The bubble that drives Egyptians’ Minds


It is a bubble that manipulates the entire Egyptian society. A bubble that works to empower and privilege mediocre citizens at the expense of the qualified. This means Egyptians’ thoughts and values emerge from the least-qualified citizens. These are always working to stay on top of society, placing the most qualified at the bottom.

“Egyptian Fahlwa” is a clear byproduct of the bubble. Fahlwa is an Egyptian jargon that means pretending to be smart to widen one’s gains beyond what they truly deserve. Ironically, it works, giving Egyptians more confidence in their bubble philosophy. “Egyptian Fahlwa” is applied to every single behavior including religion, where people believe that they can also fool GOD by practicing more rituals to compensate for even more sins.

Power and corruption are the two main pillars of the bubble, keeping its surface from popping. Who rules Egypt is insignificant to the existence of the bubble as long as influential and corrupted citizens remain the real driver of the economy. Corruption in Egypt simply eats up any possible fruitful project at first sight.  

Egypt’s blend of authoritarianism and bureaucracy naturally makes its citizens risk-averse at the expense of innovation. Egyptians flourish by advancing through a corrupt network that pays back instantly and unaccountably. Egyptians will never expend energy to excel knowing that competency isn’t that meaningful – a phenomenon that has left Egypt to be one of the least productive nations in the world.

The state’s policies and projects are often designed to help the bubble flourish, serving the state’s entourage at the cost of true progress. State officials are only keen on snapshotting their projects for publicity purposes without having a genuine return on citizens’ development. These projects are often established to please the desire of the ruler that fades out after the end of his tenure.

Meanwhile, the comprehensive deliberate misinformation fed to our citizens has worked to give a sense of false pride of achievements without any economic added value. Having an ignorant society that overrates itself is better manipulated by the authority to well-educated one. “Om El Donia”; the mother of the world is another jargon that nourishes Egyptians’ egoism, offering them a flashy status that isn’t translated into constructive energy.

Moreover, Egypt is a leading nation when it comes to brain drain – scientifically oriented citizens voluntarily leave the country to realize their aspirations abroad, or remain in Egypt and intellectually isolate themselves to avoid the cruelty of the corrupt officials if their scientific ideas are undermining their privileges. Meanwhile, well-informed state executives are brought to power to burnish the government policies not to apply their knowledge.

Resilience and compromise have worked as safeguards for Egyptians for decades. We, Egyptians don’t have a desire to excel in any given field, tolerating our miserable life while believing that we are an exceptional nation that is economically trapped by foreign nations’ conspiracies. We consume more than what we produce, consequently, importing more than exporting. This has resulted in increasing our external debts that can only be paid back by selling our national assets.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s rich ancient history has enhanced its citizens’ reckless attitude by earning the country a steady income from tourists, without employing sufficient efforts to better present our touristic venues. Ironically, the descendants of the people who developed this advanced civilization are presently living chaotic lives, resisting any attempt to impose efficiency or discipline and surprising our visitors with how we survive with our messy manners amid such ancient splendor.    

Egypt has been transformed from a regionally influential nation to one that is stagnant and has lost its political dynamism, searching for other nations to feed us. The competitive advantage that Egypt is blessed with, including its abundant tourism venues, along with a young population and less expensive human capital, are rendered completely worthless by the absence of sound economic policies and enforcement of rule of law.

It has always been anticipated that Egypt’s bubble will burst. However, it seems that Egypt’s default has high implications on many nations who often team up offering us last-minute ample financial aid. Egypt’s application of liberal democracy is an ultimate solution, but is currently a fanciful one that could be compensated by being a scientific oriented society that value meritocracy and seriously fight corruption – a scenario that could happen with the guidelines of our supportive nations.

Mohammed Nosseir
Mohammed Nosseir
Mohammed Nosseir is an Egyptian liberal politician, living in Cairo and advocating for political participation, liberal values and economic freedom. He tweets @MohammedNosseir