In an interview two years ago, a French journalist asked me the tired question of whether the pitfall of the 25 January Revolution was the lack of a clear unifying leader. With exasperated breath, I explained to her that this was impossible for two very logical reasons: (1) If such a leader existed, he would have to be appealing to the Islamists, the MB, the communists, the liberals, the anarchists, the socialists (revolutionary and otherwise) and the reformists, which is impossible, and (2) It is incredibly unfair to demand that we find a leader when the whole world suffers from a leadership crisis. When she asked what I meant, I asked her if she considered either Sarkozy or Hollande to be her leaders, or if she knows any British person who believes in the leadership of David Cameron or an American that still considers Obama their leader. When she said “no” on all accounts, and asked me why that is, I simply responded: social media. Social media killed leadership.
Two decades after Israeli and Palestinian leaders signed an interim peace agreement in Washington, DC, the task of achieving a final resolution to the conflict has become significantly more difficult. Not only have the physical impediments to peace grown – for example, the number of Israeli settlers living on occupied Palestinian lands has increased three-fold to more than a half-million – but the political ground today is less fertile than it was back then.
Ten years ago, I warned against exchanging state hegemony for the hegemony of businessmen and advertisers over Egyptian media. It seems that warning went unheeded. Regression occurred in media freedoms and codes of ethics. The irony lies in that this took place after the incomplete January 25 Revolution and its second wave on 30 June 2013.
Egyptian activist Hamdeen Sabbahi has faced a number of challenges and crises in his life due to his opposite to the former regimes of President Anwar Al-Sadat and his successor Hosni Mubarak. However, what Sabbahi currently faces could be the most complicated and dangerous in the 59-year-old’s life. The current challenges could undermine Sabbahi’s future in Egypt’s political life.
What the revolution do to us? After three years since the sudden January 25 Revolution, this is the most important question at this time. The people who are depressed over the unexpected changes do not recognize what really happened, and may be those who lived through the past three eras of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and former President Hosni Mubarak. They will realize that even the dream of a change is quite impossible.
“To better serve farmers.” The goals are a more productive agricultural sector and improved food security for Egypt’s population. Key is improving the services of the Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit (PBDAC), said Minister of Agriculture Ayman Abu Hadid, speaking on the sidelines of the 10th Ministerial Meeting of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) in Algeria a few days ago.
I see bitterness and agony. I can see it in people’s eyes during my walks in the streets of Cairo. I can smell the blood everywhere. Every day there is a dead person and they are all young people.
On 8 November 2011, I wrote for Ahram Online about Dr Mona Mina winning a seat on the Doctors' Syndicate board. Now I write as the syndicate is expecting an emergency general assembly meeting 7 February 2014 about strikes demanding better pay and working conditions.
President Adly Mansour will soon be leaving the presidential palace after months of serving as Egypt’s president. He witnessed and endured a great deal. Mansour handled highly sensitive files and worked as hard as he could so that Egypt can overcome its troubles and implement the roadmap.
Will intellectuals always be against authority and the ruling establishment? What if the ruling authority has a national project that would achieve much of what intellectuals demand, like freedom, social justice, and dignity?
Egyptian Copts have been paying a high price for survival in the land of their ancestry. In the seventh century, Arab-Muslim conquerors of the Roman occupiers of Egypt demanded that Copts (Egyptians) convert to Islam or die. Fortunately, there was a third choice that kept the native Copts alive – as a denigrated class of citizens they were mandated to pay exorbitant taxes called Jizya on wages. This lasted through the mid-19th century. Faith in Christ, belief in miracles, reliance on the church body and clergy made and make it possible for Copts to co-exist with Islamic supremacy. Oppression and discrimination against Copts has been normalized over many centuries.
Some readers who commented on my political articles asked me to refocus my attention from ongoing political quarrels to look at creating a renaissance in Egypt. It is a topic that is close to my heart and writing.
I am one of Field Marshal Sisi’s greatest supporters ever since he was General; I dealt with him on many occasions and I respect him and like him. I remember asking former manager of Egyptian Intelligence General Murad Mowafy about those who worked Sisi a few months ago, he replied without any hesitation that Sisi is the best. And that is why I prefer to join the millions of people who support him as president.
Shortly before leaving Cairo on a trip to the US capital, Nader Bakkar, assistant to the president of the Salafist Nour Party, told a Saudi newspaper that his party “has destroyed claims by the Muslim Brotherhood for 80 years that Islam is the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Three years ago, the idea of revolution was under harsh attack in Egypt under the motto, "Egypt isn't Tunisia." The "Jasmine uprising," as it was called at the time, forced Tunisia's dictator to escape to Saudi Arabia. The idea of revolution wasn't an alternative that represented itself except among very few people before Tunisia, even after the rigging of elections in an unprecedented way, even in the light of bequeathing rule of the Egyptian Republic under the umbrella of Al-Adly's (former interior minister) security state. I remember a female colleague, who was covering the goings-on in the ruling party, bursting into tears asserting that the president's son was about to take the presidency by any means, and all arrangements were made with the opposition, foreign countries, business circles and the state apparatus. If any resistance arose, it would be too weak. This meant that blood would be futilely spilt.
“This man deserves to be Egypt’s president,” many whispered on Sunday, referring to President Adly Mansour after his speech that expressed the will of the Egyptian state and its ability to achieve its objectives of a better future.
How easy to blame everyone, and how hard to have no other choices?
Maybe it is our destiny, in each terrorist incident, to face those who fake the truth to make cheap debates and despotisms and those who cleverly come up with excuses to expand suppression under exceptional measures and the state of emergency.
I can understand how some youth forces who believe they have an exclusive right to the January 25 Revolution and that the revolution was hijacked from them decided to stay home and not vote in the referendum to protest or express their rejection and resentment of recent developments and measures.
It is unfortunate that there is a sense of disappointment among the youth of the January 25 and June 30 revolutions at a time when there should be a real partnership between the state and revolutionary youths.
The best comment I heard about Jan. 25 is that we need to celebrate the anniversary of the revolution, which transformed us from tyranny to freedom, with a different mindset. Instead of carrying flags and celebrating in the squares and returning to our homes exhausted as if we fulfilled our duty; let’s make it a day that actually benefits the country. Let’s all volunteer on Jan.25. Let’s collect garbage from the streets, beautify fences, and help organize traffic.
Pope Tawadros visited St Anthony Monastery in the Red Sea.
He ordained 3 monks as priests, also he consecrated St Mary and St Anthony new church in St Anthony Monastery.