Archive for March, 2013

images1By Abdel Latif El-menawy

This is not the first time Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi loses his temper and starts threatening everyone. Last time, he said he would cut off any finger that “meddles” in the country, but this time he seems more serious. Many have interpreted his anger as a reflection of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rejection of popular dissent and unrest.

Egyptians no longer take his statements seriously. Two days after announcing martial law in the three provinces of the Suez Canal, and deploying the army to maintain security, activists on social networking sites posted a video showing soldiers and citizens from Port Said playing football together during curfew.

Mursi, who only addressed Egyptians three days after the eruption of deadly violence in several governorates, surprised people with his stern, short statement threatening to take additional action if necessary. He did not talk of a political solution or mistakes made. He only criticized the opposition and “saboteurs.”

Mursi is pursuing and intimidating opponents of the Brotherhood’s behavior and policies that are shackling Egypt, with the aim of silencing the people. I underline my support for all journalists working and taking risks under such conditions, and urge my colleagues, and Egyptians in general, at this critical stage to rise above any personal or professional differences to defend the country.

The prevailing mood among Egyptians is one of depression and frustration, in a country where both rich and poor are equally affected. This anger is being readily expressed on the streets, while political leaders in government and opposition are proving themselves ineffective. People no longer believe in them, and think they are only after personal gain.

This is the cause of nationwide violence, which neither the Brotherhood nor the opposition can control or stop. The situation is akin to a volcano that seems active – it may lead to an explosion, or may calm down for a short time, but what is certain is that the volcano has not yet subsided.


293641271eyy4ae02Abdel Latif El-Menawy

Many were angered when I stressed my belief that judges should rather starve than abandon their principles and I do not know how many more will be angered today when I say that nations should rather starve than abandon their values. Currently, we are being ruled by people who are stripping Egypt of its traditional role among nations as a country that has always provided shelter, guaranteed safety and given hope to those who have found all other doors closed.


“I do not know anyone who will speak favorably about Ahmed Qadhaf al-Dam today, someone who may have held Libyan citizenship but was Egyptian when it came to his beliefs and loyalties not because his mother is Egyptian, but because this was a free and sincere choice he had made” Abdel Latif El-Menawy



Egypt has historically provided refuge to whoever sought it and among its first refugees was Jesus Christ, whose trip to Egypt with the Virgin Mary to escape the Romans, is considered one of the most prominent cases of political asylum in world history. I remember when I used to jokingly tell a former colleague of mine in London who was a British of Arab descent, “No matter what you do, you will end up claiming political asylum in Egypt.” I do not think I can continue telling this joke anymore now that the rulers of Egypt are starting to abandon what was once a time-honored political tradition.

 News rulers, new rules!

The new rulers in Egypt and Libya have started implementing an agreement to turn over Libyans to Tripoli, a deal that tarnishes the image of Egypt as a country known throughout history to have provided protection to those who sought it. Two days ago security forces stormed the house of Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam, a cousin of the late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, in a shocking manner that defies logic and goes against our values.

A few weeks ago, reports were leaked about this agreement which stipulates that around 1,800 Libyans linked to the former Qaddafi regime and residing in Egypt will be turned over to Libyan authorities. On top of the list of wanted Libyans was Ahmed Qadhaf al-Dam, who facilitated relations and rapport between Egypt and Libya and took part in the October 1973 Arab War against Israel alongside Libyan troops. He had been invited to live in Egypt by former Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

This questionable deal got Egypt’s rulers $3 billion and promises of job opportunities for Egyptians in Libya. A Washington-based research center revealed that this deal between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Libyan authorities was made in return for oil investment opportunities in Libya’s eastern provinces. Four months ago, I came to know about the start of negotiations for this deal and at the time the auction began at $500 million. I had never expected that the current leadership in Egypt would be willing to underrate Egypt’s value.

I do not know anyone who will speak favorably about Ahmed Qadhaf al-Dam today, someone who may have held Libyan citizenship but was Egyptian when it came to his beliefs and loyalties not because his mother is Egyptian, but because this was a free and sincere choice he had made. He has been a supporter of Egypt not only since the days of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak but even during the rule of the late Anwar Sadat. Throughout all these years, he was the reason why the relationship between the two countries remained intact even during times of conflict, which were plentiful. His keenness to protect the interests of poor Egyptian workers in Libya was at times stronger than that of Egyptian government officials.

I am not going to talk about particular humanitarian or political stances of his nor will I elaborate on the ways he supported Egypt against the Libyan regime on numerous occasions, something which cost him politically on the domestic front. Considering everything he has done for Egypt, it is sad and shameful that he was treated in such a manner especially since he had received several reassurances from the new rulers only days before the incident. It was a mistake on his part to trust their promises.

