This group is kind of dead so I don't know if anyone will answer me but I have been an atheist for a few years now and needless to say I feel so very alone in my beliefs so it's a relief to find a group like this so I can discuss here what I can't discuss in real life.

I would like to know how the members of this group came to break free from their respective religion and what was the main turning point that made them wake up and start questioning the validity of their religion?

Also how do you cope with being an atheist in such a predominantly religious country? Did you tell anyone about your beliefs (or lack thereof) ? If so how did they react and did it affect your relationship with them? 

I wish I can be open about my atheism and not have the constant threat that someone will harm me because I am a non-believer. I wish I can tell my family and my friends how I feel without the fear of them disowning me or abandoning me or worse. 
Do you think there will ever come a day were you can openly express your disbelief here in Egypt without the threat of death hanging over your head?

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My bad! I should have concluded that you're just mocking muslims' reaction to such argument with your words, but apparently you sounded so serious to me, ma3lesh ba2a el imt7anat bet3mel fe el wa7ed akter men kda! :)

I do agree however on the fact that Quran is full of other scientific errors and logical fallacies, l darget eny sa3at bab2a mesh 2ader amsek nafsy law el aya elly feeha moseeba betet2al 2odamy w bab2a 3ayez a2om asra5: "ento eh? ezay mesh shayfeen el kartha elly fe el aya de?!!", but then of course I remember how important it is for me to keep my head on my neck ! xD

And again I'll have to agree to your part about muslim scholars being so adamant about not taking the Quran verses metaphorically, and I almost exactly meant what you said (about how they'll get more defensive and start to claim that it's only said in a metaphorical way as science progresses) when I was asking you to take a look at the Quran commentaries (though, I'll admit that you have managed to put it in a much funnier way :D).

And then back again to our personal side conversation:

Oh! My bad again! xD

net2amar 3ala qalb nezam el balad, sounds like a plan, ha, nebtdy emta?! :D :D ( mot7ames showyteen? :D)

Ah, so, it's all about a bad history issue with math, ma3lesh, el 7agat de betet3aleg w betb2a zay el fol wallahy :P (okay, I'm just being silly here :D)

Oh, not only that? the world is also conspiring on you and you only get along with people pursuing a career in engineering?!! La2 da el mawdoo3 kda keber awy awy! xD (please don't hit me with something, I'm just kidding :))

Tayeb, would it help a bit knowing that I'm not pursuing a career in engineering? And that I'm actually starting my own business, starting this summer? Also that I have an artsy side: writing short stories and such (I'm not published yet though, but I plan to being so)?

Okay, since I'm enjoying our conversation a lot, I'd be more than happy if you can tell me more about you :)

If we live in a world where you can think with your heart then it's totally possible to stay alive without your head on your neck so don't be afraid speak up.
Disclaimer: The poster a.k.a. Dream is not responsible in any way, shape, or form of any injury or death that might befall any computer engineer that takes her advice.  
It's not just that they accept or ignore the scientific errors or logical fallacies, they actually seem to find some sort of warped wisdom in them. It physically hurts !

Yes I said something funny! You should probably never meet me on person though. I am actually the poster child for stuttering, awkward teen everywhere.

Yes back to our side conversation :D

We will start right NOW! We can never be too early or too excited about toppling the system.
On a related note: Isn't it funny how much more progressive/liberal/cleaner/etc. Egypt used to be some 50 years ago (Excuse my blatant ignorance if I am wrong. I get my information about the 60's strictly from movies. Movies never lie,right? RIGHT?). I know that the modernization of the era may have been mainly only in Cairo and Alexandria but it still seems shocking how backwards we have gone since then. It's almost as if we're making a public statement "We are too cool for you modernization. Excuse us,we're going to revert back to the middle ages now!". Yea I am going with that explanation. Who needs truth when you can have denial xD

Not necessarily get along. My brother and I are always at each other's throats and he is an engineer (Well not yet). The point is he and his stupid math are too close for comfort. See I am not paranoid. It's in my own house!

