Sunday, June 24, 2012
The fight for change in Egypt?
Sunday 17 June 2012
Peace be upon you..
My sincere apology for not writing that often because I was busy studying for the Masters in Cairo. I have been living in Egypt for year and a half (two months before the evolution started) I’d like to record my notes on what I have observed in the Egyptian street.
When I first arrived to Egypt, I was shocked to see the streets so crowded with compact private cars instead of proper public transportation. Also, streets where full of dirt and garbage. I saw crowded poor areas that are called “Slums” scattered in the outskirts of Cairo. I saw poverty and unemployment especially among young people. I wondered during my discussions, with Egyptians whom I meet, about the reason why their country haven’t developed yet and why the economy hasn’t improved. Egypt has signed a peace treaty with Israel since President Sadat ruling in 1977. United States and President Sadat have promised that Egypt will be totally dedicated to building and progressing instead of engaging in wars and attrition. Iraq has been engaging in war since 1980, first for eight years with Iran, then it engaged in war with Kuwait; followed by for a thirteen year siege and since 2003, Iraq has been occupied by United States. All of these ongoing problems exhausted the nation’s energy and resources. Consecutively, all sectors such as health, education, infrastructure as well as political freedom and human rights have collapsed.
Egypt was distant from wars and attrition for more than thirty years. So why hasn’t it developed and why its economy hasn’t improved. Why poverty and unemployment rates haven’t decreased and why education and health sector haven’t progressed. I had all these question and the answers I received from Egyptians: it is due to corruption and theft of public wealth that are practiced by the state against its nation.
When demonstration started in the streets of Cairo on 25th of January. I thought that it will be concluded in two or three days. But it continued and brought down the head of the regime. It was an amazing experience that we didn’t believe at first. But we all lived it, either those of us who live in Egypt, or those who followed it from abroad. The whole Arab nation was joyful and supportive of this evolution. It was like a golden gate to achieve the dreams of all oppressed nations who have been helpless for tens of years. Our nations dream of change but find it hard to achieve for many reasons.
I followed all the changes that happened in the country. No major changes took place on the ground as far as cleaning the streets, solving the crowdedness, improving the economy or provide jobs. Nothing improved awaiting the new constitution, and the election of a new parliament and a new president. Everything remained pending and people are awaiting results on the ground.
In the beginning of this year, people participated in the Parliament Election. The Islamic parties won with majority. This is a natural outcome in Egypt because these parties have been the strongest political and opposition parties since the fifties of the last century. They are also well perceived by the Egyptian people. Organizations have been established to help millions of poor Egyptians in education, health and financing of small commercial projects. Those parties have also suffered and sacrificed as thousands of their members were either arrested or killed in the prisons of all former governments. It is very rational that these parties win with the majority in the Parliament Election. I believe that the poor voters are the highest group followed my middle income voters.
I don’t know how sedition have started in the country which fired a conflict between Secular and Islamic parties. But I am sure that local media has played a malicious role and planted the sedition and suspicion seeds among the nations’ sectors in the name of democracy and freedom of speech. First it played on the Muslim and Christian cord then on the Secular and Islamic cord. The Secular parties have gained modest number of seats in the Parliament. They went crazy and campaigned against the Islamic parties on TV, Internet, FaceBook, and Egyptian newspapers. It was also obvious that United States, Israel and many Arab countries, who allied with the U.S. like the gulf countries, were upset about this outcome. Unfortunately these Arab countries claim that they are Islamic, but they hate the Islamic parties in Egypt and prefer the Mubark regime. This leads to believe that these governments follow their political interest rather than defending the interest of Islam. this is illustrated in the speeches broadcasted in channels funded by Gulf countries who follow the U. S. path such as Al Jazeera and Al Arabia channels.
