Admitting Wrong

Advice, information and discussion about Egypt in general.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:03 pm

@MD - You can say we're judging that is your opinion. I was of the opinion we were talking, chatting and sharing observations. Each and every group on this planet comes with stereotypes. For example - WHY are people in Japan stereotyped as being truthful and honourable? That isn't really a stereotype you can apply to Egyptians can you? Could YOU explain why there are such stereotyped differences between groups of people throughout the world? AND can you explain the differences without having ever discussed them?

The Point was that I was mulling how different people and groups admit to wrong doing. I'm talking broad spectrum cultural norm. Sociologists/Psychologists and possibly even Anthropologists do think in these terms and about matters such as this. Has absolutely nothing to do with personal judgement. It actually has to do with trying to understand and make sense of the differences between us. Understanding WHY one groups seems to lie and fail to admit to wrong doing can lead to greater understanding between all of US.

Like it or not - it is US and THEM. US being those of western european extraction. THEM being everybody else from everywhere else. In this world we are NOT all the same, we are NOT all equal. Sorry if you haven't noticed but we all come with our own unique positives and negatives and differences. Nothing wrong in dicussing the differences between all of us and being able to share our observations is ok. Nobody is naming names, whispering behind hands in front of mouths and passing on gossip. We're talking about a KNOWN phenomenon that happens in Egypt.

@Bennu - how many Egyptians have severely ripped off tourists and then later come back to them and said - 'OH I'm sorry I lied to you when I blatantly overcharged your fare or purchase or sold you a house I didn't own?'

You yourself gave the example of the man kissing the feet of the man he stole from BUT only after he was caught and forced to do this. YOUR own example spurred my comment.



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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Mad Dilys » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:05 pm

LovelyLadyLux wrote:@MD - You can say we're judging that is your opinion. I was of the opinion we were talking, chatting and sharing observations.
What a good idea!

Each and every group on this planet comes with stereotypes.
Sorry, I don't believe in generalisation

For example - WHY are people in Japan stereotyped as being truthful and honourable? That isn't really a stereotype you can apply to Egyptians can you?
Well apart from my above comment I have never heard of Japanese as being particularly truthful and honourable. When I was a child and my Father's friends were being released from Japanese concentration camps, that was not the view I heard expressed in post war England.

Could YOU explain why there are such stereotyped differences between groups of people throughout the world? No. as above don't believe in stereotypes.

AND can you explain the differences without having ever discussed them?

Indeed not, absolutely not interested in differences, much too busy celebrating similarities

The Point was that I was mulling how different people and groups admit to wrong doing. I'm talking broad spectrum cultural norm. Sociologists/Psychologists and possibly even Anthropologists do think in these terms and about matters such as this. Has absolutely nothing to do with personal judgement. It actually has to do with trying to understand and make sense of the differences between us. Understanding WHY one groups seems to lie and fail to admit to wrong doing can lead to greater understanding between all of US.

It has been my privilege to know quite a few Sociologist/Psychologists (as distinct from psychiatrists who seem to know their stuff) and I must say that I have found them pretentious beyond belief. Yet I would never say that "in general" Sociologists/Psychologists are Psychiatrists who failed their exams. It isn't true.

Like it or not - it is US and THEM. US being those of western european extraction. THEM being everybody else from everywhere else.

But the very Anthropologists that you admire (see above) are convinced that all mankind had a common ancestor In Africa :o :lol:

In this world we are NOT all the same, we are NOT all equal. Sorry if you haven't noticed but we all come with our own unique positives and negatives and differences. Nothing wrong in dicussing the differences between all of us and being able to share our observations is ok. Nobody is naming names, whispering behind hands in front of mouths and passing on gossip.

Precisely, we are not all the same. But we have far more similarities than differences if you look for it. Of course if you are concentrating on the differences (maybe you are that little bit special?) then you cannot see the wonderful similarities


We're talking about a KNOWN phenomenon that happens in Egypt.

Totally agree......................... and it happens all over the world.

@Bennu - how many Egyptians have severely ripped off tourists and then later come back to them and said - 'OH I'm sorry I lied to you when I blatantly overcharged your fare or purchase or sold you a house I didn't own?'

(Excuse me Bennu I can't resist.) Where in the world, please, please tell me would you find people who would do this?
Ouch! Your flag is Canadian. I have a friend born on a reservation in Canada. She still regards "White Folks" as invaders and people with no morals who lied and cheated her nation out of their heritage.................................. Please don't be offended as I don't believe that you personally had anything to do with it.


You yourself gave the example of the man kissing the feet of the man he stole from BUT only after he was caught and forced to do this. YOUR own example spurred my comment.
Interesting debate, LLL Thank you.
It's odd you know, generalisations depend where you live. For example Brits think Canadians are like Mounties, strong and brave. But Americans joke about them calling them dull and unimaginative. Both wrong, both so similar. 8)

Don't agree with anything you say, but I enjoyed hearing your point of view. Very revealing.
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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:37 pm

You replies are interesting too MD.

