As fires rage across Cairo, Egyptian daily slams Sisi: “You are responsible for all that, as well as for pursuit of perpetrators”
Translated in our Daily Briefing (for a free Mideastwire.com trial, email email@example.com):
On May 14, the independent Al-Mesryoon newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Chief Editor Gamal Sultan: “I am astonished by President Abdul-Fattah es-Sisi’s disregarding of the consecutive fires currently sweeping Egypt, as though these fires, which are being tackled by the public and commented on by the various international media outlets, were taking place in another country, at a time when the president is busy meeting with Western figures, who could have been received by any ordinary minister, not even the prime minister, let alone the president of the republic. This could be said for example regarding his meeting today with the secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union, who should have met with the telecommunication minister at best. Almost 40 critical or large fires have consecutively erupted throughout Egypt within one week, around half of which in Cairo.
“Many of these fires carefully selected symbolic victims, from the famous El-Ataba markets where the flames continued to rage for 18 consecutive hours, to the historical Ghouria markets in the heart of the capital, going through the Cairo provincial building, the High Judicial Court building, and dozens of other facilities and factories. And this series is ongoing, knowing that the perpetrators or instigators of the fires were not caught, and that witnesses who said they saw unknown individuals igniting the fires in Ghouria were arrested instead, in a completely incomprehensible move. On the other hand, despite the horrific character of the fires and their victims, and the massive wealth being buried in them, we are noticing an odd coldness by the state apparatuses and institutions towards this phenomenon, while unable to detect any eagerness to confront them or look into their causes.
“We are even surprised by the warnings of the fire stations and some bodies, who are asking the citizens to be prepared and to make sure that their fire extinguishers are working properly, as though telling the people in advance that the fires will expand, or as though speaking about phenomena which we cannot do anything about, such as the weather for example! The country being burned is Egypt, the property is that of the Egyptians, and the institutions are those of the Egyptian state. So, why is Es-Sisi remaining silent towards this phenomenon, and pretending to be busy with meetings and marginal issues, which are much less dangerous and important than the catastrophe sweeping the country? You “fear nothing” and “nothing can shake you.” We know and have understood that. But tending to this threat and its victims and communicating with your people is required by your responsibility…
“Whether these fires are methodical acts of sabotage as some believe, are the doing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the supporters of former President Morsi as your supporters are claiming, are a conspiracy by the deep state, which thinks that a new class is now leading the country and disregarding its interests, or the doing of sides affiliated with the state for reasons we do not know, as it is being claimed by your oppositionist, you are responsible for all that, as well as for the pursuit of the perpetrators, the uncovering of the truce, the prosecution of those involved and the urgent reassurance of the people, while committing to the discontinuation of this masquerade.”