Egypt has entered a vacuum ring of violence and conflicts. No one knows what to do with this. As a result of conflicts with the army and the police, martyrs fall every day. The army and the police then deny these acts and accuse an unknown third party of these killing claiming that this third party wants to spoil the relationship between the army and the citizens. The Army also claims that it is not interested in ruling the country and awaits the election of the counsel and the president as well as the election of a committee that will write the constitution so that they can go back to their military barracks.
People are divided between those who are loyal to the army or discontented with it, those who are loyal to Islamic parties or discontented with it, those who are loyal to Liberal parties or discontented with it. Thus, differences have increased and parties have weakened in the arena. Each party has supporters who are fighting with another party. Then presidential election started. There were no coordination among the parties at all. The Muslim Brothers announced their candidate; the Nationalists announced their candidates; the Leftist announced their candidate; and the remainder of the former regime announced their candidate. In addition, two other candidates registered as individuals without the support of a particular party. the result of presidential candidate was a big surprise. The Brothers candidate won the highest number of votes followed by the candidate of the former regime. The rest of the candidates (Nationalists, Leftists and independent) earned good votes but not close to the first or second place.
It showed the stupidity of alliances and how the former regime candidate took advantage of the gap in votes distribution among the lower groups which helped him jump to the second place. It means if the Islamic, Nationalists, Leftists and Independent candidate agreed to choose one candidate, this candidate would have won with big gap between him and the former regime candidate. The outcome prompted a decision to repeat the election limiting the race between the Muslim Brothers candidate and the former regime candidate. This result was a big shock to many Egyptians and non-Egyptians who supported the revolution. The result was depressing. I say that this result is rational given the stupid and selfish conflicts among the political parties in Egypt. They didn’t put saving Egypt as a priority. Their priority was gaining more seats to have more power. This was a natural result to this blind rivalry.
Two days ago, the constitutional court annulled the election of one third of the Egyptian Parliament. This was a strong blow to the revolution and the revolutionary Parliament. Therefore, Egypt has returned to square one and where it was before the revolution…
The revolution in Egypt faced several shocks during the last weeks.
1. Court decision to acquit Mubarak’s sons from corruption accusations.
2. Court decision to acquit officials in the former Ministry of Interior who killed demonstrators.
3. nominating a former regime candidate as a competitor in second place for presidential election.
4. Constitution court released one third of the elected Egyptian parliament at the beginning of this year and the army regained absolute power.
These strokes caused a shock in the Egyptian street and confused people. It appeared that the anti-revolution powers works vigorously through the legal state entities…
Presidential election will take place in the upcoming couple of days. We’ll see the results, but the situation is disturbing. It is obvious that the anti-revolution stream has a strong return to the political arena either via internal or external support. This is really saddening. After all these sacrifices, Egypt returns to square one.
All our nations wants change. But it is obvious from experience in Egypt that there is an counter stream in our region and it is a much stronger stream. It controls tools such as the Army, and police. It also controls the state’s budget. To get it out of the way, we need a continuous revolution against it as well as a long term strong encounter in order to extract it from decision making positions. Our nation must be willing to build a state that is based on freedom, justice, safety, stability and dignity…
What have we gained from making a revolution and offering sacrifices if a dictator end up ruling the country?
In Iraq, United States occupied the country to bring down the regime of the dictator Saddam Hussein, then the occupation encouraged the establishment of a state that is built on ethnic and party conflicts. A state that is governed by sectarianism or ethnicity and only cares about its narrow interests. The Iraqi nation circle in a dark maze, poverty, hunger, retardation, and political tyranny.
The revolution has ended in Yemen and United States interfered and assigned a temporary leader who don’t vary that much from his former…
The situation is still worrying and vague in Libya. There is no evidence that the country is passing through a stable state, reached a clear constitution or bright future…
I don’t call these Arab revolutions the “Arab Spring”. I call them the “Arab Rage”. It appears that they don’t lead to excellent results right now. But I believe it will be the beginning of a continuous Arab rage until a real change, that all our nations dream of, comes true.