“This is the Egyptian people, this is the Egyptian will, this is the Egyptian power, and this is the Egyptian strength. In the name of Egypt, we open our canal; a new stream of life and welfare, a stream of peace, a steam of love with no discrimination and no obstacles. For the sake of humanity, generosity, and human progress, the people of Egypt give the world the new canal as a means of prosperity and love.
“In the name of Egypt, I invite the whole world to our canal, to the new stream of welfare not only to Egypt, but to the world, to the new meaning of new relations, to love, to equity, and to confidence.”
These were words spoken by late Egyptian President Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat during the third opening of the Suez Canal in 1975. He said those words with all the pride and glory, and the whole world heard, listened and admired as he finished his speech saying: “Wait for the fourth opening.”
His words, which are still remembered by the whole world, were meaningful and they were said by a leader who had just come out with his war with the Zionist occupation with victory. That victory amazed the entire world and brought Egypt its dignity back. Sadat concluded his speech with those historic words: “Wait for the fourth opening.”
If the third opening took place after the war, this fourth opening is taking place as we are on the verge of many wars, or let’s say a multi-front war. It is the war for stability and the advancement of the people.
There is no doubt that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has the right to be proud of what he has achieved in a year. His words may even carry similar meaning to President El-Sadat’s; that Egypt is offering a grand service to the world and to international commerce without asking for anything in return. If the first Suez Canal was built by the hands of our ancestors, this one was built by the hands of their sons, and with their own money as well.
This is Egypt, and this is how Egyptians will always be when they unite for one goal. I have faith that they, with God’s will, are capable of doing this.
The war I speak of, then, is one that will come after the celebration and honouring of all Egyptians for their achievement. It is a war for stability, a war for unifying all Egyptians, a war to renew patriotism and the sense of belonging in the hearts and minds of the Egyptian people. Victory in this war is by no means less important than Egypt’s victory in peace and war.
Mr. President, the poor wait year after year for someone to feel their pain and bring them out of poverty and need, so what is your plan for that?
The poor, Mr. President, have waited a long for someone to perceive them with sympathy, and to pull them up above the poverty line, so are you up for this?
This is your upcoming war sir; it is the war that has been knocking on Egypt’s door day after day, wanting to destroy us. Two years after 30 June, and still nothing has happened on the ground, and the most unproductive government in the history of Egyptian governments did not present any solutions. The prices increased, the value of the national currency decreased, while salaries either remained the same or even declined. This is more than we can tolerate.
Today, we will celebrate the opening of the canal, and we have the right to celebrate. In fact, no one has the right to say otherwise, but tomorrow morning is more important. We want to wake up to a different performance; a positive performance, by officials who know what needs to be done to improve the conditions of the people who have suffered from oppression, injustice, marginalisation, and destruction for four long decades.
Egypt is on the verge of a new war, so let’s announce tomorrow as Zero Hour for the launch of our people into a new stage of economic and security stability. Let’s put forth a timeline for the improvement of the Egyptian people. I will not ask for this to happen in a single year, because this is a much bigger achievement than the new Suez Canal, but I want to wake up every day feeling that a segment of society has improved. We want to look at similar countries and learn from their experience in transferring their people from poverty to production, and to follow in their footsteps and take steps forward.
Our chances are big for we are a young country; 30% of our population is below the age of 15, and 60% is below the age of forty, and we are a country rich in resources. We also have brilliant minds capable of turning poverty into wealth if given the chance, and we have a canal that promises a lot in its fourth opening. Our will is strong beyond measure if well directed. So then, what are we missing?
Administration and willpower. An administration capable of laying plans that can change events to the benefit of the people., We need economic prosperity outcome to be directed downward and not upward, and to achieve social justice.
We need an unbreakable will against challenges and difficulties; a will that fights the corruption that is rampant across the state, a will that strongly punishes every thief of the money of the people.
These are two conditions that are not met by the current government, to which I have no positive feelings or even hope for. I do not believe it is capable of entering into the war that we are on the verge of. It is a day-to-day sort of government, the likes of which I have not seen anywhere in the world.
Mr. President, today rather than tomorrow, it is your duty to choose a government capable of executing your vision for the development of the country. A failed government is no justification for our delay, and we will not let you take this as an excuse for delaying the execution of your promises.
The government is a failure, and it has to retreat quietly, and you must choose a government suitable for the upcoming period. Egypt is full of qualified people, and you will not fail to reach them, I just hope you have the vision, the desire and the will to choose the most fitting administration. Congratulations to Egypt.
Emad El-Sayed is an Egyptian journalist and the Editor of Daily News Egypt.