presidential elections

The Day We Egyptians Lost Our Moment

There is not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that we, the Egyptian people, have been outwitted.

There are very few moments in time that decide the course of history. They come every 50 years, once a century, or even furtherDSC02825 apart. Our generation’s Moment was January 25, 2011. A critical build-up of recent events amassed the emotions of an already seething Egyptian population and our Moment was born. Millions of Egyptians took to the streets for 18 days…blah blah blah… We all know the story. And we know the ugliness that followed.

Providence gave us a moment because we were able to unite as a people when it really mattered. We saw our chance and held onto it for a full 18 days. And that’s why the story ends there. If a Moment is to truly change the course of history, its people must hold onto it and never let it go. We let go after 18 days and went back to our old ways of conniving, distrusting, and power struggling. (more…)

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Why the June 30 Protesters Do Not Represent Me

Tens of thousands – perhaps millions even – of Egyptians took to the streets once more yesterday, June 30, 2013. Some claim yesterday’s protests were the largest in human history.

I was not among them. Neither were most of my close friends and family, all of whom participated in the January 25 Revolution.

I have spent months following what has been happening in Egypt and, like so many others, perhaps the majority of Egyptians, I have been getting increasingly frustrated with Morsi and the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

Their performance in parliament before its dissolution, along with other Islamists, was abysmal. They were unorganized, they failed to focus their attentions where they were most needed, and there was almost a complete lack of a participatory spirit with the rest of the country. They wanted things done a certain way and that was what they were going to do.

Of course, this is what ruling parties do all over the world, not only in Egypt. The difference in our case is that we are in a process of establishing the ground rules for Egyptian democracy. For this process to be successful, all elements of Egyptian society must participate and have a voice. Islamists did everything in their power to dampen or even stifle that voice.

I did not want a Muslim Brotherhood president. (more…)

The Day Egypt Got Its First Civilian President

I left work early yesterday, June 24, just as most everyone in Egypt did. I was concerned that once the election results were announced – regardless who won – it would be difficult for me to get back home. My work is within five minutes walking distance from Tahrir. I was anxious throughout the drive home. Cairo was going through an intense heat wave. The roads were jam-packed with everyone trying to get home before 3pm when the announcement was due to be televised.

As I inched through Cairo’s traffic, I began worrying that I might not make it home in time to watch the announcement. I turned on the radio to make sure I didn’t miss anything in case I didn’t make it. I also decided that if the announcement was made early or if I didn’t reach home in time, I’d park the car in front of the nearest coffee shop and watch with hundreds of others set to do the same. (more…)

The Day of Presidential Elections: I Chose the Revolution

It is done. And I chose the revolution.

When the results of the first round of presidential elections came out, I blogged that I had decided to vote for the Muslim Brother (MB) candidate, Mohammed Morsi. It was a straightforward choice for me at the time. If I only had one of the two to choose from, I would not choose the man who belonged to the former regime. I left my home and my children and risked my life along with millions of others for 18 days to remove that regime. I would not bring it back again with my own two hands. I do not want the MB ruling my country. But I was going to bring them in and then watch them like a hawk. In an Arabic language video blog a few days later I said, “If the MB make one single mistake when they come into government, just wait and see how the Egyptian people will make the ‘day of their father black’ (an Egyptian saying meaning it will be a dark day for them).”

Between then and now, only a matter of days, many things have happened in Egypt. A second attempt was made to put together a committee that would draft Egypt’s constitution. The committee stunk of sectarianism. Then parliament was dissolved. We are in a country with no constitution and no parliament after we spent months going through a prolonged process to have both, which included people going to the polls. And we end up with neither. (more…)