Monday,16 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1165, (19 - 25 September 2013)
Monday,16 July, 2018
Issue 1165, (19 - 25 September 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Land of Turquoise

Doaa El-Bey sees what the Brotherhood is up to these days, and Gamal Nkrumah resumes the Syrian watch

Al-Ahram Weekly

While the clampdown on terrorist groups continued in Sinai, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) escalated its defiance by calling for civil disobedience on Sunday. Newspapers followed the efforts of the Armed Forces and police in Sinai, the trial of MB members and the outcome of the civil disobedience campaign.

Al-Ahram on Monday quoted the army as saying “No return from Sinai until terrorism is uprooted”.

Al-Shorouk on Sunday quoted a military source as stating “Terrorist organisations in Sinai lose 1,500 armed members”.

In reference to the calls for civil disobedience in the underground train stations, Al-Youm Al-Sabei on Monday had “Battle of the underground fails” and Al-Akhbar website wrote “Trial of 242 Morsi supporters for confrontation in Ramses Square”.

Mohamed Al-Hawari praised the efforts of the Armed Forces and police in returning Sinai, or the Land of Turquoise, to Egypt after uprooting terrorism that killed civilians.

Al-Hawari pointed to the fact that the Armed Forces were never lenient in defending Sinai ever since the days of the Pharaohs. “Thus, the army cannot leave that part of the land to a group of terrorists to ruin it in the name of Islam while their practices are distant from the teachings of Islam.”

Al-Hawari underlined “we support the efforts of the Armed Forces to uproot terrorists in Sinai which was unfortunately given further ground under president [Mohamed] Morsi who released them from prison in order to support his failed rule.”

No leader in the MB, he added, can refute the statements of Mohamed Al-Beltagi who said that terrorist acts in Sinai would stop the moment Morsi is reinstated as a president. That is enough evidence of the coordination between the MB and the terrorist groups on Sinai.

“Sinai will be purged of all hubs of terrorism and will enjoy development and prosperity for its citizens and all Egyptians,” Al-Hawari wrote in the official daily Al-Akhbar.

Writers noted that the MB’s calls for civil disobedience on Sunday fell on deaf ears. They failed to spread chaos and cause traffic jams as planned. The editorial of the independent daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei noted that the MB called for protests in the underground metro stations, blocking all fly-overs and doing everything to paralyse traffic. The newspaper saw these attempts as an act of revenge against the Egyptian people who would suffer most from these measures.

The editorial added that one’s wonder doubles given the fact that these retaliatory measures are taken against the people who will cast their vote in the next elections. “How can the MB take revenge on the people and in the meantime want their vote in the elections?” the edit questioned.

Most probably, the edit added, the MB dropped the people from its calculations and lost all hope that it would take part in future elections. Thus, it decided to ruin its relationship with the public.

However, the edit concluded, “people are now aware of the MB’s destructive plans and intentions. The joy by which the MB met the jamming of flyovers on Friday is one example of their retaliatory measures even though they know that they were not the cause of the jamming.”

On the fate of the MB, Mohamed Ali Kheir emphasised that Egypt is not the MB, thus the life of the state and people should not be linked to that group because there are more dangerous challenges facing them at present.

“I believe”, he wrote, “that part of the state, government, media, political elite and men of letters should be concerned about the fate of the MB. However, for all these to be completely engaged with the issue is dangerous.”

Kheir mentioned a number of challenges facing Egypt, namely, a shortage in petrol products which is temporarily resolved through the support of the Gulf states. Given that that support would stop in December, he questioned whether the government prepared a plan to resolve the crisis then.

The other challenges that Kheir stated are inflation together with a fall in income. And at a time when we are engaged in internal problems, the building of the Renaissance Dam is in full swing plus the internal and external debts have reached unprecedented levels. He wondered whether officials had taken any steps towards reducing these debts.

Kheir concluded his regular column in the independent daily Al-Shorouk by warning that these challenges and others need creative visions and ways to confront them.

The fate of the Syrian war after Russian intervention is still a matter of concern for various writers. Salah Montasser observed that all the parties involved in the crisis except the Syrian people were victorious. Barack Obama, he explained, managed to strip Syria of chemical weapons without military confrontation.

Vladimir Putin, Montasser wrote, succeeded in defusing the crisis and avoided Obama’s anger when he presented a suggestion that would save the face of the US and help Moscow end this crisis victoriously. Meanwhile, he maintained Moscow’s stand as a protector of an ally who was threatened.

Israel, Montasser elaborated, which supported a US strike against Syria, topped the winners: without any concessions on its side, it managed to strip Syria of chemical weapons which presented a real threat to Tel Aviv.

As for Bashar Al-Assad, he played the role of the sympathetic president who protected his people from a fate similar to that of Iraq when Saddam Hussein arrogantly declined to allow a special committee to look for weapons of mass destruction.

“All involved parties except the Syrian people have escaped the Syrian crisis. The people are still subject to Al-Assad’s attacks even if he does not use chemical weapons,” he wrote in the official daily Al-Ahram.

Ahmed Ragab paid tribute to Osama Al-Baz, the Egyptian diplomat and senior adviser to former president Hosni Mubarak, who died on Saturday.

Ragab wrote in Al-Akhbar, “Egypt lost a veteran politician who followed a track that made him a unique person. He gave Egypt his skills and intelligence but never allowed himself to accept any privileges in spite of his status. Like a normal person, he waited in the queue at the airport, took the public bus and was always humble.”


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