Archive for May, 2014

The Egyptian presidential elections ended this week. They lasted for three days during which Egyptians chose their future and sought to overcome a long phase of instability and sought to choose the future they see best for their country.

The result was decided since the very beginning. The Egyptians have chosen the future. They’ve chosen to rebuild the state and unite around a national project to save the country, which has been stabbed in the back for the last three years. They’ve chosen the person who stood by them when they took to the streets by the millions to save the country.

As I have already said, the characteristic of this candidate who will become president is that there are no sharp divisions regarding him – even when it comes to those who voted for the other rival candidate or to those who did not participate because they desired other unavailable options. All of those people took out to the streets on July 26 to meet his call and the country’s call to stand with him against terrorism. All of them called on him on June 30 to save the country which was hijacked by an organization that wants to control the country and drown it in a whirlpool of violence and sectarianism.

Everyone must participate in building the country as this requires all efforts. This is the only way we can build our country, restore it and develop it

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

What’s important is that the results state that the elections have been finalized in his favor.

Get to work

The elections have ended and it’s time to get to work. This is no time to celebrate or to declare victory. Victory, or declaring victory, will be via beginning work to save the country, rebuild it, restore the state’s prestige, launch developmental projects to decrease unemployment and attract investors and tourists and restore the status which the country deserves and to which we all aspire.

The national project for this phase – which the Egyptians must unite around – is the project to save Egypt from a situation which is more complicated and worse than many think. I think the call to work and to unite around the country and the upcoming president is expressed via the slogan which Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi mentioned. He said he has nothing to offer but hard work and called on all the Egyptians to bear responsibility. Building the country is everyone’s responsibility.

Saving this country calls on all people, regardless of their political affiliations, to dedicate their capabilities and experiences towards working with the one candidate which the Egyptians chose and voted for. They must all work under the slogan of saving Egypt.

The time to work must begin. Saving the country does not require a one hour delay – even if it’s for celebrating or for voicing joy. Everyone must participate in building the country as this requires all efforts. This is the only way we can build our country, restore it and develop it. This is how we can restore Egypt to the status deserves.

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on May 28, 2014.

Advertisements

Even if the number of Egyptian expats who participated in the presidential elections this year is less than the number of those who participated in the 2012 elections, what’s certain is that this year’s elections are more credible and more representative of a different situation. Indications, however, say that the number of expats participating this year will exceed all previous elections.

In the 2012 elections, confusion and uncertainty reigned. There were also attempts to alter the people’s will by exploiting the act of voting via mail. The Brotherhood tried to exploit that by developing a style they’ve already adopted inside Egypt – the style of buying votes by distributing food to the poor. The Brotherhood thus altered this style and adopted it with poor Egyptian expats. A famous report published in a Kuwaiti daily at the time said that the Brotherhood in Kuwait bought expats’ votes for 50 dinars.

The Egyptians have finally realized what they want, and we will see this as they queue up to elect a president next week

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

Regardless of whether this is exaggerated or not, photos of Egyptian expats lined up in front of embassies and consulates show that the Egyptians have overcome this and have succeeded at eliminating opportunists. It’s also been revealed that the Egyptians have become capable of expressing their free will towards developing their country’s future, just like they did before on June 30, July 3 and July 26.

They’ve thus proven that they can still act and have also confirmed their desire to establish the basis of a new state. Egyptian expat voters waited in long queues in front of embassies in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and foreign capitals. What also confirms this turnout is some Egyptian communities’ call to extend the balloting for expats for two more days. The balloting was actually extended for one day.

Egyptians have learned the lesson

This is further proof that the Egyptians have learned the lesson and that they’ve realized that they must begin with developing their country’s future. This is a call on all Egyptians to participate in the elections. Expat voters’ turnout seems like an indication of what will happen inside Egypt on May 26 and May 27 – it’s an indication that there will be a high voter turnout and an insistence to participate in the elections and defy the Brotherhood, their threats, their protests, their explosions and their desire to destabilize the country. It’s also a confirmation that the Egyptian people aim to resume implementing the roadmap and freely elect a president who represents all the Egyptians and their orientations and who’s not captive of one political orientation that aims to hijack the country.

The Egyptians have finally realized what they want, and we will see this as they queue up to elect a president next week.

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on May 18, 2014.

The interview with Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi broadcast last week was the first time he thoroughly addressed all crucial issues that concern Egyptians, their past, present and future. Sisi spoke for about five hours and answered all questions Egyptians have been wondering about. He also revealed how he thinks and how he will manage the state if he becomes president.images

Sisi’s long interview refuted some people’s statements that he doesn’t have the ability to communicate with people and doesn’t have a clear vision for the country’s future. Sisi explained the most important aspects of his electoral program and the plans he intends to implement once he makes it to governance. His systematic, clear and organized intellect and his ability to see the problem in its entirety was put on display.

The interview also showed that Sisi has a huge opportunity to lead the country towards safety. This is thanks to his decisiveness, perseverance and ability to bear responsibility and his direct confrontation of problems by analyzing them and formatting a time frame to resolve them.

