Egyptians watch consecutive accidents in disbelief
Egyptians felt the tremors of a real earthquake late Thursday night. Thankfully, it did not cause any casualties in direct contrast to the growing list of human catastrophes Egyptians have been trying to deal with in the past week.
Ironically, the natural temblor was kinder on them than the set of man-made disasters that have brutally killed, maimed and caused suffering to hundreds of Egyptians. In agony, Egyptians have watched consecutive accidents that have rocked the country. Images of an overturned train car following a head-on collision with another train that took the lives of more than 20 young conscripts, while maiming dozens more, were mixed with images of whole families buried under the rubble of a collapsed 12-story building in Alexandria and those of a taxi that crossed the tracks in front of a speeding train, killing a family of four. The incidences are still pouring in from here and there, and those are only the ones that get the attention of the media.
The fatal accidents might have momentarily taken the wind from the ongoing challenges of Egypt’s unfinished revolution but served as a stark reminder of an accumulating state of affairs that had ignited the first sparks of revolt two years ago. With no difficulty, the newest images have conjured up many others as painful and as bloody as any over the past 10 years – the most recent occurring just a few months ago when the tiny of bodies of 50 schoolchildren were left spread all over the train track.
By any standard, these are agonizing images that evoke deep pain followed by rage at the government officials responsible. There is no doubt that most of the incidents are the result of years of corruption and malpractice. Even though the responsibility lies with the incumbents’ predecessors, one thing is certain: it is this government and the one to come that are responsible for changing that. This shift in responsibility is the expectation of many Egyptians after the revolution.
Despite the mourning and the anguish, the incidents are already leading people to point fingers at the current regime and are likely to provoke more resentment against the rule of the Brotherhood, the president and his government. The opposition has already seized the opportunity to hit hard and display the ruling government’s inability to handle the deluge of disasters while the leadership is too busy securing political power to save the lives of its people. The government’s responses have not been up to par. The president visited those injured in the conscript train crash at the military hospital in Maadi where his predecessor resides. The highly criticized visit was not enough to appease the pain and anger of the population.
Meanwhile, many politicians and political parties are deep at work preparing for the upcoming decisive election to give Egypt its new ruling Parliament.
Anxiety reigns, and no one is quite clear what to expect. Emotions are already flying high as preparations for the 25th of January are underway. Some demonstrations are scheduled for this week as a prelude to the show of power on the big day. This painful series of accidental bloodshed in Egypt has certainly fueled anger and pain once again.