The American Interest // Egypt, we have no idea…

The American Interest /July 1, 2013 / Adam Garfinkle / Abdel Fattah al-Sisi—Memorize That Name
Read more at:
Lots of deep insight for those who want it, along with a bit of ‘I told yo so.’

This was an interesting passage and a key to why this whole region is so utterly foreign to many of us who wish for better things:

Years ago a clever and truth-telling fellow named David Lamb devised what he called the IBM syndrome to describe political culture in Egypt and the Arab world. The “I” stands for “inshallah“, may God will it: in other words, fatalism. The “B” stands for “bokr“—tomorrow morning, or just tomorrow: suggestive of an extremely elastic, pre-modern perception of time, vaguely akin to some uses of the Spanish word mañana. The “M” stands for “malesh“, which is untranslatable, but which kind of means “whatever”, “never mind” or “fagetaboutit”: not my job, someone else will take care of it, or not, who cares? What difference does it make?

It is also a bit frightening to realize that there are examples of this sort of mindset in ‘the west’ and that it’s a plague…

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