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“So Egypt, what exactly do you want?"

Stuck between a rock and a hard place the Egyptian people have been juggling between quasi-civil rulers, and military rule since JAN 25.

Refaat Mohamed
15 July 2013

It is not very clear yet whether what happened recently in Egypt is a military coup or not, as it falls into a very grey area where it is so hard to figure, let alone put a label on what happened.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place the Egyptian people have been juggling between quasi-civil rulers, and military rule since JAN 25. So once again the Egyptian people take to the streets with massive protests, and once again Egypt is the centre of attention, and all the news networks are watching closely to see what is going to happen - forgetting one major detail, which is that the Egyptian people went out on the streets to kick their president with his regime out without having a working alternative. They still don’t have the messiah that they can all gather around as a leader.

“So Egypt, what exactly do you want?”  You said “OUT” with Mubarak and he is out; you had a transition period ruled by SCAF, during which the civil movements have fought with SCAF vigorously; the Islamists were meanwhile totally in support and even attacked the civil movements (with whom they were hand in hand against Mubarak’s regime) telling them to leave the SCAF alone because the Egyptian army is not to be messed with.

Then you had your free democracy elections in which the most prominent players were Ahmed Shafiq, an ex-military man who is highly linked and affiliated with Mubarak and his regime. And the other player was Morsi the Islamist, who was the Muslim Brotherhood’s second candidate. The candidate who was momentarily backed by a big sector of the civil groups who decided to support him lest Shafiq wins: which worked, and Morsi became president.

And now you start complaining about Morsi who is not the best president there is (agreed by all except for Islamist TV stations which claim that he is the best president; and who is highly preoccupied with putting his clan in power, not based on their qualities but just for being close to him, and so that he may secure himself with people he can trust.

Which led to many major problems, plus the fact that most of the big investors and players in the Egyptian market for some reason decided not to cooperate with Morsi, making him and his administration look even worse. And that is mainly because of the fear that he will mess with the huge shares they have in the market and will give it to his circle of friends instead (not of course to the Egyptian people). In addition to the fact that the different Islamist groups were not very shy with their hate speech directed is at every group or sect ever known to man.

So the people of Egypt were angry and furious, and said “to hell with the people who are pretending to represent Islam, while their actions have nothing to do with Islam.”

“So you want Morsi out?” - the same man who won Egypt’s first democratic elections, although he won by a tiny margin, but still he won, and he hardly spent one year in office.

“So how will you throw him out?” according to the greatly controversial constitution laid down mostly by people belonging to Morsi’s camp, the way to do so is to wait a couple of months for the parliamentary elections. Win the parliamentary elections (as the opposition and civil movements) with a majority and then you will have the power to appoint the ministers and to impeach the president.

This solution was so enthusiastically advocated by the MB and the Islamist groups, who were confident of winning the elections, as this is not the first time they have gone through this, and they have become very good at it. They know they have. While the opposition and the civilian camp haven’t yet learned to keep their differences to one side, and they know they haven’t.  Instead they have chosen to stay scattered according to their ideologies and principles. Moreover they say that there is no way the next parliamentary elections can be fair, as the Islamists will abuse the facilities and utilities of the state as privileges that they can use to win the elections.

So now the majority of the Egyptian people minus the MB and their supporters have once again resorted to the streets, which resulted in a quasi-military coup this time, and the civil groups are now sleeping with the enemy represented in the military authority and generals who interfere in politics.

Whether this will be in favour of our revolution or not will quite simply be determined by time. But unless civil political groups organize themselves and raise themselves to meet the responsibilities bestowed upon them, we will never get out of the endless loop of religious-military rule.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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