Thursday,19 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1153, 20 - 26 June 2013
Thursday,19 July, 2018
Issue 1153, 20 - 26 June 2013

Ahram Weekly

Another big fat zero

Doaa El-Bey writes on the difficulties in foreseeing what will happen on the first anniversary of Morsi’s presidency, and Gamal Nkrumah sees how Bashar Al-Assad has thus far weathered the Syria storm

Another big fat zero
Another big fat zero
Al-Ahram Weekly

Newspapers and writers noted with fear the countdown to 30 June, the first anniversary of the presidency of Mohamed Morsi, in which huge demonstrations for and against are expected.

Al-Youm Al-Sabei on Monday quoted activist Ayman Nour as saying “clashes will happen before 30 June”. Al-Akhbar on Sunday wrote, “civil forces pledge peaceful protests on 30 June” and Al-Watan on Sunday had “Tamarod getting ready to declare 15 million signatures”.

Newspapers also covered the change of 17 governors including that of Alexandria, Port Said and Ismailia and developments in the Renaissance Dam.

Al-Ahram on Monday wrote, “17 new governors will be sworn in by the president today”, and Al-Wafd on Sunday stated, “UN initiative to stop military escalation between Egypt and Ethiopia”.

Writers looked at what may happen up to and including 30 June.

Ahmed Maher noted that 30 June is an important battle in which no one can predict what will happen “and that is a dangerous matter”.

Maher explained that he called it a battle “because it is an important step in the Egyptian revolution, reflecting popular fury against the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] and all Egyptian rulers that preceded them,” he wrote in the independent daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.

30 June, Maher elaborated, “is supposedly a correction on the track of the revolution, through getting rid of the MB’s failed and fascist regime, providing practical proof to the group that it is not the absolute majority and that those who elected Morsi are now in the ranks of the opposition that is trying to save Egypt from complete loss.”

He underlined a few points that he said should produce a better outcome for the day, citing the millions who took to the streets to demonstrate their opposition to the constitutional declaration but failed to direct their anger in the right path and offer an alternative.

Maher pointed out the various alternatives to the present ruler, like forming a presidential civil council of five or seven members or other suggestions and that could have catastrophic consequences in dividing the protesters.

Maher also highlighted the talk about resorting to violence on that day. He reminded his readers that violence erupted before in front of Al-Ittihadiya presidential palace and in other incidents but did not produce any positive results.

Maher concluded his article by saying that Morsi’s regime failed and the MB “is a fascist organisation”. But he also noted that the opposition should look back at their mistakes and make sure not to repeat them in the future in a way that the MB would use to stay in power.

Mahmoud Musallam wrote about phrases recently reiterated by the MB like “if Morsi falls, no president will finish his term in the future”, “who is the alternative?” and “Egypt will head for disorder”.

However, the writer found a simple answer to these slogans; any future president would allow everyone to take part in building the country, and will not be bound by the agenda of a certain group.

To prove his point, Musallam gave a realistic example; if Morsi is choosing efficient people to run the state, he would have invited people like Amr Moussa, Mohamed Al-Baradei, Hamdeen Sabahi and Mustafa Al-Guindi to a meeting that discusses the crisis of the Renaissance Dam Ethiopia is building and which might curtail invaluable Nile water to Egypt.

However, Musallam added, Morsi did not invite such people, “and most of them do not trust his credibility and would have probably declined his invitation.”

Thus, Musallam added in the independent daily Al-Watan, the only way out of the present political deadlock is an early presidential election that would allow the partnership of people in governance rather that giving it to one group.

Strange enough, he concluded, when one talks about early presidential elections, the family and friends of the president call for respecting democracy, as if in the book of democracy they only read the chapter about reaching power. After that they applied all the principles of dictatorship in one year.

Mohamed Barakat noted that “while we should be concerned about the actual dangers that the Renaissance Dam could cause Egypt, like the shortage in water and a fall in the ability of the High Dam to produce electricity, we should also worry about its moral implications.”

The danger, Barakat explained in his column in the official daily Al-Akhbar, is related to the mental image of Egypt in the African continent.

“The image of Egypt among Africans has become very negative. To them, Egypt gives the impression that it treats Africans with arrogance,” he wrote.

Given that Africans are very emotional, Barakat added, image is very important and influential.

Thus, Barakat called on rectifying the picture through a plan to establish development programmes and joint projects that aim to meet mutual interests and help Egypt regain its status “and honourable image among Africans”.

Gamal Nafei reminded readers of the zero number of votes that Egypt received from FIFA when it bid to host the 2010 World Cup. Nafei ascribed that failure to the fact that the issue was being marketed inside Egypt only.

“To prove that we do not learn from our mistakes,” he added, “the same scenario is being repeated in the crisis of the Renaissance Dam.”

The way the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was treated was farcical and confusing, starting with a secret meeting that was televised and not attended by a single irrigation expert, to a popular meeting to secure Egypt’s quota in Nile water, to the formation of a committee to deal with the problem but whose names of its members have not been revealed.

It is obvious, Nafei explained, “that we are still talking to ourselves on an internal level rather than taking steps on an external level.”

“We should tackle various parallel tracks: start negotiations with Ethiopia, initiate an international campaign to shed light on the rights of Egypt to Nile water, prepare our papers if we need to go to the International Court of Justice and get ready for the military option,” Nafei wrote in the official daily Al-Ahram.

“If we do not move we may get another zero.”

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