The Ugly side of Fatalism
On any given day in the city of Cairo, no matter how early or late time gets, your eyes cannot escape the scene of both young and old adults sitting in a Qahwa blowing smoke from their hookah.
What really fascinates me in the city of almost 15 million citizens, is that we suffer from unemployment. And the reasons for such occurrence may vary from lack of education, corruption or even lack of qualifications.
But the biggest reason of them all; the most dangerous reason, is the notorious curse of “أصل”. The curse is basically a mechanism that Egyptians tend to use in order to dare and attribute their failure and misfortune to god and fate.
The origin of “أصل” remains a mystery. It’s merely a word used to answer any question whether the question starts with how or why. It doesn’t matter as long as you provide an excuse or make a remark to the person you’re addressing emphasizing that he/she doesn’t understand what you’re going through.
In other words, if you would walk up to that frowning middle aged man you observe every time you visit the Qahwa, and if you’re lucky enough to strike a conversation in which he tells you that he’s unemployed, he’s most likely going to tell you that “god did not bless
I’m not a psychic nor do I possess the knowledge of the unknown. However, I find it logical to assume that when one spends more than 12 hours in a cafe’, his/her chances of getting a job diminishes from 50% to 5%.
And to explain my situation, I’m not doubting fatalism. On the contrary, I’m a firm believer that God and Fate exist and they tend to shape our lives in an indirect way that the human mind will not be able to comprehend. But, we tend to misunderstand fate. Fate is not a book in the hands of god. It’s merely an echo of our decision we take in our daily lives.
We need to be extremely cautious when we attribute any event that happens in our lives to fate. Most of the time, failure is not a divine decision taken by the almighty, sometimes the individual paves the way for his own failure and misery.
I get really frustrated whenever I sit and talk with my friends and get these responses. Educated people in decent universities, and they’re still attributing their misfortune to fate.
I once entered a huge argument and fists were thrown later on because I got sick and tired of the same excuse, “أصل ربنا مكرمش”. He had the guts to say that god did not bless him in his final. I was dwelling in questions and having only 1; HOW? So, I asked. Hoping to get a supernatural response but NO. He said that god did not bless him because he was not able to cheat. And on the end of that sentence, I went off like a canon with an increasing volume.
Furthermore, I went even more furious when other friends next to us were actually agreeing on what he said! I mean, if he had studied and did what needs to be done, he wouldn’t be put in a situation where he prays to cheat. And what’s even worse; assuming that god hears my friend’s prayers, is that he blamed it on god for not sending him someone to facilitate cheating.
Anyway, I’m glad to announce that this friend is no longer a friend. I can’t be surrounded with this way of thinking because it’s more contagious than catching a cold. Nowadays, I’m focused on my career, trying as much as I can to do what needs to be done in order to increase my chances of success. I’m trying to minimize the number of times I use “أصل” I tend not to attribute my failure and misfortune to fate or god and rather prefer taking responsibility for my wrong doings.