Tuesday,17 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1129, 3 - 9 January 2013
Tuesday,17 July, 2018
Issue 1129, 3 - 9 January 2013

Ahram Weekly

With trepidation, welcome 2013

Doaa El-Bey looks at the problems of the Egyptian economy and Rasha Saad reviews the constroversies surrounding the Arab Spring

Al-Ahram Weekly

Writers looked back at 2012 and tried to draw lessons for the year ahead.

Inas Nour expressed hope that 2013 would carry with it mercy and good and be the year of action and openness.

“After being locked in vicious circles, there is no doubt that the pressing priority that we all agree on in 2013 is to save Egypt,” Nour wrote in the official daily Al-Ahram.

It is very important, she pointed out, that the president should open clean and credible channels of dialogue with officials as well as the public.

President Mohamed Morsi, she explained, delivered two speeches in five days but which failed to answer many questions. Meanwhile, the EU declared that 2013 would be a year for dialogue in order to become closer to the public and acquire their trust.

In the present situation in Egypt, Nour concluded, all parties need to listen to each other in an open atmosphere free from mutual recriminations. We are supposed to assess all viewpoints without categorising them as positive or negative.

Yehia Al-Gamal described 2012 as the year of sadness, turmoil and the constitution. He wrote that 2012 witnessed division that Egypt has never known throughout its history.

“An organised minority believes in an issue and is trying to enforce it on society. But it is committing a grave mistake: it wants to monopolise everything and exclude all others,” Al-Gamal explained in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.

That minority refused to acknowledge the other and that is the main reason for the turmoil and division among the people who have never been divided in the past for political or religious reasons.

The turmoil reached a peak, Al-Gamal added, when a member of society called for refraining from wishing those who belong to another religion a happy Eid.

The turmoil and division was exacerbated by the constitution which did not produce an expression of the will of all the people.

The constitution, he added, was approved by nearly 10 per cent of voters. Can this constitution be a constitution for all Egyptians? Was it approved to widen splits among Egyptians? Al-Gamal asked.

He wished that 2013 would be the year of love and happiness and that 2014 would come to find Egypt free of division and depression.

Mariam Tawfik noted that 2012 was a year of more martyrs and injured, the year in which dozens of children died in a train accident in Assiut, and in which journalist and cameraman Al-Husseini Abu Deif lost his life because he recorded with his camera how the enemies of the revolution penetrated honourable revolutionaries.

Tawfik recorded in her article in the daily Al-Wafd, the mouthpiece of the opposition Wafd Party, that the year ended by a stray bullet in the head of Mohannad Samir who is in critical condition in hospital.

She wrote that a constitution that would take us backward was approved. It imposed shackles on freedom of speech and expression, and was passed when the court and the Media Production City were under siege and national symbols like Amr Moussa, Hamdeen Sabahi and Mohamed Al-Baradei were accused of treason.

“The Egyptian economy is on the brink of falling, unemployment is on the increase, negligence is clear in all state sectors, and absence of security is everywhere in Egypt. Weapons and drugs are smuggled,” Tawfik described the situation at the end of 2012.

She added that given Egypt’s fate to come up with disastrous ideas, 2012 did not bid us farewell in peace because somebody came up with the idea that Egypt should open its doors to Egyptian Jews and allow them to return to their home country.

That irresponsible call would open the door, the writer added, to their compensation which could amount to LE30 billion.

Wafaa Dawoud noted that at the end of 2012, a large sector of the Egyptian society was still living a miserable life in poverty. Their problems were aggravated after the revolution and are waiting for an improvement in their situation.

In the meantime, the present elite is a mixture of pre- and post-revolution symbols. And although it talks in the name of the people and about the suffering of the people, some of its representatives use the people for their own personal interests.

Dawoud questioned what the elite did to the people two years after the revolution.

Although 2011 taught us that peaceful demonstrations is a means to realise our demands, 2012 witnessed a record number of demonstrations, one-million marches and sit-ins. But the exaggeration in using peaceful demonstrations followed by casualties reduces the effectiveness of such protests and prompted calls to stop the demos because of their negative impact on the wheel of production.

One of the important matters in 2012 was the formation of the National Salvation Front in which all the currents of the opposition are represented.

“2012 is nearly a copy of 2011. They both witnessed a referendum in which the Islamic powers called for a ‘yes’ vote and the opposition ‘no’. However, the opposition was noticeably more organised in the 2012 referendum,” Dawoud wrote in the independent daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.

Thus she called on the civil current to focus on exerting effort to produce a fair election system and prepare itself for the parliamentary elections. They should also benefit from the results of the last referendum which proved that they should concentrate on urban areas so as not to waste time and effort.

She added they should refrain from calling for a demonstration on 25 January to sack the ruling regime as that would affect their credibility and the trust that the people gave them.

Dawoud concluded her article by wishing the readers a happy new year and hoping that it would be a better year for each and every Egyptian.





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