Wednesday,26 April, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1121, 8-14 November
Wednesday,26 April, 2017
Issue 1121, 8-14 November

Ahram Weekly

When the clock strikes 12

Doaa El-Bey notes tension has eased after shops in Egypt were given an additional two hours before being forced to close at night

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Al-Ahram Weekly

The controversy over closing shops at 10pm was finally settled on Monday after the government agreed to leave them open till midnight. Al-Gomhuriya had ‘Battle of 10pm settled by consensus’.
The selection of the new pope together with the latest developments in Sinai engaged the press this week. Al-Wafd banner on Monday had: ‘Altar lottery chooses Tawadros II to lead Orthodox Church’ and Al-Akhbar wrote ‘Tawadros II new pope of Alexandria’.
Al-Ahram on Monday headlined ‘Security and military measures to control situation in Sinai’, and Al-Masry Al-Youm stated ‘No police in North Sinai’.
Saad Salem wrote that Egypt was witnessing a state of random decisions being repeated in an alarming way. As a result, the status of the state and government was dwindling and the state of popular dissatisfaction is on the increase.
The government and state, Salem explained, take decisions without enough study, then renege on their implementation. It happened in the decision to sack the prosecutor-general and dissolve the parliament and lately in the decision to close stores at 10pm.
He called for studying every decision slowly and thoroughly before taking it.
The other decision that the writer believes needs more studying is establishing five new governorates in the framework of a new administrative division of the state.
The government needs to remember that it established Helwan and 6 October as two new governorates before and then cancelled the decision later on. Thus a thorough study is required to decide in which places new governorates need to be established and in which place there is no need for that step.
The decision to close shops at 10pm is still subject to controversy. Ragaa Al-Nimr wrote that the government took the decision without prior study or calculation of how much energy it could save and who would win or lose as a result.
“Decisions, like the early closure of shops, should be taken after thorough studies and consultation with the Chamber of Commerce and the people who are the prime winners or losers of these decisions,” Al-Nimr wrote in the official daily Al-Akhbar.
Mohamed Amin said the choice of the pope had become an issue for all Egyptians rather than an issue of just the Church.
It’s not only Christians who followed the election of the new pope, Amin wrote, but all Egyptians. They all followed the rituals and the details of the process.
He hailed Pope Tawadros “who pays attention to education and love”. Amin was also keen to hail Bishop Bakhomious as the acting leader of the Church until the election of the pope. He ran the election in a wise way, Amin wrote, and presented a unique paradigm for the election. He was also keen to choose those who work for the interest of the country.
“I wish we had a transitional president like Bishop Bakhomious. A president for only one term who would hold parliamentary elections, write the constitution and supervise presidential elections,” Amin wrote in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
President Morsi decided to open a dialogue with other presidential candidates who ran against him in the presidential elections. He met with Hamdeen Sabahi, Amr Moussa and Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh this week. Wael Kandil wondered whether the president conducted a serious dialogue or just a casual chat with them.
He wrote that the president could have saved himself a lot of talk if he had listened to the advice of Mohamed Al-Baradei, Moussa, Abul-Fotouh and Sabahi. They have the political and social experience and the credibility among a wide base of the public.
“Although that step came later than expected, it is still important especially after the differences in the Constituent Assembly drawing up the constitution reached a climax. However, I hope that these meetings are not mere photo opportunities,” Kandil wrote in the independent daily Al-Shorouk.
He summed up his regular column by hoping that the meetings would be up to the expectations of the public.
Inas Nour looked at lessons to be learnt from superstorm Sandy which last week hit the west US coast, namely that catastrophes force people to set aside their differences and cooperate to face a common threat.
The fact that the Americans managed to get over the crisis in a short period, Nour wrote, should prompt us to manage our resources more efficiently. “It is unbelievable that we are still talking about how to get rid of our garbage and close shops early to save energy without looking for other sources of energy.
“Instead of saving energy via the early closure of shops, why don’t we move quicker in the field of producing clean energy?” Nour asked in the official daily Al-Ahram.
Nour wondered why Egypt does not follow Morocco which started negotiations with Germany, Italy, France and Spain to establish a station that produces clean energy. That project which would be finished by 2050 would contribute to reducing the cost of energy.
Nour concluded her column by wondering whether it is high time to move from the “Tahrir revolution” to the “revolution of progress”.
The latest development in Sinai prompted Mohamed Al-Gheiti to wonder in his regular article in Al-Wafd whether Sinai was lost.
He presented the question to President Morsi because the people of Arish gathered before the governorate council to call on the security forces to protect them from what they called “the new terrorists”. They warned then that Sinai was not under the control of the state.
Al-Gheiti questioned whether the present state in Sinai is the outcome of cooperation between Hamas in Gaza and the MB in Egypt, or the result of allowing the Salafist and Jihadist groups to announce that they would soon declare Sinai an Islamic emirate.
He also wondered whether the news is right that Israel will take 40 kilometres from Sinai close to Gaza to establish a Palestinian state on that area.
Al-Gheiti concluded by calling on the state to put Sinai on top of its priorities “or else it will be lost and we will be doomed by history and future generations”.

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