Right now I've had nothing on TV except the 2 guys who did the Boston Marathon killings (gotta admit I was sad when it was discovered or revealed they were Muslim as this is another strike in the world against ALL Muslims). Can't help but mull over the "why?" Why did they become radicalized and target innocent women, children and civilians in the name of Islam.

I've read all of Dusak's A-Z and he references on and off again the lies and deceit.

Am presently reading a book on the Life of the Prophet Muhammed and it references the tribal blood wars that were undertaken regarding transgressions (am not finished reading yet)

I've read over the past few years all of the posts and it keeps coming back to me - WHY? Why is it that Egyptians, and they're not the only ones, have this stereotype of being convincing and glib liars?

I can't believe for a second they're taught to lie as kids but it does seem quite OK to rip of tourists, steal from each other and on and on. Not saying at all this doesn't happen in other peope and lands but it surely seems common in Egypt.

Please tell me 'why?'

And - FYI - Psychiatrists start out as medical doctors and treat organic maladies of the mind. Their orientation is very different from psychologists and sociologists. Psychologists tend to study individuals and Sociologists groups. Anthropologists study ancient peoples and never have I said I admire Anthropologists - BUT - these groups of Professionals DO ASK HARD QUESTIONS about people - why they live the way they live, why they live the way they do. How better to understand our differences so as to gain a closer understanding? It is illogical to dismiss differences as differences are there.

Am happy you ignore differences and look only to similarities.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by dsaxelby » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:21 pm

I practiced Asylum law (10 years ago) and interviewed/ acted for over 300 clients of various nationalities, including Kurds, Iraqis, Kosovans, Russian and Iranians (Oh and 1 American :urm: ).

Possibly as a woman the reaction from the Iranians when I questioned their story was incredulous that a. I would and b. would somehow forget the change as the truth. It was pretty stunning, but perhaps as young children the men particularly are raised by women who do not question them (speculating now) their wives would not question them generally (goodness what a lot of slipping around what I am trying to say)!

I do think though that as Europeans we are all generalised about and usually not in a good way, until they get to know us as individuals. The same or similar is true of us about the Egyptians we meet.
It is what it is.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:44 pm

@ Dsaxelby - your story reminds me of working with the Sikh populations. One man who was arrested and charged for significantly injuring his wife screamed quite incredulously and queried 'why' we (us professionals dealing with him) would believe his wife....."she is nothing but dog anyway" were his exact words. Still can hear his angry screams that we would dare believe a word his wife told us over his own words.......

Guess I'm just trying to sort in my own brain or make sense of the 'why' to all of this.......

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Dusak » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:03 am

My father, now helping to feed a plant in the UK, was all over the middle East during the war. His past memories soon got on to the Arab peoples as a tribe of lieing so and so's, never believe them, never turn your backs on them, never acknowledge them. So it seems that its not a recent observation.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Ruby Slippers » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:36 am

Dusak, I think in your father's case it could well have been a forces ruling. Non-fraternisation on the part of army personnel etc. and also don't forget that Germany had a prescence in Egypt too, at that time. The British Forces probably saw fraternisation as possibly divulging vital information to Egyptians who would then pass it on to their German friends/employers, so the servicemen were encouraged to treat the locals as scum! Another cause could possibly be the 'squaddie' who was slogging his guts out in unbearable heat and saw Egyptians resting in the heat of the day - which we know now is a sensible thing to do, but must also have added to the feeling of outrage and discontent! Then the war ended; the soldiers came back and passed on their tales of lazy, shiftless, untrustworthy bar stewards to all and sundry. The world was a much bigger place then too, so people believed them because most didn't have the means to find out for themselves. Today, of course, it's different - isn't it? :tk

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Dusak » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:02 am

From the many disinterested speeches I had to listen to over the dining table in my early years of growing up, the Arabs were an essential part of the war, handling supplies, transportation, fetch and carry personnel to general dogs body. One thing that he used to bang on about as if this very observation was more important than the advancing enemy, was the Arab char wallers used to dry out the discarded tea dregs and re-charge them for fresh. He never forgive them for that act of unacceptable practice. I often wonder how we won in the first place but I suppose it's all about getting your priorities right.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Mad Dilys » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:32 pm

LovelyLadyLux wrote:@ Dsaxelby - your story reminds me of working with the Sikh populations. One man who was arrested and charged for significantly injuring his wife screamed quite incredulously and queried 'why' we (us professionals dealing with him) would believe his wife....."she is nothing but dog anyway" were his exact words. Still can hear his angry screams that we would dare believe a word his wife told us over his own words.......

Guess I'm just trying to sort in my own brain or make sense of the 'why' to all of this.......
My daughter worked in a women's refuge in London and heard a lot of remarks like that and worse from Caucasian men. :(
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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Mad Dilys » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:41 pm

I can't understand how any human being of any nationality would terrorise innocent people.

