I've been out of Egypt for over 10 years now and every single year when I visited over the summer, I could see the change.
I saw how the gap between the very very poor and the extremely rich grew wider and wider by the year; I saw how I could get no paperwork done in a single government office, unless I was willing to bribe someone, and I saw the smiles and sense of humor that Egyptians are known for, slowly being replaced with sadness, desperation and hopelessness.
The problem? Corruption is the sickness that has plagued my country for years and years!
Now, I've always known that Egyptian officials were tainted with some level of corruption. But never in my wildest dreams did I know that such corruption was widespread, extending from the top, with our former president Mubarak, all the way to the low-level government officials!
Since our Jan25 Revolution, I've been thinking about corruption in Egypt and trying to figure out how we got to this stage. How and when did this happen?
Every day, I get more and more angry, frustrated and disgusted at these so-called officials who have robbed our country of all its goods.
Take today for instance, I just read that Zakaria Azmy, Mubarak's right hand man, has 600 diamond watches in the bank. This is in addition to multiple lands, cars and villas across Egypt.
Or take Mubarak and his family, the guy's wealth is so widespread, the army is having a hard time getting a hold of just how much he owns and where! We've heard he has money in the US, Canada, Europe, Gulf countries as well as Latin America!
Why? Why do these pigs need all this money? how many lives do they think they are going to live to be able to enjoy and spend such outrageous amounts??
What is even more frustrating is how? How were these corrupt officials allowed to drain our country over the years like this? How come no one stopped them? I guess the answer is easy: because there was no clean official who had such authority. Everyone who worked with Mubarak was tainted with his corruption!
It is heartbreaking to see millions of Egyptians living in cemeteries or entire families living in a tiny room (while sharing a bathroom with God knows how many families). It is even worse to hear the awful stories of men, women and children who die every day, because they can't buy food or medicine.
But this sadness turns to anger and frustration when I read these stories of our outrageous officials!!! How did these people sleep at night? How could they drive in their million dollar cars and not notice the poverty and desperation of the millions walking the streets?
And throughout all of this, we still have some delusional Mubarak supporters who recently announced plans to organize protests calling for his return! Are these people for real??
I have only one thing to tell these so-called Mubarak fans: you're either part of the corruption and you're starting to feel your pockets getting lighter, now that the cash flow has stopped, or you're seriously delusional if you think for a second that this man has done one good deed for our country. Just drive by the closest cemetery and you will see for yourself!
I also want to question the army and Dr. Essam Sharaf's government on their slow response to such outright corruption! Why is it taking us so long to punish every single thief who robbed our country and left the majority of Egyptians in desperate need??
I urge officials to take action now. We need to purify Egypt and erase all elements of corruption so that we can have a fresh start. This fresh start won't happen unless we send a clear message to everyone that corruption is no longer tolerated and that every penny that was robbed from the people will be retrieved!
Truly, I dream of a day when I set foot on Egyptian soil, where there won't be bribery and corruption everywhere. I might be naive, but I don't think this is impossible.
After all, nothing is impossible after Jan25, right?