“I knew it all along”, said Rami Kamel, 33, originally from Egypt but who now lives in New York and describes himself as an ‘ethical techpreneur’. Experts agree that the made-up word clearly indicates what an irritating, know-it-all type of person he is, but that shouldn’t detract from the power of his words. Mr Kamel took time off signing an online petition for the protection of ancient tribal land in the Amazon to make the historic statement that has resonated across the Middle East.
It is understood that Mr Kamel was referring to the bleak turn of events in Egypt and the Arab world have taken recently; with massacres at the hand of government forces are becoming a daily reality for millions of citizens and as hopelessness and despair regain their traditional place in the Arab psyche. Quite why Mr Kamel and his fellow members of the cynic community get a kick out of this is still unclear, but some commentators put it down to their conservative and misanthropic nature and innate despicability.
Opinions on the Arab street about Mr Kamel’s statement were divided. Some described him as a ‘wanker’, others opted for ‘twat’ and quite a few indulged in inappropriate speculation about his mother’s sexual habits and questioned the correctness of his declared lineage. Several other terms were also used to describe Mr Kamel, but no adequate English equivalents could be found at the time of printing.
“I said this from day one, you can’t have a revolution by ignorant people who don’t read, go to the theatre or do yoga. They are intellectually and spiritually not prepared. And now you see what the result is,” elaborated Mr Kamel, who often walks around carrying a book by Kafka and an emergency vegan meal pack. He is also, predictably, a fan of The Smiths.
Encouraged by Mr Kamel’s statements, thousands of Arab cynics, misanthropes and chronic pessimists took to social media to show their support and express their derision towards the revolutions and people who believed in them. In the words of one pithy pundit: “It was a collective coming out moment for Arab arseholes.”
This mass resurgence of cynicism has contributed to the general air of despondency and hopelessness across the Middle East. No physical confrontations were reported however, as it is understood that most cynics live in the West and can therefore afford to indulge in recreational misanthropy. Yet, it appears that there is one thing that both revolutionaries and cynics could agree on, that the situation is totally hopeless. As an enthusiastic activist put it: “we’re totally fucked.”
Updates on the story will be available. Please help by contributing your words to describe Mr Kamel or the friend he reminds you of below. Suggestion in both Arabic and English are welcome.