I’ve just come across news about the new Batman comic series, Batman Incorporated. The plot is simple: Bruce Wayne has returned as the original Batman and will be stepping out of Gotham to visit different countries around the world to fight crime there and employ new local Batmen. I was really surprised to not see the flag of Egypt on the comic cover. It should be there! Why is Batman visiting Japan in the first place? I think he should take a look at this…
…and may be he’ll change his mind. We actually need a batch of Batmen here!
Well, just by chance today I came across the Egyptian version of Wikipedia. I was surprised. All the articles are in common modern Egyptian dialect of Arabic, known as Masri. I’m not against the idea, but I’m still not supporting it.
Firstly, the current language spoken in Egypt (Masri) is not a standalone language. It’s just a dialect of Arabic. In Wikipedia it’s called Egyptian Arabic. So, it’s as humorous as creating a Wikipedia written in the southern dialect of American English. P.S. Egypt had a different language long ago called Egyptian, that evoluted into Coptic; it is not related to Arabic or to Masri. It was being spoken in Egypt until the 17th century. It’s not spoken at present. Just so that it’s not to be confused with Masri.
Secondly, in Egypt, the official language by which all formal, scientific, and educational affairs are managed is Arabic. Masri is not recognized by the government, and thus does not have any role in education or scientific research, or in applying knowledge for the benefit of people. You can’t write a scientific paper in Masri, for instance, but you can write it in Arabic. So, how can this Masri wikipedia be useful?
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A couple of days back I was on the way to the university hospital in the morning. It had been raining for a couple of days in upper Egypt, and so the streets were pretty wet, and mud was everywhere. The hospital is thankfully around 10 minutes walk from my home, and so I go walking everyday.
That day I had to find a clean path to walk on. The shopkeepers usually use the pavement as a lawful public exhibition for their goods, and so I had to walk by the side of the street. I walked for a few minutes but mud started to become deeper, and so I shifted myself even more outwards. Mud ponds started to become wider as well, so I kept going outwards and outwards and…
And then I realized that I had been walking in the middle of the street!
Cars were moving everywhere around me. I had to cross the street quickly to avoid ending my life. Well, we know there’s no decent sewage systems in Egypt, but at least give us a pavement to walk on, please!
Today was my pediatrics round exam.
Official papers said we should be at the pediatrics hospital by 9 am.
And I was there by 9 am.
Examinations did not start until 10:30 am.
I, and my friends of the same section, did not take the exam until 1:30 pm. That’s 4.5 hours away from 9 am. No need to mention – because it’s expected – that we had been standing; no chairs to sit on. By the time I entered the exam room, I was really tired and sweaty all over. I had lots of mental blocks, and I missed some really easy questions which I’m sure would’ve got them right if it wasn’t for that long wait. But overall, I did well.
Now to the cases. There were 5 live cases and 5 written questions.
Among the live cases were sleeping ones. A young boy who was to be checked for central cyanosis was sleeping, and it was difficult to check his lips. I wanted to check his tongue which would’ve been more accurate, but it was impossible to do so as you see.
The other case asked if there was jaundice in a young girl with earrings (in which the case report mentioned it was a boy!), but unfortunately she was sleeping as well. It was impossible to lift up her eyelids to check out her sclerae. So, I just went by the skin complexion which showed no jaundice.
Other funny cases included a Down syndrome case where the mother knew the head circumference of her child, and so kept on telling every student the answer to make the whole process faster. The other had a 16-year-old boy (who looked much younger) who kept saying aloud “I have pitting edema” . Another one had the ends of the imaginary liver span marked with a pen on the child’s skin (I think one of the students made it), so you didn’t need to get the upper border by percussion and the lower by palpation.
Some guys received phone calls from students who had just finished the exam with all the answers. I can’t emphasize on that enough, but that was the most exciting news that day to most of the students.
All in all it was a not-very-funny big joke. A joke which convinced me more and more that we’re just playing doctors.
In one of George Carlin‘s stand-ups, he said:
We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these f**king people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the f**king planet?
I’m getting tired of that sh*t. Tired of that sh*t. I’m tired of f**king Earth Day, I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world save for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a sh*t about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.
Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are f**ked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we’re a threat? That somehow we’re gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun?
The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference?
I agree with this.
I’m not sure why I’d drawn this. I don’t know if it’s just a light-hearted comic that came from nowhere or if it’s a discharge from my subconscious. Our hospitals in Egypt – public or private – are anything but hospitals. I wouldn’t take it as a joke if I go bleeding to the hospital, and the doctor tells me that I need to go to the hospital.
Well, either way, I think it’s a funny comic.
Btw, there’s more (if not that similar) of my artwork in my DeviantART page.
A few transcripts from an interesting article about medical training in Egypt and its numerous defects, that made me think; Are we playing doctors or what?
Despite attempts on the part of the Doctors Syndicate, the number of medical school students continues to explode, leading to an oversupply of untrained and ill-experienced doctors
During our internships, we are broken into groups and are supposed to shadow doctors, but because the number of students in the groups is usually very high, often many students don’t show up and the doctors don’t care, explains Dr. Adham Aboul Fotouh. This means that you can graduate but you haven’t fulfilled the practical part.
This is where the problem begins, says Dr. Mohamed Shaalan. If you are among the top 100 students in your class, then you are selected to be a tutor within your school. This is something reserved for the precious few. As for the rest of the students, they have a huge personal burden they have to carry.
So till when is the situation going to remain like that? We’re not talking about how expensive bread is, or how crowded transportation has become. We’re talking about human lives. We’re talking about the divine and holy profession of Medicine, a profession which should not be treated this way.
Read the whole article (Playing Doctor) at Business Today Egypt