Archive for February, 2015

420388_148983295224095_111175111_nBy Abdel Latif el-Menawy

Two keys to success, which I will never get bored of repeating, are following a scientific approach when planning, implementing and devising, and communicating with people using the right language.

This raises the question of how much the Egyptian government follows a scientific approach based on real studies in order to specify priorities. How much do we use the experiences of our predecessors, or of those who overcame similar crises in their countries?

Another question is how much state apparatuses follow a scientific approach in specifying media plans when communicating with people, in order to clearly point out the message they want to convey and convince people of.

What Egypt has suffered from most in recent years is administrative paralysis on all levels… This paralysis has been marked by vengeance and impulsiveness based on wrong information

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

Neither of these two approaches are being completely followed. There is an absence of coordination between state institutions, of continuity, and of following scientific rules to follow up and measure results.

Historical chances

The government had historical chances to create a positive atmosphere via marketing important projects such as reclaiming 1 million acres, a plan that was handled as if it was a new poultry farm.

Dealing with the biggest event – digging the new Suez Canal – still adopts the traditional approach of decades ago, by which the event’s importance is conveyed via songs and repeated statements on the greatness of the Egyptians who built the pyramids and the high dam.

Creating harmony among different ministries, and following a proper scientific approach in specifying priorities that people recognize, are the right path to success. There have been many occasions in which opportunities were missed in terms of communicating with people. If this is not realized, and if no scientific measures are taken, then more chances will be lost and it will be difficult to achieve success.

What Egypt has suffered from most in recent years is administrative paralysis on all levels, among other things. This paralysis has been marked by vengeance and impulsiveness based on wrong information. Impulsiveness has reached the extent of trying officials who held their posts for more than 20 years. It is understandable that the result of this general atmosphere is a lack of confidence. The solution is restoring confidence and adopting a scientific approach.

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430141_148983255224099_601152695_aBy Abdel Latif el-Menawy

The media has experienced chaos that harms state interests and stability. This comes amid the absence of a clear strategy to deal with the media in a way that serves the state, and takes political instability in Egypt and the wider Arab region into consideration. This chaos increases as the number of satellite and official TV channels and news websites has reached the hundreds, of which at least 20 have an audience that they influence.

All media outlets operate without understanding or fully knowing national security affairs, and without specifying goals that protect the state and take transitional phases into account. There are also uncontrolled forms of communication among media outlets, journalists and security apparatuses as documents, secrets and information linked to prominent political and social figures are being addressed.

“Media chaos increases political and ideological polarization, which threatens social peace”

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

These leaks create tension, especially with the spread of accusations of treason and collaboration among different parties. These accusations sometimes have no justification, and most of the time no legal basis. The absence of a context in which the media operates, and the lack of a central plan capable of mobilizing the public around one national cause, pave the way for spreading chaos.

Media chaos increases political and ideological polarization, which threatens social peace. This may reach the extent of some media figures’ incitement to murder as they assign themselves judges and detectives. Some media figures’ means of marketing themselves is to address the public via unprofessional rhetoric that respects neither laws nor ethics.

The media, intentionally or otherwise, emotionally blackmails the public and thus creates political problems. It also ignores social and economic affairs, and summons religious figures to address certain issues, thus increasing the severity of sectarian and ideological tensions. It also exposes society’s problems but without presenting solutions – this further threatens society.

Another aspect is the presence of media entities that appear disharmonious and create an incoherent image. Despite this, the Egyptian media has been divided into outlets owned by the state – though it is unknown what the state actually owns – or by private companies.

The latter outlets include small dailies or websites as well as giant media entities that are suffering great losses. This raises legitimate and serious questions about funding sources and the nature of these outlets’ aims.

Abdellatif ElmenawyBy Abdel Latif el-Menawy

The sinful men who killed Egyptian soldiers at Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan in Rafah and when the Brotherhood was still in power are the same sinful men who killed other Egyptian soldiers and wounded dozens of others in the recent Arish operation. The two operations cannot be separated and we can rather say that the aim of the first operation was to keep the army away from the arena. When these men lost control over the country’s capabilities they lost their temper and launched their terrorist operations aimed at nothing else other than to kill, destroy and sabotage.

I am not directing accusations at anyone in particular in the Brotherhood movement. I am rather directing the accusation to the entire Brotherhood – to those who colluded and remained silent, to those who lurked and to those who wanted to distance the Egyptian army and people and control the country in order to establish their alleged caliphate which is not any different than the caliphate of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), with the only difference between the image they put forward.

The Arish terrorist attack that killed Egyptian soldiers and civilians proves once more that this is our battle, as army and people. We are all in one trench against a blind terrorist organization that recognizes no one but itself, worshiping only itself and its ignorant doctrines that don’t recognize humanity and patriotism. Such organizations sacrifice anything to reach their aims and thus target civilians and army personnel by placing bombs in restaurants and on trains and buses. They thus contradict their statements that they only target the police and army. They have once more awakened us to the fact that the enemy does not differentiate between an Egyptian civilian and an Egyptian military recruit. These groups have always been against the Egyptian people, regardless of their status.

“The Arish terrorist attack that killed Egyptian soldiers and civilians proves once more that this is our battle, as army and people”.

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

Their operations have moved from Sinai to the neighborhoods of Cairo and different governorates after the Jan. 25 commemoration. This was an attempt to create fear at a time when Egypt is finally moving forward to prepare for parliamentary elections – the third and last phase of the roadmap – and for the world economic development conference. It’s thus an attempt by the terrorist group to delude the world into thinking that Egypt is tension- and violence-ridden. They are thus trying to thwart the economic conference and obstruct the implementation of the roadmap.

The state needs to decisively deal with this violence, which is spreading and targeting several areas. Even though this violence is of no significance in some places, it’s still cause for concern and this is exactly what the terrorist groups and their media proxies want – they want to tell the world that there’s violence in Egypt again.

And as the government decisively deals with these terrorist groups, it must not overlook two important aspects: the economic and the social ones. The economic aspect means that the state needs to move forward in terms of economic and nationalistic projects that had already been launched and to resume creating an atmosphere of development. One the aims of the terrorist groups is to corrupt any developmental operations and economic progress. The social aspect lies in uniting politicians around the country and around the latter’s projects. It lies in making the Egyptians feel that they are united against extremism and sabotage as this alone is enough to thwart terror plans and to foil the organization that is apparently willing to eliminate all Egyptians in order to return to power once more.

“For Egyptian, the battle ahead will be a long one. It’s a battle to build the country and a battle against blind terrorism”.

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

For Egyptian, the battle ahead will be a long one. It’s a battle to build the country and a battle against blind terrorism. It will not be enough to fight one battle and ignore another. We must fight both battles and we must win both. Perhaps at this point the Egyptians must recall that 1960’s slogan: “A hand that builds and a hand that holds the weapon.”