The Brotherhood is a Sisterhood

Cairo – 6/18/2012 – A remembrance of the castrated lions of Kasr El Nile Bridge – The oppressive cult like Religious “Cartel” The so called Muslim Brotherhood……….Un Egyptian by all means if there is such an expression. But honestly they are nothing more than a Colombian drug cartel. Organized, with strong administrative capabilities, built on the ignorance of an uneducated population which they have helped in creating. For a so called religious organization you would have expected that all the efforts they have made over 80 years, they would have at least tried to teach people to read and write. Even if it was an underground effort. But for their own benefit they are happy having an uneducated population. This has been to their very own advantage despite the fact that the first words in Islam where ‘READ”. Instead the MB has found it more convenient to not achieve that goa if an educated population. Moursi is a clown (looks and acts as one) and and the MB believe in nothing less than an Islamic Nation of which Egypt is nothing more than a mean to achieve the end. They are not Egyptian, they are nothing more than self centered, self interest seeking bunch of businessmen whom have found now an opportunity to take over the commanding heights of Egypt’s economy; to take it over from their NDP counterparts. In a sense I really wish that Moursi wins, because this will be a great opportunity to oppose him in everything he does, says or wants to do. I will never trust a man who grows a beard and develops a hemorrhage simply to prove that he is a man of God. Even if Moursi becomes president he and his likes will never be my president or president of my country and if I have to spend another 80 years to make their lives a miserable one, I will have the patience to do so. I will stand against them in every thing that they do. I have great pride in the Egyptian Armed forces and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces. Thank you for protecting us from the scum. Even if Moursi becomes president, he will be nothing more than a baby without underwear. Moursi!!!!!!! I don’t go to Tahrir for you or against you, BUT i vow that if you are here for the next four years I will do everything in my capacity to honestly play my role as an opposition leader against you and your likes.

Thursday Night in Egypt

Cairo 6/14/2012 – Well so far the reactions to the courts verdicts on two controversial laws, seems more of an analysis rather than an extreme reaction. The roads infront of the court have been opened and so far so good. I don’t think it will stay this way. I am assuming that what will happen is that 1000s will start heading towards Tahrir Square. It is Thursday night leading up to a three day weekend, so I trust there will be a whole bunch of people wanting to spend there evening in Tahrir. They will gather to protest the refusal of the disenfranchisement law and call for the fall of the judiciary, the SCAF and the old regime. The same will happen tomorrow, people will show-up before prayers and pray in the square and spend the rest of the day there.
What will be interesting today is not just the reaction to the disenfranchisement law, but more importantly the dissolution of one third of the parliament. Will the MB and Salafists escalate things in Tahrir and across the country. We cant forget now that only yesterday the Minister of justice gave full police rights to the Military Police and Military Intelligence to arrest civilians. This weekend will be the last difficult wave.

Historical Consitutional Court Verdict

Cairo 6/14/2012 – So its been only minutes since the verdict came in from the Egyptian Constitutional Court regarding two very important issues. The first is the disenfranchisement law, which basically asks for members of the old regime (senior), those holding key government positions and those in senior National Democratic Party positions, would all not have the right to practice pr participate, run for office or any government position for the next 10 years. If it the law would have passed then the presidential candidate Shafik would have been disqualified from this weekend’s presidential run offs and the whole process would be started again between 12 of the 13 original candidates. That would have been quite an interesting scenario and i would have been curious to see how the results would have looked like this time round. Would Sabahi do better this time round, or will the MB become unchallenged. Where would the Shafik vote go and to whom. Would the youth groups reconsider their support for the MB. Would Amr Moussa have a batter chance if the elections where repeated. So many questions in mind, but generally I feel happy with the Court’s decision. And I am now looking forward to the run offs on Saturday and Sunday. Another Court decision which I am very happy with today is the Dismantling of one third of the Egyptian parliament. This great news and I hope that the law expands to the rest of the parliament. But am still fine with the one third. This one thirds are the independent candidates. Unfortunately someone during this whole time and process did not quite understand the meaning of the word INDEPENDENT, so they ran members of political parties and won. So like any 3 year old would conclude, this is not right. So I am happy with this verdict and more so that most of the so called independent MPs are either members of the MB or the Salifests political parties. I think this will also be quite interesting considering the fact that the 100 person constitutions committee will have to be reselected and hence with one third of the parliament not there then the whole structure of selection will be changed. So now we either wait another month or two or three for the new parliamentary elections. Or reach a national consensus now for the selection of the committee which will write our new constitution. Or we could go back to the 71 constitution with some amendments and then run them through a referendum.
I think now, there is only one peice of the puzzle left to put in place. If Shafik wins next week, then we can we can really start thinking of rebuilding Egypt and the economic outlook will start to look very positive. Not without difficulties but the potential is great. If the MB win and insist on practicing their monopolistic political and ideological oppression of the Egyptian people, then we will not see economic and social recovery in Egypt for at least the next 5 years. In conclusion, today has been a great triumph for free and democratic Egypt. This is a clear demonstration that the MBs and Salafists are not has politically and legally savvy as they make themselves out to be.

