Saturday, 31 May 2014

A Rising Cost


"The revolution proved that a framework enabling people to self-organise in small but coordinated communities will empower them and set free their creative energies. This is of interest not just to Egypt but to the young across the world. Yet the political system is built on the opposite idea – of people coalescing around leaders in hierarchies. The struggle is to invent a new system while the old one is attacking you, bad-mouthing you, murdering and imprisoning you."~ from an article by Ahdaf Soueif
Read more: 

With Arabic lettering unavailable in this format, here is a link to an insightful article in Arabic that describes mindset flaws and analyses a nation's apparent lack of resolve and stunted attempts at bringing about the necessary change.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Coronation Complete

 Breaking up an excellent article for readers who wish to read between the lines .. quickly.
Link for full article is below, so very worth reading in full.

Perhaps the opening paragraph says is all, especially with its conclusion:
"... the only thing you notice, looking into his profoundly chubby, cheerful – might one say dull? – face is that he is in a suit and tie and, in one picture, reclining in a fine old armchair. This is no Emperor without clothes."

Robert Fisk's statement: "And now here’s the shock for me. If I were an Egyptian, I’d have voted for Mr Sisi yesterday. Not that he’s inspiring. Anyone who tells his people that democracy may be 10 – or 20! – years away, is not going to go down in the history books as the Great Liberator. Daniel O’Connell he is not." has led to seriously erroneous interpretations when translated out of context into Arabic, with its full meaning completely lost ~  and hence his reference to how easily a journalist may appear to patronise the Egyptian people these days.
"But it’s easy for a foreign reporter to be patronising in Cairo these days, a Western liberal tut-tutting away at the re-infantilisation of a nation, a people who have fought and died for their dignity at the hands of Mubarak’s thugs and have then relapsed into a second political childhood, demanding the return of a dictator, another Nasser, another Sadat, another Mubarak – for he, too, remember, was a very senior member of the armed forces, the commander of the Egyptian air force, no less."  

He continues to explain exactly why voting for Mr. Sisi would have been a reasonable if not sympathetic choice.

Questions that hum and buzz like mosquitos when choosing between the only two candidates: "Who are we to deny his election if it produced the man Egyptians voted for? And that, as an Egyptian friend asked me on Tuesday, is democracy, isn’t it? Well yes, I tried to explain, but with the Muslim Brotherhood banned as “terrorists” and their supporters – surely several million are still left – with no one to vote for, what does this election mean? Surely the bland Nasserist Hamdeen Sabahi with 40 years of political huckstering (and poetry!) behind him – and he’s been the only opposing candidate to the Field Marshal – never believed that he represented the beating heart of Egypt?"

A state in turmoil, broken up, divided and conquered:
"And of course, Mr Sisi has offered what all folk want in hard times, especially Westerners and Israelis supposedly confronting the danger of Islamist terror in the Middle East: stability, stability, stability. Come to think of it – and speak not thus of our favourite Field Marshal – that’s what dictators always offer."

Robert Fisk does not disappoint when he refers to the catch.There's a catch? Who would have thought it!
"Where the catch comes in all this is that neither Mr Sisi nor Sabahi – who spent a couple of weeks in jail under Mubarak – have explained their campaign policies. Both promised detailed plans for the future economy but Mr Sisi’s spokesman announced, incredibly, that if the Field Marshal published his proposals, he would be forced to waste too much time replying to questions from the electorate."

And as an after thought which only few with conscience can  bear to even begin to entertain:
"Who cares now for the 1,500 Muslim Brotherhood civilians who died under the guns of the security forces last year? They featured in no one’s election campaign. But they were Egyptians, citizens of their country every bit as much as Mr Sisi." 
"Is this really the stuff of Egyptian dreams? Heba Sharf, the bookshop manager, talked of the growing disappointment of Egyptians after Mubarak’s overthrow and the failure of the 2011 revolution to produce mature leaders – indeed, any leaders at all. This, of course, is to Mr Sisi’s advantage. If the revolution was hijacked by Islamists – a popular narrative in the Western press – then the Field Marshal was the only man standing, untramelled by scandal (let us here forget the Egyptian army’s vast ownership of real estate, factories, etc) or impropriety. All we must forget is that leaders of that self-same 2011 revolution – no Islamists they – have themselves now been banged up in jail."

And finally ~ what a finale if there is to be one could actually mean:
"One of Mr Sisi’s posters yesterday lauded the Field Marshal’s presidency as “the way to regain the Egyptian state”. This was pretty much Napoleon’s tune after 1789 and its subsequent bloodbath. But Napoleon, as we all know, met his Waterloo."
Read more:


Monday, 26 May 2014

A Butterfly Effect


Regardless of the election and even its results, Egypt may presently appear immersed in an autocratic scenario that reverberates to the old days and perhaps rings bells all too familiar; leaving any left-over fight for change very little room to manoeuvre.
The principles that led a revolution hoping to make Egypt a land served by the Military rather than controlled or even oppressed by it may well have to realign themselves to a more ambivalent structure or risk dying a slow death. 
Many will see this as a good thing and the whole nation has indeed been undergoing a conditioning and reprogramming of mind sets: Unless there is complete and unequivocal compliance with the ruling party then that may well be perceived as treason. The term 'security of the state' serves as a panic button for the nation. Many feel that this constitutes the following: either cheer or keep silent. 
Whether the rich will continue to get richer and the poor just a little poorer we have yet to wait and see. Perhaps that over many another factor will play the key part in determining Egypt's dimmer switch light. 
We live in hope and hope any fears of turbulent times to come may prove unnecessary ones, however fears do exist if only because of the butterfly that flutters simply because it can't sit still.

The attached link is a comprehensive sum-up of the present and possibly the near future.