Original Arabic Article: http://www.alaraby.co.uk/opinion/e0bc8dac-fa70-4fba-bc91-e05dd6557078
While General Abdel
Fatah Al-Sisi is entitled to hate any news station he wishes, including Al-Araby Al-Jadid, he must also bear in mind that he
has been accused of destroying Egypt. He is, after all, responsible for
achieving a large part of this mission for the sake of himself and his
politics. We must bear in mind that the destruction of Egypt means the destruction
of us all.
I speak for myself
when I say that I have a bias that favours Egypt and the role that it plays in
the region. I do not see any other country as fit or capable of substituting
Egypt from the East to as far west as Morocco. Perhaps my high regard for Egypt
can be attributed to the dignity I heard in Gamal Abdel Nasser's tone or the
fact that I read Ahmed Shawqi's poems or devoured page after page of novels
written by Taha Hussein, Ihsan Abdel Quddous, Naguib Mahfouz and all the
writers that came before and after them. Perhaps my love for Egypt can be
attributed to the sense of enlightenment I felt when I read books by Muḥammad
Abduh and Qasim Amin.
I cannot imagine my
mental wellbeing without Sayed Darwish and Oum Kalthoum. I cannot imagine my
intellectual journey without Mahmoud Amin, Abdulaziz Anis and Samir Amin. I
always believed the old sayings that he who drinks from the Nile feels as
though he must return to it one day and that Egypt is the mother of the world.
I admit I never really cared about who Egypt's father was.
I admit that I have
been fascinated by Egypt since the very early days of my childhood. I used to
consider the pyramids to be the world's only wonder. During my childhood, I saw
the Aswan Dam as a symbol of Arab resilience and rebirth. I fell in love with
the persona of the dark Egyptian farmer and was enchanted by emotional songs
such as "Seerat Al-Hob" and "Enta Omri". No voice saved me from the culture of
surrender like the voice of Sheikh Imam.
The dividing line
between our psychological and intellectual evolutions is very thin and so is
the line between a myth and a legend. And yet, often the line proves to be
irrelevant. When it comes to Egypt I often used to see my history, present and
my existence as something that was intertwined with the country's history. For
many of us, events like Camp David were understood as psychological blows to
our self-perceptions, it was not merely a political occurrence but an
from the equation of the Arab-Israeli conflict was a move that tired and
weakened us all and it was the biggest blow that could have possibly occurred
to the Palestinian cause after the loss of land, of course. The change in
Egypt's role is also a blow to our individual and collective memories. I have
no doubt that whoever designed the Camp David agreement was well aware of its
long-term consequences. These individuals must have known how such an agreement
would impact Egypt psychologically because it implanted a culture of surrender
in our society.
It is for this
reason that we were driven to Tahrir Square with a spirituality that knows no
limits. Tunisia ignited the flame and the January 25 Revolution became the
heart and soul of the Arab Spring. The revolution was a revolution for bread
and for freedom and liberation. We embarked on this journey with the hopes of
building a new society, one that would be capable of liberating Palestine.
These words are not
meaningless daydreams because liberating the Arab peoples means liberating Palestine
and freedom for Palestine means freedom for the Arab peoples. There is power in
advancement and Egypt is strong because of its people and its capabilities.
Egypt is meant to be a source of support for Palestine and a model for a new
Arab world that must live in a world that is free from the oppression of
I admit that I do
not want an Islamic rule in Egypt, it is not a religious state and it never has
been, it must be a state that values freedom of expression and social equality;
however, July 3 was not a solution because it was a counter-revolution that
facilitated the return of the old regime but with newer and meaner alliances.
The counter-revolution paved the way for a new oppressive era, which many
people supported because it defeated the Islamists. This was an unfortunate
outcome because the left-wing liberal campaign for blood is still not over.
If the goal behind
all of this was to end "the war on terror" that has been waged
against Egyptian soldiers - soldiers we all care about - then I ask if
targeting the opposition is really the answer here? Can one justify the bloody
massacres, the destruction in values and the fascist media by saying that it is
building a new Egypt?
As for the
Palestinian cause, if we cannot and do not consider it to be a priority then
why is the threat posed by Israel to Egypt's security not one of our
priorities? Hate Hamas if you wish but do not belittle Egypt's role in the
destruction of tunnels and closing the Rafah border on a people who are caged
in a strip of land and are under siege by land, sea and air.
I admit, yet again,
that I am biased towards Egypt and I do not see any other country that can even
compete with its greatness because Egypt's role [in the region] cannot be
reduced to a mere technical factor. Many countries in the region try to compete
with Egypt because they want to show their American masters that they too are
important. Egypt is far too great a country to play small roles because small
tasks dwarf the significance of Egypt's historical legacy. So I ask... who is
really destroying Egypt, Mr Sisi?