Written by Ola Orieba

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Welcome back to me and my humble column, Cairenes! My week since the hypothetical Black Friday of Egypt, passing by my “just looking” Cyber Monday and ending at my insignificant last Thursday night was a series of mourning social statuses and posts. Great people died last week starting by Paul Walker; the man I’ve never heard of except after his death because I was never a fan of “The Fast & The Furious” franchise. He was then followed by the oh-so Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm and finally, the great Nelson Mandella, may they all rest in peace.

We do lose a lot of people every day; they could be great losses to some people while others never hear of them; that’s life… I suppose. However, social media has created this great field for sharing thoughts and feelings, so that escaping one’s or other people’s miseries has become inevitable; sharing quotes and photos, expressing great sadness for celebrities’ death and such has become such a trend all over the world, not just in Egypt, but it’s always different here that it makes you wonder… I don’t know! I bet most of the Egyptians mourning for Paul Walker’s death for instance didn’t know who Paul Walker was but just went with it because it was cool! Moreover, the funny thing is this, Paul Walker’s death was much more publicized by the people here than the death of Ahmed Fouad Negm and Nelson Mandela, the former being, after all, was such an influential character to the Egyptian culture and his poems contributed so much to igniting the revolution, while the latter was such a great symbol of freedom and democracy renown all over the world. Weird Egyptians!

A lot of reasons could explain this, I suppose, making a valid excuse could be by pointing to the range of ages of those who use social media the most amongst Egyptians and the generation they belong to. But no, that’s not it! It’s just the “being so cool” factor the Egyptian youth is so obsessed with these days. It doesn’t bother them how naïve or ignorant they appear or seem to be. And I totally lost track between “death becoming something so common in our society” and “becoming all cool” at the same time, the association of both terms together is something beyond my humble understanding, making me wonder if our world and time has become so cruel and is it just me who sees this as an abnormality? Answer me, anyone?


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