Who will Win

Cairo 6/13/2012 – Only a few hours to go and I am not sure how the constitutional court is going to take a decision on two major laws. I am not even sure why they would put up two such important laws in the same month yet alone on the same day. The ruling on one of these laws means that either the liberal presidential candidate can run in next Saturdays election or……..not practice any kind of politics for the next 10 years. This would also mean that presidential elections would have to be repeated. The other law questions the legitimacy of the Egyptian parliament. This means that Parliament would be dissolved and new parliamentary elections have to take place. So it is very possible that by tomorrow Egypt could end up without a president, without a parliament, without a constitution and without any true national consensus. I personally am not so sure if that would be a bad thing. Actually, the more i think about it the more it makes sense to just reboot and restart again. I am sure that we can do a better job this time round. But do people have the patience, will the political forces accept this specific outcome? I doubt that this scenario will go down well with many, and the streets will once again fill with those looking to defend their best interests .
Or tomorrow things will just remain the same and Shafiq is allowed to continue his bid for the presidency and run in Saturdays elections. And that parliament remains in tact and allowed to continue putting together the new constitution. So if Shafiq is allowed to run by a court ruling tomorrow, then we will find the streets break out in anger and the Square filled even before sundown. I also assume that they will call for the cleansing of the Judicial System accusing the judges of being remnants of the old regime. So we can only wait and see and take it day by day.

Egypt 2012 Elections

6/12/2012 – Its only days to the elections in Egypt and the results of the second round votes from abroad are clear and decisive on supporting Moursi (The guy with the beard). Yet many say that this is not a true reflection of how things will eventually turn out come the 16th and 17th of June. Well, things are becoming ridiculous, especially that there is an anxiously waited for law that may turn things 180 degrees, dissolution’s of parliament, and repeating the whole elections process again for both the lower and upper house and the presidential elections. Add to that the possible any minute now death of Mubarak. Anyway I don’t think that i am surprised; actually I am not surprised at all that this is the situation we are in 15 months after the protests of the 25th of January. As and Egyptian and through my experiences in this country, i have come to release the only real constant in this country is that nothing ever gets done right the first time, and nothing is ever properly maintained. I have again decided to exercise my democratic right not to vote in this election. But if i were I would surely give my voice to Shafik. I have never met the man and knew very little about him till recently in 2011. Certainly not my first choice for the job but yet again, his opponent in the runoffs represents, in my opinion, a cult ignorant and extremest thinkers, and the fact of the matter is that Egypt is only a means to a much greater end for them.
So all of these thoughts in my head had to have a little more substance. Not voting for any of them but if i would, i would give my voice to Shafik, simply because i hate the concept of “God Based” politics. So i wanted to think about the whole issue a little practically. In my humble opinion i think one of the major issues Egypt was facing and still is facing and will continue to face is the lack of “Management”. Egyptians, in Egypt are some of the worst managers in the world. So i keep on thinking that the Mubarak regime should be blamed for the complete lack of management of the country for the past 20 years at least. This does not take away from the fact that there has been many notable achievements during his regime, in technology, infrastructure, economics, and even in “snail paced” democratic reform. But there has been more damage than good done to Egypt, especially in the past 10 years, ironically during a time when foreign direct investment was at its highest, tourist projections higher than every before, and a GDP growth as high as 7% and no lower than 4% despite a global financial crisis. Just imagine that Egypt was properly manged and that corruption was the exception rather than the norm. Imagine if Egypt had an efficient public sector and an ambitious, innovative and competitive private sector. It is the Egypt we all aspire for. So can Shafik bring these dreams to reality in four to eight years? Well Egypt is not the Airport, but more importantly, can we really say that civil aviation in Egypt has been a global leader in innovation, development and technology? I hate Cairo Airport, from the moment that I approach the vicinity. Nothing fabulous about the place. Signs are confusing, parking a disaster, the staff are untrained, are not impressive and mostly unfriendly (unless you pay them bakshish [tip]). Simply not one of those airports that you can enjoy spending a 6 hour transit in. We do though have to admit that it is much much better than it was before, even Egypt Air has shown great improvement in services, flights, schedules, destinations and alliances. But can we really say that it is a global player. Is it Singapore Airlines, Gulf Air, or any of these global carriers? not really. So is that the Egypt that we would get under the management of Shafik? a third rate country? Maybe he had more potential and just could not do more than that under the Mubarak regime. There were constraints, restrictions and challenges in doing business under the per-revolution regime. So maybe if given a chance Shafik can reach his full potential (of management). Still I think he will do a much better job than the MB backed candidate.