Fine! It helps a little. Just a little you're still tainted though xD
So what kind of business?
 Oh an artsy side! and you write short stories? My favorite kind of stories xD Can I see one? Promise I won't steal it. Can't promise that I am not lying though.

About me? Hmmm let's see. Ana ya sedy fe american msh sanawya 3ama (for any nutters out there: yes that is totally why I am an atheist. Those damn Americans*shakes fists*) which is why I can afford wasting all my time on the Internet. I am currently undecided on whether I want to pursue a career in science or medicine. Guess what my parents hope I would pick. *hint*It's medicine*hint*

I don't know what else to say. I am just a girl who has no idea what she wants to do in life so all in all I am pretty awesome xD

Back :)

Now, I’m only a final exam ahead of getting my summer holiday (although not for so long because I’m almost taking all the modules of the fall semester again, but just so as not to think I’m a failing student w mesh fal7 fe derasty w kda, I was touring Europe during that time!), so I’ll be having more time to write and participate more with you guys :)

And now to your reply:

I think I should begin with saying that you cracked me up with that one! xD ,, w ba3deen feen el support elly el mafrood tedhony lama a2ol ra2ye besra7a w ye7sal le 7aga kda? omal bs hansqet el nezam w mesh 3aref eh w enty shaklek hatb3eeny ma3 awel 2alam :D :D

But, would you mind stop calling me a computer engineer? It just reminds me a lot of how most low middle-class youth talks about computer technicians taking care of their computers (like setting windows up on their machines and other such useless stuff!)

And, well, are you for serious? You have a great sense of humor, and quite frankly I have never had so many laughs reading for someone before, so yeah, you might be that stuttering awkward teen you’re talking about, but I’m quite sure deep inside there’s one of the funniest girls I’ve ever met! Moreover, I believe everyone has his own kind of awkwardness/weirdness, y3ny for instance you’re talking to a very shy guy! -.-

You’re not wrong about Egypt being more progressive/liberal in the 60s, although I find it rather sad. I mean, I would expect anything to move forward in the course of history, not backward, bs e7na tab3an nas motamyzeen gedan, maynfa3sh nekon zay ay 7aga tabee3ya! :D

In all cases, I think all the credit should go to the liberal political system we had before 1952’s coup d’etat (just in case you were watching much more movies and thought it was Nasser or his fascist regime behind this progressiveness :P). I remember being raised on hating the king (and also the political practices of his regime) and admiring the so called ‘revolution’, before I started to figure out a few years ago (much to my amusement, it was going almost parallel with me breaking free from religion!) that the latter was responsible for our current state of affairs. I’d be a bit biased though if I denied that fact the revolution has done a few good things.

And, how come I didn’t notice the link between your good command of English and your issues with math to arrive to the conclusion you’re studying for the american high school diploma? Ezay nseet 5ales ma3 en 3andy fe el gam3a zamayel kteer american w dayman byshteko men el raydyat!

Aaah, ana kont 3aref! :D .. whatever I do, I’ll always be ‘the engineer’ to you, mesh kda? xD

3moman, I’m starting a web startup, basically it’s a platform for travelling, much like TripAdvisor but for an Arabic audience (which happen to travel a lot but doesn’t share experiences/reviews/tips with other travellers - or at least not as much as they should - so we’re going to create something that makes it very easy for them to share those, and very easy for everyone else to have a look at).

Well, the problem with the short stories thing, I’m afraid I won’t be able to share any with you, not at least at the moment, for two reasons mainly, the first being that I have never shared anything I wrote with anybody (except for one girl who actually had that privilege once, after which you know, she broke my heart and then I decided not to show my writings to anybody anymore, especially girls :P), the second is going to be the fact that I write in Arabic (and I’m a bit afraid that you might be of the type who doesn’t really admire reading Arabic literature).

