A military helicopter flies over a pro-military rally commemorating the Egyptian revolution's third anniversary (Photo Credit: AP/Amr Nabil)

A military helicopter flies over a pro-military rally commemorating the Egyptian revolution’s third anniversary (Photo Credit: AP/Amr Nabil)

Perhaps nothing sums up the current political climate in Egypt better than General Ibrahim Abdul Atti’s announcement that the Egyptian Army had found a cure for Aids and Hepatitis C, which involved feeding patients Kofta (ground beef). The supposed cure is highly suspect (read: laughable) and likely just another attempt to project a strong military.

 

Below, is an excerpt from a New York Times article by Karrem Fahim and Mayy El Shiekh. The full article is available here.

 

At a news conference late last week, an Egyptian Army doctor confidently announced that the country’s military had developed a cure for the virus that causes AIDS, as well as hepatitis C, one of Egypt’s gravest public health threats.

The doctor, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdul Atti, said the cures were the result of 22 years of his own study. At some point, he added, military intelligence had taken on his research as a secret project.

Now it was being revealed to the world.

“Defeating the virus is a very easy process, but God grants wisdom to whoever he wants,” said the general, who boasted that the treatments had cured 100 percent of AIDS patients and more than 95 percent of hepatitis C cases.

An Army video played at the news conference showed the devices used in the treatments at work. Some patients were hooked up to boxlike machines. Others were monitored by doctors holding what looked like a hand exerciser attached to an antenna that swiveled, following the patients as they walked.

Independent experts were skeptical about the inventions and treatments. In recent days, as news of the discovery spread, it seemed easy to dismiss as the latest embarrassment imposed on Egyptians by their leadership, like the episode a few months ago, when the authorities opened an investigation into a puppet accused of aiding terrorists.

There was fatigue at another round of absurdity.

“I was an analyst,” H. A. Hellyer, an Egypt expert with the Brookings Institution, wrote on Twitter. “And then I had to explain terrorist puppets, spy storks and AIDS cures in koftas,” he wrote, referring to part of the Army treatment that somehow involved ground meat.

This was potentially more damaging, though, to public health as well as the reputations of Egyptian scientists and doctors; Egypt reportedly has the highest prevalence of hepatitis C, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. In the reactions to the announcement, there was anger at what some saw as political opportunism by the military — the video opened with heroic scenes of soldiers at war — as well as a familiar disregard.

This was potentially more damaging, though, to public health as well as the reputations of Egyptian scientists and doctors; Egypt reportedly has the highest prevalence of hepatitis C, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. In the reactions to the announcement, there was anger at what some saw as political opportunism by the military — the video opened with heroic scenes of soldiers at war — as well as a familiar disregard.

 

Read more like this in Muftah's Weekend Reads newsletter.

Advertisement Advertise on Muftah.