Monday,18 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1133, 31 Jan - 6 Feb 2013
Monday,18 December, 2017
Issue 1133, 31 Jan - 6 Feb 2013

Ahram Weekly

Social media

People are no longer for Islamists or the antidote

The spread of violence across the country dominated the Egyptian discussion on social networks this week. Egyptians were divided over whether to blame the Muslim Brotherhood for being behind the country’s stormy political situation or believe the current chaos is the responsibility of the opposition and its main representative, the National Salvation Front which mobilised the people and urged them to move against the government. A third body of opinion believes that either the ruling Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party or the opposition have betrayed the revolution and are working to make political gains.

“Ordinary Egyptians take the credit for toppling the Mubarak regime and giving the opportunity to the Muslim Brotherhood to rule the country, but now this Islamists group is betraying the revolution and they are selling the dreams and hopes of the Egyptian people for a cheap price,” said Asmaa Mahmoud.

But Sarah Zanati responded to the Asmaa post on Facebook by blaming the opposition for inciting violence and hatred against President Mohamed Morsi who have been only “six month in the office.”

“Why doesn’t the opposition try to give Morsi a chance, to do something and help him rather than mobilise the people against him,” she said.

Amr Fouad stood against both Morsi and the opposition saying that the Egyptian people do not trust any of them anymore.

“People only see the economic and political situation getting worse every day, we are getting angrier and hungrier for democracy and stability day after day. This could lead to another revolution, which I do not think will be peaceful,” he said.

To those who cannot read or write, a Twitter condolence


Nervana Mahmoud blames both the opposition and the Muslim Brotherhood for the political deadlock that led to the violence that Egypt is witnessing in many governorates.

“Week 4 of 2013 has seen enough events to fill a book. 41 dead in response to 21 death sentences over a football riot that killed [74], in addition to nine deaths in Suez yesterday. The flaws of post-revolution Egypt has come back to haunt the country in a big way. Words like stability, renaissance, and legitimacy have been reduced to meaningless clichés that mock their original meaning.

One can easily write volumes on what went wrong and why we are struggling at this critical juncture of our history, but for the sake of brevity, my opinion will be limited to four events that in my view summarise the current surreal scene: a court verdict and a presidential trip to Ethiopia that was scheduled one day after the anniversary of the revolution, a ruling party that decided to celebrate by selling cheap clothes and vegetables, a president who sent his condolences to his people with 40 per cent illiteracy through Twitter, and a sentence sending 21 young Egyptians to their death. These events indicate that we have a leadership that can neither think ahead nor demonstrate willingness to act decisively when crisis looms.

However, the opposition are not saints; they share a huge share of the blame. They are fully aware of the problem and the violence that became a prevailing theme in most demonstrations these days, yet they offer no clear plan or alternative. They desire to show their strength, overriding their critical thinking abilities. In fact, I think they partly considered violence as desirable in order to expose the weakness of the government.

In Egypt, proactivity is an alien concept that has been neither used nor appreciated. We love our knee-jerk reaction, as if we want to negate thousands of years of frustration as a result of oppression and submission. Violence became addictive, an easy way to prove our relevance and satisfy our egos through our angry youth.

Yes, our youth are angry. They are the kids we didn’t raise, the students we never taught, and the citizens we like to abuse to reach power.

Now many are talking about the possibility of Egypt becoming a failed state; with a bad economy, a fractured political scene, and weak leadership, this is not an unrealistic possibility. Currently, both the Brotherhood and the opposition are pointing fingers at each other, pathetically exposing the immaturity of both.

I have one message to both groups: grow up. To the Brotherhood I say, either lead or leave, and to the opposition I suggest you either come up with a realistic plan (not just abstract, academic suggestions), or simply (with all due respect) shut up.

As for the rest of us Egyptians and for the specific events of the revolution anniversary and the Port Said verdict, I will try to write a piece in due course, hopefully when I have calmed down, as frankly the events we currently face are too overwhelming to describe


“We are in the wage of civil war, where everybody is a loser and there is no winner. Egyptians can you afford that, the answer is no.”

@Abdel-Hameed Balbool


“Morsi is wrong and is the source of Egypt’s current troubles. But for the opposition to refuse to talk to him is unproductive.”

@Nasser Ali Khasawneh


“Two years ago Egypt was cut off from the Internet. Remember that? How much has changed. How little has changed.”

@Pete Fein


“To be cool and revolutionary you have to declare unbridled support to the people on the street and all they do.”

@Dalia Ezzat


So we’ve got curfews, canal cities in revolt, battles around Tahrir & angry speeches from the president. What year is it again? @Ashraf Khalil

“Port Said, Suez and Ismailia showed the world how to celebrate a curfew in an Egyptian way.” @Zeinobia


“Seems like Suez is reliving 28 Jan and 29 Jan of the revolution of 2011; no police presence and looting everywhere.”

@Gigi Ibrahim 


“Port Said was the city that held back the British and French invasion when they wanted our Suez Canal. And now it is on fire?”



“Israel lets Palestinians bury their dead but our government fires at the people when they bury their dead kids.”

@Lina Attalah


“By declaring a state of emergency, #Morsi resorts to ‘one of the most despised weapons’ of Mubarak’s rule.”

@Jim Roberts


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