Saturday, May 14, 2011

Egypt... It's Too Late

By Ahmed al-Jarallah  
This commentary was published in The Arab Times on 14/05/2011  

Is this the revolution sought by the Egyptians who demonstrated for days together at Tahrir Square in Cairo to oust the regime of ex-president Hosni Mubarak? Do they want this Egypt which is sinking and where some cities are witnessing small-scale civil wars due to lack of security and sectarian sedition? If what we are witnessing currently on Egypt’s streets is what was sought by this so-called revolution, and if revolutions destroy nations and lead to bloodshed under sectarian and religious slogans, then may all such revolutions be doomed.

It seems those inflaming the Egyptian society currently do not understand the meaning of leaving Egypt a prey for sectarian sedition and chaos. They seem not to appreciate that the direct losses resulting from the revolution have exceeded 70 billion Egyptian pounds, with the indirect losses much higher. The number of poor has increased and what is remaining of state institutions is further being damaged as people are feverishly seeking revenge from the former regime officials. It is as if those who are running the affairs currently are not the product of the regime that they toppled and drove the country towards an unknown destiny after paralyzing all establishments.

Issues that are currently being faced by the biggest Arab state do not threaten it alone, but will affect all other Arab countries due to Egypt’s influence on all economic, political, and social aspects. Therefore, the Egyptian situation is not of concern for just a few people. The Cairo of Al-Mue’ez (a former Islamic ruler of Egypt) will not allow itself to be turned into a giant guillotine that beheads people on the basis of suspicions or intentions. It won’t accept its streets being barricaded, or Copts turning into enemies of Muslims or vice versa. That is why Egypt, the Mother of the World, must come out of this chaotic trance and realize the dilemma it is facing. Some people wanted to make Tahrir Square alone the basis of authority and ruling and as a result, the country is sinking into the ugly swamp of sectarian sedition which if left unchecked will burn everyone, leaving no winners whatsoever.

It will take Egypt a long time, at least ten years, before it returns back to a wise administration that is capable of putting an end to the ugly face of sectarian sedition. Egypt needs an administration that can simultaneously stop the ever-speeding economic collapse and restore its foreign policy to its central Arab role. These issues were not taken into consideration by those who enthusiastically sought the toppling of the state through the toppling of president Hosni Mubarak. They are the ones who refused the man’s reformist attempts and also a peaceful transition of power through presidential elections that were supposed to be held next September. They refused everything notable after he declared his acceptance of the popular demands. Had they accepted, Egypt would have saved itself the costly bill it paid in terms of blood, property and economy. It would have been saved from falling a victim to blind feverish revenge; however, it is now too late.

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