The world stands today watching Egypt in utter bewilderment and confusion over what is really going on. I feel it is my duty to shed some light on unknowns that foreign media is not highlighting in its reports over the current affairs in the country. Many say that the army has declared a coup and tsk sadly as they believe Egyptians have willingly given up the democracy they fought for in 2011.
In order to shed some light on what’s really happening, we need to take a step back in time, precisely to when Egypt witnessed its first democratic presidential elections in May 2012. At the time, Egypt was under the political control of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, or what is better known to Egyptians as #SCAF. For many reasons that I will not go into here, the council was short on time and needed these elections to be held at the soonest possible time. That time was insufficient and Egyptians faced their first ever free-will elections with 13 candidates to choose from. Bearing in mind that Egyptians had been living in utter political oblivion for decades, the confusion we witnessed over who to choose, merged with the insufficient time-frame we were given led to results that were not exactly democratic, but rather led by factors such as hope, fear, stubbornness at times, and even randomness. It is safe to say that we failed in our choices because the final two runner-ups were Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party, and Ahmed Shafiq who was an avid participant in the very regime that the Egyptian revolution ousted. Again, there are many details here that I will not include, but that are easily attainable with a simple Google search.
Egyptians ended up voting for Mohamed Morsi with less than 2% difference between him and his runner-up Ahmed Shafiq. Those who voted for Shafiq did so because they believed he had the skills and experience needed to get the country on track, and were willing to overlook his role in Mubarak’s government and the speculations over his participation in the very actions that we revolted against. Those who could not get themselves to do that voted for Morsi, hoping against all logic that the Muslim Brotherhood rule would not be as fascistic and catastrophic as they feared, in addition of course to members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party.
And guess what? They were wrong. Logic persevered.
Over the past year, since Morsi was sworn in as president of Egypt in June 2012, Egypt and Egyptians have seen nothing but deterioration. Today we live in a country that faces catastrophic economic challenges, negligible tourism income, media suppression and an overall sense of despair over the country’s future. (I will refrain from going into details because that too can be easily researched over the internet.)
That was until June 30, 2013.
A couple of months ago, a group of patriotic activists, led by a young man named Mahmoud Badr (who is not my relative and whom I do not know or ever heard of before) started a movement that goes by the name Tamarud in Arabic, which translates into Rebellion in English. What these young men did was go out into street in the cities of Egypt, collecting signatures of citizens on Tamarud forms that deprive the president of his legitimacy as the country’s ruler. They also invited people to a mass protest on June 30, the day that marks a full year since Morsi’s rule, to show their disapproval of his policies and those of his political party (and the Muslim Brotherhood). Over the course of these two months, Tamarud succeeded in collecting 22,134,456 signatures from citizens across the country. Why is that number significant? Because the total number of people who voted in the presidential elections in 2012 was a little over 25 million. This is the total number of votes to both, Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, as well as the votes of the first round on the 13 candidates.
Now for the present time and the events of the past few days.
On June 30, Egyptians took to the streets in number that exceed those of January and February 2011. Why? Because they have had enough. They were not willing to give up on the freedom they have fought so hard for and they now had the courage and the awareness to make their words heard, and change the calamitous course we were heading quickly in. After days of continuous protests, the president gave a speech that can be described as nothing short of arrogant and dismissive. Immediately after that, the Egyptian military gave a statement that gives political parties and leaders 48 hours to resolve their issues and see to betterment of the country and the wills of its people. When the 48 hours passed and nothing happened, the military intervened and declared that Mohamed Morsi is no longer the country’s president and that the Chief Justice Of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court would act as a temporary president until proper elections are held and the constitution is amended.
All I could think of at that moment was, ‘Why didn’t we do that the first time around?’
Foreign media, perhaps for political interests, has chosen to distort the truth and show the world what is happening in a defiled manner.
The events of June 30, 2013, have been declared by foreign media as a coup. So, how is it a coup if the Chief Justice Of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court was assigned as an interim president who is charged with the duty of drawing up a transition strategy and plan until proper elections are held?
The events of June 30, 2013, have been declared by foreign media as failure of Egyptian people to hold on to the democracy and freedom they obtained during their 2011 revolution. How is this not democracy when 22 million of the 25 million who voted in the presidential elections willingly signed the Tamarud forms and protested in the streets?
The events of June 30, 2013, have been declared by foreign media as unfair to the Muslim Brotherhood. Today, July 5th, witnessed a massacre in Egypt’s cities. The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Bade’e, gave a speech that openly invited members of the Muslim Brotherhood to proceed with violence against all opposers to regain their rule of the country. The result: until now, 17 are dead and more than 400 are injured, and the night is yet to end.
The events of June 30, 2013, have been declared by foreign media as acts against legitimacy. How is it illegitimate if it is declared in writing, in voice and in physical presence by the nation’s voters? It may not be a predetermined election, but it is an election nevertheless. It is an election against a president and not for him. Perhaps nations should consider holding annual referendums that determine the people’s satisfaction with their leaders, instead of being forced to accept them and their destructive policies for 4 years.
I am not a political activist, I am not a reporter and I am not an expert analyst, but I am one of the millions of Egyptians who wanted Morsi out of their presidential palace. I am also one of the millions whose hearts are breaking at being deprived of the victory we achieved on June 30th by having the truth distorted and confusing the world into looking down at us.
So here you have it, in very simple words, perhaps even naive, because I am writing this in the middle of the night and did not use any references. But references are unnecessary for me because I have been living in this nightmare for a year, and I am proud of what we have done on June 30 and of the support of our military.
That’s it; the real deal. This is not a coup, this is the will of the nation coming to life in an unconventional manner.