27 November, 2006

The Uniform

Sometimes to change from the inside you have to change from the outside.

All Egyptians now know that their country is being controlled by a few corrupt figures whose corruption spread through the entire community that corruption has become the new norm. But, knowing the problem is still only half the answer, an answer that is becoming increasingly difficult, how do you save the country?

Every time I watch an American high school on TV in a movie or a series I feel that I missed a lot of things. The school I have been didn't make us wear a uniform, but thats something we had to fight for every single year until a couple of year after I graduated they finally won and made it compulsory. I have never understood the reason behind the school uniform and short hair. Why do they want everybody to look the same? The image that comes directly to my mind when I see uniformed schoolboys in the street now is that of a military school with an oppressive authoritarian figure on the top of it, somebody screwed enough in his head that he hates everybody else to the extent of ruining their individuality and personality. Brainwashing, we are all being brainwashed, just like the Nazis brainwashed the Germans we're slowly being brainwashed into thinking that we should obey our leader and not question him, we are being taught to be all the same and not to think for ourselves because authorities know whats best for us, even in what we wear.

To me, school uniforms and short hair is a sign of oppression as anything else. I believe that schools is the ticket to solving all of Egypt's problems. Maybe American schools are not much better than ours only because they have colorful well-printed textbooks or because they have chemistry labs that rivals those in our engineering schools, maybe its because their students are taught to think for themselves and to ask questions, they're not given answers they're required to look for them and this is the foundation of scientific research that our government thinks that only by building labs we're going to produce science.

Their students have a "student governments" and these are not the "top students" the 4.0 students who well automatically be assigned to these position just because they study hard -the Egyptian model-, no, they are elected, and this is the foundation for your democratic country.

It all starts in school people. And schools are not the tables and the chairs and the textbooks, schools are much bigger than that. Schools are where we learn to be people, to learn, to tolerate the other.

I had a very close friend in primary school called Zein. Zein's mother was Australian and he himself looked very much Australian too, and this was his mistake. Just because he looked different everybody automatically hated him, just because he doesn't fit in their built-in image of what a normal person should look like and because we were all taught to look the same -I'm not talking about the school here cause I already said we didn't have a uniform, its the image by society of what a normal person should look like, and if you don't get what I mean go out to the street and see for yourself how 90% of the people look almost identical- because they were all taught to look the same he was treated like a freak!

This post is running long, continue later...

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