Today is the first anniversary of the 30 June 2013 Revolution, when 30 million Egyptians took to the streets and very loudly denounced the rule of Morsi and his terrorist organization the Muslim Brotherhood. It has been a year where the MB showed their true colors, where terrorism has been striking at both the armed forces and police on the one hand, and at civilians on the other. Terrorism does not discriminate. When a bomb goes off it does not pick and choose. All within range get hurt. The MB have been using terrorist tactics ever since their President was deposed by an extremely large majority of the active population. This has showed them up for what they really are. Terrorists. And the more they continue down that road the more difficult will it become for the western countries who were initially supporting the rule of the MB, to convince their people and the world at large, that they have the moral high ground.
Just a couple of days ago bombs were placed at strategic metro stations and one was placed at the site of an exchange that is under construction. The former were discovered and neutralized, the latter blew up killing the young daughter of the guard assigned to that site. This, in any book, is terrorism. Today it is even worse. Two out of three bombs around the Presidential Palace went off killing two officers and injuring ten.
Despite all these acts, and many more over the past 12 months, Egyptians have held firm that they are done with the rule of such people who profess piety and act with such brutality. Egyptians have been steadfast in giving support to the one they saw as their savior, Al Sisi. They have bestowed upon him the highest honor, by electing him in a landslide election to be their President.
He, in turn, has reciprocated by promising to be very frank about what needs to be done to get Egypt on track again and to restore to Egypt its previous safety and tranquility.
His inauguration was very properly done with the pomp and ceremony due to such a high office. This returned to Egyptians their pride that was very badly damaged by the behavior of the previous holder of that office. Egyptians were proud not only of the man they elected, but of the conduct of the whole ceremony. They felt that the Egypt they knew and loved was back.
Al Sisi is in a unique position. Not only did he get a huge mandate by the public, but he did not have to use any groups of interest or any lobbying by big business to get into office. He is therefore completely free of any obligations to any group or entity, and has not even made any campaign promises, except for hard work, not only for himself and those governing along with him, but for the people as well. This, in the euphoria of the moment, in the people’s desperate need for a leader, for a role model, went over very well and was welcomed with open arms by all.
Now comes the time when these steps have to be translated into concrete acts on the ground. Now is the time to start working harder than anytime before. Now is the time to tighten the belt for those who can afford it, and to use proper rationing of all natural resources. Now is the time for the true calibre of Egyptians to show.
The poorer the people, the more true their calibre. It is the supposed middle and upper classes, the more affluent that are showing up in a very bad light indeed.
I don’t know how many times I have seen and heard people complaining about the power outages. Yes, that was one of the things that were clearly set as being a difficult problem to overcome immediately, that we all have to endure it. Of course when it was said in winter, where the weather is mild and beautiful, that sounded noble and doable; but now at the height of a rather fierce summer, people are starting to fall by the wayside. The number of complaints has reached a crescendo, as though the first test we were given, we have failed gloriously. Those who can afford it have set up generators, those who cannot are gritting their teeth and enduring it. But those who want tailored solutions to their individual needs and keep loudly complaining about the outages should be ashamed of themselves.
Again, we kept crying for more security on the streets, for a feeling of safety. Now that the government is trying to apply some sort of control, especially through this Holy Month of Ramadan, when legions go to the mosques to pray, and there are extended periods of worship, people have come out complaining that the “police state” is taking over. What police state? They cannot even protect their own people because there again sloppy work and lack of discipline prevail.
How can you have security and safety on the streets if the police cannot control them through astringent measures to make up for their lack of proper equipment and procedures? How can you have a better economy if you still insist on using your supposedly God given right to waste the natural resources? When are we going to grow up and become responsible adults? Shouldn’t we stop behaving as spoilt children who want their cake and eat it? Shouldn’t we become responsible adults who understand that there are certain sacrifices that need to be made, each according to his ability? Or must the government still act like a responsible adult with a recalcitrant, spoilt child, and force our bitter medicine down our throat for our own good?
This split personality of Egyptians, who have sacrificed life and limb for the sake of their freedom from a bad ruler and for the sake of a better future, is now, and at the first test, balking, if not downright failing to pass.
My fellow compatriots, this is the month of sacrifice. What is more difficult than fasting with no food, and worse still no water passing your lips from sunup to sundown in this horrendous heat? Why can we no longer tolerate the other sacrifices that need to be done for the sake of our beloved Egypt? Where is the true spirit of both our ancient and more recent selves?
I am hopeful that we manage to finally realize that our self centered behavior will not take us out of the hole we are in. We, each and every one of us, needs to give more, and those who have nothing material to give, need to give their time, effort, thought and creativity for the betterment of out state and the glory of Egypt.
Happy Ramadan, and God bless our beloved Egypt.