Not seeing the Pyramids
Sir-- Your Islamists believe the constitutions of liberal democracies are nothing more than the folly of fallible men. Looks like it has gone from bad to worse. And what kind of government was democratically elected? There is absolutely no room for political pluralism. It is Islam or nothing at all. So much for ever seeing the Pyramids.
Sir-- If the people vote for the Muslim Brotherhood then their decision has to be respected. It remains to be seen what the result will mean to the overall stability in Egypt. Why did the Mubarak regime ban the Brotherhood? Was it because they were too popular or because it was afraid of becoming another Iran? Both would have meant the end of Mubarak. Will it be the end of somebody else?
Sir-- The next president of Egypt will have to deal with the issue that created the uprising in the first place -- massive unemployment among well-educated Egyptian youth. As we see here, even the best educated Egyptians suffer from extremely high levels of unemployment. Why can't Egyptians be productive? Is it government restrictions? Are the rich oppressing the poor so much that they do not have avenues to be productive? Maybe the rich have set up a Mafia type system so the poor can't bring their inventions/ improvements to market. I have found that when people get hungry they get resourceful. So what is holding back productivity in Egypt? This protest must be an attempt to correct and pull down the barriers to productivity. One thing we do not want to see is what we have seen from history: the oppressed overthrow the oppressor only to become oppressors themselves. The fact is that the human nature of greed is always there.
Got what you wanted
Sir-- That's what Washington gets for forcing democracy on another country. Be careful what you wish for -- and respect whatever they have chosen for themselves. If the US can now refrain from trying to interfere maybe there can be peace in the Middle East.
Sir-- 99.9 per cent of Americans don't know a darn thing about Islam, the Middle East or the Muslim Brotherhood, yet pretend they do. All they know is their own hatred for people with different skin colour and accents other than their own.
Sir-- The only difference between the revolutionaries, the military and the previous regime is who is in power.
Pakistan's long winter
Sir-- Re 'When will Pakistan's spring arrive?' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 1-7 December), it is just fall, and hardly into winter yet, and you are asking optimistically about the spring in Pakistan? Just pray that they make it through the winter. I think it is going to be a long and cold winter this year. Given the climate in Washington, there may be no spring or summer in Pakistan, ever again. "As a show of anger, Pakistan ordered the CIA to vacate drone operations at Shamsi Air Base in southwestern Baluchistan and closed both the Khyber and Baluchistan supply routes into Afghanistan." It would be an even more meaningful statement of protest had they simply shot down the helicopters. When will they ever learn?
The Egyptian parliamentary election diagram which appeared in the 24-30 November issue of Al-Ahram Weekly was designed by Jacopo Carbonari.
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