Tuesday,12 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1139, 14 - 20 March 2013
Tuesday,12 December, 2017
Issue 1139, 14 - 20 March 2013

Ahram Weekly

Strike-anywhere matches

Doaa El-Bey and Gamal Nkrumah merge opinions on the politically chaotic conditions of Arab Spring countries

Strike-anywhere matches
Strike-anywhere matches
Al-Ahram Weekly

Egypt witnessed more fires, sabotage, protests, disorder and blood on the streets this week. Newspapers looked at the police protests, the repercussion of the Port Said verdicts and the crisis caused by a severe shortage in fuel.

Al-Ahram on Monday quoted the minister of interior as saying ‘Police not a party to political conflict’. Al-Shorouk had ‘Islamist militias in the making, police object’. Al-Youm Al-Sabei wrote ‘Complete standstill in Egypt streets due to shortage of diesel’.

Al-Akhbar on Sunday wrote ‘Egypt on fire after verdict of Port Said genocide’. Al-Tahrir headlined ‘Failure runs the country’ and Al-Wafd asked ‘Where is Morsi?’

The verdict of the Port Said massacre ignited anger and led protesters to storm the Police Club and the Egyptian Football Association’s (EFA) headquarters and set both buildings on fire.

Although the death sentence for 21 people found guilty of the killing of 74 football fans, mainly Ahli spectators, in a league match last year, was upheld, several police officials whom the Ultras of Ahli claimed were equally responsible for the massacre, were set free, angering many of the Ultras.

Adel Al-Sanhouri asked who should be blamed for setting buildings alight. He also asked who started these fires, who broke the law, who provided the terrorist groups with the cover to do whatever they wanted, who turned his back to the voice of the opposition and their demands and listened to another group, clan and supreme guide.

“If we find answers to all these questions,” Al-Sanhouri added, “we should not blame the Ultras or any other group for setting fire to the Police Club, the Football Association, Semiramis Hotel or restaurants in downtown Cairo and other governorates. Blame that on who ignited sectarian strife, hold him accountable and question him. Do not leave him to threaten national security or stay silent but to come out to the people to stop bloodshed, anger and disorder. Do not leave him, question him,” Al-Sanhouri wrote in the independent daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.

Sami Kheirallah wondered where President Morsi is. The poor do not feel safe, he wrote, the rich do not feel secure and all classes of people have lost hope in any improvement.

When you ask the wise men in this country, Kheirallah added, about a way out of the present situation, they say there is no way out except when Morsi gives up supporting one group and starts supporting all the people, and establishes widespread reconciliation.

“Where are you Dr Morsi in establishing major agricultural projects, providing investment facilities, unemployment of youth, Al-Nahda projects and setting up new roads and communities?” he asked in the official daily Al-Ahram.

Kheirallah concluded by stating that Egypt is falling and the people would pay the price. He questioned whether the president would come to save the country.

In search of a way out of the present situation, Hassan Nafaa wrote that Egypt is in need of a hero. In his regular column in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, Nafaa wrote that everybody realises that the legacy of the previous regime on the political, economic, social and cultural levels is very heavy. The arena was set for the 25 January Revolution during which the Egyptians played the most magnificent revolutionary symphony.

However, all the chronic diseases of society came to the surface as soon as Mubarak was sacked. Although, Nafaa added, nobody expected that all these diseases would miraculously disappear, everyone expected to see a studied plan to treat these illnesses according to logical priority.

However, Nafaa elaborated, the failure to produce any plan raised the anger among the people and certain segments of society decided to take action to make its voice heard. Meanwhile, the anti-revolution forces started to move to pounce on the revolution. That caused bloodshed in Maspero, Mohamed Mahmoud, Port Said and other places.

The failure of the rulers to confront these incidents reflected the absence of a vision to unite the revolutionary powers and a regime capable of meeting the demands of the revolution.

“Now more than at any time before, Egypt is in need of a wise man or a hero to unite the people and save the revolution,” Nafaa summed up.

Like Nafaa, Abdel-Nasser Abdallah tried to find a way out for all the present security and political problems. He wrote that the ruling of the Administrative Court to stop the parliamentary elections will give all the involved parties time to catch their breath.

Thus, Abdallah added, it is necessary that both the government and the opposition try to bridge their differences and make concessions in order to be able to hold an effective national dialogue that can lead to national détente.

“I hope the presidency and the opposition would listen to the voice of reason in order that the country would cross this critical stage,” Abdallah wrote in the official daily Al-Gomhuriya.

The police protest raised questions about the status and future of that apparatus. Walid Abdel-Aziz wrote that whoever imagines that the Egyptian police reached a stage of steady deterioration and that it will fall and leave the arena to thugs and thieves is mistaken.

Those who want the police to fall, Abdel-Aziz wrote, are robbers, peddlers and corrupt persons who want to turn Egypt into a centre of trading in drugs and weapons.

While the writer showed great support to the demands of the police, he is against those who threatened to withdraw and leave the streets to thugs.

Abdel-Aziz called on the state to earmark one-third of its budget to reform or rebuild police.

“The state should issue the laws that protect the police from outlaws. In the meantime, the police should challenge the attacks launched against them. The re-establishment of a strong police means the return of life to Egypt,” Abdel-Aziz wrote in the official daily Al-Akhbar. 

Abbas Al-Tarabili expressed worry about the silence of the Muslim Brotherhood and wondered whether they are waiting until the police fall and people become so frightened that they will accept any power that protects them, like the MB militias.

“We used to say that the enmity between the people and the police ended with the eruption of the 25 January Revolution. But their enmity is being ignited anew,” Al-Tarabili wrote in the daily Al-Wafd, the mouthpiece of the opposition Wafd Party.

Now the police protest against the interior minister calling for more equipment in order to be able to fight thugs. They resorted to closing police stations. So, Al-Tarabili wondered, is the regime waiting for the fall of the police to replace it by its men and possibly women?

Al-Tarabili concluded that this is the MB’s opposition. He advocated that “we keep an eye on whatever is happening to the police and stop the MB’s attempt to disband that apparatus.”

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