Egyptian Aak: Week 3

Train crash

(Photo, Al-ahram online)







 A Few Thoughts

  • On the Domestic Front:  In 48 hours, two train crashes and three building collapses occurred. These tragic accidents have exposed the grim reality of the country’s public services and its climate of corruption. It also exposed the Islamist government’s abstract vision, with confused sense of priorties that doesn’t necessarily fit in with reality. The blame game, including blaming Christians for the train crash, reflects immaturity and inability to deal with Egypt’s chronic problems.
  • Political parties: Fragmentation seems to be the prevailing theme. The NSF’s cohesion has been faltering ever since amendments to the law organizing parliamentary elections were proposed. An interesting statement by Nour member predicts that FJP will only win about 35% of the seats in the next Parliament. I think the Muslim Brotherhood shares his assessment, which is why they opted to appease the Salafis who oppose the “quota” systems.
  • Economy: The hype about Islamic bonds is one example of how the word “Islamic,” is now used and abused to label superficial changes that is aimed to add a religious flavor to a politically motivated phenomenon (bonds, cafes). Here is another example of the government’s weird approach to the economy, which I will not even comment about. There were many resignations among big names, including Al Ahly (Egypt’s biggest bank) Chairman, Tarek Amer, and the Deputy Governor of the central bank. Many see that as part of planting pro-Morsi personnel in sensitive jobs that control the economy. In a nutshell, two words reflect the current state of the Egyptian economy—fear and greed.
  • Judiciary: Though the top court postponed a ruling on the legitimacy of the upper house of Parliament and avoided a potential political storm, there are remaining potential storms coming on Saturday, the 26th of January, with another verdict on the crucial cases of the Port Said massacre. Many Ultras (as demonstrated Friday in Tahrir) demand the death sentence to revenge the death of their loved ones at last year’s Port Said tragedy. I doubt they will get the verdict they expect; there are droughts of evidences in post-revolution Egypt that make the job of any Judge nearly impossible.
  • Sectarian approach and slurs: It is hard to ignore the trail of incidents for which Copts were blamed or attacked. The simmering tension between Islamists and Copts is not showing any sign of easing. Although Islamists always affirm their respect for their ”Coptic Brothers,” realities on the ground tell a different story of mistrust and a low threshold for justification of attacking Coptic local institutions once any accusation has surfaced. As for Morsi’s 2010 video, describing Jews as “pigs and bloodsuckers,” it is indicative of not just Morsi’s mindset, but also many more like-minded people in Egypt. Morsi will get away with his slurs, both the U.S. and Israel don’t want to escalate the matter; in other words, Morsi is just a lucky, hypocritical version of Ahmadinejad.
  • Revolution’s anniversary: The supposedly happy celebration could potentially turn to a sour occasion, which political parties abuse for political gains:-    With an eye on next parliamentary election, the Muslim Brotherhood seems to prefer to celebrate in the form of public campaign,” around the country. It seems that the ruling party still behaves as a non-government organization.  –      Opposition parties are planning a demonstration in Tahrir, where they are within their comfort zone and can rant happily without articulating a clear strategy for the future.-     Hazmoun are planning to “celebrate” at Media city, to protest what they perceive as the bias of the media against Islamists.
  • A magic solution for sexual harassment: Some cadres of Egypt’s Strong party, led by Aboul-Fetouh, proposed separate bus services for women and men and doesn’t just indicate a twisted understanding of the roots behind sexual harassment in Egypt, but also indicates a problem within the party’s conservative camp, as well as the more liberal one. This difference will ultimately shape the future and the performance of this party in the next election.

 Good Read



About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues. The only practising doctor who write in Middle Eastern politics in UK.
This entry was posted in Diary of Aak, Egypt and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Egyptian Aak: Week 3

  1. Jon Goodfellow says:

    “Many see that as part of planting pro-Morsi personnel in sensitive jobs that control the economy.” Some may think of this as “Islamist” (MB) gaining control of economy, but danger may be more like Iran, where control shifted into families of clerics from Qom. Iran has entire empires of corruption, masked by religious rhetoric. That nation has major inherent economic problems even without the external sanctions that were long masked by oil wealth. We can only hope the MB can transition from its old role of the support alternative for the man-on-the-street to policy-driven governance that benefits all Egyptians, and not sink into the morass of personal-family empires like the Mubarak era. Morsi is an engineer who needs to think “fixing” the country and not subjugating it.


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