Mohamed Enani’s Perspective on Resistance

Document Type : Original Article




Brought up on the alternate use and abuse of power in Egypt for more than half a century, I only believed in Lord Acton's famous adage "Power corrupts: absolute power corrupts absolutely." However, being at an almost total remove from the disturbances of rule and the political turmoil in the middle east for a whole decade during my study in Britain, I was happy to accept what I later knew was Heidegger's theory about the "destinies of Being." What Heidegger means, of course, is that "Being" has inherent laws which determine the destiny of beings. If one had to define my philosophical stand, if so it was, one would say it was a combination of Rorty's pragmatism and an almost metaphysical faith in knowledge. I voraciously read and translated all sorts of texts, and, on my return to Egypt, I found in reading and writing a source of new pleasure and an intimation of social power; especially when I wrote for the stage or translated plays which were put on the stage, I felt the power of the creator who now watches his creatures say what he wants, do what he has envisaged, and – which is more important – be what he decides them to be. It wasn't until I discovered Foucault, much later – in the late 1980s in fact – that I began to link, or to see a link, however inchoate, between power and knowledge.