Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

No excuse for the Egyptians | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

Before former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down from the presidency, it was acceptable to say that the regime had destroyed meaningful party activity, and weakened significant trends in the country. This in turn strengthened the appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the fact it was a banned group. Of course, today this is no longer an acceptable excuse, and now the Egyptians must work hard to ensure the establishment of a civil state in Egypt.

Before Mubarak stepped down, some of my Egyptian friends told me that the regime, for over 30 years, had isolated the opposition, but today matters are different, and now is a great opportunity for Egypt to reorganize its affairs by setting up political parties and rebuilding them properly, taking advantage of the explosive energy emanating from a broad spectrum of the Egyptian people, who are undergoing a flourishing phase, having gained the international respect of governments and their people. But the most important thing is that all this is completed in a manner that moves away from narrow interests and personal desires for leadership, or a desire to dominate the scene.

Today, it is generally assumed that a new party will emerge in Egypt, comprising of all the youth movements that were behind the January 25th Revolution. Of course, there are differences between these movements, but what’s more important is healing under the outline agreed on by everyone – a civil state, the devolution of power, respect for the constitution, ensuring the freedoms of individuals, the media, and so on. As for the differences, or other disparities, such are normal in all democratic activity, but the general outline is always there to galvanize party members. This is what happens in all parties in democratic countries, they agree on a broad outline, but there are still internal differences. No change can occur in any form without members being galvanized under the umbrella of a party, or parties to the fullest extent, in order not to waste efforts, or votes.

What Egypt needs today from everyone is a sense of responsibility, and for young people and others to be upgraded to the level of statesmen. The President stepping down is not the real achievement, but rather it is to build a leading Egypt, internally strong, and playing a vital external role. This will not be achieved by adhering to narrow interests, but through the prevailing rationality and logic of a collective state for all citizens. Whatever the attitudes or beliefs of citizens, the Egyptian state is for everyone, and not for one party or one ideology.

Therefore today we hope that Egypt’s youth are accommodated, along with other parties who need to fully re-evaluate their positions, whether at the level of leadership, cadres, or even their approach. Egypt is in a process of transformation which is both historic and potentially dangerous. It needs a broad horizon that consists of more than a desire for revenge or retaliation, or one party dominating the scene at the expense of all Egyptians.

Combating corruption is an urgent duty, and Egypt must re-evaluate to achieve a lot of its potential, at all levels. There must be no space allowed for vengeance, but instead a concentration on state building, monitored by everyone, whether in Egypt or abroad. For the many who are eager to see Egypt as a strong and leading force, unfortunately there are just as many who see this as an opportunity to bring instability to Egypt. We hope that the Egyptians are aware of this, and this is what we appeal and hope for.