Lastly, maybe I wasn’t clear with my question, I was mainly interested in knowing more about you as a person, I mean, I’d be glad to have a friend who has a bright mind like you.

So, what I was interested in knowing were things like, do you like reading? (and I think you’ve already answered this one by saying that short stories is your favorite type, so you certainly do read), others would be, what do you prefer more? Arabic or English literature (I can guess this one though)? Who are your favorite authors? Do you like travelling? What are your interests? You know, just basic stuff! :)

As for not having any idea about what to do with your life, it’s pretty much normal for your age, you’ll find out sooner than you think!

I’d love to pass an advice - a nice lady once gave me - on to you, at the time, I was very interested in studying typography and was planning to be a typographer, I started even looking for universities which offer programmes with focus on such thing in Europe because I didn’t find any university offering degrees that has much to do with typography in Egypt. Right then, she told me to immerse myself in typography for just 2 weeks, and then come back and tell her what was my feeling toward the whole thing, has it changed for greater, has it remained the same, or did it change for a lesser interest? She asked: "would you want to design fonts for the rest of your life?", Her words meant that I should literally be ‘wakel’, ‘shareb’, ‘nayem’ typography for those 2 weeks, w sad2eeny lama ba2olek, one week later I was decided 5alas, it wasn’t just for me. I couldn’t do that for the rest of my life.

So, basically, if you’re not sure about the medicine vs science thing, just give yourself sometime (and immerse yourself in both, you’ll thank me for this!). And don't pick something because your parents want you to, believe me, you'll never be happy with it in the end.

Welcome back :)

Touring Europe? I suddenly feel like my life is so dull xD 
Good luck on your final exam. Hope you will do great. 

What are you talking about? I AM supporting you to say whatever you feel like. I am NOT supporting you with the consequences.
2alam eh bas l2 tab3an. kda hybawazole weshe ana ha2olohom kol 7aga men el awel. ana bent nas bardo xD

Whaaaa? You mean your job is not to set up Windows?
Okay fine I'll stop xD but you are a computer engineer....I'm just sayin'... :D

Still that girl never comes out except on the Internet. Yup, she's kind of a snob that way.
E7m I mean thank you. *Doesn't handle praise very well. Reverts to awkward teen persona* heh..he..e7m.
You're shy? You don't seem like it. I kinda though you were like a friend of mine. He is an engineer student too. Maybe that's the reason, I tend to lump engineers together. You know they are all basically the same. Math lovers >:-(
OK OK I am stopping now. You are granted one shot at mocking science/medicine. 

YES! Thank you. I am so tired of people glorifying Nasser and the revolution. Yes, they have done a few good things but they also screwed us over big time.
About your view on the revolution going along with breaking free from religion, the same thing happened to me with a lot of other things too. I think the reason behind that,at least for me, is because God is supposed to be the absolute truth so when you discover that he doesn't exist/doubt his existence, you start to wonder what is real anymore. You start to question other parts of you life. You are suddenly not so sure about your views and beliefs as you were before.
This is actually one of the reasons I am so glad I broke free from religion. It opened my eyes to so many other things and made me actually start to question, to have a healthy amount of skepticism (OK maybe not so healthy, I'm more of a proof or it didn't happen kind of person and people don't take to that very well xD), and to not simply take things for the truth without checking the facts. 

Are you trying to say that all American Diploma students are bad Math? Good sir, I am insulted ! xD
One of the reasons I should the American Diploma was to avoid one subject and that subject would be Arabic. Doesn't change the fact that I suck at math though xD

Yes,Yes you will. Being an Engineer isn't something you can just live down. It haunts you forever.
 That's a great idea. It is always good to share experiences with other people so you know what's good and what's not. 