Egypt’s Economic Democracy

One of the main drivers of the January 25th Revolution was the peoples’ demand for a better life through economic independence and salvation. While the revolution has thus far been extremely successful, achieving in less than 6  months more than we have ever hoped for in the past 60 years, it has not changed the fact that  more than 40% of the Egypt’s population still survives on less than $2 a day.

Understandably, without the guarantee of political system reform, the successes of restructuring the economic system will be lost and the goal of modernization cannot be realized. Yet while the focus falls on Egypt’s political and social reform, we strongly believe that true democracy will not be achieved or sustained without having a clear vision of Egypt’s new economic system.

“What economic path do we want to take and how will we get there?” Simple questions with no right or wrong answer; so as we try and lay a new foundation for trade and investment in Egypt, we turn to our global friends and partners for an open and transparent dialogue to formulate sound policies which will govern the way we do business together in this new era of a democratic Egypt.  The focus, day in and day out, has to be on business development and job creation. It is vital that we work together as a diverse group of thinkers to develop strategies that will pull Egypt from this national recession and launch a new future of reformed economic thinking.

 

By: Ashraf Mohamed Naguib

A Call for a New Capital City

Greater Cairo is the largest city in Africa and one of the most densely populated cities in the world with approximately 20 million inhabitants. While the borders of Greater Cairo are expanding with each new development, the population continues to grow at a tremendous rate, resulting in a both a larger and more crowded capital city.

It is time for Egypt to address the problem of overcrowding head on, and follow in the footsteps of other nations that have created new capital cities to relieve the strain on major metropolises.  Like Switzerland, Australia, and Canada before it, Egypt could greatly benefit from moving government and civil service institutions to a new city, leaving greater space for business development and residential growth in Cairo proper.

Rather than continue to cram 80 million Egyptians onto 6% of the nation’s land, Egypt should take advantage of its vast geographic and industrial resources to create proper infrastructure and housing in a new location far removed yet accessible from the urban sprawl of Cairo.

Not just a new city, but a new Capital City, beyond the valley and far from the delta; a city which will stand testament to Egypt’s evolution and the spirit of the revolution.

One needs only to look out of their window on a warm Cairo day to realize that the city has reached its limit. With rapid population growth across the country, Cairo’s population density per KM2 has also grown by alarming rates. Traffic has become a major hindering factor in the city’s growth and development, while parking, amongst many things has become a rare commodity.

For decades now, Cairo has been the center of Egypt’s political and economic life; everything happens in Cairo. It is also the center of religion, culture, art and tourism and home to over 20 million inhabitants.

Yet what people fail to understand, is that all 85 million Egyptians occupy only 6% of the total land area of the country. A habit passed down by our great ancestors for millennia.

We believe that it is time to change this habit and to venture into a new world, and explore the possibilities of building an iconic new Capital City. Not just new satellite cities around Cairo, but a new innovative, green Capital City.