Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shame On Egyptian Billionaires!!

I chose this article by Khairy Ramadan (even though I never really agreed with the views he expressed when he co-hosted Al Qahira el Youm) because it is inline with the Ramadan spirit that I strongly beleive in:

Shame On You

I was following up the National Democratic Party (NDP) plan to distribute 500,000 free food bags to the poor on the occasion of Ramadan.

I was disappointed when I found out that the party and its government could provide only bags for LE 20 million, which is as much as is spent by one businessman who refuses to be named.

The NDP includes all businessmen who devour this country piece by piece with the official blessing until they eventually feel sick. Yet they just pay LE 20 million altogether, willingly or as a form of submission to the party.

Let me tell you why I am so disappointed.

Last week, I read a wonderful report by my colleague Noha Hamed in al-Gomhuria newspaper. She said that rich people in the US donate US$ 306 billion per year. Mind you, the US is not like Egypt.

Their rich are not granted millions of acres for free. They are not given loans with no guarantees. They have no monopoly on any basic commodity, and their scandals are not covered up.

Businessmen in the US did not give their poor fellow Americans or the poor worldwide food bags with just a kilo of cooking oil, some sugar and a few dates.

To read more, click here.

If you are wondering: "How can those Billionaires be so cheap? And even in Ramadan?" , then I too was wondering the same thing, but not wanting to wrongfully accuse anyone especially in this holy month, I was (al Hamd l Allah) able to come up with a number of possible explanations to their actions:

• They (astagfiru Allah) don’t trust the NDP with their money.
• They never heard of my blog, and accordingly, never watched Karen Armstrong’s talk about the true essence of Religion being compassion.
• They decided to over-perform the rituals of prayers, fasting, Umra & Hajj. This way they can amount enough good deeds that would automatically exempt them from having to perform the painful ritual of Zakat or the need to do charity.
• They were advised by their savvy accountants (who also calculate their due taxes) that after thorough calculations, it turns out that the poor owe them $27,436.22. In a demonstration of the spirit of generosity of Ramadan, they decided not to pursue the poor for such a trivial amount.
• They actually wanted to pay their due Zakat, but because of the outstanding performance of the consequent NDP governments, no deserving poor where found in all of Egypt.
• They believe that anyone & everyone could be bought, so they are saving this money to bribe the guards of Hell.

I still want to say much more but "Alahom ma inee sayma". (who said "ba3d eh??")

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