OK I will respect your decision. I just want to say it is not really very wise to not share your stories with other people just because the one person you showed them to ended up breaking your heart. Also don't single out girls. That's just mean *pouts* Unless of course your ex broke up with you because of the stories you wrote then that's an entirely different story. One that makes me incredibly curious about said stories. Hmmm.
As for writing in Arabic, I have to say that despite what I always say to people I am not actually against Arabic on principle. It's just that my opinion of Arabic literature is too damaged by what I studied in school. The content is presented in such a tedious and stuffy way, it's like they are not even trying. Whereas in English I studied "A Tale of Two Cities" which got me hooked it, in Arabic I studied novels like "Anta3 we 3abla" or whatever the hell the book was called that just put me off. I kinda hate the actual historical figures just for that portrayal xD I also have a very limited Arabic vocabulary so I find it hard to read in Arabic and going back and forth between the dictionary and the book sort of ruins the mood xD Of course the fact the I am not reading a whole lot in Arabic doesn't help my vocabulary either so it's a brutal cycle :D
 I am not completely opposed to the idea of reading a book in Arabic though.

I am going to expose myself as the phony I am by saying I  haven't actually read that many books. Don't get me wrong most of my time is spent reading and you can always find me hunched over my phone or laptop reading something but I don't have the attention span or the motivation to read one thing for long. That's why I like short stories. I end up wishing they were longer but in truth if they were I wouldn't have read them xD So obviously I don't have a favorite author . I just read stuff on the Internet from here and there. Which is also another reason why I don't read a lot of stuff in Arabic, the Arabic font hurts my eyes xD I also don't trust Arabic sources to be accurate and unbiased.
Wow, I have issues !
I love traveling or more accurately I would love to travel but unfortunately my father doesn't like traveling very much which is ironic because he is a tour guide. The only countries I traveled to outside of Egypt were Arab countries which I don't really consider as traveling outside of Egypt xD I remember at on point we were deciding which country to travel to : Saudi Arabia or Turkey. w akeed tab3an ro7na el so3dya 3shan el 3omra aham bkteer men el fos7a ya3ne. You can imagine how pissed off I was about the whole thing. and even though at the time I was still very shaky about the whole God thing w kont lesa shebh moslema kan bardo e7sas 8areb awy wana balef el ka3ba w bamshy ben el safa wel marwa. BTW have you seen the two "mountains". I  thought there were actual mountains that we were gonna walk back and forth between and it would be like an adventure, you know like they did in the old days and instead I find an air conditioned room with a slightly raised floor on either side. That was disappointing xD
OK I went on a tangent there, I will get back on topic :D

How do I immerse myself in them? 

So WHY did you choose Engineering then? :D

I talked about myself a lot aho 2ole ente b2a 3an nafsak. 
*Wondering if it is safe to talk about this in a public forum*

Thank you :)
Why Medicine? My mother would love you for that BTW xD

Yea we both will be able to go wherever we want, whenever we want soon :D
Good luck to you too !

I'm kinda confused. He loved his job but the benefits were never enough? how come?
As for being a doctor here in Egypt, it all depends really but a career in medicine has a better future than career in science that's for sure xD

What career did you choose?

I have a question. 

I frequently read BIkya Masr among other publications and I notice that it can be dangerous to speak out. Is there any resources that you can use if things get not safe?

It is very hard to determine what exactly are the consequences of speaking out simply because people are too afraid to but yes it can be really dangerous depending of course on your environment. Some people will be accepted and some people will be met by threats,violence or even death. 
I am not sure what you mean by resources but from what I understand it is not wise to seek out legal protection since you can be tried and convicted on the grounds of being an apostate.

I was thinking that if it should become dangerous; that there should be some resources for you to get to somewhere where you can be safe. I did not think a legal route was an option for every part of the country. 

I don't think there are any resources other than our own. If someone has the money and the means to relocate then that's great. If they don't then that's just tough luck.

There are no organizations or local associations for atheists here in Egypt. So we're pretty much on our own.

I am not very well off but if anyone, needs assistance I will be more than happy to do what I can. 

Thank you. Hopefully it won't come to that :)


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