 Refugee rights

As a matter of principle and as long as they did not engage in political activities, the relevant Egyptian authorities were expected to deny requests to turn him and other refugees over. Had a fair trial been held in Libya, the Egyptian judiciary could have looked into the matter and acted in accordance with its legal and constitutional rules. Yet, what happened was not only unprecedented in Egypt’s ancient and modern histories, but it ignored, once more, the rights of those who have always had Egypt’s best interests at heart.

I am not going to talk about international agreements that prohibit the turning in of refugees as it is enough to point out that the way in which the situation was handled undermines the respect Egypt had earned throughout human history as country that provides shelter to those who face persecution, something which is now being decimated at the hands of those who only care about their own interests and a few dollars.

Abdellatif ElmenawyABDEL LATIF EL-MENAWY

As far as my understanding goes, nothing similar has happened to Egypt like what it is currently witnessing. No other country has passed through this complicated phase we are living. There is this tampering with the state’s constituents and a crazy surge towards tearing apart the country’s fabric. I do not think it has happened before that rulers let their country’s situation reach this phase while they carelessly observed and are only concerned with being the sole leaders. What is certain is that rulers’ chairs are comfortable. The ruling palaces are wider. Their jets cannot be compared with three-wheeled rickshaws seen on the streets. But what kind of enjoyment is this when the state is collapsing?

Egypt’s ruling party only possesses an image of the state they want, and it is not a problem if the price is the collapse of the state which they are suffocating. This is what Emperor Nero did when he burnt Rome.

In 64 AD Nero had the idea of rebuilding Rome. Fire started at the Circus Maximus and vigorously spread for a week across Rome. The fire destroyed ten of the entire fourteen districts. As the fire spread and people screamed as they burnt, Nero sat in a high tower enjoying the scene of the fire which enchanted him and played his musical instrument as he sang Homer’s poetry which describes Troy’s fire. He killed his allies then his mother then his wife and he burnt Rome imagining that he will rebuild it from ashes.

Initial fears

What I say may seem over-pessimistic. But I see it as a realistic fear that could lead to tragic results.

The first of these initial fears is the complete disregard for any other power in society whether it is religious, political or ethnic. There are also their actions based on the logic that they are the country and their voice is that of the entire people and there is no voice beside it. They began to make statements regarding how they came into power. So they began to market the idea that they rule because voting was in their favor although they are the first of those who know how the results of these elections were and are controlled. They know better about their own means. It is a snatched legitimacy on the truth’s body nurtured by lies and elimination of others. The weakness that struck the opposing parties supports and nurtures this snatched legitimacy. But they are careless about the static force that they mistakenly think is under their control. They are delusional here because no matter what the comments are on this static force’s stances and reactions during the past months, their position will be decisive in this struggle. But we hope this decisiveness will be before the fire and not after it.

“Egypt’s ruling party only possesses an image of the state they want, and it is not a problem if the price is the collapse of the state which they are suffocating.” Abdel Latif el-Menawy


Harming the concept of the state and pushing towards reaching a state of chaos is one of the features of the behavior of today’s rulers. This is displayed in that devilish desire to push for causing a general confrontation between the people and the police. This is by the way is an old scheme or at least part of it is. It aims to destroy and dismantle the state’s basis so they establish their state the way they see it. This crime against the country and the state will only lead to the fall of the basic elements of the society and will have the door wide open for the era of militias to begin. Talk of this era of militias has already begun. They think that the collective mind has become readier to accept the idea of militias for the sake of restoring lost security.

Thuggery and militias

We can clearly sense many of these introductions of what I am talking about. The “chivalry” of some ruling groups that rolled their sleeves and confirmed their militias’ and brigades’ readiness to immediately take to the streets to replace the police hich retreated from some of their positions in protest after they discovered the conspiracy of the clash they are being pushed towards with the people. It is important here to note that serious beginnings of any civil war is the presence of militias. There is also that “genius” idea to quickly issue a law to organize the work of security companies that fill the gap of the absence of security, as one of their leaders said. This legal organization for the presence of private security companies which foundation may be composed of their militia members is one of the means to light the fire.

The most devilish of models is that “satanic” idea made by one of their partisans to grant the authority of judicial regulation to the people. Because people like you and me will not understand the gravity of this measure due to physical and other reasons, those who will practice this right which aims to do wrong are those who formed militias. This announcement comes to grant them a legal cover as a pretext to replace the police being pushed into a fiery confrontation with the people. The police are thus left with either striking or burning in confrontations. It is true that another partisan came out to correct what was meant by the judicial monitoring. He did not deny or withdraw this right but his statements were more of a correction than they were of a confirmation.

What I mentioned is some of these introductions and not all of them. I think we are all capable of seeing other details that confirm heading towards what pushes the country to where we do not desire.

