Whether it’s making up names like “sisifore” or using sexual references to depict the political situation in Egypt, his show has succeeded to ignite controversial discourse throughout the country. He stands as the epitome of social reform whether you like it or not. His episodes have left the country torn between the conservatives and reformists. The conservatives question the talent of man that needs to use sex as his material for a satirical news program with good reason. However, the advocates of change or social reform, as I would like to call it, cannot deny that Bassem can push boundaries over the edge, but seem to have no problem with that.
As a viewer, I enjoyed the show. I cannot deny the fact that he has done what no man in this country has managed to do. He has brought laughter and wit to a time where politics made up societies daily discourse. He has managed to voice the frustration and anger of Egyptians who were tired of fascist regimes, media censorship and all in all the life of the human puppet. He gave people hope and helped channel their anger to something a bit more positive. People enjoyed hearing the news that haunted them all week on his show so that they could get to laugh about it.
Yet, I am skeptical of the amount of sexuality on this show. Granted, he does mention in the start of his show this is not a family show. However, my argument is: When you have a man as talented as he is, do you really need to stoop that low? Does he really need to depict Egypt as a woman with low lying self-respect? My argument isn’t that respect to one’s country is above all that goes without saying; it’s just the amount of sexuality in his shows. He doesn’t need all of this to make people laugh. In my opinion, his approach to comedy, though is quite enticing; is a little cheap. Everyone knows that sex sells. I think Bassem should stop trying to sell sex and start trying to sell his talent.