Consider this, and imagine:
Earlier in the morning I was in country claimed to be one of the richest and civilized place in the world, while the very next 24 hours I was in a place where its system is unlikely to be reliable.
A few hours earlier in the afternoon I was rushing through a complex of buildings which housed the wealthy expecting first class service from a five star hotel, and in two hours time I was in the poorest part of the country, where I could still see donkeys with loads, and beggars were everywhere trying to win my sympathy.
Totaly two different environments.
Inequal distribution of wealth.
I could still remember what my Islamic Studies teacher said in class while discussing the Islamic system of economy in college two years before: the resource given by Allah in this world is enough for everyone, there is no point at which you can say that ‘ I’m sorry, your part is finished’. It is just the inequality in distributing the resources and wealth which allows you to see the poor in one side of the world, while the wealthy on the other side of it. Corruption. Greed. Need some more keywords?
Worse is if you could see the extremes in one same place- in one same state, governed by the same body.
Though I have no reason to deny that the same thing does occur in my very country Malaysia, what I’ve seen here in Egypt is worse.
It was never in my mind that a country with such a privilege to house the great wonder of the world,supposed to be rich as tourists keep coming in, to see donkeys and horses on road with Mercedes cruising beside it. Al-Azhar lecturers receive roughly 500 LE per month (equals GBP50), an engineer for a local company might receive some amount around 300-400 LE (GBP 30-40), a police earns more or less 150 LE (GBP15) per month. Businessman earns so much better, as well as those working for international companies – these are the people who managed to drive Mercedes I think. Well yes, the cost of living here is much lower, the poor can buy ten ‘ish (pratta lookalike) for their breakfast and pay only 1 LE (10p) but who can help but wishing to have a plate of KFC meal once in a while? But that might cost you 15 L.E!
Blame my ‘soft’ side, I cannot bear being begged for a tiny sum of my money- the kids on the street always do that, when I come to realize these facts- the hardship this lower class citizens are facing. Even when we had to pay extra money (or tips, called baakshees here), to any antiquities police or anyone when visiting tourist spots– I was thinking: never mind, maybe they really need the money for their families, so let that be my sadaqah for them. After all, baakshees cost me less than GBP10. Better than spending that amount for a few extra unneeded clothes right?
If even graduating with a bachelor degree would not guarantee you a job (well, since Al-Azhar lecturer received only 500 L.E and an engineer received less than 400 L.E), why bother going into university in the first place? Is there any chance at all to escape from poverty? My mushrif added, not only you will end up receiving a low income after years of struggling, the student loan taken will add up to your burden! But anyway, he said, if they are fortunate they might be working for an international company, or maybe working outside Egypt – and live a better life. Ustaz Muhammad, the head teachers at Sibawayh Centre where I take my language class said once, Egyptians working as professionals outside Egypt – in Europe mostly, never intend to come back. Well, that is understandable. If Malaysia could not guarantee me a good life, I might as well find a job in the UK and stay there. But fortunately, Malaysia is much much better than Egypt, alhamdulillah, and there is no way I would leave my people.
It is such a shame to see all the injustice done to the people who share the same akidah with me, by the people with the same akidah as well. Never blame the non-Muslims for linking us with poverty and all – it is our fault! Those who know turn a blind eye to this, and those with power to change tend to ignore.
How long could you bear this injustice?