“Chaos is merely order waiting to be deciphered.” ___ Jose Saramago, recipient of Nobel Prize for Literature.
When I face chaos, I feel a sadness that stems out from my love to our rich yet chaotic countries. Whether in Lebanon where I come from, or in Cairo where I live, these places are perfect examples for disorder and chaos. They demonstrate a variety of situations that “just don’t pass” or as in Lebanese slang “Ma Bte2ta3”.
I feel saddened because I know that public order, as trivial as it might seem to some people, is strongly related to the growth and prosperity of one nation. Clearly, both places aforementioned, still have a lot of growing to do.
The bright side of the picture is that if we follow Mr. Saramago, we can have a boost in our faith in these societies and maybe try to shed the light on that “order that is waiting to be deciphered.” Let us decipher this hidden order by exposing it!
Today, I will expose our problem with signs. It’s either that we don’t even see signs, we just don’t understand them or we simply choose to ignore them.
I entered a cozy Caireen diner to enjoy dinner with friends. My friend, Malak, was the only non-smoker in the group as she suffers from asthma. We asked the waitress to seat us in the non-smoking area. Few minutes later, Malak looked embittered and before she started coughing, I called the waitress: “I think you have seated us in the wrong area, we clearly asked to sit in the No Smoking area…” To my surprise, she replied assuring us that we’re on the right side of the hall but it’s just that people there seem to have a problem with signs!
It is frustrating when our partners in the city choose to see the “No Smoking” signs as an invitation to smoke right under them. Are we blind or what? I am talking about Coffee shops with tens of smokers who can be barely seen because of the tobacco clouds. That is not only annoying but also unfair to those who hate the smell of cigarettes or even get harmed by exposing themselves to the smoke.
Next time you see a “No Smoking” sign, make sure to take your lighter and light it in front of the “No” to see it better! Smoking in a “No Smoking” area is just #MaBte2ta3.