May 19, 2013
A New Egypt on the Brink of Being Born
Posted on Jul 15, 2011
There have been daily speeches from the PM and military government with many concessions and promises, fulfilling many of the demands, but the people will hold until all are met. Some sideskipping and vagueness are still fog to be cleared by this crowd’s relentless sun. The people are still there. There was a huge peaceful protest in front of the Cabinet. We are not done yet. This is what our peaceful persistence has accomplished so far this week:
• Mansour Eissawy announced the biggest reshuffle in the history of the Ministry of the Interior. It will include 4,000 police officers across the country. Also, the ministry ended the service of 505 major generals and 82 brigadier generals and 82 colonels (though they will get pensions.) Eighteen major generals and nine colonels involved in the killing of protesters are included in the reshuffle.
• There seems to be some serious splitting of cohesion in Egypt’s “transitional” government, between the ministers and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), as various officials contradict each other on television, apparently unaware of the promises, concessions, denials and refusals made by the others.
• Vice Prime Minister Dr. Yahia El Gamal has resigned and his resignation was accepted.
• Former Minister of Agriculture Youssef Wali was arrested and detained for 15 days pending investigation.
• The PM ordered the immediate release of a martyr’s brother who was arrested after attacking a police officer who kicked his mother during the June 27th protest.
• Mubarak crony Hussein Salem, who fled with hundreds of billions in currency, is being held in Spain, which was refusing to extradite him. He currently is accused in three cases: exporting gas to Israel illegally, bribing Mubarak, and illegal arms deals. Now there is a dispatch saying the Spanish Cabinet decided in its weekly meeting to hand over Hussein Salem to the Egyptian authorities. Egypt gave Spain the following guarantees, according to Al Masry Al Youm: Hussein Salem will get a just trial; representatives of Spanish judicial authority will attend the trial of Hussein Salem in Egypt; Hussein Salem will not get a death sentence. Hussein Salem is still in Gregoria Maranon hospital in Madrid and allegedly he has not pay the bill yet. So someone must pay it—“27 million euros”! Sounds like a ransom. Well, well.
The people of Suez have a reputation for being fiercely nationalistic, loyal and reactive, brave and combative—they will not take injustice lying down. There was a huge outcry after a number of policemen being tried for killing peaceful protesters were released on LE 10,000 bail in Suez earlier this week.
“How could the officers accused of killing martyrs be released on bail for LE 10,000?” 41-year-old Azza Mansour from Ismailia said. “The martyrs who died are not chickens, they are humans.” As stories emerged about families of the Suez martyred victims of the revolution being pressured and paid to drop charges, hundreds of protesters in Suez joined by the families of martyrs cut off the highway, and the workers of the Suez Canal Authority-affiliated companies who are currently on strike gave a warning to SCAF that if their demands are not met “concerning the rights of the martyrs,” there would be civil disobedience in the city. There was some small violence, and the military forced the blockade to disband. Suez is not satisfied.
For the fourth time since the revolution some unknown group in Al Arish blew up the gas pipeline. This time it was at Sheikh Zowaid, and masked men were the perpetrators. No one has claimed responsibility. Another group of masked men blew up the gas pipeline last week at Beir El Abd and stopped the gas exports to Jordan.
Now, after this new explosion, the gas exports to Israel and Jordan will be stopped indefinitely, according to GASCO. Of course this shutoff may or may not occur, but our Egyptian youth would welcome the action. With all respect to Jordan and Israel, there are millions of Egyptians who need gas in their homes. The masked men who set off the blast became five-minute revolutionary heroes before other news took the spotlight. We read now that Israel is thinking of using other sources of gas.
More and different news will come tomorrow. As we say now, wait and watch carefully ... don’t blink.
Egypt’s successes come in laying aside differences and power struggles. Obviously outside powers will try to destabilize the movement to be able to control it when its concerns do not benefit their own agendas. Egypt knows this and is wary, but unsure of where the next menace will come from besides the usual suspects. But the people realize now that the reason we did not achieve our goals in the last five months was our loss of unity, which we foolishly continued to widen with useless dialogues.
These are not cynical, jaded, corrupt power players (except the deposed National Democratic Party, which allowed no opposition for 30 years). All the new political powers may be green, but they truly love Egypt and want the best for the country according to their ideologies. It is natural that they each seek to rule in one way or another. But this power race must wait—the old regime is still lurking to reconquer, outside influences poised to possess. The new Egypt must first be born and survive.
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