Time stopped when President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi gave his speech a few days ago at the educational ceremony on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the 6th of October War. I did not know what to do or say, when I heard statements that have nothing to do with the dreams and aspirations he gave us. I followed all his criticisms about the Egyptian media and his sarcastic statements about this sector. In my opinion, he was mistaken. The media we have now was created by him. They are his followers who kneel and pray to him day and night. But the president did not only speak of the media.
The concerning part was him speaking of the poor, whom we thought he had forgotten. He promised to fix a mistake committed by his own government. “Prices will go down by the end of the month,” he said. The question now is: Do the poor only have one dream that is cheap prices? To ask the question more clearly: Are the poor able to buy their basic needs of food and medicine at the same prices before the latest hike? In other words: Do poor people enjoy a humane life in their homeland?
Mr. President, the dreams of the poor extend farther than your promises to reduce prices to a previous level, at which they could not survive to begin with. The poor have the right to live a humane life worthy of Egyptians, according to your promises. The poor have the right to find an education that develops their society. The poor have the right to know what you are doing, and what your plans are to bring them the humane life they lost during the era of demolishing Egyptian dreams that lasted for decades.
Your speech, Mr. President, carries many questions, and there is no better person to answer them than yourself. What if prices remain unchanged? What will you do? Will you reshuffle the cabinet? Will you change the government with a new one from the same box of failures? Will you summon the army to the rescue? Will you call for Arab aid? Is this how you will always solve our crises? What exactly is your plan to adjust the prices to a level suitable for all Egyptians, as half of the population is now below the poverty line? What do you have hidden behind your black sunglasses of dreams to develop them, after providing basic needs at reasonable prices? How will you revive an educational system that has been corrupt for over four decades? Will you pave roads to call for investors only? Will you pave main roads and highways and leave us to suffer with the side roads? What about sanitation, water and health? Answer me! What is your plan?
I ask you to answer your own question, Mr. President: Where did the EGP 150bn come from to solve the electricity crisis? How was that money provided? How will you continue to pay, and what will that do with the state’s budget? Where did the EGP 50bn for paving roads come from? How much will follow that to be spent on roads and services? What is your plan to secure that money?
Mr. President, I feel very worried about Egypt this time. Your words about dreams and hopes, without providing specific vision, gave me the impression that you do not study things carefully. I feel as though you lack efficient advisers, who have awareness, wisdom and knowledge to give you viable projects that benefit Egypt. I know I am criticising when you do not like criticism. But I am also worried. I hope you are worried as well, as fear may become reason to reconsider before making final decisions.
Your words about the media are not the most important part of your speech. We all know how much it is politicised to follow you and bring you victory, for it lost its credibility as it lost its ability to deal with crises and problems without orders.
The media has resorted to sorcery and superstition to attract a poor audience, increase ignorance and disseminate myths sending us back to the dark ages. Please, unleash the media. Allow journalists to go back on screens. Tell your advisers to find solutions for Maspero, for it is Egypt’s wealth and a source of strength. It is not as hard as it may seem, but it requires a serious will from the state to fix this body, which you recognised as having problems and corruption.
Mr. President, fixing the media begins at Maspero!