11 April 2006
Problems on hold
A new victim list
Watani is into the fifth consecutive week of printing the horror stories of Egyptians who apply for the new computerised ID papers, the use of which will be in force at the onset of 2007, and are handed erroneous documents by the Civil Register Authority. The errors are all data entry errors which should be very easy to correct once the clerk refers to the original, authentic, hand-written documents which the applicant would have already attached to the application. But the Civil Register Authority clerks more often than not refuse to recognise these documents—which were issued by the same Civil Register Authority—and prefer instead to send the applicants on a wild goose hunt to prove the veracity of the ID information.
Magdy Labib Mikhail was born in 1957 and is the holder of an old ID card which was issued manually by the civil register office of the Delta town of
Victoria Nevine Louis Helmy was born in 1951 and carries an old ID card and a birth certificate which were manually issued by a
Samy Fawzy Mitiaz found himself registered as a Muslim female in his new computer-issued birth certificate. He handed to the civil register clerk his old manually-issued birth certificate which lists him as male Christian, but the clerk in the civil register office refused to correct the mistake and insisted that the data registered in the computer could not be wrong. If one can understand that mistakes in registering data on religion could frequently happen because of the computer programme, how can we explain errors in information related to gender? As the Arabic saying goes: the worst situations could almost be laughable.
Aziza Soliman Moussa Soliman and her parents were all listed as Muslims in her new computerised birth certificate issued by Assiut civil register office. She is now trying to correct the mistake through handing in her manually-issued papers which cite her and her parents as Christians. I am relieved she was not listed as male, since such mistakes in
Sun, 23 Apr 2006 14:20:06 -0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
From: "d0mest1cg0ddess" <email@example.com>
I suspect the reasons for not correcting the errors you listed might include:
1. The government does not wish to admit the true numbers of non-Muslims who are living in their country, and by refusing to correct these errors, converts Christians to Islam by the flick of a finger on a keyboard.
2. Individually, the government workers are Muslim, and they believe that Islam is the one true faith and they wish there were no Christians in their country to muss up the works. I would guess that if they mistakenly listed a person as "Christian" and the person protested, they would be able to correct their error.
3. Ignorance of the workings of the computer program and refusal to utter the words "I don't know how" due to misplaced pride.
As to refusing to correct the sex of a registrant, probably comes under the heading of #3.