Headline Feb 09, 2018/ ''' EGYPTIAN *STUDENTS* EMPIRICAL '''



*FOOD FOR VOTE?...........  EGYPTIANS SAY........ *it helps and definitely pays to support President el-Sissi.

*SHACKLES OF *LEARNED HELPLESSNESS* writes one learned Adjunct Faculty at the very renowned and highly respected-  *Lahore University of Management Sciences, lovingly called  LUMS.

The writer is Dr, Ikramul Haq, who also happens to be an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

*YOU STUDENTS OF EGYPT* : Yee citizens one of the oldest and greatest of civilizations mankind has ever known of this great country Egypt.......................

''Learned Helplessness'', as demonstrated in empirical data in 1965 by psychologist Martin Seligman, arises from apathy.

Once a person knows he is helpless, he stops making any effort to change his circumstances and develops apathy as a way of life................

ON SAM DAILY TIMES  -the World Students Society's  master global publication, you will find the  Egyptian students all in haze and daze. Rusting and resting in the middle of second row.

Nothing seems to relate to them.

Arab Springs, or better still : Springs of the Arab came, and went whither? That fact speaks, not that that these countries ever stirred into any thing for the better?

Businessmen loyal to Egypt's president are handing out cash and food to poor voters as they try to gather tens of thousands of signatures-

To support his bid for re-election in March.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is virtually assured winning a second four year term. Nearly all prominent critics have been jailed, left the country are gone totally silent.

Three presidential hopefuls including a former prime minister who could have lit up the race and a  human rights lawyer, have withdrawn. A retired general has been arrested.

That has raised the distinct possibility that the March 26-28 election will effectively be a single candidate referendum, similar to those held by autocratic leaders in the decades before the 2011 uprising.

With a comfortable all but guaranteed, el-Sissi has repeatedly called on Egyptians to vote, perhaps fearing that a low turnout could undermine his legitimacy.

That the vote is staggered over three days appears designed to maximize participation.

Businessman loyal to el-Sissi are meanwhile holding signature drives in which poor Egyptians register their support for the president and are given cash or food handouts.

It's another factor that hearkens back decades, when ruling parties dispensed patronage in return for support.

Presidential candidates must secure the ''recommendations'' of at least 20 lawmakers or 25,000  voters in order to get on the ballot.

El-Sissi already has the backing of hundreds of lawmakers, so the signature drive appears to be largely symbolic undertaking designed to showcase president's popular support.

IN ATFIH, a dusty town some 100 kilometers [65 miles] south of Cairo, several residents said they were paid 100 pounds [ about six dollars ] each in exchange for their signatures.

They said supporters of a local lawmaker and workers at a charity run by a businessman, Tareq Salman, were touring the area in cars urging residents to sign recommendations for el-Sissi.

Those who agree are transported free charge to the local notary office, they said.

On Thursday, Salman led a festive procession of hundreds of people from the charity he runs to the local notary office  to hand over recommendations for el-Sissi.

''I am not interested in elections, but this cash is heavens gift to me,'' 47 year-old  housewife Haniya el-Miligi said after she took part in the march.

''We will definitely vote for him [ el-Sissi] in the elections if there will be more cash,'' said Nasser el-Gamal, 50, a local farmer.

Salman said he hopes to secure at least 30,000 signature from the town's 100,000 plus voters.

He denied any quid pro quo, saying residents sign voluntarily because they support the president.

''This is not a bribe. People here are poor and we just help them like we do all the time,'' he said.

Another signature drive was underway earlier this month in Melak al-Salih, a poor Cairo neighborhood.

Awatef el-Sayed, a 65-year-old home-maker, was among dozens gathered outside a notary office over the weekend, waiting to go in and sign recommendations for el-Sessi.

''They told us we will get a bag of rice, sugar, cooking oil as well as 50 pounds { about three dollars },'' she said.  The cash and food. she said, will come from a charity run by Mohamed Abu el-Enein, a pro-government businessman.

''We were forced to do this. I know he [ el-Sissi ] will win anyway,'' said Suad Mohammed, a 43-year-old widow who was waiting in line outside Abu el-Enein's charity office to hand over the recommendation in return for cash and food.     

''FOR THE general population, like in most of the developing world, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan,............and on and on I can go.........So,

For the general population, the elections will be, as usual, about living conditions and possible another exercise in disillusionment,'' says Freeric Grare in ''Islam, Militarism, and 2007-8 Elections in Pakistan'', Carnegie Papers, Number 70, August 2006.

Unshackling *Learned Helplessness* needs enlightened leadership and vibrant civil society for  mobilising masses and defeating anti-democratic forces.

For this purpose, all and everybody should work for the  welfare of people,  their right to free education and health, employment housing and transport-

And other universal entitlements like clean drinking water, sanitation etc must be taken up on top priority basis.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of  Egypt and then the entire world. See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW! -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' All Helplessness '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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