It seems every nation has is disgraceful acts against another nation.

Even to my own horror Buddists, who I thought were the most gentle followers of their faith are currently slaughtering people. I know a lot of Buddists and they must be as shocked at the very idea, as I am about so-called Muslims terrorising innocents.

We have spoken of the occupation of Egypt in the posts above. Did the occupying countries apologise to the Egyptians? 8)
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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Ruby Slippers » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:51 pm

Does any country in the world apologise for occupying another, MD? I was merely trying to point out just how far back stereotyping of Arab countries probably goes - and possible reasons for it continuing. I find it an extremely sad situation but I'm also glad to see the adventurousness of the younger generation helping to debunk a few preconceived ideas. Education is a wonderful thing! :up

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:17 pm

I think in general mass communications media has served to debunk many myths, stereotypes, generalizations etc as we've all been able to get closer to people from around the world, talk and develop better understandings of what they're doing and why. I always feel there is a reason behind the action and if I can only understand the 'why' then it sheds the light on what is happening.

I read a book a year or so ago Tiny Dancer: The Incredible True Story of a Young Burn Victim's Journey from Afghanistan by Anthony Flacco (Jan 11, 2013) - Kindle eBook about a young girl severely burned by a stove fire in her home in Afghanistan. She was 9yrs old and set the stove on fire while home alone and cooking. It detailed how American soldiers saw her and brought to the USA and all the surgeries she went through. It also referenced how the family being rural people, dirt poor and TRIBAL had to keep secret the 'benefits' they got from the soldiers because to divulge having any benefit over any other family within a tribal setting was inappropriate and the repercussions it would/could have brought them.

Not that the book centred on this aspect of rural Afghani life however it did detailfamily living within a tribal system, how it is necessary to be part of the family only and details the intricacies of tribal connections and the system of checks and balances that are in place. It described how every tourist/soldier is a mark and how if one penny was given then surely it would be admired within the family that the hand that gave the penny could possibly if groomed properly give more pennies.

The book gave interesting observations of tribal life that somewhat explained how the family/tribe saw getting something from a stranger as being due to the very excellent skills of the getter - couldn't help but think of posts here re: the Gigalos. Are they actually admired within their families for having super negotiating skills and the ability to obtain goods/money/clothes/whatever which way way way back when in history trading in caravans for goods to ensure the existence of the family/tribe was 100% necessary? Those who were able to negotiate, tease out the best bargain, got the best deal ensured the survival of their family the best. Is this a trait that is still carried in the tribal families around Luxor?

Anyway - can't say that my mulling and considering is limited to admitting wrong. I often mull and wonder many aspects of how other people(s) live and do things and I really do try to see and understand the 'why' behind them. I believe if we can talk openly about everything it will lead to a great understanding even if the conversation seems touchy at the time.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by dsaxelby » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:34 pm

The winners write the history :o

Just read a brief illustrated guide to understanding Islam, in it terrorism is abhorred, as is wife beating! Culture plays a huge part in this.

But did the UK apologise for Sierra Leone or any other country, no a lot of our immigration issues were caused by ourselves (not mentioned on the BBC).

I had to leave Asylum work, signed off for over a month showing signs of depression the statements made what a human being will do to another was beyond my comprehension, I heard so many that in the end became numb, until one man who had suffered so much physical emotional abuse, that I felt so detached from it. My doctor said 'he had never seen so much physical abuse on one person in his career'. Realised then that I had to stop this line of work or seek help myself.

But honestly the African nations are more prone to cutting bits off their victims than any other nation I have come across. But it's not about being Muslim!
It is what it is.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Who2 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:54 pm

Great posts, So why are are Texans tall and Italians gesticulate and the French smell of garlic, a generalisation ? No it's an observation..:cool:
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Sophocles.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:58 pm

It is all about 'us' trying to understand 'them' and 'them' trying to understand 'us' and hopefully we'll all be open enough, communicate enough, be tolerant enough, astute enough, self reflective enough blah blah blah to learn and to assimilate the positives from each and every culture and integrate them into our own lives.

The journey to arrive at this utopia or supreme understanding can only happen if we traverse the rocky, circuitous and bumpy roads which often get us into some pretty touchy subject areas but if we can all talk and share our observations and experiences I think the outcome will be much better than to remain silent.

I've noticed today that probably the worst label that can be affixed to anybody is the term "racist." I think we as the white anglo saxon protestant, the western european, the white american/canadian will do anything to avoid having the term 'racist' be applied to us which also includes failing to tackle the tough topics. We're no longer verbalizing our observations be they good bad or indifferent because to be labelled racist is one of the worst things that can be attached to you. I think this is stopping many of us from exploring and talking about what we don't understand about others be that a single person, a family, a neighbourhood, a culture, a country.

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