Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Special Intelligence Report from Egypt

Agent:  Mr. Mumford


My assignment to Egypt in July, 2013 has come at an opportune time when the leadership is changing hands at a rapid pace.  I have come to see that our country's interests cannot rely on any particular regime, but rather we must find a way to gauge popular sentiment in Egypt and align ourselves with the Egyptian masses.

Who are the Egyptians?

Firstly, it's good to clarify that the people who inhabit Egypt now are not the same as the Ancient Egyptians.  My original suitcase held only linen kilts and ornamental headdresses.  Since my body type is not that of Yul Brenner, I was relieved to get updated information which named the galabiya as the new national style of dress.

The galabiya actually is a dress.  I'm not against men dressing like women, but I wasn't interested in doing it myself.  Yet, as an agent I perform my duties to the utmost.  I only ask that any and all photographs and videos of me in the galabiya will be handled with sensitivity.

Arriving at JFK wearing the galabiya was not perhaps the wisest choice.  Airport Security certainly does their job well, which I can attest to after my full body search.  All my documents carried the name, "Mohamed Tutankhamun" and that might have tipped them off to pay special attention to me.


Upon arriving at Cairo International Airport, I soon learned that, despite the Egyptian's ability to build a Pyramid, they cannot form a line.  This is a weakness we could capitalize on.

I also question their sense of hearing.  Immediately, I began detecting higher decibels.  It is as if the volume control on the society was set at 11.  This is true whatever the emotional component; whether sad, happy, tired, excited, bored, etc. they all yell.  Whole conversations are held in a yell.  Is there a chance that a whole nation has sustained hearing loss?  If so, perhaps we can use that to our advantage by transmitting low decibel subliminal messages which only non-Egyptians could hear.

I soon learned, from my baggage handler, that the galabiya I was wearing was inappropriate as it had embroidered flowers.  Apparently, men's galabiyas do not have such decorations.  Could our fact checkers please add that to the Egypt Information?  

Also, being on the road at 5:00 is not wise.  The nation is in a gridlock.  Special Agent Basem Yousef has since informed us that the people occupy the streets from 3:30 to 5:30 each day.  There is no conceivable way that any operation in Cairo could be successful during these hours.

Meeting People

From my taxi driver, I learned that the only Arabic words you really need to use are "Asalamu Alaykom," "Alhumdulillah," and "Inshahallah."  When in doubt, laugh.  For some reason, as much as the Egyptians yell, they also laugh.  

It is not known why they vary their moods between these extremes.  Is there a chance the whole nation could be suffering from a bi-polar disorder?  If so, slipping Prozac into their water supply could be an option.  The Nile is right there for us to utilize.

After settling into my hotel room, as "Mr. Tutankhamun," I went to the gift shop and tried to buy different attire.  I found none of the plain galabiyas for men.  I was then instructed by the young shop clerk where to find more suitable clothing for my Cairo stay.  I left the hotel for a local establishment and purchased a tight pink lyrca T-shirt, skinny jeans and high tops.  The shirt, ironically, had "FBI" written on it but in small letter underneath it was written "Female Body Inspector".

I also bought aviator sunglasses. I have come to see how Egyptians trust men wearing these shades.  One of the most trusted men in Egypt is Army Commander C.C. and he is seldom without his.  Singers Tamer Hosny and Amr Diab  are also outfitted with these.

I need to mention a correction to the information given to me about greetings.  While it is alright for a man to hug and kiss the checks of another man, I have learned it is not alright for a man to do this with a woman.  I had a problem at the local coffee shop which I wouldn't want anyone else to endure.  It's a good thing I was no longer in that galabiya, as I had to make a run for it. 

I went with my new gear to one of the most strategic positions in Giza.  You may be surprised to learn that the Pyramids are not actually in Cairo.  Please amend the Fact Guide on this point.  Giza has the Pyramids.  Perhaps due to its former influx of foreigners, it also has some of the fiercest fighters surrounding it.

I am not talking about the Security Guards.  The carriage drivers and souvenir sellers are brutal in their struggle for a sale.  I feared for my life several times.  I've served all over the world for the agency but this was one of the toughest assignments I've ever faced.  If Disney World is, "the happiest place on earth," then Giza's Pyramids must be, "the place on earth you'll be the happiest to leave".  

