An Inconvenient Truth

The hotel staff ran to the balcony this afternoon in Cairo and I wondered if the protests from Tahrir Square had moved to “my” neighborhood.   It was raining!   They were very happy to see the rain, a rare occurrence in Cairo I’m told.

The TV news has been running non-stop coverage of the protesters, the tear gas, President Morsi’s announcement of a curfew, and other stories about the current unrest.

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One local paper carried a story today about the Black Bloc and other groups involved in the demonstrations.

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Since I don’t understand Arabic, I must rely on what English-speaking Egyptians tell me about the situation.  

Some are saddened about this recent turn of events (ie. the protests turning violent).  Others seem frustrated that the economy has not improved in the past 2 years (tourism is down 50-70% I’m told) and they blame President Morsi.  A few have mentioned that they oppose the great influence that the Muslim Brotherhood has in the government now.  One person mentioned corruption.  Many people don’t have hope for the future.  

This is, of course, a very small, informal poll.  The opinions represent the educated electorate who are employed and speak English.

Every Egyptian I’ve talked with in Cairo say they oppose President Morsi.   I haven’t found a single person who supports him.  Some are willing to give him time to improve things, others want him to go now!

I’m hoping that peace is restored and Egyptians give their first democratically-elected president some time.   I know zilch about President Morsi’s policies, and I have no clue whether he is “good” or “bad” for the Egyptian people.   But he was fairly ELECTED, and no one has contested the election as far as I can tell.   Egyptians need to give themselves (as much as Morsi) some time to understand and appreciate the importance of the electoral process.

Every young person throwing stones in Tahrir Square today should be sitting in a civics class instead.  They should be preparing for the next election in 3 years.  And political parties of all stripes  should be engaging  Egyptians in serious discussions about the future of their country.

There is so much potential here.  In a lively bazaar this morning I found 20-30 stalls selling books (used and new).  I bet Al Gore would be very pleased to see a copy of his book about climate change — “An Inconvenient Truth”  on the shelf here and right next to the stall was a young man selling CFL light bulbs!

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Please give this young man and his CFL light bulbs some time!

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Egypt, Elections

2 responses to “An Inconvenient Truth

  1. jlawler

    Agree with your feeling about Morsi. A minority can’t throw a tantrum and expect to overturn a democratically elected government. And it was not really close. I’m guessing there is a difference between sentiment in the city and rural areas but that is part of democracy, no?

    • Egyptians don’t have experience with democracy and or democratic institutions because they lived under a dictator for 30 years which the USA supported. When I hear Hillary Clinton complain now about the Arab Spring giving rise to inexperienced leadership, I wonder what she expected after her husband and other US leaders kept Mubarak in power for so many years. The question now is how can the USA constructively assist in the democracy-building process?

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