Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. Everything has been figured out, except how to live. One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished. The line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life. There is only one day left, always starting over. It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are, that is the fact. When you live alone you no longer know what it is to tell a story: the plausible disappears at the same time as the friends. You let events flow by too.Suddenly you see people appear who speak and then go away; you plunge into stories of which you can't make head or tail. You'd make a terrible witness. It is true that people who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. Luckily, I only have a few...

Dr Shaw is a lecturer in Further Education at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. She also offers philosophy courses at the School of Continuing Education, Lifelong learning, at the University of Liverpool. In 2015, she has completed her Doctorate in philosophy with a focus on existentialism, the equilibrium doctrine and narrative. She has worked as a teacher of English and Comparative literature and Philosophy at The American University in Cairo, Egypt where she also obtained her BA (Hons). Dr Shaw has an MA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of East Anglia where she also taught on a number of humanities subjects. Whilst working in North Wales in Further education, she gained a PGCE aimed at teaching in FE and HE sectors. Dr Shaw moved to Liverpool in 2010 where she now resides.

Interests: Existentialism, Narrative, Comparative Literature, Feminist Thought, Public Speaking, Arab Existentialism, Philosophy of Education, Art, Music, Film and Theatre, Greek Mythology, Existential counsellor and psychotherapist.


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Why is Egypt so backward

This issue of why Egypt has been recently drifting into the abyss has been one that is always on my mind. I cannot help but compare between the East and the West, Egypt and UK. The inability of Egyptians to overcome the vanity of status and alterity has caused the nation to go backwards. Let me explain...

Now it seems to me that Egyptians put family and social status at the highest rank possible. But when you
really see human interactions on a closer level you'd see the truth behind these interactions. Their purpose is not to enjoy one another's company or act morally withing a social norm, but rather to please one's ego by showing off material possessions and comparing between siblings, family members and gossiping about who has what and who did what. Sadly, this has been one of the fundamental things that have put me totally off interacting with fellow Egyptians. I have been in UK for 7 years now and can frankly say that I have never shared this characteristics or found it appealing in one way or the other.

Now to be my home....Liverpool City 
Am I becoming British then? Apart from a document with my photo saying British passport, I think that my temperaments has certainly been affected by living in the Western world and specifically UK.

To say it simply, when I walked in the house and asked my husband to put the kettle on and had the strongest urge for a cup of tea with milk and a piece of cake, something inside me was alerted that such a behavior- that I used to mock- is rapidly becoming a norm.

On a more serious level, I have become intolerant to the drama and moaning of how life is unfair and the attempts of fellow Egyptians to burden me with their troubles, big or small.

The more I look into human relations with analytic eyes, the more I realise the faults and traps I am bound to fall into and I make a swift escape. For this reason, I have fallen out with some, ignored others and avoided most starting by deleting the what I believe to be the curse of modernity and the highlight of social media today, Facebook. Frankly, I spent hours and hours of valuable time that I could have completed a lot of work in, chatting and checking others. For what purpose, I one day asked myself and found that my answers all point towards deleting such an invention. To me, it was the ties that tied me down to my roots and reminded me of the little annoying things that I hated whilst growing up in Egypt, the drama, the misery, the invasion of one's privacy, the underlying hate and the absence of morals masked by an organised form of religion.

An ultimate thing I felt after a month of deleting my Facebook page is that solitude is a bliss that cannot be sacrificed at any cost. Of course in addition to realizing how less of an Egyptian I have become!

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