Tag Archives: revolution

An Open letter to General Al-Sisi … My Egyptian Pharaoh … Let My Nephew GO!!

Sisi Canal

My Egyptian Pharaoh … let my people go!!

Dear Mr. President, I’m sure you are a very busy man these days, running a big country like Egypt is not an easy task, lots of responsibilities; rigging election is hard work, convincing million of people that digging 20 miles tranche is a new Suez canal is a moral burden, politicizing the justice system is time consuming, keeping Egypt from becoming Syria is a full time job that I’m sure requires arresting oppositions, jailing journalists, shutting down media, suspending parliament, getting ready of the entrenched Muslims brotherhood becoming your biggest battle, working on modernizing the Islamic world is now your greatest jihad to get into the international recognition.

Mr. President now I got your attention, my name is Ahmed Tharwat, although I have been living in the United States for more than 30 years and I still feel a close connection to my native country. I am writing on behalf of my nephew Hassan in Egypt. Hassan as thousands of young Egyptians like him whom were arrested during the crackdown on protestors almost three years ago in August.  Continue reading An Open letter to General Al-Sisi … My Egyptian Pharaoh … Let My Nephew GO!!

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Tahrir Square and the birth of a nation

Thank you Tahrir
Ahmed Tharwat
On my last visit to Egypt, as I landed at the airport I noticed that Egypt has changed. Security were screaming the names of VIPs or travellers who have connections. I went through the check out. “Do you have anything in these bags,” asked the airport security?

“Not really a few gifts and my underwear,” I joked. Go ahead, he ushered me through the gate with a smile. This was the last smile I saw in Egypt throughout my trip. I asked the taxi driver to take me to Tahrir Square.

“For what sir? Nobody goes to Tahrir Square anymore, only Al-Sisi supporters,” he whispered.

Take me there anyway, I requested. I wanted to see the place where the revolution started, where the Egyptian popular uprising that erupted on 25 January resulted in the birth of a nation. The place where millions of Egyptians found out that Egypt is their own country and not Mubarak’s and his family’s.

Continue reading Tahrir Square and the birth of a nation

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General Al Sisi brings out the worst of Egyptians!

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General Al Sisi brings out the worst of Egyptians!

Notes from America: General Al-Sisi brought out the worst of Egyptians

French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) said: “In democracy we get the government we deserve.” He was of course talking about true representative democracy that produces leaders the people want and choose. The assumption here however is that people know what is good for them and they chose freely. The French philosopher was right about one thing; leaders who run or ruin our lives bring out something deep in the people they govern and rule.  What he failed to recognise is: this is not only in democracy, but in authoritative regimes as well; where even dictators have to play politics to stay in power.

Western democracy brought Eisenhower, Kennedy, Bush Jr. and Obama, who brought out the different characters of the American people. Unfortunately, over the last six decades or so, Egypt has probably ended up with dictators who tried to appeal to the best and worst of Egyptians . In my opinion, General Al-Sisi is the worst of them all, he has been appealing to the worst of Egyptians and  in turn brought out the worst of Egypt.

The so called “Free Officers Coup” that for the first time brought actual Egyptian leaders; middle-class military dictators who, in one way or another, reflected for the first time the culture and values of average Egyptians: not the elites or the colonists. Nasser  with his dictatorial style, rallied the people around a sense of national pride. Sadat; he represented cunningness and deceitfulness.  It was said that “He Jewed the Jews”.  Mubarak ruled 30 years by appealing to egyptians love of sense of stability, which turned into stagnation.  Morsi was elected with more than 50% in a fair election by appealing to laymen’s religious feelings and naïveté. General Al-Sisi’s political and military manoeuvring came appealing to the worst of Egyptians. With his false pretence pluralism, the saviour of Egypt with his hyper nationalism, hyperbolic bravery, and his unwarranted self-assurance, General Al-Sisi brought with his  jihad against the incompetent  brotherhood the worst of Egyptians vices; tribalism of  Sisi vs. brotherhood sects, xenophobia, disrespect to others views, affinity to irrational thinking, and a very creepy anti-intellectual attitude. A culture of hate and thuggery had spread everywhere: in the street, at work, in organizations, and family homes. Political harassment leads to sexual harassment, where politically abused citizens lose their respect for human dignity and themselves. Al-Sisi has brought a deep sense of hate and revengeful culture, where Egyptians are -I think for the first time- speak with each other in such a venomous and irrational discourse. “Kill all brotherhood the treaters” a common thread in public conversation.  As Thanassis Cambanis reported in  Foreign Policy  “In prosecuting its war on terror, Egypt has lumped the Muslim Brotherhood together with the jihadi Ansar Beit al-Maqdis — equating dissent in the vernacular of political Islam with bombings and assassinations. “The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization of extreme ideology,” Sisi told the Washington Post in March. “They are the godfather of all terrorist organizations. They spread it all over the world.”

Egyptians have been exposed to Al-Sisi’s hyper antiballistic media machine; they have never before resorted to such divisive mannerisms or hateful speeches and propaganda. Egyptians now adhere to conversations that take shape as irrational tribalism: if you aren’t supporting Al-Sisi, you are one of the international brotherhood organizations, a traitor, and a foreign agent.

Since Al-Sisi ousted first elected president Mohamed Morsi, he had a free hand a mandate to do what he pleased with impunity, he may not  rigged the election, but the intimidation  of any opposition,  shutting their media, while employing state entrenched propaganda machine he was able to rigg people’s minds and the electorate. Now no one is safe in Egypt; where Al Sisi government  has been working on elimination of any symbol of decent and decency, people mysteriously disappear, and if they aren’t getting killed, in the street or in their homes, or at work: they are killed by legal execution with a politicised Judiciary system and checkbook judges that competing and as Professor Ragui Assaad of Humphrey School of public affairs puts on my TV show “Egyptian Judges and Media  are trying to outdo each other  in showing their hate to brotherhood”.

Since Al-Sisi’s military coup, we have seen mass executions, disappearing, massive detention which according to human rights organization is more than 40,000 detainees .  Egyptians have lost  not just the right to live with dignity but also the right to die with dignity.  General Al-Sisi with his media machine turned Egyptians against each other, the good noble Egyptians against those  foreign agents egyptians who hate Egypt. Al-Sisi has turned Egyptian institutions into political agents to suppress and eliminate oppositions from the right and left. Here is Thanassis Cambanis again “Sisi’s paranoid style appears to be the product of a coherent view among Egypt’s fractious security services, which are showing a unity of purpose in carrying out the campaign against all political dissent. The military, police, intelligence agencies, and courts are pulling together to carry out the government’s political vision — an impressive bureaucratic achievement, but one that bodes poorly for democratic reform.”  Just this week, General Al-Sisi had appointed a shady figure as the Minister of Justice, a man who once professed on national TV that “we (judges) are the masters and the rest are slaves”. One wonders: why would a dictator needs a minister of justice anyway! Just after four years of bringing-forth the most impressive revolution that toppled the longest dictatorship in Egyptian history; Egyptians have lost their sense of who they are, and so they stopped even trying. Egypt has become a dead poets’ society!  As George Orwell said in his 1984 book “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”

 

Ahmed Tharwat is host of the Arab-American TV show Belahdan.

His articles published in national and International Publications

He blogs at Notes From America www.ahmediatv.com Follow him onTwitter, www.twitter.com/ahmediatv

 

 

 

 

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