Sisi’s language during the interview was clear, strict and decisive

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

It was also clear that Sisi is very upset by reality and Egypt’s problems and obstructions which many may not see. He appeared particularly upset about the inability to clearly see problems. This doesn’t only upset him but also angers him, and he’s attempting to resolve this issue by explaining reality to the Egyptians and by calling on them to help restore Egypt’s leading role.

Clear, strict and decisive

Sisi’s language during the interview was clear, strict and decisive. Through his language, he sought to reach everyone despite social differences. Previous governments across Egypt’s history failed to find such a real rhetoric that can reach all people. This is one of the reasons these government’s performance and popularity declined.

There are many issues we can discuss regarding Sisi’s long interview. The latter revealed Sisi’s other face and that he’s capable, strong and strict. The interview also showed that Sisi has a tone other than that of compassion which some mocked.

The interview showed a frank man and this may have shocked or surprised some. Sisi has a vision for Egypt’s future – a vision to take Egypt forward, as he put it. He said he has a dream to restore Egypt’s status – a dream that he knows how to achieve and that he has the ability to achieve. This is what matters.

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on May 14, 2014.

When Greek Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos met with presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on April 28, he presented him with the Sword of Alexander in appreciation of Sisi’s status and efforts. Some, however, have questioned the sword’s significance and why it was given to him.download

The sword symbolizes the legend of the Gordian Knot linked to Alexander the Great. The term is used to describe a problem that requires a brave act or a difficult decision to resolve. The story goes that once upon a time, the people of Phrygia did not have a legitimate king, so an oracle from Telmissus, Phrygia’s ancient capital, predicted that the next man to enter the city driving an oxcart would become the monarch.

The sword symbolizes the legend of the Gordian Knot linked to Alexander the Great.

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

A poor peasant named Gordias was the first to enter on an oxcart, so the priests declared him king. To show gratitude, Gordias’s son Midas presented the cart to Sabazios, whom the Greeks identified with Zeus, and the cart was tied with a knot, where no end to unbind it could be seen.

The cart was still at the palace of Phrygia’s old kings when Alexander the Great entered Gordium in the 4th century BC. Back then, Phrygia was a province of the Persian empire. In 333 BC, while Alexander spent the winter in Gordium, he attempted to untie the knot.

Think outside the box

When he could not find the end to unbind it, he struck it with his sword. Alexander’s biographers wrote that the oracle had also claimed that whoever untied the knot would be the conqueror of Asia. Alexander conquered Asia, and reached the Amu Darya and Indus rivers.

Courage is thus the significance of the sword given to Sisi, who stood by the Egyptian people on June 30 last year. He struck a knot and took a brave stance. This is what Egypt needs, and what Sisi needs to do.

The country needs to think outside the box, and search for unorthodox solutions to overcome political, economic and social problems that have accumulated and worsened in the last three years. Egypt needs someone who can wield Alexander’s sword, so the country can restore the status it deserves.

This article was first published in Egypt’s al-Masry al-Youm on April 30, 2014.

Egyptian presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi has resorted to all sorts of attacks and threats of withdrawal and has accused the state and its apparatuses of being biased towards presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. However as he does that, we realize that the opposite is true.images

It all started when Sabahi announced his presidential bid as his campaign continuously hinted at withdrawing and marketed the idea that the state is biased towards Sisi. This is in addition to other forms of comprehensive attacks which made any act look like an act of bias towards Sisi. The question thus became: will Sabahi withdraw from the presidential elections or not? This also became the main talk of people in cafes and forums as each began to say that he has information that Sabahi will withdraw from the race.

This state of “intimidation” made the government, state and its apparatuses very careful. One example of this is when a governor was sacked by the country’s prime minister for publically supporting Sisi. Another example occurred when Cairo officials ordered that Sisi posters around the area be removed as the election had not officially begun. Can you imagine the uproar had the state removed Sabahi’s posters? We would have heard accusations that the state tore up his posters in support of his competitor.

Imagine the reaction if Sisi made an appearance n a talk show. There would be accusations that he is violating the electoral law regarding the date of when the electoral campaign begins. The other candidate however appeared on a talk show on Thursday night and talked about his electoral program. No one commented on that.

This state of “intimidation” continued as the problem of Sabahi’s lack of recommendation forms surfaced. There were reports that the candidate’s campaign worked to collect recommendation forms so he can engage in the presidential race. The campaign has denied these charges. It’s also been said that the campaign refused to appeal the authenticity of the presented recommendation forms , and this is its right as it chose to keep itself away from engaging in any struggles.

The question, however, is what if real estate publicity department offices opened on a day off so that the Sabahi campaign can resume registering its recommendation forms? Wouldn’t the other campaign turn the world upside down? Wouldn’t an activist here or there accuse the state of working in favor of one certain candidate? Wouldn’t a lawyer accuse the state of working on a day off and of providing employees with low incomes at a time when the state is suffering from economic burdens? How come nothing of the sort happened when the state helped Sabahi finish his recommendation forms?

Intimidation has succeeded at forcing the state of being biased to Sabahi so it denies the accusation that it’s biased to Sisi. It seems that in this case, intimidation has led to a reverse reaction. After all this, can we say the state is biased towards Sisi? Or that intimidation pushed it to be biased towards Sabahi?

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on April 27, 2014.