Nero deserved his end after he ruined his mother’s life and burnt a country. After the massacres and the fires he lit in Rome, he went to Greece to practice his hobby in singing, dancing and acting. Meanwhile, a revolution in Gaul erupted. As the revolution escalated and after Nero’s defeat and failure in managing the crisis, his friends and entourage left him. He therefore found it mandatory to flee his castle and go far away to a cottage that belongs to one of his servants who stayed with him. Over there, he cried a lot for what he’s become, and he remembered his mother whom he murdered. He continued to hide until he felt the soldiers’ hoofs roaming around, so he decided to kill himself. After many suicide attempts that failed out of his fear of death, he finally killed himself and the tyrant who exhausted Rome with his insanity and shamelessness died. ABDEL LATIF EL-MENAWY

The American Administration is still placing its bets on the Muslim Brotherhood, which it has chosen as an ally in the coming stage. New American Secretary of State John Kerry came to Egypt with a bunch of tricks under his hat to support the new allies that have so far been embarrassing Americans one time after another ever since they seized power in Egypt through doing their best to be in full control regardless of the resulting crises and their impact on national security. What is more important is that this exclusionist policy adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood unravels the big American lie of supporting democracy and summons up incidents from modern American history that confirm this lie. For example, Saddam Hussein was not a democratic ruler in the 1980s when he was supported by the United States and did not suddenly become a dictator afterwards when the United States turned against him. The same applies to all countries supported by the United States and which primarily cares about its interests rather than democratic principles or the will of the people.

That is why the United States supported the transformation in Egypt from day one and Americans tried several times to rescue their allies from the damage they are causing whether through advice or warning, yet in both cases the current Egyptian regime remains their ally and they will never abandon them unless they become an unbearable burden or in case another alternative is made available. Until this happens, it is wrong to count on the role of the United States in any desired change in Egypt.

‘Ballot transparency’
  Kerry’s choice to ignore dealing with the National Salvation Front as a whole entity and to deal, instead, with a few of its leaders individually, proves that the United States is biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood   Abdel Latif al-Menawy

Kerry’s last controversial visit is, therefore, another lifebuoy that the Americans are offering to their allies to save them from their own deeds. They are not asking for a lot in return, but are merely calling for an embellishment of the reality they want to impose. From there emerges expressions like “middle ground,” “the democratic option,” and “ballot transparency.” Even when Obama talked to Mursi, he asked him to guarantee fair representation in the upcoming elections and they both overlooked all the events that preceded those elections.

Before Kerry came to Egypt, he secretly sent one of his prospective aides to meet with the different parties involved and according to the information I obtained several parties actually tried to meet this messenger who knows nothing about Egypt more than the fact that he got a good profit from buying a share in one of the private banks and which he later sold and who seems to have been one of Kerry’s supporters in the presidential elections. A man who knows nothing about Egypt came, therefore, to pave the way for Kerry’s visit. This raises a question about the logic behind the choice of this man. Is it ignorance of the situation? Or is an underestimation of the situation’s gravity on the part of the American Administrations?

Cairo and the IMF

Kerry tried to use the economic situation to put pressure on the opposition and the people and this was obvious in statements made by an American official who was described as “high ranking” and who said that Kerry would urge for an agreement to be reached between all political faction about drastic economic changes required for obtaining the IMF loan.

He said that Kerry would stress that an agreement between Cairo and the IMF has to be endorsed by all political factions in Egypt and that if Egypt approves the 4.8 billion dollar loan, that would open the door for the flow of money from the United States, the European Union, and Arab countries and that all this is not possible without a national dialogue. This might sound acceptable if viewed from an abstract perspective, but on the practical level it would mean putting pressure on the opposition to accept what is unacceptable. If all political factions in Egypt agree to the required economic changes as this official says, then the opposition, which now rejects engaging in a dialogue under the Muslim Brotherhood’s terms and American supervision, will be held accountable for the subsequent suffering of the Egyptian people. It is obvious that the American Administration is also trying through its secretary of state of talk the opposition into taking back its decision to boycott the elections.

U.S. bias?

Regardless of any remarks about the performance of the National Salvation Front, Kerry’s choice to ignore dealing with it as a whole entity and to deal, instead, with a few of its leaders individually, proves that the United States is biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood and does not want to upset its ally.

The United States is doing its best to support its ally through pushing for the establishment of a dialogue between the regime and the opposition but in accordance with the regime’s own concept of a “middle ground” and on which its insists despite of everybody’s will.

The United States is driven by its interests and which now lie with the current regime until it becomes no longer useful. Only then will the American Administration work on replacing or destroying it like it did with Saddam Hussein and his likes. And the reason remains the same: supporting democracy.