I've learned that many Egyptians think they know English but few actually do.  My conversations in English soon devolved into caveman-like gutturals.  We can use this to our advantage by having our Embassy send out announcements with a higher level of vocabulary that only our countrymen can understand.

Upon returning to my hotel, I tried the internet to see what was happening with the locals on Twitter.  Maybe I could meet some of these revolutionaries.  I've since learned that relatively few Egyptians are using computers for anything except playing games and surfing Facebook.  Those who do use Twitter are not listening to alternative ideas and are not interested in dialogue.  They will not prove useful.  

 Facebook seems to be a better venue for expression.  Apparently, there has been a political revolution which started on Facebook.  We may need to look into this allegation.  Have our fact checkers look up, "Hosny Mubarak."


I am concerned that this "Mubarak" may be a big influence on the people.  Also, there are two other men who work with him.  One is named, "Ramadan," and the other is named, "Kareem".  The people talk about these men often.  Mubarak is either locked in prison or in a hospital.  It's important to mention that he also wears the dark glasses.  

There's another man the people talk about and that's "Morsi".  I am very unclear who he is.  Some people say he is president while others say he is "homar".  The meaning of that word is "donkey".  I am thinking he is connected to the American Democrats who use a donkey as their symbol.  We need to look into this.

I'm not sure why but Morsi is another leader which the people seem to have misplaced.  No one knows where he is.  Are they lying?  How can a whole nation not know where their president is?  Even if he is a donkey, wouldn't the people want to know where their donkey is?  

The ones who support Morsi are in the street.  They are the more religious faction and wave flags hoping for a sign from above that he is still their leader.  When they see airplanes above them drawing hearts, they believe that their prayers have been answered.  Many of them yell out, "Si!  Si!" I take this to mean both "Yes" in Spanish and the last syllable of Mor-SI.  

There is some proof that his opponents are flocking to the streets carrying his picture and even wearing masks of his likeness.  This is in an effort to fool the public.  When the confusion is at its height, they shoot themselves.  The Egyptian channels are a great source of information about this phenomenon.  I have come to rely on their expertise.


Egyptians love television.  It is on during the day, night, and through every meal.  It's on in every restaurant and coffee shop.  It's on even in the taxi cabs and buses.  Taking control of the television stations is key.  It will be best to program any messages from us through beautiful women with big hair, lots of make-up and disco outfits as they have a magnetic affect on the male viewers.  

Any nightly news report on television will describe the drug use of hashish and "bongo".  Bongo are large leaves of stuffed cabbage; the smaller versions are called "mashy".  While these seem to be the problem, there is another addiction I feel we can utilize better.

Egyptians need tea.  They don't just want tea; they need it like a narcotic.  Hashish and bongo may only be on one societal level but tea or "chai" is among all levels and all ages.  Taking away their chai would be crippling.  It would only be a matter of hours before the whole country would come begging for a cup.  This is good leverage for us to have ---especially considering the Suez Canal situation.  

Sugar is another weak point.  The tea needs sugar.  Actually, at times it is more like the cup of sugar needs a little tea.  The drinks all have extra sugar.  I have learned that the formulas for soft drinks in Egypt all have higher levels of sugar in comparison to their Western counterparts.  Candy consumption starts young and takes place throughout the day.  All you have to do is look at the teeth of the Egyptians to realize that sugar has been rotting away their back molars for years.  Dentists are not intervening.  We could investigate further how to capitalize on this fact.

Bags of chips are also important to the Cairo community.  Whole families leave a dinner table of freshly prepared food in favor of consuming a bag a chips in the street.  Later, when the bag is emptied, the bag is left on the ground so as to mark the area as being sacred.

In Conclusion

My overnight in Egypt, though short, was invaluable.  I believe I fully understand the Egyptian mindset now.  I am grateful for my time really getting to know the people and the place.  I've been reading Thomas Friedman articles to clear up any misconceptions.

Identifying the modern (not Ancient) Egyptians means that we can manipulate them better.  They have many weaknesses despite displays of strength.  This is the right time to infiltrate their society and bring about our agenda.

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