The state of Fabraka

I found this editorial on SciDev about the state of science and research in Egypt. The first half of the article is a little bit optimistic but if you read on, this is probably one of the few articles that clearly outlines the obstacles facing science here. I took some notes and listed them:

  • Lack of funds (poor equipment and diminished journal subscriptions)
  • Low political priority
  • Academic quarrels
  • Research as a ladder for higher academic positions
  • Bureaucracy
  • Lack of science journalism
  • Language

I would add Plagiarism and recycling papers to the list.

However the article dismisses any lack of brain power. I agree with that, but I would add that there would have been more brains. If education was any good.

Release Mohammed Sahfik NOW

Yesterday I was outraged to know that Dr. Mohammed Shafik ,a fresh medical graduate and a House Officer in Ain Shams University Hospitals, was arrested on Tuesday for distributing Kifaya pamphlets.

Mohammed Sahfik is a colleague and works in the same place I work and train in.

El-Adly MUST resign

After today's Black protest. The next step for the Kefaya and Muslim brotherhood and everyone else not an NDP whore is to force Habib El-Adly resignination. This is the logical and most powerful step Egyptians could do this year.


After almost a month in Pediatrics, I finally managed to break an important psychological barrier. I managed to draw blood from a 2 months old. I was mostly lucky, the boy had a single visible vein. Which I attacked like a hungry leopard. With no fear I poked the needle in it. When the blood started oozing from the needle it was a great relief, I felt self confidence running through my veins. No more hesitation and avoiding venipunture for those underweight malnourished sick kids.

Repeated power cuts

WHAT IS WRONG with electricity these days. Eight (and sometimes more) power cuts a day are way too much. I can't stand it any more, I am getting extremely agitated by this. My computer hard drives will die soon. I am starting to think that this is a deliberate plan to prevent me from reading blog stories about last Wednesday.

Who is the Ministry of Energy and Electricity ? He is from El Omranya.

Two types of polling stations

I was told the following by a judge who was in charge of one of the polling stations in Cairo. And what he said probably explains why Orientalism didn't manage to cast a vote with his national ID only while Mohammed did.

There were two types of polling stations one monitored by judges and only people listed and have a voting card are allowed to vote. And another called a "Moghtarebeen" stations, they are special stations made for people who are coming from cities other than Cairo. Those stations are not monitored by judges. And it is assumed that the people voting don't have a voting card.

He was given all the details and instructions not before the opening of the polls. But early in the morning at the time of opening.

Go to Heaven

To all the assholes, who think that it is appropriate to leave the emergency room and go to the Al Fajr prayer. While the ER is full of patients and a dying 1 year old with only 2 doctors giving him CPR.


Big screen mobile phones

Till now, there isn't a single mobile phone with a large enough screen and keypad for old people. They still have to get their reading glasses out of their pockets and make their way through complicated menus to make a call.

Even if there is no emeregency, I don't enjoy watching them search for their reading glasses, put them on and start pressing on several tiny keys at once with their thick fingers.

And this Sagem phone is not a solution. It is still a small phone with tiny fonts and tiny keys.

I would suggest they make something with dimensions similar to this:

I hate Lebb even more now

Last Sunday, a father and mother came to the ER with their young daughter. A cute 1 year old was in severe stridor, dyspneic and breathing rapidly.

The mother said that the girl's father was watching TV and enjoying some Lebb. He offered his daughter one, the girl choked on it in seconds.

"What the .." I shouted in their face. "Why would you do that ? Don't you know that ..." I found it ridiculous to lecture the parents while the girl is making all those noises. I stopped turned to the resident doctor who told me to stop complaining and take the girl to the x-ray and cardio-thoracic.

I couldn't help myself, I just treated the father the worst treatment ever. While taking the girl to the cardio-thoracic surgeons. I gave him looks called him "Mr. Smart", "Mr. Genius", "Mr. Responsible". But they were so cold, gah I am sure they didn't bring their daughter right away. May be the noises she was making didn't let them sleep.

remembering names

There is a big chance that I will not remember your name. You will tell me your name tomorrow, next day I will forget it. The weird thing is, if it is a totally alien name that comes from a different culture and easy to pronounce. I will remember it for several years.

My biology teacher in school, she happens to be a doctor, had the same problem. She only remembered few names in class. Her reason was, she was taught huge amount of nouns and words in medical school to the extent that her head became saturated with them. Her memory centers refuses to accept more names.

But I don't quite think that this is true. Lots of my colleagues just remember my name with only one introduction. My name sticks in their heads. Each morning, I am greeted by my name from all the familiar unnamed faces I know. And my response is a very generic greeting. I try to be quite inventive and choose different greetings, so as to appear as witty as possible.