TRANSLATED: Egypt “awaiting overwhelming anarchy, or building of a real democratic regime, whichever comes first”
Translated in today’s Daily Briefing (for a free trial, email email@example.com):
On August 8, the Egyptian Shorouk newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Muhammad Esmat: “There might not be a recipe for the achievement of the British “The Economist” magazine’s expectations, surrounding the eruption of a third uprising against President Abdel Fattah es-Sisi’s rule, due to what the magazine dubbed in a report published last Thursday the mounting anger of the youth towards the closing of the doors of a better future in their faces, the escalation of the economic crisis, and the government’s inability to contain it… The negative economic indicators clearly reflect the failure of the Egyptian government to meet its promise to fix the situation within two years, at a time when the Egyptians are increasingly feeling that the future will carry more difficult times, and that the promises to improve the living conditions were a mere mirage.
“At some point, the volcanoes of suppressed frustration and anger will explode, without anyone knowing the shape or course that this explosion will take. President Abdel Fattah es-Sisi’s governments have chosen to proceed down the economic road that was started by President Hosni Mubarak’s governments, one which relies on open markets and limiting the state’s social security role in a faster way, even with uncalculated momentum, without taking into account the high cost they will pay as a result of the decrease of their popularity and legitimacy, which they have supposedly drawn from the slogans of the January revolution surrounding livelihood, liberty and social justice. And in the face of the absence of a clear governmental political program that would convince the Egyptians to accept the major sacrifices in exchange for improving the deteriorating economic situation, the opposition parties seem to be like haunted houses.
“Hence, they have no influence on the street, are not presenting alternative policies, are settling for reactions, and are losing their popularity by the day. There are no clear mechanisms with specific methodologies to present alternative solutions to the existing policies in Egypt, and there is no voice rising above that of the authority. And under the pretext of the existence of hidden powers devising quasi-daily conspiracies against us, we must all rally behind the regime to confront them. As a result, any opposition voice is being subject to readymade accusations of collaboration, betrayal and conspiracy against the homeland. Amid this climate, expecting an organized uprising such as the one mentioned by The Economist is impossible. Yet, the door remains wide open before waves of violence, to vent out the frustration and anger.
“And they might be extinguished by security clubs or trucks of subsidized food products in the streets, but these will be mere temporary solutions, while awaiting overwhelming anarchy, or the building of a real democratic regime, whichever comes first.”